For those who may feel they have no connection with an animal guide, some clarity is in order. In the shamanic model of the world and reality, everything you have, every gift, talent, trait, was received by you as a gift from the earth mother herself. So if you are spry, you got that from a spry elder species. If you are wise or perceptive, you likewise received that from those creatures that are our elders on the planet, and I mean creatures, not necessarily animals. There are elemental spirits involved in these traditions as well.
So in the process of exploring all your relations with the world, you find allies. Everyone likes friends, right? And you find adversaries, those spirits that challenge you when you encounter them and seem to be in some way set against your intentions.
Adversaries seem to just sort of happen, even when one attempts to avoid it. Exactly. They are a part of the natural balance. They are an equally important part of the shamans way, if not maybe more important in some ways. There are stories of spirit journeys that were passed down by oral tradition, and in a good many of these stories, the wisdom and strength the shaman sought was not received from their ally spirits, but from adversaries, things that challenged their intentions in the spirit world. Their allies mostly just served as guides, and sometime helpers. They often didn’t give any additional power.
Long story short. Spirits that have power to give, and behave like that, have power, and how does power make us behave?
On guard with the other having power. Invincible if it’s ours. Brash, territorial, aggressive.
Does having power deprive us of choices about how to behave? It does in a way, yes. We are defined by our energy, and power is energy.
Strong, confident, and benevolent? Oh, the allies are strong, confident and benevolent, and they are also the ones who lead the shaman into conflict. Coyote doesn’t normally bite, he leads you down the trail to wolf’s den.
Then he gets the leftovers. Exactly. Nothing is ever lost, and actually neither are you, but it can look that way. One person’s ally can be another person’s adversary. Snake may be the gentle counsellor to one person, and the venomous snake in the grass for another, and exactly which role each creature takes says something about the seeker.
If spider doesn’t like you, but toad sings songs of soothing peace for you, the two relations have a broader meaning than each does individually, and the collection of adversaries you have doesn’t define your weaknesses and failings. If anything, it defines your strengths.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.