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Power Animals Through History

Posted by on June 7, 2011

Power animals are most closely related to south western indian medicine men. However they are a phenomena that actually transcend many different cultures and can be seen in many different healing traditions.  Egypt has many hieroglyphs depicting  animals that accompany a soul into the realm of the dead.

 

The greek God Asclepius who had many healing temples had sacred dogs who licked the wounds of the the ill and it is said that non poisonous snakes were allowed to roam the dormitories of  the ill in the temple in fact there was much emphasis on dreaming and the priests of  Asclepius would listen to the dreams and ask about the animals in them and proscribe certain therapies based on the images seen in those sacred dreams.

 

During the middle ages in the “christian” european nations, there was tremendous unbalance but those who practiced shamanism an spirit journeys were labeled as ‘witches,’ conveniently anyone accused of being a witch could have all their property seized and could be raped as a matter of course for ‘questioning.’   This is why often witches are depicted as unwashed crones who lived on the edge of society.  That is all that was left after the church and state sponsored bullying were done.  There were powerful reasons to appear unattractive.

 

Oddly enough even in these ignorant and dark times people knew animals were integral to the practice of magic.  Animal power is primal. Cats were reputed to be ‘witches familiars’ and there were towns that would get together and large numbers of cats burn cats when a handy witch victim couldn’t be found for the bonfire.  Interestingly enough these areas suffered the worst in the bubonic plague devastation because the cats weren’t around to keep the rat population in check and the rats carried the fleas that spread  the plague.  It kind of makes you think witches got the last word on that one.

 

In australia the native aboriginal people experience what they call the dream time.  In the dream time power animals are consulted and different aspects of the nature of the animals are absorbed.

 

I would postulate that even modern science has its power animals of a sort because we quite often experiment on animals before we try something on humans.  They are consulted and sometimes sacrificed for our improved health.

 

Power animals can be seen across all human cultures as spirit helpers and healers and friends.  Just as they are in the physical world.  Sometimes they are better friends to us than we are to them.  Whenever we give them a chance and open our hearts to them they help us be better humans.

Last modified on December 7, 2011

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