Finding Your Power Animal
Chances are, you already subconsciously know who your dominant guiding power animal is. Most people have an animal or two that they identify with, though with no logical explanation. Some people are inclined to buy curtains, blankets, and t-shirts with moose on them. Some are drawn to the power of the wolf. Some can’t get enough horse statuary. Your guiding power animal reflects the lesson you need most to learn on this earth journey, or on the leg of the journey while this animal guides you, who will give way and let your next teacher move in when your lesson is learned. Moose, for example, is the medicine for self-esteem. If you have issues maintaining self-respect for who you are, then call on moose to guide you. You will be presented with challenge after challenge until you succeed in honoring yourself.
As with asking the assistance of angels, all divine guidance is governed by the same rule: seek and ye shall receive; ask and it will be yours. If you ask, at any level, for help in a given situation, just fine-tune your perceptions for an answer, and you will be helped.
It is a much faster way to work through your issues when you have a learned adviser, who knows you intimately, to guide you. If wolf is your guide, you may have learned lessons that you should show others to help the human race attain a higher spiritual consciousness. Wolf can help you effectively reach others and teach. Horse is the medicine for power. Perhaps you had issues with power in a past life and are unbalanced in this realm. By meditating on the aspects of horse: agility, grace and power you can come to realize that power is not simply a dominion over others, but a balance encompassing compassion and wisdom. True power is not dominating anger, but the ability to stand back and see clearly through another’s anger and shortcomings and then convey the compassion she may need to grow through her imbalances.
If you are not certain who your power animal is, or you would like to know your entire totem, that is, which animal is there to aid you through the different aspects of your psyche, you can of course, clear your mind, take deep breaths and meditate on it until a clear picture comes to your mind. Or you can ask for that animal to appear before you and it will, whether physically or in a magazine picture or on video. You will know.
For those who have difficulty meditating, and you are hardly alone, for quelling the mind chatter and maintaining attention are not simple feats for many, or if you simply cannot believe that the next animal you see has anything remotely to do with you, you might try using Medicine Cards. Jamie Sams and David Carson have written an excellent compendium of common power animals, their attributes and possible relevance to you, that you can buy along with a pack of Medicine Cards. They set forth some of the common card spreads for answering questions you may have about where you are on your path, etc. And they give detailed instructions on constructing your totem.
Although this is just a tool for uncovering your unconscious, I am uncomfortable with the validity of answers in shuffling a deck of cards and contenting myself that divine guidance is involved with laying them out. This is probably the superstitious Irish in my DNA, but it’s mine to deal with, so I go a step farther and after shuffling and laying out the entire deck upside down, I use a pendulum to select the right card. There are also spare cards to add other animals if you please. Ted Andrews includes more offerings in his “Animal Speak” book, which, for example, includes more insects than just the dragonfly. His book, too, is a useful guide in considering the aspects of the animals than may have relevance to your journey.