Spirit Animals and Shape-Shifting.

I have recently been reading a wonderful book called 'Speaking with Nature - Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth' by Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts (Visit http://llynroberts.com/speaking-with-nature/ ) and this wonderful book is what inspired me to start creating more animal totem and shape-shifter necklaces. 
Her beautiful website says: 

Nature and the Earth are conscious. By opening our minds, hearts, and senses we can consciously awaken to the magic of the wild, the rhythms of nature, and the profound feminine wisdom of the Earth. We can connect with nature spirits who have deep compassion and love for us, offering their guidance and support as we each make our journey through life. By communing and musing with nature, we learn how to speak to the spirit that lives in all things, bringing balance to us and the planet, and evoke a deep sense of belonging with the natural world.

I have always known that one of my spirit animals is the Fox. The Fox had always showed herself to me ever since I was a young girl, both in dreams and in reality. It wasn't until my later years that I became interested in 'Spirit Animals' that I realised what an important part the fox had to play in my life and the meaning behind her. Now, I celebrate the fox, with little images and what-not's around my home, and of course the jewelry that I create.

The act of shape-shifting and having animal totems, has been common throughout many shamanic, neo-shamanic and pagan cultures for a very long time. When working with animal spirits and energies, shape-shifting or 'calling on the energy of an animal' was about embracing, emulating or taking into yourself the qualities of an animal in order to experience change and metamorphosis. It was believed that in inviting the animal energy to become a part of us, we shift and change our own understanding.
Most People think of Native American Animals when discussing the topic of spirit animals - but every animal, insect and fish can most certainly be a spirit animal. 
There is an absolutely brilliant website which can tell you information on many different spirit animals, how to know which one/ones are right for you. This is the link: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-totems.html I use this as a reference for many of my animal totem and shape-shifter jewelry pieces.