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Power Animals

by Mark Halliday

Power animals in alphabetical order




Eagle power expands across the earth, a universal spirit of sublime vision, transcendental strength and divine authority. Eagle is regarded a most sacred animal: it is the manifestation of Great Spirit. If Eagle is your totemic emblem, you may find you walk a path of a spiritual healer, visionary or leader. Eagle's gifts are conferred by it super natural vision and power of flight into the realms of Spirit.

If we need to "raise above" a situation, Eagle helps us to spread our wings and soar above the limited perspective of the material world to gain a clear understanding of our selves and how we need to see the bigger picture. Eagle teaches us to free ourselves when we become too attached to an object or situation, helping us to open our gripping claws to release our energy.

On the other hand, if we need to ground ourselves and we feel we are becoming lost, disorientated or floating in a spiritual mist, Eagle's claws can grip the rocks or trees to maintain a solid sense of self which centre's us and creates inner balance. Eagle feathers are deeply sacred. To be gifted an eagle feather is to recognise one's spiritual achievements and asserts our abilities such as: community leader, healer or prophet.

If you feel trapped in the material world or stuck in the doldrums, ask Eagle to assist you by uplifting you and restoring faith and confidence in yourself. Stand still and open your arms like an Eagle's wings, envision yourself soaring above your present situation or problem and feel yourself gliding with easy as your breath from the heart. This connects us to our inner Eagle and allows our spirits to expand and breath, ridding life's currents in the knowledge you are in control of your flight.

When eagles mate, they stay together for life. They raise their chick and hunt together. The fidelity of Eagle speaks of our own faith and trust in our cooperation and co-creation with Spirit.

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The speed of the Hawk's flight reflect the sudden flash of intuition which we experience and is as unexpected as Hawk's deadly embrace with its pray. To be guided by Hawk is to trust our highest thoughts, the over mind which, like Hawk, sees all below it, scanning the path with courage and purpose to inform, teach and gently remind us of our life's purpose.

We encounter Hawk's messages through strong impulses, mental energies, inner sound and quite voices. When the emotions are still we feel Hawk's spirit moves us into our place or direction or to take action when necessary. To work with Hawk involves been free of over planning. It requires a trust in one's instincts and to follows the flight of Hawk wherever it may lead us.

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In the still silence of the forest night, owl glides undetected by the senses. The silence of its flight brings the power of clairvoyance, insight and self-knowledge. Owls can rotate their heads in a full circle perceiving the forest and fields in a panoramic picture. Owl visits us when there are situations we need to broaden our view of and scan all angles of a problem.

Owning own medicine requires honouring our power to see the black and white, good and bad in all things, including people, place and experiences. To gain the wisdom of Owl is to see inside ourselves, to see all our strengths and weaknesses, our flaws and talents. The discovery of higher knowledge is to understand through inner vision. For example, when we comprehend a difficult situation, we often say: "Hah, now I see".

The stillness and silence of Owl is the power the mind needs to fully digest whatever issue or problem we face.

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Bear hibernates in her cave, slowing down her metabolism to survive the cold, dark winter. The spirit of bear carries many healing powers: Introspection, respite and regeneration and emotional healing.

When we suffer being burned out and our bodies shake with nervous exhaustion, bear runs to our aid. When a bear is injured it turns in on itself, so too we turn within to seek silent sanctuary to repair our damaged feelings. The power of bear consciousness  is primeval, attuned to the earth’s cycles. Bear teaches us to live in harmony with these eternal cycles of life, knowing when to rest, sleep and eat.

When we are overworked or stressed our natural rhythms become imbalanced. We lose our appetites, sleep is often fitful and our body’s natural defences are weakened, our thinking becomes distorted. Working with bear restores the balance.

A bear’s strength is fed through its appetites. Bear has an innate knowing of which fruits and berries to eat. It feeds on the knowledge of salmon, the flow of life returning home. Bear listens to the natural rhythm within, returning to her cave after filling her belly for the long nights ahead.

When we listen to what our feelings and bodies are crying out for – nourishment, peace and quiet and rest we become one with bear.

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Stag struts his stuff in the forests and glens, holding his head aloft as his horns display his worthiness to any potential rivals or mates. Stag walks his talk, in full confidence of his abilities and standing up for himself on his own two feet.

