In my post of April 16 titled ‘WE are the Ones’ I revealed that I’d recently commenced a meditation regime and gave my reasons for doing so. I went on to explain how a particular recording captivated me, its message being one that was acutely relevant to my own life.
In this post I’d like to share another experience which, although very different from the earlier one, has also given me much on which to reflect.
The meditation I’m referring to is one produced by The Honest Guys titled:
‘Guided Shamanic Journey – Connect with your Spirit Guides’
To access the YouTube video, click here.
My background as a practicing Christian has previously prompted an aversion to anything remotely connected to the subject of spirit guides – other than those promulgated by The Bible. Now, however, for those reasons already covered in my About page, I’m confidently walking a path that feels right, rather than tip-toeing along one that I’m told I must follow.
In many traditions predating Christianity and its teachings, our relationship with the spirit of animals has served as a reminder that all life is sacred. Ancient cultural customs suggest that from the dawn of time mankind has enjoyed a relationship with animals, not just in the physical realms, but also in the spiritual ones. Folklore from every civilisation in history include animals as part of a sacred experience.
Spirit animals may also be referred to as power animals or animal totems, and are symbolic representations of our inner character and life-path. Some Native American traditions suggest that each of us is connected with nine different animals that will accompany us and guide us through life.
I now find this fascinating. Unsurprisingly, the title of this recording aroused my curiosity.
The narrator begins by giving a brief background to shamans:
‘In ancient times Shamans were a very important pillar in any community. They would often carry out shamanic journeys while in the trance state to seek information. Perhaps to relocate their village, or to help them find food. They would journey within their mind to a higher place of existence, from where they would acquire this information. This other plane of existence is known as the Akashic Field. Think of it as a universal wireless internet that exists in all time and space. The only computer you need to access the Akashic Field is your own mind.’
He then goes on to explain briefly about spirit guides:
‘It is said that each of us has one or many spirit guides and companions that accompany us in our journey through life. These guides choose to be with us, even though we may be unaware of them or do not know who they are. In a shamanic journey it may be possible to meet with these guides.
In this guided visualisation we will travel to a natural world where, in your own imagination one or more of your spirit guides may choose to reveal themselves to you.’
What then follows is a primal drumbeat lasting several minutes as the narrator introduces the visualisation to follow. This shamanic beat then continues throughout the recording, imparting a primitive, otherworldly atmosphere.
Through the use of guided visualisation the narrator directed me into an ancient woodland, and by adding sensory imagery enhanced the picture. When listening to such recordings, I’ve always found myself including imagery from my own imagination, over and above that relayed by the narration. As well as adding to the enjoyment, this heightens the level of immersion.
Within this ancient woodland I was led into a clearing in which there stands ‘a large moss-covered tree, its trunk as wide as you are tall.’ I was told that this tree is hollow and was invited to step inside.
At this point, my visualisation was enhanced by the memory of stepping into another massive tree.
I was a Boy Scout at the time, and had been camping at Sherwood Forest. One day our troop visited the Major Oak, a massive hollow tree reputed to have been the base for Robin Hood and his band of outlaws. Although this tree is now fenced-off from the public, this wasn’t the case years ago and our entire scout troop was able to file into the tree, and file out again.
Unlike the Major Oak, the tree in the guided visualisation is complete with a spiral staircase leading down and away. A glance at my post ‘Background to a Tale’ will explain why I was also able to envision this with ease.
The narrator led me down this staircase, down, down, down and out … through another hollow tree and into a forest glade more primeval than the first. A small pool ‘glints cool, clear and still’ not far away.
I was then told that this is the place where my guardian spirit may choose to meet with me. I was instructed to walk around and look for signs of life and was told:
‘It’s important to remember that the type of life form that your guardian spirit chooses to take might be different from what you were expecting.’
I approached the pool, scanning the area for a hint of my own spirit animal. In my mind I pondered on which magnificent and noble creature would appear. Would it be a timber wolf? An eagle, or a mighty stag?
As I looked, an animal did appear. It pushed its way through parting grasses and leaped into the clearing. It was a weasel.
No, no NO.
I realise that it’s generally best during visualisation exercises to trust that which first comes to mind, whatever that may be. On this occasion, I considered I ought to ‘have another go’. Ignoring the newcomer, I walked away and skirted the pool edge.
The weasel followed.
I searched the woodland glade, hoping something else would turn up. Anything else. But there was nothing. So I sat on a rock and listened to the drum beat.
The weasel joined me.
It leaped onto a stone, stood up on its hind legs and stared intently – and fearlessly at my face. I sensed that, like all weasels, this plucky character was far greater than the sum of its parts; was one that punched way bigger than its weight.
This little guy was going nowhere. There could be no doubt. My spirit animal was a weasel.
I related this story during a subsequent Connecting Consciousness meeting. The world-wide group is one in which like-minded people meet regularly to share information, help one another and increase levels of awareness and frequency. It also includes many holistic practitioners.
It was one such individual who assured me that weasels represent powerful spirit totems and therefore I should rejoice rather than regret such an alignment. She then kindly supplied me with information which I found to be interesting and encouraging. In it I saw many of my own characteristics, as well as some to which I ought to aspire.
I also discovered that in American Indian mythology, weasels were used to eavesdrop on their foes. This was particularly fascinating.
You see, when I wrote ‘The Door to Caellfyon’ I decided that most of the animal characters would be of the mustelid family – carnivorous mammals, including badgers, polecats, mink, coypu and … weasels.
Within the story, the protagonists need to obtain information on their enemy’s activity. They need someone to eavesdrop. The character they choose to send, or rather the one I as writer chose for them is … a weasel.
With all that said, perhaps I should not have been surprised when my weasel totem poked his snout out of the grass. Perhaps I should have expected it. Silly me for not doing so. For I realise now that it was only right and proper.
Knowing what I now know, I’m at ease with my weasel.
Look to weasel power to tell you the hidden reasons behind anything. Some people are put off by weasel medicine, talent and abilities, but there are no bad medicines. We all have power, or we would not be here to heal Mother Earth.
Perhaps if you have weasel power you could use your secret gifts for the good of all. Observe who or what needs attention, or a solution and offer your assistance in your own quiet and discreet way.From ‘Medicine Cards – The Discovery of Power through the Ways of Animals’ by Jamie Sams & David Carson