The Companions Suit-
Your Animal Totems
The Companions Suit of the SoulCollage® Deck represents the energetic dimensions of our lives. This fascinating suit encompasses two different kinds of energies:
- Animal energies
- Chakra (body) energies
You can think of your Animal Totems as imaginary guides on your life journey. You might also think of them as Power Animals because each one imparts a special energy/power to your life.
By observing how each animal lived, mated, located food and protected itself, Native Americans were able to define the animal’s particular strengths and weaknesses.
For example, bears hibernated during the winter, so it was said that they possessed the magic of dreams. They were also formidable foes, so Bear Energy was also about physical power and strength.
Native Americans as well as other cultures used Shamans to help them connect with the Earth around them, and with the power of the animals.
Using dreams and visions, these Shamen would connect with the “manitou” of the animals. The manitou of an animal is its primal spiritual energy- wolfness, deerness, foxness…etc.
t was believed that every human being had a particular manitou (or several) which they were especially attuned to. These were their personal animal totems.
They discovered their totems through vision quests, although sometimes the totem made themselves known in other ways.
For example, if you were attacked by a wild animal, it was believed that that particular animal totem had chosen you itself.
Each animal that exists has several qualities, both physical and spiritual.
The qualities in your personal Animal Totems are qualities that you might connect with, feel a deep affinity towards, or simply need more of in your life.
Here are some brief descriptions of the qualities of a few animals.
Read carefully. One of them just might be one of your Animal Totems.
Self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, creative energy, paying attention to intuition
Power to survive, keeper of ancient wisdom, clairvoyance
Magic, mystery, curiosity, independence, healing, unpredictability, inner balance, moving through fears
Seeing in all directions, physical and emotional cleansing, metamorphosis, creative power
Peace, solitude, emotional transformation, power of protection
Seena Frost calls the animal totems our “chakra allies.” She is referring to the seven energy centers in our bodies, located along the spinal column. It is ideal for the energy in these physical centers to move freely and fully, back and forth.
This can be stimulated through bodywork, massage, healing energy work, breathwork and visualization…etc.
In SoulCollage® we use our Animal Companions’ energies to stimulate our chakra energies as well.
In creating this suit, Seena was inspired by the work of Steve Gallegos’s book The Personal Totem Pole (see below). He was the first to discover personal animal totems in the chakras, and Seena has modeled this suit upon his work in this area.
Seena’s vision of the Companions Suit is to have one animal guide for each of the seven chakras.
Just consider being open to this idea, even though it may seem strange to you right now. You and you alone get to decide what happens in your own work with the animal totems/guides.
Some people don’t even think about this suit for several months when they are first beginning, and then again, some people begin their SoulCollage® journey with this suit. It’s totally up to you.
Some people make SoulCollage® cards to honor their animal totems and much later begin to discern what chakra energies each is related to. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you are honoring your own process!
How to Meet an Animal Guide
There are several excellent resources available to you for meeting an animal totem:
Here’s a comprehensive 6-week online course that you can begin immediately. It’s a marvelous “souls-on” learning experience where you’ll become more familiar and comfortable with your own animal totems who are just waiting for you to notice them.
Experience a guided visualization that will help you discover one or more of your own Companions. Make SoulCollage® cards for them, and more!
Enjoy a few Magical Inner Journeys (guided meditations) created just for you to meet an animal guide. These guided journeys are written and recorded by Anne Marie Bennett, with music by Mark Stanton Welch. They are available in CD format, as well as mp3 download and written script.
You will find Seena Frost’s guided visualization journey to find an animal in one of your chakra centers on this CD, available from Hanford Mead, publisher of the SoulCollage® book also.
Be still and trust the process.
It is generally believed that the animal totem chooses you, and not vice-versa. The animals you love just might be your totems but then again, they might not! The animals who come to you when you are open and accepting are the ones you need to work with. They are the ones who will have lessons for you to learn.
Click here to read an article by SoulCollage® Facilitator Karen Mann. In this article she explains more specifically about how to access meaning from any animal that “appears” to you as a Companion or Guide.
Honoring Your Animal Totems
Once you have “met” one or two of your animal companions, you will want to make a SoulCollage® card for each one. In this way you honor the animal’s energies in your life. It may take a while to find just the right images, but it’s worth searching until you find the right ones.
Here are some other powerful ways to connect with an animal totem, and invite its energy into your life:
- Surround yourself with photos, statues or other symbols of it.
- Wear clothing or jewelry depicting your totem.
- If at all possible, visit a place where your totem lives. Observe it in its natural habitat if you can. Spend time quietly in its presence. If bears or whales come to you and you don’t live near a zoo or the ocean, get a video or DVD from the library and be with the animal that way instead.
- Write a poem or story about your totem.
- Read books and learn more about the life and habits of your totem.
- If your animal is endangered or in need of protection, you might contribute to charities that specifically help them.
- Spend time in meditation with your animal totem.
- Do something to heal that part of the Earth which houses your power animal. A Shark person might contribute money to help clean up an oil spill. A Fox person might spend time with a nature organization helping to replant a forest. Not sure what to do? Picking up litter or volunteering for recycling in your town is always helpful.