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Animal Totems

Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:28 pm

Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness.

Additionally, they assist in understanding our past, and if we are attentive, our animal totems can reveal glimpses of our future.

Webster's Dictionary defines a totem as: "A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol – usually a means of personal or spiritual identity."

Native American animal totems most commonly come to mind when discussing this topic. However, animal signs are found throughout all cultures spanning the globe.

Since time immemorial, animals have served as harbingers of personality traits we, as humans, all aspire to achieve. This makes animals some of the most powerful symbols in our spiritual toolbox.

Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into our lives affirms our spiritual goals.

By focusing on the attributes of our totems, we internalize these traits and thus begin to externalize the very character we absorb from our totems.

In the following posts I will put a wide variety of information about animal totems, including different types as well as identifying, invoking, meditating, and tips to knowing your animal totem.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:23 pm

Land Animal Totem Meanings


Many cultures, including the Native Americans, believe that if we put our ear to the ground, we can hear Mother Earth's heartbeat. Land animal totems are keenly aware of this heartbeat – and in fact, are said to walk in time with the beat of the Earth's heart.


Consequently these land animal symbol meanings relate to intuitition, awareness, and cognizance. Additionally, this animal group represents being grounded, and stable both mentally and physically.


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Badger Symbolism

According to Native Americans, the sighting of badger tracks was very auspicious. Seeing badger tracks was a message that all things are possible when we tap into our inner creative powers.

The badger stops at nothing to get what it wants, and this is a lesson for us to be persistent in our pursuits. Specifically, those with the badger totem often attract this creature because he/she has difficulty finishing what is started. The badger will help with this aspect in life. You can call upon the stubborn, strong-willed nature of the badger to help you complete any project you start.

The badger is also fiercly independent and can be quite aggressive when threatened. This is a lesson for us to stand our ground and make our presence known when the situation calls for it. Although smaller in stature, the badger commands attention from friend and foe alike. We can do the same, but we must be mindful that we do so in a healthy, constructive manner.

Here's a quick-list for animal symbolism of the badger:

Determination
Eagerness
Strong will
Focus
Strategy
Tenacity
Defense
Protection
Independence
Confidence

The badger is connected to the earth, and therefore is a grounding totem for us. When we feel out of touch, or confused the badger can help us get rooted, and anchor us to what is important in our lives.

When the badger comes into our lives it is time for get busy with projects, speak up and ask for help if we need it in our lives. The badger is also a sign that it is time for us come out of hiding - it's time for us to let the world know we are here, and we mean business!

Lastly, the symbolism of the badger also includes individuality. The badger is a unique creature, well equipped to meet all the challenges it faces. It lives its life quite effectively. And although its methods might seem unorthodox, the badger doesn't care what the rest of the animal kingdom thinks about them. This is perhaps the greatest lesson the badger imparts to us. In short, the badger tell us to "walk your own path at your own pace." Nevermind what others may say. Have faith in your own abilities and know that you are well-equipped to take on whatever challenge faces you.

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Bear Meaning and Symbolism

I got a lot of feedback from a cheeky bear post I made on my blog, and realized I had not given proper space to symbolic bear meaning here on WYS.com.

On the one hand, we get a picture of tranquility with the bear, and on the other, it’s a symbol for warrior and power.

Symbolic Bear Meaning - A Quick Keyword List:

Bravery
Peace
Resurrection
Powerful
Benevolence
Sovereignty
Motherhood
Duality

And after we consider these beary obtuse keywords, we might think bear symbolism may hold many contradictions.

We can justify that juxtaposition when observing the bear in nature. Although omnivore, the bear prefers a banal diet filled with sweet snacks like berries. Further, the bear seems heartily content to languish in sunny spots where it can stretch and snooze in leisure. We observe an amicable, mellow, easy-going energy with the bear when all conditions are favorable.

As a Totem Animal, the bear will carry messages of:

Patience and Connection
Hibernating with our ideas or projects until a better time presents itself. Further, bear will speak to you about connecting to both earth-based energy and celestial (sun/moon) forces. Tapping into the bear will also allow you to tap into the wax, wane and flow of life.
Confidence and Authority
By its physical presence, the bear reminds us we can be larger than life if we raise ourselves up to our inherent status. Moreover, no one questions the bear. This kind of authoritative presence will be a lesson the bear can impart.
Nurturing and Protection
We intuit these attributes by the commitment bear mothers make to their offspring. Whether your offspring is in children or ideals, the bear will lend you the determination required for rearing up strong results.

The bear is a consummate mother, caring for her young with observable devotion. Indeed, the bear is a symbol of motherhood and child protection, as I discuss on my page about Native American bear meaning here.

However, there is a unfathomable power surging just beneath the surface of the bear is potentially explosive. Bear has imminent domain, and when it deems that space altered, it is fully prepared to defend. Woe be to the one who provokes the wrath of the bear. In this powerfully impressive display of defense and aggression we pick up bear meanings of sovereignty, courage and themes of the warrior.

To wit, in Scandinavian legend the bear was an aspect of the god Odin, and Berserkers were known to wear bearskins to enhance their ferocity in battle. Such vicious looking warriors were insured a victory.

We see more bear-dressing in the cult following of Artemis. She is a Greek huntress, and her maiden devotees would don bear dressings as a symbol of hunting prowess and power.

The First Peoples of North America were known to do this too as I cite on my page about symbolic bear meanings to the Native American mind.

Bear meanings continue to be symbolic of bravery as Germanic and Celtic deities Artio and Thor are often depicted with the bear. Indeed, the bear is a tremendous symbol of the warrior and bravery to the ancient Celts.

Although Celtic lore indicates the bear is grounded in a heroic aspect, we also see it connected to the Celtic goddess Berne where we pick up lunar symbolism.

Bear meanings associated with the moon continue in Pueblo lore in which the bear is connected to underground temples. Here the bear is said to oversee the movements of the night, and lives in time with the Native Indian cycles of the moon.

In fact, many ancient peoples understood the connection of the moon and the bear because of the bear’s hibernation patterns. But more importantly, our nature-savvy ancestors recognized the dual nature of the bear.

To explain, the nature-based mindset followed the “sleeping” (hibernating) and “waking” nature of the bear and assigned specific meaning to each of these phases of the bear’s life. To demonstrate:

In hibernation, the bear is associated with:

Yin
Moon
Winter
Inaction
Feminine
Darkness
Introspection
Subconscious

The awakened bear meaning deals with:

Yang
Solar
Action
Masculine
Spring/Summer
Lightness
Extroversion
Consciousness

In this respect we clearly see the bear wearing two faces of symbolism.

From this illustration we also recognize a theme of resurrection. After a long period of deep, introspective (even death-like) comatose span of inaction – the bear emerges, victorious and driven to sustain its life (with prime focus on feeding itself and its offspring after hibernating).

This correspondence with solar and lunar duplicity continues in alchemical tradition where the bear is considered a symbol of transformation. The bear is a powerful symbol of prime matter in alchemy too. Ancient alchemists observed the scent of a bear far outlasts its presence in caves. This caters to an energetic resonance that remains in practices. In other words, if in ritual a powerful balancing effect was required the bear would be a advantageous alchemical animal within the Work.

The bear is showcased in countless cultures because it is undeniably dynamic in energy and stature. These are just a few of the myriad of symbolic observations and bear meanings we can mine from this amazingly diverse animal.


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Foremost, the Bobcat animal totem is a sign of patience. Bobcats are superior hunters, and they incorporate stealth, strategy and wield a great deal of patience in their hunting excursions.

In this way, the Bobcat sends us a clear message that in order for us to get what we want, we must be willing to plan, adapt, and above all, have the patience to see our ideals manifest.

When dealing with social settings (friends, family, work) the Bobcat reminds us to be fully aware. We must be mindful to extend our respect, love and consideration with others.

As the Bobcat is primarily a solitary creature, we may take its presence as a sign for us to step back from the company of certain people in our lives. Or, the Bobcat may be trying to tell us that we need some time to ourselves. Alone time is time for us to reflect, and regain our energy. The Bobcat intrinsically knows this, and may be trying to tell you to take a break away from the public eye.

Bobcat animal totems encourage us to be more playful in our lives and more flexible. As they are very opportunistic themselves, the Bobcat asks us to reach out for more opportunities, break out of our molds & routines.

The Bobcat animal totem is also about creation, and developing our abilities into a higher level of value. Additionally, the Bobcat is also about the unseen and silent aspects of our inner selves.

This deals with our connection with creation as the Bobcat will ask us to deeply consider the innermost parts of ourselves that we don't normally recognize. The Bobcat encourages us to delve deep into our hearts and minds and shed light on our potential.

Additionally, when Bobcat appears to us, we need to consider some passions that we have been keeping a secret. Now is the time to unleash our hidden desires - unlock our inner secret wisdom & talents.

As you can see, Bobcat has much to share with us, but we must be willing and open to receiving these messages.

The Bobcat is a very advanced teacher. Those with the Bobcat animal totem are usually young with old souls. Often these people are mistaken for having "chips on their shoulders," or thought to be "bearing grudges." This often isn't the case.

Bobcat serves as a teacher to these younger people because they have so much to philosophically sort out. These people do this on a higher level of intellect, and often cannot find outside support to help them with their learning process. As a result, these old souls tend to feel a little resentful at having to learn some tough lessons on their own, and usually feel isolated.

When identified, and sought out for communication, the Bobcat facilitates learning, growth, understanding, and a more playful attitude with these chosen few who retain the Bobcat as their animal totem.

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To be clear, this page on Symbolic Buffalo Meaning actually details symbolism of the Bison. In order to reach a wider audience with this information, I've identified the page as "Buffalo" but technically the information I've been prompted to share is related to the bison.

That settled, this mammoth creature is one of the most Titanic of mammals, weighing up to or over a ton.

I've had the chilling honor of seeing a Buffalo face-to-face in the depths of winter and I was awestruck by its girth. Further, I remember being completely transfixed by its presence. Steam swirling from flared nostrils, a dark horned beast emerging from a white realm of crystalline snow. Remarkable.

This sight instantly transported me into Native American realms, and it become clear why the American Bison was such a revered symbol, particularly with tribes of the Central North American plains.

Some keywords pertaining to symbolic Buffalo meaning include:

Provision
Gratitude
Abundance
Consistency
Strength
Stability
Blessing
Prosperity

When I saw that dark massive Bison emerging from a thick veil of mist, I thought my heart would stop. I was so enamored with the image. That Bison was gargantuan, I was quite sure it could block the sun if it had inclination to do so.

I talked to a Lakota friend of mine, and she confirmed the symbolic Buffalo meaning I cited in the list above. She also told me the Buffalo was a true reminder of the greater whole. She explained the Buffalo is like a hologram - one example of abundance - it's behemoth features are a physical manifestation of the store-holds available in the energetic realms.

She also told me the White Buffalo is the considered incredibly holy. When the White Buffalo comes into our awareness (dreams, vision or even while hiking) it is a huge sign of promise, and great prosperity is soon to come after sighting this regal creature.

In Native American Indian legend the Buffalo is associated with smoke/tobacco/the pipe, which firms up its status as a sacred animal. As the legend goes, the White Buffalo Calf Woman appeared to the Lakota long ago. She imparted her wisdom of agriculture - but more importantly, WBCW proffered a specialized understanding of the ways of the Universe to her people.

White Buffalo Calf Woman illustrated, in magical ways, that all things are interconnected. She reminded the Lakota of the gravity of being human, and how our presence impacts and influences everything else. With this kind of power, comes great responsibility, and she gave the people the Sacred Pipe, that, upon smoking, revealed the truth of her words.

I didn't need a sacred pipe to remind me of WBCWs timeless wisdom when I saw that Bison framed against the silvery tendrils of its steamed breath. It was very clear to me, in that moment, majesty truly exists. I know my reverence for the bison has been categorized within the Great Spirit, and I know my devout respect for this creature contributes to a grand symphony of honor that still continues to play out today.

That's what the symbolic Buffalo meaning says to me. It reminds me I am always provisioned and my attitude towards abundance influences the rest of this planet.

These are the questions asked of me when that Bison and I met on that cold morning:

Are you grateful?
Do you respect what has been given?
Are you ignoring the abundance around you?
Do you squander the bounty?
Do hunt down resources rather that trust your coffers are always stocked?
Are you missing the opportunity to recognize true blessings?

Take time to research and learn about symbolic Buffalo meaning with an aim to satisfy your own personal inquisitiveness about this magnificent creature. I promise, your positive investment in learning about the Bison ways will influence your environment in tremendous ways.

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Bull Symbolism

Having been born in Texas, I couldn't get very far without seeing the bull symbol in the form of either cattle branding or the legendary Longhorns, the icon for the University of Texas at Austin football team.

However, the purpose of this page is to identify a few bull symbols for more soulful applications, or even for tattooing purposes.

But first, a few suggestions on the symbolic meaning of bulls. Here is a quick-list of bull attributes:


Stability
Virility
Strength
Reliability
Provision
Peacefulness
Helpfulness
Determination

In Celtic symbolism the bull represented physical strength and power. To the Celtic way of thought, the bull was also extremely virile, and so symbolized fertility and the power to procreate - to extend the life of the clans. Druids associated the bull with solar energy and the female cow with earth energy. The bull was also symbolic of great luxury, wealth and provision by later Celts. Indeed, cattle were a source of income and supply in many forms - a way of life for the Celts for centuries.

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The constellation of the bull (Taurus) is in such a position as to welcome the sun's motion during the vernal equinox. Meaning, the constellation of Taurus corresponds to the motions of the spring in western astrology (May 14 to June 19). This also conjures symbolism of abundance, replenishment and subsidy as spring is a time when the earth experiences her renewal.

To the Greeks, the bull was an attribute of Zeus (as represented by the constellation of Taurus) who transformed himself into a glistening white bull. Fully tame and quite striking, Zeus (in the guise of the white bull) unassumingly planted himself amongst the herds in an effort to capture the attention of the lovely Europa with whom Zeus was completely smitten. Classic art will show Europa riding a white bull. This is Zeus in the form of a bull, and will touch on symbolism of passion, transformation, virility, strength and fulfillment.

Taurus bull symbolAstrologically speaking the bull symbol is one-in-the-same with the Taurus (and the word Taurus means bull in Latin). Traits of the Taurean personality could be considered very "bull like" because these people can be incredibly powerful in both physical and spiritual presence. To be sure, a Taurus who has made his or her mind up will be unmovable. The symbol to the left is the astrological sign of the bull, Taurus.

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The Chinese the bull symbol is shown in writing on the left, and the bull is one of the twelve zodiac signs in the lunar calendars. The sign of the ox or bull is symbolic of perseverance, determination, stability and longsuffering.

In this light, the bull is also symbolic of hard work, materialism, methodical progress and rigid determination. Unlike western astrology, the sign of the ox corresponds to the season of winter and has yin properties. 2009 is currently the year of the ox with 2021 being the next occurrence of the bull in the Chinese years.

In ancient cultures such as Sumerian and Semitic cults the bull is a common symbol of protection and guardianship. Indeed, the bull is featured in art and statue guarding entryways into temples, protecting doorways and is believed to ward off thievery and other nefarious people/deeds.

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The bull symbol shown right is the Hebrew aleph. It is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It is thought this symbol was derived originally from the Semitic word for bull, and it is based on a pictograph (hieroglyph) that looks very much like a bull or ox head.

The aleph as a bull symbol will represent mans ability to work with Nature and her creatures to bring about abundance in the human tribes. Further, the aleph is symbolic of harmony, provision and harmony. To be clear, the aleph has many more symbolic connotations, and this is just one suggestion dealing with the origin of the glyph.

Of course, there are tons more about the symbolism of the bull. This page just offers some bull symbols and scratches the surface of all the symbolic implications the bull represents. So don't stop here with your research on the deeper meaning of the bull. Carry on with your investigation. You're going to find this magnificent creature has connections with the beginning of human history.

Furthermore, you'll find the bull has been a symbol of assistance to mankind as it has stood by our side through eons, helping us in industry, agriculture and other forms of provision.

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Symbolic Camel Meaning

When we begin reasoning about the symbolic meaning of camels, we cannot miss the prevalent symbolic themes of journeying. The essence of long-distance travel is at the symbolic heart of the camel, and it's easy to see why. It's no secret the camel can endure days in scorching hot deserts while transporting precious cargo (even whole nomadic communities!) across great distances.

I'm struck by this knowledge when the camel comes to my awareness. When I see the camel, it typically holds a message of travel - typically of an arduous kind - like a pilgrimage. Rather than get stressed out by internal questions like "What kind of travel?", "Arduous travel? That sounds intimidating, what kind of challenges will I face this time!?" I've learned to embrace the protective qualities of the camel instead of worrying about the pitfalls inherent to a long journey ahead.

We all have daunting travel ahead of us, it's the way of human life. That's why the camel is such a great energetic guide on our human path. Camels are designed to take on the challenges of long-distance journeying over harsh terrain. From an energetic or spiritual stand-point, they are superiorly equipped for the long-haul.

If we are faced with a potentially formidable path ahead of us - a journey that we must take, but likely full of pitfalls (every trip has its stumbling points) - I recommend calling upon the camel for strength, endurance and protection. This could be a physical journey, or a spiritual one. For centuries, the camel has been initiating long expeditions through unforgiving conditions, and it is highly capable of helping and protecting us as we make our way along the long path of life.

The camel is also an expert at conservation. The humps of a camel are stored with fat, which is stuffed with hydrogen atoms - water is held in the camel's fat cells and via its ingenious metabolic system, the camel is able to regulate and conserve its water supply over long periods of time. Camels, when invoked, can assist us with this too. Camels serve as a reminder to pace ourselves, and be mindful of our own energy levels. When you feel like you're always 'running on empty' try visualizing the camel helping you to regulate your energy stores. Camels can also help regulate our metabolism. Try meditating with the camel; specifically ask the camel to help with keeping resources and metabolism on an even keel. You'll be amazed at how effective this request of the camel can be.

