Synchronicity or Animal Guardians?

Synchronicity or Animal Guardians?

Not long ago, I came across a post from a friend of mine which told me about an experience she had while hiking a trail in Ireland. The post read as follows:

I was rushing through the last 2 hours of my hike on the Atlantic Way Trail, getting nervous about the dying twilight and empty trails. The last person I passed had been hours ago, and I still had no glimpse of Doolin. I was experiencing fatigue in my leg stabilization muscles and needed to watch my feet closely, when I looked up again I was startled to see this black dog silently watching me. I called out to her, and she timidly snuck into the high grass. 5 minutes later I turned around and she was following me a ways behind. Although I was a little unnerved, I again crouched down and called to her. She never let me touch her, but eventually, she was accompanying me into town a couple of paces behind me. Then, at the trails end and roads beginning, as suddenly as she appeared, she disappeared. It was strangely comforting to have this shadow sharing a length of the dark trail with me, and I’m thankful to her for the company.

This story reminded me of another that I had heard countless times. It was a story from my dad’s childhood in Greece. He and his friend were climbing a rocky mountain in order to avoid taking the long road from a village to the monastery where they were staying. After climbing for some time, they realized that they had reached a point where they couldn’t climb any further, but it was also too high and too steep to go back down. As the sun started to set, their fear took hold and they began wondering how long it would take people to find them once they realized they were missing. Suddenly a mountain goat appeared before them and began to walk along a path that they hadn’t seen before. They followed the goat just long enough to feel they were safe again before it disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared before.

These stories aren’t unique. There are endless accounts of people in far more dire situations who were rescued by animals that appeared at just the right moment to ensure their safety.

In 1974, the Philippine navy published an official account of an unusual rescue. On June 2nd an inter-islander passenger ship had sunk off of the coast of an island in the southern Philippines. Two days into the search and rescue effort a woman was spotted clinging to what appeared to be an oil drum. As soon as they started hauling her up, they realized it was actually a giant sea turtle that had been propping her up. It was witnessed by Lt. Cesario F. Mana along with practically everyone else aboard the ship. Mana was quoted in the Montreal Gazette saying “The Sea Creature even circled the area twice before disappearing into the depths of the sea as if to reassure itself that its former rider was already in good hands.”

In September of 2000, 19-year-old Kevin Hines had made the decision to end his life by jumping off of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. He immediately realized after launching himself past the guardrail that he had made a mistake and he didn’t really want to die. He managed to turn his body so that he was no longer falling head first, and miraculously survived the impact. However, he was in indescribable pain as he sank below the water since he had broken his back. He was struggling to keep his head above water when he felt a creature brush against his leg, he claims that the creature kept circling him and nudging him, keeping his head above water until he was rescued by the coast guard. He believes that the creature was a seal but one man on the bridge claimed that it was actually a sea lion that was circling Kevin and keeping him alive.

There’s no question that we have a special connection with animals, but are these stories just a case of being in the right place at the right time? In Kevin Hines case, he believed that the sea lion who came to his rescue was a guardian angel, and my dad claimed that the goat leading them to safety was divine intervention as well. In Kate’s case, she was just grateful to have companionship during a part of her journey where being alone could have been dangerous.  

Is it possible that these people manifested their guardians in a time of need?

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What Is My Spirit Animal or Totem: The Complete Guide

What Is My Spirit Animal or Totem: The Complete Guide

Embarking on a journey to uncover your spirit animal or totem guide is a fascinating exploration into the realms of self-discovery and spirituality. Rooted in Native American culture and various ancient traditions, the concept of spirit animals holds that each individual has a unique animal guide representing their inner essence and life path. This connection offers profound insights and a deeper understanding of oneself, nature, and the universe. 

In this guide, we delve into the significance of spirit animals and provide you with valuable insights on how to find, connect with, and embrace your own guiding animal spirit.

Table of Contents

What Are Spirit Animals or Totems?

Animals are ever-present in our lives, whether they’re our beloved household dog or the roaming coyote that we glimpse every now and then. Yet, we often lack an understanding of their symbolic nature and the key characteristics that define them.

Traditional shamans believe that spirit animals or totems are revealed to guide and protect their charges throughout a journey. They offer influential insights into our subconscious mind and carry meaningful messages if you are willing to listen. Your spirit animal is meant to serve as a guide and bring attention to parts of your real life that need acknowledgment and exploration.

