Call Upon the Dog!

Father Sun Dog by Mark Wagner

Father Sun Dog by Mark Wagner

The dog has been considered man’s best friend for a very long time. They are commonly associated with loyalty, protection, companionship and service. They have been domesticated companions who at times may have been sacrificed for the benefit of the group or it’s master. In different native tribes they are valuable members of the community, they are babysitters, they help carry loads, they have served as protectors and assisted in the hunting.

Yao Over the Mountains List

Yao Over the Mountains List

In ancient China dogs held an important place and they had several myths related to them, they were so important that it became one of their totem animals that are part of their zodiac calendar. One of their most famous myth is the story of Panhu. This story is found in various clans and they are written by different people. The story goes that there was a legendary Emperor Di Ku of the Gaoxin clan who owned a dog named Panhu. Panhu helped him win a war by killing the enemy general and bringing him his head and ended up with marriage to the emperor’s daughter as a reward. The emperor later regrets this and tries to get her back, but he is unable due to bad weather that magically appears.The dog carried his bride to the mountainous region of the south, where they produced numerous progeny. It is said that Panhu’s wife gives birth to six girls and six boys. They intermarry and have children and their numbers grow. These people then live in the mountains and rule over themselves. This story was written by Fan Ye in the fifth century about the “Southern Savages”. Because they identify themselves as descendants of Panhu, the Yao people and the She people has tabooed eating dog meat.

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Kitchi Taima Tyler (Brave Thunder) NAID Puppy

In my own shamanic practice dog was the third spirit ally to show up. I was in a journey in which the goal was to share and spend quality time with my spirit allies. We were in the underworld by our favorite river. As we were all sharing dog came and did a little dance on his hind legs. I laugh and clapped as he danced. It was a very fun and joyous moment for all of us. He sat, we welcomed him and then we talked. I had asked him what he was here for and he said that he was very eager to help me in my shamanic journey and he told me that he was an excellent tracker of souls. I said ok show me and I let him lead the way. Before I recognized it, I was on the street that I grew up in and he led me to the front of my home. My heart started to pound at this point. As I walked in I saw myself sitting on the sofa crying and I knew exactly which day and event this was. It was my 12th birthday and I remember that no one had showed up for my birthday party and I was very heart broken. It was truly and event did changed me forever (however I never expected that I had suffered soul loss at that time). Dog started to explain to me the reasons why the people were unable to come. As he was doing so my heart lifted and my feelings of rejection buried deep within my heart felt dissolved. I welcomed this part of me that had been left in time. I showed dog my appreciation for bringing this part of me back and I started to return from the journey. I shared with a fellow shaman John (who was present at that time as this happened during the shaman circles that I facilitate) my experience and he did the seal in with his rattle and welcomed me back. It was quite a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Since then dog is an integral part of my soul retrieval team, he has been present in all of the soul retrievals I have performed. He is always eager to find the souls and bring healing to those who seek it.

A Siberian Native woman and her dog c.1908

A Siberian Native woman and her dog c.1908

If you are journeying and you see or interact with dog maybe it is time for you to volunteer for something purely in the spirit of service. You need to remain determined and resolute no matter what adversity you meet along the way. You should show your appreciation, loyalty and cherish those who you love.

Call upon the Dog when you…

… have been working on a project and your resolve is beginning to fade.

… are feeling lonely and in need of companionship.

… feel you need protection.

… feel like giving up.

… when you need help tracking a soul in non-ordinary reality.

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Me and our new fur baby!

Resources:

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Call Upon the Snake!

rattle-snake-christy-freeman

Rattle Snake by Christy Freeman

The snake is one of the most well-known animal allies. There are so many people that work with the snake and there are countless myths that surround it. In some cultures they are seen as a positive ally and in some they are known to be negative. In my tradition and in my believe system the snake is one of the most noblest animal allies to work with. I love snake and I hold it in high honor.

Enki Seal

Enki, Sumerian Water God

In my own experience my first spiritual teacher was Enki. He is the Sumerian god of water, he is known for his wisdom, creation, sexuality and fertility. His symbol is two serpents intertwined on a staff. He created man along with Ninmah. He invented writing and he is the keeper of the divine laws. He is the son of An and Nammu. He knows the very heart of the gods. The first time he came and showed himself to me for the first time it was during a journey in which I was to meet a deity and who I met, was myself as half woman, half snake. We danced and share a very spiritual moment. This journey puzzled me for a few years. Then when I was initiated in to shamanic practice I went and meet my teacher and he came to me in his humanoid form. For many other journeys he showed himself as a man coming forth from water. In other journeys he would come to me as a winged serpent. He is a great teacher and I have learned so much from him. His love and guidance are invaluable to my spiritual growth and path.

snake

Snake Animal Ally by Trina Brammah

In this case the first time I encountered the snake animal ally not tied to my teacher was during a few journeys that I did while I was out in the desert. He came to me at at time in which I needed wisdom and guidance. The snake is generally associated with transformation, healing , sexuality and rebirth. Which I had a need for during my time spent in the desert. So snake came to me at the exact time I needed him the most. If you are in a journey and you see snake it means that you are going to go through some significant personal changes, so intense and dramatic that an old self will metaphorically dies as a new self emerges (very much true in my experience). It can also mean that you are going to go through a change in which you will sharpen your mental capacities and open up new channels of awareness. You will be able to resolve a long standing issue by seeing things from a new perspective. You will experience dramatic and unexpected physical or emotional healing very soon coming from an unexpected source.

