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Animal Totems

Animal Totems


This is a list of animals that come into our dreams and waking life and what it means to you when you see them. They either have a one-time message for you or they are coming to you as your new animal totem. If they appear to you they always have a message for you now in your daily life.

Meeting Your Animal Guide
After you understand what type of animal guide has come into your life, it is necessary to educate yourself fully as to the nature of the animal. Learn about its habitat, life cycles, what it eats, physical characteristics, special skills and traits, social and mating habits. Go to places where your animal guide can be found in real life. Study it in nature. Gaining insight into the nature of your animal guide will help you to better understand its messages. Meditate on this knowledge and discover its power and medicine.

After you learn various ways to work with the medicine of you animal spirit guide, the medicine becomes a gateway to connecting with other spirit guides found within its domain. Your animal spirit guide (or those spirits who choose to reveal themselves in the form of an animal) will teach you how to align with other spirit guides and beings.

Remember: The spirit guide chooses the person. The person does not choose the spirit guide. A person cannot simply select an animal and begin communication – the results of which are often frustrating and unsuccessful. A spirit guide must be harmonious with the person.

Communication with your spirit guide requires reverent respect and knowledge of the ways of the animal guide. You must find ways to honor your spirit guide. The more importance you give to the spirit guide the more they respond to you. Most spirit guides do not immediately acknowledge themselves to the person as they are leery of your intention and knowledge. A spirit guide is sensitive to moods, current events, and a person’s path in life. They must first trust you and learn your needs and wants. You must learn to trust them and understand their needs and wants. It takes time, patience and practice.

FROM THE WEBSITE MANATAKA.ORG   This page has much more information/animals on it.

The Bat
Because the bat is a sociable animal it can indicate a need for more sociability or increased opportunity with greater numbers of people. It has great auditory perception and can navigate through the dark easily. Their built in sonar enables them to know what lies beneath the surface. Those with this medicine have uncanny abilities to discern hidden messages both from people and the environment.

The Bear
The bear holds the teachings of introspection. When it shows up in your life pay attention to how you think, act and interact. Use discernment in all that you do and discriminate with care. Bear teaches you how to make choices from a position of power.

The Cat
Because of their x-ray vision, acute hearing and high intelligence they were used throughout history as guardians and protectors. In ancient Egypt cats guarded the temple gates and were used to ward off evil. If cat appears in your life the blending of magic and mystery is at hand. A trustworthy teacher, the cat will guide you into the world of self-discovery and transformation.

The Cougar
The other side of cougar is its illusive quality. It can appear without being noticed and quietly take control of a situation. Sometimes this can lead to conflict with others over territory. Those with cougar medicine have past life connections relating to power and leadership. When the cougar selects you as its student be prepared for the ride of your life. It can shred you into little pieces (dissolve karma and identity) then put you back together again with a pure heart and purpose. True leadership through gentle assertiveness is what cougar teaches those with this totem.

The Coyote
Like the coyote we can work with others to get what we want in life, or we can dive into a lake to catch a reflection. We can send troubles away or invite them carelessly. When coyote wanders into your life you are being asked to look at something you have been avoiding. Coyote is our mirror for the lessons we need to learn in order to walk a good sacred road. It will hold up the mirror relentlessly until we finally get the picture. Call on coyote as an ally for negotiating a difficult situation. Or thank him for coming and showing you a trap that you are caught in, or a way that you are fooling yourself. Coyote is an especially powerful teacher with regard to relationships because it is when we are in a relationship that we can fool ourselves the most. Coyote is not out there to get us, but to teach us, whether we want to learn or not.

The Crow
The striking black color of crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new is born. Black the color of night gives birth to the light of a new day. Crow is a daytime bird reminding us that magic and creation are present in both. Their ability to shift between the known and unknown world indicates new journeys. Because crow is adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything, they can survive in almost any situation. Crow is associated with magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength. If crow flies into your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to its caw and act accordingly.

