Power animal, is a broadly animistic and shamanic concept that has entered the English language from anthropology, ethnography and sociology. A tutelary spirit guides, helps or protects individuals, lineages and nations. In the shamanic worldview, everything is alive, bearing an inherent virtue, power and wisdom. In this context power animal(s) represent a person's connection to all life, their qualities of character, and their power.
Power animals are common to shamanic practice in both Eurasia and the Americas. They are the helping or ministering spirit or familiar which empowers individuals and is essential for success in any venture undertaken.
In the shamanic worldview, most persons have power animals or tutelary spirits which empower and protect them from harm, like guardian spirits or angels in the Abrahamic traditions. In these traditions, the power animal may also lend the wisdom or attributes of its kind to those under its protection.
- Animal worship
- Familiar spirit
- Patron saint
- In various cultures:
- Harner, Michael (1980). The Way of the Shaman. HarperCollins, New York.
- Meadows, Kenneth (2004). Shamanic Spirit. Inner Traditions.
- Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory Episode: "Get with your power animal"(2009).
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