EmuSpiritual Achievement

Emu illustrated by Ravenari


Fatherhood and paternity. Practical animism and literal journeying to find nourishment. Primal communication. Rapid movement. Spiritual running. Male sacrifice. Infidelity. Stone magic. Crystal power. Spiritual and functional animism. Spiritual excellence. Spiritual achievement.

General Description:

The emu is Australia’s largest bird and the second-largest bird in the world. It is a flightless, feathered bird capable of running quickly on its two powerful legs. Emus are nomadic and feed on plants and insects. They are widespread, and occupy many regions of Australia. In hotter regions they will pant to cool themselves and their thickly feathered body is uniquely adapted to insulate them and prevent heat from reaching the skin.

Emus pair-bond, but infidelity is common, and females will often lay eggs in many nests. The male incubates and raises the young, and during incubation the male will often lose a third of his body weight. Emus are farmed for meat, eggs (used in art), leather and oil. Emu oil has become popular for cosmetic and medicinal use. Emus communicate via loud booming, drumming and grunting noises.

Lessons and Challenges:

Emu is a powerful teacher and guide. It promotes spiritual excellence and achievement by encouraging diligence, hard work, respect and humility in the lives of those it visits. Emu demands great application of time, energy and love to all spiritual pursuits and can guide those who seek knowledge down paths of wisdom.

Emu is an excellent guide for those interested in practical animism pursuits and techniques. It is one of a few animal guides that is very powerful for practical animists, or those who simply strive for brilliance in all that they do. Emu guide can be quite stern, and is a custodian of societal law. When emu appears in your life, it is time to apply some mettle and hard work to your situation. Emu doesn’t permit laziness, and emu energy is not very relaxing or soothing.

The energy of emu tends to come about at a time when rapid movement can be nourishing. Many animals teach us to slow down and take our time, but emu comes into our lives to say ‘speed up, work hard.’ Rapid movement can also be applied physically, through exercises like jogging and physically demanding cardiovascular movement. It can be applied spiritually, by drastically increasing how often you journey, make offerings or rituals, pray etc. Look at what you are doing to serve yourself, your spirituality, or others, and multiply it.

Spiritual ‘running’ is also indicated with the presence of emu energy. Moving quickly in the otherworlds is a skill picked up by practical animists over time. Many practical animists travel on the backs of other animals, or shapeshift themselves. Emu teaches one how to utilise movement efficiently and with speed. Emu can also teach soul-flight and flight in the otherworlds. Despite being grounded on land in the ‘real’ world, in the spirit-worlds, emu is capable of flight and is sometimes located in the night-sky in some Indigenous Aboriginal beliefs.

All aspects of journeying are indicated when the presence of emu is about. Emu energy pushes those who practice visualisation or journeying in the direction of performing these rituals more often for spiritual sustenance. But emu’s presence also refers to literal every day journeys; those that nourish us. How often do you go to the doctor’s or dentist’s for a check up? How often do you take yourself out to places where you can nurture your physical body, or stimulate your mind? Emu pushes all people to make more frequent journeys.

On a more ‘everyday’ level, the presence of emu can warn against themes of infidelity, adultery or concepts relating to ‘cheating’. It may be something which has occurred, or that you worry about. Emu reminds us that infidelity is not, like many events that we judge, either ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ As with many things, it can have healthy and unhealthy consequences.

When emu decides to communicate with you, you generally know about it! Emu gets in touch through deep noises. The sounds of cars backfiring, the ‘oom’ of the emu itself, or the base thump of loud music in a car speeding by. Emu communicates its presence in a primal way, through drum beats, booming and thumping. Emu is the animal that stirs the undergrowth, that thuds across the land when it runs with others of its kind, that crashes into the fence that holds it at bay.

Emu encourages you to pay attention! And emu can teach you how to communicate in a way that makes others stand up and take notice of what you have to say. Emu can be a very powerful, primal orator, and teaches this to others.

Emu energy is connected to stone magic, and the power of crystals. In some Indigenous Aboriginal beliefs, the clear crystal contained great magic. This magic could be controlled and used if wise men and women swallowed those crystals and took the power into themselves. Emu is a role model for this energy transition, as emu also swallows stones in order to use the stone’s power for digestion and in turn, nourishment. Emu can teach you about stone magic; not the more generic meanings for stones, but how to access the personality or spirit of every individual stone and crystal you are interested in working with.

Emu is a strong guide for men. Emu teaches about fatherhood and paternity, and also male sacrifice. Emu teaches men how to embrace their masculinity in a positive, healthful way; to not repress themselves, but to also remain strong. This strong teacher is also a powerful role-model for positive, sacrificial fatherhood. The emu gives up a great deal to raise his offspring, but in giving away his energy, he nourishes much more than himself, and brings future lives into existence.

The Shadow Aspects:

Those who fear or dislike emu may find that wish for excellence and achievement, yet consistently neglect to put any work into their endeavours. They might be all talk, no action. They might mean well at the beginning, but get distracted. Emu tells you to focus! Connect with spirituality as a source of energy and commit yourself to something. You only find excellence and achievement if you work, and work hard.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Emu is a task-master, and a demanding guide animal. Emu responds to people who are strong-minded, law-abiding, willful but respectful. He will sometimes accept offerings of crystal and stone, casuarina (sheoak) needles, and effigies of himself before appearing in visualisation or in journeying. When emu shows up during journeying, he usually is there to play an active role and can be very firm about pointing you in the direction he wants you to go.

Emu can be an impatient teacher, and because he demands excellence, will walk away from those who are naturally lazy or unable to apply themselves to tasks. If you are approaching emu, think twice about whether you are able – at this time in your life – to satisfy whatever requirements or requests that he may have. Offending emu can have far-reaching consequences in the spirit world, and for the reason I don’t recommend that beginners approach him.