A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of January 14-20, 2015
HOW TO FIND YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL
Have you ever wondered about the spiritual world of our Native American brethren? There are 562 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States (America.gov) – have you ever wondered what beliefs may be shared among them?
Since Native American religion is partly Earth-centered (especially before the arrival of Christianity), part of their cosmology is the belief in spirit animals. How do we find our spirit animal and how can we be open to what our spirit animal is teaching us?
At http://www.spiritanimal.info (site editor Elena Harris), you will find a plethora of information on spirit animals. For instance, there are many ways to find your spirit animal: through meditation, going in nature and observing, calling the animal, process of self-inquiry, writing about it in your journal, imagination, and journeying with sound. Animals are everywhere in our lives, whether as pets or as free agents, and yet we fail to grasp their symbolic nature. In effect, we miss what they’re trying to teach us and thus we miss the opportunity to improve our lives. In the world of spirit animals, they can symbolize: aspects of your personality, skills or traits that you have cultivated successfully or have yet to develop, a situation or an emotion that has recently arisen. Spirit animals can also offer guidance and intuitive understanding.
When we bond with an animal spirit guide, we are encouraged to: discover ourselves by getting a felt sense of our strengths and weaknesses, the skills we have developed, and our potential; loosen up our personality and habits and open up to transformation; open up to new perspectives on our relationship with nature and the Earth as a whole; feel the power of the animal and be inspired by its qualities; and call on the animal spirit to get support and guidance. For those with ears that listen, our spirit animals can provide guidance on: an aspect of yourself that is already strongly developed or needs to be explored more; a situation or environment in your everyday life that has a strong emotional impact; and a life direction you could consider or reflect on (www.spiritanimal.info). In the website, there are quizzes you can take to determine your animal totem, and I got “Bear,” which apparently stands for strength, confidence, taking action, healing, solitude, and grounding – among other meanings. Don’t worry, because when you get your result, the website will explain what your spirit animal means. There is another quiz for discovering your “inner animal,” and another one for finding out your “social animal.” For my inner animal, my result was that I was either an Owl or a Hummingbird, and for my social animal, I was either a Bear (again?!) or a Butterfly. I guess it may take a while for me to be equated with a less hefty spirit animal (grin). I’m not complaining, though. I like what my Bear is teaching me.
Now let’s compare the above system with these “Native American Zodiac Signs via Algonquin wisdom” written by Avia Venefica, a symbolist, metaphysician, part-Native American, and self-proclaimed heretic, always questioning, discovering, and learning. Avia maintains several websites, but this piece on “Native American Zodiac Signs” was retrieved from http://www.tokenrock.com. I suggest that you visit the website to view the complete descriptions.
Hawk (Mar 21-Apr 20)
You have expansive vision, and your ability to see beyond what common reality holds is extraordinary. As a visionary with an intrepid streak in tackling new adventures – people look to you as a natural leader. Part of your life lesson is knowing when others are plucking your feathers for their selfish gain. Spreading your wings and shining more radiantly is the solution. In this way, you uplift through example.
Moose (Apr 21-May 20)
You are a gentle giant among your tribe. Your heart has a massive capacity for love and provision, particularly concerning matters of home and family. You know your own power, but often elect to keep that power on reserve and in-check. Creature comforts, family, friends, sharing and tender moments of simplicity nurture your soul. All these heartwarming and endearing tendencies of yours vanish if you feel anything you value is threatened. If you perceive harm against your herd, you will strike with chilling vengeance. Part of your life lesson is to learn flexibility in your perception and to better discern which battles to pick and which to avoid.
Owl (May 21-Jun 21)
Your tribal kin have a hard time following you, in spite of your phenomenal ability to intelligently communicate your thoughts to them. It has to do with a higher level of knowing which is your set-point. Part of your life lesson is to utilize your ability to see people from all angles and have patience with those who have trouble keeping up with you in the skies you fly.
Sturgeon (June 22-July 22)
You have an incredible lineage for intuitive knowing (typically passed from your mother), and the waves of your intuitive perception are best expressed through artistic manifestations. Poetry, art, music are all effective tools for you to convey the world you see. This is why you are typically the storyteller of the tribe, because you reach deep within your emotional whirlpools to access incredible ancient knowing. Your lesson is to use your fluctuating moods and intensely sensitive/emotional nature work to your advantage as well as the advantage of the community.
