Spirit animals are spirits that guide and protect someone on a journey or during an undertaking, lending them the keen senses and wits of each animal’s specialty.

While this is linked to certain religions and beliefs, there is some comfort in channeling a spirit animal mentally and emotionally during an endeavor. Similarly, you might find a specific animal popping up more often than usual, and many belief systems see this as a sign of the lens through which you should view your current situation.

There are many guides that can help you discover what your spirit animal may be or what the universe is trying to tell you when an owl swoops past you twice in the same day. There are also books that explain the history of the spirit animal and how important it has been to cultures for thousands of years. Here are our top picks:

Animal Spirit Guides: Discover Your Power Animal and the Shamanic Path by Chris Lüttichau

Price on Amazon: Paperback – $20.45, Hardback – $17.65, Not Available on Kindle

Published in 2009, this well-reviewed book is an excellent starting place for anyone curious about animal spirit guides. Lüttichau has spent more than twenty years traveling the world and speaking with shamans and tribe elders to learn more about spirit guides directly from the source. His mastery is exemplified in this book as he guides you through the process of shapeshifting while dreaming and channeling your chosen guide.

Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews

Price on Amazon: Paperback – $20.57, Kindle – $15.89, Not Available in Hardback

Published in 2002, Animal Speak has long been an excellent resource for explaining those times when animals come into your life. It truly opens your eyes to paying attention to all creatures, great and small, that come around you. The book provides ways to interpret the omens and signs that nature sets in your path and guides you in using these signs when making decisions or journeying towards a new you. It includes over 100 different animals, with detailed explanations of their significance.

The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals by Lori Morrison

Price on Amazon: Paperback – $25.00, Kindle – $9.99, Not Available in Hardback

Published in 2019, this book has won multiple awards and explains the connection that shamans feel with nature. It provides a comprehensive history, allowing you to learn about the evolution of the human understanding of spirit animals. It covers ancient Egypt, Greece, Native Americans, and tribes from Africa. Touted as a cross-cultural journey, this is a must-read for anyone learning about spirit animals. With in-depth research and enriched verbiage, you’ll find it delightful and enlightening.

Before you purchase one of the books above, check your local library. Many have copies of all three that you can reserve and read.