Finding, meeting, and getting to know your power animal is one of the most important things you ever do. Your power animal is the source of all of your shamanic power and, from now on, you always will have an animal ally by your side. After I had learnt to journey and found my power animal, one of my first shamanic teachers said to me: "Mike, that is all you will ever need from me: your power animal will teach you the rest." In a way, he was right, my power animal has taught me so much and I would be bereft without his support and guidance. Although I still learn as much as I can from indigenous shamans and other teachers, I discuss everything with my power ani- mal and obtain his views on all that I am taught. Your power animal always will be your wisest and most dependable counsel. In my house, for virtually any problem, we always ask: "What did your power animal say?"
Begin this journey in exactly the same way as your last journey to the otherworld, except, this time, set your intention as: I am journeying to the otherworld to find my power animal. Go down the tunnel, step out into the otherworld and then look around you. It may be that an animal is already waiting for you, or you may have to move around and look. When you do see an animal, it might only be for a moment before it moves away. Do not follow in pursuit but just carry on with your search; if that was your power animal, then it will return. When you have seen the same animal a number of times (four is thought to be significant) or if an animal makes it clear that it is waiting for you to initiate contact (this is especially the case if an animal approaches you or if there is an animal waiting for you as soon as you arrive in the otherworld) then go over to it and ask "Are you my power animal?" If it says "No," then carry on looking and wait until another animal approaches you or until you see a new animal several times. However, if it says "Yes," then you have found your power animal. Do not worry about what type of animal it is, just trust that it is entirely right for you. What you do next depends on what your power animal advises. Take your cue from him or her. Just remember that, whatever else is happening, you must return in the normal way as soon as you hear the call-back drumming. Explain to your animal that you now have to return, thank him or her for being there for you and then retrace your steps.
Excerpted from Follow the Shaman's Call, by Mike Williams, PhD