Shape-shifting is a type of meditation on the relationship between humankind and nature, in particular animals. Shapeshifting is based on assuming certain characteristics of an animal. Traits and talents are also included in these characteristics. These characteristics, traits, and talents are assumed for a limited time and for a particular purpose. A shape-shifter is able to change shape either at will or under special circumstances.
Shape-shifters are not just human; they are also animals and plants. Shape-shifting ability depends on the level or degree of energy or quality of life the creature possesses. It is more difficult for plants because they are stationary, and least difficult for human beings because they are most able to understand the dynamics involved. Animals, including humans, are mobile, and it follows that animals are adept at moving and directing energy. It is, as humans, our innate nature, and our state of being.
ShamanicDrumming discusses how you can create a deeper connection to your power animal through shapeshifting:
One of the best ways to connect with power animals is through shapeshifting. Shapeshifting is more than just transforming into an animal as is often depicted in shamanic accounts and tales. It is the ability to shift your energies to adapt to the demands and changes of daily life. We all learn which activities, behaviors, and attitudes support or hinder our survival and growth. It is a natural and instinctual ability that we all share. The minimal development of this talent is the ability to mimic. We often mimic for the purpose of learning something or to blend in with our social or physical environment. It implies changing one’s pattern of appearance or behavior, rather than just using what you already have. Actors, for example, are known for their ability to take on the characteristics of another person or thing.
A shapeshifter is one who manipulates their aura or energy field to access a higher or inner power in order to grow and learn. All shapeshifting occurs on an energy level. If everything is broadcasting its own energy pattern and if you could match and rebroadcast the same pattern, then you would take on the appearance and qualities of the thing you were matching. The only constraining factor is the degree of belief, connection, and energy. Learning to shift your consciousness, to align with and adapt your energies to power animals, opens your heart and mind to the wisdom and strength of the animal world. You must empty yourself so that spirit may embody you. "Become like a hollow bone," a Lakota elder once advised me in the sweat lodge.