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.
Tiger symbolises assertiveness. What a powerful animal and spirit and what a powerful challenge November brings with it. Assertiveness is something most of us have to learn, especially women. But also men need to address this issue. Either way, you can be either too soft or too aggressive and a proper balance needs to be achieved from both ends of the scale.
Tiger confronts you with situations where you are challenged to speak openly and not merely do and say things to please other people. The spirit of Tiger demands authenticity and integrity and this can only be achieved by stopping to be a pushover and starting to be true to yourself.
There is no need to be aggressive, either. Steamrolling and disrespecting others’ boundaries is just as unhelpful. It is necessary to step away from the victim (people pleaser) and perpetrator (aggressor) roles entirely and state firmly and calmly where you stand and what your limits are.
Using the word boundaries is, perhaps, misleading. It sounds much like building walls, being on the defence, rejecting and protecting. Assertiveness is not protection from potential abusers, nor does it serve to further divide us from others.
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It is not a declaration of war. Instead, it is the inner knowing that your personal truth will prevail, no matter what others say or think about you. This will lend you the strength and power to calmly stand your ground. It is about knowing that the opinions of others do not matter in your world. Only your own thoughts and opinions matter; no one else’s.
If you live your entire life trying to please others and act in accordance with their expectations towards you, you will always find someone who will devalue and disrespect you, because that is what you are doing to yourself and your outer experience is a reflection of that. The result will be that you will only feel more miserable. Not a happy thought at all, is it?
When you know at the deepest core of yourself that your opinions and feelings, your wishes and desires are as worthy and valuable as everyone else’s, you will be able to express yourself without creating conflict because others will intuitively respect you; because you respect yourself.
The spirit of Tiger shows us how powerful it is to know one’s power. Are you not awed when you are in the presence of such a magnificent animal, no matter whether you meet him in spirit form or in the flesh? Thus, Tiger teaches us to embrace our power and stand up for what we know to be our truth. Because no one will do that for you.