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What Is The Difference Between A Spirit Animal And A Power Animal?

Have you heard the terms spirit animal, animal guide, power animal, or even animal totem? I have and they are usually used interchangeably which can be quite confusing, so lately I have been doing some research. Why you ask? Well, because the opossum keeps showing up in my life!

The story of the opossum showing up lately is HILARIOUS, but first let me give you a little background on my life with animals.

They follow me around like I’m Snow White, not even kidding. I attract all the animals, insects, and birds…even when I don’t want too.  I have always been able to connect with animals who weren’t necessarily a fan of humans, which is another reason I’ve been diving into the connection between animals and spirit.

In my recent research here is what I’ve found to be the main difference between a spirit animal and a power animal

Spirit Animal Definition

“Spirit animals are typically associated with traditional as well as modern Western shamanic practices. During initiations or shamanic journeys, the shaman would find one or several animals that she or another person is associated with. Traditionally, the spirit animal is used for guidance. Think of your spirit animal as a guardian spirit or spirit guide. It can play the role of protector and provides guidance. It’s like a “personal guide or protector” that has a personal affinity with the person it’s associated with.” By: Erica editor at

A Power Animal Is A Specific Type Of Animal Spirit Guide.

“At times when we are feeling weak, needing courage, feeling powerless, and in need of a boost of bravery to make or move through really difficult life transitions, a Power Animal is your Animal Guide who can provide this support. A Power Animal is someone in Spirit who can give you the power and strength you need to move forward.” By: Sarah from

So back to the Opossum, I am pretty sure he is my power animal at the moment. Seems like a weird power animal to have right? Well, get this….

About three weeks ago I was sitting at my corporate job with my window open and my 72 year old work grandma started screaming “Ashley Ashley!!! Help, HELP ME!!”

I rush to the window and I’m like “what’s up Ms. Barbara?”

“Don’t come out here but LOOK LOOK!! HELP ME!”

By this point I’m laughing hysterically and still have absolutely no clue as to what is going on … Then I see it!

A big ol’ opossum running right outside of my window!

Flash forward to this Wednesday, one of my client’s was talking about how she is super connected to animals. She’s telling me all about how right before she moved they found two dead opossums under her house that were making the entire house smell. We were laughing about it and then it hit me! I told her the story about Ms. Barbara.

But wait…there’s more!

Last night my mother in law was baby-sitting so my husband and I could have a night out; when we came home she told me there was a huge opossum on the fence and that my dogs were going crazy. She said it was mean, hissing, and angry. My husband went outside and confirmed everything she said then he told me not to go out there.

So naturally, I went out there.

There it was, this HUGE freaking opossum right on the top of my fence.

I stared at it for a few minutes and even got about 3 feet from it; there was no hissing and there was no hostility.  Instead I felt this overwhelming presence of peace, a calmness, and a little voice that said “FINALLY!”

We locked eyes for a few seconds, I thanked him for being, and I high-tailed it inside before he changed his mind.

The opossum brings a message of strategy and tact. He lets us know that it’s better to use brain instead of braun in certain situations. It is tells us to wake up and pay attention and that situations may not be exactly as they seem to be. My client also mentioned that the opossum can signify a big move and I am definitely working on that at the moment!

If you’re looking for a way to improve your connection with animals, I highly recommend reading Amanda Linette Meder’s article 4 Tips To Improve Your Animal Communication Abilities.

With love,


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