Animal Spirits in Dream Space
“Seeing two big arctic wolves, down in the ravine, somewhere in the mountainous area. One of them looks up at me and howls. There is no sense of fear. I realize it’s a message. At some point I’m seeing only one of them running along the path.”
“Seeing a male lion, with a big mane. I’m slightly concerned it might attack, so I begin to withdraw slowly as to not alarm the animal. It doesn’t attack and I get comfortable with the idea there is nothing to be afraid of. There is grace, confidence in the way the lion walks. I realize the power/strength of the lion is not to be messed with- it’s almost intimidating.”
“In state between being awake and asleep, all of a sudden I’m seeing a row of adolescent German Shepherds …there are 4 of them, sitting together obediently. They are calm, yet have this curious look about them. They follow me with their eyes as I pass by.“
What a blessing! These animal spirits showed up within less than a week apart. It was not a mere coincidence since I posed questions and asked for help/answers the night before. I welcomed animal spirits, elementals with a specific message to enter my dream space, and show what needs to come to the foreground at this point in my life. Have always been drawn to the mystical wisdom of animal world; I’m in awe of it, so no surprise they answered the call. It’s truly an honor, privilege for they are such powerful teachers.
There are many different approaches to dream interpretation. I’m sure each method offers interesting insights. Dreams may seem nonsensical, incomprehensible at first, especially if we remember just a shred of it. Whatever images, information we are presented with, as ambiguous as they may be, are somehow connected to the life of the dreamer. We have all tools needed to decipher cryptic symbolism of the dream.
I personally have much appreciation, respect and reverence for the way indigenous people of this land (a.k.a Native Americans; though I don’t particularly like this description) approach “animal medicine”. They recognize the connection with all animals, their relations; they consider them sacred and equal!
Jamie Sams and David Carson in “Medicine Cards -The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals”, define the concept of medicine in Native American way as:
"Anything that improves one's connection to the Great Mystery and to all of life. This would include the healing of body, mind, and of spirit. This medicine is also anything, which brings personal power, strength, and understanding. It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and to all of our associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures. Native American medicine is an all encompassing "way of life," for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe.”
Animal spirits are called by many different names, most common: animal totem, power animal, animal spirit guides. Whatever label we give them is irrelevant- I think. Spirit comes in many forms. Bottom line is they bestow upon us many beautiful gifts, lessons, healing, guidance, and may offer talents we are yet to embrace; We must be willing to listen and be astute enough to understand animal medicine.
According to Ted Andrews:
“Nature totems-especially animals-are symbols of specific kinds of energy we are manifesting and aligning within our life. The animal becomes a symbol of a specific force of the invisible, spiritual realm manifesting within our own life. The characteristics and activities of these totems will reveal much about our own innate powers and abilities."
I welcome with open arms whatever archetypal energy/lessons/gifts those animals brought in during my dreams and still continue to do so. I bow in reverence to these beautiful fellow creatures walking Earth with us. And pay my respects by acknowledging them with: “I see the Spirit within you.” They are part of intricate web of life, just as much as we humans are. We need to honor, respect, and treat them with equality. They are not "just animals", as so many people say, they are fellow sentient beings.
Dreams provide such an invaluable source of information, be it through metaphysical symbols, metaphors, whether they pertain to individual journey or a collective one. They can be helpful in areas of self-development, and spiritual growth. Sigmund Freud famously called dreams "royal road to...unconscious." I see them as lighthouses illuminating our path, so we know where we are heading.
With a LOVEing heart, Anna