If you discover that your call is to the animal world you may find this article helpful -though, it does indicate that personal work and devotion is required. The call may come in the form of personal experiences (and attraction) with animals or very vivid repeated animal visitation in your dreams. What do we do with these dreams and experiences? What do they mean and how can we begin to open to the understanding that calls us?
My first experiences with the animal folk began as a child. They came to me in person and in dreams. At the time, I was unaware of the gift they were offering me. As a child often is, I was careless. I tangled the beautiful web of spider into a jar and held her prisoner. Then spider came to me with hissing, raised legs and in crawling numbers too numerous to count. I’d wiggle myself awake trying to shake them off. In time, I grew a healthy respect. Animals were my death teachers -showing me that decay was a part of life not separate from it. Vulture brought those lessons. They attacked me in a dream but then later asked me why I was so upset, they explained “We are picking out the dead parts of you that are not helping you anymore.”
The world of dream and waking cross when we discover that the animal is visiting our front door. In 2014, I went for a walk in the woods. I’d been having ominous dreams about a man in black with a fox mask following my daughter and I. In the dream there were many eyes in the forest watching me. The next day, as I wrote the dream, I felt inclined to visit the forest. I had a talk with a friend and he took to onto the land. There were many signs of animals: Stags marked the trees with their horns, coyotes bleached a tree by peeing on it over and over, and the bear had knocked over several logs as if to say: I am here. William had spent many years on the land, I was grateful to learn these things and he was a good teacher -whether it was his intention or not.
I didn’t encounter any animals that day -only signs…which was part of the message. In the quiet of the night, the bobcat came to see me. In the dream, he came to sit at the edge of the property. As usual, I was concerned for my safety but bobcat did not show any threat. Eye contact with bobcat suddenly revealed a need for me to separate, to be alone and “unseen” for a while in order to cultivate understanding. I considered dreaming as I recorded it. Hearing the last of my coffee strain, I poured a cup and headed to a chair right outside the camper door. The cool moist leaves greeted the soles of my feet and I felt the inclination to look up. There, right before my eyes was the gray, full coat bobcat. Her eyes held me directly and time held still. Immediately, I had the understanding that it was time for me to prepare to move, the feeling was this (It is time to be solitary for a while, sit with it.) Bobcat broke the gaze and disappeared into the misty morning.
The past few years have given me the keys to tap into the dreams and messages of the animal folk. Despite Bobcat bringing me to being a solitary practitioner (a path I didn’t initially feel was for me,) these last few years have helped me to grow immensely. To understand the messages that you may be receiving it is important to make space for yourself (even if it is only fifteen minutes in the bathroom with a lit candle and a locked door.) In addition, get outside and into nature more often. Remove yourself from harmful, negative environments, practice meditation, still the chattering mind, be open and receptive. Observe the behavior of the animal and research how this creature thrives. Ask questions for revelation and contemplate how this energy may be relevant to your life.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the animal?
What kind of environment does this animal thrive in?
Who/What are the natural enemies and threats to this animal?
What have we symbolically attributed to this creature?
What do I need to take from this experience?
The pathway to understanding can take a lot of patience. No matter how many animal Oracle books you may read, it won’t take the place of needing to make space for these sacred experiences. The space you make (it honors your connection) for stillness and meditation, for that walk or hike, to simply be open and receptive -that will be of greater service than you might imagine. May your journey be one of revelation, safety, and success!