Spirit Animals 101

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What is your spirit animal??

What an interesting question. I have been indulging in more spirituality as of late, and thought it would be fun to get into this. I was first inspired by a Harry Potter Hufflepuff pride page on facebook. They asked, “What is your patrnous?”

For those who don’t know, a patronus is a charm to protect again Dementors. Dementors are likened to depression and suck the joy out of any environment they are in, they are soul suckers. A patronus is a silver animal that protects witches and wizards and often has personal connotations. Patronus means “protector”, “guardian”, or simply “patron” in Latin, specifically reflecting the entire role that the Patronus Charm plays.

I originally thought my patronus could be a panda. They’re cute, they sleep and eat a lot like me. I looked up panda personality traits and that led to spirit animal quizzes. I thought I had a lot in common with the panda, but when I took the quiz I received the result of OWL. DUNDUNDUN.

I dislike Owls. My mother always hated them also because they are harbingers of death, the grim reaper of animals. Native Americans (and other cultures) believe that if an owl flies over your head, it heralds the news of a loved one dying. Plus, they are not cute animals in my opinion so I started looking for other quizzes to take. (Coincidentally, I did get panda on another test which pleased me.)

But in researching the quizzes, I found out more information about spirit animals. One website said to think about your dreams– which animal appears most frequently in your dreams? I was disheartened because when I thought about it, DOGS are the most frequent animals that visit my dreams but I never have positive connotations about them. The dogs are usually chasing me or biting me in some way so how could that be my spirit animal when I am being chased by them most often?

DOGS in dreams represent (according to dreammoods.com):

To see a dog in your dream symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. The dream suggests that your strong values and good intentions will enable you to go forward in the world and bring you success. The dream dog may also represent someone in your life who exhibits these qualities. Alternatively, to see a dog in your dream indicates a skill that you may have ignored or forgotten.

If the dog is vicious and/or growling, then it indicates some inner conflict within yourself. It may also indicate betrayal and untrustworthiness. To see a sick dog in your dream symbolizes a neglected friendship.

Also consider common notions associated with the word dog, such as loyalty (“man’s best friend”) and to be “treated like a dog”. Dreaming that you cannot get a dog off your back implies that you are not able to shake someone off your back. Perhaps they are being too overbearing or too dependent on you.

To hear barking in your dream suggests that you are annoying those around you with grumpiness and fussiness. The dream may also be analogous to your tendency of barking orders at people, instead of asking or talking kindly. Alternatively, barking refers to unhappy and disgruntled companions. To dream that a dog bites you on the leg suggests that you have lost your ability to balance aspects of your life. You may be hesitant in approaching a new situation or have no desire to move forward with your goals. Dreaming that a dog bites on the hand symbolizes disloyalty. To dream that someone is bitten by a dog indicates a betrayal. You feel that you have been wronged by this person. If the dog is barking ferociously, then it represents your habit of making demands on people and controlling situations around you. Are you “barking” too many orders? Alternatively, it could also indicate unfriendly companions.

If you are being guided by a dog, then it suggests that you are having difficulties in navigating out of a situation or problem. 

Jake asked me what kind of dog I usually see, but I couldn’t answer. It’s never the same type of dog necessarily. I just remember mutts, or no specific breed. My favorite dog is a Chocolate Labrador.

Image result for chocolate lab

But as I said, the dogs I see are never friendly. They’re not cute species, but like…. predatory or mean. Plus I am a cat person, not a dog person. I don’t even like dogs in particular, only little ones usually. And not even them usually…..

While researching patronuses, I did find some interesting information. A patronus is produced by thinking of your happiest memories- and a lot of the time, the patronus of a certain character usually had something to do with the person that they loved most. Hermione’s patronus is an otter which signifies she belongs with the Weasleys. Ron’s patronus is jack russell terrier which chases otters. Snape’s patrnous is a doe which was an illusion to the love of his life, Lily, whose patronus was also a doe (because her husband’s was a stag.) Tonks’ patronus turned into a wolf like creature because of her love for the werewolf Remus.

The person I love most is my husband, Jake. He doesn’t like dogs either, but his personality traits have often reminded me of a dog. Maybe that’s why I dream of them…. Ignoring the negative connotations of my dreams, if we go with the first paragraph about dogs in dreams, then all of those attributes can be contributed to Jake; Intuitive, Loyal, Generous, Faithful, Protector. He guards his space like a guard dog. He barks like a dog, he can be menacing so people stay away or don’t take advantage of him. He is an alpha male, an alpha dog. The leader of the pack. So maybe my patronus/spirit animal could be a dog….?

The owl’s characteristics did remind me of my Granny, though. She is the person I have loved the most in the entire world. She has been my moral compass and guiding factor for most decisions in my life; I ask myself, “What would Granny do/say?” When I need comfort, I still think of her. She was the best example of unconditional love I ever had the fortune to have in my life. I would not have associated her with an owl though. She was gentle, humble, and kind. She was generous and loyal to a fault. She could be likened to a dog maybe.

Image result for cat

Cats are my favorite animal, though. I’ve told Jake on multiple occasions that I should have been a cat/must have been a cat in a past life. That’s mainly because I am envious of how well taken care of and lazy they get to be. I am like a cat in that I like to be petted, fed, and loved. But I’m not independent or have no-cares like a cat either. Cats do show up in my dreams also, but not as often as dogs. And in my dreams, it’s usually the cats that I own now- the two tortoiseshell cats that love me and beg me for my attention.  (I have a 3rd cat but she’s an asshole and hates me.)

In reading about vision quests, it is something I would very much like to try. I feel so lost and culturally starved. I wish that I could be a better person, so I am praying more frequently than I ever have before. I wish to be something I am not. I perceive myself as someone whose burden of shame and guilt is very heavy.  Spirituality is very hard to get into, it is confronting my shadow self and I don’t perceive myself as strong enough to talk to my shadow self. I run from her. I hide from her. I distract myself so I won’t have to face her. I have taken away one false pleasure, but have not learned to indulge in my truest pleasure- knowing myself. I run from me. Therein lies the problem- we cannot escape ourselves, yet I always try.

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