Spirit Animals – What Are They, And What Is Yours? [In Depth Guide]

by Alan Young
different spirit animals

The concept of spirit animals has been around for centuries and comes from Native American tradition.

According to their teachings, everybody has a number of spirit animals. These spirits travel with you during your life, guiding you at points when you need them. 

It is said that everybody will have that one spirit animal with which they have the deepest and strongest connection.

Let’s look deeper into this idea of spirit animals, their origins, and different types of spirit animals. 

What Are Spirit Animals? 

what are spirit animals?

In order to understand what spirit animals are, we must understand the importance that they have had and continue to have in Native American cultures.

In learning the historical background of spirit animals, we are then able to fully connect with ours. 

Native American Belief 

Native Americans are the indigenous people of North and South America.

They lived in America long before Columbus arrived, and have distinct tribes, cultures, and groups. Despite facing centuries of persecution, the Indigenous people of America’s incredible and fascinating spiritual beliefs have affected so many people around the world. 

Native American religions emphasize the importance of being connected to the natural world.

Most Native American tribes worship the Great Spirit and believe that everything in the world has a spirit. 

Native American traditions remind us that we must work with nature and not against it, respecting every part of the natural world.

Rivers, rocks, animals, plants all have spirits, just like us.

Land is sacred and we must respect it. 

Different Native American tribes have different religions, myths, and traditions, however, they mostly are based on the idea of the connection between human beings and the natural world. 

Native American Animal Symbolism

Many Native Americans see humans as being the caretakers of planet earth.

We must look out for nature and the animals around us. 

Because of this, we have a deep connection with many animals. These will appear in our dreams or in front of us and act as guides in our lives. Just as we are meant to help planet earth, nature can also help us. 

Many different spirit animals will come in and out of our lives at different points, depending on what we need. 

For example, if we need guidance towards a new beginning in our life we might start seeing or dreaming of vultures, who are heavily linked to rebirth and renewal.

They will assist you through your change.  

If you are going through a difficult time and need strength, it is not uncommon for the spirit of the stag to come to you and help you through this period of your life. 

It is important to always stay open and connected to the natural world around you.

This can be hard, especially if you live in a city.

But, spirit animals have so many wonderful ways of connecting to you. You may live in an urban area and barely see any animals, so they will choose to appear in your dreams, or even on TV or in films you are watching! 

Open your eyes and mind to the world and allow spirit animals to guide you. 

What Is An Animal Totem?

what is an animal totem?

According to Native American teachings, everybody has one specific spirit animal that will be with them throughout their life.

This is called a totem animal.

This animal has a deep connection with you and will be around at all times, watching on and guiding you. 

You do not choose what animal this is, rather they choose you because of your personality, spirit, and traits.  

In working with our animal totem we are able to become who we truly are. They know us better than we know ourselves and opening up to them means that we can develop a deep understanding of our purpose in life. 

Sometimes we are lost, confused and stagnant.

We might be scared and anxious about our future, not knowing the path that we are supposed to be on. 

In connecting with your animal totem, you will find the answers and gain clarity in your life. This will help you achieve the happiness and peace that you deserve. 

With practice and understanding, we are able to communicate with our spirit animals. They are able to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to us and with this communication, we deepen the connection we have with them.

How To Know What Your Totem Spirit Animal Is 

Now we know the importance of spirit animals and what totem animals are, we can now look at how to know what our totem animal is.

Sometimes it is obvious.

I know people who always have had a deep connection with a certain animal. They knew all their lives what animal was their totem guide. 

But if this isn’t you, don’t worry!

It is totally normal to have to do a bit of research and a bit of thinking before discovering what your totem spirit animal is.  

Remember Your Dreams 

One of the main ways that your totem spirit animal communicates with you is through dreams.

This is because appearing in dreams is easy for many animals. Perhaps you live in a UK city and your totem animal is a bear.

Of course, you are probably not going to see a bear walking down a British high street, but you might see them in your dreams!

When trying to connect with your spirit animal, try and remember your dreams and what appears in them. Some people naturally remember their dreams, but others might need to practice. 

If you find dream recall hard, try techniques to develop your skills!

One great way is to set an alarm and wake up during the night at points of REM sleep. This means you are more likely to remember your dreams. 

If you notice a certain animal appearing often in your dreams, this will be your totem animal guide. Accept them into your life and let them help you! 

Meditation

Another great way of connecting to your spirit animal is through meditation.

If you are beginning your spiritual journey, learning meditation techniques is a great way to develop your connection to the spiritual world. It can be difficult.

The modern world means that we are constantly being distracted by technology and social media.

However, with time you will be able to fully disconnect from the material world and enter the spiritual world. 

An important part of this process is opening up your third eye. This is the connection between the human psyche and the spiritual world and by opening up our third eye we can communicate to spirits. 

With meditation, we can open our minds up to new experiences. Our totem spirit guides will appear to us in this way and communicate with us. 

When you are meditating, ask your spirit animal to appear to you. They might show you a sign, or appear fully in your mind. 

