Each of us come into this lifetime with a whole circle of spiritual resources which include guides, guardian angels, spirit animals and so on. This circle of resources is your own personal posse that is always listening to you. They like to help you as often as possible , daily if you allow them by providing protection, guidance and healing.
Spirit Animals are guides from your circle of resources that come in animal form to teach or deliver a message. They are often referred to as power animals, animal guides and they are all one in the same. It is believed that animals are receivers of energy and become mirrors for you to learn about yourself. The spirit animal that appears for you is bringing your their sweet "medicine" in the form of guidance, wisdom, teachings, power or protection.
Since your circle of spiritual resources works with you daily the spirit animals that appear to you may be different everyday depending on what is up for you. The animals are teachers of balance and harmony in life. They are responding to the energy of your feelings, beliefs and thoughts where you may be out of balance and offering guidance, healing or wisdom. Often they appear when you are searching for clarity, need guidance, affirming a power action, or they bring into consciousness something your soul already knows. Basically, they are listening and the animal that shows is spot on for that day, moment, event, experience etc.
The way a spirit animals shows up varies. You may have a physical encounter with one like walking in the woods or in your neighborhood, or it swoops over you car. You may have one as a pet. You may see the image of them everywhere you look - in the clouds, in the store, on billboards. It may visit you in your dreams or come to you while meditating or daydreaming. Or you may exhibit certain qualities of the animal such as going mama bear at the playground.
When you realize its a spirit animal for you. Pause and thank it for showing up. Put your hand on your heart (its the quickest way to access your intuition) breathe and ask why it is showing up for you. What is it's message? Then listen with your heart, your mind, your ears, your inner knowing. Ask as many questions as you like. They are willing to have a conversation with you.
The spirit animal may also be offering you a reflection of some of your characteristics. Take time exploring and learn as much as you can about them their diet, behavior, habitat, lifestyle. Staying present and attentive to yourself during this inquiry listening for what resonates with you and how their "medicine" can bring balance and harmony into your life.
Here is an example of a spirit animal showing up for me. I have a very active mole in my yard. This is during a time for me where I am turning inward to uncover and release old traumas to step into the fullness of me. Daily I am open to the teachings as I am raking the mole hills into the grass and the garden beds. What I am learning is that bringing to the surface what has been buried for decades creates space and feeds the rest of life - like the upturned soil is doing from my grass and garden.
Remember your circle of resources is always listening.