So far it sounds like Amargith and myself, and maybe Kingfisher, are the only ones to give "yes" answers as such to this post. I'll bet there are more who haven't seen this post yet or are just keeping it to themselves. Given the topic that's not surprising. Hee hee, maybe I should go to me engineering job on Monday and tell people that "animal spirits 'talk' to me", between technically-minded folks, naturally suspicious of everything people, conservative people, and traditionally-religiously-minded people, I bet that would go over REAL well. NOT! Anyways,...
Amargith, I liked your talking about the differences between animal spirit guides, power animals, and totems. I've never really understood the difference there. Did you get that from somewhere, or alternatively is there someplace I could go look to read more of a discussion about those differences?
Fwiw, I like Native American shamanism and can relate a little bit to its symbology,. but don't feel "connected" to it as a whole, sorts like looking at a different culture that's kinda-similar to yours but not your culture. On the other hand, I strongly identify with the "feel" and "experience" of celtic shamanism but feel little or no connection to its deities and mythology per se. I tend to like Carl Jungs ideas [collective unconscious, archetypes, symbolical interpretation of images, etc].
Amargith, maybe you've mentioned this before so I apologize if I'm repeating covered ground. Is there a particular religious style(s) or culture that you come from or identify with? I think you mentioned Norse [asatru?] earlier in this thread. Is there a particular deity set that you identify with?