Dreams and Meditations for
Discovering Your Animal Totems
Working with our animal symbol or animal totem (the terms are synonymous) is a process that will aid in our self-discovery, and also teaches us about life and the world around us.
Animal spirits often reveal themselves to us through our subconscious during sleep and meditation. During these sessions, animals indicate valuable information about our past, present and future, as well as help us with situations we are dealing with in our lives.
Animals also show themselves in our dreams and meditations to simply identify themselves as our spiritual guide, and thus our animal totem. This requires us to pay attention, and learn more about what this animal represents so that we can work with our animal totems.
Animals tend to have a keener sense of purpose, and instinct. These are valuable traits we can learn from them by asking for their guidance, and observing their behaviors in our dreams and meditations.
Meditation is simply a state of conscious dreaming, so you can use the following steps to help in identifying animal totems through both dreams and meditation.
1. Start an animal totem journal. Have this journal and a pen by your bedside or around the area in which you meditate. This is because you will want to record your experiences upon waking each morning or returning from deep meditation.
2. Go to sleep or meditate around the same time of day/night each day/night. Your subconscious is a creature of habit. As you settle into a routine, it will be easier to relax, and animal symbol identification will come more smoothly.
3. Make sure your environment is conducive to relaxation. It's tough to meet our animal totems when we leave the TV on, or if we have piles of laundry nagging us to be put away. Simply put a little order to your sleep/meditation area - it doesn't have to be a big deal. The subconscious loves order, and will be more cooperative if there aren't any distractions or nagging nuisances hanging around in your space.
4. Begin your sleep/meditation session by setting your intention for animal totem identification. You need to set forth a firm directive to both your subconscious mind, your spirit, AND the animal spirit realm that you wish to contact your animal totem. Silently to yourself, repeat your intention to meet your animal spirit in your dreams. You can use the following phrase, or set your own intention:
"This moment, I receive the gifts of animal sight.
This moment, my animal spirit takes flight.
Reveal to me what I must see.
This moment, my animal totem connects with me."
By repeating this or a similar invocation, you will coax your ego and chattering mind to relax, while your intuition and spirit begin to "warm up" to the goal of contacting your animal totem. Eventually, you will find yourself drifting into sleep (or alpha state of meditation). Relax, and roll with it, your animal totem is ready to reveal itself to you!
5. Upon waking up or rousing from meditation, write down your experience in your animal totem journal. This is critical. It's tough to rely on our memories with such delicate experiences. Dreams and meditations can be so elusive, and like the wind, the can disappear on us. It's important to record our experiences so that our minds can further digest the events surrounding our animal symbol. Writing these events also gives us a point of reference when determining the characteristics of our animal symbol, and helps us interpret the messages our animal is conveying to us.
6. Be sure to write each detail. For example:
7. Take a break. After awhile, a few hours, or even a day - come back to your animal totem journal and read what you wrote for that session (See Animal Totem Meanings page). Begin to do research on the animal that revealed itself to you. Begin to piece these characteristics together, along with the other details surrounding your animal's appearance during sleep/meditation. Eventually, you will begin to piece together a beautiful tapestry of deeper understanding of yourself, your life and your reality.
8. Repeat this process for continuous messages, and deeper understanding.
By continually following this guideline, you will become stronger in your interpretive abilities, and trust your intuition more in working with you animal totems. Furthermore, as you grow in this process, the animal spirits will show themselves more frequently, as they will sense your confidence as well as your respect for their presence.
DO NOT get discouraged if animals do not appear to you the first few times. This is a process, and like any other process, it may take a little time and patience to get underway.
Be diligent, and know that your animal spirit is just as eager to communicate with you as you are with it.
Also, don't get all tangled up in these guidelines. If you find a better process to identify or contact your animal totem - by all means use it! This is merely a guide to a very personal experience. Ultimately, YOU are the one calling the shots!
Lastly, this process is a cooperative one. We must respect the animal world, by asking our animal spirits to come to us, and thanking them when they do appear.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!