The Deer
Watching the deer and her young is a reminder to honor the childlike innocence within yourself and move with gentleness and an open heart. It also suggests that you stand strong on your path and not allow yourself to get distracted by outside influences. The set of antlers that the male deer grows are the antennae that connects it to higher forms of attunement. If you encounter a deer in the wild try to count the number of points on their antlers. This number ties into numerology and can hold great significance for those with this totem.

The Dog
Certain breeds of dog were designed for specific functions. The study of the breed and its purpose can help you define the energy associated with it. Since wolves and coyotes are its descendants these should be studied as well. The behavior of a dog often reflects the personality of its owner. Through its observation and constant interaction with you it anticipates your next move, and serves as a mirror image of who you truly are. The dog is a great teacher for those who are willing to be loyal students. The choice is yours.

The Dragonfly
Dragonfly has the ability to reflect and refract light and colors and is often associated with magic and mysticism. It conveys the message that life is never what it appears to be. Flying into and around things from different angles, they challenge rigid awareness and prompt the energy of change for anyone who holds this medicine.

The Duck
Affectionate and community oriented duck medicine people love and are loved deeply. They often feel a great need to be of service and make excellent healers. Because the coloring of one’s personal duck is symbolic, healing with color can be beneficial. Ducks are graceful as they glide through the water reminding us to be gentle with ourselves as we heal, learn and grow into our perfected self.

The Eagle
They remind us to pay attention to our speech and how it affects others. Our words as well as the tone of our voice should be examined. Eagle asks us to maintain a prayerful connection with Spirit, to keep our minds focused on what is important in life. Maintaining this attitude removes being judgmental from our consciousness. Without judgment we speak with encouragement and kindness towards others. Lessons associated with judgment are part of this medicine. Eagles have excellent vision. Perched high in a tree they appear to analyze and observe everything. If Eagle has blessed you with its presence in some way, you are being given potent gifts of clarity and vision to use for the good of all people helping to bring forth the light out of the darkness. Eagle also serves as a reminder to those with this totem to communicate with Great Spirit daily so the gifts Eagle offers you can be utilized fully.

The Elephant
Teeth have great symbolism. They are considered receivers and transmitters of energy linked by connecting paths throughout the astral body. Because the elephant is highly intelligent those with this totem make excellent researchers and alternative scientists. The complex study of numbers, energy meridians and the tie in between the physical brain, the teeth locations, and the major and minor head chakras is fascinating as well as beneficial. Elephant tusks point backwards and are used as weapons and for digging edible roots. From a spiritual point of view this suggests an ability to uncover the secrets left behind you and bring them to the consciousness for evaluation and healing. This beautiful creature hold the teachings of compassion, loyalty, strength, intelligence, discernment and power to name a few. If this is your medicine these virtues are a part of your natural character. By applying these gifts in your life soul evolution is achieved.

The Elk
When elk appears in your life, it may be telling you to polish your act and carry yourself with pride and power. That does not mean you should be egotistical, however, for elk knows that its true power comes from Great Spirit. It shows off the gifts it has been given and uses them to its advantage. Elk holds the medicine of strength and empowerment. If you need to be impressive in a situation, it would be good to connect with elk and learn from it. If you are shy or unsure elk can show you how to become more confident.

The Fox
Those with fox as a totem are often clever and witty but must remember to keep their crafty and clever nature balanced or it could backfire. Fox can also suggest that your actions might be too obvious and you need to learn to be more discreet. Fox is one of the most uniquely skilled and ingenious animals of nature. Because it is a creature of the night, it is often imbued with supernatural powers. The fox has a long history of magic and cunning associated with it. It can move in and out of situations restoring order or causing confusion depending on the situation. If fox is your totem pay attention to the way it moves and follow its lead. This is a powerful medicine to have and those that it belongs to should learn to use its skills for the benefit of all, including you.

The Frog
The frog is a totem of metamorphosis. Most frogs undergo a two stage life cycle. Eggs hatch into tadpoles which grow and eventually become adults. This signifies the awakening of one’s creativity. When frog leaps into a person’s life it is an invitation to jump into their creative power. To do this it is helpful to know which stage of life you are presently in. By studying the characteristics of the frog the discovery of your present life cycle is known.

