How Spirit Animals Connect With Us
The subtle ways in which spirit animals speak to us are as splendid and plentiful as the number of species on the planet. Yet overall, we receive messages from the spirit world in five major ways: visual, auditory, sensory, kinesthetic, and cognitive.
As you open to receiving guidance from spirit animals and your connection to the unseen world develops, you’ll probably discover that one of these five pathways is the strongest and feels the most natural to you. Over time, a secondary sense may begin to come online, so to speak.
The only requirement is that you hold a clear intention to receive these messages and simply remain receptive . . . and they will come to you, often in unexpected and surprising ways.
Visual. This can occur with your actual eyes, or your inner eye. For instance, you may see a nest in an unusual place, or notice a skunk run across your front porch. Vision through your third eye, or clairvoyance, is when you see the spirit animal in the non-physical realm, such as a meditation vision or a vivid dream. When a spirit animal comes to you visually, note its colors, physical features, and how it moves. You may even detect emotion through its facial expressions or by looking into its eyes.
Auditory. You may hear the voice of a spirit animal in your mind—called clairaudience—giving you advice. Or, a sound in your environment may trigger a thought about an animal spirit guide—like the howl of a hyena in the hills, the cocking of a rooster on a TV show, or the lonesome cry of a whippoorwill in the melody of a country song. You may overhear a conversation or listen to someone talking, and intuitively know that what is being said is a message from a spirit animal. Messages coming in this way are typically short and to the point, without excess verbiage.
Sensory. You may feel the presence of the ethereal form of your animal spirit guide, and get a sense of what they’re trying to communicate to you. This sense— or, clairsentience, sometimes called a gut feeling or sixth sense—is our intuition, something we are all born with. Trust that your inner sense is helping you decipher what your animal spirit guide is imparting to you.
Kinesthetic. Spirit animals also naturally connect with us through our other main senses of taste, touch, and smell. You may detect the scent of cow manure wafting through the air, or literally walk through a spiderweb on your outdoor deck. In meditation, you might taste the saltiness of ocean water that accompanies a vision of a whale. When working with a spirit animal, you may feel its presence in the form of wings brushing above your head. Your kinesthetic sense is also how a spirit animal’s characteristics can show up for you; when encountering a Swan, for example, you might feel its gracefulness, which translates to your feeling more graceful in your movements, as well.
Understanding Spirit Animals
Cognitive. Have you ever known something, but you don’t know how you know it . . . you just do? This knowing through our thought processes in the form of inspiration or insight is called claircognizance. Similar to clairsentience, it is a primary pathway through which your animal spirit guides will speak to you. While observing a woodpecker, you might have the thought about how to drill down to a problem you are currently facing. A lizard may tell you through a thought pattern how to detach from your ego and shapeshift into a multidimensional being with greater capacities.
What’s really magical is when all of the above senses come together to gift you with the story that the animal spirit is benevolently unfolding for you.
Let’s say that a bright red-breasted robin repeatedly flies into your living room picture window for a couple of hours, as if it’s trying to get your attention. You run out to the grocery store and notice in the floral department an arrangement of spring flowers with powder-blue robin eggs at the base. Seeing the simplicity of the delicate eggs fills you with an odd sense of melancholy, as your life has been extremely challenging lately. The eggs remind you of simpler times when you were a child.
Closing your eyes to meditate the next morning, your inner vision is flooded with a warm red hue, which energizes you and gives you a subtle sense of cheerfulness. Just as you leave for work, you hear the rolling trill of a robin in a tree near the driveway. Pausing for a moment, you walk over to the tree, then linger a few more minutes to observe the bird.
As a mother robin sits guardedly on her nest, protecting her offspring, a feeling comes over you that something fresh and exciting is about to be born as you enter a new season in your life. Feeling a buoyancy in your spirit that you haven’t felt in a long time, a message arrives through your inner knowing. You hear: Hope springs eternal . . . and you know everything is going to be alright because Robin, metaphorically, has you covered in her nest, too.
You take another moment to thank Robin for her joyful insights before carrying on with your day—only now, you feel altered in the most lighthearted way.
That is the power of animal wisdom, and how spirit animals generously share their medicine with us.
This excerpt is taken from my latest book: Animals: Personal Tales of Encounters With Spirit Animals which you can purchase via my online store.