Oak Tree - Photo by Meredith Eastwood

Connecting with Animal Spirits: A Fanciful Tale in “Imaginal Healing”

“The instincts are a far better protection than all the intellectual wisdom in the world.”
Carl Jung

“…we need our animal spirits with us on our roads of soul. They are canny and alert, with a flawless sense of danger, and help us rescue our primal instincts from our modern mind-traps.”
Robert Moss (Dreaming the Soul Back Home)

An image can be a source of creative energy used for healing. When we work with images that are authentically our own, our bodies believe what we think, and we can use these images in service of our own healing. Calling upon power animals is one way we are able to enrich this imagery. They can provide support, insight, and guidance in areas of our lives where we need specific energies of the Life Force.

Many of my friends have animal totems and have created art from their images. Some have had personal encounters and experiences with special animal spirits during dreams and waking life. And of these, some have journeyed with their animal spirits in service of healing for themselves or others,   During an Active Dreaming workshop, entitled “Imaginal Healing,” held this past September at Mosswood Hollow, I fashioned the fanciful tale below from a journey that connected me to the energies of my animal spirits.  Later in the week, these images and animal spirits became allies as I healed a divided self, bringing home a part of soul that had been missing.

Rabitt - Photo by Meredith EastwoodI enter a dense forest and spot a bright-eyed gray rabbit leaning against the gnarled trunk of a massive oak. I see a large opening near the exposed roots. 

“Oh, there you are, Dear Meredith!” Rabbit calls. “Are you ready to go down my rabbit hole?” 

“But where’s my power animal?” I plead. 

“I am one…your guide today. Do not underestimate the soft side of yourself, the vulnerable. And remember your passionate urge to create and recreate, your ability to jump over obstacles, to disguise what needs to be hidden and to escape situations that threaten your well-being. But most importantly, always remember your capacity to risk a great leap into the unknown.” 

“Yes, but…” 

“Today it’s a trip into Wonderland!” exclaims Rabbit enthusiastically. 

I approach Rabbit, knowing I am too curious to do otherwise. “Will this hurt?” I ask. 

“Only if you believe it will,” he replies. 

“Riddles, and more riddles. I feel more like Alice every day.”


Into the roots I travel with Rabbit,

Tumbling through swirling Butterflies

Deep into a star-lit universe

Where Spiders craft silky threads,

And plait grids of colored light.

I step upon Great Turtle

As Bat slurps down blood-sucking insects.

Flexing my muscles, I join with Lioness

In a land where Hawks soar.

I unlock my heart to Dragonfly

And stand in a vast field of many worlds,

No longer afraid, I call Ibis into my voice.

Blue Butterfly alights on my third-eye,

And I see the way of Soul. 

“And may it be so,” says Rabbit. 

“That was strange,” I say. “I feel as though I’ve embodied my animal spirits, especially Blue Butterfly.  But I wonder why I never saw my favorite animal character in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat.” 

 “It’s about your healing and support, and your natural allies, not about a favorite,” replies Rabbit. “But….perhaps there will be another time for you to visit my world and that cat will still be smiling.”

Blue Butterfly - Photo by Meredith Eastwood



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