Recently, my mom and I took a much needed vacation to the Tampa area for about a week. We tried AirBnB for the first time with much success- totally recommend it! (If you’re looking for a beautiful spot around there contact me and I’ll refer you to the right people!) During the vacation my mom and I encountered quite a few animals that we don’t normally see. Not only was it a cool experience, but if you know about animal totems, you know there’s a whole lot of information hidden within those sightings.
Now, for those of you who are thinking, “what the heck is she talking about,” let me give you a little rundown on animal symbolism.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word totem as “A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol. A means of personal or spiritual identity.” You can find animal totems and their wisdom within cultures all over the world. In my day to day life I come across lots of animals- its the animals I rarely ever see that catch my attention. I know if I see a random animal, or keep seeing an animal over and over and over, there’s something to be learned. Let me give you two examples. About two years ago, I couldn’t stop seeing turkeys. They’d be crossing the road holding up traffic on my way to work, they’d come at my car and another time I was surrounded by a ton of them out of the blue. This type of behavior leads me to a well known book called “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews. Andrews has quite the collection of animal wisdom inside that book- its a great reference book. Another example for you- yesterday on my way to work, something caught my eye in the road. It looked like a big rock (I was driving about 40 mph). As I drove past it I realized that rock was moving (more like running) across the busy street. That rock turned out to be a baby turtle! This is one of those peculiar instances that would lead me to find out what Spirit is attempting to communicate with me. It’s as simple as asking Google the meaning of (insert animal).
Anyway. Back to the Tampa excursion. I decided to look up the meanings of all the unique animals we came in contact with across our trip- I held a baby alligator, found a baby sting ray, saw manatee and dolphins, and a seagull snatched a granola bar out of my mom’s hand mid-bite (just to name a few). Here’s what I’ve come up with- maybe reading some of these will remind you of an animal you keep seeing! Feel free to share any of your unique encounters in the comment section 🙂 Personally, I’m going through a huge life transition- many difficult decisions, changes and instances where blind faith is needed in heavy doses. It’s cool to see some reoccurring themes among the different animals. Enjoy
Creation/destruction, birth/death, beginning of a new period and the death of the old, knowledge is transformed by a new level of growth, hidden wisdom awaits. Alligator can teach you ancient knowledge that is currently hidden and gives strength to create your own opportunities. These guardians and protectors of wisdom will show how to move in the waters of the Self. Are you seeing things as they are and not what they appear to be? Are you consumed by the knowledge you are becoming unbalanced with meditation and quiet time? Alligator’s breathing awareness will help in balancing out transformations.
- Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace
- Being in touch with inner child, innocence
- Being sensitive and intuitive
- Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly
- Magical ability to regenerate, being in touch with life’s mysteries
Teaches listening to intuition in dreams, visions and perceptions throughout the day. Be aware of the emotions surrounding your impressions. Aids in illuminating fears and doubts and how to change them. Lizard can teach about objective and compassionate detachment. Do you need time to rest and relax or step back from a situation? Is it time to move forward? When lizard appears, listen carefully to your inner guidance of feelings and emotions. He will give strength in taking the next steps.
Tortoise teaches grounding and patience and represents longevity and wisdom. He demonstrates how to shield and protect what is important from feelings and emotions to work and family. Tortoise shows the importance of contemplation and discernment before taking action. Teaches how to maneuver in the physical with patience and tenacity. He can reflect a time period that will be lasting so patience is needed. Tortoise is about grounding with the earth and keeping your feet on the ground.
Longevity, endurance, survival skills, patience, stimulates hearing on both the physical and spiritual levels. Teaches on an emotional level to reach within to find answers, shows how to navigate the spiritual while using protections and defenses in both worlds. Are you listening carefully to others? Let Turtle help you decide to take time to slow down or perhaps to pick up the pace a bit. He can teach how to maneuver in the emotional world. The art of movement or non-movement is stressed. Is it time to remain quiet and contemplate or time to move forward? Turtle will guide you in understanding.
Egret teaches to stand in the physical and spiritual worlds. He teaches healing of the emotions in order to bridge the heart and mind. This also correlates to grounding properties in order to receive and process spiritual and emotional insights for clarity. Egret helps look deeper into aspects of life, brings out innate wisdom and shows how to become self-reliant. Egret is sharp, direct and to the point. Determination, balance, follow your own path. He aids in seeing the bigger picture as a whole instead of the small parts. He will instill security and confidence in exploring the mind and emotions.
Pelican demonstrates the power of reflection and insight, buoyancy in life and how ride the air currents of life. He teaches to rest and relax in spite of life’s heavy weight. Pelican balances use of good fortune and abundance with responsibility and priorities. He has the ability to navigate emotions and aids in recovering what is lost whether it be emotional, mental or spiritual. Are you seizing the moment and enjoying what is before you? Do you recognize the abundance you already have? Perhaps it is time to count your blessings? Pelican aids in tapping into your feelings and putting them to wise use all the while peacefully balancing the world on your shoulders.