The Hawk
The destiny of all humankind is to awaken from their spiritual amnesia and realign with the original intention of their soul. When the hawk flies into our life we will be asked to evaluate who we have become and rip out the threads of our self-created illusions. This enables our inner truth to surface. Hawk signifies union with Great Spirit. A bird of the heavens the hawk orchestrates the changes necessary for our spiritual growth. Having this totem can be bitter sweet. If we accept its presence in our life we will be asked to surrender anything that doesn’t honor the integrity of all life. Be it an idea, a feeling or an action. Although hard work is involved the rewards the hawk offers us are great.

The Horse
When the horse, either wild or domestic, appears in your life the following questions should be asked. Are you pushing boundaries that are going to cause severe repercussions? Are you trying in your need to be free, to not play by the rules? If so, this may not be a bad thing, but learn the lesson of mustang, there can be a high price to pay for freedom.

The Leopard
Those with this medicine have strong bodies but need to remember to release pent up anger, frustrations and other emotions or physical health issues related to the limbs and the skeleton could occur. When leopard energy is contained within and not expressed outwardly arthritic type conditions can develop. Those with this totem would benefit by imitating the leopard in its movements. Any form of dance, tai chi or rhythmic practice would be beneficial. Because the leopard is a strong and powerful leper it can show us how to leap over obstacles efficiently and gracefully. They are masters at negotiating their environment and will continually serve to encourage that master ship in those who hold this totem.

The Lion
Those with this totem will find that their life lessons will involve dealing with groups and community in some way. They will also need to pay attention to the particular role they play within that group and work with others cooperatively. Lion people have the ability to be balanced leaders but need to keep jealous tendencies under control. Lions do not fight for the sake of fighting. They avoid confrontation and will leave the scene of danger whenever possible and can guide those with this totem out of unpleasant situations.

The Owl
They are able to slip in and out of places unnoticed and can teach us how to do the same. Those with this medicine are usually gifted with clairvoyant abilities. Souls who are born with this totem have chosen a path which suggests a need to refine and perfect these gifts for the aid of others. They make excellent therapists, psychologists and counselors. Active at dawn and dusk owls are sometimes referred to as the night eagle, a messenger from the darkness and a guide through all the mysteries that it contains. It teaches us how to embrace our personal darkness without fear. If the owl appears in your life thank it for its willingness to guide you through its shadowy realm to the other side of promise and joy.

The Panther
The power of the panther is the power of silence. It is extremely quiet when hunting or stalking. It knows when to make its presence known and when to become invisible. Panthers have acute sensitivity. The hairs on its body especially on the face pick up subtle vibrations. This is symbolic for those with this totem. It indicates a need to pay attention to their feelings and honor the messages those feelings convey. Touch can be an important avenue to explore to awaken ones hidden gifts. The Black Panther coat, sleek, smooth and sensual has been linked to sexuality. When panther appears in a person’s life it might be asking you to resolve old sexual issues or to embrace your sexuality fully. The Black Panther has great mysticism associated with it. It represents the life and power of the night. It can show us how to embrace the darkness and awaken the light within it. When you experience the presence of panther one of its most noticeable features is its unblinking stare. It appears to see right through the body. Those with this medicine use their eyes as a healing tool and have the potential to heal on a cellular level.

The Rabbit
Sensitive with keen observation skills, the rabbit has strong reflexes that help them dash to safety quickly protecting themselves from danger. They can be seen, disappear and reappear in the twinkling of an eye. Fast, agile and clever they hold the teachings of spontaneous decisive movement. Always knowing which direction to go and when. When rabbit appears it is enabling you to take advantage of opportunities that may only present themselves for brief moments. Rabbits are guides into the shadow world, where all of our personal fears lie. When the rabbit appears it is time to examine those deep reflexive fears that hold you back from growing. Do you keep dashing for the safety of your old patterns every time something new or challenging presents itself? If so the rabbit asks you to face your fears with compassion for yourself. Accept that it is part of human nature to feel fear at times, but also believe that our fears need not paralyze our growth and movement.

