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What is Your Spirit Animal?

By Julie Fink
Posted On Jun 20, 2016
What is Your Spirit Animal?

Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.
~ Pythagoras

The concept of having a spirit animal is a fun idea. Many celebs are tapping into this idea, making this ancient and sacred belief in spirit animals popular and more mainstream. For centuries, it has been said that we possess at least one spirit animal, or totem, in our lifetimes that serves as our personal protector, guide, helper, and companion.

So, I decided to give my office mates the ultimate spirit guide animal test, created by the Shamans (native medicine people) themselves, which turned into an afternoon of Dr. Doolittle meets Long Island Medium meets Dr. Phil. It was totally rad.

But before I get into the results, I need to point out the significance behind the sacred animal connection.

What is a Spirit Animal?

Pocahontas with Meeko
Disney’s Pocahontas and Meeko, her raccoon.

Animal spirits are best known in the Native American Indian culture used in a system called Totemism, or animal totems, which incorporated the notion that each human being has a spiritual connection to another physical being (e.g. a plant or animal). Often times, the animal totems would become their hierarchal standing in the tribes and named for that connection as well.

Fierce Chiefs like Black Hawk (Sauk), Sitting Bull (Lakota Sioux), and Crazy Horse (Oglala Sioux) were all great leaders and warriors who possessed the name of their animal totems.

But whether spirit animals are merely used for a fun Instagram post, a primitive social construct, or a point of deeper truth… spirit animals do exist.

What is the point of a Spirit Animal?

You do not choose a Spirit Animal as your personal spirit guide.  The Spirit chooses you and they decide to whom they will reveal themselves and make their friend.

Manataka Americn Indian Council says, “do not fall into the trap of saying, ‘Gosh, I think the wolf is a smart, good looking and powerful animal, so the wolf will become my animal guide.’ It does not work this way.”

Each Animal has its own Medicine which is unique to that specific person as gifted by the Great Mystery (the Shaman) and its spirit cannot be chosen like the color of your new car.  For example, the Medicine of a Lion is that of courage, strength and nobility, so if you are lacking in those areas, chances are you’ll have a Lion as your Spirit Animal to help strengthen you up a.k.a. turn you into a superstar.

The Manataka also suggests, “Discovering who your animal guides are is a process of paying attention to the spirits around you and following the signs.  It is a process of developing your inner knowledge and spiritual understanding with the souls of the Earth.”

How do you find your Spirit Animal?

Free Willy with Jesse
“Free Willy” Warner Bros.

The only way to truly know your Spirit Animal, is to hire a Shaman to re-connect you to them. Shamans are experts in the field of ancient wisdom. They possess the ability to connect you with the Spirit Animal that you were born with. Shamans are different then “psychics,” since I know that is what you are thinking.

Shamans possess an immense body of knowledge and spiritual practice passed down through the ages, on every continent around the world, grandfather to grandson … grandmother to granddaughter.

The actual term, “shaman” refers to medicine men or women who are the healers, teachers and sages. It is an ancient spiritual and healing practice found throughout history and around the world – India, Tibet, Russian, Central Europe and Native American cutlers.

Today, science rejects the notion, but many of those old souls continue to practice and heal the world without any strife. I, personally, went through a shamanic journey and worked under a Shaman for a year in a half where I was re-connected with Synarrah, my Owl, who told me her name while I standing in the line at Starbucks.

So, if you REALLY want to know your spirit animal and engage their energy medicine in your life,  hire a Shaman. If you think you can figure it on your own, here are a few pointers:

Spirit Animals tend to makes themselves known in your life so, another way to figure out your animal is to look for them.

They are actively present in your life already

Look in nature and observe around you. Do you ever feel a connection to a certain animal?

  1. Do you have an affinity towards a certain animal, or possess a certain respect for them? Have you been collecting things (stuffed animals, tee-shirts, key chains, posters) with certain animals?
  2. Sometimes, an animal crosses your path more than usual. Is there an animal that reoccurs in your life? Watch for repetitive encounters with the animal either in its physical or symbolic form (as object or image). You could get emails, tags on FB, cards, or whatever images of animals come your way.
  3. You could have reoccurring dreams of your spirit animals.

You closely resemble your Spirit Animal

One of the most common ways I see Spirit Animals and their human counterparts are that they possess actual physical features.

Julie and the Owl
This is me lookin’ like my Spirit Animal, the owl.

For example:

  • My Spirit Animal is an owl. I have big eyes and ridiculously amazing eye sight.
  • Really tall, lengthy people usually have a connection to giraffes.
  • People who love music usually have a noisy animal such as a whale/orca, dolphin, or bird, since they are known for singing.

I mean, if you really look at someone, they can tend to resemble an animal. It’s not unusual to have a few features of your spirit animal, it’s what makes that connection all the more special.

The results of the “New You Office Ultimate Spirit Guide Animal Test”:

6 Butterflies
3 Deer
2 Bears
2 Tigers
2 Turtles
1 Wolf
1 Spider
1 Lion
1 Hummingbird
1 Owl (me)
1 Killer Bat Whale
1 Australian Wart Hog that drinks beer and picks fights with cows

Killer Bat Whale - Adam
Adam’s Killer Bat Whale Spirit Animal.

(Some did not agree with the Animal Spirit they were given, but we got creative… Everyone’s a winner!) 

Take the Spirit Animal Test

While this test just for fun, I still think it’s legit and will provide you with some level of accuracy. Think of it as a gage to finding your spirit animal. I was given my spirit animal owl by a Shaman and when I took this test, it matched me to an owl!

And now, I’m the Office Shaman and people come pass me and bow. It’s really hysterical.