Some of you may be aware of Dr Steven Farmer,the shamanic practitioner, psychotherapist and professional healer. Through his numerous texts and talks he aims to facilitate and inspire a deeper awareness and appreciation for our relationship with Spirit and the natural world.

Soulful eyes protected by long eyelashes - Adam Bannister

He speaks a lot about the use of Animal Spirit Guides. They show up in our dreams, meditations, or ordinary reality. When they do they’re attempting to give you a message. Now whether or not you believe in this kind of thing is up to you but I can tell you that out in the bush certain animals do have a knack of arriving at certain times.

Even if not your cup of tea it is fascinating to read some of his thoughts on certain animals and what they mean. Here is an extract taken from his book Animal Spirit Guides. I have chosen the Elephant as they seem to have popped up a lot in my life in the last week. I also know that a lot of people who drive with me are transfixed by the African Elephant and can’t seem to think of why. Perhaps there is something to all this talk of power animals…

If Elephant Shows up, it means
Make it a point to be of service in some way to the young, elderly, or those less fortunate than yourself.
Do not let anything stand in the way of attaining this goal that is so integral to your purpose.
You have the determination and persistence required to overcome the current challenges you are faced with.
Trust your senses, and if something in your life “smells” bad, take the necessary action to do away with it.
Remain loyal to those closest to you in spite of anyone questioning their integrity.
It’s a good time to renew your sense of connectedness to the divine.

Elephant tusks in black and white - Adam Bannister

Close up of elephant's face - Adam Bannister

Extract from Animal Spirit Guides, Steven Farmer, Ph.D
Written, filmed and photographed by Adam Bannister

Filed under Wildlife

About the Author

Adam Bannister

Guest contributor

Ranger at Londolozi Game Reserve

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on Animal Spirit Guide : African Elephant

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Wow, this is fascinating, I had not heard of this before and will definitely see if I can find this book – the elephant is one of my favorite animals, they are so huge yet tread so lightly, love the pics too. I will share this info too on my blog’s Facebook page, thanks!

Judy Guffey

I’ve seen the same ‘presence’ in a close encouter with a whale as well. Both beautiful, intelligent beings. Great photos.


Wow, thank you for sharing this! I loved the video of the elephants in the mud. And the photos are really, really stunning! They feel very intimate with the elephant.

Joe and Kathy Propersi

Love the Elis…thanks for the post.

The music on the video was wonderful! Can you tell me what it is and where I might find it?

Rich Laburn

Hi Joe, the music is not commercially available as it is from a stock music library. If you want to know more about the library you can visit – Rich


Adam, the photographs are absolutely magnificent. The video demonstrates so clearly how a *bit of mud* so easily becomes a wallow and then a veld pan (when it rains) thanks to the action of large bodied animals like rhino, buffalo and ellies. Mind you the smaller animals, like warthogs, have a *hand* in it too!
I love the texture of the elephant skin which you have shown in the pictures. Great detail and such clarity! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

arden zalman

Once again, thank you for bringing me back to Londolozi if only on my computer screen & my dreams. You have the BEST job in the world.


Animal Spirit Guides are a large part of the culture of North American Indians. “Animal-Speak”, written by Ted Andrews, is an amazing reference book that teaches us what our relationship with the animals on this earth is. It includes animals from Africa too ie) lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards, just to name a few. Birds, insects and reptiles are also included. In his book, the elephant stands for ‘ancient power, strength, and royalty’.


For all those with an interest in elephants click on the link below and be amazed – an old story but
truly touching – Jenny and Shirley will melt your heart


Elephants frequently appear in my dreams, but they are always threatening. I never understood this until someone told me recently that, because they never actually catch up to me in the dream, it means that I have the ways and means to deal with whatever is worrying me in life. So it`s as if they`re just making their presence felt.
During frequent visits to game reserves, I have rarely been in a dangerous situation with elephants; I give them due respect and space, but sometimes it is because other drivers DON’T do this that the animals take it out on others including myself. During those incidences I`ve found if I talk to them (particularly the matriarch of a herd) they calm down and go on their way.
DEFINITELY one of my Spirit Animals, and I can`t wait to find your book and read it!

Penny Parker

Do you think our feeling of their spiritual presence may have something to do with us subconsciously picking up on their stomach rumblings and the messages they are communicating with each other without our notice? African Elephants are an icon of the African Bushveld, and the video is great!

Rich Laburn

I have heard many theories that elephant react to the rhythmic beatings of our heart and respond accordingly. The more nervous we are around them and the more our heart beats at an irregular and fast paced interval, the more nervous they tend to get, whilst the calmer we are, the more they relax. Although I am not able to prove this by any means, I can personally attest to this behavior time and again.

Penny Parker

Thanks Rich. Their connection with each other (and humans) is quite remarkable. And yes a wonderful experience to see an Elephant calm in your presence.

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