Besides the fact that Madeline Mooney practically sparkles with fairy magic, she also has an incredible affinity for animals. Her workshop teaches that almost every animal you come across —pigeon, squirrel, cuddly cat or spooky spider—carries a message.

Sitting in a circle on the cozy HausWitch carpets, Madeline drew out stories about encounters with butterfly messengers, crow friends, and overly friendly skunks. It was surprisingly easy to pick out what animals have crossed our paths throughout our lives, which ones we’re drawn to, and which ones seemed to be drawn to us.

Although all animals could be considered ‘messengers’ or symbols for us to interpret, some animals have very specific impacts on our paths. For instance, if you are forever noticing a hawk soaring nearby, you might already know the next step you need to take, you just have to take the plunge. It’s especially important to note that if you feel a connection to a smaller animal doesn’t mean its message is less powerful than something as large as an elephant. As Madeline says, “Having a mouse as a totem is no less powerful than a lion.”

After learning the difference between power animals, teachers, and protectors, we moved on to shadow animals which just might be the most important. Do you have an intense fear of or loathing for an animal? Why do you think that is? What do you think that animal is trying to teach you? That animal’s message is there for you, but you need to understand that animal and learn what it might be telling you before you can fully accept its message.

If you’re wondering what animals in your life might be trying to tell you, or would like to know what they might symbolize, join Madeline next time you see her workshop pop up on the events page! You might learn something new about yourself or about your latest backyard or garden visitor.

Interested in learning about animal totems or oracles? Try The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck in the HausWitch shop. You'd be surprised what you can learn about yourself by looking at the world around you though a different lens.