Camels can serve as incredibly skilled guides in our life. They've been traveling for eons, and their energy is impressed with themes of guidance, making them expert helpers on our way through the varied paths of life.

Some suggested keywords for symbolic camel meaning:

Endurance
Transport
Protection
Survival
Conservation
Journeying
Adaptive
Obedience
Temperance
Nobility
Humility
Stamina

A lot of my understanding of symbolism comes from esoteric origins. As a symbolphile, the Tarot is a it's natural attraction. What many don't realize about the Tarot is that it's an amalgamation of many different sects and wisdom from all over the world. From its inception, the Tarot gained its momentum over seven centuries by accumulating bits of bright, symbolic understandings from cultures near and far.

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So what does the Tarot have to do with symbolic camel meaning? The Tarot incorporates many systems of conveyance, one of these is the richly symbolic Hebrew language. Depending upon which deck you consult, the Hebrew serif gimel is featured on the High Priestess card. This Hebrew serif (shown left) is translated in several forms; its name means "camel" and the symbolic implications are profound.

According to Paul Foster Case, the founder of the Builders of the Adytum, "Camels are used for transportation and carrying goods. The Hebrew Gimel suggests travel, communication, commerce as well as coexistence and partnership. The camel (Gimel) is a "ship of the desert" and is connected with the High Priestess because she too is an island of bounty and transports her abundance of knowledge in the deserts of disillusion and ignorance."

I really dig this on a symbolic level. This angle of viewing camel symbolism (albeit, obscure) always comes to mind when camels show up in my awareness. I'm reminded of the camel's ability to travel great distances, in unforgiving environments with its precious cargo. Indeed, the camel (much like horses did for the west) opens up entire worlds of new understanding for pilgrims and travelers alike. Because they aided merchants across vast deserts, they were also responsible for opening trade-routes for the exchange of spices and other wares. This created to new connections, opening awareness to new cultures, languages, ideals, etc. Without the camel, commerce as well as new understandings about other communities in the dry Asian and African deserts may not have ever taken place. The High Priestess of the Tarot does precisely the same thing, only on a metaphysical level - she opens up new pathways of understanding by transporting us, under her protection, through unknown territory.

I hope these ideas about the symbolic camel meaning inspire you to dig more deeply into the messages the camel has for you, and call upon the camel for your own unique journeys and adventures.

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Cat Symbolism

As an ancient symbolic Celtic animal, the cat represents the guardian of the Otherworld (or Underworld, depending which texts you read from various regions). Stoic, silent and mysterious, cats fit the bill of Otherworld guardians quite well. They keep the secrets of the Otherworld eternally to themselves, as they gaze with guile upon a world that does not see or understand the depth of their knowledge. However, black cats in Celtic lore were considered evil, and were sacrificed.

In Western tradition, black cats have been associated with witchcraft. This is due to black being associated with supposed perils of the night, and the cat is associated with transformation just as the veil of night shifts our perception of reality.

However, in Ancient Rome the cat was sacred to Diana, the moon goddess. Here the cat was also considered a guardian of homes and a symbol of domestic goodness.

In Muslim lore, the cat is honored for saving Mohammad from an attack by a fierce snake. Here it is believed the “M” marking on the forehead of many tabby cats is the mark of the prophet (”M” for Mohammad).

In Norse legend the cat is depicted drawing the chariot of their fertility goddess, Freyja, and therefore the cat is thought of as a blessing upon newborns and a good omen for those increasing their family ranks.

In ancient Egypt cats were sacred and were even depicted on the head of their lunar goddess, Bastet which was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians. In her honor, cats were even mummified along with mice for them to eat.

Here's a quick-list for cat animal symbolism:

Astute
Clever
Secretive
Mysterious
Intelligent
Intuitive
Supernatural
Watchfulness
Selective
Independent

Cats themselves are quite resourceful and tend to give us messages of change, flexibility of adaptability. Often, when a cat makes 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 be more flexible in our thinking.

Cats can also be quite aloof, and this too is often a message for us to distance ourselves from people or situations. Sometimes the best cure for a problem is to step away from it - the cat inherently realizes this, and we would be wise to recognize this need as well.

Lastly, the cat animal symbolism is about mystery. Unfortunately, its unpredictability has given the cat a bad name in some areas of folk lore, specifically witchcraft. When, in actuality, this is an asset that can be harnessed by us humans.

Sometimes displaying very strange behavior and antics, you can never really pin a cat down. Simply put, the cat animal symbolism is synonymous with creativity and psychic power because of its sometimes unorthodox & “mysterious” behavior. This is also reflected in the Tarot deck as we see the cat in the Queen of Wands card.

The good news is, this mystery is a message to us that we have the power over illusion. Cat animal symbolism reminds us to not fall prey to false beliefs, to not be a fool out of ignorance and derive understanding from our own internal wisdom. The cat beckons us to realize that when we turn within to our own hearts, minds and souls, and trust in ourselves we will always be shown the truth of matters.

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Cow Symbolism

In many cultures the cow is symbolic of Mother Earth, and has been a symbol of fertility, nurturing, and power.

This makes udder sense (pardon the pun), cows have been generous with their life force for eons. They are closely associated with provision and very earth-associated in symbolism.

The cow is also a lunar symbol, aligning itself with feminine (yin) qualities (see list of yin attributes) among the Chinese yin-yang energies.

A quick-list of Animal symbolism of the cow would include:

Patience
Nourishment
Abudance
Fertility
Female Power
Potential
Possibility
Calming
Grounded
Provision
Beginnings

The Egyptian goddess Nut is sometimes depicted with the cow having four stars on its belly. This represents the four cosmic quadrants of the earth, and the respective flavor each directional energy freely flows through each of these corners.

Also in Egyptian mythology, Hathor was an ancient goddess worshipped as a cow-deity. Hathor was the Great Mother gooddess of joy, and was considered the nourisher of all things. She was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow. She was also considered a protective goddess and an emblem of royalty.

In Norse mythology the cow makes an appearance as Audhumla whose utters emitted the four rivers of power - these provided nourishment for the giants (primarily the first giant, Ymir) that ruled the First World.

In Vedic literature the cow is also a symbol of abundance and fertility as it represents both earth and sky.

To Hindus and Buddhists, symbolism of the cow deals with patience and holiness. It is considered India's most sacred animal. The calm, tender nature of the cow wins this right among the Buddhists.

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Thoughts about Coyote Meaning and Symbolism

The Coyote is a clown in the natural world, and in many Native American tribes view the symbolism of the Coyote as that of trickster, shape-shifter, and transformer.

Legend has it Navajo never kill Coyote because of their belief that it accompanied the first man and woman into the entrance of the first physical world.

Also, in the same myth, the Coyote brought with it seeds of life so as to sew new growth upon the new world. This legend depicts the Coyote as a bringer of life and a new birth symbol.

Shoshoni believed the Coyote as an indication of an ending. The sighting of the Coyote was said to bring natural shifts in balance, causing an end (which, of course, simply makes way for new beginnings, and so on). Essentially, the Coyote is like a "way-maker" of new direction as it went about its symbolic role of representing the cycle of life/death in nature.

Some general animal symbolism of the Coyote:

Skill
Instinct
Ingenuity
Enthusiasm
Transformation
Inventiveness
Intelligence
Playfulness
Resourcefulness

In my mind, the symbolic meaning of Coyote resonates with the stuff of youth. Cocky, rebellious, fearless, spunky, playful....qualities that are electric, raw and driving. Everything about Coyote's seem to say "lean and keen." So, when the Coyote comes into our awareness, or presents itself as a totem, we're tapping into a high voltage energy - crazy. Do you ever feel like you're jump-jivin' in perfect time? Moments of youthful clarity - simple amusement - dumb luck high. I do, and the Coyote (sometimes Wolves, and Fox too) often evokes those moments for me. Romp around with the Coyote in a meditation sometime. You'll see what I mean.

Another intriguing observation which could translate into an interesting symbolic narrative is the idea of instinct. Have no doubt, the Coyote is pure instinct. It's why they've got themes of influence in their symbolic history. Their instinct is so laser-like, seamless; they've been given the mantle of "cleverness" and "shape-shifter." They're sharp, super sharp, and highly sensory-activated. Coyote's resourcefulness is second-nature, instinctual.

So what does this mean to us on a symbolic level? Well, in my experience, the Coyote has been helpful in developing my sense of humor. I wish I had one (a sense of humor). I suspect it's there, but just gone missing in long, deep bouts of serious seriousness. :) So, basically, hanging out with the Coyote has helped me lighten up and trust my instincts.

The Coyote tells us to be mindful of our actions - be wary of playing tricks on ourselves or others. Coyote also reminds us that the consequences of our actions effect more than just ourselves.

The Coyote sometimes comes to us with a message about learning from our mistakes, and by learning, we become free from getting trapped. This learning can mean communicating with "our pack" for better understanding (advice, open dialog, sharing experiences with our closest peeps). Or, learning might be a solo thing, like recognizing a personal mistake, seeing its consequences and vowing not to make that same mistake twice.

This wonderful creature also reminds us that no matter what form we take (as we "shape-shift" our personality) or how many difficult situations we may find ourselves in - we can always see another side. That's what shape-shifting is partly about, which is: Being flexible enough to laugh at the fear, and weep at the joy. That may sound contradictory; that's kinda the crazy-Coyote Way. ;)

I hope you have enjoyed this brief summary of insights on the animal symbolism of coyote.

Take the time to communicate with this elusive animal spirit, and most assuredly, the coyote will offer its own unique brand of illuminating wisdom to you

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Deer Symbolism

When we encounter the deer in the wild, our breath catches - we are transfixed by their graceful features and delicate movements. The tender beauty of these beasts has not gone unnoticed by our ancestors.

The deer is linked to the arts, specifically poetry and music in ancient Celtic animal lore due to its graceful form. The Celts also believed that deer were associated with the fairie realm, and would lead troops of fairies - hundreds of them trailing behind them as the stag cut a path through the forest.

Both Celts and Native Americans observed the deer to be savvy when it came to finding the best herbs. These earth-bound peoples would follow the deer to prime herb patches - many of which proved to be highly beneficial in their medicinal purposes.

A quick-list of animal symbolism of the deer include:

Love
Grace
Peace
Beauty
Fertility
Humility
Swiftness
Regrowth
Creativity
Spirituality
Abundance
Benevolence
Watchfulness

How does this translate into our own life experience?

Just as the deer has an uncanny sense of where to find the green freshness earth provides, we can ask the deer within ourselves to seek out our inner treasures. In meditation or day dream, go on a spiritual hike with the deer. See yourself walking in the woods with the deer leading you into amazing depths within your soul. Each step you and the deer take will lead you deeper into your spiritual knowing, and to limitless treasure within.

The deer (particularly the doe, females) has the capacity for infinite generosity. Their heart rhythms pulse in soft waves of kindness. Match that graciousness by offering your trust to her. She will reward you by leading you to the most powerful spiritual medicine you can fathom.

In China the deer is a symbol of happiness and good fortune. Indeed, its name in Chinese is a homonym for the word abundance.

The deer is associated with:

The Dawn
The Moon
The Easterly directions

Those wishing to invoke the symbolic meaning of the deer may have most success and profound experiences while incorporating these associations.

For example, we can honor the deer during a full moon to enhance or draw out some of the deer's qualities (listed above) within ourselves.

Likewise, honoring the deer with our attention pointed in an eastern direction at dawn will elicit responsive energy too. Nothing fancy (the deer really has no use for pomp and circumsance - her pleasure comes from quiet simplicities) just a solemn nod of your head and a simple "thank you" for deer's presence will do.

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Dog Meaning and Dog Symbolism

To me, dog meaning and symbolism rings my bells in the realms of communication, and I elaborate on that the theme of communication on my "Dog Meaning and Symbolism in the Tarot" article.

I'll let you in on a little secret: Once upon a time, the sound of barking dogs put my nerves in a "tilt." Worse than scrapes down a chalkboard; barking and yapping dogs would send me in a nervous tailspin. I'm an audio-attuned person, and certain sounds just send rancor through my nerve-ranks.

Thankfully, that nerve-crushing reaction subsided when I met with an Iroquois native. Naturally perceptive, she noticed my jangled state while we were passing a group of neighborhood canines. Acting on her observations, she took the time to explain the intricacies and importance of "dog-speak." She shared with me how canine language is complex and vital to how dogs communicate their well-being (or otherwise), their views and the status of their community. Embracing her Iroquoian wisdom, I viewed (heard) dog-speak in a whole new light.

Now, every time I hear dogs baying in my awareness - I get quiet. I listen. I realize their speech is an opportunity to gain vital information on the status of my environment (and theirs). Intonation, pitch, guttural inflection, repetitious patterns....they all contribute to the overall message a dog is conveying. If you listen close, you can pick up on their language. It can be a true oracle. Try it sometime.

A short-list of dog meaning includes symbolic attributes like:

Fidelity
Loyalty
Assistance
Intelligence
Obedience
Protection
Community
Cooperation
Resourcefulness
Communication
Sensory Perception

The theme of communication becomes heightened when we peer into histories and discover dog meaning and symbolism is connected to the metaphysical realms. The dog has long been considered a liaison between the physical and non-physical dimensions. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic and beyond have all prescribed the dog as a sacred guardian of the Otherworlds - those realms outside our daily/mundane experience. If you hear of dogs being symbols of death - this is the connection: Dogs are the guardians of ephemeral domains, and can even serve as spirit guides in non-physical journeys.

Consider Anubis, the Egyptian god whose charge is to insure safe transitions from common reality (physical life on Earth) into the Afterlife experience. With the head of a jackal (of canine ilk), Anubis dons the super-powerful sensory perception of the dog. Further, that dog connection represents the epitome of protection, guidance, loyalty and adherence to the flow of unseen spiritual energy. To be sure, safe passage from "life" to Afterlife will be seen to success under the governance of the dog/jackal-headed Anubis. In this ancient light, we get distinct impressions of: Security, Guardianship, Protection.

Dogs are sacred to Hecate, the Greek-Roman overseer of lots of things - but surely a matron bound to protect that which is misunderstood. It seems (to me) where there is senseless lashing out against that which is misunderstood, Hecate comes ferociously in justification - her dogs baying with equal verve at her side. Death, darkness, wild wandering, lunar moodiness, midnight journeying...Hecate defends the soul's right to wander in these little-known, oft-misunderstood alleyways. With her highly perceptive hounds guiding the way (and protecting the body as the spirit wanders), astral travel becomes eons easier.

Interestingly, Hecate and her hounds will also speak for (and protect) those who cannot do so for themselves. Newborns. Hecate and her dogs represent an

"Alliance for Defense and Protection" to those who cannot defend themselves: Babies, Children, the Meek, the Mild, the Mad and the unjustly Maligned.

In Celtic symbolism, dogs are a representation of heroism. They embody heart-pounding attributes such as: Courage, Persistence, Virility. This, in large part is due to a Celtic dog's role in hunting. Dogs were even trained by the ancient Celts to assist in battle. So here we see that same thread of defense, protection and action for the good of the clan. An interesting paradox: Celtic dogs are also symbolic of healing. They are often associated with Nodens, a Celtic god of nutritive waters, hunting and healing (water is often synonymous with healing in Celtic wisdom). Dogs have also been portrayed with Sucellus, the Celtic god of protection and provision (from an agricultural view).

Native American Indian tribes have long depended upon the dog for their helpful guidance and assistance in everyday chores. Before horses, there were dogs and they were trained to help the tribe in agricultural efficiency as well as hunting. In fact, when horses were introduced to North America by the Spaniards, the term "sky dogs" was dubbed for horses because they were as helpful as their canine allies. In Native American wisdom dogs convey symbolism of: Assistance, Fidelity, Community, Protection, Friendship and Communication.

In Chinese symbolism, dogs are also considered a harbinger of friendship. The legendary Fu Dog is also a guardian of sacred spaces and embodies concepts of protection too. Dogs are considered very auspicious. In Asian wisdom dogs are symbols of: Good Luck, Loyalty, Obedience and Prosperity.

One of my favorite symbolic associations with dogs is through the field of Alchemy. The dog (and sometimes wolves) is associated with Mercury in alchemical wisdom. Why? Because Mercury is easily fused with other metals. This hints to amicable bonds (friendship) and ties that bind with ease. Mercurial dogs are also symbolic of: Transition, Intelligence, and easy flow through the processes of transmutation.

These are just a few thoughts about dog meaning and symbolism in my own view, and from a few cultural perspectives. As always, I would encourage you to keep digging for more symbolic bones the dog has to offer. Do more research online (like Dogs in Tarot), or go to your library to find out more.

Meditate, contemplate, embark on your own spirit-journey and get in touch with dog energy. Discover new canine concepts of your own. This breed of delightful expression is infinitely generous. Meaning, dogs will guide you to limitless potential if given the chance. They are actually anxious to serve! Let them.

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Elephant Meanings and Symbolic Thoughts about the Elephant

Symbolic elephant meaning deals primarily with strength, honor, stability and patience, among other attributes.

To the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blessing upon all new projects. Ganesha in all his magnificently vibrant elephant glory, is intent on bulldozing obstacles on your behalf (funnily, male elephants are termed "bulls").

In many western cultures, the elephant meaning pertains to:

Reliability
Dignity
Power
Royalty
Pride

In Christian symbolism the elephant is an icon of temperance, patience, and chastity.

