Animal Messengers; An A-Z Guide to Signs and Omens in the Natural World is a lovely book which can help the reader navigate their way through the messages they are receiving from Nature. Organized in an encyclopedic fashion, Animal Messengers is organized first into four sections and then is alphabetic, by the name of the animal, in each section. There is a lovely section on how to use the book which is begun with a note to the reader that each animal encounter should be seen as a personal, spiritual experience and not as something to be psychologically studied. Meyer also states that the reader should not take her interpretations of the animal's messages as final.
There is an introduction called Your Inner and Outer World which I find to be a necessary read to ensure a better understanding of what follows in the book. There is also a small breakdown of the cardinal directions included in this introduction. I encourage the reader to use this as a basic guide, but go with your own instincts and personal practices. The four main sections are based around what kind of animals are included. The first is for mammals, second is for birds, the third has reptiles, fish and amphibians and the last is for insects and invertebrates.
There are over 100 animals included in Animal Messengers and each entry includes a lovely black and white photo which can really help with identification if you have seen it but not known it's name. Each entry includes the photograph, the common name of the animal, a very short message such as "femininity, love" or "letting go," a section which describes the animal on a scientific basis and then the message, through Meyer's interpretation, that the animal brings.
For example, in the entry for the Grey Heron, Meyer has a one word message; "waiting." Then after the photograph she gives the reader a basic, though good introduction to the Heron including how they spend their day; hunting, what they eat and even information about their population levels. The next section under Grey Heron then is information about their message(s). Meyer goes into a lovely description of how encountering a Grey Heron can mean that you need to look inward and reflect on the direction your inner thoughts are heading. Giving examples Meyer gives a lovely description of ways one can interpret the message of the Grey Heron and apply it to their own life.
The book is concluded with a bibliography and two indexes, one organized alphabetical by animal and one alphabetical by message. This is quite nice as it allows the reader to simply look for a message, perhaps "evolution" and then see that it is the buzzard which brings this message and go straight to the buzzard's page; page 91. Or if you had an encounter with a Nightingale you can see that it's on page 139 and go straight there.
I have to say that one thing I really like about this book is not only that it's written for anyone no matter their belief system but that the interpretations of the messages are written for real-world use. Meyer gives thorough interpretations, not just one line sentences which can really help guide the reader to understand what the Universe is trying to tell them. I highly recommend this book to anyone, no matter their belief system. Meyer's Animal Messages is easy to understand and religion/spirituality free; it totally focuses on the animals and their messages.
~ Reviewed by: Jessica Elizabeth
Author: Regula Meyer
Inner Traditions, 2015
originally published in 2002
pp. 304; $18.00