Whenever I’ve experienced a crisis, I’ve always noticed that animals help me to get through. I’m not talking about my cat — though she is a great comfort emotionally. Rather, I’m talking about the spirit animals that communicate with me more frequently when times are challenging.
Spirit animals are exactly what they sound like — spiritual beings that guide us and are in animal form. Some people believe spirit animals are the spirits of animals that used to walk the Earth plane and have since crossed over. While some may be, I believe some animal spirits may have always been in spirit form.
How spirit animals contact you
There are a number of ways that a spirit animal can make itself known.
Some people are so intuitive that they simply sense the presence of the spirit animal and know that it is there.
Others dream about the animal. Always pay attention to animals in your dreams even if the animal appears scary in the dream. I’ll explain more about that later. If you have a recurring dream with the animal, the message from that spirit animal is particularly critical to your life. (Here are some other signs you should pay attention to a dream.)
Want to learn how to recognize — and trust — your own messages? Sign up here.
Some spirit animals reach out by sending Earth-bound animals of the same type across your path. For example, if your spirit animal is a rabbit, you might notice a rabbit in your front yard multiple times over a short period of time.
Sometimes spirit animals reach out to us through synchronicity. We may hear someone mention a certain type of animal and later be watching a television show and see that same animal. Perhaps we later open a book and read a description of the same animal. Any time there are coincidences surrounding a particular animal, consider that the animal may be reaching out to you.
Why spirit animals contact you
There are so many reasons why a spirit animal may be reaching out to you. As lonely as life can feel sometimes, we are not meant to walk it alone. During challenging times, particularly, we receive so much spiritual guidance but we often are so plugged into our troubles that we don’t even notice it.
Spirit animals often show up at critical junctures in our lives.
They could show up to warn us.
Perhaps there is a challenge on the road ahead. A spirit animal could signal that you should slow down and pay attention, and more importantly, be cautious. One thing you should do when you believe a spirit animal is communicating with you is slow down and pay attention to the message.
They could show up to lead us down a different path.
There are times in life when one path ends and a new one begins. While such an experience can be exciting, it can also be scary. Many of us fear change. Spirit animals often accompany us during such scary, change-filled times. They may also enter our lives during a time of spiritual awakening.
They could show up to comfort us when life is challenging.
We all have tough times; there is no getting around it. However, spirit animals can show up to reassure us that all will be well. Typically this will happen with a spirit animal that you are comfortable with or one that you like. For example, I grew up playing with lightening bugs, or fireflies as they are sometimes called. Once I was going through a challenging time and noticed a yard full of lightening bugs in a location that did not typically have lightening bugs. Since they took me back to happier times, I knew that those lightening bugs were there to reassure me that all would be well.
They could show up to encourage us to embody a certain quality in our life.
This gets into the message of various spirit animals. One way to figure out what they want to tell you is to consider the qualities that particular animal has. Often, we are being called to embody those qualities. For example, squirrels are known for collecting acorns to prepare for the long winner. If a squirrel reaches out to you, it may be suggesting that you prepare for a rainy day ahead.
What it means when you are scared of your spirit animal
Earlier I mentioned that there could be times when the idea of interacting with a particular animal isn’t so pleasant. What if you are terribly afraid of snakes and you start seeing snakes everywhere you look? Or perhaps you have a dream in which you are being chased by a hungry bear? Could a spirit animal make contact with you by scaring you?
The answer is yes. It’s doubtful that your spirit animal would want to scare you. However, you may react in fear, which has nothing to do with the spirit animal at all. Remember, your reactions to life and what happens to you are all about you.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t take precautions if you see an animal that can be dangerous to you. For example, it might not be a good idea to pick up those snakes you’ve been seeing around your yard if you don’t know whether they are poisonous or not. The good news is you don’t have to physically interact with your spirit animal to receive its message.
Instead, think about its qualities and how you might embody those qualities in your own life. Even if you dream that a spirit animal attacks you or kills you, in some shamanic traditions there is a belief that if an animal attacks you in a dream or vision, that animal is transmitting its power to you.
Can you have multiple spirit animals?
While you may work with one animal most of the time, you can have countless spirit animals. Some may walk the path with you your entire life, while others may simply enter your life temporarily to give you a message. In my lifetime, I’ve had several spirit animals. The most memorable were the Black Panther, Deer, Dragonflies and Fireflies. The Deer and Fireflies were temporary spirit animals while the Black Panther and Dragonflies tend to stick with me.
A spirit animal may leave your side if it no longer is needed. Here are some signs that a spirit animal may be moving out of your life:
1 You’re no longer drawn to it.
2 Another animal has been trying to get your attention.
3 You’ve gotten closure on the issue your spirit animal helped you with.
4 You’ve had dreams that you were working with another animal.
Read: What it Means When a Deer Crosses Your Path