We have all heard of spirit animals. Often in modern culture we will make jokes ‘that is my spirit animal’, when we relate to a picture of an animal or an action they do. However, the reality and truth behind spirit animals is a little more complicated than simply being able to relate to an animal.
There is a deep history and cultural traditions behind spirit animals. While there are many who still do keep to this original meaning and its depths, the meaning is somewhat lost to others in our online humor.
In particular spiritual traditions and cultures, spirit animals refer to a spirit which helps to guide or protect a person on a journey, and whose characteristics a person may share or embody.
It is also a metaphor, which is how it is often used these days, humorously, for someone or something to which a person can relate to, or even admire.
Yet, what is a spirit animal, really?
What is a spirit animal?
Spirit animals are also often known as a spirit ally, or an animal guide. A spirit animal is often characterized as a teacher or a messenger that comes in the form of an animal. It is not a novelty, as Native American spirit animals hold a sacred place inside tribal culture. In a tribe, spirituality takes many forms, yet it often emphasizes spiritual connection with the world around you. Spirit animals are one form of this, of which enhances this connection.
The term comes from Native American traditions, yet the age of this tradition is hard to pinpoint. However, the notion is ubiquitous in many areas of the internet and social media, and while most of the time the term is just sued to express a favorite animal, childhood idol or humor, the association in the only world can often stereotype indigenous people, or misconceive the real religious beliefs behind the term ‘spirit animals’.
It is a deep part of Native American beliefs, and is passed down many generations in tribes. The concept was adopted by Pagan and Wiccan spirituality in the 90s and in this context it refers to spirit animals being literal, as spiritual guides or totems in the form of animals.
Animals you are spiritually connected to
The internet is a fantastic invention, but it does make us sometimes misunderstand concepts, this is one of them. A spirit animal is not just an animal you relate to, or like. A spirit animal is an animal that you are spiritually connected to.
In the Native American tradition, spirit animals are an embodied form of a spiritual guide, they can often present themselves to us in whatever way we might be willing to see them. Thus, it is natural for people to connect with their spirit animals through the face of a familiar animal.
In many ways, these spirit animals are spirits which help to guide and protect you on a journey, and they may often have characteristics that you share or embody, hence the feeling of deepness and spiritual connection one might have with this animal.
Why find your spirit animals?
Finding your spirit animal is about more than just knowing you have one, saying you have one, or in a hope to seek out help in troublesome times. Seeking out a spirit animal is part of a hard and difficult spiritual journey that will reap rewards, but you must be willing to work for it.
Can help to enhance mental, physical, and spiritual abilities
Finding your spirit animal can be transcendent. It can be an experience that will radically change your life, in countless ways, positively. As you work with your spirit animal’s energy, you may find that it enhances your mental, physical, and spiritual abilities.
This is because there is much more to it than just finding it. When you find your spirit animals, you will have to make a choice, either to accept its messages and act on them, or ignore them and walk away. Should you accept their messages and act upon them, you may find that your whole life will transform in ways you did not think possible.
Finding your spirit animal and taking in its messages will help lead you to spiritual awakening, and you will find anything that no longer serves you will fall away.
Your 6 senses can be more enhanced
When you find your spirit animal, you may also begin to understand that there is a world beyond the one you know- the material world in which we live our lives. Your 6 senses become sharper, and you will begin to use your natural instincts to think more than our learned humanized ideas.
It can seem a little overwhelming, of course. However, if you were not ready for this, for living a better life and doing better, you would not be on a search for your spirit animal in the first place
It opens a path to spiritual awakening, and learning how to use your sixth sense– what you might call your third eye, or your instincts. You see beyond what you can with your eyes, and vibrate on a higher frequency, more in tune with your surroundings.
It can help to discover courage, ability, path, strengths, and wisdom
Finding your spirit animal is not only about taking a spiritual journey, though, it is also about aspects of our lives that we may not think the spiritual can affect. Helping us work our way through very human issues.
For example, finding your spirit animal can give you courage; this includes helping you gain the courage to leave a toxic relationship, seek a raise at work, or even just to pursue higher education.
It will help improve your ability more, this means communicating more effectively, and speaking your truth. A spirit animal can also help you find your path, tuning into your intuitive, psychic, or spiritual self more
It can also assist in gathering strength, helping to kick back depression, and lessen the effects of poor mental health, shake oneself of addiction, or find your joy again after a depressive period.
