Animal Spirit Guides – Steven D. Farmer

Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers
Steven D. Farmer
Hay House, 2006

Just another totem animal dictionary.

I’d read Farmer’s Power Animals a few months back, and given it high ratings because despite it being a totem animal dictionary for the most part, it really was a creative format. This is the followup, written by Farmer because people asked him about animals he hadn’t mentioned in the first book. It’s good, not great.

Okay, I know other readers justify that this isn’t a rip-off of Ted Andrews’ Animal-Speak because it has animals that the older book doesn’t. Okay, fair enough–I was happy to see, among others, Dragon and Lobster. I’ve seen mythical animals elsewhere, but not that commonly, and just seeing Lobster made my evening! But if I were to have someone choose between buying this book plus Power Animals, or buying Andrews’ Animal-Speak and Animal-Wise, I’d say “Well, do you want your animal definitions in great detail, or not so much detail?” Where Andrews spends paragraphs on each animal, Farmer gives a little bit of info on what to do if an animal comes into your life, and what to do if it’s your power animal.

But it’s still just another totem animal dictionary. This book doesn’t really have much in it beyond Farmer’s interpretations of what the animals mean–he tries to justify its uniqueness by saying that he went to the animals themselves, but the thing is, totem animals give us each personalized messages. This is why the dictionaries are limited in their usefulness–no matter how well written, you’re still getting the author’s interpretation of the animal’s traits. And the material in Power Animals is pretty much the standard how-to-work-with-totems/etc. fare that you find in Andrews and other authors’ works.

That being said, this isn’t a bad book. It’s just a different approach to the usual material. I do commend it for having Lobster in there, and for having another unique format, but in the end there’s really nothing here that makes it stand out from the dozen-plus animal totem dictionaries out on the market.

Three and three quarters pawprints out of five.

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