What is the Difference Between a Spirit Animal and a Power Animal?
The terms “spirit animal” and “power animal” are often used interchangeably, even though they have slightly different meaning depending on the context in which they are used.
Spirit Animal Definition
Spirit animals are typically associated with traditional as well as modern Western shamanic practices. During initiations or shamanic journeys, the shaman would find one or several animals that she or another person is associated with. Traditionally, the spirit animal is used for guidance.
Think of your spirit animal as a guardian spirit or spirit guide. It can play the role of protector and provides guidance. It’s like a “personal guide or protector” that has a personal affinity with the person it’s associated with.
In addition, the spirit of the animal could unite with the person it “chose” in more personal ways and one will often find similarities in traits of personality, characteristics, and synchronicity between the two. As such, the power or essence of the animal can be felt or communicated. In that sense, spirit animals can also be referred to as “power animals”.
On this web site, the terms spirit animal, animal spirit guide and power animal are used interchangeably.