Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seven Become Nine

In a previous post, My Magnificent Seven, I described my awakening to the path of Shamanism and discovering my seven Spirit Guides; Bear, Ferret, Sparrow, Stag, Swan, Lion, and Snake. 

As I understand it, Spirit Guides do not necessarily need to be animals, in fact, they usually aren't. Spirit Guides usually manifest themselves as ordinary people, or perhaps famous ones. I've read posts by people who believe Jesus Christ, or Buddha, is their Guide. One musician I met even said his guide was Beethoven. The fact that mine have all been animals is indeed interesting.

What mine are more commonly referred to is Power Animals, or Totems, which are a type of Spirit Guide, just in the form of an animal, though some people say there is a difference. Some believe the Spirit Guides are with you for life, the Power Animals may change once you have learned their lesson.

In my class, we held a ceremony to call forth Spirit Guides, and that's when I met Lion and Snake. The following week, we called forth Power Animals. 

Mine is Bat.

Bats are nocturnal; they live in darkness, yet maneuver easily through it. The darkness represents my fears of moving forward in my new life, and as Bat can move through the darkness, I can move through my fears, maybe not with the relative ease as Bat can, but I can get through them. Bats live in colonies, which again signals my need to socialize more. Bat also signifies change and transformation, and I'm not talking of the vampiric kind!  According to some practitioners, Bat signifies the death of part of my old life for the rebirth of my new one. (I sense an echo of Snake and Swan here!)

Bats are also pollinators in the desert and rainforest, teaching me to be open to the new ideas pollinating in my life, again reinforcing the birth of a new me.

In many cultures, Bat is seen as a symbol of good luck and good fortune in life.

Sometimes, a Spirit Guide or Power Animal may recognize their charge might need a lesson the Guide is not able to teach and may bring another Guide who can. In the Power Animal ceremony, Bat led me to Jaguar. I believe Bat was trying to reinforce to me that I can move through my fears by bringing me to Jaguar, also a nocturnal animal who moves with ease through the darkness on instinct. I should trust my instincts as I move through my darkness, overlapping Ferret's lesson of being observant and trusting my intuition. Yet, Jaguars are solitary animals, so I must be cautious not to over-socialize and not take time for myself. Balance is the key.

Jaguars are also known to reside in caves near water. Caves have often symbolized 'going within, retreating.' Water often represents the emotions. I'm being told to go within to heal my emotions from my past, in order to move forward. And here I feel Jaguar echoing Bear telling me to 'hibernate' to find the answers to my questions within myself in order to heal and to move forward.

In Mayan culture, the jaguar was the supreme animal of his domain, being he was the top predator. He ruled the Earth and all who walked upon Her. They revered Jaguar as a very powerful entity of the rainforest. His strong and powerful body could carry him for miles in his quest for food, also teaching me to pace myself in all areas of my life; work, personal growth, writing, dating, socializing. If I do, I will achieve my goals.

As I have said before, these messages resonate so deeply with me. I understand exactly what they mean and how they apply to me at this juncture of my life.

With so many of them to work with, at times I feel like a ruddy zookeeper!

But, it's a zoo I'm very grateful to keep.

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