WEEK THREE: Animal Medicine Work

This week, I want to discuss “unlikely” members of our Pack. The Animal Spirits that want to help you, are waiting patiently to help guide you and support you…but who might have been overlooked, or even, rejected.

Have you possibly felt reluctant to accept certain Animal Guides into your pack (think: Snakes, Spiders, Salamanders, Rats, Bats, Mice, Lizards, Ants, Cockroaches).


I love what the MysticFiles have to say on the subject of Insects and Small Creatures: “The small size and sheer number of insects on our planet has led to some unfair assumptions about these magical and ancient creatures. Their habit of being a tiny bother or pest, zooming around you and your body, makes them easily assume the role of annoyingly getting under a person’s skin, but an insect as an animal spirit guide should never be considered as an infliction. When your insect totem seems to be annoying you, just know they are simply trying to gain your attention and get you to listen to their wisdom. Do not thoughtlessly or impulsively try to swat away your insect spirit guide. They are here to help you just the same as any other animal mentor.”

Recently, I received a letter from a student, that epitomizes what it feels like when we have a repulsion to an animal (usually an insect or reptile, though not always) and yet that animal continues to insist on being present for us!


“I’m having issues with ants now.  The day after I had the dream about the ants, I saw the biggest, hugest, scariest ant in my house (he was almost 1″ long, I kid you not…maybe 1/2″-3/4″, but it was HUGE).  At first I thought it was a beetle, and it wasn’t such a big deal – but when I realized it was an ant, I tore the kitchen apart to get rid of it. These situations are much worse than finding  a trail of ants hiding from the rain or something, which is nerve-wracking enough.

I do NOT want ANT to be one of my animal guides. I don’t want ants in my book.

Then I thought about when I was in kindergarten, for my graduation we sang the song about the ant moving the rubber tree plant, and I loved that song and that ant and I can still visualize the ant moving the plant just as I did when I was 5 or 6 years old. That reminded me of how I used to play with ants. Like you said – memories will start to come back.”

I got a good chuckle reading this letter, but then I could also empathize greatly! At one time I too rejected certain species,  never even gave them a moment of respect, because I was too busy shrieking and running for a chair (and any other adult who could kill the thing).

This week, I want you to investigate your knee-jerk reactions to insects and reptiles who may want to be Power Animals for you.

Let’s ask ourselves some pointed questions about these creatures.

– Have any of these caused you to recoil in repulsion, even fear?

– Why are we afraid of these types of creatures?

– Why does their presence send us into a tizzy?

– If I suggested that one of these was showing up for you as a guide, would you be adverse to putting them into your book? Why?

The very fact that you have an aversion to the creature may be a red flag, or signal, that this is the Guide you really need to be looking at, and learning from. You might have more to learn from what you are avoiding, than from what seems fun, or comes easily. 

My friend Heather asked me, some time ago, to create a custom journal for her. She asked that I do an intuitive Animal Reading, and then to create a Journal painted/illustrated with this Animal.

I was not surprised one bit by who showed up for Heather. SPIDER! Heather is a true writer : a published novelist and poet. Knowing her, I happen to think there is a lot more writing in her. Different writing. Spider must feel the same : Spider is the totem for writers!

Heather shared with me the difficulty she has in even pasting down an image of Spider into her Field Guide – so charged is her fear, or repulsion to Spider. I encouraged her to consider these very questions, and to investigate.

We often don’t want to hear what we most need to hear. That’s many of us. But if we have a guide who can give us direction and accompany us through that lesson, we are indeed truly blessed.


WEEK THREE: Supplies


To add images to your pages this week, you have a few choices:

**You can find copyright-free images online, and print them out.

**You can paint (or draw) your own Animal.. Hand painted/drawn images of your Power Pack Animals have a special magic, and also allow you to deviate from “realism” and play with the energetic and abstract imagery of the animal.


** You can use images from a book. Personally, I love to visit a used bookstore and to find old books with drawings and illustrations of my Power Animal Guides. I buy the book and tear or cut the illustrations out.


You are going to need to pull out your glue/adhesive if you will be gluing down images.

The next set of supplies are for detail and diversity on your page!

Supplies for Adding Small Details, and Visual Interest


Stickers provide a fun, and easy way to add visual details to your spreads. You can often find animal and nature themed stickers. Dover Publications has a wonderful assortment of nature themed stickers.


Stickers can also be non-themed, simply decorative. There are many “button” or “dot” stickers that add a little POP to your page.


Brads are like fantastic, themed push pins. You push them through the paper, and are often used to hold, or “pin” something in place on the page, but they are also just as frequently used alone, to be decorative.



Ephemera is a way of saying “all the miscellany, papers, doodads that you have on hand.” You can collect ephemera over time, and you can buy packages of ephemera from online sources.



Self-explanatory, I hope! These are great tools to add small marks, doodles and writing on your spreads. If you are able, I recommend going to an Art Supply Store where you are able to buy one pen at a time, and where they allow you to test the ink on a piece of white paper. Granted, the effect may be different over your paint, or your animal image!




Both super fun, shimmery ways to add that detail and bling on your page!


Washi tape is repositionable, decorative, SUPER ADORABLE tape. It’s originally from Japan, and Washi is a Japanese word. It is addictive, so be forewarned! I find Washi Tape in US Craft Stores, with any sort of pattern or theme imaginable. I also googled animal themed washi and discovered a plethora of options.


WEEK THREE: Art Methods


The very first step this week, is to add the images of your Animal Guides to your pages and spreads. I mentioned you can draw of paint your Animals, if you like. If you are using a printed paper, or a “found” image from a book or magazine, you will need to glue it in.

In this video I talk about placement on the page, and what to consider when creating the focal point.

The next step is to add detail and to embellish your spreads. In the following videos, I give you many short demonstrations of various tools, and related techniques that you can use to embellish your backgrounds, add visual interest and “pop” to your pages. Now, when I say “technique” I refer to the use of the tool. There are techniques to achieve certain, specific end results…but I tend to steer as clear as possible from thinking about the end results. I think about what is fun, experimental and new; I try to use my supplies in new ways, or combine two of them in a novel fashion.

These are just some of the ways and supplies you can use to embellish and add detail. Feel free to add your own tricks to the mix!


USING A WHITE OUT PEN (my personal favorite tool)

STICKER DOTS! (or any type of sticker you choose)


GRAPHITE PENCILS (or white pencils on a darker background)