It is well known that the ancient Egyptians worshipped animals in some form. The word “worshipped” however is a bit synthetic. Their real mode of their worship is more like what we would characterize as deep respect. Animals hold a purity with the earth, not because they do not kill for food or engage in violent behavior. They hold a purity because they live in accordance with nature, and in accordance with their species. The gods were part animal because the gods were masters of the animal powers. You see, the Egyptians didn’t worship their gods. They strived to embody them.
Human beings have the task of seeking out their own nature, and learning to embody it. Before that happens, true authentic and natural oracular expression is not possible. The Egyptians saw that the animals have powers that we can learn to embody as our own. For example, the calm courage of the lion, the loyalty of the household dog, and the keen eye of the eagle can guide us to seeking out and experiencing these virtues within ourselves. We cannot learn without embodiment. Learning about a virtue and trying to imitate it as something outside ourselves is the synthetic method of learning virtue. It never feels authentic. It always feels like something that is more cosmetic, rather than being rooted from deep within ourselves, from within our connection to the earth.
It is my belief that human beings are guided by the animals. Some of us find ourselves drawn to a particular animal. Others find guidance from the many creatures who visit them. Still others, like myself, can see the animal spirits or guides expressed in dimensions beyond the physical visible spectrum. Everyone has a unique and special relationship to nature, and the powers she grows within us. You cannot learn these powers at a school, or from an online – or offline – course. You must feel and experience the world around you enough to notice which animals are calling out to you.
When you start to notice that animals that show up around you, you can receive their messages, and get to know what that animal is teaching you. In societies that spend lots of time around the animals, this dialogue with the animals is more natural. It seems a little more strange to us, because our synthetic societies tend to keep the wild animals out. We spend more time watching TV and being on computers, then learning, observing, and tracking wildlife. Fortunately, there is an incredible amount of information on the nature of any animal, their character, their traits, not only as we know them in a clinical sense, but as indigenous cultures knew them and observed them, their spiritual significance, and their medicine in our lives.