As a Chinese symbol, the elephant is considered a symbol of:

happiness
longevity
good luck

Some Asian cultures also believe the elephant is a cosmic creature, and carries the world upon it?s back (much like the tortoise does in some tribal Native American myths).

As a dream animal, elephants come into our dreams it is a message that we are able to deal with any obstacle we are faced with at this time. Dream elephants represent power, sovereignty, stability, and stead-fastness. If you dream that you are riding an elephant this suggests you have a tendancy to be the leader of the family, and others are heavily depending on you. If you dream of elephants in a circus this suggests you have a cavalier attitude about a situation in your life and you may want to invest more attention to it.

We gather more symbolic meaning of elephant by observing it in nature. Specifically, the elephant is considered a symbol of responsibility because it takes great care and responsibility of its offspring as well as their elders.

The elephant also has immense determination and loyalty - always standing up for others and always defending members of the group in its natural habitat.

Elephants also express advanced sensitivity and social connection, particularly during time of death - they travel to a specific place upon their death - fulfilling personal responsibility - even at the end of their days.

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Thoughts on Fox Meanings, Fox Totems and Animal Symbolism Related to the Fox

In China, fox animal symbolism revolved around the afterlife. Lore has it that a fox sighting was thought to be a signal from the spirits of the deceased.

Fox animal symbolism takes a turn of intelligence in the Celtic realm, as the Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. The Celts understood the fox knows the woods intimately, and they would rely upon the fox as their guide in the spirit world.

In Japan, the fox was considered one of the rain spirits, and a messenger of Inari the rice god. Here the fox also symbolizes longevity and protection from evil.

In Native American lore, fox animal symbolism deals with two interpretations. One perspective (Northern tribes) observes the fox as a wise and noble messenger. The other (Plains tribes) views the fox as a trickster playing pranks, or worse - luring one to demise.

Overwhelmingly, cultural consensus on fox animal symbolism deals with:

cunning
strategy
quick-thinking
adaptability
cleverness
wisdom

It is noteworthy to observe the fox while it is on the hunt. We see its entire body is pointed like an arrow - straight and tightly aimed. This is a symbolic message for us to set a determined, and powerfully focused mindset in order to "hit the target" of our desires.

The red in the fox is representative of a solar emblem. As a solar emblem the fox animal symbolism deals with:

passion
desire
intensity
expression

The fox encourages us to think outside of the box and use our intelligence in different, creative ways. The fox also brings us a message to try to approach our circumstances differently that we normally would. Be aware of some of our habits, and try a different angle of action.

The fox also a reminder that we must utilize all of our resources (seen and unseen) in order to accomplish our goals. Sometimes this means calling upon some unorthodox methods.

Furthermore, the fox is a sign to be mindful of our surroundings.

Phenomenally effective shapeshifters and incredibly adaptable, the fox beckons us to not make too many waves but rather, adapt to our surroundings, blend into it, and use our surroundings (and circumstances) to our advantage.

Other generalized fox symbolic meanings deal with

focus
determination
right-action

It should be obvious from this summary that fox animal symbolism goes far beyond what we may see on the surface. On the contrary, the fox has an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom to share with us if/when we are willing to be still for the teachings.

Spend some meditative time with the spirit of the fox - odds are you will be amazed at the powerful insight this regal creature has to offer you.

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Gorilla Meanings and Thoughts about Animal Symbolism Related to the Gorilla

Often misunderstood as ferocious and aggressive, the gorilla is quite a peaceful creature. Perhaps it's close relationship with humans both in appearance and mannerism is what causes the gorilla to be a commonly overlooked totem. After all, the human mind tends to fear that which exposes its true identity.

The animal symbolism of gorilla is much more noble than face-value or surface appearance.

Observe this regal creature in its natural habitat. Gorillas are vastly sociable, and have intricate methods of communication with each other. Furthermore, there is a great deal of honor involved with their interactions with each other.

Gorillas are intimately aware of each member within the community. In fact, the responsibility to assist both young and elderly members of the troop (term for a group of gorillas) are shared among all the members of the community. This is a message to us to not pass over our debt to our elders - but be active participants in their final days. Likewise, gorillas show us that we should be raising our children (not our TV sets).

A short-list of animal symbolism of the gorilla includes attributes like:

Communication
Loyalty
Leadership
Compassion
Intelligence
Nobility
Dignity
Strength
Responsibility
Nurturing
Connectivity

When the gorilla comes into our lives it is a signal for us to raise our heads and recognize the nobility within us. This is not prideful or boastful behavior. Rather, the gorilla exudes a quiet honor and a still dignity that makes a much more profound statement than any boast. We humans (particularly this day and age) would do well to mimic such regal behavior.

The gorilla also gives us a message of leadership but not of the aggressive kind. Rather, the gorilla manages other members within the troop with temperance, understanding, compassion and balance. Very seldom is aggression or violence required in order to get the point accress. The gorilla reminds us that tyrannical leaders will never win respect. The message here is that decency, honesty, and quiet charisma win loyal followers.

The next opportunity you have, look into the soulful eyes of the gorilla, and you will know there is a depth of intelligence there that is undeniable. The gorilla reminds us there is more to knowledge than what is found in text books.

As an animal dream symbol, the gorilla represents the need to take action. When we dream of the gorilla it is a signal that we've been resting on our laurels, and it's time to start earning that which we want instead of waiting for rewards to fall into our laps.

Invest the time to meditate upon the gorilla. You will find this amazing creature to be quite generous with its wisdom. You may also find the gorilla to be a life-long companion, it will remain loyal and devoted to you when you grant it the same respect.

What's more, gorilla totems often impart a protective energy to those who are attracted to them.

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Hedgehog Meanings and Thoughts on Animal Symbolism Related to the Hedgehog

It's true, big things really do come in small packages and the animal symbolism of the hedgehog proves it.

Those with the hedgehog as their animal totem know how to take care of themselves and do so with grace and style. We make this association by observing the hedgehog when it is threatened. It packs itself tightly in a neat little ball, exposing some lethal looking quills. Any predator who takes a bite of this prickly morsel will spit it right back out.

Same goes with those who honor the hedgehog as their totem - these people always land on their feet and go through challenges with the same calm, cool practicality as the hedgehog does.

This little creature packs a powerful symbolic punch with animal symbolism including:

Energy
Vitality
Fertility
Intuition
Protection
Perception
Intelligence
Resourcefulness

The hedgehog is also symbolic of fertility and being connected to the earth. It's belly is close to the Mother (earth, that is) and this close proximity is symbolic of its connection to earth and all that is fertile. The hedgehog's tendency to curl up in the fetal position is also a message of centering, and connecting with the source.

Further, central Asia and parts of Iran associated agricultural abundance, fertility and the gift of fire to the hedgehog. In these cultures it is considered a solar power animal, and is strongly connected to the energy and vitality of the sun. This may be further understood when we think of the hedgehog's splayed spikes look much like the spanning rays of the sun.

Being a nocturnal creature, the symbolism of the hedgehog deals with intuition, psychic ability, prophetic dreams and visions. This is because the night deals with concepts that are cloaked in shadow - a realm that is not altogether clear. That the hedgehog's active time is at night is symbolic of "second sight."

Another testimony to its spiritual power is the hedgehog's natural resistence to snake venom. This is carries extreme importance with many Native American Indian tribes and is seen as a symbol of victory over evil. This attribute is also a portent of resurrection, life after death, or defeating death completely.

The Greeks and the Romans attributed intelligence to the symbolism of the hedgehog as the witnessed the creature knocking off grapes from vines and rolling on to them - essentially "toothpicking" or spearheading the grapes on their backs and carrying them away to dine on at a later date.

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Symbol meanings of the Horse date back to prehistory, and the first civilized, written acknowledgement of the Horse comes in the third millennium BC where historians uncovered slate tablets in Elam (present day Iraq and Iran) which reference this noble, wild beast.

Due to its natural companionship with man in both work and art, the Horse easily wins a special seat in history, ranking high marks of honor, reverence and symbolism.

Serving man in war, mobility, productivity, agriculture, development of all kinds, the Horse is by far one of the largest contributor to the enhancement of civilization.

With such recognition and accomplishments, a vast and diverse trail of symbol meanings is sure to follow the Horse’s rich history with humankind.

A summary of prevalent symbol meanings for the horse:

Power
Grace
Beauty
Nobility
Strength
Freedom

The Horse symbol meanings of power are widespread through most cultures, and it is linked as an emblem of life-force. Many cultures assign the attributes of the four elements to the Horse: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water.

As a Celtic symbol,the Horse was associated with war. With war, comes attributes of victory, conquer, longevity as well as procurement of territory and other spoils that come with triumph in battle.

All of these heady aspects of valor were associated with the Horse in Celt animal symbolism. In fact, so much so, the Celts hailed the Horse as the beast belonging to the sun god, and assigned it a place with the goddess Epona (see Celtic Gods & Goddesses for more information on Epona).

The Greco-Romans also associated the Horse with the spoils of war and attributed it to symbolism such as power, victory, honor, domination and virility. In Greco-Roman myth the Horse is said to be created by Poseidon (Neptune) and is devoted to Hades (Pluto) and Ares (Mars). Romans also believed the Horse to be a symbol of the continuity of life, and would sacrifice a horse to the god Mars every October, keeping its tail through the winter as a sign of fertility and rebirth.

In Hindu Brihadaranyaka, the Horse is linked to Varuna and as such, is equated to the cosmos. Additionally, a white horse is believed to be the last incarnation of Vishnu.

Buddha is said to have left this physical plane riding a white horse. Also in Buddhism a winged horse is often depicted carrying the Book of Law.

As one of the symbols in the Chinese zodiac, the horse in Chinese culture is equated with Gemini, and represents practicality, love, endurance, devotion and stability.

As a Native American symbol, the Horse symbol meanings combine the grounded power of the earth with the whispers of wisdom found in the spirit winds. The Horse has long been honored has helper, messenger, and harbinger of spirit knowledge to the Native American. Considered wild and an emblem of freedom, the Native American sees many potentialities in the symbolic nature of this noble creature.

Another aspect of Native American symbol meanings of the horse comes with the understanding that the wild freedom of the Horse can be harnessed and used to the benefit of the tribe. This understanding comes only when man and beast enter a silent contract – acknowledging mutual respect and awareness of responsibility to each other. (follow this link for other Native American Symbols on this website).

What about a horse of a different color? The color of the Horse is also steeped with symbol meanings. Here are the most common color meanings for the Horse:

Black Horse:
Mystery, death, night, secret, messenger of esoteric knowledge
White Horse:
Light, sun, day, vitality, illumination, resurrection, messenger of birth

Just as in ancient culture, the symbol meanings for the Horse are just as strong in dreams. Carl Jung observed the Horse to represent the intuitive aspect of human nature, and also thought it was a symbol of the human body in certain dreams.

Seeing yourself riding a Horse in your dreams may indicate you will see a project or event to successful conclusion. Falling off a Horse in your dreams indicates you’re nervous about a project or event you have scheduled. Dreaming of a Horse with reins, pulling a wagon, tied with ropes, etc., indicates you are feeling restricted and desire more freedom in your life. A bucking Horse in your dreams indicates a need to break old habits.

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Symbolic Meaning of Koala Bears

Back in the 1980s I worked as a fill-in medical tech at a veterinarian's office where I made friends with zookeeper, Adam Schultz. When he invited me to experience a behind-the-scenes encounter with a koala, I jumped at the chance.

Like most folks who come in contact with this creature, I was utterly enchanted. How could I not be? Aside from being undeniably captivating (cute, cuddly, docile - the jackpot of adorableness!), the quality that struck me most enduring was the koala's laid-back nature. The koala I held in my arms was so chill and relaxed! She seemed totally content to just hang out awhile with human pals.

I wondered if this calm contentment stemmed from domesticity. Was this koala super-chill because of her captivity? My friend Adam said no. Most koala's are pretty easy-going, even in the wild. They have underactive adrenals, and rarely get riled up. I then remembered their steady diet of eucalyptus and gum leaves and asked my friend about the validity of the claim that koala's are in a diet-induced stupor most of the time. Adam explained a koala's metabolism is quite slow compared to other marsupials. This slower metabolism combined with slow-acting adrenal glands causes mellow behavior in most koala's - even in the wild. It's their nature to be passive, and the behavior is not necessarily caused by what they eat.

To be sure, I was properly educated about the koala that day, and recent dreams of the koala prompted me to write a page on the symbolic meaning of koala bears.

Suggested symbolic key terms for the koala include:

Connection
Protection
Memory
Pleasure
Magic
Calm
Trust

As land animal totems, koala's were first primarily connected with the Mother (Earth). They were originally burrowers for the most part. We can see this in their marsupial pouch designs. Most marsupial pouches (like kangaroos and opossum) open upwards, but the opening of koala pouch is directed toward the hind quarters. This design protects the young joey from dirt burrowed by early koala mothers. Over time (and necessity with continental land masses breaking up in the last ice age) koala's adapted to an arboreal life. What's this got to do with connection? Plenty.

The symbolic meaning of koala bears speaks of connection, protection and memory because of their original affinity to ground dwelling life. As burrowers, koala's shared a special connection with the earth. Aboriginal wisdom recognizes this relationship. Certain Australian myths claim koalas were first earthy clumps of grey clay and slowly crawled from their clay-bound lives in order to bring sacred wisdom to humans. They were also said to teach humans how to climb trees in order to gain a broader view of the grand world in which they live. This is also symbolic of memory. Some Aboriginal legends tell of koalas being the memory-keepers of an ancient tribe of beings - a kind of pre-human. It's said the original people of the earth were turned into koala's as a self-protective measure when the waters of the lands dried up. Ancient koala-people climbed the tops of trees to drink the first rains, and also to eat the moisture-filled leaves of the eucalyptus. Another aspect of the myth says the koala-beings keep watch for their ancestor's return in their true form. They can keep a look-out from treetops for their people to return to the lands and repopulate the earth. I like to think this repopulation will also present a re-education of the sacred ways of earth, the holy wisdom of living with our Mother (Earth) in harmony. At any rate, this Aboriginal account is also symbolic of protection - protecting the memories and practices of our ancestors, protecting and honoring our environment, and even self-protection.

Marsupials are particularly symbolic of connection, especially in terms of maternal nurturing, because of their ability to keep their offspring close, in their pouches. Land mammals, burrowing animals, and marsupials all remind us of the importance of being connected to the Mother (Earth), and getting grounded with her energy. It has to do with womb-like qualities. In so many ways this earth is both womb and tomb to all life. From the Mother (Earth) we come, and to her we shall return. Koalas teach us about this intimate connection with the earth, and also remind us of our cooperative connection with the environment. The koala will help us get more in synch with the rhythms of nature, and will remind of our interconnectivity with our environment.

Over years of adaptation and necessity, koalas evolved into (almost) exclusive arboreal life. Today, koala's mostly live in trees (of the Eucalyptus forests of Australia, mostly). This is also symbolic of connection. Trees are the ultimate illustration of interconnectivity. Trees demonstrate grounded symbolism (roots), the nature of progress (growth), and connecting energy between terra mater and the ethereal realms. Why? Because trees are the bridge between 'heaven and earth' (rooted in the Mother, while their branches and leaves play in the heavens). I've written about the symbolic meaning of trees here if you're interested.

Koala's as tree-dwellers offer the same wisdom of connection. Their strong affiliation with trees is a reminder of the magic of arboreal wisdom - a testimony to connectivity, and also symbolic of memory. Trees are memory-keepers too. The Celtic Druids recognized this and subscribed to the belief that trees were layered with esoteric history. Aboriginal myths point to the same kind of ancient memories held within woody vessels too.

Symbolic Meaning of Koala Bears as Animal Totems:
Those who resonate with the koala, and share a totemic bond with this fascinating creature will share many common attributes. Koala people are naturally likeable. Friendly, amicable, and content to 'go with the flow.' People with koala totems are also protectors and nurturers. They look after their tribe, showing keen interest in their society, and willing to help others in need. They do this casually, with aplomb. Koala people don't force change, they have scads of patience. Where most people try to shove reform down the throats of society, koala people introduce gentle adjustments into society and take a "wait and see" approach.

Those who share the koala as their totem have calm, contended demeanors. In fact, I've had the pleasure of hanging out with some friends who share close connections with their koala totems, and just being in their presence has had a calming effect on me. If your totem is the koala, you likely put people at ease just by your mere presence. Observe this in your surroundings. Have you ever entered a room charged with high-energy (stress, anxiety, etc) only to experience the room settling after your arrival? That's the effect you have on others. The down-side to this is that others may have a tendency to suck you dry. They see you as a stabilizer, somebody who is "all together" and often people will rely too heavily on your amiable nature.

As the symbolic meaning of koala bears deals with magic, koala affiliated people come off as dreamers. This is often misconstrued as laziness. Those who have the koala as their totem often live in the 'dreamtime' - a space of contemplation, fantasy and higher mental activity. -Nothing wrong with that, I say. However, it's important to utilize these dream-states. Koala folks can sometimes fall in the dreamtime trap - prefering to stay in their creative ruminations and never come out of reverie. This makes it tough to get along in 'real world.' Koala's can actually assist humans with this. Koala people can climb new heights by taking their epiphanies gained through dreamtime meandering and use these insights constructively in this modern world. If you find yourself more submerged in ephemeral realms than material, call upon the strong and sturdy aspects of the koala to help you climb out of the dreamtime and use your insights in creative endeavors. The dreamy artists, poets and musicians of our time have pulled out of their dreamscapes and shared exquisite manifestations of their visions for the world to see. Koala's can help bring wispy concepts into concrete reality.