Finally, it can help us gain wisdom to help us get through tough decisions.
Spirit animals can help us in many other ways too. They can help us when we are feeling low. If we are afraid they can help us to conquer fear and find courage. If we know that we come to know the tiger spirit, it can help us find courage, and we can trust it has joined ourselves on this journey. As each spirit animal has something to offer, we could be helped by spirit animals that will help us through situations.
If we are sad, for example, the playful otter can make us joyous and laughing with its playful antics. Or if we are angry, a Panda is a useful spirit animal, as they are peaceful, and they can bring us down to a more peaceful state.
Ways to discover your spirit animal
There are multiple ways that you can discover your spirit animal, here are a few ways you can go about it.
Pay attention to dreams
Paying attention to your dreams can give you a hint as to what your spirit animal is. If you find yourself often dreaming about animals, pay close attention to them. We often do not believe we are receiving messages from spiritual sources, and we can often not believe our spirit animals are sending us messages in our day-to-day lives, so oftentimes, our spirit animals will instead come to us while we dream. Often it is much easier for us to trust our dreams than our own instincts and intuition during our waking hours or even in meditation.
So, look out for what animals tend to crop up in your dreams, reoccurring animals maybe your spirit guide trying to tell you something.
Think about past connections to animals
We all have connections with animals, be they our pets, an animal we just resonate with, or perhaps an animal we just really enjoy. Thinking about these connections can help you to pinpoint what your spirit animal may be. Also pay attention to animals that show up in your life a lot.
This means animals that you may see recurring in songs, pictures, movies, books, and hear about a lot in conversations. Trust that if a particular animal keeps appearing to you, they are trying to help you in some way.
If multiples keep popping up to you, you can try to narrow it down, think about your dreams as well, and any other aspects of your life that may include animals. For some animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, horses and so on, you can also get a feeling of their connection to you based upon how these animals react to you in your waking moments too.
Write a journal about animals you feel close to
Journaling is a great way to streamline your thoughts, and make sense of the world around you. Keeping a journal will help you to figure out what animals you relate to well. It will help to put all the above animals together. In a journal you can list the animals you encounter a lot in your dreams, in books, movies, pictures, songs and so on. Doing this can give you a more direct perspective on what animals you encounter most in your life, and therefore a better idea of what your spirit animal may be.
Journaling is a notoriously good way to sort through your thoughts visually to better make sense of what you are trying to understand. Whether you are seeking out your spirit animal or something else, journaling is a great way to get clarity.
Take a spirit animal quiz
The final way you can get some answers about what your spirit animal is, would be to do a spirit animal quiz. Of course, not all of these quizzes are perfect, and some may not give answers that make sense. These do not work all the time, however, it is useful to take advantage of their existence. There are some sites that will give better spirit animal quizzes than others. For example, a quiz on a legitimate spiritual website will be much more resourceful than one on a website like BuzzFeed, choose wisely.
About Spirit animal Meditation
Spirit animal meditation is another route you can take to find out what your spirit animal is. Not everyone is great at meditation and therefore, it is not for everyone, however, if you are dedicated to finding out what your spirit animal is, then this is a great option for you. It may give you some pleasant surprises, and you might get some answers from this.
Meditate if you are committed to finding your spirit animal
l, ten meditation is a great route to take. You need to try your best to be open and trust the right animal guides will present themselves to you in the meditation.
Remember that in any meditation you need to be open to what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.
Should you meditate and a sick and injured animal appears to you, do not be fearful. Remember that your spirit animal guide is the guide who shows If you are feeling committed to finding your true spirit animal, ten meditation is a great route to take. You need to try your best to be open and trust the right animal guides will present themselves to you in the meditation.
Remember that in any meditation you need to be open to what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.
Should you meditate and a sick and injured animal appears to you, do not be fearful. Remember that your spirit animal guide, is the guide who shows up when you are in need of them most
You may get a sick or injured animal when you are lonely or are in need of friends. This would be highly likely if the animal is a dolphin as well, since they are such social creatures. meditate until an animal ‘shows up’.
You might find it disheartening if an animal does not show up right away. If this happens, try not to worry, continue meditating until an animal shows up to you.
