Animal Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism, and More

Animals can tell us a lot more than we may think at first. Depending on the kind of animal, you can learn a lot about yourself, the events that are coming your way, and the things that are going on around you.

They can also teach us a lot about nature and the universe because they are much more connected to it than we are and once we open ourselves up to them as being our guides, we will be taken on a rewarding journey of self-discovery.

They have lived beside humans for millions of years and over this time, we have formed a deep connection with them that has spread over multiple different belief systems, in this guide we will talk about these animals and what they mean.

Spirit Animal

Spirit animals are essentially a spirit of an animal that was once alive but has now passed that will guide and protect you on your journey through life.

They may represent themselves to you in a number of different ways and you must let it choose you instead of you choosing it. It is said that you are likely to see your spirit animal during times of difficulty when your soul is crying out for their help, and they will hear this and offer their guidance and strength.

To find your spirit animal, it is advised that you start off by spending some time every day meditating. During these meditation sessions, focus on your inner self and what you feel connected to, you can even use pictures of animals to see which one you feel particularly drawn to.

Playing nature sounds or having a rhythmic drumming beat playing can help you concentrate and delve into that part of yourself as well.

Another way to aid in your journey of connecting to your spirit animal is by simply paying attention to the world around you.

Focus on what animals are showing up in the media you consume such as movies, songs, and books and if there is one that seems to appear more frequently then they might be trying to tell you something.

It’s possible to have more than one spirit animal, especially if you are an emotional person who experiences mood swings regularly.

One spirit animal may not have all of the tools necessary to help balance you, which is where the other spirit animal comes in to counteract it.

It is also good to know that if a group of animals presents themselves to you, this is generally seen as a very strong omen or message that you must be aware of.

Even though your spirit animal is part of you and shares your energy, you do not have to accept your spirit animal once you have found each other.

If you do not act on the guidance and messages that they are giving to you and decide to walk away, then you will miss out on the changes that could have happened in your life to make it more fulfilling.

Totem Animal

Some Native American tribes have a traditional belief that nine animals act as guides, however, the totem animal is the one animal that will stay with you throughout your life both spiritually and physically as the main guardian.

They say that there are nine animals with one for each direction and two that walk beside you.

The animal for the north is one that reminds you of gratitude and when you should listen and speak, the animal at the south is to protect your inner child, the west animal teaches you how to trust yourself.

The animal at the east is there to help you through your toughest challenges spiritually, and the animal above you looks over your dreams and offers protection against evil.

Finally, the animal below is to remind you of where you came from and to keep yourself grounded, and the animal within you is to keep you happy and on the right track. The two animals on either side of you protect your masculine and feminine characteristics.

There is a connection between you and the animal through a natural interest in the animal, shared characteristics, dreams, and more. These animals can be represented in the physical world by being carved into totem poles, talismans, or jewelry.

Similar to a spirit animal, you do not choose the totem animal – it chooses you, and you may see it in your dreams or come across it in the physical world frequently.

However, if you are not of Native American descent, it can be problematic to have a totem animal as it can be seen as appropriating their culture but have no fear because there are other animal spirits out there that you can connect to.

Power Animal

Power animals are another animal spirit guide that originated from Native American traditions, particularly animism which is the belief that all things including plants and inanimate objects have a living soul.

A power animal is believed to attach itself to a human and portray its characteristics through them and guide them through hardships.

It is said that they reveal themselves in your dreams and vision quests which is a tradition in some Native American cultures when it is time for a boy to enter adulthood.

During these vision quests, they will either be starved or self-tortured in an attempt to have a vision of their guardian spirit.

You can have up to two or more power animals and they have different meanings depending on what kind of animal it is.

For instance, a bear means solitude, strength, teaching, and motherhood and can manifest in your dreams by chasing you to signify that you are overwhelmed in your current life situation.

If you see a bear in your dream but you are not being threatened by it, this could mean that you are experiencing a new phase of life and you are being reborn.

animal spirit guides

Animal Dreams

As mentioned earlier, spirit animals, totem animals, and power animals can all reveal themselves through your subconscious as you dream.

In some cultures that are not as spiritual, animals in your dreams can still have a meaning such as your brain using the animal’s characteristics to try and demonstrate what you are experiencing in your waking life.

When you have a dream with an animal in it, especially a reoccurring one it is beneficial to decipher it so that you can better understand what either your subconscious, your spirit animal, totem animal, or power animal are trying to tell you.

There are three main things to focus on, what kind of animal you dreamt of, what they were doing, and how often you have dreamt of it.

