In our process of transformation it can be advantageous to take our lessons from our animal friends. A while back my wife was going thru a dark night of the soul. She would wake at night with panic attacks. A great unknown fear engulfed her whole being. This went on for sometime and finally she decided to do a journey into the spirit world to confront this issue.
In the journey she was met by a river otter who she shape shifted into the form of. This is easier to do in the journey than you might imagine. The form she took allowed her to go into the dark recesses of the water in the river of life and actually play in a space that she would never before found comfortable. She was able to delve deep into the waters with the confidence and fearlessness of the otter. After her journey with otter she completely felt what it was like to be the joyous little creature and also to experience that archetypal energy that the otter embodies. She has not had further panic attacks.
First of all, no matter what you do you are not going to physically turn into an animal, so just don’t even go there. Shapeshifting is a reality though. It is done through visualization so that you may carry the power and abilities of an animal with you when you need it.
Drawing the courage of a lion in the face of adversity is an example where you can draw on the power of an animal spirit in such a way. Shapeshifting is also a way of getting to know an animal better. Finally shapeshifting allows you to take on animal form while on shamanic journeys or while you visit the astral plane.
To learn to shapeshift you should be in a place where you can meditate, but where there is enough room to move around. You should be dressed comfortably (or undressed comfortably, whatever) so that you may move freely. Relax, close your eyes, call to and greet the animal spirit you wish to shapeshift to. Let yourself become that animal in posture, stance, movement and sound. How does this animal see, hear, taste, touch, smell? What is it experiencing? Move as it would move. Become it with all the abandon of a small child. Experience it as long as you wish. When you are finished, thank the animal spirit that has helped guide you in learning it’s ways Then return to your human body. Write down or draw , paint or sculpt your experiences if this helps you.
You can do this with as many animals or life forms as you wish, getting comfortable with their different characteristics and abilities, so that if you are in need of their strengths you need only call on them. Don them much as you would a mask. In native cultures masks have been used as a focus to help in the mindshift used in shapechanging and might be something you would like to try.
The ability to shapeshift can be very useful when you are doing shamanic journeying or astral traveling. If you come across a place where there is no way to continue because of a huge cliff or body of water you may choose to take on the form of an eagle or if you find a place too small to enter, become perhaps a mouse.
Do not learn to depend on a mask to face the world for you might become the mask. Remember your parents asking you, while you had your face contorted into a ugly face, what would you do if your face froze that way? Although you will have the positive aspects of the creature, you can also takr on undesireable traits you may not even be aware of. It is nice to want the courage of a lion, but do you want the arrogance and pride with you at all times as well?
I am also available to teach you how to do shamanic journeying.
contact me thru this website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Blessings, Crazywolf