As per shamanic wisdom and tradition, Power Animals are spirits which help us in life, whether consciously or unconsciously. Individuals can gain and lose many power animals during their life time. Often, every few years a person may lose power animals. Also, it is possible to gain and restore power animals through shamanic rituals.
Below lists an 18 step ritual to restore your power animal
- Step 1: Plan with your partner or a person for whom you are looking for the power animal, and if possible a third person, to spend evening together. On that day, you must abstain from alcohol, mind-altering drugs.
- Step 2: Find a room where you can control the light and which is free from noises. Clear the area of furniture. Light a candle on the floor in one corner of the room, where it will not throw much light.
- Step 3: The person acting as a shaman should go through the steps of Starting to Dance and Dancing your Animal routine. If there is someone who can drum, have him/her beat the drum in time to your rattle, but only while dancing.
- Step 4: Shake the rattle four times in six directions (east, west, south, up and down) to catch the attention of spirits, wherever they are. Whistle four time to call them. Walk very slowly around the patient four times, shaking the rattle in slow but strong and steady tempo, and then stand beside him.
- Step 5: Begin to Whistle your power song, which you call upon the spirits to help you, while shaking your rattle.
- Step 6: Now, begin to sing the words, while continuing shaking the rattle, in same strong, slow, beat.
- Step 7: Continue repeating your song, until you are aware that your consciousness is altering. With practice and experience you can easily recognise this light trance being reached. Some obvious signs are increased tempo of singing, rattling, trembling arms, often accompanied with shivering. When it is time, you will experience an almost irresistible desire to lie on the floor next to your patient. Avoid doing this for as long as possible, until you cannot resist any longer.
- Step 8 – When you are on the ground, push your prone body next to the patient, shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip, foot-to-foot. Start to shake the rattle back and forth above your chest level. When you begin to shake your rattle, the drummer (if present) should begin beating in time with you.
- Step 9 – Shake the rattle around 180 times per minute. While you lie on the floor, you may cover the eyes with one forearm against light from the candle while you maintain rattling, until you clearly see your entrance into the Lowerworld.
- Step 10 – Visualize the entrance or opening into the earth, and then enter. Fllow the path into the tunnel or the cave downward, which may appear to be a long and ribbed tube, or as a series of caverns, or a flowing stream. While you proceed, pass any obstacles which may appear.
- Step 11 – Avoid any ominously voracious nonmammals you may encounter in your journey (Which is recommended as per wisdom of the shamans for special reasons). Especially avoid or pass any spiders, swarming insects, fanged serpents, fanged reptiles, fish whose teeth are visible. If you are unable to pass around them, rumple return from the tunnel an try later another time. This applies for you throughout the journey into the Lowerworld.
- Step 12 – On the other end of the tunnel, you will find yourself in the Lowerworld. Now, this is where you must find the power animal for your partner/patient, no matter what the landscape you may find yourself in.
- Step 13 – You will recognize your power animal if you see the animal four times. It will be a mammal, or a bird, a serpent, other reptile, or fish, even if they appear as menacing. In case it’s a serpent, other reptile or fish, they will not show their fangs or teeth. It can also be a mythic animal.
- Step 14 – After seeing the power animal four times, clasp to your chest immediately with one hand. The animal will come willingly, otherwise it wouldn’t show up. Clasping the animal in this manner, pickup and sound the rattle sharply four times. This should be a signal for the drummer momentarily stop drumming. Then shake the rattle in a very fast cadence (around 210 times per minute), setting the tempo for the drummer. Thereafter you should return rapidly through the tunnel, usually within 30 seconds, to avoid inadvertently losing the guardian animal.
- Step 15 – Put rattle away and clasp the animal to your chest. Then rise up on your knees, facing your partner. The drummer should stop as soon as you rise up. Immediately place cupped hands with the guardian spirit on your companion’s breastbone, and blow with all your strength through your cupped hand into the chest of your partner – then with your left hand raise him/her to sitting position. Then put your cupped hand on top rear of your partner’s head. Forcefully blow again to send any residual power into the head. Then, pick up the rattle, shaking it rapidly and sharply, pass it in a circle four times around your companion’s body.
- Step 16 – Quietly tell your partner / patient the name of the animal you brought back. If you do not know the name of the animal, then describe the appearance as well as all the details of the journey.
- Step 17 – Assist your partner to dance his/her animal, or order to make the animal feel welcome. Shake the rattle, gradually increase the tempo in accordance with the patient’s movements. The drummer should follow the shaman’s lead. After a few minutes, shake the rattle four times – ending the dance and the drumming.
- Step 18 – Now, you may change places with your partner, and the same kind of journey can be undertaken by your partner for you. Follow the same process.
- Harner M. 1992, The Way of Shaman, Harper San Francisco, U.S.