We have all heard the terms Totem Animal, Power Animal, Spirit Animal or Medicine Animal. Most of those terms and concepts were borrowed from the Native Americans and have been translated and passed on through other cultures. According to a friend of mine who lived on the Chumash reservation in Santa Barbara Ca, each tribe has their own spirit animal. Each tribe infuses itself with the Spirit animal and they mimic its behavioral patterns or perhaps share its fragile eco-system.
It is no secret that Empaths and Animals have a strong connection, therefore I thought it would be fitting to describe the differences between totem, power, spirit and medicine animals and how they can help Empaths and Highly Sensitive People thrive.
Most empaths have had a strong connection to animals since they were children. There is no denying the special bond, the ability to communicate heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul, or the trust that flows between an animal and an empath. Some of you may have dreamt with a certain animal all your life or have a special affinity to one in particular.
Animals are drawn to Empaths because they both share a similar frequency. It’s almost as if the spiritual human has a light that emanates from them, signaling to animals “I am safe; I am your friend and ally.” I have seen this happen with my own animals. Someone will walk into my home and depending on that person’s frequency, my animals will go run and hide or they will follow that person around my house or all gather in their lap.
There’s such a thing as an Animal Empath. Many of them dedicate their lives to helping and healing animals. They work with animals either professionally or on a volunteer basis. It would be safe to assume whichever type of animal; dogs, cats, horses or birds, these empaths work with them as their medicine or totem animal.
One’s Medicine Animal is the companion animal that one chooses. It’s considered as one’s “go-to” animal or their spirit companion for this lifetime. The crazy cat (or dog) lady is a fair assessment. Another way to look at it is to see your medicine animal as your main spirit guides. It is possible for one to have multiple animal guides just as they have multiple spirit guides. This goes back to an animal that you may see in your dreams quite often since you were a child.
For one to discover their medicine animal one just need to look back to childhood. Which animals showed up at your door or in your subconscious? I was personally obsessed with horses even though dogs showed up at my front door all the time. The horse is my Totem and Medicine animal, without a doubt. However, I have always been bonded with dogs and cats as well. In fact, all animals domestic or wild, have a soft place in my heart. It’s rare to find an Empath that doesn’t have a universal connection to animals.
Our Medicine animal shares it’s medicine with us by giving us clues as to our preferred communication style, or perhaps it’s a way to demonstrate the way in which you can step into your power. The ways in which you get your needs met or simply ways to be a leader.
A Power Animal is also like a spirit guide. One’s Power Animal seems to show up during certain times of great need. We also have spirit guides that come to us under times of duress and great need. So it is for power animals, they come to us in certain circumstances but aren’t our everyday medicine animal.
If going back to childhood to discover your medicine animal hasn’t helped, maybe there is a question to pose yourself. If there was only one animal in this lifetime that you could be near and relate the most to, which one would it be?
Some examples of medicine animals are as follows, Elephant, Dolphin, Bat, Wolf, Bear, Owl, Rabbit, Fox, Spider, Deer, Horse, Dog or Cat. It is whichever animal consistently makes itself known to you.
Once you have identified your animal, Here are some ways to incorporate its medicine into your daily life: study more about them, what is their environment like or their patterns of behavior? How do they express anger, fear or disapproval? What can you learn and implement their communication style?
What do they do to feel safe? For example, the horse is a herd animal. As my spirit animal, this is a reminder that I need to travel with my own herd. The solitary life isn’t for me. They are also very aware of falling prey to other animals, yet still, find it possible to trust many humans. Not all humans have harmed them, and they have been able to move forward out of trauma.
What about you? Who do you think is your Totem or Spirit Animal? How about your Power Animal? Have you seen it come through in times of need during meditation? What do you think you need to learn from them?