Extract from ‘Activate Your Inner Shaman’
on-line Course by Katharine Lee (Krῢger)

Date: 02 Nov 2017

Pivotal to soul retrieval is the concept of Power Animals, Spirit Guides or Angels that will help us to explore beyond the boundaries of our ordinary world. Animals know their way around the wilderness and no matter what place we are exploring, whenever it is new territory we need the help of a guide, either in animal or human form. When it comes to looking for lost facets of ourselves, we may need to undertake several journeys to retrieve and heal those aspects of self, or alternatively to acquire knowledge and wisdom for the future.

So, whether it’s the lions that roared in your bedtime stories or the cartoon elephants that flew across your childhood movie screens, lion prides, elephant herds and thousands of other animals, played out against shifting backdrops of savannah, forest, river and mountain, we have always had an intimate connection with the animal kingdom.

South Africa is home to an unparalleled diversity of wildlife. It boasts the world’s largest land mammal, the African elephant, as well as the second largest, the White Rhino and the third largest, the Hippopotamus. It’s also home to the tallest, Giraffe, the fastest, the Cheetah, and the smallest, the Pygmy Shrew.

The animal kingdom is second nature to South Africans and legends and stories of Africa abound with tales of animals communicating with humans. The idea, therefore, of having an animal spirit as a guide and teacher should not be that difficult to grasp.

In the Native American Tradition your power animal could represent the sum of all the hidden aspects of soul, just longing to find expression in your life. It may even be a lost aspect of soul that has taken on animal form to bring you a powerful message, using symbols and metaphors, as you journey through the inner worlds looking for answers, guidance and healing.

When you call upon your power animal for assistance, you must do so with an absolute spirit of humility and heightened intuition. One cannot just ‘blunder’ into the ‘other world’. Time must be taken to prepare yourself for the journey, by creating ‘sacred space’, not only by preparing yourself mentally and spiritually, but also by preparing the room you will be working from. Your space needs to be clean, quiet, and cleared of all negative vibrations by either; burning incense, lighting candles, or smudging with herbs, the sound of drumming, or rattling, or by simply clapping your hands loudly. Playing shamanic music to prepare for your journey also invites your shamanic helpers to draw near.

Your power animal is here to teach you about yourself, about the wholeness of creation, about being human, and vulnerable. It knows everything there is to know about you, and is there to give you power.

The word ‘power’ means spiritual strength that comes from knowledge, information, wisdom, spirituality and the healing that the animal shares with you. By forging an intimate connection with your power animal, and by blending completely with its spiritual essence, you can travel into lower, middle and upper worlds, to retrieve aspects of self, and to acquire knowledge and healing for self and others.

Differences between a Power Animal and a Totem Animal

A totem animal is one that is by a family clan or group the picture of which appears on the wraps they tie around their lower body. The baboon is the totem animal of the Baklaro tribe of the Zeerust area in the North-West Province of South Africa. If a member of that tribe dreams about a baboon, it means that they will be shielded from all harm and that they will be successful. In his book “Inland Tribes of Southern Africa”, Dr Peter Becker talks about the Kwena of Moletji and says that groups of people who recognise a common totem usually have set standards to uphold. “They are expected to stand together in times of misfortune, always to be hospitable and kind to each other, and when journeying in a group to far-off places, to share their provisions. Until recent times, the killing and eating of totem animals was a taboo. Even touching totem animals could provoke the ancestral spirits to retribution”.

A second kind of totem animal is those adopted by sports teams and organisations e.g. The South African Springbok Rugby Team, The Blue Bulls Rugby Team, the Lions, which is a Charity Organisation in South Africa.

Messages from the Animal Kingdom

“When an animal or bird shows up to you in an unusual way in your daily life, it definitely has a message to communicate to you from the spirit world.

Watch its behaviour. If it is a white dove, is it bringing you a message of peace? If a crow appears regularly in your garden three times in succession, it could mean that something magical is going to happen in your life”. Animal Spirit Guides – Hay House – © Steven D Farmer Phd. 2006

Sometimes an animal may even appear to you in a dream. Therefore, it is essential that you have a copy of “Animal Spirit Guides” by Steven D. Farmer, to interpret the messages that come through in this manner.

For example: I dreamt my son, Gareth and his wife Renee were riding on the back of an elephant, which symbolises strength and invincibility. The elephant walked into a wooden shed which collapsed, and I rushed round the back to look for them, only to see my son Gareth, being carried out on a stretcher by two paramedics. He looked up at me and said, “Don’t worry mom, I am O.K.”

I phoned my son and told him about my dream. Two days later he phoned, to say that he and Renee had been involved in a car accident, the car was a write off, but neither of them had been injured.

The elephant in my dream symbolised that, even though the shed (the car) would be destroyed, because he, the elephant, was invincible, no harm would come to my son and daughter-in-law.

How your Power Animal will communicate: Animal Spirit Guides – Hay House – © Steven D Farmer Phd. 2006

  • Telepathically – When thoughts are transmitted to you mentally.
  • Clairvoyantly – When pictures are flashed across the screen of your mind
  • Dreams
  • Trance States induced by drumming or rattling or didgeridoo
  • Auditory – You hear the voice in your mind or externally
  • Kinaesthetic – When you ‘feel’ or sense your animal in otherworldly form
  • Cognitive – “Knowing” – when there is just an ‘inner knowing’ that your power animal has communicated with you.
  • Shamanic Journeys

Meeting your Power Animal

Our natural connection to the animal kingdom stems from babyhood, when our parents bought us teddy bears, pandas, rabbits, and as children we begged them to allow us to have pets. Go into any shopping centre and you will see animal ornaments, pictures, jewellery and fabric on sale.

Having an animal spirit companion is essential if you are to enter the Shamanic Dreamtime. With an animal companion, you will not lose your way through the dreamlike realms of spirit, for animals never lose their way through the realms of nature, and even play the same role as a guide dog would do for showing a blind person the way.

Meeting your Power Animal
There are different ways of doing this.

  • A vision quest in a remote wilderness setting
  • Rattling or drumming for a power animal while sitting round an open fire
  • Trance Dancing for a power animal
  • Journeying to meet your power animal

To be able to meet your Power Animal the first step is to find an entry point to the Lower World, because the distinctive feature of Shamanism is the ‘journey of the soul’. The shaman has the ability to ‘pass through invisible doorways’, and to visit other dimensions of consciousness with the greatest of ease.

Katharine Lee Kruger ©
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