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Animal Guides vs Power Animals

Posted: 16 Sep 2006, 22:57
by hitenshi
I apologise if this has been brought up somewhere already, though didn't find a thread dealing with this here yet.

SO.... what is the difference? Does one work with them differently? Is one temporary - there to help deal with specific issues of the moment, versus a long term lesson?

Peace, Blessings, and Thanks!

Posted: 16 Sep 2006, 23:40
by Kat Lady
Hello hitenshi! A power animal is another phrase for a totem animal.  Power animals are there for inspiration, guidance, protection and "empower" us. Wheras a guide may only direct us. You may have many power animals and each may show itself at different times on your journey.

I hope this helps a little. And welcome to Shamanic Druid!

Posted: 17 Sep 2006, 15:14
by hitenshi
THank you! That does help.

I've had a few animal guides for a while now, but just recently met my power animal - a lion.

(also learned the name of my spirit guide, then went and forgot it  :whistle: )

Posted: 17 Sep 2006, 17:37
by Seeker
A slight disagreement here, Hitenshi...(guess it depends on who you ask)

According to most shamans (or those who study the original original shamanism) individuals cannot have "totem" animals - see article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem

I also consider a power animal different than guides...

Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 18:47
by Celtic Knight
I was taught that we each have a "totem animal" that accompanies us on journeys. This is a spirit in animal form.

We may have other "power animals" that stay with us when we particularly need the traits/qualities they can offer. They come and go over time.

There are also "Totems" that represent the spirit of a type of animal - the whole species. These are not the same as an individual's or group's totem animal.

Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 21:43
by hitenshi
Seeker wrote:A slight disagreement here, Hitenshi...(guess it depends on who you ask)

According to most shamans (or those who study the original original shamanism) individuals cannot have "totem" animals - see article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem

I also consider a power animal different than guides...

OK... totems make much more sense now - thank you for the link.

Can you explain what the differences are - to you - between power animals & guides?

Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 21:58
by Crowsfeet
OK, now I'm confused.  Maybe I never did know the difference.   :oops:

Ellyn

Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 22:28
by Kat Lady
Don't be confused, Ellen. The words and phrases "totem", "spirit guides", "power animals" are all used to basically discuss the same general idea: we have animals of the spirit and sometimes the flesh that are a part of us and/or guide us through this journey we call life.

Each shamanic practice or tradition may use a different phrase. But it is really semantics in the end.  

Here is a link that may help, specifically more with Native American traditions:
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/NA-Totems.html

So maybe it doesn't matter what you call the spirit animals that come and become a part of us. Maybe the fact that they come is more important than the name they are given. What matters most is the fact that you share your lifetimes with those whose spirit is one with you and who help you to become better individuals.

Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 22:34
by Donata
Hi Ellyn,

Just for myself, I think we can be overly concerned with the category an animal that chooses to come to us may belong in - power animal, ally, guide, totem.

When you have a friend, you may be aware of nationality, or race, or political party, or religion, or any number of other things. However the important thing will be your compatibility and connection. Same for the animals you meet and those who work with you. The important thing is that you develop the relationship with respect and appreciation for the aid the animal chooses to give you.

I realize not everyone will agree with me, but that's how I see it.

Good luck,
Donata

Posted: 26 Sep 2006, 07:42
by Celtic Knight
I do tend to agree with the view that there is no reason to worry about what type of spirit we might meet on journeys. Why does it matter?

I guess, if it's important to know, they'll tell us.

Just my view!

Posted: 26 Sep 2006, 14:08
by meghanst
During a meditation once I became a black leopard (panther). I’m sure this was internal rather than external because I started and ended (when I came out of the meditation) sitting in exactly the same spot. I couldn’t see all of myself as the panther, only the black paws beneath me and could effortlessly leapt up and down from high walls and run at high speed through dense jungle. It is an amazing experience, to feel the surefootedness, knowing exactly where each paw is, where every branch and twig is and at such speed.

I’m not at all an athletic person. I do 20 minutes of yoga exercises twice a day and enjoy long leisurely walks along the beach so this speed and dynamic energy and knowing where I was at high speed, were something never previously experienced.  I’ve since had some less dramatic meditations as a panther (I am always the panther) and just accepted this was 'my' animal. But with all the different types you speak of I’m rather confused, what actually is my panther?

Posted: 26 Sep 2006, 17:11
by Crowsfeet
Kat Lady - Thanks for the awesome web site and the wise advice.

Donata - I agree, very wise advice.  Relax and learn.

Thanks, Ellyn