Animals and birds have long been associated with magickal work. Witches have been connected to cats and prophets with birds. Even Orion has a hunting dog to accompany him as he traverses the starry night sky.
Few occult traditions are as indelibly linked to animal spirit guides as Shamanism. In every Shamanic tradition, inner plane guides take on the form of an animal, bird, fish or insect to guide the astral traveler.
Most people become aware of their animal guides when they appear in dreams—or in those synchronious moments when they manifest at odd times whilst they are out in the natural world.
Steven Farmer has researched the significance and relevance of animal guides for many decades. He has encapsulated his studies in his book Animal Spirit Guides—a comprehensive guide to over 200 different animals and their esoteric meanings.
The book opens with the author describing how his own power animal, a hawk, interceded in his life to prompt him to write a book which many of his readers were already clamoring for.
Farmer next explains the subtle but important differences between the terms ‘totem animal’ and ‘power animal’. He follows this with examples of typical spirit guide interventions in a variety of people’s lives.
Farmer suggests that there are four primary ways in which you can receive messages from animal guides. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic and cognitive.
When your receptivity to the animal kingdom increases, the author suggests that one of these channels will come to dominate the way you connect with your guides.
When you make contact with your animal guide, the message that it is trying to relate to you is often clear and unambiguous. Where it is not and you are left somewhat confused by its meaning, the book offers some signposts to help you decipher its meaning. He offers a summery of the qualities demonstrated by the animal guide, what it means if it shows up in your life, how you can call upon it as a guide and what you can do if you identify the species as your power animal.
The book’s author also recommends using it as a divination tool. In this regard, Farmer suggests using the book in collaboration with his Power Animal Oracle Cards.
In the main part of Animal Spirit Guides Farmer catalogs the attributes of creatures from the aardvark to the zebra. In each example of a power animal, he highlights what he sees as the qualities it displays and the message it is trying to convey to you.
In part two, he lists the specific animals that you can call upon to deal with a specific need. These range from animals that equate with trusting in abundance and plenty through to those members of the animal kingdom that relate to creative writing and yoga.
The book closes with a guided meditation to help you get in touch with your animal guide and a list of recommended resources including books, websites, DVDs and organizations involved with ecological issues and animal conservation.
Finally, Farmer recommends that you spend some time honoring the animal kingdom in some way for its contribution in helping you understand your earthly life and spiritual mission. In this regard, he suggests that you become vegetarian or contribute time or money to a charitable cause for improving the welfare of animals or protection of our natural environment.
Our Review of Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer
Nature is undoubtedly a wise and guiding force if only we drop our petty self concerns and listen to its wisdom.
In Animal Spirit Guides Steven Farmer demonstrates his shamanic and psychotherapy talents by sharing the understanding that he has accrued from allowing the natural world to speak to him.
This is a book that will help you understand your relationship to the power animals that enter your life through dreams and connecting with Mother Earth. It does not offer a simple solution to every interaction that you might have with your power animal and encourages you to develop your own relationship with the creatures that enter your consciousness.
Given the large number of animals featured in the book, it is a remarkable feat that he has been able to quantify the characteristics of each one so authoritatively.
This is an excellent all around guide to the subject. I would, however, have liked to have read more by the author on the nature of the work and the typical mode of operation if power animals in an inner work or shamanic setting but the book is no less effectual for the omission. Perhaps this is a subject that the author will cover another day in another publication.
Animal Spirit Guides is a book that recognizes the immense influence that power animals can exert in your spiritual and mundane lives. It is a fascinating read and invaluable resource for magickians of all persuasions!’