One technique you can use is to focus on one chakra at a time and take note of the animals that show up for each chakra. This method is a bit advanced however, so it is up to the individual if they wish to attempt this.
To meditate for your spirit animal, you need to turn off all electronic devices and ensure that you cannot be disturbed. You need to create and protect your sacred space, and then sit or lay in a position that keeps your back straight to prevent any interruption to your Chi. Use meditation music, such as nature sounds or other relaxing noises. Relax, breathe, and invite the spirit animal to come forward. Trust is needed in this process, so do not worry if they do not immediately appear.
Common spirit animals
Now we know about all of this, let’s consider the spirit animals you may have. There are many types of spirit animal that you can have, these are just a few of them.
Bear spirit animals are very powerful. They are also deeply emotional, and they feel a very deep connection to the earth and the outdoors.
Bears are one of the most ancient worshiped animals, so a bear for a spirit animal is quite something. Remains of bears have been found in many archeological sites in Europe, and bear bones have often been found alongside human bones, all the way back to Neanderthal times.
It was often said that Vikings would wear bear skins in times of war to scare off their enemies, so bears as a spirit animal do not only represent strength and power, but are also much revered.
Butterflies are a very common spirit animal, and when a butterfly enters your life, it is actually believed to be one of the most symbolic signs in relation to change. You might indeed be moving through different cycles in your life, and you may find yourself changing from the inside out.
Death and rebirth are present as part of butterfly symbolism. So a butterfly can be telling you that perhaps something in your old self is dying away so that a newer you can come forth.
Butterflies are also known for carrying a message of light, and floating above earthly matters.
As cats are curious and independent in their nature. As spirit animals, this is what they also symbolize. They symbolize adventure, curiosity and development. They are adaptable and approach all changes with grace and ease.
Deer are sensitive creatures, and they are highly intuitive spirit guides. They strike a balance between confidence and success, as well as gentleness and grace.
Doves are well-known symbols of peace, blessings and new beginnings. They are hopeful and optimistic spirit animals, one everyone should want.
Doves are often a symbol of love, devotion, and purity as well. They have grounds in the human soul as well. They are very spiritual and very emotional spirit animals tied to the heart, as well as having ties to the Holy Spirit.
Doves appear in a great deal of mythologies and folklore of multiple cultures around the world. Doves are gentle spirit animal guides. Dove people are often kind and gentle. They are also naturals at diplomacy. Doves can come into your life to remind you of the idea of soul mates, and to remind you to cherish the people closest to you, as they will be with you through multiple lives.
Dolphins are great spirit guides, they represent playfulness and wisdom. Dolphins are master communicators and unifiers, and they are very social animals too.
Dolphins live in every ocean on earth, and some rivers too. They are often the subjects of mythology and folklore of coastal peoples. Some even believe that to have metaphysical powers. They also symbolize help, messages, freedom, teamwork, and psychic abilities.
As dolphins work together in pods to capture their prey foods and get a large enough amount to eat, they are very symbolic of teamwork. However, since they live and hunt in family pods they are also rather playful and social, and thus they symbolize this too.
Dolphins are considered to be one of the smartest animals alive, alongside mice, humans and apes. This means that they are often seen as being very wise, and as spirit animals this follows through.
Elephants are wonderful creatures, and wonderful spirit animals to have, they symbolize wisdom, gentleness, and deep spiritual understandings. Elephants are also very intelligent creatures, so hence they symbolize intelligence. They also symbolize good luck, majesty, memory, loyalty, unity, family and consciousness.
Elephants travel in a herd, and they are very loyal to their family, they are led by a matriarch who is wise and will lead her family across the lands where she knows there will be food and water.
Frogs are a spirit guide for healing, both in terms of physical and emotional wounds. They speak to the importance of self-care and checking in with oneself, as well as healing from the past in order to live in the present. Frogs are a spirit guide for moving forward.
Fox guides are the guides of camouflage. They mastered the art of detachment and growing with surroundings. This could be a message that you need to do this to grow or get past a tricky situation.
Foxes are often much like teachers, providing guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. Both responsive and cunning, foxes are a great guide to have should you face tricky situations.
They encourage action in quick and swift movement. You may need to take action in a way that shows adaptability and ability to move quickly through resistance, much like the fox. You may find that under the fox spirit animal you can work to develop your mental agility, analytical intelligence, powers of deduction and also observation.
