Would you like to meet your #1 Spirit Animal? Training in shamanism with SpiritHealer School starts with a simple meditation that becomes a Shamanic Journey and you will quickly meet your Spirit Guides. In our class, Sacred Roots, we begin by remembering a beautiful place in nature, and immerse ourself into it with all of our imagination. Then we ask to see a tree, maybe one we remember, or one who remembers us. This tree becomes our gateway, and through it all the magic unfolds. The Tree introduces us to our Spirit Power Animal and our Spirit Teachers and Guides, and we are on our way!
Shamanism is all about having a direct personal relationship with your Compassionate Spirit Guides. Guided meditations can give you an appreciation of the magical worlds, but they can’t replace having your own completely unique experience that is generated by your interaction with your guides. Your Spirit Guides are the ones who are in charge of your shamanic path, and so it is a good idea to meet them straight way and develop a working relationship!
Who are your Spirit Guides?
They are your Power Animals (Spirit Animals etc) who have chosen to guide you and protect you.
They are your Spirit Teachers, human or fairy or even “other” beings who are incredibly wise and loving, and have your best interest at heart.
And they are your Plant Guides, first and foremost, your Sacred Tree.
How to find your Spirit Animal?
Power Animals (or Spirit Animals, Totems, Animal Guides different names for the same thing) are hugely important in Shamanism.
Power Animals are the living beings with personalities and purpose! Your Spirit Animal Guide is the Spirit of an an Animal who was alive, and understands the suffering and complexities of being alive. Your Spirit Animal has taken an interest in YOU. They guard you and protect you. They give you advice, and will even do direct healing on you. They are infinitely compassionate and incredibly wise. Truly this is a mystery, a blessing and an honor. Every culture honors Power Animals For extra credit :-), you can read about read about the Saami traditions of Power Animals here.
You probably want to know the meaning of your Spirit Animal, and it can be interesting and helpful to see what other people say about why you have a lion, or an eagle or a bear as your Spirit Animal. Certainly animals have general characteristics we associate with them: Eagles are sharp eyed, Bears are fierce yet loving, deer are gentle, and all these attributes have truth for your relationship with your Power Animal.
Going deeper: As you come to know your Power Animal though your authentic Shamanic journey experience, the Spirit Animal guide themselves will tell you why they have chosen you and what power and gifts they give you. It may be in line with a meaning from a Spirit Animal card deck, or it may may go way beyond that! What matters is that is is TRUE, because your Spirit Animal said so, and you TRUST THEM.
In our training we first set out to meet our Sacred Tree and to become comfortable shifting between the worlds. Then we ask to meet our Spirit Animal (or Power Animal). This is pretty simple and incredibly fun.
So lets talk a little more about Spirit Animals, and why they are so important in Shamanism
What are Spirit Animals?
They are Spirits of animals who have lived in the wild and who want to partner with us for healing and guidance. Spirit Animals are the first guides in Shamanism, and are essential partners for the shaman in everything they do.
Are Spirit Animal and Power Animals the same thing?
Yes. Spirit Animal Guides and Power Animals are different terms for the same Spirit Ally. Other names you will hear is Totems, although this is a used largely by Native Americans and we don’t use it at SpiritHealer because our roots are Northern European.) Do a
Do all Shamanic traditions have Power Animals or Spirit Animals?
Pretty much yes! They are a cross cultural phenomena! However, the Spirit Animal species tend to be culturally familiar.
How can I find my Spirit Animal?
At SpiritHealer we first learn to enter a Shamanic Journey, and connect with spirits in a place in nature. And then we ask for our personal Spirit Animal to present themselves, and they do! It is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Discovering your Sacred Tree
One of the most important Spirit Guides for us is actually a TREE! Our Sacred Tree grounds us in Non-Ordinary Reality (Micheal Harner’s term for the Shamanic Spirit World). It becomes a safe place, a portal, a loving friend, and a mystical bridge between heaven and earth, and between Spirit and Form. It’s really all of that! A one stop shop for everything –
The Tree of Life in the Kabbala and Western Mysticism is completely central to the whole mystical description of life, the universe and everything (thanks Douglas Adams).
Yggdrasil is the sacred world tree for the Norse. The entire Norse mythology is rooted in this magical tree of everything.
The World Tree is found in so many cultures, and is another expression of this same idea. Trees are that important. And YOUR Tree is the one that is MOST important to you.
That’s it for our first step! We call the journey Sacred Roots, and we offer it FREE on recording, all day long! And we offer it live on Zoom periodically – the events page has the dates and times. Every time I teach this class I feel like I too am starting new, with fresh eyes and an open mind. It’s a wonderful class because it is so simple. So easy, and so profound!
About Carla Meeske:
Carla Meeske is a long time Shamanic Healer and Teacher with over 25 years experience teaching Modern Shamanism with Ancient Roots. She graduated from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies 3 year advanced training in 2000, where she studied directly with the founder, Micheal Harner. She has gone on to study with many profound teachers, including Tom Cowan, Claude Poncelet, Sarangarel, Robert Moss, Micheal Dunning, Alida Birch, Sandra Ingerman, and many others.
Carla is an original shamanic healer for animals, having brought together Shamanism and Animal Communication to create the Shamanic Method for Animal Communication and Healing. Her book, The Calico Shaman, 2002 Cocorra Press, and the Instructional DVD, Speak to my Heart were landmark publications that started the genre and inspired hundreds to become Shamanic Healers for Animals. Carla teaches Shamanism through her school, SpiritHealer School of Shamanism [spirithealercircle.com], and offers healing sessions through her home site, Spirithealer.com