Seagulls are spiritual messengers that demonstrate that a higher communication with guides is taking place. He shows how to see above situations with a higher clarity and teaches that there are many perspectives to consider. Seagull shows a sense friendship and community and the cooperation that is needed for the whole to operate successfully. He teaches how to ride the currents of the mental, emotional and physical worlds. Are you going with the flow or fighting it? Are you cooperating with others? Are you open to your guides? Seagull can teach you many lessons of looking, living and being. It is time to listen and watch for the nuances and timing of action.
Ibis teaches sociability, communication and working cooperatively in a group. Being around others and their diversity of new ideas and thoughts that bring about new opportunities. Be open to the process even if means wandering from current ideals. Time to expand and explore. She will teach how to probe for more spiritual and emotional nourishment and to do this with confidence. Ibis will show building of solid foundations in existing personal or professional relationships in order to reach new levels. She will show how to find the knowledge that is needed. If Ibis has a red bill and feet, her message may include one maturity and vitality. Pay attention to her color. The time period for Ibis’ lessons starts from about 20 days for new endeavors, ideas, lessons. The following 3-6 weeks will see new developments really take flight. Ibis medicine teaches patience. She will show how to transition in steps as each week progresses so be ready because she heralds a new richness and fertility coming your way. The archetypal power of Ibis conveys sacrificial and protective elements in life’s storms either in personal areas or towards others. Trust your intuition as she demonstrates the importance of (It’s all about..) timing.
Crab shows how to keep protected on all levels; mental, spiritual, physical. She will show how to take hold of an idea to fully grasp the meaning. Are you holding on too tight or not tight enough? She will help you choose the action best for the moment. Sometimes lateral movement is better than no movement, trust her direction. Crab can teach to keep your emotions guarded as well as keeping your solar plexus energy center protected. Sensing the vibrations around you will aid in communication. She will show how to work together to meet all of your needs in work, home, family and friends. Feel the rhythm of life for when true comfort sets in creative potentialities will be born. Crab medicine will help growth even if it means to leave the old behind. If Crab is in fresh water, realize the freshness of your world. If Crab is salt water, it is time to add flavor to your life. She will teach much on guarding yourself but also the balance and movement you need to progress into the next phase.
Open new creative dimensions, curiosity, trust playfulness, breath and water needed for life, teaches how to be free, maneuverability, wisdom, harmony with surroundings, needs balancing, shows proper use of sounds and prayers, communication abilities, teaches trust and shows the power of rhythm and emotions may need some fresh air to release tensions, newness and joy. Are you calling to bring forth your wants and desires? Are you voicing and expressing your creative self? What are your words, thoughts and actions creating? Dolphin reminds us to balance work and play and let loose of tensions.
Transformation of the spirit, the type of fish reveals certain strengths and traits, fish in general show how to swim the currents of life, use of intuition to navigate effectively, aids in attuning to the world of emotions, the un/subconscious and other-worlds, heightened senses including visions, dreams and related psychic abilities. Do you currently feel stuck? The river says it is time flow. Fish can show how to ride the tide to new adventures. (You can look for a specific fish on this site as well)
Stingrays show how to maneuver with grace, style and elegance in the watery depths of emotions. Stingray will teach the importance of undulating and persistent movements in life. He will demonstrate the importance of regularly cleaning and cleanliness; to clear and maintain the clutter at home and work, to clean, balance and center your emotional and spiritual beingness. Stingrays teach the art of camouflage and blending in. Are you acclimating to your surroundings? Stingray’s adaptation abilities will aid in transitions. This is also a time to drink plenty of fresh water and pay attention to salt and overall food intake. Stingray will show the balance of nutritional needs. Are you being too defensive or not being defensive enough? He will show how and when to use the venomous spines to strike effectively. Have you started a new endeavor recently? He shows that in 2-4 months ideas will come to fruition and be alive with possibilities. Stingray shows that movements in life must be balanced with sharp action and graceful tenacity.
Bat: Initiation, death-rebirth, changes are taking place which are blessings, facing facts in ones life, fears are always beneficial, trust instincts. Bat tells us it the end one phase of life and the beginning of another. Bat can show how to navigate in the dark and unknown. Soon you will see the world with a new perspective, teaches sensitivity to vibrations around you, navigation, introspection and demonstrates ability of observation and power of meditation and solitude along with ability of working in groups when necessary. Bat shows how to make those important transitions.
It’s time to slow down and take the time to swim through your emotions. Let your emotions wash over you so that you can feel what is all percolating there. By allowing yourself to feel you are also allowing yourself to move forward and as you move forward you release the old emotional baggage that no longer serves you. This will open up a new wide range of possibilities for you. Trust is also a big message that Manatee brings forth. Allowing yourself to move forward slowly and deliberately one step at a time will take you to your goals. Trust the path before you and trust your senses in guiding you there.This creature is also reminding you to use all of your senses including the etheric ones. You will find your answers in the integration your intuition, emotions and physical senses.