Foxes are symbols of physical alertness and quickness to respond.
Horses are the guides of passion and drive. Horses are very productive and goal-oriented, they are hard workers and passionate. This could be a reflection of yourself, or a message on how you need to be to overcome a situation.
Horses typically represent a driving force, often something that you thrive for, which may carry you in life. Horses also represent the balance between instinct and tiredness.
Horses are also representative of masculine sexual energy and sometimes feminine sexual energy, as well as strong emotions and passionate desires.
Horses often represent an appetite for life. They may also represent inner strengths and having a driving force. They also often have symbolism in physical strength, vitality, as well as psychological and emotional agility to push forward. Horse spirit animals have much symbolism around the ability to overcome obstacles in life and pursue goals no matter what might stand in your way.
Hawks represent courage, self-awareness, truth and perspective. They are a very highly revered spirit guide, thanks to their ability to see things from a higher perspective, and for them to be able to recognize the truth in any situation, simply for what it is.
Hawks also symbolize intuition and inner wisdom. When you encounter a hawk, you are being shown that this is now a time for you to take an inventory of where you are at in life, and what your next step may be.
You should channel the keen eye of the Hawk and view your life from a higher perspective, then tap into your inner wisdom and allow these things to guide you as the hawk does.
Lions as spirit guides represent heart and courage. Lions are natural-born leaders with a key sense of authority. Lion spirits are a sign of leadership, which can be a bit challenging at times, as others are not always happy to have to follow the lion’s lead.
Like the lion, when we take lead, we are not always praised for it. Lions do occasionally have to live with an aura of unpopularity. It is possible as well that your lion spirit animal may be pointing out areas of weakness in you.
If you are not a leader and your spirit animal is a lion, you may need to work on these weaknesses, and remember that lions are all about courage. Speak freely and express your anger and frustration through channeling it into meditations. Power can get things done without any need to scream, shout, and stomp.
If your spirit guide is a mouse, then this represents the importance of details and scrutiny. Mouse guides remind us that we should not overlook the smaller details in our lives, but instead pay attention to them.
There is a lot to say about owls. They are one of the rarer spirit animals. If you cross paths with an owl, it is a real sign from the universe. However, owls as spirit guides represent wisdom, deep connection, intuitive knowledge and so on. Should an owl come to you as a spirit guide, you may find yourself in a period of your life in which you are exploring the unknown.
You might be going through a transition in your life, or you may be embarking on a new journey.
Owls have the capacity to see beyond deceit and deception, they are intuitive and can see what others cannot. When the spirit of this animal comes to you, you are able to see beyond the illusions we may create within our own minds.
Peacocks are the guide that represents resurrection and reinvention. They know it is never too late for us to change course. This can often be a guide that reminds us that nothing in our lives is set in stone.
Peacocks are the epitome of beauty, they offer lessons about self-love, honor, integrity, and how important it is to face the challenges of life and the unknown with confidence.
These animals will strut into your life gracefully, and offer a time of rebirth.
Peacocks are confident and glamorous animals, they will encourage you to view yourself the same.
Turtles are very highly revered guides, they represent a journey towards wisdom, truth, peace and understanding. Do not forget the symbolism behind turtles in relation to time.
Tigers as our spiritual guides represent raw feelings and emotions, they are very intuitive, and they are fantastic at following their instincts. Sometimes you need to be a tiger to resolve a situation, whereas some people are natural-born tigers.
Wolves are spirit guides with a lot to offer, and very sought after traits. They are connected to intelligence, distinctiveness, and freedom. They follow primal instincts above all else, and sometimes we need to be a little more like the wolf.
Finding your spirit animal guide is a journey only you can decide to take. The history and culture behind spirit animal guides is deep and rooted greatly in Native American traditions.
Seeking out your spirit animal can be done in many ways, and not every way will work for everyone, you can try dreams, meditation, keying in on the world around you, and journaling. However, it is important to remember that when the time comes for your spirit animal guide to reveal themselves to you, they will, you just need to be open to receiving their message. Spirit animals can help us in our times of need, they can help us through difficult situations, awkward conversations and assist us in figuring out who we are in relation to the world around us. Giving us courage, strength, wisdom, and helping us pull ourselves out of dark places. Everyone should want to find their spirit animal.