Pay Attention To The World Around You

pay attention to the world

Do you often see an animal when you are walking in nature? On TV or films do you often notice a certain type of animal? Does an animal invoke strong feelings inside you, feelings of fear or awe? 

This means that this might be your totem animal.

Sometimes we just feel a connection with a certain animal and we have this connection for a reason.  

Think about your past relationships with animals and see if there are any times during your life when you had unusual experiences with animals. You might not have known that they were your totem animal, but they were there looking over you and guiding you. 

Connect With Nature

Remember what the Native Americans taught us about the important connection between us and the natural world?

We are a part of nature and should live in balance within it. We should all work together to create the best world, living in harmony and peace. 

Connecting with nature can be hard in the modern world. A lot of us live in busy urban areas and barely see a tree when we leave the house.

We work on computers in offices in cities. The natural world is something so distant to so many of us. 

It doesn’t have to be that way, and we have opportunities to reconnect with nature. Even if we live in a city, there are parks and places we can go that are blooming with life. 

Try and get out into the countryside if you can!

Walking in nature is a brilliant time for you to meet your spirit animal and have a connection with them.

When we reconnect with planet earth we are deepening the bond that we have with our spirit animal.

Think About Your Characteristics And Traits

A person will often share traits and characteristics with their totem animal. Our spirit animal chooses us and their choice is based on who we are and how we interact with the world. 

This means that our spirit animal might be an animal that we have never interacted with at all, but because we share characteristics with them they know that they can help us through life. 

Our spirit animal knows us so well.

This is because they are always watching and, because they share the same traits as us, they understand why we do certain things and behave in certain ways.

Spirit Animal Guide 

Now we are at a deep understanding of what spirit animals are and how we might connect with our own totem animal, let’s look at different types of spirit animals and what they mean.

This guide will help you understand why your spirit animal is your spirit animal and help those who have not yet connected with their totem animal.

If you are still looking for your totem animal, look at these animals and see if any reflect your traits and characteristics. 

Land Spirit Animals

land spirit animals

This group of spirit animals has a deep connection to planet earth. If you have a land spirit animal, you might feel a strong sense of security when you are out in nature. 

If you have a land spirit animal you are grounded both emotionally and spiritually.

There is a balance in your life and you value security and stability. You may sometimes feel insecure and lost, but connecting with your spirit animal and the natural world will help you gain this security back.   

  • Bear – If your spirit animal is a bear you are strong and courageous. You are great support for people when they are going through a difficult time. Seeing your spirit animal means that you must stand by your beliefs and stay grounded and humble in who you are. 
  • Fox – The fox represents being cunning and aware. If your totem animal is the fox you are a sharp-witted person and value strategy, quick thought, and wisdom. You are a loyal person and have strong deep connections with a handful of people. Big groups of people aren’t your thing and your social group is small and secure. 
  • Wolf – If your spirit animal is a wolf you are intelligent and have strong morals. You are a social person and enjoy having a big group of friends. If you are seeing the wolf totem animal it is reminding you to trust your instincts and don’t forgo your morals and beliefs for anyone. 
  • Beaver – The beaver values hard work and planning. Whether it be work, romance, or family life if the beaver is your spirit animal you like to know your goals and the path to them.
  • Deer – A deer is a common spirit animal but what it means depends on what type of deer is your totem animal. There are so many different aspects to deers, from the strong and stoic stag to the gentle and caring doe. In order to connect with your spirit animal, you must first figure out what deer it is. 
  • Cheetah – If your spirit animal is the cheetah you often keep yourself focused on your goal. This is great, but you run the risk of ignoring other important parts of your life! You must remember to take care of yourself and not push yourself too hard.  
  • Sloth – The sloth spirit animal reflects your diplomatic and careful nature. If your totem animal is the sloth, you are careful and thoughtful with your words and actions and are great at seeing things from different perspectives. 

Check out the guides on these Land Spirit Animals:

Bear Spirit Animal

Cheetah Spirit Animal

Sloth Spirit Animal

Fox Spirit Animal

Deer Spirit Animal

Elk Spirit Animal

Beaver Spirit Animal

Unicorn Spirit Animal

Air Spirit Animals 

air spirit animals

If your spirit animal is a bird you have a natural connection to higher consciousness and find it fairly easy to develop your spiritual side.

You value freedom and intelligence and often have a great way of communication. 

Because birds fly and humans cannot, having a bird as your spirit animal means that you have a great way of not seeing obstacles but seeing opportunities.

You know that everything is possible if you put your mind to it!

