Animals are fantastic creatures. They teach us so much through their behaviors and unconditional love. The Native American Indians, who have devotedly studied animals for spiritual and sustenance purposes, appreciate the subtle nuances of the behavior of animals. Often, they adopt the Spirit of a particular animal as their Totem. They strongly believe that the Spirit of the forces of nature, the birds, the animals, etc., were sent to us as protectors and guides that carry messages of import communicated through behavioral signs and intuitive communication with their Spirits.
In today’s world, we no longer have to survive off the land as the Native American Indians once did. Modern inventions and conveniences have moved us away from total immersion with nature; however, that doesn’t mean that the spiritual world of animals is no longer relevant. The animal kingdom is as important today as it was during the time when Native American Indians roamed the land unconfined by government-imposed boundaries.
We can learn about the signs and messages from animals through our own gentle observations, as well as from books that carry the knowledge of those who have gone before us. To start your journey into the world of animals, I recommend the book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. His strong references to the Native American way of life lend credence to his observations about the natural behaviors and spiritual meanings of animals who make their presence known in your life.
In addition to using his book as a starting point of reference, I encourage you to think about what particular animals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects mean to you. Your personal signs and messages will always carry more import than definitions that come from outside of yourself. For instance, for me, cardinals are always a positive sign of good things to come. This is because I have historically experienced positive events whenever a cardinal has made an appearance in my life. Blue jays on the other hand, indicate potential trouble swooping down. Blue jays are very protective and aggressively guard their nests by attacking any perceived threat. They are a sign to me that I should be on guard and remain aware that a negative situation could have an impact on my life. Additionally, their presence is a reminder to pay close attention to my surroundings and, especially, to the behavior of those around me.
Cardinals and blue jays may hold different meanings for you due to your own experiences. If you are unsure of what the presence of a particular bird, animal, reptile, etc., means, then that is a good time to pull out your reference books to look up the general spiritual meaning. If you cannot find a spiritual meaning for a particular animal, bird, fish, etc., I recommend learning about the natural habitats and behaviors of the animals, for this will give you clues about the message that they are trying to send you.
As you become more aware of the presence of nature in your life, as well as the spiritual messages that nature is trying to communicate to you, you may begin to see that the signs of nature can also be found in objects created by humankind. Photographs, drawings and text that contain references to nature, such as an image of a fox on the side of a truck that passes you, could be a sign or a message for you. This is especially true when you keep seeing the same animals, reptile, bird, etc., over and over again. When that happens, I recommend trying to figure out the meaning of the message as Spirit is trying to get your attention and provide answers to your questions.
The deep respect and appreciation that the Native American Indians have for nature and Her creatures demonstrates many lessons for us in this modern world that are still relevant today. All of nature is a gift that we should appreciate and nurture as its very presence is what sustains our lives. Beyond the most basic factor of ensuring our survival, there is the deep well of knowledge that is passed on to us by nature that feeds our Spirit, as well.
With special blessings and gratitude for nature’s most gracious bounty, I thank you and all of Spirit for the connection that we have with one another.
With Light and Love,
Karen T. Hluchan
Spirit Medium & Reiki Master