Have you ever heard of spirit animals, totems or spiritual protectors? Since ancient cultures, animals have acted as a bridge between the cosmos, the human being and nature, and they have been used as a source of power and energy. There are an infinite number of animals that can help you to improve and evolve, and also guide you on the path of life by means of their attributes. We will reveal what spirit animals are and how you can find yours. So, we will provide you with a guide of the 50 most outstanding animals.
The concept of spirit animals is related to the ancestral shamanic tradition, whose practice developed the idea that animals are connected to the cosmos and possess qualities and energies that can be transmitted to human beings. Each spirit animal is personal and non-transferable, since it mirrors the attributes of our being and, through its protection, helps us evolve and grow.
Every totem or spirit animal has particular characteristics and therefore, each one of us has a particular totem according to our qualities and our mission in life. This is how it becomes a protector that guides us in our daily experiences to turn us into better and improved beings.
As we evolve and go through different periods in our lives, we can have several totems or spirit animals.
It is not easy to find out which is our spirit animal, it requires an introspection exercise made through a ritual. We have to find a remote and isolated place that has a relaxing atmosphere, which can be made more pleasant with incense and music, and slowly sink in a state of deep meditation.
If you have never meditated, it is advisable to do it together with a professional who will guide you through the process of recreating experiences in your mind. You can imagine walking along a peaceful landscape in order to connect with the elements of nature: the air, the mountains, the trees, the water, the grass…
In shamanic practice, when an altered state of consciousness has been reached, nature is addressed in order to receive a protective spirit. Then, we envision the image of an animal, to which we ask for protection. This will be our totem, to which we can talk until we return to our consciousness.
Once the rite of initiation is passed, you know what your spirit animal is. The next step is to get to know everything about it and discover the qualities it can provide so you get the most out of it.
And now we will provide you with a short guide of the most common spirit animals with their features and qualities.
This is one of the top guiding totems, a spirit animal that represents freedom and the spiritual reach. The wolf is the protector and guide of those who are constantly looking for the perfection of the soul and who serve others. It also represents the family unit, loyalty and communication.
This is the totem of transmutation, wisdom and mystery, and it also represents death as a transformation. As a bridge between two worlds, the shamans use it as a means to travel to the human soul. Moreover, it symbolises the reconciliation between extremes. This is a spirit animal for those who look for inner transformation.
This is a dual animal that has not only positive characteristics, such as gentleness, motherhood, resurrection, patience and introspection, but also aggressive ones, such as power, war, defence and violence. However, the bear’s message is related to hibernation: as our totem, it helps us to think out ideas and put off decisions.
The cow feeds the human being both physically and spiritually, so in many cultures it represents the beginning of life, wealth and fertility. Moreover, it calms down and relaxes the mind so that the people who get the cow as a totem can attract riches and positive energies to reassure their mind and eliminate stress.
As a spirit animal, the fox symbolises cleverness, ability to adapt, the power to see what others ignore, camouflage and intelligence. If the fox is offered as a spirit animal, it will improve your intellect and help you find solutions when you have a mental block. Also, your wit will boost.
The mouse represents the nourishment of the snake’s sacred totem and therefore, takes on a sacred character too. As such, it helps to connect what is on the surface with the underworld and what lies beneath the earth. Moreover, it helps to create underground paths, hiding places and holes. It provides creativity, adaptability, innocence and fertility.
It represents power and sensuality. Also, the tiger is a protector of solitary people and, like water, it is a nocturnal and lunar animal. So, this is probably the totem of those who have a water element as their zodiac sign. It may come to your life accompanied by someone very influential and charismatic.
The eagle is a solar animal that represents the male’s activity field, the spiritual elevation and nobility. Moreover, this is the animal that embodies power and war. However, the most important teaching of this totem is the renewal and self-purification, since the eagle renews its talons and beak when these are no longer useful for its survival.
The cat, one of the most mysterious totems, is a lunar animal that connects the human world with the underworld. It is a symbol of the night, the darkness, the witchcraft, the magic and mystery. Although in some cultures it is associated with bad luck, as spiritual protector, it offers intuition, wealth, independence and clairvoyance.
The mythological origin of the hummingbird goes back to the ancient Mayan culture, according to which it was created as a messenger of the gods, to carry their word from one place to another. Its aesthetic beauty and fragility make it a symbol of elegance, beauty, love, life, good things, and the transmission of knowledge and desires.
The dolphin totem, symbol of resurrection, helps us to overcome our problems and to build up qualities such as balance, beauty and innocence. Moreover, as a spiritual protector and guide, it is very useful to improve our communicative skills and find the path to freedom. This is a sign of great intelligence.
Since ancient times, the horse has been thought to have a very special connection with humans, which allows it to get into their minds. As a protective animal, it offers uncontrolled power and quick movement, and it helps to build up loyalty, love and faith. Besides, it is the protector of travellers, so it will help you if you set off on a journey.
