Animal Spirit Guides have come up on this blog in the past as a way of helping all of us walk a more enlightened path. Given the level of interest on this topic, I thought it might be fun to explore the four specific animal guide types. Usually, these creatures will appear in some form when you meditate or dream.
Before continuing, it is important to remember that animal guides come to us in many different species throughout our time on earth. We do not choose our animal guides but instead – they choose us. Deep stuff, huh?
According to most Native Indian belief systems, spirit animals visit us during great times of change and uncertainty. Some people think of these spirit guides as a kind of angel. Others think of animal totems as karmic teachers; sent from a time and place beyond our collective understanding.
What is important that you know is this – animal guides are sent to teach you the wisdom of their species. When you think of Animal Spirit Guides, think of the big picture.
Because these creatures visit you from beyond this realm of reality, they communicate by way of themes rather than the spoken word. And while it might be kind of neat to think of that coyote you’ve been dreaming about having a conversation with you – chances are your furry little visitor will impart his message through symbolism.
OK. Let’s jump right in!
Animal Guides: The Four Types
1. Shadow Spirit Guides
Shadow spirit animals are powerful teachers, using fear as a way of imparting an important life lesson. This particular animal helper doesn’t like greed, insecurity, or arrogance and will amplify his presence when it senses you need to be taught something transformative. You need to pay attention to this creature big time. Should you ignore this animal, negativity will continue to accumulate in your life. Shadow Spirit Guides are speakers of truth.
Look for horses, snakes and wolves as a theme in your dreams or when you mediate.
2. Messenger Guides
Generally speaking, messenger animals will come into your life very quickly and depart once what they feel confident the contents of their message have been fully understood. Sometimes the message is a warning. Other times, it’s a psycho-spiritual truth is being shared. These animal visitors will annoy you until you fully absorb what they are trying to communicate. If you have re-occurring dreams featuring a specific animal, this could be your messenger guide trying to grab your attention! Some people have learned to pair their zodiac sign with animal symbols to better understand their essence. A good example can be found in owl symbolism.
Look for owls, rabbits, ravens, hawks and hummingbirds during meditation/sleep.
3. Journey Animal Guides
This particular animal helper will show up when you have reached a fork in the road. These creatures are faithful to say the least and are there to help you figure out which direction you need to be going. Reflect deeply on this animal – he/she has always been with you, ever since your first memories were formed. If you are lost or unsure about a difficult decision, meditate and tune into your Journey Animal’s energy. Listen to what is being communicated. Spiritual narratives are often part of the messaging. Many people identify one of their journey animals as a dog because of their many mindful lessons.
Look for: dogs, goats, sheep, deer, turtles and eagles when sleeping/meditating.
4. Life Animal Guides
Your Life Animal Guide is also referred to as a spirit guide and will remain with you for all time. Keep in mind these animals choose you and that you may have several that come into your awareness. It is not uncommon for a life animal to call upon others in his/her domain to help reinforce special messages. When you think of a “Life Animal” think of a theme. For example, if your life animal happens to be a brown bear, you are likely well-grounded and a seeker of knowledge.
Look for any type of animal as they come to us in different types and species. Common ones include bears, cougars, lions, wolves and rabbits.
If you can identify any of the four animal guide types that have shown up in your dreams or meditations, I encourage you to learn everything you can about that creature. If you are unsure about how to reach your Life Animal, I encourage you to read this short guide.
I’m also including a book recommendation below that offers more insight into the topic of spirit animals. This unique resource authored by Ted Andrews offers key insight into the world of animal guides and provides practical, easy to understand methods for accessing their many messages. If truth be told, it’s kind of fun to call upon this book after an animal has visited!
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Photo Credit: Fine Art America (Timber Wolf Under the Moon)