Thursday, November 11, 2010
Animals harbor personality traits, and afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply. By incorporating animal totems into our lives and focusing on the attributes of our totem animals, we are able to understand and internalize these traits, and therefore begin to externalize the characteristics we learn from our animal spirit guides, our totems, our familiars.
Have you been drawn to a specific animal since childhood? Do you frequently dream of an animal that appears and want to understand what the animal represents? When in nature, do you often encounter a certain animal? To discover more about the fascinating realm of animals as spirit guides, and sacred animal totems, simply refer to the list of animals below to unleash the message your animal guide is bringing to you!
In certain cultures, primarily China, Egypt, and India, the symbolic meaning of owl is associated with death, however, it is not a symbol of death per se; it was honored for being the guardian of the after-life. In Native American tribes, Owls are respected as a protector, as their feathers were ritually worn to ward of negative energy and ill minded spirits. In ancient Greece, the owl was an emblem of wisdom, foresight and knowledge. The owl is a creature of the night, symbolic of inner knowing, psychic ability, and intuition. If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed, granting you strong intuitive abilities, and perhaps a message to further develop your intuition.
The message of the horse is one of practical love, abundance, and fertility. The horse is honored as an emblem of life-force, and many cultures assign the attributes of the four elements (Earth, Fire, Air and Water) to the horse, making it an animal of perfect balance. Carl Jung observed that the horse embodies aspects of human nature, and therefore believed that it was a symbol of the human body in certain dreams. Seeing yourself riding a horse in your dreams may indicate successful conclusion. Falling off of a horse indicates nervousness. Horses embody wild freedom, and this energy can be harnessed for your own growth. The relationship between man and horse is a silent contract, one that acknowledges mutual respect and awareness of responsibility to each other.
With speed, diligence and intelligence, the dolphin signifies the love embodied within the womb. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was believed to take the form of the dolphin, and was referred to as the Woman of the Sea. The dolphin is connected with the meaning of duality, as it swims underwater and breathes in air, representing that it is in two worlds at once, a conveyor of the concept of yin and yang.
Just as spiders spend their entire life weaving webs, we too weave our lives. The spider totem serves as a reminder to be aware of the choices we make as we construct our lives. When the spider appears, ask yourselves: What choice am I about to make that will significantly affect my life? What choice can I make to improve my life? Are my choices affecting others in my life?
When we are able to see our choices and decisions from a different perspective, we can recognize how we are weaving our web that can either serve us or enslave us. The spider symbol beckons us to be mindful of our actions as we weave our life web.
As an ancient symbolic animal, the domestic cat represents the guardian of the underworld and is associated with transformation, just as the veil of night shifts our perception of reality. Cats remind us to be resourceful and tend to encourage change, flexibility and adaptability in our lives. If a feline is making an uncommon appearance in our lives, it is a message for us to shake up our habitual routines and make some fresh changes in our lives, as well as to be more flexible in our thinking. Sometimes a cat can appear quite aloof, and perhaps it would serve you well to heed their message to distance yourself from certain people or situations.
The snake holds significant symbolism in many cultures, and depending on your heritage or spiritual leanings, the meaning of the snake as a totem will vary. In general, the snake is representative of wisdom and rebirth. When the snake appears as a totem, you can expect a transition or spiritual awakening to take place. Recurring dreams about snakes or a snake encounter can indicate a fear or an unresolved issue or, more broadly, something in your life that is in need of completion. When the snake appears, take notice of how the snake looks. Is the snake coiled in slumber, or are its fangs exposed and ready to attack? A coiled snake usually symbolizes that an awakening will happen. A snake ready to bite could indicate a need for you to defend your territory or personal beliefs. A snake shedding is representative of a death, usually a symbolic death, which will create a space for a new birthing to occur.
Wolves are usually viewed as something threatening that attacks during the night when we are at our most vulnerable state. When they appear, they bring forth everything you are afraid of in yourself and in situations you encounter in life, including self-destructive tendencies, aggression, sexual desires, financial problems, ego issues and hidden fears that linger inside of you. Working with the energy of the wolf will help you conquer your fears, and leave you feeling less vulnerable in life.
The hawk is known for its tremendous vision, which is a key factor in their incredible hunting abilities. If a hawk is appearing in your life, he brings the message for you to keep your eyes open and to focus on the areas that are out of balance in our lives. Recognition of any imbalances is the first step to solutions and steering through the darker nights ahead that he is helping you navigate. In Native American beliefs, the hawk is a solar animal which is representative of fire and sun, bearing attributes such as brilliance, passion, clarity and energy.
People with the shark totem navigate through life with a specialized primal instinct, a hard-wired knowing that guides certain humans. This infallible and reliable instinct is to protect the sacred life of others, and yourself, confirming trust in yourself. The shark identifies the tendency for forward momentum in life, being extremely driven and perpetually moving forward as you meet life full-on. You may rarely stay in the “shallow end” of life, as you would rather charge through the waves with experience, all the while, welcoming adventure.
If you seek symbolic meanings to animals you are encountering, I encourage you to meditate upon the animal. You can also try lucid dreaming, where you can become conscious in your dream and are aware that you are dreaming. If you are able to do this, then ask the totem animal what it is they want and why you keep dreaming about them? This simple step of acknowledgment invites this spirit guide into your life and will bring forth the information to assist you. Animals are quite willing to share their knowledge with you when you are open and willing to receive them.