As it is a scavenger, the raven remains in the collective memory as a symbol of death with negative connotations. However, due to its intelligence and ability to learn to speak, it was appointed as oracle of the gods by the ancient shamanic cultures. It helps us to communicate with the gods and with our conscience through intelligence.
If your protective animal is the elephant, you will be able to improve your family, romantic and personal relationships, and get energies related to physical strength, protection and vigour. In many cultures, it also represents wealth, riches and good luck with gambling and investments.
When we are assigned the crocodile as a protective animal, it helps us to connect with our unconscious mind and our most thoughtful side so that it becomes a very useful tool for self-analysis and meditation. It helps those who are too sensible to find a door to their inner world.
The butterfly is a harmless and elegant animal, a pure and innocent exhibition of beauty, whose life, however, is brief. For this reason, it shows us the essential things in life, teaches us to value what really matters and to make the most of our time. This is a very useful totem against pessimism and bad thoughts.
The lion, an iconic symbol of power and strength, teaches us to improve our self-esteem and boost our ego. It is also a master of perfection that helps us build up those features of our character that make us stronger and more capable. If the lion is your totem, it will show you the road to success and the sparkle of life.
The rabbit is a representation of intelligence and prudence, so if it becomes your spirit animal, it will be very useful, because it will bring you extra protection in life.
The swan, image of purity, beauty and grace, represents the chastity and the awakening of nature. It also helps the gods with the change of the seasons. If the swan is your spirit animal, it will help you to discover and build up you inner beauty and harmonise your relationship with others, as well as to cleanse your soul and purify your life.
The pig represents fertility, nourishment, sustenance and abundance. Moreover, as a spirit animal, it will help you to be generous with others and understand life as a fleeting journey in which you must appreciate the pleasures and the joy of living. It also helps you build up sensuality and find the gateway to riches.
The shark is a symbol of the sharpness of the senses, the daring and keen intuition. Besides, it is synonymous with predation, which as a totem animal, it translates into unreserved pursuit of dreams and projects. It helps you chase what you desire and to do so, it stimulates yours instincts and senses. This is the spirit animal of business and sales.
This is an animal that is usually regarded with repulsion and disgust by humans, but if it is presented as a spirit animal, do not reject it, feel lucky. Among other benefits, it will help you to be successful, to improve your personal growth and your job skills. It represents the material well-being and the work, the adaptation, perseverance and intelligence.
The scorpion expresses instinctive desire, sensuality and sex, but also protection. When the scorpion is revealed as a spiritual protector, it gives you many ways of protection against foreign afflictions, and also a fascination for pleasures in a radical and overwhelming way. This is a symbol of lust and hedonism.
Since it is constantly in contact with the earth, it is believed that the beetle has the ability to connect with Mother Earth and pass on her messages and teachings. Besides, it is a symbol of death as a renewal so that, throughout our life, it teaches us to adapt and evolve. It is also a symbol of stability and mystery.
As water dwellers, they represent what lives in the depths of our soul and our unconscious mind. It is the guide of our sense of intuition and of the enigmatic, the mysterious and the unknown. It helps us to be more fertile, because this is a symbol of what is born of life. It is also a protector of the collective consciousness.
The turtle is one of the most long-lived animals on earth and therefore, if it becomes your totem, it will guide you through a long and safe life. Moreover, it has a shell that protects it from predators, so it represents shelter, protection, defence, intelligence, preservation and home’s safety.
The motionless and impassive character of the iguana, which suggests a great serenity and grace, points us the path towards peace and composure. As a totem animal, it teaches us that everything in life has its own time and that we must handle our problems and changes with serenity and composure. This is a lively and positive animal.
As a protective animal, it gives us patience and constant work. Although it may seem a fragile and vulnerable being, it is actually an animal that is able to increase its strength and that, in group, it can be deadly. Therefore, it teaches us to build up our inner strength and to cooperate with our colleagues.
As a spirit animal, the dog represents loyalty and the connection of animals with humans, in a communicative and empathic way. It not only teaches us love, gentleness and devotion, but also guides us on the path of friendship and social relationships. At a deeper level, this is the totem of transformation and intelligence.
Usually the lizards lie long hours in the sun, long periods in which they stand still while recharging their organism. As totems, they are harmless animals that show us the path towards relaxation and meditation, the exploration of our conscious mind, and they also help us avoid dangers and the evil eye.
This is a masculine animal, since the male that marks its territory has a long reign in which it exerts the exclusivity to impregnate the females. Moreover, when the calves stop suckling, they follow the male that teaches them the keys to survival. For this reason, as totem, they teach us how to be a leader, how to show authority and the paternal bond.