If stag has chosen you, you may walk a path of the quiet leader or healer, often in conflict with fear of your power.  Stag helps to nurture and express your self-esteem and confidence in who you are and what you do.

Stag inspires us to bellow our spirit, to hold our heads high and display our self-worth in whatever way we so choose. Self- esteem is often encouraged through recognition of our skills and abilities, service to others and inner beauty.

Another aspect of stag is the antennae like horns which detect fine movements in the air, reading the various vibrations around him. When we sense the feelings or thoughts of others or channel higher messages of healing energies we are in our stag consciousness.

In owning stag, we fully embrace the size of our selves, harmonizing our dual personalities: being acutely sensitive, yet fully self-possessed.

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Stag struts his stuff in the forests and glens, holding his head aloft as his horns display his worthiness to any potential rivals or mates. Stag walks his talk, in full confidence of his abilities and standing up for himself on his own two feet.

If stag has chosen you, you may walk a path of the quiet leader or healer, often in conflict with fear of your power.  Stag helps to nurture and express your self-esteem and confidence in who you are and what you do.

Stag inspires us to bellow our spirit, to hold our heads high and display our self-worth in whatever way we so choose. Self- esteem is often encouraged through recognition of our skills and abilities, service to others and inner beauty.

Another aspect of stag is the antennae like horns which detect fine movements in the air, reading the various vibrations around him. When we sense the feelings or thoughts of others or channel higher messages of healing energies we are in our stag consciousness.

In owning stag, we fully embrace the size of our selves, harmonizing our dual personalities: being acutely sensitive, yet fully self-possessed.

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The wolf spirit is one of the most widely experienced animals we encounter in our spiritual journey. He is the guide to initiates and seekers of truth and is a wise teacher of ancient knowledge.

Wolf connect us to our anscestral memories and instinctive feelings of social harmony. In howling to the moon, Wolf sings the song of the soul – a longing for the return to our goddess nature. We look to Wolf in order to live in accordance to the will of Great Spirit, of taking care of each other in our community.

In a Wolf pack all are looked after, fed and protected; the young, the sick and the elderly.

On a personal level Wolf encourages our sense of belonging in society, of knowing we are one being, yet retaining an independent spirit. The lone Wolf nurtures our independence while the pack Wolf helps to integrate with our pride, community or nation.

Embracing our inner Wolf stimulates ancient memories, allows us to trust our instincts and heals a sense of self within self, unifying mind body and spirit.

When we face a crises of purpose Wolf comes to clarify who we are and our place in the world. Working with Wolf will strengthen your resolve in whatever is it that you do. Wolf also asks you to listen to the ancestral voices for guidance.

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selfless service

Ant represents interdependency and working for the greater good. In the suffocating heat of the Amazon Rainforest, a column of black ants work tirelessly, ferrying resources through he jungle to their colony. Ant supports the many levels of service.

All of us serve in many ways. Some of us raise children, work for the benefit of our community, give to charity and in deeper layers of spirit we are serving a highest purpose. Each area of service requires some quantity of self-sacrifice (making sacred). Ant sacrifices personal gains and needs to ensure the colony flourishes.

We witness it in our everyday life: We sacrifice our personal energy to benefit others, we sacrifice freedom to protect and nourish our loved ones and we sacrifice physical desires to heal others for the greater good.  Each aspect of service requires a surrender or release of self-centeredness.

Like the ant whose work goes unseen so too in the inner planes our personal transformation occurs. For every selfless deed a greater part of ourselves is embodied: our spirit.

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selfless service

See the dolphin swim with easy, a huge grin in its angelic face. When we are dissatisfied with our jobs, feel resentment to our partners or are simply discontented with life as a whole, call Dolphin and she will help you swim to calmer waters.

Dolphin holds the spirit of happiness, ecstatic love and wants nothing from life except to be happy with it. Dolphin reminds us of the vibrancy in us all, of boundless sacred energy and infinite life force which animates the flesh.

The care free play and sleek movement of dolphin who swims with joy teaches us that to love is to be happy and to be happy is to love, the essence of spirit.

It takes the strength of a Dolphin flipper and tail to be happy with the source of our unhappiness. To be happy with a problem is to watch it magically transform. Whatever does not resonate with the spirit of happiness soon dissolves, disappears or metamorphoses into happiness, a smooth and languid as a Dolphin fleeing the ominous sharks bite as he joins the ecstasy of the pod riding the waves.

