Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My … Animal Guides

Okay, so I’m behind AGAIN… Can I say I’ve been busy harvesting and preserving the fruits of the summer’s labor? Someone at the farmer’s market yesterday was buying zucchini… I’ve been trying to GIVE them away! (Hey… maybe zucchini should be our Fall Harvest Give Away!) I have also been working on developing and acquiring some new product for our website at

And, besides, you don’t want to just hear me ramble. I’m sure you all have someone in your life who can fill that role if you need it. I’m not a rambler. Gary and I can ride in the car together for hours and hardley say a word. Just knowing we’re together and sharing the time together is heavenly.

Those of you who have worked with Gary and I over the years have heard us constantly referring to “we” when talking about your journeys. It sounds like we’re pregnant or have a mouse in our pocket, right? Well, we’re definitely NOT pregnant, but could possibly have that mouse in our pocket. An animal guide mouse that is.

As shaman, we have a lot of help in the other world. We have helpers, guides and teachers that come in all shapes and forms—human, animal, spirit, energy and some that are indescribable. Some of these guides will be with us as our soul progresses, some are here for this earth walk, and others come and go as they are needed. We have some that help us specifically with shamanic journeys and others who assist us in our personal lives.

Sometimes during journeys we are instructed to retrieve a spirit guide for the individual we are journeying for and some of you have asked to have your guide brought in to help you. Although these guides generally appear in animal form, they may sometimes come in the form of angels, elementals, mythical beings, and faeries.

All societies believe animals have played and do play a special role in our spiritual and physical lives. From the Far East, to Native Americans, a sacred Cow from Hinduism and the Dove of Peace that plays a key role as a guide in Christian literature. People throughout the world believe animals are our spiritual teachers and guides.

When we bring an animal guide back for you as part of a journey, it’s not just a guide that we found hanging around with nothing to do and brought him/her home like a lost puppy. This guide has been waiting for you. We had ‘imaginary friends’ as children who were pretty amazing. We talked and played with them until the age that society told us that it was time to ‘grow up’. It was then that our friend and guide went away. Gary likes to say it’s like they’ve been waiting at the Starbucks in the Meadow all this time for you to come back. This guide has come back to teach you more about the intimate details of your personality, character traits and your spirit and spiritual gifts. It helps guide you along your spiritual path, offers answers to questions, and can even protect you on the spiritual as well as the physical plane. Guides are even helpful with the mundane, every day activities such as finding a parking place in a crowded parking lot, escorting your bags through airline chaos, getting you to the gas station ‘on fumes’ and protecting your gardens from interlopers.

Animal guides are usually a reflection of your deepest self and represent qualities which you need in this world, but which are hidden or to balance more outward characteristics. Just because you really like a certain animal, such as a lion, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will is you guide. Your guide chooses you. Sometimes people seem to be disappointed when they find that their guide isn’t that powerful lion, but is a small animal like a mouse. We tend to think that a mouse is not very powerful – that it is meek and afraid. We forget that spirits are not limited to physical reality and that size is irrelevant. Your guide may be a tiny mouse, like the one in our pockets, but in times of need this mouse can and will “grow” to fit the occasion. There is nothing weak or meek about a 50-foot tall mouse! I personally know a faerie that can be pretty big and scary!

Okay, you have a mouse in your pocket too. It’s been hanging out at Starbucks in the Meadow and you had no clue, so now what? The first thing we tell people when they get their guides is to ask this guide to protect you from ‘this moment forward in this and all lifetimes’. One of the major roles of the guides is to protect you, so why do you need to ask them to do it? Well, before a guide can come back, it has to agree to only do what you ask it to do. In other words, it can’t do anything on its own accord. This keeps you from acquiring some unwanted karma since you are responsible for all action the guide takes. So, you want to ask him/her to protect you, and doing it in one big general statement keeps you from forgetting and getting stuck in a not so nice situation. (Ask us how we know…)

With protection in place, it’s time to get down to developing a relationship with your guide. Like any relationship this takes communication, time and patience. Talk to your guide regularly, even if you don’t hear any replies. Eventually you will begin to understand your guide’s language. Now you may not hear it like you’re talking to Joe next door, but you may possibly ‘hear voices in your head’. (Do not rush to your nearest mental institution and have yourself committed, call us first. It’s probably just your friendly guide saying hello.) Most likely you will begin to sense the responses or see them by being shown something in nature. Sometimes your guides will speak to you during Dreamtime. Just remember, it takes time and patience.

Treat your guide like your best friend. Talk to him/her often and about anything and everything. We differ here than a lot of people who help others work with their guides. Some tend place the guides on a pedestal above us and put us in a position of subservience. We treat our guides with honor and respect, just like we would our best friend or partner. We also play and joke with them, but heed their wisdom, and love and honor them deeply. Remember to play with your guide. They aren’t all about work and wisdom. All work and no play makes for a pretty irritable guide.

Next, learn about the characteristics of your guide. Understanding the physical and behavioral characteristics of your guide can point out strengths or weaknesses in you on your physical, emotional or spiritual levels. The more you study and learn about your guide the easier it will be to call on its energy whenever you need it. There are many books and websites that talk about the physical and spiritual characteristics of animals and plants. One of our favorites happens to be Animal Speak—The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews.

The last thing to remember is to ask your guide things. He/She has a vast amount wisdom and knowledge to draw on. You may not always like your guide’s answers, but it’s always good advice whether you choose to follow it or not. Remember, you still have free will and your guide will be around to help you out of a mess if he/she needs to. Ask your guide to assist you with projects or to find those parking spots. You have to ask. Remember they guide has agreed to not take any action on its own. So, put him/her to work.

(Don’t know your guide? It can be retrieved for you though a journey, or Debbie is recording a guided meditation for retrieving your guide that will be available through our website at around October 15.)

We have our Fall Harvest Give Away going on now for a the guided journey CD – “Meeting Your Animal Spirit Guide” mentioned above. You can enter through the drawing tab on our Facebook page. In fact, if you send me an e-mail when you become a new fan, I’ll even put an extra entry in the basket for you. How about that…an extra opportunity just for joining us on Facebook!
Here’s wishing you and your guide many pleasant journeys.

Until next time –

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),