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.
Reaching Back to Anubis
Jackal is the animal familiar associated with the Ancient Egyptian God Anubis who is mostly depicted as a jackal or a jackal-headed human. But there is also another jackal God in Egyptian mythology, who is less well known. His name is Wepwawet, which means “Opener of the Ways.” He was originally a God of war with the association to the wolf, but in later times got associated with Anubis and considered to be his son, which led to his also being associated with the jackal.
As both the animals, jackal and wolf, share some traits, it made the transfer easy. However, the Egyptians never saw things as either/or but more of an expansion and in different layers and dimensions, so having various associations for one deity or animal didn’t seem strange to them in the least. Incidentally, the Egyptian jackal is also known as the African wolf and is most closely related to the Abyssinian wolf, also known as the red wolf and the king jackal, and the Indian wolf.
Jackals are very intelligent animals. As they are not as big as other predators, they need to learn to survive alone in the wilderness from an early age. This involves some clever strategies as they also have to protect themselves from larger predators. Thus, the jackal is often known as trickster, clever strategist and inventor. His youthful and playful character also has him associated with the same traits in humans.
People with a strong jackal influence as their power animal learn to let themselves be guided by their minds and thinking ahead, rather than letting themselves be guided by their emotions. Jackal teaches you to think of the consequences of our actions before we leap to undertake something and carefully weigh your options and alternatives.
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Transition & Fidelity
Jackals are very social animals and prefer to live in packs of 20-30 animals which gives them a clear advantage when it comes to hunting big game and protecting themselves from enemies. They also scavenge often from whatever lions or leopards have left behind. Thus, the jackal teaches you to husband responsibly with your and the earth’s resources.
As the Egyptian jackal is closely related to death, you need not take this literally. When Jackal comes into your life, it doesn’t mean you will be dying soon. It merely means that you are going through a transitional phase where the old is dying to make room for the new. Jackal opens the way for you and shows you the path on your new journey. This could be a new job, a new phase in your life, a shift in your spirituality or something else.
Jackal also teaches you fidelity as he mates for life. However, this does not mean that it only relates to romantic relationships. First of all, you have to be loyal and faithful to yourself and what you believe in or want to attain for it to come true. When you have learned this devotion to your own higher self-expression, these relationship skills can then also be applied to relationships with projects you’re working on, dreams you are working towards and friends, family and indeed a romantic partner.
Fidelity is about honouring yourself and seeing the great value of something that lasts because it is built on strong foundations, rather than wasting your time with superficial distractions and instant gratification that is as fleeting as it is without substance. You can only truly achieve greatness in any area of your life when you are prepared to take the time and make the effort to build strong foundations and expand from there.
At the same time, this does not mean that life cannot be fun. On the contrary, when you don’t need to worry about, figuratively speaking, “where your next fix is coming from,” you have the time, stability and peace of mind to really get out there and enjoy life to the fullest. There is a deep lightheartedness you can only attain when you are securely anchored within yourself.
Because of this, Jackal teaches you to explore that which lies in the dark and work to bring it towards the light to be transmuted into wisdom and greater clarity about who you really are and how you want to express yourself authentically. By guiding you through the pathways of the night, Jackal teaches you the lightheartedness to truly enjoy life and make the most of every situation.
As a psychopomp, a Jungian concept of a figure, man, woman or animal, who plays intermediary between the conscious and unconscious domains, (Anubis was the god of the Underworld before Osiris took over that role in the Egyptian pantheon), Jackal connects you to your hidden realms and teaches you not to be afraid, but to face whatever works in your unconscious mind beneath the surface, so you can turn it into a point of power, rather than a weakness.