The power of the animal is the nature of that animal. It is simple. You know the story of the animals for you by looking at them, dreaming about them, worshipping them. There are still animals all around us. We see them in the wild, in zoos, and on TV in nature films.
If you ask a child what is the power of the bear, they will tell you. Let's place the bear in the west and ask a child what is its power. The children say: the bear is a fierce loner, a great hunter. It is not mean but it is powerful and strong. It is a protector of children. It is successful in getting food. The bear knew how to live, it had nothing t to be afraid of. The bear had allot to teach.
What about the turtle? The children talk: the turtle is consistent. It is slow deliberate. It is about home and shelter. It carries it with them. It is close to the ground, to the earth.
What about owl? The children say that owls are about the night. The owl sees out of the darkness. It can catch its prey, move quickly, perch high. It can see and witness. It is about wisdom. It sees from a distance. It flies silently, it emerges to the day at dawn.
So ask yourself what any animal means, if the children can do it, so can you. Write down what animals means to you. Make seven lines on a page and write the first seven things about the animal that come to mind. If you can't do that, go see your animal in the wild, in a zoo, or on TV and then write down what it means to you. The more you see your animal, the more you know about its power and its spirit. After its body speaks, its spirit speaks in shamanic songs to you in your visions. That is how you hear that the bear is a healer, the owl about seeing inward, the turtle about grounding.
Then remember what animals live near you. In Florida it is the alligator, snakes, dolphin, horse, deer. And then remember what animals were there, but are now gone. Like the buffalo, the bear, the mastodon. And remember the animals that are almost extinct like the Florida panther. The way to populate your own medicine wheel is to call forth the animals that live here or once lived here. Call forth the ones in danger and the ones still around. Listen for their calls, the hawk, the owl, the crow. See their footprints. Walk in their footprints.
The medicine wheel is simply a spiral into earth to see what is. Populate your medicine wheel with your own animals.
The animals teach us our own characteristics. They teach us what is its element and essence in the earth. For example, the eagle is independent, it is about freedom. It flies high. The animal's message is the nature of the animal itself in the outer world. You learn its nature and then what part of you is like that. The animal speaks to you in the inner world deeper. It tells you who you are and what you are to do. But it always speaks from within its own nature.
We are telling you to do a ritual today. It is called, "you can only see what your animal can see." To do it, you need to go somewhere. Go the a sacred place near your house. It can be within a couple of hours drive or nearer. Pick a place that is the most sacred to you, that resonates with your soul. If you want to, you can pick a place to the east, and then to the west, and use the directions, or of course go to the north and south too.
And in this special ritual, you can only see what your animal can see. You can only go where your animals can go. All day during this sacred ritual, be them. Repeat over and over again as you drive, as you walk, "I can only see what the animal can see, I can only go where the animal can go". It is like a mantra, a refrain, a chant. Look at your landscape like you were that animal. Imagine that you were the animal and you were looking out of its eyes.
You can do this in the present or in the long past when that animal lived there in the place where you are. You can imagine the landscape was what it once was, the houses and cars and road are gone or you can leave it the way it is. You have plenty of time so you can look out of the animal's eyes in the present and in the past and in many times.
Now listen for the voice of your animal or even the voice of your animal as the animal shaman. They will speak to you and you will hear them tell you stories. This is when they; come the strongest. There are really four animals in spirit space. The actual animal, the animal shaman, the animal spirit, and the human as the animal. You can see out of the eyes of all of them as you go through your day. Remember you have plenty of time. You can do your meditation all day.
When you reach your destination, act like the animal. Let them run to the water, play in it and as they do it they will speak to you. When you walk, let yourself make the footprints of the animal. See your footprints as theirs. Let them speak to you and tell you what to do next. They will run the ritual if you let them. Remember they are magical animals so they can talk, fly or soar and are not limited by the actual animals ways. So walk in the footprints of your animal. Chant all day, "I can only see what the animal can see" and listen.
If you want to you can smell and feel too. You can only smell what the animal can smell, you can only feel what the animal can feel. Feel the animal's heart rejoice when she sees something. Feel her sadness when she sees something else. Remember this is a sacred meditation an exercise, do it all day. If you want to, put on a costume of the animal, even one feather or one object helps. If you want to dress completely as the animal, you can do it. This is what the shaman of old did. She put on the bear skin, a bear mask, and that is how she saw out of the eyes of the bear. She did.