It may take a few instances of them revealing themselves to you before you can figure out a pattern and what they are trying to communicate to you.

Animal Tattoo Meaning

Getting tattoos of animals has been a common practice in tribal and indigenous groups for thousands of years and takes us back to animism where people would see meaning in animals and would tattoo the ones they had as their guardians onto their bodies.

However, to this day tattoos are becoming increasingly popular and still have meaning outside of animism such as relating to the certain characteristics that the animal possesses.

Tigers are a common tattoo that you may see often on people from different walks of life, but the tiger represents the same thing. They stand for power, danger, as well as the strength to have a free spirit.

They tend to be depicted as a portrait of their head roaring with piercing eyes which is the aspect of tigers that represent power and danger, whereas other tiger tattoos consist of them looking calm and determined to accentuate their free spirit and independence.

Animal Spiritual Meaning

You can learn a lot from the animals around you, both wild and domestic. Without even realizing it, they are teaching us how to live in the moment and be more present with the world around us.

When you are stroking a dog or a cat, for instance, you may feel more relaxed and happier which is due to the chemical oxytocin being released in your brain, known as the love hormone. However, it may not all be down to this chemical reaction as animals are spiritual beings that have been looked to for as long as humans have been around for guidance and strength.

In order to understand the spirituality of animals a bit better, there are exercises that you can do in your free time that will enlighten you and strengthen your connection to both them and spirituality.

The first thing you can try is to simply observe the animal for five minutes, do not interact with them as they go about their business, and pay attention to the sights, noises, and smells.

Practice being patient and concentrating your energy when you are communicating with them, and you will see how they are more focused on what you are asking them to do, almost as if you are finally speaking their language.

animals in astrology and zodiacs

Animals in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

Animals are very prevalent in both astrology and zodiac signs. Chinese zodiacs have been around for thousands of years and consist of 12 animals that represent different personality traits, love compatibility, and horoscope depending on your birth year.

The Chinese zodiac signs that start and end at the Chinese New Year are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

To find out what Chinese zodiac you are, it depends on what year you were born in as each animal has a year.

For example, if you were born in 1986 this would give you a tiger zodiac and this would repeat again in 12 years.

If you are born in the year of the tiger, that means that you share similar characteristics which would make you brave and confident, whereas if you were born in the year of the monkey, you would be smart and curious.

You are also given lucky numbers, colors, and flowers depending on your zodiac animal and can be used as a guide throughout life to keep you on the right track.

Outside of Chinese zodiac signs, animals feature heavily in astrology zodiacs which is the process of using the stars and planets to decipher human affairs and the future events that may come their way.

There are 12 zodiac signs, and it depends on what year, month, and day you were born that determines what sign you are given as it is done by analyzing what position the planets were in at the time of your birth.

They have different strengths and weaknesses and can tell people what characteristics they have, their compatibility with other zodiac signs, and their horoscope.

The animals given to represent the zodiac signs were given due to the shape that the start made in the particular section of the sky. Out of the 12 zodiac signs that there are, seven of them are named after animals such as the ram, bull, crab, lion, scorpion, goat, and fish.

Not only do the stars slightly resemble the outline of the animal, but the person with the assigned zodiac sign will share the characteristics of them too.

For example, if you were born between March 21st and April 19th, you will be an Aries which is the sign of the ram. Aries people are said to be headstrong, impulsive, and fearless which are characteristics commonly seen in rams.

Animal Symbolic Meanings

Animals are valued in different cultures for many different reasons, but they all tend to symbolize the same thing which is interesting since beliefs and traditions vary so greatly around the world.

They have been painted onto cave walls, carved out of stone, and etched into our skin for thousands and thousands of years and they will always be a big part of our understanding of the universe.

Here is a list of well-known animals and what they symbolize:

  • Dog: loyal, faithful, and protective
  • Cat: independent, patient, and elegant
  • Horse: determined, majestic, and valor
  • Cow: nurturing, fertility, and compassion
  • Eagle: pride, victory, and freedom
  • Dragon: strength, wisdom, and knowledge

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, animals have lots of spiritual aspects that many of us were probably not aware of, but once you do some research and begin to open yourself up to the idea, it makes sense as to why animals are so in touch with the natural world and all that comes with it.

No matter what species of animal that has chosen you to guide, they all have their strengths, and remember that it was no accident.

The qualities of the specific animal will teach you a different way to live your life and live up to your full potential, whether that be focusing more on yourself or opening yourself up to new opportunities.

Animals have been right by our side for as long as we have walked this earth, they have given us strength and guidance in lots of different cultural ways and we should honor them for the years to come as well.

Gloria White