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245-Rachel-Patterson-Animal-Magic- Pagan-Portals

particular spirit animal guide for my hedge riding my black
panther comes with me. But a journey is a brilliant way to meet
your animal spirit guide too. it is somethingthat you should only
work with once you are experienced with meditation and know
what you are doing because essentially you are travelling to the
  A journey is a structured meditation with a purpose to it, a
guided pathworking into the Otherworld or onto other planes.
  The basics:
  .Whyare you journeying? Well in this case it would be to meet
   your spirit animal guide,
  .What path will you take and what    is
                                            your destination? Decide

    on this before you start.
  .What would you like to encounter? This would be your         anlr
   mai guide.
  .What image do you want to use to take you from this world
    onto your journey? for example, it could be a gate, a doors
    way, a hole in the   ground or a hole in a tree.
Once you have made these decisions you need a framework,
starting with an induction, which is where you enter the journey,
the trancelike state you will be in. There the body ofthe journey
is the purpose, in this case to find youranimal spirit guide. And
then the closure, where you specify a place that allows you to
leave and come back to reality; set this before you start.
   it helps to write down your framework or even record it onto
your phone or laptop, but go wltl’l what works for you, Your   iours
ney will take unexpected twists and turns, but it needs the strucs
ture in place to work properly,
  The basic steps for path working are very similar to those of
  find a safe, quiet and comfortable place, Make sure you won’t
be disturbed.
   Ground and centre, perhaps by taking a few deep breaths and
stillingyour mind.
  Turn on your recording or just close your eyes to begin your

journey. visualise your induction point, the entry to your journey.
just listening or visualising your induction should take you into
your trance state, but if it doesn't, focus on your breathing to ob
tain a meditative State.
   Visualise your induction, see yourselfat the entry. Take a mo
ment to fix that place in your mind. See yourself reaching out to
touch the entry way, feel how real it is, notice all the details, the
feel, any sounds, any smells.
  Once you have the entry point in your mind           solidly you   can
begin your journey.
  Walk through the gateway entering the body of your journey,
notice all the details   e
                             listen, touch, smell, hear, taste, and take
note of everything. Set the details in your mind so that you will
recall them when you come back to reality. Sometimes even the
smallest detail may be important.
  if you meet anyone on your pathworking, whether it is a
human, a deity, a fae, an animal, whatever, please be polite and
respectful. Don't touch any animal or being without asking first.
ifyou are asked to move on then do so with respect. These be
ings work on a different plane, you do not want to upset them.
Do not take anything unless you know it has actually been given
to you, Use your common sense and mind your mariners!
  When you have finished your pathworking return to the point

you started at. Go back to your gateway and go through, but do
so slowly, coming back to reality slowly and calmly, And always
ground aftenrrards which
                             can   be done by having something to
eat and drink.
             Empty Nest", or Pen". or Paddock
What happens if you end up doing all of the exercises, meditar
tions, spells and dancing about like a loony and you are still Billy
No Mates? Patience... yup. Sorry, i know it sucks, but be patient,
There are several reasons why it might be taking some time, it
could be that your spirit animal guide is a bit sassy (Le. a total
git) and is making you work really hard for it or it could be that
the time just isn’t right for you at the moment. Seriously I know it
is hard, but patience is the key. Try again later and remain open
to whatever signs or signals the animal might tease you with. The
fact that you have picked up this book, hopefully read it and
worked with some ofthe ideas given means that you have made
the first step; your animal guide is there it may just be biding its
timeto meetyou.

