Get The Power (Animal)

animal wisdom earth wisdom power animals wisdom of animals Oct 18, 2022
Raven by Susan Williams

Anyone who’s been in my office has noticed there are an abundance of pictures of Cougars (Mountain Lions or Pumas to some folks) and Ravens gracing the room. Books, too. That’s because these are my power animals.

My favorite Carl Brenders print, that lives in my office.

In indigenous philosophy, we are closely connected to the earth and all that is in it, and when we forget that, we lose part of ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I see that happening everywhere, and I bless every day I wake up in the country. Not a city girl. Like to visit. Glad to come home.

There are animals in that philosophy who have characteristics, and if we’re in need of some of that, a power animal will show up. Sometimes they show up as the animal itself, but sometimes it might just be a picture - I remember a friend of mine saying she needed a sign from her power animal (I don’t recall what it was, but let’s say “bear”), and as she was sitting at a stop light in the middle of a busy city, she looked to her left and on a truck was a rather large photo of - a bear. Message sent. And received.

Photo by Ron Niebrugge

You do have to pay attention. If a rabbit or squirrel runs out in front of your car, it means more than they decided to play tag with your wheels. They could have run out in front of any car, or played it smart and waited until you went by. But no. They want you to see them, and they want you to get a message.

The other week I wrote about squirrels, and how a squirrel ran right out in front of our car, and then blathered back and forth, tail waving and causing a mighty fuss. I looked it up. This is what had to say: “Time to look inward and see what is out of balance. Have you forgotten how to play? Are you allowing time for family connections? Are you focusing on the worst case scenario or the best case scenario?” Timely, indeed.

We are in the midst of selling our house in Colorado for a move to Wisconsin. Anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you it can be very stressful, especially when there’s a contract already on the new house and the current house, while it’s had a lot of activity, has no offer. Squirrel reminded us that we’re focusing too hard on what might not happen (our current house selling), and not focusing enough on being present and joyful. (I gotta tell ya, though, I’m getting tired of constantly mopping the floors - but that’s another story. And maybe I should make it more joyful. Hmmmm. When the floors are mopped, I cough less! Yes!) (Anyone who has 5 cats and 3 dogs will tell you the house is one big shed fest - hack, hack, hack.)

Let the shedding commence.

We all have power animals to help us, if you want to look for them. There’s a book called “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews that has a process in it to discover your power animal. I also occasionally do a short, two-hour class on Zoom about discovering your power animal, and we go on a little journey of discovery and then talk about it afterwards. If you’re interested in getting on a list for the Power Animal Discovery Journey, send me an email or text, and I’ll add you.

A great place to find out what an animal has to say to you when it crosses your path, is There are lots of places on the web that give this sort of information, but I’ve found this particular website to be especially enlightening, and I love that when you type in your browser “spirit animal [animal type here]”, and then pick, the animal has a special message just for you - like squirrel did for us. There was lots more information about squirrel, but the message for us was what I wrote above.

Not only are spirit animals a way to know yourself better, they are fun. I’ve always loved big cats, Cougars especially, so it’s no wonder Cougar is one of my special friends. (That is a clue to your power animal as well - is there an animal of the wild variety that you absolutely love? Chances are that’s your guy or gal.)

And don’t think little things like frogs and dragonflies have nothing to tell us - they are very powerful creatures as well. If salamander is your power animal, embrace it! It’s got something to say, just to you.

So - why Cougar and Raven? Cougar helps me with my leadership (I like hiding under the bushes, and Cougar forces me to get out there and lead - I really don’t want those teeth in my butt), and Raven is all “Lighten up, girl!” In my face all the time. Good advice for someone who tends to take things way too seriously. (didn’t know that, did ya? See? Raven is doing its job.)

Have fun discovering your power animal, and let me know how I can

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