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will power

To see any situation or project to its final completion requires a key quality of the west gate – focused determination. Our willpower is a core element of our personal makeup.

Willpower propels us through our toughest challenges and in its highest expression is an essential feature of consciousness. We badger away at tasks with an almost supernatural determination to get the job done, burrowing deep into the warrens of our unconscious to find hidden strength.

Badger shares his spirit of tenacity as he shows us how to tunnel to find nourishing roots protecting those he loves with a fearsome will. Badgers hide is impenetrable to tooth, claw and horn and his claws tear easily through the hardest ground. To meet or spot a badger is to receive a clear message: keep going, your nearly there, I am with you.

Seek badger if you need the energy to finish a job, project or have to stand your ground on a n issue.  Badger helps to show your claws without the need for unnecessary confrontation.

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Snake is the universal healer, the power of the continuum of consciousness.  Snakes speak to us of the diversity and unique expression of consciousness.  Each species is blessed with unique attributes and emotional characteristics.

Observe the physical appearance of our reptile cousins, the patterns, colours and shapes are mesmerising, snake teaches us the rhythmic flow of life, of patience and our underbelly of vulnerability.

Snake venom is made into a variety of medicines to cure some of the tragic illnesses. On the spiritual layer, snake teaches of the art of silence, awareness and stillness which heal the mind, of flowing in the moment, finding the stable path to balance emotions and shedding the dead tissue, the old patterns and feelings and thoughts with a consistent awareness.

If we are in times of transition, when we are in seeming chaos, when we feel neither ‘here, nor there’. It is because we are simply unaware of the changes occurring.  Parts of our self are within the old skin, yet the new energy can be unsettling in its unfamiar Ask snake to wrap her coils around you ,holding you until you fully step into the new.

As snake expands and contracts, in harmony with the rythms of the cosmos, so we learn to expand and contract our feelings and thoughts to our environment.

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Rabbit supports our sensitivity of the mind body and emotions. People who live in dangerous places or situation usually develop a highly tuned awareness of their surroundings, having an intuitive sense or sixth sense.

Rabbit holds the frequency of sensing. They can detect vibrations and movement through the earth have finely tuned hearing and whiskers which pick up the slightest shift in atmosphere. Eyes which scan a wide vision also.

We can learn Rabbit ways when we trust our senses and honour the inner sense when we receive imprints, images, sounds and words from the energy worlds.

To develop these psychic senses we can sit in nature and listen to the myriad of sounds, noting every sound we can hear, by feeling the body’s contact with the earth through our feet and studying a place or object passively. These exercises attune our mind to greater attention – being present and attending the moment. If life is hard, or your feelings are becoming petrified with fear, call rabbit for the warmth and softness innocence brings.

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loyalty · service · protector

Dogs, like horses have served humanity in countless ways, both domestically, agriculturally, and in military conflict.

Dog carries the spirit pf service, of undying loyalty to a person, place, cause or project. Dog medicine is adaptable to its environment and thrives on necessity. Guarding hearth and home on minute, being a loyal and loving companion the next.

When we are called to serve the earth and the peoples of the earth we may find dog walks beside us, attending to our methods and approaches in the ways we serve. For example dog spirit can be present when we are trying to begin a project or idea, connecting our hearts and leading us to the resources we need.

When we struggle and feel like giving up dog often helps us by feeding us the strength to go the extra mile. And when we are in the doldrums of doubt his energy shines like the Dogstar, supporting us to draw inspiration and energy from a higher source.

Pray to the dog spirit when you are in need of guidance, courage and inspiration beyond the individual self.

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ancient wisdom · adaptability · necessity

Tenderising its prey from the depths of the muddy river, or basking on the baking shores; there is no more awesome creature than crocodile. The ability to move between water and land is a truly remarkable ability. However, crocodile reminds of our power to adapt to change, environments and circumstances.

Crocodile embodies the ancient wisdom of adaptation. Her ancestors had to change the appearance and shape of their bodies to survive the rapid drop in temperature. Crocodile can live in swamps, rivers and the seas. They have a power to release whatever is needed and face change with courage.  They can camouflage their bodies and remain safe from most predators.