The Gorilla expresses nobility and community life, and helps us improve our social awareness. As a messenger of family values, affection and hierarchy, if the gorilla is our spirit animal, we can improve our feeling of belonging to a family, the respect for the elders and the group’s discipline.
The whale helps us to make a journey to our innermost selves and to awaken our most intuitive sense and our creativity. Moreover, as it moves underwater, the whale is a messenger of emotions that helps us understand our feelings and use them in the best way to evolve and optimise our spirit.
The most relevant feature of the giraffe is its sleep regulation and the length of its neck, which allows it to reach the places the others mammals cannot reach. For this reason, as a spirit animal, it will teach you to achieve your dreams. It is synonymous with triumph, success, wealth and visual perspective and understanding.
As the spider spins its cobweb, that is how we weave our life, so it teaches us to do it patiently and carefully, and to focus on the importance of every choice we make. As a guide and protective animal, it will teach you to improve your mental connections and your agility and precision when organizing your life. It is also the symbol of the infinite.
As a solar animal, it is the expression and protection of life in its full glory and so, a source of vital energy for the ones it protects. Moreover, like the rest of the wild felines, the panther represents fierceness, power and strength. It is specially a symbol of sovereignty and speed, of courage, and also of the world of intuition and mystery.
This is an uncommon protective animal, but when it is assigned as totem, it gives you great ability to adapt and survive. Due to its gregarious nature, it teaches us to stick together and keep the values of solidarity and mutual assistance in order to overcome our problems. It also teaches us to improve our inner discipline.
Its morphologic transformation from an embryo to its death makes it an animal of transformation. If it becomes your totem, you will find yourself at the gates of a change, which you must see as an opportunity for cleansing, purification and evolution. It will help you to do it with serenity and sharpness. This is a symbol of fertility and luck.
As a totem animal, the octopus offers its protected ones a great brain from which it passes on a great volume of knowledge and an enormous intelligence. Moreover, it has very large and skilful tentacles that symbolise the achievement of our purposes. As a lunar animal, it is also a bearer of creativity, mystery and intuition.
The sheep is the animal that makes us return to the fold if we get lost. As a gregarious animal, it reminds us of the importance of the group and gives us qualities to improve our soul and recover our common sense and responsibility. It also helps us use our life lessons in order to learn from our mistakes and avoid temptations.
The goat symbolises the independence and importance of the individual, and sometimes it is associated with eccentricity and madness. When our spirit animal is the goat, it invites us to leave the flock and follow our own path. In order to do so, it sends positive energies and encourages us to venture and to reach the spiritual.
The crab is a lunar animal that represents the cyclical nature of life. When the crab becomes our spirit animal, it helps us to behave correctly in every stage of our life. Moreover, this is a very powerful totem to return to the past. Due to its ability to move backwards, it symbolises our memory and connects us with the past.
As a symbol of the night’s eyes, the owl represents those who can see in the dark, the clairvoyance. If we accept it as a totem, it will give us the tools to see the light when we find ourselves in the dark, to see the essential things when our mind is clouded. It represents the psychic, the wealth and the freedom.
The squirrel is a sign of cleverness, intelligence and caution, as it hides skilfully from predators and stocks up food in hidden places for future emergency needs. It will help you in difficult times teaching you to preserve, save up and prevent, as well as the importance of fun and mischief.
This is the totem animal of voyages and long journeys, which transmits to those who are constantly on the move safety, serenity, provisions, survival skills, intelligence, energy and sustenance. As a totem, it also represents the spiritual guide and the long-haul challenges, so it provides several benefits and tools.
Although in the west it has little popularity among many indigenous people, the kangaroo is a symbol of sexuality, fertility, power and protection. It not only provides shelter and refuge when we feel exposed but also helps us deal with new projects and tough decisions.
This is the animal closest to the human’s DNA and so, it conveys its intelligence and social skills. If this is your spirit animal, it is because you may be a shy person that finds it difficult to socialise and make friends. So, the chimpanzee will help you build up your most sociable side and become more communicative and outgoing.
It is a symbol of the mysteries and enigmas that lurk in the depths of the night and the darkness. The bat, half mammal, half bird, use ultrasounds to move in the darkness. For this reason, it helps us to survey mysteries and move forward in our hardest times, to be guided by our intuition and start renewal journeys.
The bison symbolises the force of nature, fertility and protection. In shamanic cultures, this was an animal with great power that helped to connect and communicate with the gods. It also meant long life, healing powers and physical strength, as well as the community spirit and the importance of group protection.
If you are at a time in your life that you need to undertake a process of struggle and self-improvement, the leopard is your ideal spirit animal, because it not only gives you strength, speed and agility but also teaches you to appreciate life. As a solar animal, it represents the value of life and the use of positive mindset to overcome your problems.
Plus, you might be interested in reading more about The 17 Most Endangered Species In The World at healthywaymag.com