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The Origins Of The Spirit Animal, Totem And Power Animal

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The Origins Of The Spirit Animal, Totem And Power Animal
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Aletheia LunaGuest Writer

“Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.” – Pythagoras

It was bizarre and unexplainable: I kept having recurring dreams for about a month, where I would walk into an eerie, foreboding forest at night with a leopard peering at me through the shrubs. Its stare seemed kind, almost motherly, but very intense … somehow I knew that it was trying to tell me something about the depths of the forest ahead.

It was only recently that I discovered the existence of Spirit Animals, and that mine was the Leopard. It is said that we, as human beings, possess at least one Spirit Animal, or totem, in our lifetimes that serve as our personal protectors, guides, helpers and companions. But usually, it is common for us to have many Spirit Animal helpers throughout different periods of our lives.

In this article, I will explore the mysterious origins of the Spirit Animal.

Primitive Origins

The concept of ‘Spirit Animals’ draws its origins from ancient Animistic and Totemistic beliefs about the world and our connection to it.

Totemism, a system of belief practised by the Native American Indian people, and the Australian Aboriginal people for example, incorporates the notion that each human being has a spiritual connection to another physical being (e.g. a plant or animal).

The Kpelle people of Liberia for instance, possess animal, plant and natural phenomena (wind, rain etc.) totems that are thought to guide and protect their people. Their totems are also thought to be a form of alter ego, or second self.

Animism, on the other hand, is more in line with the world view held by many Buddhist, Shinto, Pagan and Neopagan groups of people, that all plants, animals and objects have spirits.

However, not everyone is convinced of the validity of Animism. 19th century anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor for instance, was not only one of the greatest sceptics of Animism, but was also responsible for forming the currently accepted definition of ‘Animism’. Tylor believed that Animistic beliefs were characteristic of “primitive” and “childish” peoples, who typically possess “cognitive underdevelopment”, thus discrediting the whole Animistic world view in one fell swoop.

However, it’s not necessarily intelligent to subscribe to Tylor’s opinion. When we look at Animistic belief, we see that it treats all humans, animals and plants as being equal and interdependent of each other. In other words: to the Animist it is morally imperative to treat all forms of life with respect. Not only that, but to the Animist we are part of nature, rather than being superior to nature, or separate from nature.

This belief is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the modern day “refined” and “cognitively developed” man who believes that he is the master of the world, and everything is subject to his rule. No wonder the earth’s forests, streams, oceans, park-lands and wildlife are polluted, pillaged and dying every day. “Mature” developed man has such a sickly and unintelligent mindset towards nature that he creates nothing but destruction and death wherever he treads.

So, who truly has the primitive mindset here?

Those who believe in the presence of Spirit Animals not only respect the flora and fauna of the earth as equals, but they often perceive the world around them as consisting of one and the same universal energy. This is similar to pantheistic thought which believes that man, nature and animal-kind are all the manifestations of God.

Not all new age kooks vouch for the validity of Spirit Animals either. Philosopher Baruch Spinoza concluded similar thoughts about the world:

The mind of God is all the mentality that is scattered over space and time, the diffused consciousness that animates the world.

Even famous physicist Albert Einstein was considered to be a pantheist after writing one letter to a friend in 1954:

We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists in its soul as it reveals itself in man and animal.

So, does this further add to the validity of Spirit Animals existing in our lives? In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether Spirit Animals are merely primitive social constructs, or whether their long history throughout many peoples and cultures points to a higher, deeper truth.

Read our article on Spirit Animals.

Note: The phrase “Power Animal” refers to the shamanic idea that certain animals (or tutelary spirits) can physically and psychologically empower us. The Power Animal, just like the Spirit Animal, is thought to lend its wisdom, attributes, and instincts to us in times of need.

Recommended Articles by Aletheia Luna
About the Author

Aletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a psych spiritual counsellor, tarot reader, and professional writer, Luna’s mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. See more of her work at lonerwolf.com.

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Consciousness

Eye Gazing – An Exercise For Soul Vision

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Eye Gazing – An Exercise For Soul Vision
Photo Credit: Getty

Nick PolizziGuest Writer

“The eyes are the window to your soul.” — William Shakespeare

I have a little challenge for you today that involves a simple but often cathartic ritual that has been practiced for thousands of years — eye gazing.

