Alida Birch is a teacher of shamanism and spiritual healing in Eugene Oregon, offering introductory and advanced trainings in the shamanic journey, shamanic healing, and soul retrieval.. Trained in soul retrieval by Sandra Ingerman and certified in shamanic counseling by Michael Harner, Alida assists her clients to heal the past and to create a life of joy. She received her shamanic initiation in the 1980's, has facilitated thousands of soul retrievals, and has been training others for three decades. Her first book, The Co-Creation Handbook: A Shamanic Guide to Manifesting a Better World & a More Joyful Life, is now available as a paperback, e-book, and audiobook.
The Retrieval of Power
One of the most common healing practices the spirits direct me to use is the power animal retrieval. Quite simply, this means the retrieval of power for one who has lost it.
My first step is to ask my own power animal what is to be done for this client who has asked my help. If he directs me to retrieve a power animal for the person, I then go looking for an animal in non-ordinary reality who is willing to form a special healing relationship with my client and bring their power to assist them.
Power animals remind me of the Judeo-Christian concept of the guardian angel. Power animals protect the client from harm and illness, guide us on our path, and, if we learn how to journey, they are available for counsel and healing.
The actual form the power animal chooses to take is often dependent on the needs of the client. If they are open and have good feelings for a wolf, it may be that the spirit decides to take the form of the wolf. Sometimes, if the client needs lessons in a certain area but they are resisting, a spirit will come back in the form of an animal that is repugnant to the client.
Clients frequently ask me if totem animals are the same as power animals. They are not. A totem animal is representative of specific lessons and characteristics. A power animal is a spirit in the form of an animal; it is not limited by its form and is capable of working on many different issues.