Animals are powerful teachers and have much to offer us because they possess natural balance, harmony, and alignment. They do not have doubt, blame, shame, insecurity, and all the other blocks we experience. A wolf does not worry because it is not an eagle. A fox does not experience jealousy because another fox is bigger and has longer, shinier fur. They don’t yearn to be something else. The animal simply knows what it is and instinctively knows its purpose. Animals teach us to accept ourselves for who we are because they are so in alignment with who they are.
One way to align with and communicate with the animal world is to go to your local zoo. Spend time with an animal that you are attracted to, particularly one of your own totem animals, for they are the key to your own unique naturalness. Do not stare into their eyes, as that is a signal of aggression or danger; rather, gaze at them indirectly or with soft focus. Send your energy and your communication softly, with respect and honor. Ask that animal to receive the energy and send its energy back. They communicate in images, so see what you get. Observe the animal in its catness, its deerness, its rabbitness, its crowness, its wolfness. What makes it what it is? If the opportunity presents itself, imitate the body movements, mannerisms, and sounds of the animal, just as you did with the trees. What does it feel like, look like, act like in your own body to be a jaguar, a bear, an eagle?
Over time, you will want to get to know your own personal totem animals. We encourage you to explore this arena by reading Sun Bear’s book The Medicine Wheel (New York: Prentice Hall, 1986). His sacred vision, his Earth wisdom, and the love of Grandmother Earth that Sun Bear shared during his life were instrumental in bringing back the sacred Medicine Wheels and reawakening people’s connection with the Earth Mother.
In their natural habitats, animals maintain harmony and balance. They exhibit alpha/beta behavior and assert their territorial imperative to maintain that balance. That same behavior is exhibited by humans as well, since we are still two-legged animals, but we don’t create balance and harmony with our alpha/beta behavior. More often or not, we dominate and try to take control, thus upsetting the balance in the environment. When we enter the picture, we destroy the whole balance and suffer immeasurably for it.
Read how Reintroducing Wolves into Yellowstone National Park changed the Ecosystem as an example of this harmony and balance.
Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.