Our eyes are highly complex organs, capable of distinguishing the most finite details of our surroundings and interpreting the slightest discrepancy in another’s countenance. And yet, we rarely make direct eye contact with one another for more than a flashing moment.

It can feel awkward to lock eyes for too long during a normal conversation, but what is the source of that discomfort?

Beyond the various cultural connotations and social dos and don’ts that surround eye contact, there is an opportunity to create true connection with the people who matter to us.

Truly “seeing” another is one more checkpoint on the medicine path—a place to step outside of your ego and into your higher self.

Eye gazing—much different from eye contact—is a way to do just that. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll see and the emotions you’ll feel through the experience. It rarely disappoints.

The beauty of the exercise below is that it’s alarmingly easy, yet so rarely done, even with our most intimate relationships. There’s incredible power to gazing with someone you’re already in close relationship with (friends, lovers, and family), but it’s equally wondrous to do it with complete strangers.

The Eye Gazing Exercise:

This works best when both parties are already relaxed and fully present, so do whatever you need to get in this state. A 15-minute meditation, a yoga asana, a breathing exercise, a walk in nature, aromatherapy, or your favourite hot/cold therapy could work well here.

1) Set a timer for 10 minutes.

2) Sit across from your partner, preferably cross-legged on a soft rug or cushion, arms-length apart.

3) Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

4) Open your lids and look into the eyes of the person in front of you. Let the muscles in your face and body respond naturally to whatever is occurring in the gaze. This isn’t a staring contest; blinking is allowed.

5) No talking.

After the ten minutes are complete, it’s up to you whether you want to share your experience with your partner. Sometimes a conversation seems like a natural extension of what you just witnessed, and other times it feels more appropriate to simply thank one another and allow the experience to be what it is.

Buddhist teachings tell us that we are mirrors for one another, living reflections of both the light and the darkness that exist in our inner worlds. With our busy lives, it’s easy to forget to honour that sacred connection. We must open up if we are to help one another in this life.

Stay Curious, Nick Polizzi

The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World

The new book by Nick Polizzi.

n 2010, Nick Polizzi assembled a group of eight desperately ill patients from around the world and brought them into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to put the mysterious medicines of native shamans to the test. The healing journey that unfolded would change their lives — and his own — forever.

In his new book, ‘The Sacred Science’, Nick explores their primordial traditions further and reveals first-hand what it takes to truly heal ourselves of physical disease and emotional trauma. Part spiritual self-help book and part jungle adventure, ‘The Sacred Science’ is deeply personal and enlightening, and presents us with a bold new way of understanding the health of our mind, body and spirit, and the forgotten ways of a healthier, earth-connected ancestral past.

If you are trying to heal or bring balance to something inside yourself – physical or emotional – this revolutionary new book may be for you. It explains the core pillars of shamanic healing, and more importantly, how we can bring these ancient techniques into our life, right here – right now. You’ll learn practices and principles of native wisdom and gain a new understanding of what it means to heal — all told through a journey of exotic jungle medicines and harrowing rites of passage.

‘The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World’ is available here in digital, paper and audio book formats.

PLUS, for a limited time, it also comes with a bunch of awesome bonuses, including workshops on shamanic dreaming and ancient herbal methods for awakening consciousness.

Recommended Articles by Nick Polizzi
About the Author

Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of The Sacred Science documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honour, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.

For more, visit www.thesacredscience.com.

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Consciousness

What Are You Feeding Your Mind?

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What Are You Feeding Your Mind?
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Paul LendaGuest Writer

Your mind is like a garden. Flowers won’t bloom if you feed it mental poison. What are you feeding your mind?

All sensory input we receive affects us, from major to minor ways. Everything from the music we listen to, to the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, it all affects us in more profound ways than we sometimes realize.

This is because everything has its own vibrational energy structure. If you are interacting with, engaging with, or exposed to something, you can bet it is affecting you either positively or negatively. You can also say that it is also either strengthening or weakening your energy field. Remember the basic principle of Reality: everything affects everything.

