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Everything You Need to Know About Spirit Animals

spirit animals

Have you ever found yourself face-to-face with one of Mother Nature’s creatures?

You are sitting outside when a beautiful dragonfly approaches you. It hypnotically encircles your body as if it is trying to tell you a secret.

Or by chance you could be taking a leisurely walk through the woods when you notice a deer peering at you from behind a tree. Your eyes lock and you are consumed by the power of its gaze. You feel a meeting of the minds. Something about this being touches your heart in a special way and you feel an affinity with it.

You probably have had an encounter of this kind with a dragonfly, deer or another animal with which you felt a kinship…a bond…a connection.

You may have felt especially close to particular animals throughout your life.

Everyone and everything is connected

Animals can play an integral part in our lives if we let them and the animals we feel closest to are known as our ‘spirit animals’ or ‘animal spirits.’ They can also be referred to as ‘animal spirit guides,’ ‘power animals’ or ‘animal totems.’

Spirit animals could be any of Mother Nature’s beings—mammal, reptile or insect—that come to you and get your attention.

Some can stay with you a lifetime while others can come and go. You can have one or many. Each carries important messages that relate to aspects of your inner self and serve to contribute to your soul’s evolution.

Animal spirits reveal themselves to those of us who are open and willing to accept their messages. A spirit animal is meant to serve as a guide that brings to our attention that part of our life that needs to be acknowledged and explored.

spirit animal frog

Spirit Animals Are Our Teachers

Animals communicate through touch, smell, body movement and of course what they hear (sound).

To watch them is to learn. By sitting quietly and observing your spirit animal much information will be revealed. Without spoken word, as animals have their own form of language, you will begin to hone in on your other senses to gather information.

The best way to bond with your spirit animal is to study and research the specific traits and characteristics of the animal.

There are qualities they possess that you can and will identify with. This may appear in their physical form—how this species is built, walks, eats, interacts, acts and reacts. You will see some correlation to you and your present circumstances.

There will be an attribute that you relate to on a personal level.

There may be qualities associated with this determined animal spirit that are not so glamorous. In fact, these particular qualities could be seen as quite disturbing in nature. You may feel like dissociating at that point of enlightenment but I urge you to embrace it and evolve from it.

This would not be the time to turn a blind eye to exactly what was meant for you to see and experience. This unnerving aspect may possibly be the very reason your spirit animal has made its presence known. That part of your inner self may be parallel and need to be addressed.

How Do I Connect With My Spirit Animals?

With a willing mind and an open heart, animal spirits will appear to you. This connection can be obtained through the practice of meditation, prayer, dreams and astral travel (journeying).

To achieve contact through these techniques is a powerful exchange of energy accompanied by an equally powerful message.

For myself I have found that the most intense connections with animal spirits have occurred in the flesh. I am referring to physically crossing paths. The animal literally comes to you. They can walk in front of you, circle around you or even land on your shoulder.

My lifelong spirit animal has been the wolf.

I feel a special affinity with this being, often drawing strength and courage from it. I have related well to the lone wolf. During shamanic journeying I have invoked wolf to travel with me and the spirit of wolf has remained close, serving as a protector.

Having said that, I have been provided with guidance by other animal spirits as well. While I was battling health issues a few years ago, a hummingbird presented itself to me everyday for weeks in the same location during my morning meditation. It gave me the hope to get through this challenge. Hummingbird taught me how to have joy for life again and not to wallow in my illness.

There was a time in my life when I was under psychic attack. The spirit of the badger clearly kept coming through to me during meditation. I knew the badger had something of value to teach me that would help me get through the issue. It most certainly did. I felt so strongly bonded to this animal totem that I had a badger claw necklace made and wore it constantly to maintain the connection.

If their message is needed, you will be gifted with their presence.

If urgency is detected, your spirit animal will repeatedly appear in your life. Repetition is a sign to pay close attention to. Repeat visits deserve reflection. Your challenge is to understand the significance, process your insights and apply the information as it pertains to you and your life.

spirit animal

What Is Your Spirit Animal and What Does It Mean?

