From the perspective of a shaman everything is reality – it’s just that some of it is ordinary and some of it is non-ordinary. The tricky part in a human experience is not isolating one from the other. We do that sometimes, as humans – we somehow perceive that our spiritual life is separate from our actual life as a living sentient being on this planet so that when the two realities meet – a most auspicious thing, actually – we forget to notice and honor that sacred intersection. What good is a belief system or a spiritual practice if we keep it isolated from ourselves (really) and in a place where it’s kept from that which it is actually supposed to do which is elevate our human existence to the spiritual realm? And more importantly, why do we do this? Given that our planet is a place of duality one can shrug their shoulders as if to say “well, naturally,” yet the whole point (as I understand it) is oneness and unity with all that is on the planet and most importantly oneness within us.
We also tend to react from a human standpoint particularly when animals are playing their role as animal spirit helpers in this plural realities business and even more specifically when the animal is one whose own attributes on a physical level are distasteful to us. I use the term “animal spirit helper” because the more commonly used “power animal” is limiting to both self and to the fantastically large number of animals on this planet who want nothing more than to partner with you, gentle reader – just you. Power animal implies just one animal that serves you and while you may have a few consistent animals who accompany you on your journeys and the like I invite you to widen your scope just a bit and see who else shows up to work with you – I think you’ll be pleasantly – and sometimes not so pleasantly surprised.
Say, for instance, that a spider – a big black one – shows him or herself to you when you are at your most vulnerable – naked and about to step into the shower. Perhaps even this slight suggestion gave some of you that shiver that sometimes accompanies a human physical response to an unpleasant event. And what if – instead of shrieking and hopping about and running away from this spider you instead make the choice to ask a question or at the very least say hello. This is the point of sacred union with your belief system (if this resonates for you) in which you glide into non-ordinary reality and understand that all of the points of the stars are lined up specifically for you and for this magnificent messenger from your shared planet. This is where lore and magic become YOUR reality and these seeming coincidences are not random – they were chosen specifically for you because you are on your own soul path. Here’s some information about the spiritual meaning behind Spider from http://www.spiritanimal.info:
The spider is a remarkable figure of feminine energy and creativity in the spirit animal kingdom. Spiders are characterized by the skilled weaving of intricate webs and patience in awaiting their prey. By affinity with the spider spirit animal, you may have qualities of high receptivity and creativity. Having the spider as a power animal or totem helps you tune into life’s ebbs and flows and ingeniously weave every step of your destiny.
The universe doesn’t do random and neither do the animals with whom you can choose to interact and share soul whispers with from time to time. These moments are all too fleeting and when the message has been relayed please honor your animal spirit helper in physical form to return to their natural place of existence – most often where spiders are concerned this will be outside. Yes, it takes effort and you may be rushed for time yet really – who among us will not feel blessed after such an event? All animals on this planet are here to help you and if they choose to visit you in physical form it’s because they think you’re special – and you most definitely are.
Photo credit: Tarantula of Some Sort by Aidan Jones