You don’t have to be a pet lover to have animals play a profound impact on your life. In fact, whether you like pets or not, we all have animal spirit guides. Often referred to as power animals, animal guides are similar to spirit guides; they help us and give us messages as we move through our day-to-day lives.
Different animals have different qualities, and your spirit animal will have qualities that you are most in need of in your life. Also, understand that you don’t choose your animal spirit guide; rather it chooses you. It then makes itself known. So ‘what is my spirit animal?’ do you ask? Here are some ways to figure it out.
What animals are you drawn to? One of the first things to consider is what animals are you most intrigued by? Have you always loved peacocks? Maybe you’ve always had a fascination with foxes. Your animal spirit guide will be one that is able to get your attention so think of animals that you feel naturally drawn to. I have always loved ladybugs. While I hate most other insects, ladybugs have always drawn my attention. I would never kill one and would even allow one to crawl on me. On the flip side, I’m repelled by spiders, so I would not expect one to be an animal guide.
Consider recurring dreams. Are there animals that have appeared in multiple dreams? When I was a child, I used to always dream about a kangaroo that kept me safe in its pouch. From those dreams I know that kangaroos are very important to me on a spiritual level. Your spirit animal may attempt to connect with your through your subconscious and one of the ways that happens is through dreams. If an animal appears in one dream, it might not be your animal spirit guide, but I would still pay attention and figure out what the dream is trying to tell me.
Set the intention to meet your spirit animal. Sometimes we make life too difficult. Setting intentions is one of the best things we can do. Go into meditation and ask yourself, ‘what is my spirit animal?’ Then be still and pay attention to what immediately comes to mind. If an animal comes to mind, trust that that is your spirit animal. You might not get an answer immediately. Pay attention in the coming days for signs and synchronicity. For example, you might be drawn to a book with a certain animal on the cover. Or maybe someone mentions an animal in passing that catches your attention.
Want to learn how to recognize — and trust — your own messages? Sign up here.
Read: Can a Pet Be a Soulmate?
Visit a shaman. There are people who are experts in metaphysical knowledge that you can turn to as you travel through life. If you know a shaman, he or she might be able to help you, as shamanic journeying can be done to discover which animal is there to guide you. Through shamanic journeying, I learned that one of my animal spirit guides is the black panther.
Does an animal regularly cross your path? I am a firm believer that every time an animal crosses your path, there is a message for you. (Unless of course, it’s your pet and he or she lives with you.) Why did that animal happen to be in the same space as you at the same time? However, just because an animal crosses your path that doesn’t mean it’s your spirit animal. Yet, if an animal crosses your path regularly or multiple times (and it’s unusual — again, we’re not talking about the neighborhood cat), then it might be worth paying attention.
What is my spirit animal? Some common meanings
If you really want to learn about spirit animals and what they mean, I suggest a book, such as Animal Messengers: An A to Z Guide to Signs and Omens in the Natural World, but here are a few popular animals and their meanings.
The Snake: Wisdom from the snake includes the ability to transform or transmute oneself; immortality; creative power; and psychic energy.
The Wolf: Wisdom from the wolf includes instinct; intelligence; protective skills; and the ability to outsmart enemies.
The Rabbit: Wisdom from the rabbit includes the ability to think fast; a knack for abundance; and the ability to move through fear.
The Black Panther: Wisdom from the black panther includes the ability to see in the dark, and being willing to live in the unknown.
The Armadillo: Wisdom from the armadillo includes acknowledging the importance of protecting yourself and going within.
Even as you look up animal meanings, don’t ignore your own intuition. You may instinctively know what message an animal has for you and your insight may be entirely different from anything that you read in a book. Always trust your own intuition when it comes to working with spirit animals. Remember, your spirit animal is your special guide who will communicate with you in a way that you will understand.