Mainstream consciousness, which goes along with whatever the latest popular music, movies, sayings, food, and digital content is, is not the only one that is feeding its mind mental poison. So-called alternative culture, in all its forms (especially the “truth” movement) will repeatedly feed its mind with dark, depraved, and dense content, all in the name of “researching” and “uncovering” the truth. While going down the rabbit hole and learning about how you are in a control matrix designed to manipulate people and use your energy for nefarious purposes is part of the awakening process, there is a point where you can come back up to the surface and get some sunlight.

You don’t need to keep consuming content about all the insidious things that “they” are doing. That will attune you to very low states of consciousness that will make you more susceptible to infiltration and subjugation. Once you are aware that nearly everything you were taught is a lie, and get educated about all that is “wrong” with the world, you can start feeding your mind consciousness-raising sensory input. Strengthen your energy field and purify the sacred vessel you are merged with. This shows you that you love yourself, because you will stop re-traumatizing yourself repeatedly.

If you want to be the best version of yourself, feed your mind with things that will strengthen your energy field and raise your consciousness. Do this because you care about your own health and well-being. Do this to stop getting vampired off of by the Darkness. Do this for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Do some self-reflection and a “life audit” to see what you are allowing yourself to consume. Once you awaken, it’s time to move onto the next phase of the process. It’s time to becoming as strong of a change maker as you can, so that you are a shining example to others of what a consciously evolved human looks and acts like. Become a sage amongst the masses, to help them by living and embodying what it means to be an evolved being.

It’s going to take some time to make all the shifts, especially if you have become very attached to certain things. However, if you really want to keep progressing in your own evolution, you will need to take decisive action, even if it initially makes you uncomfortable, or you feel it is too difficult. Nothing is too hard to overcome. If you are determined enough to rise above something, you will.

So, what are you feeding your mind? Is it something that is helping you or hurting you? No matter how benign something may be, it all gets compounded and leads to you feeling sad, anxious, angry, afraid, cynical, and a host of other energy-depleting emotional states. When you consume “healthy” content, food, and energy, you will see flowers bloom, leading to you expanding your consciousness beyond the self-imposed limits you had previously.

Recommended Articles by Paul Lenda
About the Author

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counselling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyper dimensional matrix when providing guidance, counselling, and coaching.

You can connect with Paul via:

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Consciousness

11 Books That Will Shift Your Consciousness And Change Your Life

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11 Books That Will Shift Your Consciousness And Change Your Life
Photo Credit: Getty

Paul LendaGuest Writer

There are many books about consciousness, spirituality, the nature of Reality, the New Paradigm, and holistic health that both elevate and deepen your relationship with yourself and the Source field. Here are 11 of them.

On the path of awakened awareness, we need not feel like we have to go at it alone or reinvent the wheel. There are many very helpful resources available to us, especially in this Information Age that allows us to access a compendium of knowledge and wisdom from the Source Field in the form of literary transmissions.

Below you will find a list that I have personally found to be helpful on the path of awakened awareness, as have many others. You can click on the titles or the book covers if you want to head over to Amazon and get a copy of any of them.

1. Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Be Here Now is a classic. With each page looking like a work of art and definitely different from the way a traditional book looks like, it keeps you captivated and really feeling into the experience of living a more present life.

The book follows Richard Alpert through his journey out of the hyper-materialistic culture of the West to the spiritually-respectful culture in the East. After discovering the psychedelics psiolocybin and LSD, he experienced profound boundary dissolution and embarked on the path of Self-realization to India. Once where, he met his guru and was renamed Baba Ram Dass. It was there that he was introduced to the spiritual practices of meditation, hatha yoga, and Eastern philosophy and metaphysics.

This book is a must-have for anyone that wants to develop a deeper relationship with their true Self, loves poetic descriptions of the awakening process and is looking for practical advice on how to live a yogic life.

2. Sacred Sounds: Magic & Healing Through Words & Music by Ted Andrews

Sound creates form. In Hinduism, Om is perceived as being the creative sound of the Universe. In Christianity, the Word is said to be how everything came into existence. In essentially every human culture where there was a spiritual philosophy, sound was considered the tether connecting humans with the Divine. In esoteric schools and orders students and neophytes were taught the power of sound and how to use it for creating, manipulating Reality, and healing.

In Sacred Sounds, you will learn how to tap into the magical aspects of sound and the incredible healing nature of toning. Beyond healing, you will discover how to shift into higher states of consciousness. You will also be able to become more creative and enhance your intuition. Feeling like you have an energetic block? This book will teach you how, with the power of techniques such as directed esoteric toning, to dissolve blocks easily and effectively.

