JOURNEYING OFF BOOK
ON THE TRADITIONS OF ANIMAL GUIDES AND SPIRITS
From Aboriginal tribes spanning the globe we have all benefited from the wisdom of the shamanic elders of their past. Each tribe has a creation story which calls to the animal spirits within their location. These animals not just added to the tribes creation energy, but found their way into their tribes medicine wheels, totem poles, mesas and more.
As I began my studies into Aboriginal traditions, 30 years ago when I was in High School, I followed these traditions as written. It was a show of honour and respect to learn about the traditions of a global tribe who understood the spirit world, and more over respected the earth in a way we could all benefit from emulating.
I tried over the years to mold my paths using the written word, forcing a connection that was not true for my spiritual journey, because a book told me too. And since those books were based on traditions I respected, they must be right. Right?… To a point.
We have to remember that the paths and connections for aboriginal tribes are based on the journey of the individual Shamans who lead that specific tribe of people. These would be the animals that guided his journey, and became part of their spiritual practice, which through oral traditions lasted till the days we could pen them and share them with others.
It is my belief, not through books, but through my own working with spirit and clairsentience and journeying, that we each have our own spiritual animal connections. They are as much a part of our spiritual family as our ancestors of both blood and spirit, and the plant spirits who share their teachings and medicine with us. While we need to respect the paths who influence our own, we must acknowledge and respect the spirits who sit within our individual Medicine Wheels, Spirit Wheel/Cross Roads, Mesas, etc..
Like any spirit family, there are individuals who will come into our lives for a specific purpose, to assist us with understanding lessons, traumas, and/or providing guidance with one aspect of our lives. I refer to these as totems. Then there are lifers, spirits of all clans who join you in this earth walk, this incarnation, and will stay with you for life. These are my spirit family. But for me, there is yet one more, one that journeys with me through all life times.
When working with the ancestors, I travel to the upper world, I believed that I was to connect with crow to make that journey, as crow was known as the bird who traveled between the world of the deceased and our world, who carried messages from my ancestors to me. Her energy was not just part of several Native American traditions, and European ones, but also of the Hindu tribal path in India. Yet another bird kept circling above the crows, waiting patiently for me to acknowledge her. She was a part of my regular life whose cries I heard often when I resided in High Park, and now I see daily circling high in view of my apartment in North York. I hear her calls and cries, and see her glide and dive from my balcony. But yet she waited for me to realize this truth. My upper world spirit guide, is not the crow, it is the falcon. Her medicine has been waiting for me, and now I can embrace it. So in my mesa, there is no crow, nor the traditional Peruvian Condor, there is instead MY authentic connection to my ancestral spirit family as guide and guardian, there is the Falcon.
When working within middle world journeying, it is not the Jaguar who walks beside me, whose energy brings my mesa to life… it is wolf. The energy of wolf walked quietly beside me growing up, peaking at me through the forest in dream-time until the time I was called to take up my mantel as teacher and healer, for her energy spoke of community and my soul contract to serve. Now she does not leave my side, so much so that she was ritually tattooed to my torso, a daily spiritual hug and a welcome constant reminder of her medicine and guidance within my life.
But that does not mean jaguar was not there… Jaguar was there from the start. Her energy is a part of my own. For her soul is my soul. We have shifted together through many incarnations. She is the energy of my soul, and is the only medicine I trust to journey with me to the lower world. She is the shadow energy that protects the aspects of myself which have retreated. Just as the glow of her trustworthy protective eyes provide the light to guide me out of the shadows when healing has commenced and reintegration begins. The soul aspects reunited. She journeys with me each step of my waking life, and joins falcon and wolf through all my journeys, keeping watch, keeping guard.
You have to trust you have your own story to tell.
It will be flavored with your own heritage of this earth walk and previous ones. It will be shaped by the spirits of the land where YOU reside. But most important, it will be a unique connection between you and spirit.