You can only see what your animal can see, see out of their eyes as a shaman animal, out of their eyes as an animal lover, out of their eyes as a visionary animal. Then listen and see if your animal will sing a song to you or speak to you in an inner voice and listen. They may tell you to do a certain ritual or to do something to save that animal. They may tell you prayers or chants, or tell you what they did as animal shaman. You can only see what your animal can see. You do.
Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable. If you wish uncross your legs, let yourslf relax deeply. Feel your body supported by chair. Feel how it rests and is taken care of. Now let your breathing slow and become deeper. Feel your abdomen rise and you slowly breathe in and fall as you breathe out. Now let your feet relax, feel the wonderful feelings of relaxation spread upwards to your legs. You may feel heaviness or tingling as you relax, if you do, enjoy those feelings and let them deepen and spread. Now let your legs relax, let the muscles lengthen, get longer, relax deeper. Let your pelvis relax, you belly realx, your chest relax. Let the wonderful feelings of relaxation spread to your arms. Let your hands relax. Now let your neck and face relax, let your jaw drop, let your eyes relax by seeing a horizon and blackness. Let the top of your head relax. Let your whole body relax deeply.
Now imagine you are on a sacred river. This river is very special. It flows from sacred springs. It flows crystal clear, forever. Now let yourself float out of the first spring and drift down the river. You can be on a raft, of small boat or floating in the water itslef. The water is warm, it carries you, you are perfectly safe. See yourself being taken by river. Imagine that you are on the river being taken by the its flow. Feel the water caressing your body. If you are on a raft, let you hands touch the water. Feel the water flowing in an easy gentle caressing way, feel the water supporting you. If you wish you an be submerged in river, diving rising playing in the water. Look upwards, see the trees dappled in sunshine, see them glimmer and shimmer in the reflected moving light fromt he river. In the trees you can see ancient spirits. They stand by the sacred river and hold place. Let yourself relax more deeply as you move down river, let the extraordinary let river take you. You are in a deep feeling of comfort, you are embraced by sacred waters of the earth. Feel the water touch you like you are embraced by her love.
Now see an otter on the bank of the river. See her diving and rising near the tree roots. Notice her beautiful black shiny coat, see how she moves. She is so graceful, she is in perfect harmony with the water and her environment. It seems like she is one with the river, like her beautiful black coat is part of the river, her diving like the river moving. She moves with such ease. Now allow yourself yourself to see out of eyes of otter. Open your inner eyes as the otter. See what the otter sees. See the bottom of the river, the pebbles, the river grasses flowing graceful and gently in the moving water. See the fish, the changing bottom textures. Now see yourself in the otter's body. Be an otter in your imagination. Feel yourself play, twirl, dive and rise. Come up under a log, dive again under the surface. Feel that all you moves are graceful, you as an otter are totally one with the river. You flow and the river flows.
Now come up and let yourself be in your own body. Now you are taken by river, your life is letting go. Feel the river taking you, you are at ease. The water is so pure. You can see its beautiful turquoise color shining in the sun. You can feel the sun on your face, feel the sun kissing you. Now you are embraced by the love and the beauty of the earth.
Now look up. In a tree on the side of the river you see on owl. The owl stares into your eyes. You can feel yourself being taken by the owl. Allow yourself to be taken. Now you are the owl. You can see out of the eyes of the owl. You can see the sun. Look open your inner owl eyes. Your eyes have clarity, every detail is sharp and crisp. You are at ease in this powerful body. You fear nothing. You are silent, not moving. You can be still for hours. Feel your body covered with feathers. They are beautiful soft, colored with stripes of brown and yellow. You are elegant and powerful. Now turn your head around. You can turn it 360 degrees and see on all sides. Now feel yourself gracefully fly. See yourself fly to another branch close by. Your wings are expansive, they are five feet across. Your body is large, you use your power effortlessly. Gracefully and silently you fly. Now look back see the river below you as on owl on a branch.
Now return to your own body floating down river. You feel totally at ease, you feel wonderful in your own body. You now have the gracefulness of the otter, the clarity of seeing like the owl. You are transformed. You will never be same again. Now the river is your home. The water, the sun, the trees are your home. You are embraced by the earth, you are at ease. Now you realize how beautiful you are. You let the river take you. The river is your life, you flow, it is easy. Now take this feeling of ease with you all day.
When you are ready, come back to the room you are in. Feel the chair or couch you are on. Feel you feet, move your feet, open your eyes. Now see with clarity in beauty. Now move thorough your day as gracefully as otter. See with the clarity of the owl. Be well.
You can do the imagery for any animal. What you will see is the story of the animal for you. It is not the story for one culture or people in one time. It is the story of the spirit animal for you in your vision quest now.