This morning as I was emerging from sleep it seemed that I was on the edge of a woodland looking up, and a large bird of prey, like a buzzard but more slender and elegant, was circling above me. It took one more turn, then it glided off towards the woods. I felt that it had been watching over me while I slept and was filled with immense gratitude for its presence. I hadn’t even asked for it.
At other times, having a long history in shamanism, I do ask spirit animals for help, and without fail help is given. Where does it come from?
Spirit animals and other helpers definitely do not reside in the mind, as any “ha ha” linear-thinking western rationalist will happily confirm. They show up in our shadow zones, in the border lands between waking and sleeping, at times of great despair or elation or emotion in general. It seems that our awareness of them requires an opening of intuition and feeling.
Interestingly, our ancestors probably wouldn’t have seen any difference there. I don’t think they distinguished between their body, mind, emotions and ultimately spirit as most modern westerners do. All equal aspects of their existence. Their surroundings – birds, bees, flowers, trees, rivers, clouds… also equal aspects of nature, of their existence, of their reality. All equally inhabited by life force, by spirit just like them.
From this perspective, communicating with other aspects of nature becomes relatively easy. Indigenous peoples still do it, and it is generally called something along the lines of dream time, or dream walking, or journeying. Why do they do it? To access their animal instincts and qualities. To look at a situation through different eyes. To cultivate their connection with everything else in their universe. The help that is obtained in this way is a change of perspective, and a renewed awareness of connection.
Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. This is something you can actually read about in the papers. How many people have problems nowadays with answering some of their most fundamental life questions? Feel disconnected or lost?
Perhaps they should consider dream walking or journeying.