Finding Your Animal Allies

Now that you are more or less marginally acquainted with the Celtic animals, plan time for a vision quest. On your journey you may encounter an Animal Ally that you fear or hate. Not every creature will be likeable or even friendly. If this occurs, do not irrationally run away but ask it questions. It may be there to help you understand more about yourself or a particular problem you are facing. If you simply cannot accept it at that time, thank it for appearing and search for another. The rejected animal will very likely appear on a later journey when you are better able to accept what it has to offer.

Choose a time and place (even a room with a locked door) for your vision quest where you will not be disturbed. Set out what shamanic tools you have on your blanket or cloth. Carry the smoking incense or herbs to the four cardinal directions. Using either a drum or the Silver Branch (a shamanic tool consisting of a branch with many bells attached), begin our ride into the otherworlds. When you feel yourself slipping into the SSC (meditative state), sit comfortably or lie down. Relax your body and dump your problems.

Vision Quest

You find yourself standing on the shore of a gently moving river. A Celtic boat is drawn up halfway on the shore, an unlit torch fastened at one end. As you step into the boat, it floats free from the shore and drifts out into the current. You relax as the boat drifts on down the river, past great forests, and on toward a rugged, rocky mountain.

Soon you are quite close to the mountain. In the side of the mountain is a dark cave, just big enough for you and the boat to float into. The river disappears into this cave, carrying you with the current. The torch bursts into flame at the front of the boat as the deep darkness settles about you.

You drift along the river current inside the cave-tunnel. At first is very quiet except for the sound of the water lapping against the rocks. Occasionally you may see figures perched on the rocks. They will be aspects of your personality, both positive and negative. Observe the insistent ones closely, for they will be clues to traits that may need correcting or reinforcing. But do not stop the boat. Let it continue on its way.

Soon you see alighted opening ahead, and the boat floats out into the sunlight. THis new land is an area of the Otherworlds, much like our plane of existence, yet with differences. Here animals, birds, and fish can talk. There is a slight difference in the make-up of plants, both in looks and the ability to communicate. This is a spirit plane where medicine men, shamans, priests, and priestesses come on vision quests.

Here it is possible for you to find Animal Allies. you many be approached by certain animals, birds, or fish who will be able to communicate clearly with you. If you see any creature three or more times, it will very likely become an Ally or helper. You may feel drawn to special plants or trees. They also will be able to communicate.

You may well meet other shamans or spiritual seekers on this plane. Some have much knowledge to share. Some who have died to the physical realm work entirely with shaman seekers on this level.

The boat drifts on to a sandy beach, and you step out. The colors are vivid, the air filled with strange, wonderful scents. you feel a sense of anticipation, for on this plane you can discover the goals you need to accomplish, the subjects you need to study, the helpers you who can aid you in your shamanic journeys, the answers to questions.

Many little paths lead from the river through the trees. Beyond are clearings and little lakes, different groves of trees, meadows and canyons. You can go anywhere you please. Take as much time as you need to explore. Be very alert for animals, birds, or fish that may approach you as Allies and helpers. Don't feel foolish or be afraid to try communicating with various plants and trees here. There are no communication barriers in the Otherworlds.

When you are ready to leave this Otherworld, return to the river bank, Step into the canoe, and let it carry you on down the gentle river into the center of a brilliant light. As the light finally fades around you, you find yourself back in your physical body.

You may find that your consciousness has not quite meshed with reality yet. Give yourself a few moments to relax. Jot down notes about your journey and what may have occurred afterward; later these notes will be reminders so that you can more fully record your travels in your shamanic journal (grimoire, bos, etc...)


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