Shadow Animal Guides: Teaching You A Lesson You Haven't Been Able To Learn... Yet
Symbolic of the four sacred directions, four seasons, and the four colors of man, there are four basic types of animal guides.
Whether an animal spirit comes by dreams, signs and symbolic events, or actual events it is important to first determine if the guide is a Messenger Guide (Totem), Shadow Guide, Journey Guide or Life Guide.
The meaning and lessons an animal guide brings will differ according to the type of guide it may be. Learning to differentiate between the four types of totems is critical to knowing how to react and the actions you will take when an animal totem makes itself known to you. All guides are powerful.
A Shadow Animal Guide is one that invades you with fear. Its purpose it to teach a lesson you have not learned from repeated mistakes because of anger, avarice, greed, insecurity, or other negative thoughts. A Shadow Guide will return again and again bearing strong feelings of fear until its message is acted upon or a change in lifestyle or actions are incorporated into your life. The Shadow Guide is powerful. It can help you to overcome fear by bringing truth and turning fear into a helper animal guide or spirit animal guide. However, if ignored the Shadow Guide can become dangerous and its powers will have a negative affect on your life. The Shadow Guide lives in the spirit world and usually arrives during a time of testing.
This is a very long article that has pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about Animal Guides. The other 3 types of guides outlined are: A messenger animal guide, a journey animal guide, and a life animal guide.
MyPowerAnimals has a slightly different look at Shadow Animal Guides:
A Shadow Animal Guide is traditionally described as a Power Animal that is either one that you are afraid of or that is there to teach you about something negative in your life. I have another perspective on this. Whenever I come across an Animal Spirit that appears aggressive or wounded in some way, I treat it like any other energy of an apparent negative nature. I heal it first and ask questions afterwards. There is no reason for you to accept an animal spirit at face value just because it shows up. What I have found is that this animal may represent a past life where the person was killed by this animal or that the animal may represent a wounded aspect of the self that needs to be healed and can be healed when the animal first shows up. I Teach this technique to both heal and discern Power Animals when they first come forward and reveal themselves. Either way, I would suggest that animal spirits pass the test of discernment the same as any other type of Spirit Guide.
Image from Tom Paton on Flickr.