When we find ourselves in a new environment, we learn from crocodile, blend in and remain still and silent to adapt to the territory. If you are facing changes in your life which are bewildering or overwhelming, adopt the spirit of crocodile and trust your inner knowledge that you do whatever you need to do, releasing the memoires of the past and holding faith in the future.

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Cats teach us how to rest, play and enjoy life. However, they hold many spiritual powers, the most practical is balance. A cat’s  skill to hunt is determined by their knowledge of attentiveness. By shifting the weight on all fours, cats are able to stalk prey without a single rustle. The balance is achieved by absolute unity of mind and body. Their focus is an accumulation of physical presence and a silent mind which creates awareness and unity.

When mind and body are out of balance, cat shares its medicine by showing us how to restore harmony. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Bring your attention to the mind and imagine your mind is a fluid energy, filling your body, allowing the mental energy to flow into muscles, bones, organs fingers and toes. Feel the mental presence in the body and see your body as a sponge, soaking in the shapeless mind. Sustain this posture for 5-10 minutes and you will understand the balance is achieved through attention.

As the cat achieves balance through redistribution of weight, we achieve balance by shifting our elemental energy in equal measure.

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Two aspects of parrot medicine are their skills in mimicry and glorious colours. The ability to copy sounds and voices is found in many shamanistic cultures. In a hunt, being able to mimic a particular animal is essential to luring or chasing prey.

In Sami and Siberian cultures imitating animal sounds expresses an elemental power often found in healing both for one’s own benefit and the community. Wolves and tigers are the most frequently adopted and assist the helper spirits of the shaman. Requesting Parrot’s colours and expression of voice help us when we need any form of expression to release and channel energy whether it is spiritual, emotional or mental and physical.

Expressing energy in a creative and positive manner helps self-worth as well as developing our aims and intents.

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The incredible effort which is needed to make honey is simply astonishing. The work needed to complete every part in the process is embodied by the bees’ persistence. Bees are the manifest spirit of persevering often over a long time and many challenges to complete an objective.

If we are struggling to fulfil our goal we need only to learn from bees. Where patience is lacking it is usually because of emotional blockages.

Meditate upon the bee and gently hum like a bee in the areas of chest, belly and head to dissolve the fears which block our progress.

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Scorpion / Crustacean


vulnerability · emotional balance

Beneath the armour of the crustacean is gathered delicate soft flesh. It is a living oxymoron and strikes both fear and intimate curiosity in people, it is found in scorching deserts to sub-arctic conditions.  The tail is highly sensitive yet delivers potent toxins and is regarded as a protection against evil, representative of human sexuality and an antidote to poison.

The medicine of scorpion is called upon when we are both feeling vulnerable and in need of softening our barbs. Being highly sensitive is a great gift, unfortunately it involves percieving both good and bad energy. We often mistake another’s poison for our own and this is where scorpion medicine can help, by establishing powerful boundaries to distinguish which is ours and another’s emotional or mental essence. Often the most sensitive of us feel the protean shift of the emotional sea, sometimes so rapidly it becomes highly distressing, disorientating and ungrounding.

Scorpion medicine maintains an equilibrium to help us focus like the pointed sting on a particular feeling or reality. When our words or actions are too sharp, we learn from scorpion by sinking beneath the armoured layers of our attitudes to return to the original vulnerable flesh and once more feel safe within our body.

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spiritual power

Found across the entire span of Asia, the tiger inspires us with a range of thoughts and feelings from awe to terror. Tiger is the central figure of myths, legends and stories in Vedic cultures, Buddhism and many indigenous tales: a truly divine presence in the jungles, swamps, mountains, grasslands and snowy forests. Perhaps it is the awesome presence or simply the mastery of her domain which opens our hearts to her. Or is it the striking patterns on her fur?

Each colour represents a particular quality inherent in tiger. Black is her connection to the void, of remaining silent and still while she stalks her prey. A reminder to us when we ourselves are in a tangled jungle we need to adopt the stillness to move effortlessly. White is the purity of intent, of her unswerving commitment and focus, a medicine needed when we lose our way or are bogged in the swamps. Orange is the expression of inner fire, knowing when to act, when to leap and make the decisive movement.

Tiger teaches us to balance all the above skills to complement  the variety of different spiritual qualities we carry.