Spirit animals will seek us during times of struggle. They seek us. You do not choose the animal. There is no exception to this rule. The animal chooses you. And when they do, all aspects of the encounter have a symbolic meaning.

To Decode Their Messages, Consider These Factors:
  • The type of animal
  • The associated characteristics of the animal
  • Any noticeable patterns
  • Where was the encounter?
  • When did you cross paths?
  • Have you had multiple visits?

These factors are indicators pointing us in the direction of clarity and transformation in revealing the messages of your spirit animal.

shamanic art

Animal spirits offer us comfort, inspiration and hope.

They encourage humans to develop all of our senses. They want us to use these heightened abilities for the purpose of gaining new perspectives.

This new way of seeing ourselves and our circumstances provides solutions to the baggage we have been carrying. That baggage has been holding us back from achieving our happiness.

From the influential eyes of our spirit animal we can tap into our primal instincts. With the knowledge and protection of your totem you should feel free to express your challenges and empowered to face your inner fears.

When your spirit animal comes forward, it is a wake up call for some important action you must take—one or more aspects of self that need to be adjusted.

How long they stay is entirely up to you. They can leave as quickly as they came or remain with you until your current cycle has changed. They will not detach until their message is understood or you no longer require clarity for choosing your correct path. Clearly when you have learned your necessary life lesson their guidance would no longer be required.

A Guide to Animal Totems and Their Spiritual Meaning

Which spirit animal(s) do you resonate with?

dragonfly totem
Dragonfly Totem

The spirit of dragonfly is an ancient one. They are descendants of the prehistoric age. They remind us of a time gone by—the vast history of what has transpired and led to this moment. Dragonfly encourages you to appreciate what you have and who you are, right here and right now. Dragonfly shows us how ephemeral life is and that we should live each day to the fullest with no regrets. What you think, you become. So if you are stuck in a toxic and depressing state of mind, abandon it immediately. Dragonfly makes one aware of habits that need changing and will carry them away on its iridescent wings.

wolf spirit animal

Wolf Totem

You have an innate ability to access your inner power when you are in need. You value close, social bonds with others but also need alone time in your safe space. Your spirit embodies freedom from others’ expectations. You are highly intelligent, loyal and you will always choose diplomacy over hostility. But if provoked, you are not afraid to set firm boundaries and defend your territory.

spirit animal butterfly

Butterfly Totem

If you connect with butterfly, you may have been told that you are an old soul. Change, evolution and growth are frequently used words in your vocabulary. You have undergone many turn of events on your journey through this life. When butterfly presents itself, remember to go with the flow and keep the faith. Accept change with grace and embrace the transformation that is headed your way.

snake totem

Snake Totem

You have an easy time shedding your skin and transforming into something bigger and better. You have a cunning mind and enjoy intellectual exchange. You have a charming yet mysterious personality. You may have a good idea of what you want in life but do not know which path will lead you there. When snake comes into your life know that the ancient powers that be are working in your favor. Remember to be flexible and take things one day at a time.

dog totem

Dog Totem

If you find yourself constantly surrounded by and drawn to canines, you should know that you are part of the pack. You play a necessary role in protecting those you love. Dogs remind us to be loyal, truthful and kind to ourselves. You should be your own best friend. You have a huge capacity to love, unconditionally.

hawk totem

Hawk Totem

You are extremely observant and very insightful. You possess the qualities of a leader and you are capable of making shrewd decisions. Optimism is one of your strongest virtues. When you soar above life you gain a greater perspective. You see clearly through deception and beyond the veil of this world. You feel the need to share your visions even though others may not be ready to hear and be receptive to your message. If hawk presents itself to you, it may be time to take the initiative and spring into action.

bear totem

Bear Totem

You are known to ensure the safety of your cubs (loved ones). You are an authority figure and you exude confidence. Patience is one of your many virtues. You have the ability to wait for the perfect moment to make critical decisions. You are fearless and at times you can be ruthless. If bear presents itself to you be careful that you are not taking advantage of others to achieve your goals.