                      What Dues it Mean?
So you have an animal spirit      guide       but what does it mean?
Each spirit guide will be with you for a reason, what you need to
work out and understand is why it is with you,
   Say a butterfly came to you the butterfly symbolises reincars
nation, magic, beauty and love and transformation of the person;
aiity and life. Understanding where you are in the cycle of your
life and using it to the fullest. it also covers divination con
cerning future events that have a bearing on your cycle oflife and
rebirth. Relate that to your own life and situation and learn from
it, Thebutterfly is with you to help you, assist you and guide you,
  Ormaybe a griffin has joined you seeing a griffin is a sign of
powerful new beginnings of learning how to use psychic skills in
a useful   manner,   But on the negative it is subconscious punisl’r
ment for love of riches,   greed or of desiring riches. its magical
attributes understand the relationship between psychic energy
and cosmic forces along with spiritual wisdom and enlights
enment. it brings the dark side ofourselves into submission.
   What about an otter? His magical attributes are finding inner
treasures or talents, faithfulness, gaining wisdom, and the ability
to recover from a crisis. Be sensible, but not overly suspicious,
when something or someone new enters your life. its appearance
points to a need to enjoy life rather than just endure it. Social life,

friends, happiness, guidance to uncovering talents, psychic or
physical, all these things relate to the otter.
  All the animals have their own unique powers and can all be
utilised and called upon to assist us when we need them.
                        What Next?
So, once you have your familiar and/or spirit guide is that it?
Nope! Everything that          having takes a bit ofwork to keep.
                        is worth
You need to honour your guides and make sure you stay con;
nected with them. Apart from learning all about them as |men?
tioned before, you do need to reaffirm your connection regularly,
they need attention!
  Make pictures of them, even if your art isn't that good, Print
images from the internet or look into charity shops/thrift stores
for statues and images ofthem.
  Create an altar to honour them.
  Donate to wildlife charities ifyou have some spare cash, even
small change will help.
  Make charms and amulets for your familiars' and pets' collars.
  Research your animal. Work to understand it. Where does it
live? What does it eat? How does it act, walk, hunt, and look after
its young? Read as much about them as possible.
  You can expand that to cover what element it corresponds to,
how it defends itself and so on; does it have its own legends or

  Don't ignore your spirit guides in your daily life. Take them out
with you when you go anywhere, say good morning to a picture
of your animal each day, put a statue on your altar, and wear a
pendant representing your particular animal. You need to
communicate with your guide and create a relationship.
   in order to form a strong bond with your guide, familiar or
totem, mutual respect is essential. You must listen to your
guides point ofview and suggestions,
  All these things will help you to understand your animal more
and why it found you. Remember that there will be positive AND
negative characteristics to any animal.
   Working with animal magic takes time and effort, but can be
very rewarding and enlightening.
   Animal familiars and spirit guides are there to help you on
your life walk. They are brothers and sisters to us all and coexist
with us on this earth. We share many paths with them and some
times don't even know it! Learning from these animals can be a
lifetime experience, even many lifetimes, and sometimes the ani
mals may not even be ones that we know today.

                         solitary or a Pack?
How many spirit animal guides can you have? The answer is
more than one, although it seems that one will usually stand out
among the others as your ‘main’ guide, you may have others that
reoccur regularly and ifyou work with the spirit guide medicine
pentacle exercise below you wlll end up wltl’l nine!
  How do you know ifan animal is your spirit guide? An animal
guide is usually that animal that you have had an affinity wltl’l for
a long time. Your animal guide is always by your side no matter
what. But the easlest way to check is to ask it.,.
  Can your spirit guide be an extinct or a mythological creature?
The answer is yes it can, but realise the fact that information on
these creatures may or may not be forthcoming, and you do have
to take the negative along with the positive as wltl’l all the others
as well. We alsostep into dragon territory here, which is a huge
subject as dragons come in all shapes, sizes and forms, but they
too can make excellent animal spirit guides (although you might
want to avoid the chaos     dragon). I had    student once who
worked very well with a Tyrannosaurus rex animal spirit guide; it
was incredibly strong and powerful although it had a bit ofa terns
  Remember that animals have free wlll, and your animal spirit
guidewill come to you when you are in need of it, and only when
you are ready.