Symbolic meaning of koala bears offer us vast insights. Whether they be totems, or a random koala encounter, it's important to glean symbolic meaning from their messages. When the koala visits our awareness, it carries with it invitations to relax, enjoy the moment, and go with the flow of nature. Koalas are also oracles for physical well-being, and will often come to us as a signal to get much needed rest. Koala's are known to sleep up to 20 hours a day, and when they come to us, it may be a sign to catch up on our sleep - take a break - find an oasis of calm from the calamity of our daily lives. Koala's also invite us to savor our down-time, enjoy our dreams, and revel in relaxation.

In conclusion, I hope these thoughts on the symbolic meaning of koala bears (which, by the way, aren't bears at all - they're marsupials, and close cousins to wombats) have inspired you to enter into a new kinship with the koala. Koalas are sublime teachers, and can show us how to appreciate the pleasures of our environment. They can also teach us to enjoy the present moment. Engage in devotion and meditation with the koala. Doing so will reveal these appreciative qualities. It will also enhance a sense of calm and tranquility.

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Lion Meanings and Thoughts on Lion Symbolism

The symbolic meaning of lions, as one might imagine, primarily deals with strength.

The fact that it is a nocturnal creature means that the lion is a symbol of authority and command over subconscious thought (as night is an ancient symbol of the subconscious - or dream states).

It’s interesting that the lion is considered by many ancient cultures to be a solar animal symbol, however it is primarily a nocturnal creature, conducting its hunting activity mostly at night. Further, the lioness is considered a lunar animal.

This serves as a symbolic message of balance and sound judgment. In that the lion shares the world of both night and day, the lion bears a message of prudence to us. In other words, the lion asks us to not overdo in certain areas of our lives. Rather, keep an even mind and an overall balance in our life activities.

Other than a symbol for strength, other symbolic attributes of the lion include:

Courage
Power
Royalty
Dignity
Authority
Dominion
Justice
Wisdom
Ferocity

In Egypt, the lion represented the ferocious heat of the sun and was seen in the likeness of Sekhmet who is the Egyptian goddess known as the Eye of Ra. She is the power that protects the good and annihilates the wicked.

In ancient Greece, lions were identified with Dionysus, Phoebus, Cybele, and Artemis because myth indicates lions drew the chariots for these gods and goddesses. Here, the symbolic meaning of lions revolved around protections and they were viewed as guardians of the dead as well as guardians of palaces, doorways, shrines and thrones. They were also ultimate protectors of hearth and home.

In Hinduism, the lion is an avatar (embodiment or personification) of Vishnu.

In Buddhism the Buddha sits upon the lion as a throne of consistency, strength and wisdom.

In alchemy, the symbolic meaning of lions is associated with the highly idealistic and prized attributes of gold.

The symbolic meaning of lions in England is shonw in heraldic art where it is a common emblem of English sovereigns because of these lion-like traits:

leadership
strength
royalty
courage
honor

As a zodiac symbol - those with the sign of Leo likely possess some lion's personality traits such as:

Intuition
Self-confidence
Fiery
Territorial
Controlling
Passionate
Generosity
Loyalty

Those born under the sun sign Leo are fiercely independent, confident and in control.

They are creative and influential forces and have the internal power to make positive (or negative) changes in their lives and the lives of others around them.

They are very loyal people, and will defend friend and family honor to the death. My friend Göran Jönsson has perfectly captured the strength and ferocity the Leo represents in his zodiac pendant shown left.

Lions as dream symbols indicate we may feel as though we are being preyed upon, or we are in a position to defend ourselves. Dreaming of lions may also be a sign of our need to get in touch with our emotions, and tame them if necessary.

In esoteric studies, the lion makes its appearance in the Tarot where it is illustrated in the Strength card of the Major Arcana.

When we observe the lion in nature, we detect an easy strength and a natural dignity. The lion is born powerful, and power comes naturally to it. There is no false bravado as the lion has no need of it.

When the lion comes to us it is a sign for us to step into our natural birthright of power. Each of us is born powerful and divine. The lion reminds us of this.

Other messages the lion shares with us:

Hold your head high – even in times of conflict – conduct yourself with dignity
Stand tall, remember your birthright of power
Perhaps it’s time to show your authority (not in a dominating way) but lead others with a loving heart
It may be time to defend something that is dear to your heart – defend it fiercely if you must.
Have courage, have faith.

As with all signs and symbols, the symbolic meaning of lions should be special and personal to each of you. This only provides you with a brief summary of the various symbolic meanings available. Ultimately it is you who determines your own unique and symbolic relationship with the lion.

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Symbolic Mouse Meaning

For such a tiny creature, there is a profusion of symbolic mouse meaning available throughout history. For example, did you know the mouse is one of several sacred creatures to the god Apollo? Yep. In fact, in early Greece, Apollo was sometimes referred to as Apollo-Smintheus, which means Mouse-Apollo. Interesting, eh? This connection could be from several origins. In those days, snakes were super-sacred to the gods (with associations of transformation, healing, and mysterious power), and mice were fed to snakes who were catered to in ancient temples of Greece and Rome. Another correlation between mice and Apollo could be due to their mass numbers. Mice are prolific, always have been, and so, there abundance is akin to Apollo's omnipresence. This thought is similar to the same thought-process applied to certain insects, especially flies being sacred to Zeus. Because flies are everywhere, they are akin to the always-present-everywhere presence of Zeus. Same concept for mice and Apollo.

Another interesting symbolic mouse meaning deals with their preferred home environment. Mice love to burrow. Our ancient ancestors observed their affinity for ground-burrowing, and likened this to mice being 'one with the Mother' (Mother Earth, that is). This ground-loving behavior was also seen as a connection to the Underworlds (or Otherworlds, depending upon your source of reference). This kind of connection makes the mouse a kind of mediator between physical life and recycling life (spirit energies in transition).

This Earth and Underworld connection continues in western, medieval Europe, where folk superstitions tell of mice possessing the ability to carry souls of humans who have passed from this physical life. Some tales take this soul-carrying a step further and describe mice eking out from the mouths of the deceased, scampering away with the living soul, leaving behind the corporeal remains. I think this last observation might be a reference to the plague, in which rats and mice ruled more prominently that kings and queens of the day (vermin being the number one enemy of the times due to their tendency to carry and spread the deadly plague).

Under the pall of the plague, symbolic mouse meaning has taken on some rather dark tones. Christian symbology identifies the mouse as a creature of destruction, hypocrisy and cowardliness. Now, those of you who read my symbolic interpretations with any regularity know that I'm not too keen on negative views or nay-saying about our planet's critters. After all, it's not their fault of the rat or the mouse that caused the pandemic outbreak of the black plague in the 14th century. Humans (as is often the case) hold the bag of responsibility for that. Lack of personal and social hygiene, caravans and transportation routes carrying stow-away vermin caused much of the spread too. Mostly, human ignorance is to blame, not mice or rats.

But I digress...

Some suggested key words for symbolic mouse meaning include:

Resourcefulness
Modesty
Groundedness
Adaptability
Temerity (shyness)
Innocence
Fertility
Super-awareness
Voraciousness
Determination
Conservation
Cleanliness

Cleanliness? After all that talk earlier about the plague, and common misconception about mice, how could I possibly add 'cleanliness' to this symbolic mouse meaning list? Well, it's a little known fact that many kinds of mice (deer mice, certain field mice and voles) keep themselves extremely clean and are constantly grooming themselves. See what I mean about falling into the trap of misjudging creatures by misguided rumors and superstition?

This idea of cleanliness is a symbolic trigger for me when mice come into my awareness. When I'm paid a visit by the mouse, I take a look at what needs to be cleaned, groomed or ordered within my own or my client's life, depending for whom I'm getting the mouse-message. This is not only a tip from the squeaky-clean mouse habits, but by paradox, other types of mice (some kinds of house mice, tree mice, certain field and harvest mice) prefer a less cleanly environment. These latter types of scruffy mice remind me that clutter (both within the home, the body and the mind) is often a gateway for infiltrators. Whichever angle you look (whether they be 'clean' mice or dirty-rascal mice), mice are messengers for tidiness. Keep that in mind the next time the mouse comes pitter-pattering in your own awareness, and ask yourself if it's time to clear out, clean up, and establish order in your realms.

Mice are also consummate conservers. They are one of the most ingenious and industrious hoarders of the mammal realms. This adds to the symbolic mouse meaning, because it reminds us to conserve our own resources and energy. The mouse is often a message for us to review our resources (of all kinds, energetic, financial, emotional, physical) and be a little more conscious of how we spend or distribute these resources. Interestingly, mice also have voracious appetites, and will nibble through almost anything. This may seem like a contradiction from conservation, but really, it's about balance. When the mice pays you a visit, it's a clear sign to take a look at what you're consuming, how you're consuming it, and begin paying conscious attention about resources and the idea of conservation.

We all know mice can be timid, appearing to be shy and nervous at the slightest twitch in their surroundings. This is symbolic of the antithesis of bravado, egotism and arrogance. When the mouse pays me a visit, it's often a message for me to take a look at my behavior. Am I being too aggressive? Boastful? Mice always prompt me to become more soft and contemplative in my mannerisms.

In Native North American Indian symbolism, tribes such as the Navajo established the mouse having governance over the southern quadrant of their medicine wheel, which represents a macrocosmic view of life. The southern quadrant of the medicine wheel holds sacred tenets such as new beginnings, connection with the Mother (Nature/Earth). It also represents youthfulness and innocence. Because the mouse is quite modest, and connected so closely with the Mother Earth, it has gained grained prominence in this and other branches of Native wisdom.

Mice are incredibly prolific, as mentioned earlier, and can bear up to a dozen pups every four to six weeks. That's a lotta mice. This is symbolic of fertility, abundance, and expansion. Do I mean that literally? No, not necessarily. For example, a mouse in your awareness could be symbolic of your ability to mass-produce new births in the form of new ideas, development, creativity, social connections - any number of opportunities are available for us to give birth often and abundantly, the mouse is a reminder of that.

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The panther animal totem is a very powerful and protective presence. If you have this creature as your totem, you are blessed to have such a fierce and aggressive guardian with you.

The panther is a symbol of courage, valor and power. The panther has also sometimes associated with the sun, and solar vibrancy in some cultures (South American, & Central American).

Individuals with panther totem s are usually people who come into this world with a spiritual knowing - a deeper understanding of spiritual things. These people often are very intuitive, psychic, and many are artistically inclined.

Of all the panthers, the black panther has the greatest mysticism associated with it. It is a symbol of the mother, the dark moon and the power of the night. The black panther encourages us to understand the shadow powers available to us all, to acknowledge these powers and to eliminate our fears of the darkness.

When the black panther totem appears in your life, it is also a symbol of releasing your passions, and starting a new phase of your life. A phase in which you are discovering your desires, and living your dreams.

The panther animal totem asks us these questions:

What is my Shadow Self trying to tell me?
Are my passions helping or hindering me at this time?
Am I still on the right spiritual path for myself?
Am I supressing latent desires?
Am I putting others' needs before my own to the point of self-neglect?
Am I being mindful of my movements - both physical and emotional?
Am I being defensive? Who or what am I protecting and why?

When the panther animal totem comes to us (whether it be in the form of images or real sightings) we must begin paying attention to the strength of our inner being - our internal fortitude, and the condition of our spiritual strength & valor. Panthers also beckon us to consider our darker side - analyze this side of ourselves and determine its motivation.

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As it is closely related, symbolic puma meaning is also similar to the symbolic meaning of panthers, mountain lion, & cougar.

These noble cats are symbols of courage and power. This falls in line with the puma/mountain lion being associated with the sun, and solar vibrancy in some cultures (South American, & Central American). Learn more about solar animals here.

Other attributes and symbolic puma meaning, (and it's cousins the mountain lion, panther & cougar):

Strength
Nobility
Patience
Silence
Decision
Action
Guardianship
Leadership
Self-assurance

Puma meaning (as well as symbolism of mountain lions or cougars) speaks to us of inspection, observation and scrutiny. In the wild, this creature will stare at an object, unmoving, for what seems like an eternity. Further, she does this with stillness, patience. To those of us who heed the puma as a guide, we would take great care to observer our own lives with the kind of intese focus the puma does.

People who have identified the puma, mountain lion, and/or cougar as their animal totem are people who typically come into this world with a spiritual knowing. Those who attract this animal totem have a deeper understanding of spiritual things. They are very psychic, intuitive, and are likely to be artistically inclined.

Furthermore, the puma is a very protective energy. If you have this creature as your animal totem, you are blessed to have such a fierce and aggressive guardian with you. When called upon you will be amazed at the resourcefulness and assistance the puma meaning can offer.

In closing, it is important to recognize the puma and it's relatives are cats of sudden, vigorous action. This being the case, those who share the puma as their totem should be mindful of their tendancy to lash out too quickly, or act out in haste. Call upon the patience and observation of the puma before taking action in order to avoid quick and unsavory consequences.

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Ram Meanings and Symbolic Thoughts about the Ram

The animal symbolism of the ram speaks of: Power, Force, Drive, Energy, Virility, Protection, Fearlessness.

A look into mythology will reveal the ram was associated with many gods over time. And so, if a god amongst the people, wouldn't you agree these are all admirable qualities?

The Celtic god Cernunnos is shown with the ram. Some depictions show him seated with a ram-headed snake by his side a symbolic gesture of renewal and power.

In ancient Egypt the god Amun-Ra took on the persona of Khnum, the creator god who was always depicted with a ram's head.

In Scandinavia, Thor was close with the ram, and was fabled to use rams to pull his chariot.

Other gods connected to the strong-willed ram are:

Zeus (Greece)
Apollo (Greece)
Agni (India)
Indra (India)
Hermes (Roman)
Ea (Middle East)
Baal (Middle East)

It is noteworthy that the ram is the first sign of the Zodiac, as Aries. Here it is symbolic of impetuous fervor, renewal, virility and fiery force. This sign embraces the return of the warmth of the sun as the March equinox approaches.

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Rhino Meanings and Symbolic Thoughts on the Rhinoceros

Animal symbolism of the rhinoceros revolves around a mass of misguided perception. The rhino is replete with contradictions.

One of the top three largest land mammals, the rhino’s physical presence is mammoth. Although the rhino is known to display aggressive behavior, for the most part it is a passive creature – preferring to roam its wide-open grassy spaces in contemplative solitude. Here we see the first of many paradoxes that lead us to the underlying symbolic theme of the rhinoceros: “things are not as they seem.”

Rhino animal symbolism reminds us to appreciate the expansive bounty we have around us. When the rhino comes to us in our daily lives it is time for us to stop and give thanks to the infinite wonders occurring in every millimeter and minute of our lives. Here are a few examples of how we may do this:

Do as the rhino does and press your feet into the mother (earth) with connective assurance that all is well.
Inhale the richness of green as the rhino does in the tall grasses in which it lives. Savor the scent – impress it fully into memory – recall it during times when you need revitalization.
Surround yourself in cool comfort as the rhino does with his mud bath rituals. Again, let the rich abundance and stability of the mother (earth) enfold you and reassure you.

It is the rhino’s intimate connection with the earth that makes it a perfect symbol for confidence, assurance, steadiness, and sure-footedness. When we are feeling insecure, nervous, or disconnected, the best tonic for our nervy ails is to allow the rhino to run through our spiritual realm. Mentally envision the stoic, noble rhino swaggering easily across the awing expanse of the Ngorongoro Crater where the scenery is equally matched to the regal rhino’s energy.

And speaking of energy, the rhino possesses solar animal symbolism and you will find your envisioning it will produce heat within your body.

Simply put, the rhino is a creature of substance, stamina, solidity, and explosive power. When you are feeling transparent and empty, invite the rhino into your being – see what happens – observe yourself being filled with the majesty this creature represents.

The animal symbolism of the rhino horn deals with:

Protection
Achievement
Heightened Senses
Utilization of Inner Resource

It’s not the actual horn that is powerful – the horn itself is nothing but built-up rhino skin – physically, the horn is worthless. Symbolically however, the horn is priceless.

Shamans, and ancient practitioners of animal symbolism and spirit communication have recognized the symbolism of the rhino horn as special and unique. Humans, in their misunderstanding of universal energy, have tried to take the horn to own specialized energy. When, in fact, it cannot be physically acquired. That energy is available at every turn.

Our physical human eyes see something special and magical in the rhino horn – we can initiate that powerful strength, protection, and success internally. Indeed, mystics tell of having visions of an illuminated (sometimes golden) horn the rhinoceros thrust through the veil of ignorance – ripping the veil open to let loose all the opulence and riches (enlightenment) of all mankind’s desire.

This was not a vision that indicated everyone should go out and get a rhino horn for their alter, or horn powder for their morning elixir. These symbolic visions beckon us to think, feel, pray, love, and live on a deeper level.

By invoking all that is true, beautiful, loving, and joyous we don the golden horn of power. By directing this horn of virtue, we ourselves rip through the ambiguous veil, and find our own clarity and abundance on the other side of the fog.

Animal symbolism of the rhinoceros includes:

Agility
Solitary
Wisdom
Paradox
Freedom
Stability
Gratitude
Longevity
Judgment
Grounding
Peace of Mind
Self-Assurance
Unconventional
Sensory Perception

If the rhinoceros is your totem, it is your responsibility to take heart of the underlying symbolic message the rhino has for you “nothing is as it seems.” The rhino is your companion to help you on a soulful journey in recognizing the truth with your spiritual eyes – not what your physical eyes see.

The rhino will also help you maintain connection with the Mother (earth) as you soar into a broader, expansive insights that brings your understanding and awareness to a whole new (and wonderful) level.

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Many years ago, I learned the animal symbolism of the skunk first-hand. I was walking through thick woods with my head down (no doubt looking for odd stuff - it's the crow in me). When I looked up to get my bearings I found myself staring directly into the eyes of a very intense looking skunk.

