I have always had a strong pull toward the concept of spirit animals. When I was younger, Unicorn was my spirit guide – it became a huge symbol of power for me. As I grew up, woodland creatures began to “appear” to me as spirit guides. At one time, Bear was my companion, but soon after, Fox came along and has been my companion for many years.

However, I’ve never been one to have just one spirit totem. Many come to me, sometimes for just a short spell, while others are always nearby, just in the background.

Owl has been one of these secondary totems, always hovering close, always an energy of guidance in my life. Lately, Owl has been taking on a bigger role in my life as a protective figure. Last year, my neighbor’s dog attacked and almost killed my dog and later they refused to pay the vet bills, becoming almost threatening when we pursued the matter. I was terrified that something more would happen – another attack, perhaps, or something worse.

A few months later, I noticed a little metal owl sitting near their front door. It must’ve been there all along, but I never noticed. In that moment, I heard a voice in my head saying, “You and your house are fully protected. No further harm will come to you.” I knew the voice was Athena’s and that she was speaking through her owl companion.

I heard her speak again. “You will know that you can have faith in this promise when you hear something about Athens or Athena today.”

I was grateful for the message, but I didn’t think much of it until a few hours later, when I turned on my MP3 player. I was listening to Thrive, by Ariana Huffington and had just started a new chapter, where she talks about growing up in Athens. I literally had to sit down, because I was shaking so hard.

Since then, Owl has become the protector of my home. There have been many, many times when worry arose about my safety, or about the changes happening in my home, but every time I think of my Owl, I feel better.

Last weekend, while walking out in the fields, I decided to go on an “owl hunt” (don’t worry – I was just looking for one to photograph, not to kill!). I made my way into the wooded area behind my mother’s house, toward a tree where I knew owls like to sit. I put the binoculars to my eyes and immediately found myself looking directly at a Great Horned Owl.

Again, I got the chills. It was so beautiful, I couldn’t believe it. I spent half an hour creeping closer and closer to it, trying to get a good photograph. I was shaking with excitement the entire time. Finally, I was just 10 feet away, and I lifted the camera to my eyes…and my brother’s dog, who I had brought with me, jumped up and barked, scaring the owl away before I could get a close-up picture.

All the while, I could feel the connection and the protective energy of this beautiful creature.

Engaging with spirit totem energy in real life situations is so powerful. Make sure to watch for any opportunity to engage with the energy and messages coming to you. It may be something as seemingly innocuous as seeing a bee crawl across your window. Or you may be blessed with a prolonged “visit,” like mine with the owl.

Whatever it is, pay attention and do some research on the animal that has made itself known to you. They are always bringing us messages – we just have to listen.

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