Rock-star Shaman Alyson Charles explains how to connect with animal energy.
By Janaye Barabin, Photos courtesy of Alyson Charles
Alyson Charles, also known as Rock-star Shaman, has been very outspoken about her shamanic journey. “For me, the name ‘Rock-star Shaman,’ the medicine name I was given, represents my connection to rock, Great Mother Earth and my connection to star, source, consciousness and spirit.”
She believes in empowering others to find their own spiritual path while connecting deeply with themselves and the world they live in. Animal energy was an essential part of Charles’ healing journey. She learned to connect not only with herself, but with Great Spirit and Great Mother Earth. In her book Animal Power, she shares what she has learned.
Animal Power is meant to be used as a guide to learn about the teachings each animal can provide. “One of the cool things about developing a relationship with all these different animals and using Animal Power as a reference is that you start to learn and understand how every single creature and insect has different healing properties,” Charles says.
Finding Your Power Animal
Your relationship with your specific animal is immensely important. “When we incarnate, there is a main power animal guide that chooses to be with us and gets assigned to us depending upon the spiritual calling that we are encoded with,” she continues. “The way that I most recommend, because it’s such a sacred relationship, is by going on a guided shamanic journey with a trusted shaman.” There are small practices you can do on your own to connect with a power animal and use animal energy for healing and grounding.
First, close your eyes and take a few deep cleansing breaths. “Ask yourself if there is an animal that has been resonating with you lately,” Charles says. “Open up the invitation to the power animal guides and [say], ‘If there’s a power animal that wants to present itself to me, I’m open to become aware of who you are.’” Recall whether or not you’ve dreamed of certain animals or if they continue to show up around you. “You can ask it to work with you during your dream time. Or you can ask it to come on a shamanic journey or share messages with you.”
Giving Thanks to Great Mother Earth & First Nations
It’s also important to develop your relationship with the planet, Great Mother Earth. Charles points out that finding ways to honor the Earth doesn’t have to be complicated. “I really recommend asking the land that you live upon, ‘What can I offer to you that would make you feel appreciated?’ You might be invited to go out and sing to the land; you might be invited to cleanse the land with Palo Santo [a type of sacred wood native to South America]. [Take] a moment to see what aspects of nature want to be given back.”
“In addition to prayers and honoring acknowledgment of First Nations, giving to organizations dedicated to the preservation of their cultures is also important. In the ‘Resources and Advocacy’ section [of Animal Power]I list a number of organizations that support the preservation of ancient and sacred lands, cultures and wisdoms.
“My friend and book contributor Nicole Adriana Cassanova is the founder of Root to Heaven. I also love to support Jaguar Siembra. They really give back to the Mamos in the Sierra Nevada region.”
Another way to show respect is by making an altar. Charles explains that it can be as simple as using tealight candles and a rock you found while on a walk. The point is to make a designated space to connect to the divine and give thanks. “It’s imperative to say thank you to First Nations. So many of them went through so much strife,” she says.
“Many of them had to suppress and hide their gifts and their ways for so long. It’s really vital that we’re all mindful and acknowledge how fortunate we are. They have had to carry exhaustively and relentlessly the sacred wisdom traditions and truths. They have held them on their backs and carried them through so many thousands of years. Those wisdom keepers, had they not lived in such devotion and had so much strength to do that, many of these most ancient practices would have disintegrated.
“There’s nothing more powerful than prayer,” she continues. “Even if it’s a prayer at your altar just acknowledging First Nations for the line that they’ve had to hold for thousands and thousands of years, send a prayer up and thank them so that they feel heard and seen and acknowledged and felt.