So you have a new friend and you have the basics but what happens next? I suggest it is time to really get to know your new ally: So, get yourself a blank sheet of paper and pen or a new document up on the computer screen ready…
Let me use my wild boar as an example, you would obviously use the animal that came to you. I have only covered question to show you how it works, but use the checklist below for your spirit animal guide and answer each one, it really will give you a detailed overview of the animal and why it is with you.
First I look at its habit and how it lives: Woodland, marshland and agricultural land. Generally sedentary animals they like to stay within their home range, they don’t migrate. Females spend more time in dense, safe habits than the males do. They breed seasonally and during that time the usually solitary males move into female groups and fight rival males for dominance. They prefer to live in small social groups and have a matriarchal group with usually two or three mature females including their most recent litters. Different female groups will co-exist in the same areas but they keep their social identity. They are primarily nocturnal although they may venture out during the day for food. Mostly the days are spent sleeping up to twelve hours a day followed by a short period of grooming on awakening then four to eight hours of feeding during the night. Wild boar have very poor eyesight.
So, what can I learn from wild boar?
They like to feel safe and love the comfort of their own home. The females like to keep in girly groups and spend a lot of their time looking after the babies. They love their sleep and they like to eat…
Those are characteristics. How do they apply to me?
Sounds just like me – 12 hours of sleep and 8 hours of eating – perfect…
To me this echoes the safety and comfort that I feel when I am at home, it is my sanctuary but it is also a reminder that it is good to get out with friends every so often and have a girly chat. Sleep is important and this also reiterates the need to get a proper balance between work and rest. It is also about motherhood and taking care of family.
Your Totem Animal check list:
Where does the animal live and how does it interact with the habitat?
How might this animal’s habitat affect its spiritual energy for animal magic?
What are the animal’s natural aptitudes, demeanours, and characteristics and how might those affect my magic for good or bad?
How does this creature interact with other creatures?
Who is predator and who is prey?
How might this animal’s physical structure and natural behaviours influence its symbolic value in spell craft and other magical processes?
What element does it correspond to? Consider the combination of elements too. What does this teach you about the creature?
Where does it live?
What is it's "cycle of power"?
What does it look like?
What does the shape, colour, etc, of your animal suggest?
How does it defend itself?
What does it eat and how does it hunt for food?
What are its mating habits and how does it raise its young? What sounds does it make?
What animal family does your spirit guide belong to?
What can I learn from mythology and folklore?
So what can I learn from my spirit guide animal?
Excerpt from Pagan Portals Animal Magic by Rachel Patterson