In Discovering Your Spirit Animal, shamanic healer Lucy Harmer presents a practical approach to understanding spirit animals and applying their power to specific situations in daily life. Written in clear, simple language and featuring compelling stories and anecdotes, the book explains what a spirit animal is, describes its purpose, and shows that understanding the “medicine” of one’s spirit animal—assimilating its qualities and characteristics—allows one to apply the lessons and messages they convey and use them for personal transformation. Lucy Harmer notes that particular animals that cross one’s path or appear repeatedly nearby probably want us to share in their medicine, their teaching, their energy, and their spirit.
Discovering Your Spirit Animal provides guidance for meeting and getting to know one’s spirit animal through easy exercises and shamanic techniques. Lucy Harmer explains how to discover the strengths, qualities, and skills one shares with one’s personal spirit animal, enabling one to learn how to reinforce this connection and access innate wisdom and inner power, overcome fears, increase natural healing capacity, and improve relationships.
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Further praise for Discovering Your Spirit Animal 'Discovering your Spirit Animal is a beautifully crafted book. Lucy Harmer, a truly gifted healer and seer, writes on this important subject with humor and compassion, creating a simple and easy-to-use guide for anyone who wants to connect with the power of their spirit animal.' ? PIP WALLER of the Dreaming Butterfly Centre and author of Holistic Anatomy for Healers, Heretics and Alternative Folk 'I am very lucky to have met Lucy Harmer and to have had the chance to take part in her engaging, dynamic workshops. She has opened my eyes to see and experience the wisdom and riches of the many worlds we live in. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is seeking insights and guidance on their life paths. Lucy openly shares her vast knowledge and experience of spirit animal work along with clear, precise instructions for how to undertake shamanic journeying to discover your own spirit animal.' 'DORNA WILSON REVIE, founder and director of the International Sophrology Training Centre in Geneva, Switzerland 'A beautifully written book on spirit animal guides full of practical exercises for how to develop a personal relationship with your own animal guides. Lucy Harmer shows the interconnectedness of the animal kingdom with human beings and gives hope to people looking for more meaning to their lives. I would recommend this book to anyone on
the Shamanic path, and to those people looking for a more nature-based spirituality.' 'JOHN LOCKLEY, African shaman, Xhosa Sangoma, South Africa 'In these profound times of natural changes, Lucy Harmer shares her humble and rewarding journey into the worlds of Nawal, the elder spirit family who teaches and helps the younger animal family called humans.' 'CHIEF SONNE REYNA, Yaqui-Carrizo Nations of North America and Sun Dance Peace Chief
Discovering Your Spirit Animal
Discovering Your Spirit Animal The Wisdom of the Shamans Lucy Harmer Foreword by Pip Waller North Atlantic Books Berkeley, California J R K V e m
Copyright ? 2009 by Lucy Harmer. All rights reserved. No portion of this book, except for brief review, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means'electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise'without the written permission of the publisher. For information contact North Atlantic Books. Published by North Atlantic Books P.O. Box 12327 Berkeley, California 94712 First published in 2006 as Apprivoisez Votre Animal Totem by Editions Jouvence 20 ch du Guillon Case 184 CH-1233 Bernex-Gen've Switzerland Cover and book design by Suzanne Albertson Printed in the United States of America Discovering Your Spirit Animal: The Wisdom of the Shamans is sponsored by the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a nonprofit educational corporation whose goals are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective linking various scientific, social, and artistic fields to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature. North Atlantic Books? publications are available through most bookstores. For further information, call 800-733-3000 or visit our website at www.northatlanticbooks.com. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Harmer, Lucy. Discovering your spirit animal : the wisdom of the Shamans / Lucy Harmer. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-55643-796-0 1. Animals'Miscellanea. 2. Shamanism. I. Title. BF1623.A55H37 2009 201'.44'dc22 2008040572 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED 16 15 14 13 12 Printed on recycled paper
Heartfelt thanks and a big bear hug to the following: Pip, for her love and for sharing her Wolf medicine St'phane, for his Dolphin love and his Grizzly support Lynn, for her Porcupine joy and her Salmon encouragement Kate, for believing in me from the beginning and her Hawk vision Margaret, for our Tortoise discussions and Gorilla cups of tea Alex and Jo'l, my two godsons, for their Owl wisdom Eliot Cowan, for his Turtle teachings Jili, for her Bear collaboration Jacques Maire, Michel Tardy, Annick Dupommier, Richard Grossinger, Sarah Serafimidis, Emily Boyd, Adrienne Armstrong, Suzanne Albertson, and both teams from Jouvence and North Atlantic Books for their support and Raven dedication All my students and clients over the years, for sharing their inspirational stories Tatiwari, Grandfather Fire, for opening my heart and Snake transformation All my helpers and spirit animals, for their help during all the different stages in my life And above all, my own Wolf. J
Table of Contents Foreword ix Introduction xv Chapter One How Should the Word 'Medicine? Be Understood in This Book? 1 Chapter Two What Is a Spirit Animal? 5 Chapter Three What Is the Purpose of a Spirit Animal? 11 Chapter Four How Can You Discover Your Spirit Animal? 13 The Animal to Which You Feel the Most Drawn 14 Dreams 15 Observing Auras and Behaviors 16 Vision Quest 17 Invoking Your Spirit Animal with a Rattle or Drum 23 Dancing Your Spirit Animal 26 Shamanic Journeying 27 Creative Visualization 33 What Can You Do if You Haven't Yet Met Your Spirit Animal? 35
Chapter Five How to Reinforce Your Connection with Your Spirit Animal 37 Chapter Six Animal Medicine 41 Index of Spirit Animals 45 Bibliography 91 Resources 93 about the author 97
Foreword If all the beasts were gone, then we would die from great loneliness of spirit ... T his part of a well-known speech by Chief Seattle is a warning for our times. We live in an age when beasts are fast disappearing from our landscape'often at a terrible pace. As modernization spreads and populations expand, the imbalances in our societies are growing ever more extreme. We need connection with 'all our relations? more so now than ever, including the animals that share this beautiful planet with us. As human beings, our connection to nature is vital our own well-being depends on it. And yet, this connection is becoming increasingly difficult for us to maintain. We are born into cities or towns that are built for industry, or we live in countryside that is overfarmed and stripped of its natural habitat for wild animals. We seek ways to be connected again'to our fellow humans, to animals, and to nature itself. We look for any way that we can. One of the most ancient ways we find is the way of our ancestors: the practice of connecting our spirit to the eternal spirit of our teachers and allies, including those in the animal kingdom. Earth medicine, or shamanism, as it is commonly now called in the West, is the original ancestral way of all peoples. Inherent in these old ways is the deep understanding that as human beings we have always been intimately connected with the earth, and with all beings and nature around us. Indeed, in some cultures it is considered so important to have a strong connection with a spirit animal xi