Central to the world of the shaman is the power animal.  To the shaman the world is animistic: all of life is inhabited with consciousness and humans can tap into it as a source of power, health and wisdom.

Power animals are guardian spirits, similar to the concept of guardian angels.   We all have them, whether or not we are consciously aware of them. Children are more aware than adults are, and we see this reflected in their strong and loving attachment to toy animals and pets. Many indigenous people believe that childhood cannot be survived without the guardianship of these spirit allies.  They protect us, keep us full of power, health and enthusiasm and prevent negative energies and illnesses from entering our energy field. 

The shaman’s relationship to his or her power animal is critical to the success of any healing or divinatory venture.  The shaman draws upon the wisdom of his power animals to conduct his work in ordinary reality. Each animal carries with it a specific quality or “medicine” that belongs to that particular species.  If your power animal is a mountain lion, for instance, you benefit from the characteristics of the entire species of Mountain Lion. An elephant power animal imbues one with the overall qualities of Elephant. 

Over the course of a lifetime, a person may have more than one power animal. It is not uncommon for someone to have one or two main power animals, plus other helping animal spirits that may be called in for specific helping tasks. 

Sometimes a power animal leaves suddenly for unknown reasons. When this happens, the person becomes disempowered and the result is misfortune and/or illness. The services of a shamanic practitioner can retrieve the power animal for the client in "non-ordinary" reality (assisted by the shaman’s power animal!) and return it to the client in this reality. Specific symptoms which indicate the need for a power animal retrieval include repeated misfortune/accidents, chronic and debilitating illness, depression and, in extreme cases, a lack of will to live. 

A relationship with one’s power animal is a guaranteed connection to the wisdom, love and abundance of our universe.  A power animal is a gift and deepening the relationship with it is both an honor and a joy. To discover the identity of your own power animal, (either on your own, or with the assistance of a shamanic practitioner), and the medicine it brings to you, can open up doors of adventure, joy and magic that will change your life.