by Melissa Alvarez
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
Animals. We share our world with them, we have them as pets, and they can be a source of comfort and love. Animals can also be spiritual guides for us during times of need or to help us grow on our spiritual path. I call them energy animals because I work with energy and animal frequency, but they're also known as totems, spirit animals, power animals, familiars, and animal spirit guides. All of these terms describe animals that guide, teach, and connect with you in order to deliver messages from the spiritual realm that you need to know at specific points in your life and on your path. Some appear for a short time, others are with us for a lifetime.
When an animal has a message for you, the energy surrounding the animal will feel different. It may feel as if the animal is staring you down, or you just intuitively know that there's something unusual about the bird that keeps perching in trees near you, making you notice it. The animal will not give up until it gets your attention and delivers the information. If you're not paying attention, things will start to happen that captures your awareness and makes you take notice. Your animal encounters may happen more often and with more intensity until finally you say, "What is going on?" That's when you'll be open to receiving the message that the animal is trying to deliver.
I'll give you an example. When I was writing Animal Frequency, there were so many animals showing up at my farm that every day I expected to see a new one and I usually did. It was also foaling season, and for ten days I was dealing with a mare who had retained part of her placenta after foaling out, which is life-threatening and meant I was up every two to four hours throughout the night giving her three to four antibiotic injections at a time to try to save her life in conjunction with her veterinary care. Being severely sleep deprived, I stopped paying attention to the animals showing up and didn't get much written during that time. Then one day shortly after the mare was over the incident I found myself bombarded with dragonflies. I walked out to the barn and there was one flying along beside me. While I did my work I'd find them sitting on the pitchfork handle or on the bags of shavings or they'd land on my arms. I acknowledged them and thanked them for the appearance but I was so tired I didn't think past that. Then I walked out into the yard by the barn and was swarmed with dragonflies all around me. There must have been fifty or sixty of them flying into the wind all around me. They've done this before in this spot but none had ever landed on me, and this time I had four land on me at once and they seemed to be looking right at me. Then when I went on an errand I was sitting at a stoplight and looked over and there was a tiny baby dragonfly sitting on my window starting at me. As soon as I got home I looked at my Animal Frequency manuscript to see what I'd written about the dragonfly. The line that stood out to me was, "Dragonfly means you need to add lightness to your life. Don't get bogged down in the heaviness of the world but be the light, airy being that shines in a multitude of colors." I had been bogged down in heaviness due to the issues with the mare and lack of sleep. I was still worrying about her even though the crisis had passed. Dragonfly helped me see that I needed to let it go so that I could get back to the lightness of being that I try to keep my frequency at. Once I did, everything flowed easily again.
By knowing some of the different ways that animals can try to capture your attention, you'll become more aware of their appearances. They can show up in any way that they believe will make you notice them, so this list is just a mere sampling. Here are four of the most common ways that animals can appear to you when they have a message to deliver.
With more and more people participating in social media, you're sure to see animals in videos, memes, advertising, news, and in online documentaries. When these animal appearances start repeating or standing out then that means there's a message. Seeing a cute lion cub video and then seeing two more lions online can be a sign that they're trying to get a message to you. Now, let's say you're driving to an appointment and see a lion on a billboard, and as you drive past the local zoo you notice a new advertisement for the lion exhibit, and the radio announcer is talking about a show about lions that he saw over the weekend. Once you get to your appointment you open up a magazine while you wait and there's a huge lion staring back at you. Later at home, you turn on the television and hear a lion's roar. By now you have probably realized that lion has a message for you. Take some time to sit quietly and ask lion what its message is and then trust in the first thoughts you receive.
When your spirit guides have a hard time reaching you when you're awake, they often appear to you in your dreams. It's the same with your energy animals. In dreams you're more open to receive their messages as long as you can remember the dream. They will return to your dreams multiple times if you forget it. When you see an energy animal in your dream notice what kind of animal it is. What is it doing in your dream? Is it acting as it normally would in real life, or is it doing something that it could never do in real life—like speaking actual words? If it is speaking words, then it's delivering its message the easiest way it knows how—in your native language. Try hard to remember what it said. Also look at the environment of the dream. Is the animal out of place or in its natural habitat? This can all be part of the message. If you dream of a hippo swinging on a swing set maybe it is trying to tell you that your life is out of balance and you need to have more fun. How are you interacting or reacting to the animal? This is part of the message too.
- Spoken Word
Sometimes, when you're not paying attention to the animal, the animal will enlist the help of others to get your attention. You may have noticed those lions and they've piqued your interest, but not enough for you to start looking up what they mean or to meditate to ask what the message is. So now your co-worker starts talking about going to the zoo and how wonderful the new lion exhibit is. She might tell you about how they changed the enclosure or that the lioness had cubs. Then your neighbor tells you about a dream she had that featured a lion. Or your significant other tells you about a new project at work that is featuring a lion. After several people have told you their lion stories, now you're inspired to find out exactly what message lion has for you.
- In the Flesh
Many times you'll notice animals because they simply show up in person to get your attention. There have been many times when a hawk, snake, alligator, or other animal has shown up on my farm and just stared me down. I believe that the "stare down" is one of their favorite ways to get your attention. I mean, how can you possibly ignore that? Once I had a big red-tailed hawk perch right on the fence and watch me clean a paddock. I kept looking over at him and just got stared at. When I moved to another paddock, the hawk flew over to a low tree branch and stared me down again. By the time I got to the round pen, where it perched on the panel about four feet away from me, I just stopped what I was doing, stared back at him and intuitively opened my energy to its message. Once I'd received it, the hawk made a loud screech and flew away. So when you see an animal in the flesh that seems to be looking at you or that you intuitively feel like there's something special or unusual about the animal, pay attention to it. Take a few moments to commune with it so that you can discover what it needs to tell you.
Connecting with your energy animal can help you in many different ways. It can even be life changing. If you're not paying attention, energy animals can and will use all of these ways at the same time to inundate you with their presence so you pay attention and start to learn more about the animal. Getting your attention is often the hardest part. Once their message is delivered, the animal usually disappears from your life, but you'll probably always remember the message.
I encourage you to take time to open your heart, mind, and intuition to the animals that appear in your life. Connect with them through animal frequency to experience the Divine with them and within yourself.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2017. All rights reserved.