Animals 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. You can learn the events that are coming your way, and the things that are going on around you.

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

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. It guides and protects you on your journey through life.

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

To find your spirit animal, you should start off by spending some time every day meditating. During these meditation sessions, focus on your inner self. Focus on 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. It also helps you delve into that part of yourself as well.

Another way to aid in 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. 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. This is especially if you are an emotional person who experiences mood swings regularly.

animal symbolism
Image by Anja from Pixabay

One spirit animal may not have all of the tools necessary to help balance you. Thus another spirit animal comes in to counteract it.

It is a very strong omen when a group of animals presents themselves to you. It is a message that you must be aware of.

Your spirit animal is part of you and shares your energy. Despite that, 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.

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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. They stay as the main guardian both spiritually and physically.

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

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

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

animal symbolism
Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay

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

There is a connection between you and the animal. The connection is 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. 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. This is because 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.

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Power Animal

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

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

They reveal themselves in your dreams and vision quests. Such 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. They have different meanings depending on what kind of animal it is.

For instance, a bear means solitude, strength, teaching, and motherhood. It manifests in your dreams by chasing you to signify that your current life situation overwhelms you.

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

animal symbolism
Image by Peter Fischer from Pixabay

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 includes 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.

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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.

A portrait of their head roaring with piercing eyes depicts 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. This is due to the brain releasing chemical oxytocin, known as the love hormone. However, it may not all be down to this chemical reaction as humas looked to animals as spiritual beings 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.

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Image by Ilona Ilyés from Pixabay

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. It guides you 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.

Image by Hans from Pixabay

There are 12 zodiac signs. It depends on what year, month, and day you were born that determines your sign. 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.

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Animal Symbolic Meanings

Different cultures value animals for many different reasons. However, 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 and carved out of stone and etched into our skin for thousands and thousands of years. Thus, 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.

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