When I say I was siezed stiff in my tracks, you know exactly what I mean. Who among us doesn't know the capability of the skunk? Not many.

Of course a chunk of animal symbolism of the skunk deals with the pungent odor of its spray let off when it's threatened.

Just think what a remarkable defense mechanism: Nonviolent, passive, effective. The skunk sends a message to would-be predators: "Nothing personal, just back off and nobody gets hurt."

This unique method of self-protection and the way a skunk handles its predators is symbolic of:

Defense
Prudence
Protection
Confidence
Awareness
Pacification
Effectiveness
Good judgement

We would all do well to take this animal symbolism from the skunk: Do no harm. Indeed, as a totem animal, the skunk asks us to defend ourselves effectively, without causing further conflict.

Interestingly, the skunk would prefer to be even less assertive. You see, it takes over a week to reproduce its stinky juices after using them (their glands are only good for about 4 sprays). Ergo, the skunk is 100% sure it must spray before doing so as this defense tool is a commodity in the wild - not to be wasted on false alarms.

In recognizing this, we see the skunk is the ultimate pacifist, and by adopting its peace-loving ways we may obtain the carefree lifestyle this creature enjoys.

Carefree indeed, the skunk has very few predators because most of the animal kingdom recognize its tell-tale markings and know from wildlife scuttlebutt the skunk is not to be fooled with. As such, the skunk goes about its business with aplomb, and has an innocent quality that few wild creatures have the luxury of exhibiting.

Other animal symbolism of the skunk include:

Introspection
Innocence
Assurance
Patience
Silence
Peace

Those with the skunk as their animal totem are naturally buoyant. They go through life with a calm assurance, and exude a peaceful energy that is extremely attractive to others.

Call upon the spirit of the skunk when you need quality judgment in a situation - particularly if you're in a stressful state, or someone is pushing your buttons. The skunk will ease you out of the situation with deft and diplomacy.

The skunk can also help calm jangled nerves, and help to center ourselves into a quiet, peaceful state.

The skunk is very effective when calming small children too. Give it a try. Ask the skunk for assistance with your fussy little ones.

The skunk is happy to heed your call for help. Just remember to respect the skunk and express your thanks for the guidance and assistance.

Oh, what happened when I met that skunk in the woods long ago? He didn't spray me, although he was certainly prepared. We just kept our eyes locked on each other (his were a soft yet intensely deep brown, my eyes are brown too - but I'm sure my gaze didn't appear nearly as righteous as his - I was, after all, intruding on his turf). I slowly and quietly took steps backwards until I was at a safe distance to retreat altogether. The whole time we kept staring into each other's eyes. It was odd, eerie, and exciting all at once.

That skunk was so majestic and regal in his stance - holding his ground - fearing nothing, leastly me. I certainly backed away (literally) from the meeting with a new found respect for this creature, and derived a deeper sense of the symbolic meaning of the skunk to boot!

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Squirrel Meaning and Symbolic Thoughts about Squirrels

When the squirrel comes into our lives it is often a message for us to have more fun, and take life a little less seriously. We can see this in the squirrel's daily antics in our yards and surroundings.

However, other animal symbolism of squirrels deal with practicality. As the squirrel is commonly known to hide and save its food and return to it in the winter months - we take this as a sign in our own lives; a sign that it might be time to look into our own provisions. For example: Is it time to consider a retirement plan? Are we adequately insured? Or even as simple as doing simple and preventative repairs around the house.

Common summary of animal symbolism of the squirrel:

Energy
Play
Prudence
Balance
Socializing
Preparation
Resourcefulness

It's not commonly known that the squirrel only actually finds 10% of the nuts he hides for safekeeping. This is another message from the squirrel that we can also foolishly over-prepare. Here there is a lesson of balance to be considered.

However, there is a higher significance in this message of finding our 10%. All those nuts our squirrels do not recover are all primed and ready to seed themselves. This means, that thanks to our furry friends, we are gifted with new generations of trees and plants sprouting from all the seeds and nuts burrowed in the soil by squirrels.

This symbolically coincides with the old adage "what we sow is what we reap." What may seem like absent-mindedness is actually a strong message to us to be mindful of the metaphorical seeds we plant in our own lives as they we will surely reap the consequences.

Squirrels are quite sociable, and are often seen in pairs or groups. Any amount of observation of the squirrel will reveal that it is a vocal creature as well, and using extensive communications - particularly when in play or when it feels threatened.

In this manner, the animal symbolism of squirrels addresses our ability to express ourselves in social settings. The squirrel reminds us to communicate effectively with others, and to honor those around us with our presence (rather than dishonor them with inappropriate or rude behavior).

The animal symbolism of this animal is also tied in with the fact that squirrels are solar creatures, and as such, they carry solar animal symbolism such as:

Passion
Energy
Expression
Vitality

As I often tell people asking me about animal totems, they are just as willing to communicate with us as we are with them. I would encourage you to meditate upon the squirrel, and ask it to reveal its message to you. Odds are it will share its own special messages with you.

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Chinese Tiger Meanings and Symbolic Thoughts about the Tiger

In China, the tiger is considered the king of all beasts (not the lion) and represents powerful energy. Further, the tiger is associated with Tsai Shen Yeh, the Chinese God of Wealth, and this god is usually seen sitting on a tiger in Asian art.

Asian lore considers the tiger the protector of the dead, and will often be seen in graves as a mark of protection, assuring peace for those who have passed.

Chinese animal symbolism of the tiger deals with (but is not limited to):

Power
Energy
Royalty
Protection
Generosity
Illumination
Unpredictability

Tigers are considered a yang energy, and are also a solar animal which associates them with symbolisms of the sun, summer and fire.

In ancient Chinese myth there are five tigers that hold the balance of cosmic forces in place and prevent chaos from collapsing into the universe.

These five tigers are:

White Tiger: ruler of the Fall season and governor of the Metal elementals
Black Tiger: ruler of the Winter season and governor of the Water elementals
Blue Tiger: ruler of the Spring season and governor of the Earth elementals
Red Tiger: ruler of the Summer season and governor of the Fire elementals
Yellow Tiger: the supreme ruler of all these tigers and symbolic of the Sun

So the next time you wish to honor a loved one who has passed this physical realm considered the tiger as a symbol of reverence.

Or, if you are intending more wealth in your life, call upon tiger energy to help you facilitate this (hint: visualize the copper color of the tiger associated with the gleam of coins. Visual associations like these are very effective with attracting our desires.)

Lastly, as you align yourself with the seasons and cycles of Mother Nature, consider including the five Chinese tigers in your practices.

Chinese symbol meaning of Tiger is as diverse as the noble creature itself. Take the time to learn more about this amazing animal, it will be worth your investment!

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Wolf Meaning and Totem Symbolism of the Wolf

To understand totem wolf symbols, one must first understand the heart of the Wolf. This takes time because the Wolf has had to endure many false stereotypes, misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Not at all the picture of ferocity or terror, the Wolf is a creature with a high sense of loyalty and strength. Another misconception is that of the “lone wolf.” To the contrary, the Wolf is actually a social creature, friendly, and gregarious with its counterparts.

The Wolf is an incredible communicator. By using touch, body movements, eye contact as well as many complex vocal expressions – the wolf makes his point understood. Those with totem wolf symbols are of the same inclination – they are expressive both vocally and physically. Those who have the wolf as their totem animal are naturally eloquent in speech, and also have knack for creative writing.

A quick-list of totem wolf symbolic attributes include:

Intelligence
Cunning
Communication
Friendliness
Loyalty
Generosity
Compassionate

Totem wolf symbols belong to those who truly understand the depth of passion that belong to this noble creature. The Wolf is a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.

Further, the Wolf possess a high intellect, and have been observed using strategies about hunting, habitat and migration.

In history, the totem Wolf symbol appears with the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Legend has it that the two founding brothers were raised and suckled by a she-wolf.

In Norse mythology, the Wolf is a symbol for victory when ridden by Odin and the Valkyries upon the battlefield.

As a Celtic symbol, the Wolf was a source of lunar power. Celtic lore states that the Wolf would hunt down the sun and devour it at each dusk so as to allow the power of the moon to come forth.

In Asia, the wolf guards the doors that allow entrance to heavenly, celestial realms. The Wolf is also said to be among the ancestry of Genghis Khan.

When this gracious creature appears to us, and serves as a totem in our lives, the Wolf beckons us to ask these questions:

Are you thinking about a different form of education?
Are you being a true friend, and are your friends being true to you?
Are you communicating yourself clearly to others?
Are you being loyal to yourself?
Are you incorporating strategies and planning to achieve your goals?
Are you spending enough quality time with yourself, friends and family?

Click here to find more about other animal totems as well as totem wolf symbols and discover if the Wolf is your Native American zodiac sign.

Take some time to know more about the Wolf, you will be amazed at the knowledge these regal creatures can share with you.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:53 pm

Water Animal Totem Meanings




Water animal totems are as vast with meaning as the sea itself.


Water is a powerful symbol in itself.

It's a sign of cleansing, freedom and mobility. Most significantly, water as a symbol is a universal expression of the unconscious.

Therefore, water animal totems help us reveal and identify our hidden thoughts or actions. When these creatures find their way into our lives they need to be honored. If we pay attention, they will aid us in identifying our hidden motives – motives that aren't quite healthy for us. Even better, by observing and being open our water animal totems, we learn the ways of simpler, more positive paths of thought, thus replacing the hidden negative ones.

Water critters are invariably bright and playful. Living up to the freedom that the water sign embodies – water animal totems remind us to live with that same unbridled freedom.

We would do well to follow the example of these creatures, and live as if we have no limits.


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Beaver Symboism

Beavers are ingenious builders, orchestrating megalith dams that can change the flowing course of entire rivers. This impressive aspect along with its association with water makes the beaver an analogy for building our up dreams.

In essence, the beaver tells us to believe in our dreams as if they were real. Build on them as if the dream is your reality. Change the course of your life flow by structuring your life with a goal to coax your dreams into your physical reality.

Animal symbolism of the beaver deals with building our lives up around our dreams.

Dream symbolism comes into play with the beaver because it is largely a water creature. Water is symbolic of:

Dreams
Psyche
Motion
Emotion
Intuition
Subconscious

Animal symbolism of the beaver also deals with working diligently. The dams and these beavers build are sometimes eight feet tall and span across entire bodies of water. That kind of accomplishment doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen by just wishing of completion. The beaver says: “yeah, it’s great to have dreams, but you have to work at them to make the real!”

But it’s not all work and no play in the Beaverville. Play, enjoyment, fun and games are also among the beaver animal symbolism. Specifically, the beaver shares quality time with family. This is also another key symbol for us – it reminds us to take time for ourselves, and our family.

The beaver admonishes unbalance, and encourages us to set our priorities right. Working to fulfill life-long dreams is admirable, but not at the expense of neglecting our friends and family. Beaver Animal Totems Facilitate:


Clearer understanding of our subconscious thoughts and dreams
Ability to mold our thoughts more constructively to suit our needs
Determination to follow our dreams
Diligence to keep and reach our goals
Balance and flexibility concerning ourselves and our expectations
Take time for self, friends and family. The people in our lives are most precious

Call on the spirit of your beaver totem when you:


Need encouragement or inspiration in reaching your goals
When you've got the blues, and need a boost of energy (beaver is better than B-12!)
You're starting new creative projects or building new business deals
You're attending a family reunion or class reunion
You need a little more structure discipline in the family
You've want more clarity in dream interpretation or subconscious realms.

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Crab Meanings and Animal Symbolism of the Crab

These creatures are lunar symbols, as indicated in the Tarot where a crab (or sometimes a lobster or crayfish) is indicated on the Moon card and enhances the overall symbolism this card represents.

Indeed, the moon symbolically serves as a matronly guardian of the crab, and oversees its wellbeing amidst its watery world. More about moon and its symbolism can be found here.

Astrologically, the sign of Cancer carries the symbol of the crab. More about this intriguing sign can be found here.

Crabs cast off their shells for new ones, and this is where the rebirth/cycling association plays its part.

The protective animal symbolism is evident in the hard, spiny exo-skeleton found with these creatures.

When the crab crawls into our consciousness we're reminded of the cyclical nature in our lives and what protection we may need for the path on which we embark.

The Crab signifies prosperity, success and high status in Chinese symbolism because the Chinese word referring to its shell is a pun on the term used for the highest score a candidate can make on the Chinese Imperial Examinations (first, or jia). Two crabs represent the first and second scores of the Examinations.

Crab animal symbolism includes attributes such as...

Cycles
Trust
Emotion
Protection
Regeneration
Transformation

As an animal totem, the crab's ambulation is noteworthy. Never taking a direct (forward, or head-on) route, the crab makes its way on land with a sideways tap-dance.

This is a reminder that not all paths are direct and not all ways will be forthcoming in their meaning. When you are moving in a certain direction, and you feel a bit misguided, call upon the travel-savvy crab. She will guide you in an unorthodox way - taking lesser known paths of least resistance and bring you to clarity.

The crab reminds us that we may live within the diversity of this world with the preparedness of a warrior (wearing armor), but we are born with this preparedness - we do not have to guard or defend ourselves on purpose.

In other words, when we relax and move in the waves of wellbeing - moving in the natural flow of things, we have no need for defense. All of our needs are met, and we are divinely cared for.

There's a reason for the old adage: "happy as a crab." It's because the crab is content to move with the natural cadence of the moon, the water, the land, and the perfect rhythm of nature. We would do well to follow her lead.

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Dolphin Totem Meanings and Symbolism

This page on the dolphin meaning comes in response to an overwhelming series of impressions I've gotten from the dolphin. They're everywhere!

From earrings, to movies. Wallpaper to conversations. Dolphins keep swimming in my awareness at every turn. That means it's time to swim along!

Considered the "king of fish" by many ancient cultures, dolphin meaning is closely associated with kingly qualities. Not the dominating kind. Observe the dolphin for any length of time and you know if dolphins ruled the world they would be gracious in their reign.

And that is the core theme to dolphin meanings. Grace.

A quick-list of symbolic dolphin meaning includes:

Playfulness
Transcendence
Gentleness
Harmony
Intelligence
Contentment
Friendship
Community
Resurrection
Generosity
Power

Christian symbolism conveys the dolphin as an aspect of Christ. Dolphins seen in Christian art are symbolic of resurrection. Some artists utilize the protective, stabilizing, compassionate demeanor of the dolphin as a message of wellbeing to the pure of heart. Some artistic renditions speak of dolphins transporting the spirits of the faithful to Christ's side upon leaving their physical bodies.

This dolphin meaning is mimicked in ancient Greece where legend tells us the dolphin was responsible for carrying the souls of the dead to the Islands of the Blessed.

Also in Greece, the dolphin is a compatriot of both the god Apollo (sun) and the goddess Aphrodite (moon). Both lunar symbolism and solar symbolism are represented in the dolphin.

Sun Dolphin meanings: Active, Life, Vibrant, Health, Renewal, Intelligence
Moon Dolphin meaning: Hidden power, Intuition, Dreams, Conception, Feminine

This is a key understanding because the dolphin meaning is connected with themes of duality. It has to do with the dolphin being both fish and mammal. It is both of the water, and an air breather. Ergo, dolphin symbolism talks to us about "being in two worlds at once." Indeed, the dolphin is a great conveyor of the concept of yin and yang.

Along with the divine Apollo sun and Aphrodite moon associations, other deities associated with the dolphin include:

Poseidon (Greek), Neptune (Roman)
Themes of kingship, rulership, authority, strength, dominion, freedom, intelligence, compassion and fatherly protection over the entire kingdom (sea).
Eros (Greek), Cupid (Roman)
These gods contribute dolphin meaning of: Love, friendliness, playfulness, sensuality, desire, exploration, curiosity, attraction and joy.
Dionysus (Greek), Bacchus (Roman)
These deities underscore the dolphins ability to uplift, and carries themes of joviality, freedom, wildness, abandon, creative self-expression.

Greek myth indicates Dionysus was known to turn himself into a dolphin and transported the shrine at Delphi where the cult of dolphin worshippers convened.

The term delphi is noteworthy as the Greek word for dolphin is delphis and its derivative, delphys means womb. This incorporates more lunar and feminine attributes to the dolphin scene.

In Celtic animal symbolism, the dolphin as a highly honored creature as it was seen as the protector of sacred wells and sacred water. The dolphin, to the Celtic mind, is the watcher of the waters, and the guardians of all things water-associated.

Pirate lore also hails the dolphin as a symbol of protection. Indeed, legend admits dolphin sightings were often exaggerated into incredibly fantasies of mermaids. Sailors often understood the spirit of mermaids lived in the heart of the dolphin, and ancient stories of the sea refer to dolphins metamorphosing into beautify sea maidens (and mermaids) if seen under just the right conditions.

Whether this is true or not remains to be confirmed. What is true is countless tales of dolphins interacting with humans in friendly, even protective ways. This colors the dolphin meaning in hues of compassion, caring, community and generous spirit in reaching out to connect with another species.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on dolphin meaning and dolphin symbolism.

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To fully appreciate the symbolic meanings of fish, we must first consider their watery domain.

Water holds ancient symbolic meanings dealing with the subconscious and depth of knowledge. Water contains all the mysteriousness of the unknown.

Consider the murky depths of the ocean – we never know quite what to expect there. Even seasoned oceanic explorers are still awed by their findings from the deep.

Water holds endless mystery to us – it represents that which is certainly there, but cannot be seen.

Water has also been known to be a womb symbol and as such, an emblem of birth, fertility and woman-ness. This association comes from many ancient flood myths, and the “from water springs life” concept.

