How to Find Your Animal Spirit Guide for Beginners (And What to Do After)
Everyone loves animals. They are mystical, seemingly-otherworldly beings who always tend to show up at the right time. Whether in the wild or in our own homes, they comfort us and bring us messages of joy and hope. Maybe you’re wondering how to find your animal spirit guide and what to do after you’ve found it. We’ll answer those questions for you here.
First, What is an Animal Spirit Guide?
There’s a lot of debate on the definition of an animal spirit guide. Is it the same thing as a familiar? Or a totem? An animal spirit guide is different from both of these. An animal spirit guide is the spirit of an animal or collective spirit of an animal that guides us our entire lives. While an animal familiar is a spirit that aids you in your magick for a smaller amount of time. Familiars come and go. Animal spirit guides may be with you for life. And the word “totem” is specific to certain indigenous tribes of North America.
What Does an Animal Guide Do?
My honest opinion on this is that animal spirit guides will do whatever they have to to help you in that moment or phase of your life. They’ve been known to protect people in dire situations and warn them of oncoming danger. I’d venture to say some of your “primal instincts” or “intuition” might sometimes be gifted to you via your animal spirit guide. An animal spirit guide might also teach you lessons, remind you of lessons already learned, and grant their unique energy to your life and spiritual practice. For example, if your libido has been particularly suffering, the rabbit spirit guide might hop into your life to aid you in that department.
How to Find Your Animal Spirit Guide
The easiest way to find your animal spirit guide is to think back to when you were a child. What was your favorite animal? What was one animal that fascinated you but might have also scared you? More often than not, the animal that invaded your dreams as a child might also be your animal spirit guide. For me, I had dozens of dreams of wolves and snakes. They fascinated me but also frightened me. The wolf and snake, no matter what other animals come and go, have always been in my life from a young age and still are.
Ask for Signs
Still not sure? Ask your animal guide to identify itself to you. You must be open-minded to the signs, and don’t expect a grand entrance from your totem animal. What I mean is – don’t expect a zebra to show up in your driveway! That being said, sometimes your animal spirit guide will make a grand entrance, or perhaps they will just give you some very obvious signs.
Those obvious signs might include:
- seeing that particular animal on the TV or online constantly
- seeing the animal in nature (at a distance or up close)
- hearing someone talk about this particular animal
- seeing symbols of the animal or seeing pictures in books, etc.
- Have you been particularly obsessed with an animal since you were young? Or maybe you’ve just recently become obsessed with an animal? My friend calls herself a “crazy cat lady” and laughs at the title, though she knows that she is absolutely obsessed with cats.
How to Find Your Animal Guide Through Dreams & Meditation
Another way to find your animal spirit guide is through dreams and meditation. As a teenager, I had a dream that I was in a log cabin and that I died in the hallway. A white wolf laid down beside me, and my soul went into the white wolf’s body. I became the white wolf. From that moment forward, I knew that the wolf would be one of my animal guides for the rest of my life. He is not always in the forefront of spiritual messages brought to me, but I know he is always with me. Ask your animal to show itself in your dreams.
Try Different Meditations
Or if you would like to give meditation a try, ask your animal spirit guide to come during meditation. It’s often easiest for your them to show up in dreams or visions, because they’re in that dimension already. Also don’t be surprised if it is totally different than you would have imagined. Sometimes it might even be shocking. I know one woman whose spirit animal turned out to be a donkey! But the donkey had some deep, meaningful things to teach this woman and so she figured out why the donkey. Also, animal guides can sometimes be mythological: a dragon, unicorn, phoenix, or even a werewolf!
I Found My Animal Spirit Guide, Now What?
Now that you’ve found your animal, where do you go from here? My suggestion is to study that animal’s characteristics: its habitat, habits, foods, behaviors, symbolism, etc. Record your findings and try to apply those things to your own life. Does the tiger exhibit behaviors you need to empower your life? Does the ant’s hard work prompt you to dig in deeper into your career?
In addition to studying and understanding your animal guide’s guidance in your life, you can also:
- add your animal to your altar
- meditate on your animal guide
- decorate your home or office with pictures of it to draw on its energy
- wear your animal’s colors
- watch documentaries about it
- visit your animal spirit guide in the wild, if possible
One misconception I’ve noticed – some say you acquire a “lesser” animal guide and work your way up the totem pole, so to speak, to greater animals. In my experience, when one receives a guide it’s not less or greater than any other. For example, if it is a dragonfly, this is no less of an animal than the lion. Just different. As you move along your spiritual journey, you may notice different animal spirit guides coming and going. And in this regard, you may be “upgraded” to animals that are more powerful or larger than others. But none is greater than the next.
Common Animal Spirit Guides: Can We Have the Same Guides?
I’ve noticed another misconception circulating in which people say “not everyone can have the wolf as an animal guide”. It’s almost as if these people get possessive over animal spirits. Well, I have news. Many of the animal guides are common for a reason – these spirits tend to gravitate towards humans for many reasons and have for thousands of years. For example – the wolf. And who do they say is man’s best friend? Another – the horse. We’ve been sharing space with horses for thousands of years and will continue to do so. So if someone tells you you can’t have a specific animal because it can’t be everyone’s, tell them to stop being so greedy! Share the love. Spirit is endless and limitless.
Read More on Spirit Guides:
- Mythical Totems and Spirit Guides
- Moth Symbolism, Folklore and Spirit Guide
- Types of Spirit Guides + How to Communicate With Yours