          Find information on your Spirit Guide Animal
Before you rush headlong all excited because you have found a
spirit guide animal you need to learn all you can about it. You
wouldn't get in a car and switch everything on ifyou didn’t know
how to drive would you? (Well i would hope not anyway.) Take
your time and do your homework first. find out all you need to
know first then you can start working with your animal.
                         Now Ask Questions
Start with the basics such as where does it like to live? is it an
earthy creature or does it nest high in trees   or   maybe it swims in
the ocean? All these habitats are very different and will affect the
spiritual energy and how you connect with it, What are the anis
mal’s characteristics? Is it predator or prey? What are its good
points and bad points? How does it interact with other animals
or its young? What is its physical presence? How wlll all ofthese
things affect how you work and connect with it?
   What element does it correspond to?
  Air (creatures that fly): Most birds, flying fish, butterfly, drags
  onfiy, ladybird, bee and insects.
  Fire (creatures that creep): Scorpion, lion, lizard, horse, desert
  creatures and those that sting.
  Water (creatures that swim); Fish, seahorse,       dolphin, seal, wals
  rus, crab,   seagull, whale, duck, beaver.
  Earth (creatures that walk); Rabbit, cow, wolf, bear, deer, mole,
  ferret, mouse and forest or field dwelling creatures.

Don’t be final with these definitions, however,They are meant as
a tool to learn from, not as a   box to file them     in.   Many animals
correspond to   more than one element.   Dolphin is water because
it livesthe sea, but it also jumps beautifully into the air. Duck
swims on the water, but also flies in the air. Snake slithers in the
desert, but also has a powerful bite so I would class it as both
earth and fire. What does this teach you about the creature?
                       Where Does it Live?
Perched high on a mountain cliff, the goat   is
                                                  very different from a
watersloving hippopotamus, While goat might teach about sure
footedness on your path or seeking new heights, hippo is more
likely to tell you to remain grounded, but with its water connecs
tion it will ask you to watch your emotions too,
                   What is its ‘Cycle ofPower’?
Bat is active at night, the rooster crows at dawn, stag turns to rut
in the autumn and the snow owl brings winter with her. The
power cycle ofyour animal spirit guide will show you times when
you will have more access to energy.
                 What Does it Look Like?
in magic, the Law of Signatures states that ‘the attributes

without, mirror the qualities within'. Not that I am suggesting
you will end up looking like your animal guide, i hope not any;
way... I really don’t want to look like a wild boar but... take a look
just in case there are some qualities that   mirror
                                                      your own.
 What Do the shape and Colour ofyourAnimal cuide suggest?
The lion or golden eagle suggest solar powers while the jaguar
and owl are nocturnal and lunar. The colour of plumage on a
bird may connect with the chakras or the white ofa swan's leathr
ers may suggest peace,
                    How Does it Defend itself?
Does it roll over and hide as a way of defence such as the opos
sum or stick its head in the sand like ostrich? Or does it stand
and fight or even charge at its enemies like the Wild boar? These
Will show you how your animal deals wltl’l conflict and argue
ments and Will refiect the energies it can lend to you.
   Note:The ostrich doesn’t actually bury its head in the sand, it
wouldn't be able to breathe. What this bird actually does is dig a
hole for her eggs, she regularly puts her head into the hole to
turn the eggs... don’t believe everything you read or see!
       What Does it Eat and How Does it Hunt for Food?
Bear this in mind when you are working wltl’l shapeshifting

especially. ifyou are vegan or vegetarian you probably don’t want
to shapesshil‘t into a meatseatingtiger...
   But what an animal eats and how it hunts will also show you
more insights into your own way oflife.
 What are its Mating Habits and How Does it Raise its Young?
Does your animal mate for life or is it a bit of a gigolo? is it a
gentleman or lady on the mating scene or a big show offlike the
peacock? Does it have to fight with other males or females for
the attention of a mate? And then how does it look after its
young? Does it stay in a family pack like jackals or is it known for
eating its young like sharks have a tendency to do...
                  What Sounds Does it Make?
is your animal the quiet silent type or does it laugh loudly like a
hyena? The whale sings a soulful song whereas birds tend to
chirp happily, this is all important to learn about.
    What Animal Family Does your Animal Guide BelongTo?
Study its close relatives and   see what they have in     common,
 Most animals come from a larger group and studying the others
that it is related to can offer interesting insights.
        What Can i Learn From Mythology and Folklore?
Myths, fairy tales and folk stories often highlight the link between

