Article by Patti Deschaine
My spirit animal – or one of them anyway, is a mountain lion. Though well acquainted and intimately connected, I do not always travel with mountain lion awareness every day. In fact, days, sometimes a week, may pass until I once again become aware of my soul animal’s presence. That does not mean I am not spiritually active. It simply means my attention is elsewhere. My belief is that mountain lion faithfully walks beside me regardless of whether or not I am consciously interacting with her daily. She is a quiet, immensely powerful, presence and source of strength. She resides in my energy field and communicates through intuition.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to out west to Nevada and Arizona, something I have always wanted to do. I ventured through mountains and desert, enjoying the smells, tastes and textures of the land. I saw rabbits, deer, burrows, elk – even a roadrunner (which I had never laid eyes on before). While I did not see a mountain lion, I must tell you, she was a constant presence with me there. The awareness was so great that I could feel the earth beneath her paws. I felt her wide-ranging travels through steep upgrades and back down into valleys as she hunted for her meals. I saw the vibrant colors of the desert through her eyes. I felt the sun on her back and the gentle breeze that carried the scents and smells vital to her existence.
This was an amazing experience for me and made mountain lion so much more a part of my daily journey.
What is your spirit animal? Do you know it or are you still discovering your truth? Having a spirit animal or totem that you work with regularly provides guidance and protection. And it is possible to develop relationships with other animals in addition to your primary connection. I never take off in an airplane without calling to owl and bat to employ their powerful radar for guidance in navigation. Mountain lion helps me to stand up for myself and speak my truth without fear. Rabbit guides me to return to gentleness and love when I am disturbed or upset. Crow provides connection to the elements, delivering messages from earth, wind, water and fire.
If you have not connected with your spirit animal, it is not a complicated process. Though I had a physic point out my connection to mountain lion, many other animals have found me in meditation and journeying. We do not choose our spirit animal, it chooses us.
When first discovering our spirit animal, it is important to not allow ego to get in the way. You may be taken aback to find your spirit animal is not a glamorous one. What if your totem ends up being a rat or a cockroach? The ego may want to reject these creatures, but if you can be calm and accepting, you can learn a lot from what they have to offer. What does your animal have to teach you? Be still and listen, you may be surprised. All creatures have unique traits and their own methods of interacting with the world around them. There is much to learn if we are open and willing. Again, we do not choose our totem, it chooses us.
Once you know your animal, educate yourself on its traits and habitat. Identify commonalities between your personality and theirs to build your relationship. Spend some time in its natural habitat. You can do this in a physical setting, or you can journey there in your mind’s eye during stillness and meditation. Use your imagination to try to see, smell and taste the world through your animal’s eyes. Honor your animal by hanging pictures of it or its natural environment in your home. Place small figurines or photos near your alter of workspace to remind you of their profound presence in your life. Try to connect to your animal through your heart space and your senses and not your thinking mind.
Having a connection with a spirit animal will strengthen your connection to the natural world and provide you with insight and a profound source of strength and knowledge. Over time, your animal will become an integral part of you and a connection that you will cherish.
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Patti Deschaine is a traditionally trained Usui Reiki Master, Lightarian Reiki Master, and owner of Maja Energy Works and Reiki Healing. She resides and practices in Wilmington, NC. She enjoys all types of Reiki and particularly loves using Reiki on animals. Patti can be found at http://