This article first appeared in Nexus News, March 1998.

In the Shaman’s world each one of us comes into this world with a Power animal, a being to protect us and share its power with us. When we live in harmony and acknowledgment with our power animals it is believed we are protected from harmful influences including disease.

As Michael Harner states in "The Way of the Shaman," a power animal "not only increases one’s physical energy and ability to resist contagious disease, but also increases one’s mental alertness and self-confidence." In our contemporary culture we have lost touch with the animals and their gifts to us. (Note: the term power animal varies from culture to culture. Other concepts include: helping spirit, totem animal, or guardian angel.)

Symptoms of Power Animal Loss include: depression, weakness, being prone to illness, chronic misfortune, or problems of a chronic and on-going nature. If a person experiences these symptoms, they can request a shamanic practitioner to work on their behalf to intervene with the spirits to have their power animal returned to them. In shamanism, it is believed that it is a more powerful act to enlist the aid of Spirit for someone else. Even the indigenous shamans would enlist the aid of another shaman when they had need of personal healing; they would not ask their spirits for an important healing on their own.

When presented with symptoms and complaints of depression, tiredness, or chronic bad luck, the shamanic practitioner would likely suspect power animal retrieval would be a helpful intervention for this client. However, the practitioner would first "journey" to ask for confirmation that this is indeed called for, or whether another healing intervention is required. Once this information is received, the practitioner would consult with the client, and ask the client’s consent to perform the designated healing technique(s). The shamanic practitioner always consults their own spirits (power animals and/or teachers) when working on behalf of another, for it si the spirits who bring the healing.

Often synchronicities occur during a successful power animal retrieval. For example, the animal brought back may be one that the client already had an unusual connection with or the client may experience physical sensations when the animal is returned to them (when one of us, Stephanie, had a retrieval done she felt the flapping of wings within her, before the practitioner confirmed they had brought back a winged creature). Results experienced after a retrieval are varied. One man, within 5 days of his retrieval, was hired for a position in his field after 5 years of searching. Power animal retrievals are a spiritual form of healing and therefore have the strongest impact on one’s spiritual self, which may then manifest on the physical, mental, or emotional planes.

Once our Power Animal is returned to us it becomes our responsibility to develop and maintain a connection with this being so it remains with us, keeping us "power filled," and protected from harmful influences and allowing us to live our lives fully.

If you feel that you might be experiencing the loss of your Power Animal and would like to talk about it, or would like to schedule a healing session, please contact us.