Given the wonder that its domain holds, the fish too has similar symbolic meaning. There are numerous species of fish, but the creature in general holds some prime symbolic meanings:

fertility
eternity
creativity
femininity
good luck
happiness
knowledge
transformation

The fish was sacred to the Greco-Roman mythology, where it held symbolic meaning of change and transformation. We see this in the myth of Aphrodite and Heros when they turned themselves into fish in order to escape from the ferocious Typhon.

In Christianity, the fish is a symbol of abundance and faith as observed in the Biblical story of fishes and loaves. There are also several Biblical references as Christ and his disciples being “fishers of men.” Here, man is represented as the transformational fish and the ocean is a symbol of the abyss of sin in which man finds himself.

Pagan traditions recognized the fish as a feminine symbol of fertility and an attribute of the Goddess. Water is a natural emblem of the flow of the Divine Mother principal, and as such, all creatures of the water (including fish) are aspects of the fertility and power of the female deity.

As an ancient Celtic symbol, the symbolic meaning of fish (salmon, specifically) dealt with knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and prophecy. Ancient Celts believed the salmon derived its wisdom from consuming the sacred hazel nuts from the well of knowledge (Segais). Further, they believed to eat the salmon would mean gaining the wisdom of the well too.

In ancient Eastern Indian mythology, the fish is a symbol of transformation and creation. This is observed in the ancient flood myth in which Vishnu transformed himself into a fish (Matsya) to save the world from a great flood. In this form, he guided king Manu’s boat (which contained the select few survivors & seeds of life to re-create the world after the flood subsided) to safety.

Ancient African creation myths tell of Mangala, the creator, planting seeds in the cosmic womb. From these seeds two fish erupted, and were set forth into the cosmos upon the waters of creation. We see from this myth the symbolic meaning of fish yet again deals with fertility and creativity by embodying a new phase of initial life. ( click here for other twin symbols).

In China, the fish is symbolic of unity and fidelity as it is noted that fish (particularly koi) often swim together in pairs. With this in mind, fish are often given as wedding gifts in the form of charms or figurines to present the newly-wed couple with an auspicious sign of fidelity and perfect union. They also represent fertility and abundance due to their ability to reproduce in speed and volume.

Furthermore, in Buddhism, the fish symbolizes happiness and freedom. Also the fish makes an appearance as one of the eight sacred symbols of the Buddha: 1) Conch, 2) Lotus, 3) Parasol, 4) Wheel, 5) Knot, 6) Pair of Golden Fish, 7) Banner of Victory, 8) Vase.

Lastly, in Norse and ancient European cultures, the fish had symbolic meanings of adaptability, determination, and the flow of life. It was observed by these cultures that fish often display enormous attributes of adaptability in the wild, and they adopted these characteristics for themselves. Salmon were commonly revered for their determination in their annual pilgrimage to their spawning grounds – the entire journey swum against the current.

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Frog Meanings and Symbolism

When the frog jumps into your life it may indicate now is a time to find opportunities in transition. We see animal symbolism of transition with the frog in its unique growth cycle. The frog undergoes incredible transformations to reach the destination of full adulthood, and so do we as humans.

The frog understands what it is like to undergo some serious growing pains – and so it is a fantastic animal totem for teenagers as they sometimes struggle to find their place (in-betwix youth and adulthood) in society.

In many cultures the primary symbolic meaning of frogs deals with fertility. This is largely because these cultures observed Frogs laying enormous quantities of eggs, therefore making it a fertility symbol as well as a symbol of abundance.

A quick-list for animal symbolism of the frog includes:

Luck
Purity
Rebirth
Renewal
Fertility
Healing
Metamorphosis
Transitions
Dreaming
Opportunity
Intermediary

In Egypt we see the Frog-headed Heket who is an Egyptian goddess of birth(ing).

As a Celtic symbol meaning, the Frog was deemed lord over all the earth, and the Celts believed it represented curative or healing powers because of its connection with water and cleansing rains. More Western and European views focus on the Frog's three stages of development (egg, tadpole, fully formed amphibian) to symbolize resurrection and spiritual evolution. For these same reasons it is also a common Christian symbol for the holy trinity and resurrection. It is often seen in Christian art to express this symbolism.

In China the Frog is an emblem of Yin energy and thought of as good luck. Feng Shui practices recommend putting an image of a Frog in the east window of your home to encourage child birth and/or happy family life.

Frog energy is also considered to be a link between the living and the dead. An interesting ancient Asian custom was to place a jade frog in the mouth of the deceased to insure his/her spirit would pass safely into the spirit world. This custom was believed to allow the spirit of the deceased to speak more clearly to loved ones still living.

Frogs are also good luck symbols in Japan - especially for travelers. Images or charms were worn during long voyages to assure safety (particularly across water).

I have a friend, Albert who lives in Japan. He shared further Japanese wisdom animal symbolism of the frog. The Japanese word for frog is "kaeru." It is the same word meaning "return." So travelers carry a small frog amulet with the intent of returning safely home.

Further, small pebble-sized frog amulets are carried in their wallets so money will not be lost

Ancient Hindus viewed the animal symbolism of frogs on a more cosmic levels, as they believe Frogs projected the world into orbit in space, and the frog was also thought to signify darkness.

Call upon the energy of the frog when:

You need to easily swim through some tough life-transitions
You need a little assurance while traveling
You are working to enhance your intuition, and strengthen your connection with the spirit world

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I love how the Japanese incorporate animal symbolism into their daily life. We see great examples of this in the Japanese symbolic meanings of fish, specifically koi fish.

The term nishikigoi in Japanese means "colored carp" and refers to the magical realm of koi fish.

The Japanese recognized these fish not just for their beauty, but for their ability to transform the observer into otherworldy states of perception. These altered states of perception ultimately lead to the attraction of high energy - and this manifests in the form of prosperity of all kinds in our lives.

You've got to admit, fish are quite mesmorizing - consider the shimmery copper scales of a goldfish. With just a subtle shift in observation those glistening scales become daydreamy coins, or starlit skies, or sequins on a lovely ladies' dress - dancing only to you in your far off thoughts.

You see? Fish have the power to take us into lands of fantasy - they let our analytical minds drop out of sight and allow our imaginations to roam the seas of our thoughts for awhile.

This ability comes from their elaborate colors and fluid motion. Additionally, much animal symbolism of fish comes from their watery world. Water is the realm of motion, emotion, dreams and the psyche (click here for symbolic meanings of water). It's no wonder these creatures capture our imaginations!

The Japanese symbolism of fish goes so far as to categorize certain fish according to their attributes. Each classification is proposed to elicit a specific outcome. For example:

Yamabuki: The gold fish represents (of course) gold, wealth and prosperity.


Ogon: The platinum colored fish also represents the fulfillment of wealth in the form of success in business.


Kumonryu: A midnight black colored fish that is named after a Japanese dragon of transformation - and this fish is said to bring about change in life circumstances.


Kohoku: A white and red fish (known as a "cap" fish with white body and a red mark on its head) believed to encourage advancement in career.


Kuchibeni: Also white and red (known as a "lipstick" fish with a white body and red markings around the mouth) said to inspire long lasting, loving relationships.

Tap into this creature's transformative power by exploring more information on the Japanese symbolism of fish.

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Octopus Meaning and Symbolism

Diverse and impressive, octopus animal symbolism requires years of exploration and demands innumerable pages of symbolic explanation.

Truth be known, I’ve got a soft spot for the octopus. She’s come to me on several occasions, imparting much needed and (to me) sacred insight.

The following bulletpoints and paragraphs detail some of these insights on a symbolic, spiritual, energetic level. Because of her endless attributes, I’ve provided only a few areas of contemplation here (I was serious about the octopus deserving a book for all her implications in my blog post on the octopus here).

A quick-list of octopus animal symbolism includes attributes such as...

Will
Focus
Magic
Reason
Illusion
Defense
Mystery
Strategic
Potential
Knowing
Diversity
Creativity
Flexibility
Expansion
Complexity
Intelligence
Adaptability
Insatiability
Unpredictability

If you are drawn to the octopus, I encourage you to begin your own personal journey to tap into the secret knowledge this amazing creature provides. You can do this through research, meditation, and by directly inquiring into the energetic depths of the octopus.

You will find the more you slip into the energetic realm of the octopus, the more secrets she will offer up to your consciousness.

The octopus loves a voracious student, and will serve up profound lessons to those who seek them from her.

Even the habitat of the octopus speaks of mystery and wonder. As a creature of the water, the octopus holds animal symbolism pertaining to:

Purity
Psyche
Motion
Emotion
Fluidity
Intuition
Creativity
Flexibility

Water carries these attributes for several reasons. It is influenced by the wax and wane of the moon, and the moon is associated with psyche, intuition and emotion. The moon and water are also feminine or yin attributes.

Additionally, water takes the form in which it is held – this makes it symbolic of flexibility, adaptability and creativity.

Creation is born from a balance between expansive freedom and working within an established parameter. Water perfectly illustrates this balance.

The octopus moves skillfully in a realm that is in constant motion. Ever changing, shifting, and wafting in accordance with the pull of the moon, the octopus’ depth of mystery is enhanced by it own environmental aura.

Although vastly mobile and quite the traveler, the octopus is primarily a bottom dweller. In symbolic (totem) terms this is analogous of being grounded while still having the ability to exist in the watery world of the psyche. Those with the octopus as their totem would do well to recognize this analogy. It reminds us that we may be spiritual and intuitively gifted; nonetheless we are physical beings and must temper our psychic gifts with strong foundational grounding.

We derive more animal symbolism of the octopus by observing her physically too.

From eyesight, to the ability to regenerate, the octopus’ physicality is a feast for our symbolic interpretations.

Octopi are invertebrates, meaning they do not have a structured spinal column. This is symbolic of agility, grace and flexibility. She is able to slip out of the tightest places, and ambulate as if she is the embodiment of water itself. Take the time to observe the way the octopus moves – it’s hypnotic. As a totem, the octopus reminds us to loosen up – relax. She reminds us that we may move towards our goals in unorthodox ways and still achieve the same (if not better) results.

The octopus can detach a limb at will to serve as a distraction against would-be predators. From a totem perspective we could translate this to mean that we ourselves have the ability to cut loose excess baggage in our lives in order to achieve our desire.

Here the octopus asks us: What can we cut loose from our lives to lighten our load? Furthermore, what part of ourselves can we leave behind in order to bring us closer to our highest good? Often these parts serve as distractions (i.e., addictions, TV, unhealthy relationships).

Added elements of symbolic diversity enter the stage when we learn the octopus can regenerate these limbs. The ability to grow back a part of the body that has been removed is symbolic of:

Time
Unity
Cycles
Evolution
Regeneration

This ability reminds us that our essence is never lost to us. Even the parts of ourselves we give up (such as our addictions as mentioned above) are never permanently removed. We are the sum of our parts (for better or worse) and even those parts we set aside shape our personality upon our path in life. This is a lesson in acceptance, forgiveness, diversity, and embracing all of our facets.

The octopus is extremely intelligent with the ability to reason, strategize, and recall information. The octopus reminds us to use our logic to our highest advantage. She urges us to be the master of our intelligence, not the slave. By using our reasoning skills the way the octopus does we are utilizing a tool.

Another tool worth mentioning is the octopus’ use of camouflage. She is the master of disguises, further emphasizing her animal symbolism of mystery, secretiveness, and esoteric knowledge.She can disappear and reappear before our wondering eyes.

As if this isn’t impressive on its own merit, the octopus pulls a secondary veil over reality by ejecting a thick, black ink into the waters as a method of escape. Dark clouds left in her wake leave the octopus’ attackers lost and confused.

This is a metaphor for illusion. The octopus reminds us that nothing is as it seems. Behind our physicality there is a vast reality imbued with subtle wonder and shimmery brilliance. By observing the mystery of the octopus, we are encouraged to peek behind this veil of reality for ourselves.

This peeking about is the opening of consciousness. This process is also seen in the animal symbolism of the octopus by her spiraling limbs. In symbolism, myth and legend the spiral is a representation of expanding consciousness and the ongoing creative process of the universe.

Take a moment to observe this spiraling motion of the octopus (you can really see this in the reverse portion of the film above). Now we see why the Celts, Minoans, Greeks and other cultures associated the evolutionary spiral symbolism with the octopus.

It should be clear the octopus has expansive worlds of knowledge, experience and vision to offer us. Indeed, those who have been touched by her wonder are left with an insatiable desire to know more.

Once touched by the octopus, this awe can never be slaked, and this is a very good thing for us. This thirst predicts that we will forever be on the path of learning more about this amazing creature and ourselves, because the animal symbolism of the octopus is synonymous with “expansion.”

Connect with the octopus through conscious thought, meditation, invocation, and any other path that you deem beneficial to your growth. How do we do this? Here are some suggestions:

Ask the octopus for its guidance
Respectfully ask to enter its immense energy system just prior to meditation
Make up and sing songs about the octopus
Write about her, with free-association writing, poems, epics, blogging – whatever - just start writing your impressions of the octopus
Create dance moves in her honor that mimic the octopus’ movements
Paint her, draw her, pin up images of her on your corkboards or walls

Do whatever moves you in order to draw yourself more closely into her spiraling depths. The octopus will see your voracious tenacity to connect and she will reward your genuine intent in equal portion.

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Salamander Meaning and its Totemic/Animal Symbolism

Perhaps the most profound symbolic meanings of the salamander are evident when we observe it in nature. To illustrate, the symbolism of water deals with transformation, intuition and motion. Therefore, water dwelling creatures such as the salamander hold symbolism of psyche, spirituality, emotion, and ease of motion. These attributes are intensified by the salamander's nocturnal nature because night time is symbolic of shadows, secrets, dreams, intuition and psychic abilities too.

The animal symbolism of the salamander is deals with:

Vision
Energy
Secrets
Growth
Balance
Emotion
Renewal
Transition
Awareness
Spirituality
Adaptability
Opportunistic
Enlightenment
Resourcefulness

Quite a diverse list of attributes, isn't it? That's because the salamander itself is a diverse creature. In fact, its symbolic meanings are a bit slippery (pardon the pun) because the salamander is an unorthodox creature with a many outstanding qualities.

One such duality is that it is considered a solar power animal, yet it is primarily nocturnal, preferring to hunt for food in the evening hours. This is a lesson for us to demonstrate balance in our lives. In this case, the salamander also asks us to make the best use of our time (both day and night) and wisely balance the opportunities we have at our fingertips.

Salamanders regrow their tail and limbs if lost in near-missed bites from their predators or other calamities. This is symbolic of renewal, regeneration, rebirth and growth. Here the salamander beckons us to call upon our deepest internal resources to produce the development we require in our lives. It is also a message that there is never loss, and to seek out renewal whenever possible.

Animal symbolism of the salamander continues when we learn it is cold blooded. This is analogous of adaptability and adjusting to our environment. The salamander asks us to perceive the changes going on around us and adapt to our best ability rather than fight against the changes.

The salamander comes to those who are in need of change in their lives. The salamander evolutionary feat to observe, and as such, it asks us to evolve in our own lives.

As you can see, the symbolism of the salamander is far-reaching and practically inexhaustible. I would encourage you to invest the time with this fascinating creature. Get to know the salamander, sincerely ask for the wisdom it has to offer. In time this noble creature may even allow you to adopt it as an animal totem.

Either way the knowledge of the salamander is to be honored like a fiery gem glistening within your psyche.

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The symbolic meaning of seahorse is quite intricate and diverse as this little creature itself is full of surprises.

The seahorse is quite a unique creature, and thought to have mystical significance among the Ancient Greeks, European (alchemists) and Asians.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Neptune/Poseidon and as such, the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power.

Further, the ancient Eurpeans believed that the seahorse carried the souls of deceased sailors to the underworld - giving them safe passage and protection until the met their soul’s destination.

Chinese cultures believed that the seahorse was a type of sea dragon, and as such they were revered for their power and thought to be symbols of good luck.

Sailors have long viewed the seahorse as a good luck charm too.

Symbolic meaning of Seahorses carry the following significances:

Patience
Friendliness
Protection
Inflexibility
Perspective
Generosity/Sharing
High-Perception
Persistence
Contentment

A relatively calm, and mild-mannered creature, the seahorse is seemingly content to roam the seas. Their bodies are geared for ambling-type motion - not for speed. Thus, they are symbolic of patience and contentment - they are happy with being where they are, and are in no hurry for advancement.

Further testimony to these attributes is the lack of evolution of the seahorse’s body style. They have remained with this body style without change since their inception. Content to be who they are, and not feeling the need to change - these are a few profound lessons the seahorse provides us.

However, along with a resistence to change, and a carefree approach to progress, the seahorse can be a symbol of inflexibilty or stubborness. To wit, the seahorse wraps its tail around the nearest object in order to anchor itself in turbulent waters. This is a lesson to be persistent in our goals, but be mindful that we are not too inflexible or stubborn in our achieving them.

A unique aspect of the seahorse is that the male is impregnated by the female and carries the offspring to term. This is a message of sharing the load in the home, and gaining perspective of both sides (genders) of an argument or situation.

The seahorse has a boney exoskeleton which is a message of protection. Often when the seahorse comes to us it is a sign that we either need protection from our external circumstances, or we are building walls that aren’t needed. Their armor-bodies are a sign that sometimes we might need to let our guard down - or perhaps we are leaving too open to get hurt.

Lastly among the long list of symbolic meaning of the seahorse and its lessons is the idea of perception. The eyesight of the seahorse is incredibly sharp, and each eye moves independently. We take this as a symbolic message of perception and awareness of those around us and our situations. When we are lost or confused, the seahorse asks us to take a good look around - not just with our physical eyes but with our spiritual eyes in order to get a better persepective of the situations.

Thus concludes this summary on the symbolic meaning of the seahorse.