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death and rebirth

Likened to the soul by the ancients the butterly is long regarded as the essence of transformation. From its beginnigs as a humble caterpillar the butterfy restructures it cells and effectively dies within the cocoon, laying still and awaiting the crucial moment to arise a wholly different creature.

If butterfly has come into your life, it is because you are undergoing a transformation. The period between life changes are usually chaotic, stagnant or in some way markedly uncanny. Accept butterfly medicine and try to be still as the world passes, the more we can passively accept the situations we face the easier we move from them. The old self, emotional and mental is dying, becoming a mere cocoon while the soul regenerates and will fly into the summer sunshine.

Butterfly teaches us that the soul is beautifully fragile and should be valued as such.

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extrasensory perception

How can bat fly without crashing into anything when its eyesight is so poor? Its secret lies in harnessing a subtler sense. Using its sonar it can detect object by the rebounding sonic waves. So too we can develop our telepathy in this way.

All energy is in constant motion. To sense the finer layers of consciousness bat can help us drop into an older sense, one where we learn to simultaneously hear, see, taste and touch thoughts, feelings and spirit. One way is to trust the inner sonar, the spiritual voice through silence and stillness. Also, like bat we are in a state of sensory suspension.

By opening our wings, expanding our emotional sensitivity around the body , we learn to detect and listen to vibrations.

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Lion / Lioness



Lion appears in our lives in those darkest moments when we face the demons, monsters and shadows in the depths of our being. These shadow natures often arise at the most inopportune situations, usually in a crisis or time where we struggle. They appear after a long period of their denial, and as we know can control us through our fears and insecurities. They are the flipside of our destructive selves, which when unacknowledged cause mayhem in the significant areas of our life. These powers are formed from the fires of resentment and hate – the energies of spiritual suppression.

Embracing lion helps us to face these energies with strength and courage, to claim our self-esteem back and see the courage in our hearts. It is the power of doing, acting and challenging the inner shadow and believing in our spiritual talents and purpose in life. Doing so banishes the doubts and poor me shadow from the kingdom of our mind.

Equally lioness connects to the heart. She brings self-love and gentleness when our emotions become calloused, helping to nurture our spirit of self -acceptance and surrender to the river of forces at work in our daily lives, to sit and allow things to unfold. Both lion and lioness are stewards for the universal energies of active and passive power. They hold the balance of action and stillness, claiming and release and knowing when to work when to play.

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the journey home = purity of intent

All beings are destined to return to the source. It is when we are wildly lost that this instinct is felt at its purest. The journey begins with a pure heart, of trusting the inner guidance and letting go of all mental and emotional clutter to use the wings we were born with.

Dove sustains us on this journey by keeping our mind and emotion clear of physical traps and mental entanglements. Dove inspires and reminds us that all things have at heart a divine purity. Often it is hidden in layers of self delusion.

When dove approaches us, it is a welcome reminder that we need to fly within and seek the purity of intent. Asking why am I thinking this way, who do I think I am and uncovering the motives for the lives we lead. Allowing dove to guide us through these questions helps us to fly straight and strong to the source of all life.

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warrior spirit · integration

The ferocity and strength of boar embodies drive, our willingness to reach our goals and achieve success in our tasks. The energy needed for this can sometimes seem unpalatable and rudimentary However, this is exactly the kind of power needed to create and manifest our visions. It is the energy of the warrior in full flow.

If boar is working with you it is because there is need of support grounding ideas or emotions or feel blocked with a sense of vagueness. Boar is the perfect medicine when we are out of balance, too ephemeral or drifting in a haze of idealism or emotional and mental detachment from the body.

Boar represents the will to get things done and charge ahead. Boar feeds us primal energy and shares his courage to face the ugliest wounds, transform burning rage to integrated motivation and completion.

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The gracefulness and ease of swans have been an inspiration for myths, fairy tales and ballet. The swan is the carrier of forgiveness and shows us the way through its character. Forgiveness can seem an insurmountable, often impossible approach to resolving deep emotional and mental trauma.

Swan speaks of being easy on ourselves and feeling the healing grace in our lives to accept and release the wounds of the past. It becomes a process, where gradually and as delicate as swan down we can begin to amend for ourselves and those who wronged us.

Swans neck illustrates the need for flexibility in our attitudes and perceptions of ourselves and when ready, we open our heart, spread the wings and grant ourselves freedom. Swan feathers are very powerful for cleansing the energy fields and removing blockages.