people and animals. They offer a bit of wisdom and guidance
woven into the stories and bring the magical and spiritual con
nection to anlrnals.
  What about the princess who kisses the frog? He becomes a
handsome prince and she lives happily ever after (or so we are
told). This story is about transformations and that is one of the
characteristics ofworking with frog as an animal spirit guide.
   Many myths tell of gods that take on animal forms. The ans
cient Egyptian gods are oftenportrayed with animal heads such
as the cat headed goddess  Bast and Horus wltl’l his hawk head.
Animals are also included   in   creation myths and stories telling
how they helped to create worlds.
   They also appear in stories highlighting their main person;
alities so the lion would be brave and courageous, but the fox
would be sly and the dog would be a loyal friend. My own wild
boar is seen in many stories symbolising war.
  These stories all have powerful meanings and lessons to
              Look at Beth Positive and Negative
Every animal will have both positive and negative properties, en;
ergy and characteristics. Your animal spirit guide is with you to
teach you and help you grow. They have a huge amount of lrlr
sight and advice so pay attention to what they bring to you. Be

  But remember... look at their negative side as well as the      posh
tive, it may teach you even more about yourself.
                      Seeking Animal Wisdom
So you have a new friend and you have the basics, but what haps
pens next? I suggest it is time to really get to know your new ally,
So, get yourselfa blank sheet of paper and pen or a new docu
ment up on the computer screen        ready...
  Let me use my Wild boar as        an example, you would obviously
use the animal that came to you, I have only covered question to
show you how it works, but use the checklist below for your spire
it animal guide and answer each one, it really will give you a de
tailed overview ofthe animal and why it is with you.
  first I look at its habit and how it lives: woodland, marshlandand
  agricultural land. Generally sedentary animals, they like to stay
  within their home range, they don’t migrate. Females spend more
  time in dense, Safe habits than the males do. They breed season
  ally and during that time the usually solitary males move intofe
  male groups andfight rival males fiJr dominance. They prefer to
  live in small social groups and have a matriarchal group with    aside
  ally two   or three mature females    including their most recent lit:
  ters.   Differentfemale   groups will coexist in the same areas, but

they keep their social identity. They are primarily nocturnal al
though they may venture out during the day for food, Mostly the
days are spent sleeping up to 12 hours a day followed by a short
period ofgroaming on awakening then fimr to eight hours offered?
ing during the night. Wild boar have very poor eyesight.
    So, what can I learnfrom wild boar?
    They like to feel safe and love the   comfort oftheir own home.
The females like to keep in girly groups and spend a lot oftheir
time lookingafter the babies. They love their sleep and they like to
    Those are characteristics. How do they apply to me?
    Soundsjust like me   e
                             12 hours afsleep   and eight hours ofeating
    To me this echoes the safety and mmfim that I feel when I am
at home, it is my sanctuary, but it is also a reminder that it       is
good to get out with friends every so     often and have a girly chat,
sleep is important and this also reiterates the need to get a proper
balance between work and rest. it is also about mothemood and
taking care offamily.
                  Your Totem Animal Checklist
. Where does the animal live and how does it interact with the
.   How might this animal's habitat affect its spiritual energy for

    animal magic?
. What    are the animal's natural aptitudes, demeanours, and
    characteristics and how might those affect your magic for
    good or bad?
rHow does this creature Interact with other creatures?
.Who is predator and who is prey?
. How might this         animal's physical structure and natural
    behaviours influence its symbolic value     in   spell craft and
    other magical processes?
.   What element does it correspond to? Consider the combis
    nation of elements   too,   What does this teach you about the
.Where does it live?
.What is its ‘cycle ofpowerl?
.What does it look like?
.What does the shape, colour, etc, ofyour animal suggest?
  How does it defend itself?
            it eat and how does it hunt for food?
.What are its mating habits and how does it raise its young?
 What sounds does it make?
.Whatanimalfamily does yourspirit guidebelongto?
.What can you learn from mythology and folklore?
.What can you learn from your spirit guide animal?

