Shadow animals represent the parts of ourselves that we may not fully understand or accept. By working with our shadow animals, we can gain deeper self-awareness and cultivate positive change in our lives.
What Are Shadow Animals?
Shadow animals are archetypal energies that exist in our unconscious minds. They are spirit animals that can help us to access and understand the hidden parts of our psyche. Each shadow animal has its own unique energy and qualities that represent aspects of ourselves we have repressed or denied. By working with a particular shadow animal, we can tap into their guidance to help heal and transform our lives.
How to Learn From Our Shadow Animals
1. Identify your spirit animal
The first step in working with your shadow animals is to identify your spirit animal. Shadow animals may be any animal you come across that provoke a visceral reaction from you. It could be animal you tend to steer clear of, like bats, snakes, or spiders, or even a mythical animal – like yetis to werewolves. Often, however, it is a creature that you have a strong, instinctual connection with, such as a wolf, bear, or owl. Once you have identified your animal, pay attention to the particular traits associated with it and how they may relate to your current life experiences.
2. Engaging in meditation
Next, you can engage in meditation to build a deeper connection to your shadow animal. Visualise meeting and talking to your shadow animal and asking it how you can work together to achieve transformation. Depending on the animal, your guidance might come in the form of a physical action, such as running, swimming, or foraging, or symbolic actions, such as gathering resources. Bring whatever message you receive into your conscious awareness and use it to develop a plan of action.
Questions you may consider:
- How do I feel when I encounter or think about this animal?
- What does this animal represent to me?
- What does my fear of this animal remind me about myself?
3. Action your learning
Finally, you will need to put the insights and guidance provided by your shadow animal into practice. Work through the steps you have identified in the meditative practice, using the animal’s traits and strengths as inspiration. This may not be easy, but with the help of your shadow animal, you can start making the changes necessary to live the life you desire.
Benefits of Working with Your Shadow Animal
Shadow animals are like bearers of light that can illuminate areas that needs soul-healing and they deliberately cross our paths to be acknowledged.
Repeatedly called spirit animals, they often symbolise the unloved parts of us that we typically choose to ignore or reject in our lives. They offer insight and guidance into our innermost thoughts and feelings and can help us to heal and transform by encouraging us to embrace our vulnerability.
Once we connect and understand our shadow animal, we can form a respectful relationship that helps to facilitate positive change. We can channel our shadow animal to dissolve limiting beliefs, patterns of behaviour, and thoughts that no longer serve us. We can also use their energy to overcome personal challenges, heal emotionally, and move into a space of growth and development.
Shadow animals are our allies, greatest teachers, healers, and protectors, able to guide us on the journey of inner transformation.
Carl Jung was a great champion of shadow work and once wrote, “The world hangs by a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man.” Working with our shadow animals helps us to uncover our deeper self and forge deeper connections with who we are, in our relationship with others and as a part of the natural world.
By recognising the importance of our shadow animals and dedicating time and energy to understanding them, we can delve into modern human’s hidden, wounded, or shadow, and hold up a mirror to our psyche to gain spiritual insights and greater clarity in our lives. Thus unbinding ourselves from destructive and reactive ways of living that have a positive release effect on the collective Shadow of humanity.
Now is the time to reflect, drop all projections, and explore the power medicine shadow animals teach.
Pea Horsley is the Founder of Conversations with Nature World Summit and creator of online learning, Animal Communication Made Easy, a proven 5-step method to learn how to communicate with all species of animals. Pea is the UK’s most highly regarded animal communicator, TEDx speaker, teacher, wild animal retreat facilitator and best-selling author. Join Pea’s membership, The Pride, and be part of a modern answer to a global question, where a global council of animals advise humanity in deep listening and real transformation.