We recently published a piece exploring the amazing realm of Power Animals, which brought on a few questions from readers about the difference between Power Animals and Power Totems and Animal Archetypes. It’s beautiful to see a resurgence of interest in indigenous teachings concerning the power of utilizing our animal counterparts to help guide us in connecting and realigning with our spiritual environment and oneness with Nature. So, let’s delve into these ‘differences.
What are Power Animals and How Do We ‘Run’ With Them?
You may be born with a Power Animal that you become conscious of or are guided to through a shamanic experience. They may change during your lifetime, as they are gifts of consciousness intended to guide and protect you along your journey – so they may be similar to you in traits or they may complement your aspects and assist you areas in which you need strength. Sometimes, Power Animals come to us in times of grief, pain, or in times of soul losses.
For example, if you suffer from a lack of interest or malaise, your Power Animal may return to you as a monkey to inspire curiosity and interest. If you have fallen prey to unforeseen dangers, it may be tiger that comes to assist. Under their protection it is believed that your natural instinctual self will feel safe enough to return to you and that Power Animal might then depart. Learn more about Discovering, Unleashing, and Nurturing Power Animals here.
Totem Animals Help Ones Self-Discovery
Totem Animals often represent ancestral lineages, lore, belief systems, and/or aspects of villages, clans, or families. Cultures around the world use totems as sources of strength – a medicine of sorts – that helps them draw and define the meaning and purpose of their soul and existence.
Many Native Americans belief that you have one Spirit Totem that will be with you for life acting as your primary guardian spirit, yet many may enter and leave your life as they are needed to aid your journey. If not through lineage, many people discover their Totem Animal simply because they have an inexplicable attraction to a particular creature or keep finding themselves in the company of a certain animal in both physical and dream realms. Intuition guides you to your totem…your Totem then guides you.
The Profound Pleasure of Animal Archetypes
According to Jungian psychology, archetypes are some of the highest developed elements of the collective unconscious that serve to interact and call upon the Divine glory of the universal web in a specific way. Many indigenous cultures consider Animal Archetypes as guides to universal organizing principles in which they ultimately orchestrate their world around. For example, to ‘shed’ old problems and reconnect with the earth, one might call on Serpent…yet, if one wants to ‘rediscover’ and enjoy the nectar of the universe – hummingbird might be called upon. Essentially, Animal Archetypes in generally may be how an entire culture chooses to define and manifest their world.
Use your Inner Shaman to Discover Your Power Animal or Take a fun quiz to see if they nailed your Power Animal – most importantly, use your totems and archetypes as well, just as the indigenous used them to engage with the natural world. Interact with them regularly, run wild, and unleash the beast…