The Raccoon
Hiding behind its mask it can take on several identities at once and play out different roles. Seldom does it reveal its true identity. It loves adventure and leads us down a road to new discoveries. Shape shifting is part of its magic. Those with this totem do well in professions relating to the theater. Raccoons have an air of indifference around them when caught in the act of a robbery, although if provoked they can become ferocious. Strong and muscular the raccoon can hold its ground in most all situations and teaches us to do the same. The raccoon is a powerful ally and holds the gift of transformation. When, it appears in a person’s life the many faces of self are about to be revealed.

The Rat
Those with this totem are survivors. Their tendency is to hoard what they have because they fear that they don’t have enough. This fear prompts them to acquire large quantities of things and fight aggressively to maintain what they have acquired. Rat medicine people are not selfish but they can appear that way to those who do not know them well. Holding onto everything and being the pack rat is their way of feeling secure in an insecure world. Fortunately rats adapt well to environmental changes and can survive on just about anything. They hold the teachings of resourcefulness. Their fear of not being provided for can be healed by participating in supportive group activities, meditation and prayer. The other side of Rat is that it reflects back to us our own human capacity for greed, taking so much that others needs are denied. They will sometimes overeat and throw up rather than let food go by. They will dispossess other small animals of their homes if they can, wanting no competition for food. They truly personify humankind’s imperialistic drives, which are making life on the planet more and more tenuous. If Rat has come to you, look at ways you may be participating in wasteful consumption or fear based emotions and begin to change your habits appropriately.

The Raven
The raven knows the mystery of life. They have an intimate association with death and rebirth. Because raven would feed on the corpses of the dead hanging on the gallons, early European settlers feared this bird and considered it to be an ill omen. In truth, however, raven should be respected not feared. There are many stories in native cultures about this illusive black bird. Shamans know the power of an unexpected piercing sound in altering consciousness. Ravens exercise this power, emitting a variety of sounds and can aid us in shifting our consciousness into various dimensional realms. This is one reason why the raven is known as a shape shifter with magical powers. Anyone with raven as a totem can expect continual changes and spiritual awakenings throughout their life. Raven picks its students according to their accumulated wisdom. It flies into a person’s life carrying the energy of magic and healing. If it decides to settle in and take up residence, it will stay as long as necessary to aid you in transmuting your karma then return you to the light. It will push, prod, and lead you into the discovery of your multidimensional self and reunite you with the secrets of the multidimensional universe. Those with this totem should remember to meet raven, not with fear, but rather with an appreciation for the teachings that it holds.

The Red Breasted Robin
The red coloring of the robin’s chest is linked to the Kundalini in man. This life force lives coiled up within the base of the spine. When sufficient spiritual growth has been attained it uncoils, rising up the spine to create heightened awareness. This process enhances psychic vision which leads us into enlightenment. Those with this medicine are dedicated spiritual seekers. Growth can be slow and arduous. With patience, compassion and proper focus spiritual ideals are achieved. Robins lay powder blue eggs. This is the color associated with the throat chakra in man. It is also linked to heavenly inspiration. Because the throat chakra’s main function is to express the will of God and the egg is symbolic of new life, this helpful little totem teaches us how to assert the creative will of God in all we do. It leads us into new beginnings without fear by restoring faith within our hearts.

The Snake
Snake has been a symbol of life and sexuality for thousands of years in many cultures. It is a totem of power, renewal and transmutation. Snakes lack eardrums and external ear openings but they have many small bones in the head that conduct sound. They are able to hear low frequency sounds and sense vibrations that travel through the earth. This links them to the underworld where secrets are stored. The snake symbolizes healing on a cellular level. Because their bodies are lightweight and flexible they have speed and agility. When they enter your world expect swift changes to sweep through your life. These changes signify a death of the old and a birth into untapped power, creativity and wisdom. Snake is a powerful totem to have. Only those with a high degree of spiritual training, be it past or present, will be awarded this totem. It is the guardian of sacred places and the keeper of hidden knowledge.

The Tiger
Tigers are also known for their healing properties. Their body parts are sought for use in traditional Chinese medicine and exotic herbal remedies. Their orange gold coloring symbolizes vitality and regeneration. Those with this sprit medicine will always heal injuries quickly. The Tiger teaches us how to see into the world of the extraordinary. Those with this medicine have a strong sensitivity to touch and make excellent body workers. Creating sacred space where others cannot enter, spending time alone in order to gather the energy required to move tirelessly throughout life is advantageous for those with this totem. When tiger appears get ready for adventure, challenge and change. The power, passion and vitality of tiger will activates the same components within yourself.

