By now, you've probably heard everyone from your friends to your boss to your favorite celebs talking about discovering their spirit animals. You've probably even seen T-shirts reading "Whiskey is my spirit animal," or maybe you've taken a quiz in hopes of determining what your spirit animal might be. This current trend, stemming from Native American culture and then adopted by various Wiccan groups in the 1990s, has catapulted into something that is often seen as funny or ironic, as a way to let people know who or what we appreciate in this life by declaring it as our own.
In many traditions and cultures, spirit animals - AKA familiars - can be spiritually or physically summoned. These totem animals act as guides, helping individuals navigate their lives. By summoning a spirit animal, you can more effectively harness their - and your own - innate power, strengthening the connection you share and providing insights the nature of the self, the universe, and the great beyond.
Spirit animals, or familiars, have been around for a very long time. Originally stemming from Native American culture, they're also very important in Wiccan practices. You might be wondering why it's important for YOU to know what yours is. Here's why:
- Familiars can help identify certain traits of yours that need to be refined or developed.
- They can assist you in navigating various aspects of your everyday life that leave you feeling emotionally drained.
- They help to inspire new perspectives not only in your personal relationships, but in your relationship to nature.
- Familiars can open you up to the idea of personal transformation by widening your perspectives.
- They can help to comfort and guide you through parts of your life that are being dominated by hardship and struggle.
If you want to feel more balanced, lighter, and more in tune with yourself, it's important to become one with your true familiar.
First things first, you're going to need a couple of items at your disposal if you're really serious about discovering your spirit animal, or familiar. Grab your dream journal, a photo or figurine of an animal with the characteristics you feel best represent you, and a crystal of your choosing, such as an amethyst (which is great for clearing your energy pathways).
You're going to want to find a quiet, safe, peaceful space, such as your bed with all the lights off, or maybe just draw a hot bath. Once you're comfortable, meditate yourself to a point where you feel calm and open. Try speaking out loud to your familiar. Summon it by reciting an incantation such as this:
Guardians of the astral world, I call you to my side.
Reveal my spirit animal, my protector and guide.
Heed my summons! Hear my cry!
Show me the path! Time for communion is nigh!
Show me the power, beauty, and grace.
In the radiant eyes if my guardian's face.
According to those who have actually been visited by their familiars, sometimes it's easier to connect with your familiar in a dream state. If you plan to meditate your way into a deep sleep to discover your familiar, try writing about your intentions in your dream journal beforehand so that your mind is in the right state and your familiar knows you're trying to connect with them. Write about what you want to see in your dream state, what you want to learn, and how important connecting with your familiar is to you.
Time and time again people say that they discovered their familiar in a dream. Your dreams are essentially your subconscious processing all of your most complex emotions, the same emotions that you share with your familiar.
However, people typically forget 90 percent of their dreams within the first 10 minutes of waking up. That's why a lot of people like to keep a dream journal - and if you're serious about meeting your familiar, you should too.
Write down what you remember from your dreams immediately after you wake up, focusing on any themes, emotions, or symbols that appear. After awhile, see if there's a specific animal, or image, that is reoccurring. It might just be your familiar trying to communicate with you.
If the standard approach to finding your familiar via meditation, the use of crystals, and through your dreams isn't quite working for you, try getting outside instead.
Is it outlandish to think that you might just come across your familiar in nature? Perhaps connecting more directly with the natural world around you will create a more direct channel for your familiar to find you.
Get outside. Take out your headphones. Put away your phone. Breathe. Watch the birds fly above you. Pay attention to the pattern of the wind. What do you see? How do you feel? Is there an animal that keeps appearing around you? Is there one that you seek out or hope to find when you're submerged in its habitat? Pay attention to the animals that reoccur when you take time to yourself outside.