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Shark Meaning and Totem Symbolism

Sharks have been swimming in my awareness, and I love when this happens because it's a clear sign my energy is primed for focus - it's time to ruminate and write about shark totem symbolism. Shark also confirms self-trust, and a points me into forward momentum in my life.

There are some creatures in Nature's cradle who speak so clearly of their energetic symbolism. The shark totem is one with crystalline expression. To wit, one look at these extraordinary creatures conveys a message of sleek authority.

And the shark is an authority on all fronts of survival. In fact, those who connect with the shark totem will be masters at survival in their own waters of life. Shark people are extremely adept at summing up social situations, manipulating people and events (I don't mean that in a bad way).

A quick-list of Shark Totem symbolic meanings includes:

Calculating
Perceptive
Primal
Instinctive
Ancient
Knowing
Powerful
Focused
Mystery
Perpetual Motion
Dynamic
Unique Vision
Curious
Effective
Innovative
Superior
Efficient
Equipped

People with the shark totem navigate through life with a specialized "gut-rudder." What's a gut-rudder? That's what I call a primal instinct. It's a visceral, hard-wired knowing that guides certain humans. It's infallible, reliable, and geared for one thing only: To protect the sacred. And what is sacred? Life.

The shark is both oracle and embodiment of fundamental life. The shark relays root-chakra energy to me because of its superior instinct, and that remarkable drive for survival. That's a prime root chakra concept : Ancient Instinct. Primal Knowing.

Furthermore, sharks are symbolic of acting on life. They never wait for opportunity. They are not handmaiden's to the life experience. Far from it. Because they are authorities on life - they know precisely what it's about and they seize it with verve.

This is made manifest by their constant motion. They move to allow oxygenated currents roll over their gills. Their motion through life - actively moving forward - insures their existence. Moreover, most sharks sink when motionless (a side effect of not having a "swim bladder" as most fish do). They can't afford to be still.

This carries symbolism for those who embrace their shark totem. It identifies the tendency for forward momentum in life. If sharks swim in your awareness, it's very likely you are extremely driven and perpetually moving forward. You meet life full-on. You rarely stay in the "shallow end" of life, but prefer to move deftly through the waves of experience - encountering adventure with undeniable exuberance.

And for all this zealous talk of life, the shark is also symbolically equipped to share lessons of death too. Actually, sharks know death is a fallacy. They have no concept of it. Sharks are in a constant state of renewal, and those with the shark totem will confirm the absence of death. Sharks, and humans attuned to sharks will only see renewal - only transition.

Sharks are superior organisms. From tail to teeth, sharks convey perpetual fluidity and momentum. They are examples of progress in its most assertive stages. To wit, their biological mechanisms are so elite, they've had no need to evolve over insane spans of time. They function from a place of timeless propulsion. Ever-forward.

Perhaps it is the sharks unsinkable nature that makes it a bit of a cold character (energetically speaking). Sharks are about aerodynamic efficiency, and they allow no fluff to enter their consciousness. They're quite austere and are wrapped in robes of distance and mystery.

Those with shark totems will display similar aloofness. Inwardly, they sense the waves of emotions within and around them. Yet, outwardly they are cool, controlled, steely. This makes people of the shark clan extremely good businessmen/women, leaders and visionaries.

It's important to note the inherent duality here. The element of water is esoterically symbolic of emotions, dreams and intuition. And yet, the shark conveys a sterility in emotion. To be clear, the shark is not symbolically devoid of emotion. Rather, it is a master of emotion.

This symbolic lesson is tantamount for humankind, and the lesson is this: We can be submerged in emotional dramas, but we do not have to be swallowed by them.

Whether or not you relate to the shark as a totem, this is a sacred conveyance of emotional wisdom - a most vital gift of the shark.

Indeed, shark wisdom is so profound, it's worth a summary. So, a recap of symbolic shark messages & shark totem meanings:

Be active in life.
Attune to natural instinct.
Be propelled forward (do not regress) in your evolution.
Although surrounded by emotions, you need not be consumed by them.
Swim the path of least resistance in life, be efficient and direct in your navigations.

Lastly, let this video draw your attention to the grace inherent in the shark's mobility. Such a uniquely equipped creature, with so many (seeming) contradictions. We see an energy in the shark that is so linear and spear-like in its objective....yet, at the same time there is such delicate elegance.

All the paradoxes about the shark is why I avidly appreciate its presence in my awareness.

In closing, I urge you to dive into the energetic matrix of shark energy, and swim into your own symbolic realizations about this magnificent animal. Thanks for reading & entertaining these thoughts on shark symbolism and the shark totem.

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Turtle Meanings and Totem/Animal Symbolism of the Turtle

Those with the turtle as their animal totem can relate to the "sure and steady" message this creature brings to our lives.

It is also a powerful totem for protection as withdrawing into it's shell is an amazing self-defense mechanism.

The turtle has few predators, which gives it an innocent energy. This also increases its lifespan, and so holds the symbolic meaning for longevity in many cultures.

Animal symbolism of the turtle includes:

Order
Creation
Patience
Strength
Stability
Longevity
Innocence
Endurance
Protection

Because of its seemingly wide-eyed, long-lived, carefree attitude the turtle is often thought to be the wisest of souls among the animal kingdom. We would all do well to take this as a lesson and move at our own pace as the turtle does.

Furthermore, the turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time - not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural methods. Again, this is a powerful analogy for humankind, and we would benefit from adopting the same behavior pattern.

Tutles share an association with water, which lends meanings of motion, intuition and emotion to the myriad of more symbolic meanings of the turtle.

Other associations for the turtle include:

Water
Winter
Humidity
Venus (Roman)
Aphrodite (Greek)
Northern directions
Lunar (moon aspect)
Femininity (except in African lore where it is considered a male symbol)

In China and Japan the turtle is a symbol for longevity.

In Asian myth the turtle represents cosmic order:

Its shell is symbolic of the heavens
Its body symbolic of the earth
Its undershell represents the underworld.

Furthermore, it is considered to have brought about the creation of the universe from its parts.

What's more, the turtle is a symbol of motherhood and creation.

Divination or foretelling has been known to be conducted by reading a turtle's shell and underbelly. These parts of the turtle are said to depict a map of the stars and sacred writings. Furthermore, most turtle shells are divided into thirteen sections which is associated with the thirteen phases of the moon in a year.

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Whale Totem Meaning

Where the edge of land ends and the fringe of vast oceans begins is a threshold of mammoth proportions. To garner in-depth understanding of symbolic whale meaning, we've got to pay homage to its environment, the oceans of our planet.

The oceans, and water in general holds age-old symbolism of emotional depth (I've written about potential water symbolism here, if you're interested). As humans, we all experience an array of emotions. Some are on the surface; we can experience these emotions easily because they float on top of our life-experience as driftwood on the surface of the water. We can observe these top-layer emotions clearly, they are familiar and we deal with them daily. Other emotions, however, run very deep within us. Some emotions we burry beneath the fathoms of our consciousness; these emotions are the leviathans of our being - the lumbering beasts we dare not let surface.

From this perspective, we can easily relate to the depth and breadth of water with the essence of emotions. Given its habitat is the water realms, the totem meaning of the whale largely deals with emotions too. The whale symbolizes emotional creativity, well-being, nurturing as well as emotional depth.

Those who are magnetized by whale energy will tend to be incredibly deep in sensitivity. The depth of feeling whale-totem-people endure can be overwhelming. Whale people are super-perceptive about the feelings of those around them, and this can manifest into an internal pressure that can be quite crushing. The whale can help with overwhelment of feelings and even temper the onslaught of emotions picked up from other people too. If you are extraordinarily affected by the emotions of others, or your own emotions are so intense as to cause discomfort, your whale totem can help.

Why? Because whales are masters of:

Navigation: Moving through emotional depths
Communication: Effectively expressing emotional experiences
Conservation: Using emotional energy for fuel and not being consumed by emotional floods

I love poking through old myths and parables, especially when exploring totem meaning and the whale has plenty legends to its name. From Native American to Islam, the whale is featured prominently in ancient lore. Take the prophet Jonah. It's a classic passage in the Bible. I'm fortunate to know a several Biblical scholars, and I've talked to these folks (thanks to Robert, Jim and Diane!) about the deeper symbolic meaning of Jonah's three days and three nights in the bellies of the mega ketos ("great fish" in Greek), dag gadul ("big fish" in Hebrew), and the nun in Arabic - all terms describing the huge fish-whale who swallowed Jonah in the Biblical account. My Bible-savvy pals relate the story as an allegory of deliverance of the Jews from Babylonian capture. The great mother of Babylon's first queen (Semiramis) was Derceto, and the Babylonian sea goddess Derceto (a behemoth being of the sea) is the very same 'great fish' who swallowed Jonah. This perspective illustrates the Jews' liberation from Babylonian captivity with Jonah being expelled from Derceto's belly.

What intrigued me further was discussions deeper emotional allegory associated with Jonah's account. Imagine the emotional duress Jonah endured. Charged with the task (from God, no less) to travel to Ninevah and speak to the people about the righteous path of God. Now, at the time, Ninevah was quite inhospitable, and it was highly unlikely they would be keen to hear what Jonah had to say. Knowing this, Jonah retreated from his responsibility, essentially hiding from his soul-purpose (God) and that's when the mammoth beast of the sea swallows him whole.

We've all been in Jonah's sandals. We've all had a scary task to set before us, a heavy task with potentially frightening responsibilities placed on our shoulders. When we turn away from these responsibilities (knowing what we should do, yet refusing) it churns up massive emotional upheaval. We become swallowed ourselves in an emotional quagmire. We stew in our emotional soup, until we reach a boiling point. We all struggle with emotional buildup over choices we need to make, or even those choices we cannot bear to execute. Some of us, after days and nights of stewing within the womb of the soul, finally emerge (spit from the whale, so to speak) with renewed determination and a rekindling of faith. Others of us return to the emotional abyss until we can process our fears and indecision into a more refined state of being.

This kind of emotional swallowing, digesting and processing is key to whale totem meaning. Luckily, the whale can facilitate emotional clarity, and help us navigate through the often ambiguous and confusing seas of emotion. Whales themselves are incredibly nurturing; we see this in how they raise their young as well as their close-knit connection to others in their community herds or pods. Whales, and those with whale totems have a natural affinity for helping, especially promoting well-being within their community. People who are attracted to the whale often feel devoted to a greater cause, and although they may struggle with their own personal emotions, they tend to naturally conjure healing powers towards others in emotional trauma. Does this sound familiar to you? If you have these tendencies, I encourage you to swim deeply with the whale in your meditations and prayers. Navigating the emotional waters with the whale by your side will afford guidance and clarity.

Whales ask us to embrace the unknown, and that's precisely why they are so connected to the emotional depths of the oceans. To be sure, our current circumstances are born from an emotional womb. In other words, our reality is intrinsically connected to our thought and our emotional choices. It can be frustrating and confusing to track down the emotional origin of the stuff that's manifested in our lives, and the whale can help us understand, on a deeper level, the actions that have caused unrest in our daily life.

In many sects of Native wisdom, the whale is symbolic of the beginning, the creation of all life on earth as we know it. They aren't the only ones. Countless cultures around the globe associate themes of creation, birth and rebirth with the whale. Other symbolic suggestions to add to whale totem meaning include:

Deeper Awareness
Cosmic Consciousness
Emotional Rebirth and Understanding
Nurturing and Devotion to Community
Appreciation for Beauty, (especially song and dance)
The Importance of Balance (emotional and otherwise)

I hope these philosophical ponderings about whale symbolism and whale totem meaning has inspired you to dive more deeply into the cetacean realms. Perhaps these insights might inspire you to meditate and soulfully contemplate the presence of the whale in your own life. To be sure, joining with whale energy in your devotionals will eventually lead you to a cohesive view - an expansive clarity into the deeper fathoms of your emotional worlds.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:01 pm

Reptile Animal Totem Meanings

Reptile Animal Totems are special due to their cold-blooded nature. The phenomenon of reptile body temperature changing with their surroundings makes them a supreme symbol of adaptation. As most reptiles body functions depend on their body temperature this makes them dependent upon their surroundings too. Even so, reptiles are never slaves to external conditions. This is because they are super-intuitive, and fiercely independent.

If you are in contact with reptile animal totems on any kind, tune into the message they are trying to convey to you. Very often, the message reveals hints about dealing with difficult situations (adaptation) – and doing so wisely, while still maintaining integrity. Also, the message might also relate to a matter of independence – a reminder to not be a slave to your external conditions – and realizing that internal changes will truly set you free.


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Dream Lizard Meanings and Symbolism

I've gotten a few questions about animal symbolism surrounding dream lizards, and what it means when we dream of lizards so I was prompted to write a few thoughts about this unique messenger.

They are flexible and adaptive to their environment, and the human psyche translates this as being symbolic of going with the flow and overcoming adverse external conditions.

Due to their scurrying natures, quick pace and lightning reaction times, the lizard is considered the consummate escape artist. This makes them symbolic of our ability to recognize danger and remove ourselves from harm's way when the situation calls for it.

Within the human collective consciousness, dream lizards can be symbolic of:

Adaptation
Variation
Flexibility
Shrewdness
Quickness
Introversion

Lizards win many of these attributes due to their cold blooded nature.

Furthermore, most lizards are gifted with various forms of camouflage, and trickery to allude predators (like detaching their tails of caught by a hungry predator so that the lizard can escape to live another day).

These gifts of illusion are symbolic messages to us that within us (as children of nature ourselves) we have impressive giftswe may utilize for our well-being.

The lizard comes with a message about our responsibility to recognize these hidden gifts and skills so that we may avoid harm, and live freely and happily as we are designed to live.

I hope you have enjoyed these observations about various dream symbol meaning. Don't let the dream end.

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Dream Lizard Meanings and Symbolism

I've gotten a few questions about animal symbolism surrounding dream lizards, and what it means when we dream of lizards so I was prompted to write a few thoughts about this unique messenger.

They are flexible and adaptive to their environment, and the human psyche translates this as being symbolic of going with the flow and overcoming adverse external conditions.

Due to their scurrying natures, quick pace and lightning reaction times, the lizard is considered the consummate escape artist. This makes them symbolic of our ability to recognize danger and remove ourselves from harm's way when the situation calls for it.

Within the human collective consciousness, dream lizards can be symbolic of:

Adaptation
Variation
Flexibility
Shrewdness
Quickness
Introversion

Lizards win many of these attributes due to their cold blooded nature.

Furthermore, most lizards are gifted with various forms of camouflage, and trickery to allude predators (like detaching their tails of caught by a hungry predator so that the lizard can escape to live another day).

These gifts of illusion are symbolic messages to us that within us (as children of nature ourselves) we have impressive giftswe may utilize for our well-being.

The lizard comes with a message about our responsibility to recognize these hidden gifts and skills so that we may avoid harm, and live freely and happily as we are designed to live.

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Snake symbolic meaning, overwhelmingly and in various cultures, deals with primordial life force and usually turns our attention to gender supremacy (both male and female).

Consequently, snakes span the symbolic bridge between lunar and solar associations as well as aspects between water and fire.

Coiled within this polarity, we clearly see symbolism of duality and the search for balance. Other snake symbolic meaning includes:

Cycles
Rebirth
Patience
Fertility
Eternity
Balance
Cunning
Intuition
Awareness
Healing
Intellect
Protection
Solemnity
Rejuvenation
Transformation
Occult (hidden) Knowledge
Male/Female, Yin-Yang, Duality


As a Native American Indian symbol (depending on the nation/tribe) the snake can be a masculine symbol, associated with the phallus of lightning which is considered a medicine staff of tremendous assertive power. Other tribes lean in the direction of feminine attribution for the snake and pair it with mothering (creation), and lunar (moon) symbolism.

Whether raising itself in masculine authority, or encircling the Earth in a motherly fashion – the snake symbol of the Native American’s was highly regarded; utilized in ritual to invoke an element of pointed focus and weighty influence.

The ancient Celts were extremely nature-wise too, and approached snake symbolism from the behavior and life cycle of this magnificent creature. From the Celtic perspective, the snake was a symbol of secret knowledge, cunning and transformation.

Further, the snake Celtic symbol comes from observations of the European viper (also known as the adder) which is the only (along with the common grass snake) species able to tolerate the colder climate of the ancient Celts.

In the keen Celtic mind, snake symbolic meaning of transformation came from the shedding of its skin. Physical evidence of leaving its form behind (casting off the old self), and emerging a sleeker, newer version made the snake a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal.

As far as the occult (hidden) symbolic meaning in Celtic and other cultures, this can be connected to the sleuth-like ways of the snake.

Disappearing in colder months and summoned by the sun marks the snake’s connection to the shadow worlds with its successful ability to live within the dark realms for extended periods of time. Alternatively, the snake softly moves into the embrace of the sun, and so it encapsulates the ancient magician's creed of moving in perfect rhythm of natural forces.

In Eastern Indian myth the Sanskrit word for snake is naga and these are associated with the element of water. Picking up water’s symbolism of emotion, love and motion, nagas in this light are considered a feminine aspect and embody nurturing, benevolent, wise qualities.

To wit, the practice of nagayuna in Eastern Indian alchemy seeks to achieve loving harmony between the physical and ethereal. Simply put, all of us striving to better ourselves by calmly easing into places of personal balance within the cosmic balance of the whole are practicing this ancient technique.

Snake tattoo symbolism varies according to the bearer of the mark. For example, I have a back piece depicting two serpents (nagas) wrapped around the seven prime chakras down the length of my spine. This (to me) incorporates the kundalini power available to all humans.

Additionally, this entwined snake imagery hearkens to the caduceus, in which the staves of Asclepius are made of two polar (and copulating) serpents which symbolizes balance, equanimity, union and regeneration.