  • Vulture – The vulture is an incredible spirit animal to have and it represents renewal and rebirth. If the vulture is your spirit animal you are perceptive, smart, and resourceful. You are wise and have insight and understanding of other people and their situations. 
  • Hawk  – Not surprisingly, if the hawk is your totem animal you have a keen eye when it comes to the emotions of others. You can understand other people’s feelings very well. You think before you act.
  • Crow – Crows are a magical animal and if they are your spirit guide you are very lucky! This animal represents intelligence and transformation. If you are seeing this spirit animal often, you are about to go through a spiritual transformation.
  • Owl – Owls represent wisdom in so many cultures. If your totem animal is the owl you have a lot of innate knowledge that you have always used to help others and further your journey. It also represents a big life change, so take note of this if you are seeing the owls often. 
  • Dove – The dove is the universal sign of peace and if your spirit animal is a dove you are faithful and kind to everybody in your life. There is an element of purity to the dove and suggests you see the world in an extremely positive way. 
  • Eagle –  The eagle represents vision, strength, and resilience. If the eagle is your spirit animal you are strong and passionate and a powerful spirit in your community. 

Check out the guides on these Air Spirit Animals:

Vulture Spirit Animal

Blue Jay Spirit Animal

Swan Spirit Animal

Black Crow Spirit Animal

Dove Spirit Animal

Insect Spirit Animals 

Insect Spirit Animals

If your spirit animal is an insect you are intune with your surroundings and the rhythms of the world.

You are able to adapt to what the universe gives you and always see how you can make the best out of any situation. 

Insects value teamwork.

If your totem animal is an insect, you have a strong sense of community and value the goals of the group over the goals of the individual.

You are a hard worker and value productivity. 

  • Bee – If your spirit animal is the bee you are a team player and dedicated to your community. You know what you want out of life and know the path to get it. You are positive and humble, seeing everyone as equals. 
  • Ant – Ants are strong and diligent insects. If the ant is your totem animal you seem to be able to stay calm and collective no matter what the situation! You care about the community and are passionate about building a better world for everyone involved. 
  • Spider – If your totem animal is the spider you are a creative and dedicated person. There is an element of mystery to you which some people might find a bit off-putting, but they soon come around to you!
  • Scorpion – The scorpion represents patience and intuition. You are wise about the circle of life and have a thoughtful attitude towards death. 
  • Butterfly – Butterflies are famous for transformation and if the butterfly is your totem animal you are open to all the changes that happen in life. You know that change is a part of nature. You are deeply in tune with the wisdom from your ancestors and see the world in a range of ways. 

Check out the guides on these Insect Spirit Animals:

Ant Spirit Animal

Butterfly Spirit Animal

Reptile Spirit Animals 

Reptile Spirit Animals

Reptiles are often seen as the opposite to humans.

They are cold blooded, scaly, and a lot of people just find them plain weird! 

But, reptiles are fascinating animals and if your spirit animal is a reptile you are an individual and live your life your own way!

You value solitude and having time away from the rest of the world. You enjoy freedom and exploring places. Perhaps you live a nomadic existence, traveling around the world. 

  • Snake – If the snake is your totem animal you stay grounded and cool-headed in any situation. The snake represents transformation and creation and you are always able to shake off your previous skin in order to better yourself. 
  • Iguana – The iguana is a symbol of patience and understanding. If your spirit animal is the iguana you are a great friend to many people and give amazing advice. You value the small things in life and find happiness with ease.
  • Gecko – If the gecko is your spirit animal you are clever and resourceful. Adaptable and agile, the gecko represents freedom and the ability to change and heal. 
  • Chameleon – The chameleon is infamous for its color-changing abilities and if this is your spirit animal, this ability is reflected in you. You have an amazing attitude towards life and can always deal well with any given situation. You rely deeply on your instincts when it comes to people around you, and remember not to question it!

Check out the guides on these Reptile Spirit Animals:

Gecko Spirit Animal

Amphibian Spirit Animals 

Amphibian Spirit Animals

Amphibians are animals that live part in water and part on land.

They connect the elements of earth and water together, acting as a link between them. Amphibians need water to survive.

If your totem animal is an amphibian you value balance and harmony.

You possess a sensible balance between your heart and head.

There is also an adaptability to you, being able to survive and thrive in so many different situations. 

  • Frog – Frogs symbolize cleansing and a deep connection to the spiritual world. If the frog is your spirit animal, you have a wise perception of the world and its life cycles. You have the ability to travel through different planes of consciousness and spirituality and understand the magic of nature. 
  • Salamander – If your spirit animal is the salamander, you are adaptable and ready to learn and change. You have a clear vision in your life and know where you want to be. 
  • Toad – The toad has always been associated with magic and trickery. However, this does not have to be negative! If the toad is your spirit animal you have a wonderful ability of insight and wisdom. You somehow know things intuitively without really knowing why. Relaxed, smart, and independent, the toad spirit animal reflects your calm and thoughtful personality. 

Final Thoughts 

In discovering what your totem animal guide is, you are learning about yourself on a deeper level.

Every one of us has a specific totem animal that will be with us all our lives and to not connect with them is a wasted opportunity. They are there for you to guide and help you on your journey in life. 

Open up to discovering your spirit animal, connecting with nature, and gaining clarity and understanding of your life! 

Spirit Animals - What Are They, And What Is Yours? [In Depth Guide]

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