Do I Have an Animal Guide?
Well if you ask me, yes, you do. I believe that all people have access to such guiding spirits to turn to for help in their lives. However, different paths teach different things. Some believe that each person has one and possibly more (one guide being the most commonly held belief) personal animal guides that they can rely on. Some believe that there is a separate guide for each aspect of our lives. Most also believe that they can access other animal guides for help in areas where their personal guide(s) are not as strong. However there are also some who believe that anyone can access guides for help, but each person does not have a specific one.
Before you decide that this is a wonderful idea and that you should have 365 personal animal guides, one for each and every day of the year, and want to run out and meet them all, think about this. I was once told that those who meet many personal animal guides in their life are not to be envied for they are the ones who are the most in need of protection and guidance.
However that does not mean that you cannot call on different guides for help when you need the specific type of help they can offer you. It also does not mean you can't have more than one personal guide. I just wanted to throw in a word of warning, too much candy can make you sick after all. So if you suddenly find a flock of animal guides at your side at all times, look at what you are doing and where you are going in your life. Perhaps you have some decisions to make.
How Do I Meet My Animal Guide?
Patience, patience, patience... Animal guides are not owned by anyone, even if some might be called pets. It is their choice whether or not to make themselves known to you at any particular time. You may ask nicely, but you can never force a meeting. Most often your guide will reveal itself in its own time. Just because they do not appear the first time you try to contact them doesnt mean you should give up. Keep trying every so often and when they feel the time is right they will show themselves.
There are many ways you can meet your power animal or discover which animal medicine is right for you. First, you could just wait until the guide decides that it is time for it to show itself. Second, you could write and perform a ritual to call and ask for the assistance of the animal that would best assist you in your present magickal workings or be of help in resolving a conflict in your life or simply ask that a guide make itself known to you. Finally you could opt for the method of entering a meditative state (for example a shamanic trance, astral travel or lucid dreaming) and meet the animal in the spirit world.
I often suggest trying a visualization where you are in a natural environment and ask your guide to come to you if it feels you are ready. It might not. Your guide will decide when you are ready, not the other way around. Just remember to be polite and patient. Keep trying. The spirit world works in its own way and time.
When the ritual technique is used, you will most likely see the animal in its natural form or it may appear in your life through seeming coincidences sometime after the ritual. There may be a synchronistic conversation where the topic is of the animal, or you find a book about the animal, images of it keep popping up, etc. When you catch that first glimpse of that particular medicine, you will know it in your heart.
If you meet the animal in the meditative astral state, converse with it and ask its help. Anything is possible in the astral, so ask questions and get to know your new partner.
If you have seen the animal after a ritual, plan sometime to go into the meditative state to cement your relationship, get to know the animal and the wisdom it represents.
It is important to remember that in many cases, we are chosen and not the one making the choices when it comes to the alliance with an animal spirit. We may wish to seek the wisdom of a particular guide but others will show up instead. Remember to be receptive to any or all who appear because they all have important lessons or wisdom to impart. It is also possible that before we can progress to our next level of understanding, we must first resolve or overcome some underlying issues that we may not be fully aware of or are denying within ourselves. Once you have met and began your relationship with an animal spirit, what do you do with it? Power animals are great advice givers, often representing aspects of our higher selves that we haven't been paying close enough attention to. In a meditative state you can ask for their assistance on problems that have been nagging at you. At times, it is also necessary to seek the assistance of more than one power animal at the same time to maintain balance, as is the case between Badger and Deer.