The Wolf
They howl to find other pack members or to let wolves from outside of the pack know to stay out of their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries. The Wolf teaches you to have a balance between the needs your family has of you and the needs you have for yourself. They are totally loyal to the pack but do not give up their identity to the pack. If wolf appears in your life you are being asked to look at where you are being too dependent and where you may be too independent. In both family and community there needs to be a balance. Their body language is symbolic for those with this medicine. Man also uses body language to convey messages. The study of this art can increase perception in those with this totem. They do not fight unnecessarily and often go out of their way to avoid fighting. Sometimes a growl, a glance, a posture is all that is necessary to determine dominance. Wolf teaches those with this medicine to know who you are and to develop strength and confidence in what you do.



Symbolic of the four sacred directions, four seasons, and the four colors of man, there are four basic types of animal guides.

Whether an animal spirit comes by dreams, signs and symbolic events, or actual events it is important to first determine if the guide is a Messenger Guide (Totem), Shadow Guide, Journey Guide or Life Guide.

The meaning and lessons an animal guide brings will differ according to the type of guide it may be. Learning to differentiate between the four types of totems is critical to knowing how to react and the actions you will take when an animal totem makes itself known to you. All guides are powerful.

A Messenger Guide quickly comes into your life and then leaves once a message is understood. The time a Message Guide stays in your psychic is relative to make sure you see and accept the message. The message itself can be spiritual in nature, or it can be a warning. The message may deal with a seemingly mundane aspect of your life or it may be a wake-up call for some important action you must make. Sometimes the animal messenger will come during an unusual event and make a powerful statement and others come on the wind as a whisper. A messenger guide can cause you many delays for some unforeseen help in your life. They can be both negative and positive in nature for they are totally impartial.

A Shadow Animal Guide is one that invades you with fear. Its purpose it to teach a lesson you have not learned from repeated mistakes because of anger, avarice, greed, insecurity, or other negative thoughts. A Shadow Guide will return again and again, bearing strong feelings of fear until its message is acted upon or a change in lifestyle or actions are incorporated into your life. The Shadow Guide is powerful. It can help you to overcome fear by bringing truth and turning fear into a helper animal guide or spirit animal guide. However, if ignored the Shadow Guide can become dangerous and its powers will have a negative effect on your life. The Shadow Guide lives in the spirit world and usually arrives during a time of testing.

A Journey Animal Guide appears at the fork in the road of your life. When a decision is made to follow a certain path in life, the Journey Guide is there to serve as a guide along the way. It represents a path that may take months or years to complete. It can be a friendly traveling companion if the path is right. If you become lost along the way, the Journey Guide is there help lead the way back. Unlike a Messenger Guide who comes and leaves quickly, the Journey Guide remains at your side until the current cycle in your life has changed. This guide will appear at the fork in the road of your life. When a decision is made to follow a certain path in life, the Journey Guide is there to serve as a guide along the way. It represents a path that may take months or years to complete. It can be a friendly traveling companion if the path is right. If you become lost along the way, the Journey Guide is there help lead the way back. Unlike a Messenger Guide who comes and leaves quickly, the Journey Guide remains at your side until the current cycle in your life has changed.

A Life Animal Guide is also called a Spirit Guide as it remains a part of you throughout life and reflects your inner-spiritual self. You may have more than one Life Guide and new ones may come during an expected time. Usually a Life Guide does not move away or disappear but remains an integral part of your life, however, there are instances when a particular Life Guide is no longer needed and is replaced with a new one. Its powers are always there for you and serve as a constant reminder of your inner powers and oneness with nature. If for example your Life Guide is Bear, you should be a person who is a solitary dweller, a seeker of knowledge and well grounded. A Life Guide will often call upon other animal guides found within its domain to assist in giving you special messages from time to time.

Rates for sessions and ask Tonya what animals work with you daily.