Call upon the snake when…

… you are going through a major life or developmental transition which requires for you to shed a lot of attachments and especially to your old identity.

… you are moving into unknown territory, a passage through darkness and you are feeling afraid of not being able to overcome it.

… you need healing.

… you need to rid yourself of all self-destructive and self-limiting and self-defeating tendencies or habits.

…you want to increase your vitality, energy and libido.

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Rainbow Serpent by Pablo Amaringo

Resources:

  • My own personal experiences
  • Sumerian Mythology, Samuel Noah Kramer
  • Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer

Call Upon the Swallow!

Swallow-Barn-1503 Fred Walsh

Barn Swallow by Fred Walsh

The Swallow is a welcomed sight in our communities. It is a symbol of the upcoming spring and the revival of life, in Europe the Swallow signals the end of winter. At times the swallow is depicted with something in its beak to denote him in his role as a messenger.  There are a few wives-tales about them, it is said that if they nest in farm buildings, it meant well-being and good fortune for the owners of the property. It is also believed that they protected farm animals from diseases and curses, and buildings from fires. Swallows were observed to see how the flew to help determine the type of weather they will have. If Swallows flew low it meant a rain, but if high, beautiful weather was expected.
birddaisy001 The Graphics Fairy

Swallow and Daisies by The Graphics Fairy

In ancient Egypt the swallows were associated with stars and therefore the souls of the dead. In Egyptian lore the swallow also announces a new love. In Chapter 86 of the Book of the Dead it instructs the dead on how to transform into a swallow. In Spell 1216 of the Pyramid Texts, the pharaoh describes how he has “gone to the great island in the midst of the Field of Offerings on which the swallow gods alight; the swallows are the imperishable stars.” The imperishable stars were those near the North Star that never seemed to rise or set, and therefore were “constant”. The swallow also appears in paintings of the solar barque as it enters the underworld. The swallow is usually shown on the prow of the boat. In this context, the bird appears to be an announcer of the sun’s approach.

Swallow on Solar Barge

Please note the swallow on the prow of the solar barque. Graphics by Greatdreams.com

If you are on a journeying and you interact with a swallow it may mean that you are too focused on the mundane and you need to reevaluate things and gain a different perspective on life. It means that it is time to let go of past hurt and unhealthy relationships, it is time to move on.

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Swallow and Ocean by The Graphics Fairy

Call upon the Swallow when you…

… are in need of emotional warmth.

… need to feel protected during a difficult time in your life.

… feel sad and you need to cheer up.

… you want to add another layer of protection to your home.

Resources:

  • Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer
  • Article by SpringAlive.net
  • Article by Egyptianmyths.net

Call Upon the Quail!

California Quail - Eleazar Saenz

California Quail by Eleazar Saenz

About a month ago my family and I were pretty sick. We caught a pretty bad cold. It was closer to the end of summer nevertheless it was an uncommon time for all of us to be sick. As I normally do I did shamanic healing to myself and the family to facilitate a speedy recovery. I also asked family and friends if they were so inclined to send us healing energy as well.

As soon as I get to the underworld who in the animal ally to greet me? It is Quail. I had never worked with this particular animal ally so he was a very much welcomed new face. We sat by the river and just had some time together. I petted him and he would send my way waves of love and warmth. I was feeling better already. I gave my thanks and showed him gratitude for his healing and I came back home.

two_quail - Lynnette Shelley

Two Quail by Lynnette Shelley

When I decided to do the animal Guide of the week I picked Quail and I wanted to learn more about him and this is why I am writing this post about him.

If you are journeying and you happen to encounter a Quail it means that you need to eat healthy for the next week or so. I thought this was funny since it goes hand on hand with healing for me. In order for our bodies to heal it needs to have good nourishment so this was a reminder to ensure that I cooked really god nourishing meals for the nest week or so. Encountering a Quail can also herald the message you are about to discover a greater sense of who you are and develop a stronger understanding of your soul’s destiny and purpose. Or it can also means that you are starting a new creative endeavor that will make you feel like you are spread too thin but it will expand your sense of who you are.

Call upon the Quail when…

… you are in need of physical healing.

… you want to know what your soul name is and ho wit is spoken.

… you receive any kind of gift that nurtures and nourished you and you want to express your gratitude.

Resources:

Personal Experiences

Animal Spirit Guides by Steven D. Farmer

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