Shapeshifting is a change, a way to help us become better by
becoming different than we usually are. We already shapeshift
everyday in many different ways, we often put on different ‘l‘aces’
to everyone we meet. We are a different person to our boss, to
our coworker, a stranger, a spouse, to our children. Our ances
tors shifted to go on spiritual quests to learn answers about
themselves and the world around them.
  Shapeshifting can bringyou closer to your animal spirit guide
or it can help you to take on the characteristics of a particular
          Practical and Mystical Aspects ofShapeshifting
  .   Relating to others around you and adjusting your behaviour
      asconditions require.
  .   Being able to be gentle or strong, whatever is needed at the
  .Teaching selfdiscipline to achieve yourgoals.
  .Adaptingto changes around you.
  .Turningyour mood around from dark to light.
  .Discoveringyour inner talents.
    finding your blockages and Selfslmposed limitations and

  .Banishing ofthe
             hurt, pain and negative feelings.
  . Letting go    past.
  .Developing newskilis.
  .Strengtheningyour talents and Skills,
  . Strengthening your aura.
  .improving your lucid dreamingand astral travel skills.
  .Gaining knowledge.
  .Einding answers.
  . Connecting to nature.
  .Psychic protection,
  .Aligningwith your spirit animal guide.
  .Gainingfiexibility towards life lessons.
Do not decide to do this type ofexercise lightly.You can be over
whelmed by the experience. For example, if you haven’t done
your mundane research and are a vegetarian and decide to
shapeshift into a carnivorous animal, it may be a very disturbing
experience on many levels. ifyou are a peaceful person by nature
who has trouble dealing with authority and you are really Sensis
tive, then leaping straight into the guise ofa lion could be very
traumatic. Be prepared.
  Shapeshifting brings us many gifts. We acquire manydifferent
aspects that help us in the world, practical and mystical, We

acquire also the best ofthe animals that we have chosen too, but
also we have to be careful because we will acquire the negative as
well. Remember the female and male in any species can be ex
tremely different in characteristics     so   study your animals   care
 Make yourself comfortable somewhere that you won't be dis?
turbed. if you like you can burn some incense and pop some
quiet plinky plonky music on in the background.
  Close your eyes and start to focus on your breathing, deep
breathes in and deep breathes out... allow your body to com?
pletely relax.
  As yourwarld around you dissipates youfind yoursefin a         beautful
  forest, the sun is shining and dappled light is shining dawn be
   tween a canopy ofleaves, Ahead ofyou is a pathway so you start
  to walk... listen to the sounds oftheforest as you start to move...
     The track leads you to a clearing with a large standing stone
  right in the centre, so you make your way towards it.
     Once you are infront ofthe standing stone, which towers above
  you, you put your hand out to touch it. As your hand meets the
  cold hard rock it shimmers and a swirling pattern ofmist appears
  on the face   ofthe rack; The   mist starts to clear and the whole face

  ofthe rock turns into a reflective mirrored surface.
    You can see your image reflecting back at you, but then it starts
  to blur and in place ofyour   reflection appears an animal standing
  gazing at you. This animal has something to teach you, it has a
  lesson and/or a messagefora part ofyourlfe right now.
    Feeling totally comfortable and at ease you step into the mirror
    Allow yourself to become the animal... make the connection
  and begin the transformation piece by piece.
    Once you are fully transfimned into the animal, move around,
  run,jump, hop, fly whatever the animal would usually do. How
  does itfeel? What view ofthe world do you have now that you are
  in your animal shape? Take as much time as you need...
    When you are ready, head back to the mirror stone and slowly
  and gently shapesshft back into yourhuman form. Thank the amt
  malforits help and support.
    Step back through the mirrorstone...
    Walk back to the track and head to the edge ofthe woods mm;
  ing back to reality with eachfootstep that you take.
Open your eyes and wriggle your fingers and toes and make a
note ofany messages, thoughts or experiences.

           Animal Guide Pentacle/Medicine Wheel
Many Native American tribes use the medicine wheel and most
ofthem use animal totems within it.Teachings and methods will
vary from tribe to tribe, but essentially they all work with nature
and the teachings that it has to offer; each part of creation has a
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