3. The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power by Christopher S. Kilham

The Tibetan Rites were one of the first yogic exercises I ever practiced and I make the effort to keep them integrated in my life to this day. They are five simple, yet profoundly effective, movements that have been said to be the “fountain of youth” and are easy to incorporate into a daily practice you may already have.

With a proclaimed age of over 2,500 years, the Tibetan Rites were brought to the West in 1939 with Peter Kelder’s book The Eye of Revelation. He learned about them from a retired British colonel who had gone to a remote monastery in the Himalayas after he kept hearing stories of llamas who became surprisingly strong, young-looking, and full of vigour after doing the so-called rites. The colonel learned about seven “psychic vortexes” that, as we age, start to spin slower which leads to worse health. The spin rate of the vortexes can be restored by practicing the 5 rites on a daily basis. This book by Chris published in the early 90s helped the world rediscover the Tibetan Rites and is a great guide to making them a part of your daily practice.

4. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot

We perceive the world as being a solid thing that is incredibly difficult to change with ease because of how dense it is. However, there is an incredible amount of evidence today that supports the idea that the universe is a holographic projection out of some primary Reality. With this, come the possibilities of playing with reality in ways that we thought were only possible in the realm of fantasy.

While this book came out in 1992, esteemed physicist David Bohm, a former protégé of Einstein’s and quantum physicist Karl Pribram, believe that the universe itself is probably a massive hologram, partially manifested by the Mind. This perception shift would explain many of the mysteries of physics, including telepathy, out-of-body and near death experiences, “lucid” dreams, and the mystical experiences of collective oneness and miraculous healings. This one will blow your mind if you have never looked deeper into the holographic universe theory.

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson

We sometimes get overwhelmed with situations that we find ourselves in and have difficulty finding our center and staying at ease. This book can help you shift your perspective and see that life is made of little moments and that if you simplify your outlook on things, then things become more manageable to deal with. This an insightful and easy-to-read book that you will find is a great book to open up any time you feel overwhelmed with life.

6. The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Plants contain a wealth of knowledge and humans have been learning their wisdom since time immemorial. Even today, the teachings continue, with biophillic design becoming the cutting edge of architectural design. This book explores the techniques used by people in the past and within the present to get direction from plants. My favourite part of this book is the deep exploration as to how the heart is an organ of perception. Heart-cantered perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed if developed, which is what this book can teach you.

7. I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj

As far as high-vibrational Self-realization teachings go, this one may take the cake. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was a teacher who did not promote any specific ideology, but instead unmasked the mystery of what the true Self is. Maharaj cuts out all the non-essential fluff that sometimes comes with spiritual teachings. The book is styled in a form of dialogues he had with people who came from all over the world with the intention to strip away all the layers that had built up around their true ‘I’ and its timelessness.

8. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

A text written nearly 2,500 years ago, this is a timeless classic about the Tao. In it is ancient wisdom about how to live a life of goodness and integrity. It also shows us how we can have a shift in our perception of reality if we are in a state of pure awareness. Putting a label and a name to every aspect of everything (something especially appealing to the Western mind) reduces our reality tunnel to a very limited perspective on things. Self-awareness is what this book is all about.

9. The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson

Did you know that emotionally-charged events from your past can become trapped in your body? Dr. Nelson explains how trapped emotions can create physical pain and even serious diseases. These trapped emotions can even influence the way you think, including what choices you make in life. Trapped emotions most often congregate around the heart and by using well-explained methods that apply kinesiology and neodymium magnets, you will be able to release trapped emotions easily and watch nearly instantly issues you may have had for decades disappear. These could include physical ailments, self-sabotage, as well as recurring relationship problems.

10. Energy Work: The Secrets of Healing and Spiritual Growth by Robert Bruce

Understand and feeling into our subtle energy system opens us up to being able to heal ourselves, among many other things. In this book, you will find an easy-to-follow guide to specific techniques such as tactile imaging that will turn you on to feeling subtle energy strongly enough where you will be able to feel where there are weaknesses in your field, as well as imbalances. There is no need for visualization in order to stimulate the movement of vital energy, which some people have difficulty with. If you want to strengthen your immune system, learn how to practice self-healing, develop more intimate relationships, and increase your psychic and spiritual abilities, this book is a must-read.

11. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind by Huang Po

Huang Po is perhaps the most insightful sage of the Zen tradition. The insights go incredibly deep. Sometimes you will find yourself sometimes needing to meditate on a sentence for a long time and really feel into the richness and depth of what is being streamed into your consciousness, using the limited lingual syntax we humans use to communicate thought-forms. There are truths about Reality that are so abstract that it is difficult to compress them into an understandable format using language but Huang Po did as impeccable job as is possible. Go beyond the perception of the senses into the realm of the Absolute.

Do you have any recommendations to add to this list?

Recommended Articles by Paul Lenda
About the Author

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counselling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyper dimensional matrix when providing guidance, counselling, and coaching.

You can connect with Paul via:

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Consciousness

How To Wake Up To Who You Really Are

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How To Wake Up To Who You Really Are
Photo Credit: Pexels

Paul LendaGuest Writer

Most people are sleepwalking through life. They either identify solely with this 3D reality or they believe in a vague sort of afterlife that is given to them if they behave well enough while they are alive. To wake up to who you really are, you need to go within and stop focusing so much on the external.

Even some “spiritual” people are not aware of what their true essence is. Enlightenment doesn’t come from reading books or chanting mantras…it comes from Self-realization.

What is Self-realization? It is the awakening of the awareness that you really are a Source fractal using a physical avatar as a way to interact with the densest plane of Reality. You are in a simulated universe that is a playground for experiential existence and soul evolution. While you definitely have a body, you are not your body.

Becoming Self-realized also makes you aware of the intimate interconnected wholeness of everything. As Swami Amar Jyoti said, “When you find yourself, who you really are, you will find that everybody and everything is One.” We are all inextricably linked to one another. What any one of us does affects every one of us.

Alan Watts said that, “waking up to who you are requires letting go of you who imagine yourself to be.” This means that you drop all the self-imposed labels, as well as the labels put on you by others, that attempted to define who you are.

That is all window dressing…layers of an onion obfuscating that true you.

Identifying with anything too strongly tethers you to it like a ball and chain. It hinders your evolution and makes it easier for you to fall into polarity consciousness. Us vs. them is a strong program that is difficult for anyone to break who has not awoken to who they really are.

Self-Realization: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3

You don’t have to run off to an ashram for several years in near-constant meditation to become Self-realized. It’s actually quite effortless, if you are open to it. What you are attempting to find is something that already exists within you…it’s the true You. It’s with you wherever you go and during whatever you do.

You can connect with your true Self by acknowledging it. At first, you can use meditation as your main tool to get in touch with it. Afterwards, you can simply connect with it in real-time without having to go through a visualization meditation. There’s many ways to go about it, but here’s one I like to teach, given its effectiveness for most people.

  1. Sit with your spine straight, eyes closed, breathing long and deep.
  2. Imagine a little glowing white version of you sitting in full lotus, right at your third eye center.
  3. Put your awareness into First Person mode of the little version of you, moving down your central channel, which is aligned with the spine, until you reach your solar plexus.
  4. Here, the little version of you lands on a spinning fire disc that spins continuously faster, lifting you back up through your central channel up out through your crown.
  5. You see the little glowing you rising above your physical body, going up into the sky, past the Earth, farther and farther…moving faster and faster past the planets in the Solar System and far beyond. The fire disc is always continuously spinning under you.
  6. Your inner GPS takes you to what looks like a star. This luminous ball of energy will begin “speaking” to you and you are able to have a conversation with it. You may even just feel strong emotions or see images of some kind. Connect with the star, as this is the visual symbol for your true Self. Ask it anything you want to know about yourself, life, and Reality.
  7. When you are done, think to yourself that you want to go back to your body. You will see the little version of yourself travel at light speed through space, back into your body, into the third eye center. You can open your eyes when you are ready.

Your own Self-realization is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world. When you wake up to who you really are, your entire perception of Reality shifts in a way that can’t be understood by reading about it. This is something you have to experience for yourself. Whenever you are ready, say Hello to your true Self. You will be glad you did.

Recommended Articles by Paul Lenda
About the Author

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counselling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyper dimensional matrix when providing guidance, counselling, and coaching.

You can connect with Paul via:

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