Spirit of the Dog

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Each animal has a spiritual essence.  We capture that idea in totems and emblems, commonly seen in mascots for professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams.  Whatever the “power” of that animal, we hope to channel it through the totem or emblem into our energy field to help us succeed, win, or thrive.  This article will look at the spirit of the dog as someone’s chosen power animal.

Dog Symbolism

Canine energy is often associated with the following attributes:

  • Loyalty
  • Service
  • Faithfulness
  • Protection
  • Friendliness
  • Support
  • Family
  • Courage

If you connect with the dog as your spirit animal, then you will tend to be someone who prefers to build close relationships with your friends and maintain close ties with your family.  You wish to be part of a pack, supporting others and being supported by them.

According to DJ Conway, in her book Animal Magick, the magical attributes of the dog include: “tracking skills, the ability to scent a ‘trail’ through conflicting or confusing situations.  Companionship, keen hearing, loyalty, willingness to follow through.  Using intuition to find new ideas and solutions.  Seeking a teacher within by going into silence.  If seen in meditation, you will be guarded against approaching danger and threats. Protection. Finding out the truth” (88)

Dog Mythology

Celtic

Dogs feature prominently in the Wild Hunt throughout various European cultures.  “Teutonic lore says that Dietrich of Berne led it, while the French state that the Grand Huntsman was from Fontainebleau.  There is even an English tale that King Arthur leads one group.  The Irish call the hunt’s hounds the Hounds of Hell; in England, they are the Gabriel Hounds” (Conway, 87)

Odin and the Wild Hunt
Odin and the Wild Hunt – Source: Wikimedia

Greek

“In Greek mythology, Cerberus, often referred to as the hound of Hades, is a multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.” (wiki)

Hercules and Cerberus
Hercules and Cerberus. Oil on canvas, by Peter Paul Rubens 1636, Prado Museum – Source: Wikimedia

India

“The dog (Shvan) is also the vahana or mount of the Hindu god Bhairava. Yudhishthira had approached heaven with his dog, therefore among many Hindus, the common belief exists that caring for or adopting dogs can also pave the way to heaven. Dogs are also shown in the background in the iconography of Hindu deities like Dattatreya, many times dogs are also shown in the background in the iconography of deities like Khandoba.” (wiki)

Bhairav with his dog
Bhairav with his dog – Source: Wikimedia

The Power of the Big Dogs

All modern dogs are descendants of the wolf.  The other wild versions of this animal include the: coyote, fox, dingo, and jackal.

The Wolf

Probably the most recognizable “dog” in the world, with the possible exception of the Coyote.  Wolves are known for their fierceness and pack hunting skills.  According to Steven Farmer in his book Power Animals, if your animal is the wolf, then “you have a strong sense of family and community and an intuitive sense of social order, and you are very willing to give and receive affection when it comes to your family and friends.” (248)

The Coyote

The coyote is known as the “trickster” hero.  If this animal is your totem, then you have access to the following magical attributes: “cunning, shapeshifter, stealth, opportunity, dark and light magick, illumination, truth, creativity, new life, experience.  Don’t be foolish or you trip yourself up.  Seeking opportunities.” (Conway, 89)

The Fox

The fox is a symbol of cleverness, survival, and subtlety.  According to Farmer, if your power animal is the fox, then “you’re an astute observer, undetected by others, who hears what isn’t being said and sees what isn’t being seen, to the point that you can know instantly what’s about to happen.  This gift allows you to be one step ahead of everyone else.” (111)

The Jackal

The jackal is a wild dog common to the warmer climates of Africa, India, and the Far East.  If this is your totem animal, then your magical attributes include: “seeking mystical knowledge, particularly knowing your past lives.  Astral travel into Otherworld realms for spiritual teaching and initiation.” (Conway, 92).

Domesticated Breeds

These are too numerous to list, but can be commonly grouped by size (large, medium, small), role (hunter, guard, or companion), or culture/geography (Alaskan Malamute or German Shephard).

Inviting in Dog Energy and Connecting with a Dog Spirit Animal

Even if you do not consider yourself a “dog person”, you can invite dog energy into your life when certain situations would benefit from access to this energy.  Dog energy can be especially helpful if you need to connect with family or get a team of people to work well together.  Their energy is very useful when you need to “have many hands make light work”.

If you are trying to instill loyalty and bind people together for a common goal, then dog energy is the best for achieving this outcome.  This energy will help you find out what others need and help them meet their goals, which will encourage them to trust you and support you.  Showing focused interest in others is the way to get them to join you in your adventure, quest, or work.

The energy of this animal can help with loneliness, depression, and anxiety.  Invite the dog to help you be friendly, playful, and supportive.  You can ask for help from one of the wild dogs or one of the domestic ones.  They can lead you safely through challenges by helping you find others for your pack; when the pack is strong, there is no obstacle you cannot overcome.

If you are curious to know if the dog, or a specific dog, is one of your spirit animals, you can consult a spirit animal communicator, Shaman, or psychic.  If you want to find out on your own, you can meditate or muscle test to find out if you have a connection to dogs. 

The Chinese and Celtic Zodiacs all have birth dates associated with dogs.  The Years of the Dog are 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, and 2030 in the Chinese Zodiac.  The Celtic Fox birth period is March 18th to April 14th and the Celtic Wolf birth period is October 28th to November 24th.

Philip Young, PhD

I am a spiritual adviser located in Cary, North Carolina. I earned my PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996 and had a career in academics until 2007, when I retired to become a stay-at-home father. In 2013 I “hung out my shingle” starting my business Black Unykorn Enterprises, LLC. I provide spiritual guidance using different tools: astrology, tarot/oracle cards, numerology, and past life regression (using muscle testing). With a home office, Zoom, WeChat, and WhatsApp, I work with local clients in person and distance clients from around the world. You can read about my practice and contact me through my website: https://www.blackunykorn.com. Philip Young, PhD Website

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Philip Young, PhD

Philip Young, PhD