Listening to your spirit animal‘s guidance can bring a wealth of benefits. By tapping into their wisdom, you can unlock hidden reservoirs of personal power, gaining insights into your strengths and potential. These animal messengers often offer guidance on nurturing relationships with loved ones and seizing opportunities for new beginnings. Their symbolism can illuminate your path, helping you navigate challenges and make aligned decisions that resonate with your authentic self.

How to Find Your Spirit Animal

Your spirit animal is the embodiment of your subconscious mind and, therefore, cannot be chosen. It must choose you. In most cases, your spirit animal will present itself during a time when your mind is relaxed and able to wander internally, such as during dreams or meditation. However, spirit animals may also reveal themselves in physical form, often displaying unusual behavior or showing themselves several times in short succession.

Here are different ways to find your spiritual animal:

Observe Nature

Get outside, take your headphones off, and see the abundance of the world around you. Notice the direction of the wind and the patterns of the birds above you. This step is essential in preparing you for a spirit animal connection. Your ability to find your spirit animal, and receptivity to their guidance, depends on your ability to observe the natural world and identify signs and symbols.

Take Note of Animal Encounters

Be open and attentive when animals appear in your life. Do not be afraid or dismissive. Instead, make it clear that your heart is open, especially if an animal behaves out of the ordinary. Take note of repetitive encounters with animals. Whether in physical or symbolic form, such as an object or an image. Repetition may be a sign.

Ceremony

Conduct a ceremony to call in your spirit animal. Ceremonies may involve the burning of medicinal plants, such as sage and palo santo, as well as chanting and creation of altars. During your ceremony, ask for your spirit animal to show itself in a vision, dream, or live form. Do not question or overthink their appearance. Rather, ask for their support and guidance.

Research Animals of Interest

Research animals that interest you. If you remember the influence of certain animals during childhood, research traditional knowledge or scientific information about that animal. Reflect on why certain animals stand out to you and try to identify traits and characteristics that resonate with you. Explore their movements, interactions with other animals, habits, and cycles.

Meditate

Channel your inner guide to find your spirit animal. If a specific animal keeps coming to mind, don’t dismiss or overthink it. If it’s not what you imagined or hoped for, that animal still bears wisdom that deserves reflection. Sit with your thoughts and use your active imagination for an inward journey. Coax your animal out of your subconscious with tenderness. By opening your heart and focusing your mind, you’ll be more receptive to the energy and wisdom of your spirit animal.

Document Your Dreams

Dreams are often the subconscious mind’s way of processing complex emotions, as well as manifestations of unconscious imagery and guidance. Write down your dreams and as many details as you can remember. You might be surprised to find a reoccurring animal present. Pay close attention to the messages your dreams deliver and to the specific situations in which animals are present. Animals in dreams may symbolize deep-rooted feelings not fully acknowledged in waking hours, a feeling that you find “wild” or hard to control, and/or your most basic instincts and emotions.

Journey

Embrace the process of journeying. The shamanic tradition believes that journeying allows you to view your life from a deeply connected and spiritual state, often revealing your true inner self. Once you find your spirit animal, your journey together begins. Study your spirit animal and its core traits and characteristics. Reflect on why this particular animal chose you and how your spirit animal connects to your own personal experiences.

Express Gratitude

Your spirit animal is a powerful ally. Always thank your spirit animal for their guidance and support. They may help you navigate life, to transform, and to see your experiences and relationships in a new light; in turn, express your recognition and deepest thanks. Like any relationship, a spirit animal connection requires cultivation.

How Do You Know Your Animal Spirit Guide is Around You?

By becoming familiar with the archetypal traits and behaviors your spirit guide embodies, you’ll start to understand which signs you should look out for to know when it’s around you. When you invoke your spirit guide through meditation, mindfulness, or prayer you can ask for it to show a sign. You can also set an intention for your dreams before bed to encourage your spirit guide to show itself to you and provide guidance.

Sometimes signs of your animal spirit guide may be subtle, presenting itself to you in more of a symbolic form, while other signs may be more blatant physical forms. Spending more time in natural environments will undoubtedly help you connect with your spirit guide. Disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with the Earth is necessary to establish this bond.

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