One way of starting to discover your animal guides is by examining the animals you have been most interested in and the times of your life that interest was piqued. Also examine the animals that have appeared in your dreams or in your everyday life, especially the ones that have appeared over and over and at odd times. The following questions quoted and appended from the book "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews can help you determine which animals might be guides in your life.
- When you visit the zoo, which animal do you wish to visit first? This is especially true with children and this question is easy for them to answer since they are often more receptive than teens or adults.
- What animal or animals do you see most frequently when you are out in nature? The animals we encounter in their city or wild environments have significance for us. We can learn from them about survival within their environment and often much more.
- Of all the creatures, which are you most interested in now? Our interests in animals change. Yes, we usually have one or two that are lifetime power animals, but others become prominent in our lives when there is something of importance to learn from them.
- Do any animals frighten you? That which we fear is often something we must learn to come to terms with. When we do that, the fears then become power. Some Shamans believe that fears will take the shape of animals, and only when we confront them without fear do their powers/medicine work for us instead of against us. Such an animal then becomes a shadow totem.
- Have you ever been attacked or badly wounded by an animal? Historically, if a Shaman survived an attack, it was believed that the animal was the Shaman's spirit totem and the attack was the totem's way of testing the Shaman's ability to understand and handle its power.
- Do you have dreams with animals in them or are there animal dreams you have never forgotten? This is especially important if the dreams are recurring or if a specific animal image keeps popping up in your dreams. Children often dream of animals and attention should be given to these animals. They will often reflect specific animal guides of the child or areas of weakness where the parents can help in their child's growth.Has a specific creature or specific creatures, be it animal, bird, reptile, amphibian, insect or mythological beast, always fascinated you? We are drawn to that which most resonates with us. Those animals which fascinate us, or the ones that we fear the most have something to teach us. Animal guides are not always those that we have the most similarities with. Often they are in our lives to help us learn what we are lacking.
- Do you have aspects of any specific animal more than others? We get certain aspects of ourself from our guides.