Folklore and fairy tales are full of stories about mysterious animals. Shamans all over the world have always called on power animals to guide them through the other realms. Witches and cunning folk were said to have helpful familiars such as cats or toads. Many traditions speak of both humans and deities who shape-shift into animals.
So it’s not entirely surprising to hear about people’s strange animal encounters. Although sometimes startling, these experiences are generally positive. They may happen for all kinds of different reasons. The following three accounts show how animals have acted as unexpected guardians.
MEG: A load of timber I had delivered brought two rats into the house. They were huge, and they scared me. I lay awake for four nights listening to them bashing about in the kitchen. In the end, I reluctantly set a trap. Next morning, one of them was dead in it. I cried, and couldn’t do the same for the other one. Instead, I prayed, pleading for it to leave.
Suddenly, a cat from my childhood appeared at the window, which was quite high off the ground. Ignoring me, it quietly walked past me into the kitchen. After a scuffle in there, the cat walked back past me and out the window. I never saw the cat or the rat again.
LIBBY: I once rescued an Alsatian dog, and called him King. He’s gone to spirit now – but whenever things are against me, he comes back and sleeps on my bed. I know it’s him because he always slept on my bed, and would turn round three times before flopping down.
When my boss at work was trying to sack me, King stayed with me every night. Eventually that boss left because he didn’t like the new company that took over. So I kept my job. It was a difficult time, and I’m sure my dog came back to see me through it.
JOE: I once worked with a band in Beirut. Near the end of that contract, we still had no idea where our agent had booked us next. I asked spirit for a sign. Then every time I meditated, all I got was a huge dog, looking up at me and wagging its tail. Next thing we heard that we’d been booked into Tehran.
The first evening, I went on to the balcony of our first floor flat, and looked down into the street. There, smiling up at me was a huge dog. It was identical to the one in my meditations. I went down to pet it. It put its feet on my shoulders and welcomed me with big licks.
Next morning, the dog brought the rest of the desert pack with it – about a dozen dogs, all huge, and just as welcoming. At the time the Shah still ruled. The people hated westerners and sometimes attacked them, so the streets were dangerous for us. The club where we worked was ten minutes’ walk away. But every evening, this pack of wild dogs escorted us there. People were afraid of them, and crossed the road to avoid us. I think that dog came in answer to my uncertainty about what was coming next.
Many people have felt a psychic connection to animals. You’re most welcome to share your own experiences in the comments section, or more privately via my website contact page: www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.uk
This article was first published in my ‘Tales From the Other Side’ Column in Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine.
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