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Signs and Messages from Animal Spirit Guides

by Chris Luttichau, excerpted from his book Animal Spirit Guides ,

Signs are messages from the higher, spiritual realms sent to guide you, teach you, or even to warn you. Appearing at appropriate times, they may be strong and unmistakable, or easy to dismiss. Shamans have always been aware of signs and omens, including those brought by animals.

When you connect with your power animal you link not only with the individual animal spirit guide or your power animal, but also with the collective spirit, or consciousness, of its species. Each group of animals has this collective spirit. For example, imagine you are walking through fields, perhaps bordered by trees. Maybe you stop for a moment to take in the landscape. You are thinking about whether or not to apply for a job you have heard is available. Suddenly a hawk flies down and catches a mouse close to you. A shaman would say that you were given a clear sign to go for it and that, because the hawk got the mouse, you would probably be successful too. If, on the other hand, the hawk had not caught the mouse, the sign would tell you that you could apply for the job, but you might not get it.

We can look further into such signs by noticing the direction an animal comes from and returns to when it appears to us. In the hawk and mouse scenario, should the hawk that had missed the mouse fly away to the east, then it may be that geographical direction that another job for you is located. Let your heart guide you to understand the signs.

The hawk giving the sign has moved from its own individual consciousness into the collective consciousness of the hawk. This collective consciousness links with the web of all life, where nothing is hidden. The hawk knows exactly what you need at that moment. However, according to my teacher, there is divine energy behind the hawk, because the spirit of all hawks is directly connected to the divine. We can read the sequence like this:

Hawk — Spirit of all Hawks — the Divine

When you receive a sign, remember that it comes ultimately from the divine and give your thanks.

However, as every sighting of an animal does not mean receiving a sign, how can we tell the difference? Firstly, by being grounded and using common sense. remember not to give away your self-authority. No matter how many great signs you receive, you are still the one in charge and you make your own decisions. Practice the balance between free will and guidance from spirit. Your heart – not your mind or your emotions- will be able to tell you what is right.

As well as signs, you may receive confirmations or agreements. If you are sitting in a cafe talking with friends and you say “Maybe I should consider stopping smoking” and immediately the words have left your mouth, a dog barks loudly outside, than I would call that a confirmation. It is the universe agreeing with what you have said. Although not necessarily a great medicine sign, it should still be taken seriously.

Medicine Walks

There are ways to seek out medicine signs. This is particularly appropriate if you have an important question that you need an answer to, or if you need guidance to make a choice. As an alternative or maybe in addition, to a drum journey or asking for a dream, you can take a medicine walk.

Set aside a period of time from 15 minutes up to a whole day or even longer. Firstly, formulate and state your question, then ask Mother Earth for guidance on your walk. Set out on your walk alone and choose an area where you do not need to interact with other people. Let go of all other thoughts and pay attention to what is going on around you. Walking in nature, it is easy to enter an altered state of consciousness. Although this is the traditional way to experience a medicine walk, I have heard of good results from groups of people I have sent on medicine walks in cities such as Amsterdam when I have taught workshops there. This goes to show that this work can be done wherever you are. The mirror is everywhere and Mother Earth is always here to teach us.

As you walk attentively, what happens around you can inform you about the question you hold, just as in a dream. If you see ducks in a pond making noise and seeming to enjoy themselves, perhaps this is what you need to learn to do, and perhaps it answers part of your question. It is not only animals that ring you sings. They can also come in other forms such as a jet flying overhead, a passing bicycle or, if you are in a city, a conversation you overhear as a family walks past you in the street.

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