Word Of The Week – Spirit Animal•
Posted on December 04 2019
As we explore shamanism and the true meaning and importance of shamans in our modern society, we have mentioned on more occasions spirit animals. Spirit animals are special spirits that help a shaman in his spiritual journey. They help him during his travels, they are his advisers, they help him heal and learn valuable lessons in the spirit realm.
What is a spirit animal?
One of the very first things that we can notice about Native American tribes, is that they have a strong, well-developed connection and respect for Mother Nature. Shamans, as well as the Native American tribes, believe that everything in nature is connected, and we as well as part of nature are connected to nature. This is why they often treated not only animals with respect but also plants – especially the plants that helped them to travel between spirit worlds.
Shamans believed that every person has a spirit animal – sometimes even more than one, or sometimes a different one for different phases of their lives. They used traveling through spirit worlds to get in touch with their spirit animals and strengthen their connection with them. In fact, during the process, one’s spirit animal takes them to a sacred journey to either help them heal or to teach them a valuable life lesson.
Sometimes, some shamans shapeshift into their spirit animal, as described in the tales of Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda’s books. It is mentioned that Don Juan shapeshifts into a crow, while traveling through spirit worlds, and teaches Castaneda as well how to do so.
What types of spirit animals are there?
There are as many types of spirit animals, as there are animals in the world. Each spirit animal is assigned to you depending on what your spiritual path holds for you. It’s important to understand that spirit animals all have their unique characteristics, and can’t be split into groups, but rather you have to discover your spirit animal first, and then learn about its unique abilities and characteristics.