Mountain Lion (July 23-Aug 22)
As a mountain dweller, you are fueled by the realms of the sun, and easily attain high levels of success. Your tribal kin would call you lucky because they observe things always working out for your best interest. You would say you are extremely skilled, highly observant, and you know how to strategize or work the system to your best advantage. This is true. Nevertheless, people look up to you upon your mountain and view you as the tribal hero/heroine. Part of your life lesson is to funnel your assertiveness as a means to guide and effectively lead without manipulating or crushing the vulnerable spirits of the souls placed in your charge.
Deer (Aug 23-Sep 23)
You are extraordinarily attuned to your environment – having a ‘sixth sense’ about how things should be, and instantaneously knowing when something is ‘out of place.’ Fortunately, you are incredibly deft at putting things back into order. The disparagement between classes often leaves you fleeing from mainstream society. Your lesson is to learn how to meet your clansmen on their level without stooping below your own.
Eagle (Sept 24-Oct 22)
You are the equalizer of your tribal community. You have an inherent ability to focus your awareness in two directions which gives you the gift of foresight and hindsight simultaneously. Your clansmen look to you to settle disputes and arguments because of your advanced skills at discernment. You also have an evolved sense of equality. Your life lessons will typically revolve around themes of balance. In fact, you may manifest this balance in staggering ways by balancing unconventional with conventional having a ‘public’ life and a ‘secret’ life.
Beaver (Oct 23-Nov 22)
You swim in rivers of vast potential and wonder where reality and dreams comingle with ease. When the outside world does not comply with your perception of what it should be – you simply construct worlds of your own unique design and live there quite contently. Tribal members will seek you to interpret their dreams because you are so familiar with the constructs of parallel worlds. Part of your life lesson is to be mindful other people in your reconstructive/transformative behaviors as the actions you take can sometimes cause emotional blockages for others.
Red Fox (Nov 23-Dec 21)
You incorporate a sense of play into the tribal community that is vital. Without your levity, and high energy your clansmen would be left deflated. When properly motivated, you have the ability to drive sharp intellect into the heart of grand philosophical concepts – piercing core issues with the gift of honed insight. Your lesson is to know your own limits and to recognize your potential through focus and self-grounding.
Black Bear (Dec 22-Jan 20)
You often find yourself in a position of tribal elder in your community because you represent a foundational cornerstone within the tribe. In reality, you have a unique ability to see several steps ahead and know how to incorporate practical measures to bring about solid results to any endeavor. You recognize the value of hard work in order to obtain a goal. More importantly, you have a quality of patience that is remarkable. Part of your life lesson is to recognize that even though your ways are proven reliable, they are not always they right ways for everyone (particularly the tribal youths).
Wolf (Jan 21-Feb 19)
You have a gift of specialized wisdom and even the skill of prophecy. You are infinitely generous to those within your clan and can be incredibly protective over your assets. But your sense of loyalty to the whole of your community is legendary. Your unique knowing and perspective leads you to contribute incredible insights, inventions and evolutionary ideas to the your community. Part of your life lesson is to develop communication skills that convey your ideas more clearly with a goal for communal acceptance.
Grey Whale (Feb 20-Mar 20)
You will likely find yourself living on the outskirts of the tribe – not because you do not wish for fellowship, but because living in isolation affords you the luxury of gathering your internal resources for the great spiritual work you are called to do, usually in the form of healing. The members of your clan will seek you out as their tribal healer. Even those outside of your tribe will travel great distances to receive insight, cleansing, and healing from you. Your life lessons revolve around keeping your individuality while serving the community. Also, you must learn to respect your unique needs for self-nurturing, relaxation and seclusion when you need it.
I hope you have fun discovering your spirit animal and through your meditative explorations, be open to what your animal, in its wisdom, says about one or more of these things: 1. An aspect of yourself that you either need to develop more or is already over-emphasized, 2. A situation in your life right now that is having a strong emotional impact on you, or 3. A life direction you are being urged to consider or reflect upon.
Whether your spirit animal dwells over the land, above in the sky, or in the depths of the sea, there is no need to hunt it down, for lo! It is already right there resting beneath your feet. Ask for its wisdom and wisdom you shall receive.
Photo by Mary Gow-2015. Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings (fee required), email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org