The phrase “spirit animal” is thrown around a lot these days. Whenever Jennifer Lawrence or a similarly quirky celebrity is in the news for a particular action or comment, the internet will explode with declarations of, “She’s my spirit animal!” The term is also applied to everything from unicorns to characters on My Little Pony.
What is a spirit animal, though? What are the origins of the concept? Do you have one? How can you find it? If you look deeper, there’s a lot more to this simple phrase than meets the eye.
What Is a Spirit Animal?
Also called a power animal, a spirit animal is an aspect of neoshamanism—a belief system that seeks to communicate with the spirit world in order to improve oneself. The spirit animal is one of the most important ways of doing that.
In the simplest terms, it’s a type of creature with which you strongly identify or feel a connection. More than just a “favorite animal,” though, it’s meant to be a kind of guide through life. Its spirit helps your spirit to improve itself and navigate through difficult times and situations.
Your spirit animal can help you find direction in your life and choose a path to take. It can provide comfort when you’re feeling distressed and show you aspects of your own personality that you need to work on. It’s a source of spiritual energy that can aid you on life’s journey.
How Do You Find Your Spirit Animal?
For the most part, in modern mainstream culture, spirit animals are nothing more than a joke or a convenient way to express that you strongly identify with someone. However, if you genuinely want to explore the concept and find your own power animal to guide you through life, there are a few steps you can take. First, get out in nature. If you want to connect with the spirit world, first you need to disconnect from the constant cacophony of modern technology.
Pay attention to the animals around you, including how they behave when you’re near and how they interact with you. Do you notice a particular type of animal crossing your path a lot, whether in the flesh or in pictures and other symbols? Research that animal and find out more about it, including what it represents and what characteristics it has that you might identify with.
It can also help to meditate and look at your dreams. Is a particular animal that’s prominent? Finally, talk with others who have genuine spirit animals and ask them about their journey. How did they find their power animal, and how does it help them in their daily life?
If you’re able to find your spirit animal, it can become an important part of your life going forward. Just don’t do it by halves. Really look at the world around you and within yourself, and find the creature that speaks to you. Even if you don’t 100% believe in the concept, it can bring some fun and extra dimension to your thinking and how you experience life.