Shamans believe that everyone has Power Animals, The Animal Spirits which reside with each individual adding to their power & protecting them from illness & harm, somewhat similar to a Guardian Angel
Shamanic traditions suggest that we are assisted throughout our lives by the essence of various animals. These are often called Spirit Guardians, Totem Animals or Power Animals
The Animal Spirit/Guardian will lend you the Wisdom of its kind. For example a Wolf Spirit will give you Wolf Wisdom, and lend you some of the attributes of Wolf.
In the shamanic belief every thing is alive and carries with it Power and Wisdom. Power Animals are an essential component of Shamanic practice. They are the helping Spirit which add to the power of the Shaman and are essential for success in any venture undertaken by the Shaman. A Power Animal assists you by giving you strength, guidance and protection. A Power Animal is always friendly and helpful. Animal totem meanings help to explain the reason for that this particular Power Animal has appeared in your life.
Power Animals do not have to be mammals and can be reptiles, insects or sea creatures. Any living creature can serve as a Power Animal. (Plants and Trees can serve as Plant Spirit Guides.) Domesticated Animals are generally not considered Power Animals because they already in service to human beings. It is possible to have a domesticated Animal, but it is more likely to have a wild untamed Animal serve in the capacity of a Power Animal.
Also Our Animal Teachers may come in the form of Unicorns, Dragons or other thought to be mythological beings!
Do remember also it is important to honor your Power Animal/ Guardian & Totem.
In many western cultures we are not taught to value Animals or the gifts that they add to our life and the world around us. In shamanic work the Power Animal is essential, for a shaman who has no power - is not going to have very good results. On a personal level by honoring your Power Animal you let it know that its assistance is appreciated. The Spirit of the Animal is giving up its mobility in order to spend its time with you and assist you with your life. Also, by honoring the Power Animal we make a deeper connection with it. Honoring it can be as simple a saying a thank you inside yourself, or getting an object which represents it and putting it where you can see it as you go about your day
Please see the short list below of some of the possible Power Animals & Guardians
Buffalo - The buffalo is the most sacred animal in Native American traditions. It represents the Great Spirit manifested. Having this as your power animal indicates the importance of sharing and caring for all
Butterfly - The butterfly represents transformation and the ability to accept change
Cougar - This mountain lion provides the power of leadership and encourages you to take responsibility for your life
Cow - The cow is a symbol of motherhood and hourishment. It is also a symbol of fertility
Crocodile - The crocodile is best known for it's "crocodile tears." With this power animal you will need to address your emotional nature, making sure that you display them appropriately and accurately
Coyote - The jackal helps you to recognize your own mistakes and to laugh at yourself
Crow - This animal indicates the need to find balance and to stay in the present and will bring to you the ability to release past beliefs.
Deer - Gentleness is the key word here. The deer represents kindness and compassion
Dolphin - Life breath and communication is the essence of the dolphin. The dolphin will also help you with interpreting your dreams.
Dragon - The Dragon represents prosperity. This may be of spiritual (intuition) rather than materiaal riches, because the dragon was regarded as the guaridian of treasure that lay hidden deep within the unconscious and was hard to obtain
Eagle - The eagle is your connection with your Soul. It helps you to see beyond the mundane to your higher purpose
Elephant- The sense of smell is very important and is a symbol for the importance of learning discernment. Also, elephants show great affection and loyalty. Those with this power animal will be given the opportunity to establish powerful family ties by caring for the young, the elderly and the sick
Ferret - See the Weasel definition
Fox - This animal respresents patience - the ability to wait for the right moment to act
Frog - The frog will teach you how to jump from materialism to spirituality
Hawk - The hawk represents the ability to see meaning in ordinary experiences and helps you to become more observant
Horse - The horse will teach you how to communicate with other realms as well as this one. It is the message carrier
Hummingbird - This creature represents the joy of living and brings with it the ability to see beauty in everything
Lion - The lion represents wisdom and power. It brings to you the abilities of heart-centered leadership
Lizard - The lizard brings into your awareness your subconscious hopes and fears so that through the light of day they can be acknowledged
Mouse - The mouse helps you to notice the little things in life - all of those details you previously overlooked and to be ever alert to those things going on around you
Owl - The owl represents wisdom and gives you the ability to see things that are normally hidden from view - like the motives of others so that you won't be deceived
Raven - This is the messenger. The raven indicates that you need to make changes in the way you perceive things and gives you the ability to see what has to be changed
Snake - This animal gives you the ability to let go of things that are worn out and no longer useful - just like the snake sheds it skin when it is no longer needed
Spider - The spider represents creativity and the weaving of fate. Everything you do in the present will help determine your future. The past always influences the present and the future. It also teaches the need to maintain balance between the past and the future.
Squirrel - The squirrel encourages you to develop the ability to plan ahead and to anticipate your future needs, to be prepared.
Swan - The swan gives you the ability to handle change and transformation with grace and dignity
Tiger - The tiger represents passion and sensuality. The sense of touch is heightened with the tiger as a power animal. The tiger also brings forth silent, solitary, power.
Turtle- The turtle gives groundedness. It imparts to you the ability to keep your feet on the ground and pay attention to earthly things.
Unicorn - This magical animal gives you the ability to make your dreams come true.
Weasel - This animal imparts the ability to see beneath the surface of things to what the actual intent and meaning is. The weasel also encourages you to develop your sense of inner hearing and to pay attention to your inner voice.
Whale - The whale gives you the ability to know the wisdom of the ages - from the time before time.
Wolf - The wolf represents your inner teacher. It will help you to find your life path.