I was recently part of a group meditation where the leader took us on a journey to find our power (or spirit) animal. Sound hokey? Don’t hate it until you try it!!! Bottom line — we’re all looking for a little support as we journey through this adventure called life. It could be in the form of a partner, friendships, God, etc. So when I had the chance to see how some other part of this universe could potentially help me, I jumped at the opportunity.
The facilitator asked us to close our eyes, and imagine ourselves going through a tunnel. The tunnel should be something that feels familiar and comforting…like a hallway in your home, or something from childhood. I chose an old storm drain that ran under a creek on the farm I grew up on. As a kid, I got a thrill out of crawling safely through to the other side.
She then asked us to be open to seeing where the tunnel takes us. If we bump into any animals along the way, engage with them. Even ask them – “are you my power animal?”.
With my eyes closed, I heard 7 drum beats. Then I was through the storm drain and into another world. Images and shapes were blurred and intangible, but the feeling I had for the environment was one of curiosity and peace.
And there he was.
A majestic lion. He lifted his head at me, and I followed.
I didn’t ask him whether he was my power animal. I just followed. Back home, I would do some research on a LION as my spirit or power animal. I learned that the Lion spirit represents assertiveness, courage & personal power, strength in overcoming difficulties.
Still in my meditation, I allowed myself to be led by this regal creature, who would occasionally look back and make pointed eye contact, then turn to continue his journey.
All the while, understanding… this is my power animal.
Unexpectedly, a thick, black snake showed himself. He slithered slowly by me, and had the same level of grace as the lion. The energy of the snake was not terrifying or sinister, but rather, peaceful and calm.
They say you can have more than one spirit animal, so I also explored the meaning of snake as power animal. (lots of resources online; the one I found simple yet illuminating was http://www.spiritanimal.info/)
Apparently, since ancient times, snakes have represented healing (think about the serpent on the staff which you see in the famous medical symbol).
In classical times, the snake became the herald’s wand of Hermes, messenger of the gods who guided departed souls to the underworld and was seen as protector of travelers.
The snake is also powerfully connected to life force and primal energy.
If you see the snake as your spirit or power animal, be sensitive to your healing abilities towards yourself or others. Cultivate sources of energy and support, especially as they relate to the earth and nature.
I found this all very interesting, given my recent transition to focus on counseling and helping others. My courage (the Lion) brought me to my healing abilities (the Snake).
Finding your power animal is a worthwhile exploration.
One thing was made clear to me…None of us is in this alone.