Power Animals, Signs and Reasons to Celebrate

When Reiki entered my life I had no idea the surprising 'treasures' this universal energy would bring me. They come every day in one way or another and continue to stimulate and entice my inner knowing.  I have entered worlds within myself that I never knew existed, not consciously anyway.  These worlds can be found through meditation and visualization.  They are hidden deep in the unconscious mind and can be found by each and every one of us. I teach this in my Meditation and Visualization Classes

I started meditating and visualizing (seriously) shortly after my Level 1training and I have never looked back.  I really started to notice the world around me.  I started to 'see' in ways I had never 'seen'.  It was as though I had been watching the world in black and white and it suddenly changed to Technicolor.  Then I

met my Spirit Guide. He is an old learned man. His name is Menzalta. He told me that I am to call him Zalt. He reminds me of Merlin, although looks nothing like any 'Merlin’s' I’ve 'seen.' He wears long flowing robes (I think dark green or burgundy, it’s hard to distinguish in the low light) tied with a big gold cord. He has long greyish hair and a long beard. He wears glasses with wires rims and has a kind face, very wrinkled, but kind. When my visits with him begin he is always at his table with a quill pen in his hand, writing on parchment. One foot on the floor the other on the first rung of a stool. It was just before my Level 2 training that I began to 'travel' to and learn from him.  I also noticed during that time that Dragonflies appeared everywhere around me so I assumed that the Dragonfly must be my Power Animal...

In the almost four years that had past since I first met my Spirit Guide I had often wondered why my Power Animal had never really appeared clearly on any of my journeys.  Just as it would begin to I would strain to see its shape and try with all my 'strength' to connect with it.  Each time it would begin to slowly fade away, I would then try to imagine from the bulk of its shape what it might be.  Perhaps, I would think, it's a horse or a deer…. "No, that's not it!" my inner voice would echo. I tried and tried to catch a glimpse of it and even wondered if I was rejecting the image because it might be an animal I was not particularly fond of.  Perhaps and alligator or a crocodile or … not that I have anything against these creatures… There was just nothing that came to me.  Of course the more I struggled with the notion, the further away my Power Animal would fade!  I finally just told myself… its OK… maybe its mot appearing because I know deep down it must be a Dragonfly and I would leave it at that. 

Then it happened!  The very next time I began to visualize…I entered a New World. After 'travelling' a short distance before me appeared a large doorway, more of a hole, in front of me.  As I went through the hole and entered the 'otherside' I noticed that flowers and trees surrounded me.  It was a very beautiful, brightly coloured land and suddenly as I walked along there were many different fairies flying around.  They were very beautifully coloured as well.  They all were different, with different styles of wings and dress.  Some sat along the edge of the path smiling at me as I passed.  Then suddenly, there it was… I saw a face! Shadowy and misty at first, and I wondered, was this a badger perhaps… no… it came nearer to me.  As it got closer I saw it, I saw him… a Grizzly Bear! "Are you my Power Animal," I asked inquisitively and he replied…. "Yes, I am your Power Animal"!"…His voice was deep and gruff.  "Well! Where have you been?"  "Why haven't you come before this? !"  I asked.  His Grizzly strength came through in his voice as he boomed…”Where have I been!"  " You haven't been paying attention, I've been right here the whole time!"  Hesitantly, I then asked… "Well then why wouldn't you show yourself?"  There he stood on his hind feet, towering over me, his 'shoulders' slouched forward and his 'arms' hung precariously at his side and his paws bent in a slight curve… he answered with yet another question… "I've tried to contact you… why do you have a room full of Teddy Bears?"… "I like them." was my sheepish answer.  "Okay then, do you remember when you were a little girl about nine years old and you went camping with your family in northern Manitoba, you befriended a dog."  I remembered that, I even remembered the dog's name Ginger! …  "Well, what did the dog chase up a tree?”  I took my memory back to that time, I had been walking along with this new friend and suddenly, and not ten feet in front of me was a brown bear.  Ginger took off after it, chased up a tree and kept it treed while I ran back and excitedly told my parents about this cute bear that I had met up with.  They where mortified that I had no fear of this bear.  It could have, after all, killed me!!…  "That bear, was me!" explained the Grizzly… "And do you remember going camping with your brother in your early twenties and a black bear came out of the bush towards you?"  "Your brother chased it back into the bush; … that also, was me!"  I was beginning to catch on now though I really didn't want to admit how blind I had been… so I said; "well that happens to lots of people."  "OH! Why then did your daughter, on a trip to Vancouver, return with a leather medicine pouch that she bought for you; a medicine pouch with a replica bear claw in it?"  Yes, that had happened!

