Animal Guides

From my perspective, the animal kingdom has a great deal to teach humanity, if we will take the time to watch and listen. We share the planet with a dizzying number of awe-inspiringly complex and dynamic creatures all uniquely suited to the equally complex and dynamic environments that they inhabit. In a nutshell, humans don’t have the monopoly on intelligence and we definitely do not have the monopoly on cool. This viewpoint inspired me to open to the messages and influence of the animal spirits that seem to “speak my language” and maybe share a bit of character with me. I have good relationships with a few animal guides.

Barn Owl

Barn Owls are silent, deadly predators with a taste for mice and other small to medium sized rodents. Because of their white color (on the belly) and stealthy night flights, they are sometimes called ghost owls or death owls. What is phenomenal about barn owls is that they can locate their prey in complete darkness using only their hearing. Their facial disk collects sound and funnels it toward their ears, which are unevenly set on each side of their heads. These anatomical traits allow the barn owl to move its head and hone in on a sound. He can judge how far away a target is, how deep it is in the snow or grass, and he can adjust for the prey’s movement – all using only sound. As you may have guessed, barn owls rarely return to their nests in the hollows of trees without a meal. Another interesting fact about this particular type of owl is that it hisses rather than hoots. The hiss is uniquely eerie.

Barn Owl first came to me in a trance vision many years ago. Barn Owl was quite unexpected and I almost ignored him when I first saw him. However, I could not shake the feeling in the vision that we had business together so I shifted my focus to him. In my experience in the last several years, Barn Owl is generally knowledgeable and has many insights with regard to astral travel.


Coyotes are whip smart and clever as hell, necessary traits for survivors. They have been shot at, trapped, and generally attacked as a species for centuries but they go on. Their territory has actually expanded over the decades! Coyotes live in the liminal space between the animal wild and human civilization. They have adapted and learned to live on the edge of human life. It is this seemingly insignificant (and definitely dangerous) adaptation that has allowed them to comfortably survive where many other species are on the cusp of extinction. Ironically the more closely they court danger, the longer lived they are as a species. True, every animal has a right to live whether domestic or wild but Coyote isn’t waiting on humans to come to that realization; he is making his own way!

Coyote is talkative. In their native southwestern dessert lands (though they now cover most of the United States), they can be heard howling and yipping for miles in the dark night. Coyote did not appear to me as directly as some other guides but when he did catch my attention, he had a look in his eye that bid me to follow and I haven’t looked back. He continues to teach me.


Crows are fantastic creatures that like to greet the sun with a rough and repetitive song that actually makes me smile. There are a great many of them in my neighborhood. I am very drawn to them and their behavior interests me. Because they are so vocal (like myself), I often feel that they are speaking directly to me in code and that I need to crack that code like a nut dropped from a high place onto the pavement so that I can harvest the delicious contents.

Crow speech has a few different forms. Many times there will be one or more crows engaged in a call and response with one or more other crows. Sometimes there are a half dozen or more in one tree chit-chatting. Often in my area, I will see them in the skies above my apartment flying and talking to one another. I feel particularly drawn to Crow because when he speaks, I feel compelled to listen. I have found that Crow often heralds a significant transition in my life. They also tend to portend the presence of Deity. I know that Crow just might be talking to me directly if he is cawing rather regularly and rapidly in my general direction with no other crows to respond to his call. It’s been strange when this has happened but I listen and try to expand my awareness so that I can figure out what Crow might be talking about.


The snake is a carnivorous reptile with a flexible body, jointed skull, and mobile jaw, and a ton of style. These animals are stealthy, speedy predators. Snakes of one variety or another are found around the world, with the exception of certain extreme climates and some islands. I first encountered the Serpent as an animal ally and spirit guide in the summer 2012. This mighty being guided me through a time of personal transformation. At once, I shed an old tired skin and the raw power of my consciousness began its long slow winding rise. The Serpent remains, whispering wisdom from betwixt and between, from the celestial and the chthonic realms.

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