When we think of meaningful relationships in our lives, we may immediately think of a loved one, friends, and family. While these relationships are of importance and offer tremendous value, there are relationships beyond the familiar that can provide additional meaning and value to our lives. Such relationships are those of the spirit and animal world.
"Spirit animals, also known as animal spirit guides, power animals, and totem animals are messengers in the form of animals that have a personal connection or relationship with an individual. In Shamanism, ancient knowledge teaches that not only do humans and animals exist in the physical world, they also exist in the spiritual world."
"Shamans around the world have been relying on the guidance and wisdom of spirit animals for centuries," which brings us to Alyson Charles.
Alyson Charles, Host of Ceremony Circle Podcast and Best-Selling Author of Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul is an internationally recognized Shaman.
Alyson went from being a national champion athlete, top-rated radio host and national daytime television talk show host, to aligning with her calling as a Shaman after a traumatic moment provided her awakening. Since then, and after sharing sacred ceremonial space, learning from and/or receiving permission to share teachings, songs and practices from other respected spiritual teachers from around the world, Alyson honed her ability to share ancient sacred wisdom and divine energy to be a powerful catalyst for change.
Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley: Can you briefly explain what is animal power?
Alyson Charles: Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul is a modern-day power animal guidebook sharing what messages, wisdoms and healing attributes each animal embodies. That way, if a particular animal shows up in your dreams, waking life, in multiple conversations etc. you can head to Animal Power to see why that animal is presenting, what it might be trying to communicate, or how it aims to support or empower your life.
How did you come to write Animal Power? How does your information come to you?
I had been asked to write my first book by various publishers and literary agents. Through a many year process of getting clear on what that first book would be, I flew to Bali to begin writing a book on surrender and in my first morning meditation, power animals as far as my mind’s eye could see, entered in and asked that I shelve that original book idea and co-create a modern day power animal guidebook with them. I live by the calls of the Divine, so I knew I needed to say yes to this invitation. Thankfully my agents were also on board with this change of plans.
By the time this invitation came in, I had been working and communicating with the power animal realm on a daily basis for more than a decade, so to have arrived at a point in my relationship with the power animal guides where they trusted me this much to be a voice for them in this way (and I have also trusted them to show up on-demand when I’m on stage in front of audiences of 10,000+ doing live power animal readings) was deeply moving to say the least. I worked on Animal Power for many years, communicating and connecting with the animal allies daily, even asking each animal who wanted to be in the book to present itself.
During this time of transformation, everything that has not been dealt with, on an unconscious and subconscious level, is coming up to be seen and released. It’s a time to let change change us, to reevaluate if what we believe and hold to be true is working for us. Can you talk about how connecting to the sacred power of the animal world can help us navigate this time of transformation?
Such a beautiful question. The animal allies have infinite amounts of love and support that they want to give to us! But they love to know that we are interested in working with them, which is why I always recommend speaking out loud your readiness to connect with them in more profound ways and then take responsibility in becoming consciously aware of the animals as they show up for you.
Power animals came to me when I needed help the most – right after my Divine intervention and spiritual awakening, and my core power animal, the black jaguar, taught me about reclaiming my spiritual gifts, doing shadow work and much more.
Three supporter animals also entered:
the bear to teach me how to truly trust the guidance of the unseen realms and how to surrender and let go,
the frog showed me it was time to take the biggest leap of faith of my life and as frogs only leap forward, it taught me to not go back into the previous toxic relationship that led to my awakening, and
the deer has been a more than decade-long animal supporter who has steadfastly led me to keep my heart open and played a monumental role in my getting together with my now-husband, Luke Storey.
I share these examples because in Shamanism we work a lot with the medicine that story-telling provides. Hopefully these examples can illuminate for your community some of the many infinite ways that uniting with the sacred wisdoms of our animal allies can help one navigate during times of greatest challenge or transformation.
What has been the most surprising or unexpected part of writing Animal Power?
I would say the massive ripple effect I’m already seeing the book having in the world and also the countless initiations I experienced while writing it. I very bravely and steadfastly held a very clear and strong line for what I knew (and was instructed by Divine) this book should be.
In terms of the energetic medicine it embodies, the Shamanic wisdom and education held within it, the art that each of the 100 animals have to accurately portray their healing attributes and wisdoms etc. It was the biggest and most arduous task of my career, but I could not be happier with the final outcome of Animal Power (which is now a best-seller) and the Animal Power card deck. Knowing these projects are a part of my legacy is very potent for me and my calling this lifetime.
Also, because my intention for the book was that it simply be infused with the energy medicine that would serve the highest, greatest, good of each person who invited it into their heart and home, I didn’t want to set a goal that it must be a NYT best-seller, or any goals of that nature. So, it’s refreshing and very powerful to witness that the foundation of the book is so resonate for so many (adults, teens and kids alike) that I’m blown away each day by the emails, social media shares etc. from readers talking about how Animal Power is their go-to guide and how it’s transformed their lives!
Brimming with 100 different vibrant animal illustrations, transformative practices, and captivating stories from around the world, Animal Power is an enlightening guide to the power of the animal realm and how they bring peace, healing and empowerment to your life. You can order your copy here.
To learn more about Alyson's work visit AlysonCharles.com.