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Dr. Steven Farmer: Listening to Our Animal Spirit Guides - P2/2

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Published on May 16, 2012

Dr. Steven Farmer: Listening to Our Animal Spirit Guides - P2/2


Hallo, special viewers, and welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today we present the concluding episode in our two-part interview with American author, retired psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and shaman Dr. Steven Farmer. A shaman uses wide range of practices to communicate with the world beyond physical appearances.

Author of the bestselling books "Earth Magic," and "Sacred Ceremony," Dr. Farmer also hosts a weekly radio program called Earth Magic Radio. As we learned yesterday, he has studied animal guides extensively and says if we are in tune with them, their messages can help us overcome the challenges in our lives. Can a particular animal also guide a group or community of people? Dr. Farmer's answer uses the example of his friend Jeremy, a member of an indigenous group in Australia.

I want to explain a couple terms, how I view them; totem animal and power animal. Totem animal's probably the one that people more commonly refer to.

I've got to tell you the technical definition in my world. And totem is one of two things. Totem is typically a spirit animal that's shared by a community, a tribe, a clan, a family. The Kuku Yalanji tribe that Jeremy is part of in Australia, the men share a totem. And that's a totem animal, and that's the Cassowary.

And then he's got his personal totem, which is, this is public so I'm not giving away any secrets, a Long-necked turtle. So, totem means one of two things typically in my world. One is that it is shared by a clan or community. The second is representation of a spirit animal, whether it's a power animal or a totem animal. This is a representation of one of my power animals, a wolf. A soapstone carving, just a reminder, sits by my computer.

And I've got others. This is actually a graphite raven, beautiful piece, and this was gifted to me. Clients will occasionally gift me things. And you can't see it but, there's a condor up there. So the condor itself could be considered a totem. So it's not just the physical being, it's also the spirit of, not just that Long-necked turtle, but the entire species of Long-necked turtle. And in some ways, the entire species of turtle, because there're a few different subcategories. A power animal, it comes from shamanism, and it is typically that the shaman herself or himself carries or has a relationship with anywhere from one to maybe four or even five power animals. But not 20 or 30.

And those are consistent animal spirit guides. For instance, snake. It must have come to me, I think about 20 years ago. And then within about three years of that, wolf showed up. And then owl showed up again about four years later, not just showed up but, through my work, identified himself as a power animal. Raven came in loud and clear about four or five years ago, and has become the main power animal that I work with, I refer to, I listen to, I ask questions of, et cetera.

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