Armadillo: Energetic Armor and Protection; Self-Worth; Healthy Boundaries; Independence

Ask yourself, “What practices activate my power? What activities amplify my power? What emotions make me feel in my power?”


Reprinted from Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul by Alyson Charles with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Illustrations by Willian Santiago.







When you want to establish healthy boundaries, when you want to claim independence, when you want to respect yourself and be respected by others, when you want to heal people-pleasing tendencies, when you want to stay in your power



Are you allowing others to pressure you into a way of being that may not feel aligned with your truth, or are you clear in who you are and able to express that in a healthy way?

I am a most powerful reminder to set boundaries for yourself that honor your needs at this time and to be respectful of others’ boundaries too.

If you have experienced any codependent cords in relationships, call upon my medicine shield to sever the ties and support you in moving forward, liberated and free.

If you had to, do you trust that you could make it on your own? Do you believe in your abilities to soar solo through a goal, a project, or even life and be able to thrive?

There is such a thing as convincing yourself you’re riding solo for a good reason, when in actuality you’re unconsciously trying to shield yourself from experiencing hurt. It’s vital to know when to have your guard up and when it’s safe to put it down and let love in.

Self-reliance and self-trust are main medicines of mine, but do not venture into isolation for so long that you become lonely or sad due to lack of human connection. Where are you with this?



One of armadillo’s main medicines is using its shell as a shield, so in this practice, you will work with energetic protection and power. Get your journal and, to the best of your ability, draw an outline of an armadillo with an especially large shell. Next, within the armadillo, write down the things that make you feel powerful. Ask yourself, “What practices activate my power? What activities amplify my power? What emotions make me feel in my power?” And so on. Write at least ten things down. When you’ve finished, call upon the energetic medicine of armadillo to bless and protect this list for you so that these qualities can appear in your life in abundance. Finish the practice by saying, “And so it is.”



Reinforcing its gift at setting up an energetic shield of protection, the word armadillo means “the little armored one” in Spanish. One powerful way to work with the healing and energetic medicines of an animal is to incorporate a piece of the animal—like a feather, a bone, or a shell—into a sacred ceremony. I experienced this when a medicine man from Peru played a chanrango during a sound healing ceremony I attended. The chanrango is a small guitar with a resonator made from the shell of an armadillo, rather than wood.

Alyson Charles is a shaman and spiritual teacher based in Austin, Texas. She is devoted to living by the calls of inner wisdom, mysticism, energy medicine, and shamanic practices she has mastered through her studies with spiritual teachers, both of and beyond this world. She leads global courses, events, and talks to reconnect people to their fullest power and confidence through sacred practices and rituals. Alyson's power animal shamanic journey was named a top meditation to try by O, The Oprah Magazine, and she has collaborated with a range of media outlets and brands, including the New York Times, HBO, National Geographic, Well + Good, mindbodygreen, Forbes, Elle, and Self.

Willian Santiago (1990 – 2021) was an illustrator and a graphic designer from southern Brazil. His vivid, colorful, nature-inspired artwork has appeared in books, magazines, and campaigns around the world.