I could no longer deny that he had indeed tried to present himself, for many, many years.  I hugged him then and he hugged me back.  Hugged me with his great bear arms and I felt his great bear paws. But, wait…”what about my beloved Dragonfly?” He told me that the characteristics of Bear have some of the same as those of the Dragonfly! (Could this have been another indication that I really hadn't been paying attention?) I also found other information about Bear medicine…he told me to remember what I had learned about the Druids, (who I have a great interest in and have spent much time reading about and learning about their practices!) associated the Pole Star of the constellation of The Great Bear to King Arthur, whose name coincidentally means… Bear.  I say coincidentally because 'The Sword in the Stone' was my all time favourite movie growing up, the times of King Arthur and Merlin have ALWAYS intrigued me AND I was married to someone named Arthur for Fourteen years!! “What about the book…THE 21 Lessons of Merlin, who taught Arthur, who he called ‘bear cub’?…”  WOW

And if that's not enough I had also had a call from a girl who was passing through on her way from Victoria, a city 60 miles from here on her way back to Ontario.  She called me to ask me if I would teach her Level one Reiki if she travelled up island to me.  After a lengthy conversation I agreed and taught her Level 1.  I learned that she was a member of the Iroquois nation, one of the few that honour the Bear as a medicine/healing totem. She gave me her e-mail address and it contained the words Seneca bear!

I asked him if he was my only Power Animal. I guess I wanted to be partly right and hoped that he would tell my that indeed a Dragonfly was also one of my Power Animals.  There was no other mention of the Dragonfly . "You have two others," he told me "an Eagle and an Elk".  "An Eagle and an Elk? !"  I queried in confusion.  "Yes… this is why you have received four Eagle feathers on four separate occasions, this is why Eagles surrounded you one day on the beach on Gabriola Island, it's why Eagles fly above you every time you go for a drive in the car. In fact it is why your brother gave you a picture of an Eagle the last time you saw him before he died!

"Do you remember the 'rock' concert that you went to, the one that stands out as the best ever… the one where the band named 'The Eagles' played!"  Ah yes I remembered all these things. I asked the bear for a name that I could call him.  He gave me the letters N-I-K-L-A-G-A-L-F.  I looked at him.  Niklagalf? …I was puzzled.  He told me to work with it, to this time pay attention.  I asked him if I would be able to contact him again and he told me I could, anytime because he would always be with me just as he always had been. Now it will be easy though, because I now know he's there.  So I left the underworld and travelled back to my own and went directly to my book Animal Speak that was written by Ted Andrews. There I learned about the Bear, I read about the Eagle and the Elk as well.

While writing this story I 'played' with the letters that that great Bear gave me to represent his name ~N-I-K-L-A-G-A-L-F~ reversing the letters I came up with Flagalkin.  I'll just call him Flag… in honour of ALL the ones that he's waved in front of my face for more than thirty years.  And I think of alkin as being a word to represent our relationship with each other, with all life, with the entire universe… alkin… ALL KIN…

How many signs does one need?  Well I've thought a lot about that as I prepared to write this article, and I've come to the conclusion that it's not how long it takes that matters.  What really matters is that we do eventually realize, that we do eventually awaken to and celebrate, the energy of Reiki, the energy of Life...

and most importantly, the energy of the Universe… relate and Celebrate!

Eagles surround me!!

Nancy Hedberg is the owner/operator of Island Reiki and Relaxation Center on Vancouver Island, Canada. You can also learn how to contact your Power Animal or Spirit Guide and many other things in Meditation and Visualization, Hypnotherapy, Dreamwork and other self-help workshops.  You can contact her by  e-mail helpinghealinghands@shaw.ca

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