I am definitely a cat person. Do not get me wrong, I do like dogs. They make great pets; they are loyal, fun and a great excuse to get out of the house into the outdoors, for a good old walk.
However, I am still a cat person. They are, in my eyes, the ultimate symbol of independence. Of course, the domesticated feline is (arguably) dependent on us for food, but otherwise they come and go as they please.
As power animals, dogs and cats could be considered at polar ends of each other, yet they both provide positive qualities, and even similarities, that we can draw from. In Shamanic terms, the use of power animals, as an emotional “medicine”, has been used since the dawn of humanity, with early hunters emerging themselves into the psyche of the animals they stalked.
Although times have changed, the basic practice of utilising the ancient shamanic traditions still exist today; albeit they are open to personal interpretation and are presented in a modern-day fashion. In fact, the term “Power Animal” is a relatively new phrase, which has only been coined in the last 30 years or so.
It is believed that by taking on the traits of a particular animal you can enhance your life, your goals, your issues and strengthen your personal competences. For example: If you need a confidence boost or to de-stress, you can meditated on a particular animal that resonates with you and the feelings you want to invoke.
So, with that very brief synopsis on the use of power animals in shamanic “medicine”, it is time to venture back to the shamanic world of our most favoured pets and how they can help you in your life.
The Cat Power Animal
Cats have been highly regarded throughout history. They are our guardians, protectors and our direct link to the mysteries of the afterlife; warning and fending off unwanted visitors to this earthly dimension. Although they are independent in character, cats have been labelled as our “familiars”, historically more associated with witches and witchcraft. That said, a cat will allow you to look after them, only if they are willing, and will not be dominated.
As a power animal, the energies and strengths the cat provides are the ability to see through our fears, become more independent and protect ourselves from overbearing personalities. The cats’ vision also allows us to access the unknown, such as the spirit world, with renewed confidence. If you currently look after a cat, take the time to watch them closely. You will notice their gaze is fixed on something or their eyes dart around the room, at what appears to be nothing. However, they are in fact seeing into other dimensions and perhaps one day, if you pay enough attention to your cat, they may reveal their visions to you. Focusing your meditation on your feline friend or sitting quietly, stroking your cat will dissipate the stress in your life, as the cats energy – which is directionally opposite to us humans – will dispel, absorb and neutralise our negativity energy.
If your life-long power animal is a cat, you will be drawn to the alternative magic and mysteries of the universe. You do not run with the masses, and you prefer to hold your own council and opinions. If boredom sets in you quickly slope off to find something more interesting to do. You may even be more of a “night owl”, revelling in the peace, quiet and solitude which, in turn, lifts your spirits and energy levels. When new opportunities arise in your life, you will be able to assess the situation with an organised, clear head.
The cat is a holistic being, assisting both your body and mind to be flexible yet fearless, confident yet trustworthy. The balanced medicinal properties of the cat guides you spiritually, connecting you to your higher self. This allows you to discover your wants and needs and “shape-shift” accordingly.
The Dog Power Animal
Just like the cat, the dog power animal guards and protects. However, the dog is also our loyal and loving friend. The dog is here to serve to ensure we are kept from harm; by utilising their heightened senses to detect danger. As a power animal, the dog lends the traits of steadfastness, love, respect and friendship. As the dog assumes the role as a servant of man he fully understands our failings, with unconditional compassion.
If you are drawn to the dog as your power animal, you take on his sensitivities with an optimistic outlook and without calculated intentions, thus you rarely act in a selfish manner. Love and forgiveness are the main lessons presented by the dog, along with the ability to tune in to any physical changes or occurrences on earth. You hold within you the gift of compassion, making you a natural protector, healer and emotional comforter – which you extend openly to strangers as well as family members and friends. You enjoy being looked after emotionally but you are not concerned with acts of material generosity, therefore kindness is worth far more to you than any expensive gift.
The downside is that some people may use and abuse your giving nature and it is important to reflect your loyalty back to your inner self. Remember, you will help others more by respecting yourself first and foremost, as they will value your gift as a friend with even greater esteem.
However, there is a flip side. The fact that you are drawn to the dog may mean you are the complete opposite of its energy. Therefore, it has come into your life to teach you some much-needed lessons on how you can better equip yourself in this life. If you feel you are lacking in the emotional medicine of the dog, maybe it is time for you to meditate on this power animal. Find him within you, and translate his energy into your life. You may just find a happier, more content you will emerge.