hummingbird totem

Hummingbird Totem

You are a rare individual. Your soul is full of wonder, beauty and mystery. Hummingbird is sent as a messenger of hope, to remind you of qualities you think the world has stolen from you. Hummingbird encourages us to seek all of the magic that life has to offer. You are not broken. Share your stories with others and inspire them with your resilience. You have no time to waste.

lion totemLion Totem

You are fiercely independent. You understand the importance of balance in your life. You have an ascended form of thought and an internal power. You can easily motivate yourself and others. You frequently put on a brave face but forget that you have a tender heart. The tendency you have to isolate yourself can make life’s journey a lonely one. Lion reminds us to reach out and connect with others on a personal level, nuzzling the bonds of friendship.

turtle totem

Turtle Totem

If you identify with the spirit of the turtle, you have a sure and steady nature. You may enjoy carefully planning and organizing daily activities. You find comfort and stability in predictable patterns and routines. You are an expert at protecting yourself from attack by withdrawing into your shell. You often retreat within yourself to avoid letting others get close to you. If turtle comes into your life, allow yourself to acknowledge that you may be making hasty and careless decisions. If you feel impatient in reaching your goals, be reminded to enjoy the process. Life is a journey, not a destination. Perseverance will serve you well.

fox totem

Fox Totem

You have a keen mind. You are a critical thinker and an efficient problem solver. You create, innovate and appreciate. You are a dreamer but you are not lost in fantasy. By contrast, you possess a practical nature and are grounded by reality. You are probably a scientist, engineer, or involved in business. You are a social chameleon and you have the ability to blend in any environment. You are a jack of all trades. If fox presents itself to you, critically evaluate the quality of your relationships. You may find that someone is bringing deception and darkness to your doorstep.

frog totem

Frog Totem

You are a great listener and you give great advice. You know exactly what to say. You are deeply in tune with your emotions and possess genuine empathy. At times this can either become your greatest advantage or your biggest weakness. You recognize the need for adaptability, allowing you to swim easily through life’s challenges. If frog comes into your life, you may need to meditate more frequently.

crow totem

Crow Totem

If you identify with the spirit of crow, you speak the truth and embrace your life’s purpose—no matter the consequence. You are a messenger, providing ascended words of enlightenment that others are afraid to hear. You have an extremely open third eye and like crow, you bring prophetic messages of change into the world. If you cross paths with crow, the message will likely be related to signs guiding you to your next move. Pay close attention to thoughts that come to you when you are in the presence of crow and consider them omens.

rabbit totem

Rabbit Totem

If you feel connected to rabbit, you may find that you have had a long history of relationship issues. Frankly, you have been hurt and that has created insecurity in your mind, body and soul. You have become vulnerable and impulsive. You quickly move from one relationship to the next, never finding a safe place for your heart. If rabbit has come to you, objectively examine your life and your decisions. You may need to add more vegetables to your diet, which will allow you to be more balanced. Look to your positive qualities to find strength and help you heal. You have a unique ability to examine and utilize resources. Use your spontaneous attitude to find joy in life and learn how to love yourself again.

elephant totem

Elephant Totem

 Family is the rock that keeps you grounded. When you bond, you bond for life. You remain steadfast with your loyalty even in the most difficult of circumstances. You may have formed close bonds with people who are not related to you but who you consider family nonetheless. If you are betrayed, the memory will remain and forever be imprinted upon you. But elephant also reminds us that love is unconditional and forgiveness is transcendent. Elephant teaches you to love yourself and help yourself first before connecting with others.

shamanic healer

About the Authors

Kaylee is a co-founder of Good JuJu For You. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.

Kamaira Philips, Bachelor of Music (BM), is a co-founder of Good JuJu For You. She is an operatic soprano, an intuitive energy healer and modern shaman, a meditation instructor, a certified EMT and a scientist. Kamaira is researching topics related to immunology, virology, and alternative medicine (sound healing, vibroacoustic therapy, mindfulness meditation) at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.