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Spirit Animal

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Forums -> Spiritual Creatures -> Spirit Animal

Spirit Animal
By:
Post # 1
I learned meditation at my school and at first it was easy but now it is much harder. I often use youtube to play soothing music because it helps me relax.

While watching a youtube video that claimed to help you find your spirit animal, I was bored at the time, I actually encountered an animal.

I had my eyes closed but I saw different colors like yellow and blue.I saw a snake that changed its form every second but its eyes were intense and feirce. I tried to talk to it, mentally, but it didnt really talk back in that sense. I asked it what it's name was and it didnt say it but the name Frank just popped into my head.

I don't really know anyone named Frank so it was really random to me. I am unsure as to whether this was an actual encounter with a spirit or was it just my mind playing games?

Any ideas, comments, tips on what this really was?

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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
Unfortunately for explanation, your experience is your own personal gnosis. It cannot be interpreted by others. It is up to you do test and decide whether the experience was genuine.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Beginner
Post # 3
Like what was already said it might be a matter of whther you feel a person connection to the event, and if the idea of the encounter being that of a spirit rings true for you. Take a moment or two to reflect onwhat happened again, and ask yourself if it might have been an encounter with a spirit or guide. If it feels like it was, on an intuitive and naturally instinctive level, then it is worth considering closely.

A few things to consider;
Generally speaking if it was a totem animal (Ala Native american or other shamanistic practices) it would be unlikely the animal would speak. Totems are more of a symbolic presence, where you see them and feel a connection emotionally and intuitively to what they represent and their behaviors and connections in nature.

However if it was more of a spirit guide or guardian that came to make itself known then talking would be more likely, and of course with the malleable nature of spirit it could be plausible for the appearance to shift around if the entity was trying to get your attention. Especially if it was a being more used to existing on higher energetic planes.

A third thing to consider is that it is normal to see spots and fields of light when your eyes are closed. it is a common phenomenon for people to see spheres and other shapes moving in their vision even in pure darkness. Sometimes it is as simple as an after-image of your blind spot, or of what you were looking at the moment that vision was lost. Or other shapes built by your mind out of those things. Kind of like cloud watching inside your eyelids.

Regardless, I would still recommend looking up Snakes and what they represent as a totem ans also as a spirit animal/guide. You might find some relevance to things you have been exploring or thinking about. Or it might otherwise provide some fuel for reflection. And even if it is something as simple/mundane as having matrixed together some vision spots it is still a valuable practice for both meditation and visualization to relax and focus on them to see what images either develop naturally or what images you can influence into being. Sometimes your thoughts and focus in meditation can spontaneously inspire some fascinating results.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By:
Post # 4
Thanksss, those are alot of things to consider.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Novice
Post # 5
Snakes are all about regeneration and transformation. No reason why your symbol can't be called Frank.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Novice
Post # 6
The use of the term "spirit animal" or "totem" is cultural appropriation. Better terms would include, patronus (yes there is a movement to start using this instead), spirit guide, animal guide, helpful spirit, kindred spirit, etc. Or something from your proper tradition, culture, or religion.

A sampling of links on why this is bad:

http://www.spiralnature.com/spirituality/spirit-animal-cultural-appropriation/

https://iistrawberrychanii.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/psa-yes-spirit-animals-are-cultural-appropriation-that-means-you/

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-spirit-animal-an-example-of-cultural-appropriation
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Beginner
Post # 7
definition; Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. ... Cultural elements which may have deep meaning to the original culture may be reduced to "exotic" fashion or toys by those from the dominant culture

When a term is used in the correct context as a descriptor or definition of a relevant element, it is not appropriation. The term is a reference of using the elements of an outside culture in a disrespectful, inaccurate, or derogatory manner.

That last factor of what makes something appropriation is often vitally missed in the circles of modern 'social justice' warriors. There is a basic general sociological understanding that when any culture interacts with any other culture, ideas are going to be shared, differing languages used, and in the end they will always have some measure of influence on one another. Sharing of culture, and the mutual influences of culture, are by and large beneficial to both as it stimulates growth, comparing and sharing of ideas, and opens communication and respect through having shared cultural understanding. One thing that many people forget is that this motion of influence is always in two directions. Sure, when a culture becomes exposed to another culture, it has risk of receiving influence. But it also has the opportunity to share influence as well. When done purposefully it can have tremendous benefits as both cultures can share in what is most positive about their own practices, and might be able to let go of something more negative or unhelpful in light of a better alternative. That is how growth works, and is a constant necessity not only for the individual but for society in general.

I might suggest doing some study in Sociology and philosophy as it might help shed some light on how to discuss social justice appropriately. There are lots of traps people tend to fall into with their attitudes... a common one is ethno-centricity.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Novice
Post # 8
While I can see your point Spirit, it does not change that this particular term is commonly used in reference to (and therefore has a connotation of being) a set practice by the native indigenous people of North America. Because many of their practices were straight up outlawed by the U.S. and Canadian government, and both governments have racist practices/agendas in doing so, it is still widely considered to be cultural appropriation. This is because when white people turn around to do the same practice or steal from the culture without understanding the cultural context, they are permitted by the governments to do so. The only people getting punished are the First Nations peoples and it is those same First Nations peoples that have requested white people to phase out the use of the term "spirit animal" in magical/spiritual practices in the occult/witchcraft.

There are more appropriate terms to use for the same general meaning (which I gave above) that is intended when discussing "spirit animals". And many in the magical/occult community are moving towards these terms in an effort to stop stealing from cultures and peoples that are already suffering from prejudice and oppression in their homelands.

There's no reason not to change a term and there's plenty of other terms that can be used without harming anyone.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Beginner
Post # 9
Certainly fair enough. I was aware that in the early days such political attempts were made to try and suppress or block native american practices, but as far as I was aware those ideas were either no longer considered, or outright abolished in Canada. I have never heard of legal persecution for native american practices.
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Re: Spirit Animal
By: / Novice
Post # 10
I have a friend in Canada who is a part of the Metis tribe. She has personally had problems with racism directed at her for being Native (specifically Metis) on multiple different levels. I've also read multiple reports, which bare a lot of weight, of Native women in Canada being pressured into sterilization by nurses and doctors. Additionally, the various First Nations peoples in Canada have lost entire portions of their cultures to the previous laws.

Outlawing a spiritual-religious-cultural practice entirely and punishing the individuals for continuing to practice it above and beyond what a white person would be punished with, tends to kill off the actual practice. The US still upholds some of the laws that prevent First Nations peoples from practicing according to their traditions.

In addition, so much has already been lost and/or stolen that it is not difficult to be asked to not use a term without having the spiritual, religious, and cultural background to accurately interact with that term. This is one of the reasons why I refuse to use sage; it's a practice that was originally First Nations (specifically Lakota) and it has since been taken up by various white people in the occult community without any knowledge of it's origins, why it works, why it's important, etc. I know the story behind it, I know it's origins, but I still don't feel comfortable using it when I have my own traditions to fall back on. Like the use of salt or the specifically Kemetic purifications I do.

It's more than just the actual practice/words, it's all the origins that go with that practice/words that are important. For instance, a totem (Algonquin) is not the same thing as a spirit animal. The use of the terms interchangeably is cultural erasure to people that have already dealt with more than enough of that.

These things are from closed traditions that are still living traditions and we have been asked to stop using them. It doesn't hurt us to be aware of being asked to stop and actually doing it. It does hurt the traditions when we don't. It's about taking a step back from ourselves and recognizing that what we may not consider hurtful, can actually be quite hurtful. And it's hard to admit that, even if only to ourselves.
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