I have loved animals as far back as I can remember. I played with my "imaginary" animal friend as a child, not knowing at the time what a power animal was. I had vivid dreams and visions throughout my life. I also felt drawn to different animals at different times in my life and when I found out about power or spirit animals, I finally understood why. Reading up on those animals and then going on shamanic journeys and meditations afforded me the entry point into the world of animals on a spiritual level. The reason I prefer the term power animal to spirit animal is simply because it feels more grounded and manifested to me. You are, of course, welcome to use whatever term you like; power animal, spirit animal, animal guide...You choose. The important thing is to have a strong, loving connection and to trust and ask your animal to teach you and share its wisdom with you.
Small Diversity, Great Impact
Hyenas are carnivorous mammals and within that group one of the smallest biological families. But although there is such little diversity, hyenas are vital for most African ecosystems. Although hyenas have much in common with canines, they are actually more closely related to felines. I suppose, in an unscientific way, you could say they are somewhat of a cross between the two.
The four different species range from killing most of their food themselves to being mostly scavengers. However, apart from the spotted hyena, these animals are not usually staying in packs, although they will gather to hunt and eat. They are nocturnal animals, ferocious and sometimes also come out of their lair in the mornings. Despite the fact that they have a reputation for being cowardly, they are capable of chasing lions away from their prey.
In the cultures that live alongside these animals, hyenas have a bad reputation. They are variously said to be graverobbers, guilty of witchcraft and various other things that make them contemptible. But the bad rep is nothing this amazing animal deserves. Hyenas may not be as beautiful as wolves or as majestic and graceful as big cats but they have their very own unique strengths and idiosyncrasies that make them amazing in their own right.
The Perfect Teamplayer
Hyenas gather in communities as packs when it is necessary because they know that they can achieve a lot more as a group than alone. This makes them understand the strengths of a coherent social structure but they are by no means a victim of peer pressure. In fact, Hyena has a strong individual will. Always smiling, they know how to charm others and make it difficult for them to dislike it.
Furthermore, they are also wonderful mothers who raise their young in an amazingly effective way. Local cultures often look to Hyena when it concerns raising children and teaching them well. Keeping statues, dung or other symbols for these animals is common in West African households with young children.
Hyenas don’t have any ego involved when it comes to teamwork. Whether they are the designated leader or in a supporting role, Hyena understands its place and function and will ensure that they fulfil it in the most efficient way possible. This can teach us a lot about working in groups where very often ego and status is placed above getting a task done and achieving a goal in the best and most efficient way.
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Because Hyena is so versatile, it is amazing how it can shift between being a quiet contributor and loud leader. It teaches you to shift between roles easily and not to confuse one with the other. Being a boss, mother, daughter, football coach or wife or any other function you can think of is not always easy and we have to play different roles depending on whom we are interacting with. Hyena energy can help you to find the right level of “volume,” not only in an audial sense, for each situation.
Being both hunter and hunted, Hyena also has a strong intuition and will know when danger lurks in the tall grass around them. It can teach you to trust your intuition and to allow it to give you stronger signals when you are about to walk into a challenging situation. That way, you can react faster and more effectively, bringing about more positive results, rather than ending up being an unsuspecting victim.
Hyena can also appear to you in a dream. In this case, it means that you have great potential that is as yet untapped or not used constructively. In this case, Hyena challenges you to look within and see where you can use your powers to greatest advantage to create ripples and make a lasting, positive impact on the world.
Knowledge & Wisdom
Encountering Hyena, usually not face to face, but rather in other forms, like pictures, in films or mentioned in the media, but you may also encounter them at your local zoo, warns you to take a sharp look at your circumstances you find yourself currently in. Is there a bad situation that needs immediate attention or you could otherwise encounter some serious damage? Is there an opportunity that may fly by if you don’t grasp it right away? Hyena urges you to act and do whatever it takes to either contain a negative situation or take advantage of a positive one.
Hyena assists you in telling lies from truth. Invoking this energy will protect you from falling prey to lies and deceit. Also, it will boost your intuition so that you know what course of action to take. On the downside, when Hyena comes into your life, it is also a reminder to watch out which words you use. You can convey great love with them but also, carelessly, hurt someone more deeply than you ever intended, so take heed!
A person encountering Hyena has usually been in danger already in the past and is now ready to seek deeper wisdom on how to deal with and, wherever possible, avoid danger altogether but draw further knowledge and deeper wisdom from it. It also means that, as Hyena is an intelligent animal, you are likely to be confronted with some new course of learning, some lessons, a new degree, etc. If you were thinking about going to university and getting that particular qualification, when Hyena keeps appearing in your life, it is a certain sign you should pursue that dream, rather now than later.