Animal spirit guides are among some of the most accessible allies we can contact and work with in Reiki.
There is a long standing tradition of animal guides in spiritual circles, and being able to connect with these friends can be a huge benefit for you and your clients on many levels.
The ancient Egyptians had close relations with their animal spirit allies. Cat mummies have been found in abundance in the Nile Valley, indicating the importance of these furry feline friends. In addition to cats, the Egyptians had entire spiritual traditions that incorporated various animals as guides, protectors, initiators, healers and more.
The Native American indigenous tribes are well known for their shamanic healing, which is often guided by spirit animals. The Crow, the Dog, the Cat, the Eagle, the Buffalo… these are just a few examples from their traditions.
The Hindus have strong ties with animal guides in their mystical traditions, as can be seen in the many images of divine animals and spirits. Similarly, Buddhist traditions, particularly in Nepal and Tibet with their origins again in shamanic indigenous cultures show strong ties with animal spirits.
In the European traditions of witchcraft we find tales of the witches familiar, more often than not in the form of an animal, often a black cat although also crows, dogs and other animals were frequently mentioned.
There is some indication that Reiki itself may be associated with types of aerial, mountain dwelling bird-like guides called Kami in Japanese. These beings often associated themselves with Shinto practitioners, the shamanic practice of Japan. They were associated with ancestral spirits, nature (such as rain, wind, thunder) and were also found among rocks, springs, and forests.
These are just a few small brief examples that show how humanity has lived with and worked with animal spirit guides for thousands of years.
Animals tend to be very close to the energy of the land, and are deeply attuned to the environment. Having an animal spirit guide assist you in your work with Reiki is an incredible boon. They easily associate themselves with crystals and rocks, so that they can assist you in all healing work.
To find your animal guides (and be assured, they are most likely already around you, just waiting for you to open your eyes and recognize them!), you can simply get into a relaxed meditation. Then, with gentle, quiet expectancy, send out your request to know and see your Animal Spirit Guides. Another important quality of Animal Spirit Guides is that they will guide your practice in natural ways, gently directing energy and intuition in such a manner that nature and the elements are incorporated into your healing practice in a holistic manner.
It is easier if you are outdoors, or at least near nature, but not essential. You might just have to try a little longer if you are in a city or somewhere that is not easily accessible to the wild energy flows of a natural landscape.
If you already have a relationship with your Reiki Spirit Guides, you can ask them to send you your Animal Spirit Guides as well.
During your meditation, you might have a vivid experience of seeing your Animal guides. Or, you may just get a feeling. Now comes the fun part. Throughout your day, just keep your eyes out, looking and expecting communication from your Animal Spirit Guide. Maybe you keep seeing a certain cat around the neighborhood suddenly. Or certain birds? Perhaps you notice Crows more frequently than you used to, or start seeing Owls or Deer? The possibilities are many.
Keep your eyes open, and listen to your intuition, and your heart. It may be that your animal spirit guide has been with you all along, sitting on the couch purring and looking right at you!