Double snakes are common in almost all cultural symbolic languages. Ultimately the double snake is an icon representing:

Connection between primal forces
Integration of opposites
Advanced communication
Joining together on a divine level
Making whole what was once fragmented and doing so in a magical, organic way.

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Snake Double HelixCarrying this dual snake imagery a step further, we could look to the language of science. Observe the formation of DNA and how it forms a perfect, serpentine double helix (shown left). This prompts us to consider how the energetic mind is connected to the grander whole, and how it so effortlessly makes graceful connections between the basic building blocks of data with the manifestations of the natural world.

There is no doubt, the snake is a unifying force embodying infinite messages to those who are energetically available to perceive them. Alchemists understood this, and thus incorporated the philosophy of snakes in their grimoires, practices, and even their daily life.

Indeed, alchemy literature is rife with the image of the uroboros which is symbolic of conceptualizing totality – embracing the whole of consciousness and devouring it with unquenchable passion.

As an animal totem, the snake surfaces into our awareness with all the power of the symbolic attributes listed on this page (and more). Those who are drawn to the snake (and vice versa) are gifted at perceiving life through an uncommon lens. Other characteristics of those who are connected to snake energy include:

A natural ability to balance energies (you’re likely a gifted healer)
Diplomatic and eloquent in areas of speech and writing
Dynamically intuitive (often knowing other’s thoughts and emotional states without trying)
Impulsive, but not without careful consideration – this may sound paradoxical, but those with the snake totem know what I mean here.

I invite you to step into the calming energy of the snake, and see what this noble creature offers you in the form of messages, growth, and enlightenment.

Further, it should be understood this page is but a miniscule sampling of the diverse snake symbolic meaning s available to us. Therefore, I encourage you to slither into your own personal ruminations, research and meditation of the snake.

You will find your investment to be infinitely rewarding.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:16 pm

Air Animal Totem Meanings

As you will read in their descriptions, Air Animal Totems have a penchant for assisting us in matters of higher knowledge. Air being the most ethereal of elements, it's understandable that the creatures who inhabit it are able to lend the best understanding of it's invisible ways. Closest to the heavens, air animals are our best allies as they herald our desires to the very gods in the skies.

Air animal totems are also symbols of strength (both physical and mental) and sovereignty. Very important traits, particularly when we are experiencing new transitions or surroundings in our lives.

If air animal totems are catching your attention, you should feel very heartened by their presence. Allow their spirit to boost your confidence, and remind you that the ultimate power is within this present, unseen moment. Air animals are good omens, and their appearance is like a wink from god.


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Bat Animal Symbolism

Let's face it, the bat isn't the most popular of animal totems. In fact, it's largely misunderstood and so therefore many of its symbolic meanings are inappropriately fear-based.

However, the very savvy Native Americans approached the realm of animals from a position of honor - knowing that all things are connected. They understood that seeing the bat with fear in the heart would be the same as being terrified of their own children. Ridiculous.

The Native American animal symbolism of the bat comes from a keen observation of this magnificent animal. These people recognized that the bat was highly sensitive to their surroundings and so therefore was considered a symbol of intuition, dreaming and vision. This made the bat a powerful symbol for Native American shamans and medicine people. Often the spirit of the bat would be invoked when special energy was needed, like "night-sight" which is the ability to see through illusion or ambiguity and dive straight to the truth of matters.

It is a symbol of communication because the Native Americans observed the bat to be a highly social creature. Indeed, the bat has strong family ties. They are very nurturing, exhibiting verbal communication, touching, and sensitivity to members of their group.

Here is a quick-list of bat animal symbolism:

Illusion
Rebirth
Dreams
Intuition
Initiation
Journeying
Inner Depth
Communication

The bat is a symbol of rebirth and depth because it is a creature that lives in the belly of the Mother (Earth). From the womb-like caves it emerges every evening at dusk. And so - from the womb it is reborn every evening.

If you have the bat as your totem you are extremely aware of your surroundings. Sometimes you can be overly sensitive to the feelings of others. Additionally, you are quite perceptive on a psychic level, and are prone to have prophetic dreams.

If you work with the bat as your totem, you will be put to the test, because it is demands only 100% commitment to spiritual growth. The bat will never accept half-hearted or lukewarm attempts at self-improvement. Indeed, if the bat senses that you are slacking in your psychic/spiritual training it will likely move on to someone else who is more willing to learn the lessons the bat has to offer.

As with most of our hardest challenges, working with the demanding bat will reap some of the most profound rewards you could ever dream of. But be warned, the bat asks a lot of us, like:

Dying to our ego
Loving our enemies as ourselves
Going within to touch our inner demons
Exploring the underworlds of reality (which can be scary)
Renewing our thoughts and beliefs on a moment-to-moment basis

All of these tasks can be harrowing experiences. This is why the Native American symbolism of the bat deals with initiation; because this creature takes us to outlandish extremes. But rest assured, the bat is never leaves our side while we are journeying.

Furthermore, once we are tested to satisfaction, the devotion of the bat will never fade. It will eternally support us on our spiritual path - ever faithful and forever loving us on our journey to maintain our highest potential.

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Symbolic Meaning of Blackbirds

Birds robed in black do not give up their secrets easily. They love to watch us marvel over their messages. Black birds demand our commitment to learning their wisdom, and do not reveal their meanings unless they are convinced we've devoted ourselves completely to the path of understanding (both dark and light sides of) energy.

This concept correlates to lunar themes too. The symbolic meaning of blackbirds is eternally linked to the "dark vs light" phases of the moon. I'm talking nocturnal awareness. Illumined lunar understanding which requires a different use of the senses. Sense which can only be utilized when transformative devotion is made. A commitment to higher knowing (flight) and an acceptance of the void (infinite vastness that eludes the ego and rational mind).

This is a fundamental concept of alchemy which is: Transition and Transformation. The bird is symbolic of life in the heavens (higher ideals, higher path of knowing) and the color black is symbolic of pure potential. Between the two, there is no limit to human transformation - all we have to do is close the shutters of the rational mind, and start sojourning with our darkly feathered friends.

Black birds (in general) are archetypes of living life in higher realms, and are symbolic of:

Higher Intelligence
Higher Thought
Higher Ideals

This is because birds are (metaphorically and mythologically speaking), situated in proximity to the higher energies of the Universe. This also positions them as heavenly or divine oracles and messengers in cultural myths across the globe.

Blackbirds and birds of black or dark colors are special among their airy clan as they are the symbolic of:

Mystery
Magic
Secrets
The Unknown
Pure Potential
Non-obvious Perception

Through consistent unveiling of your inner depths, (as our coal-black avian friends would have us do) positive/active utilization of these inner impulses the esoteric secrets become exposed to the light of your own consciousness.

Are these concepts deep? Absolutely. It's the nature of the color black laid softly against airborne oracles (blackbirds, ravens, crows, etc).

It is no simple mind that summons these onyx beauties. Thankfully, these sky-clad lovelies will never come to a person who is not equipped to read the deeper meanings behind its presence. Better said: If you did not already know the answers, you would have never had the encounter.

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Blue Jay Animal Symbolism

Like the crow, magpie and raven, blue jays are talkative creatures utilizing a wide range of vocalizations to express their opinions. Indeed, their speech abilities are so advanced, that they are able to mimic other birds and even humans. Blue jay’s have been known to mimic hawk calls as a ploy to lure these birds of prey away from jay’s nests.

Likewise, those with the blue jay as their totem are quite loquaciousness, and have the gift of gab. Common vocations of those with the blue jay as their totem are sales people, lawyers, politicians, public speakers, and teachers.

Animal symbolism of the blue jay includes:

Loquaciousness
Communication
Determination
Assertiveness
Faithfulness
Intelligence
Advantage
Curiosity
Vibrancy
Clarity
Energy

Animal symbolism of determination, assertiveness, and intelligence is also a shared trait among those who claim the blue jay as their totem (and also common attributes with those having the vocations above listed). We see these characteristics in the blue jay because it is fiercely bold against its enemies.

The jay is fearless when it comes to protecting its partner, young and territory. So too are those with this animal as their totem. They will defend their positions against adversaries who seem much more powerful than themselves – often with successful results.

Blue jay animal symbolism resonates truth, faithfulness, and solidarity because they are vigilant in their tasks. They also keep the same mate for life, which is symbolic of endurance, patience and loyalty. The jay is an excellent symbol for those wishing to honor their long-lasting bond between friends, family and lovers.

In the spiritual realm, the blue jay speaks of clarity and vision. In Native American symbolism (namely the Sioux Nation) the azure of the jay against the blue sky indicated a “double vision” or double clarity. This visual/spiritual “blue on blue” concept speaks of purity of the soul, truth of the heart, and clarity of thought.

In dreams the blue jay animal symbolism also deals with clarity – but of higher thoughts, and taking action. When we dream of blue jays our deeper selves may be telling us that we are not being honest with ourselves about something, and it’s time to “come clean” with our thoughts. Blue jay’s in dreams are also symbolic of taking action in the direction of our highest truth. The jay asks for honesty, and forthrightness – any other action taken (such as deceptive or dishonest action) will mean double jeopardy for us in our waking hours.

These spiritual and dream impressions are especially poignant because the jay is an air animal totem. Creatures of the air naturally symbolize the realm of thought, higher ideals, spirituality and the attainment of higher truth.

The Sioux also observed the jay preferring fir and oak trees for their homes and nesting areas. These trees are symbolic of longevity, endurance and strength, and so share the same animal symbolism with the blue jay.

This is not to say the jay is persnickety. On the contrary, the blue jay animal symbolism includes aspects of opportunity and advantage because it will make its home anywhere. From supermarket awnings, to mailboxes, the blue jay is extremely resourceful and makes the best out of its environment. Those with the jay as their totem are likely to be the same way. Generally easy-going, jay people are able to make a turn situations around to their best advantage, and make awesome lemon aid out of the sourest of lemons.

Blue jay’s are vastly curious, stopping to peck at any shiny thing that catches their eye (much like crows and magpies). Those who resonate with the blue jay will also find themselves equally curious. Indeed, blue jay people have are always dabbling in new directions, gathering new insight, and slaking their curiosities. These people tend to be a jack-of-all trades, knowing a little bit about seemingly everything. This makes them fantastic trouble-shooters and quite resourceful (not to mention fascinating party guests).

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As we might guess, a large part of the animal symbolism of the cardinal comes from the brilliant red color of the males.

Even its common name is derived from the royal red vestments worn by Catholic cardinals.

This shock of red, especially against the stark backdrop of winter snow, is a magnificent sight. The male cardinal reminds us passion, warmth and vibrancy is available to us - even in under the cloak of winter's grey clouds.

Interestingly, the more bold and bright his color is, the more successful the cardinal will be at prolonging his lineage. Dull colored male cardinals are less likely to mate successfully than bright ones.

True to the fire of his color, the crimson cardinal has got some major spunk. He will aggressively defend his territory, and fight attackers with ferocity. Indeed, they have been known to fight ghost males (their reflections) in mirrors for hours on end.

Both male and female give us glorious songs. Along with peeps and pips and warbles, the tuned ear can also hear "cheer, cheer, cheer!" Very appropriate to the animal symbolism of cardinals, because they are a delight to both eyes and ears.

The cardinal makes a fantastic animal totem. It reminds us to hold ourselves with pride - not ego pride. Rather, the cardinal asks us to stand a little taller, be a bit more regal, step into our natural confidence as if we were born to lead with grace and nobility.

Those who attract the cardinal as their totem are naturally energetic, love life, and happily help others where/when they can.

Call upon the cardinal when you are feeling low (especially if you have the winter blues). Also call on the cardinal when you need bolstering for an event you are nervous about - the cardinal is better than B-12 for giving energy and vitality to those who need it!

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Dove Symbolism

The dove has seemingly inexhaustible sources of symbolic flavor throughout most histories, cultures and myth.

Did you know doves produce their own milk? Yep, it's called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." It's an oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. In fact, doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.

Doves often cease their foraging for food just before their babies are born. This temporary starvation insures a pure formulation of milk (otherwise their offspring could not digest bits of solid food in the milk). That's another confirmation about maternal attributes as well as self-sacrifice for the sake of their progeny.

The dove is even associated with several mother figures in historical dove symbolism. Take the Mother Mary in Christian legend. The dove is commonly seen in Christian art with Mary as a symbol of care, devotion, purity and peace. The dove is a companion of Ishtar too, the Great Mother of Assyrian culture. In this motherly light, the dove elicits a promise of hope and salvation.

A quick keyword run-down of dove symbolism:

Love
Grace
Promise
Devotion
Divinity
Holiness
Sacrifice
Maternal
Ascension
Purification
Messenger
Hopefulness

Aphrodite (Venus in Roman myth), the voluptuous goddess-mother of love, is often featured with a dove nearby in artistic portrait. Here we get the sense of higher love; a love that is as large as the goddess herself. A kind of love that turns a blind eye to the typical foibles and downfalls of mankind - and sees right into the heart of pure potential that is revealed only by viewing the soul through the lenses of love. As a love symbol, the dove conveys a kind of soulful ascension - a higher admiration for the true value of unconditional love.

Perhaps it's her softly lulling coos that won the dove's position so close to Ishtar's, Mother Marys and Aphrodite's heart. Open your psychic ears at dawn and dusk and become enchanted by their rippling vocalizations. One can't help but become subdued by their gentle love-calls. Sweet churbles and downy wurbles are testimony to a divinely calming presence among us.

And speaking of divine presences, the dove symbolism is often equated to heavenly visitations. John the Baptist even remarked (Matthew 3:16) how the "Spirit of God descended like a dove upon us." Methinks this is more than poetic license. Why? Because, almost unanimously birds (of all kinds) have been viewed as celestial messengers. Doves in particular - with their docile appearance and soft ministrations - can easily be angelic doppelgangers: Angels in the guise of avian benefactors. Hey, anything is possible.

Coming down (just a notch) off of that high-spirited comparison, doves in actuality are kind of fussy. Observe them in groups, and you'll note they can be twitchy and nervous-nellies. I like to think of this as a sign of their highly developed sense of presence. They are intimately aware of their environment (having been hunted for centuries for their tasty breast meat - who can blame their skittishness?).

This kind of high sense of awareness reminds me of Hachiman, a Japanese god of war who claims the dove as a sacred symbol. Amidst clamor, battle and jarring conflict, the dove of Hachiman is a symbol of the peace that will (ideally) ensue after war has ended.

The war-association with dove symbolism inevitably leads us to the concept of death. Well, not death per se - more appropriately, the dove is a symbol of the souls sojourn after physical life has retired. Slavic legend claims the dove is a symbol of the souls release from earth-bound duty. In fact, when a dove is seen, it is a clear sign of the soul's return to celestial realms. Furthermore, the dove's most popular appearance in spiritual consciousness is that of the Holy Spirit in Christian wisdom.

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Symbolic Eagle Meaning

I've been seeing eagles and moles in my meditations lately. When creatures persist in my awareness, I know it's time to write a page on them. Plus, I've gotten several requests from readers of this site wanting to know more about symbolic eagle meaning, so here are a few thoughts.

I've had the luxury of observing Golden Eagles in the wild. Like our nature-inclined forebears, the sheer size of these creatures is mind-numbing.

Size does matter to the Native mind. It is the mammoth size of the eagle that, in part, wins its title as the King of the Birds in myth and lore. In spite of its enormous size, the eagle still takes flight, seemingly effortlessly. This is the first of many symbolic cues from the eagle about perception (not judging a book by its cover) and, not allowing the illusion of limitation to ground us in our flight.

What else matters when considering symbolic eagle meaning? Here are a few attributes and keywords associated with Eagle Medicine:

Opportunity
Protection
Guardianship
Masculinity
Dominance
Control
Freedom
Community
Command
Action
Authority
Skill
Focus
Determination
Vision
Power
Liberation
Inspiration
Ruler
Judgment

Native wisdom also honors the eagle for their opportunistic ways. It's not that they're skilled hunters (they are), but the go about gaining their needs in ways that are most efficient. This is a lesson for conserving resources. Work smarter, not harder.

Some Native American (plains tribes) refers to the eagle as an earthly incarnation of the great Thunderbird spirit. Legend further states that lightning bolts shoot from the eyes of the bald eagle, and with the beating of its expansive wings, rain is conjured from the skies. That's easy to envision.

Coming from the mindset that all energy is interconnected, an average wingspan of 5-7 feet (in golden's and bald's) could understandably cause some massive energetic ripples in the cosmos. Even prompt rain. I love how eagles as rain bringers segways into the cleansing theme of water.

And, we see from the Native mind that eagle feathers are tribal tools resonating patterns of healing within ritual. Do a little research into Native wisdom, and you will find the eagle is invoked for revitalization, creation and healing purposes. I like to think this deals with the eagle's connection with water.

In this vein of thought, we can contemplate the healing messages the eagle may offer us in our daily life. When the eagle soars into our psychic vision, it may be a sign of getting prepared for symbolic cleansing rains. What needs cleaning in our lives?

Of course, as rulers of the sky, eagle meaning is connected with the air element, which symbolizes communication and thought. All bird totems speak to us about higher thinking, dreams, and mental liberation. As king of the birds, the eagle's message of mental acuity is super-dominant.

Visually, everything about the eagle's appearance is sharp. Streamlined, sleek, chiseled. This prompts our deeper minds to hone our thoughts and skills. The eagle commands us to tailor our intelligence and talents in a form that best suits our needs. We all have inner abilities, but when the eagle shows up - it's a clear sign it's time to use these abilities in a laser-like fashion to bring about focused change in our lives.

To revisit the Thunderbird association, eagles are said to bring down lightning with the storms. This makes me think of flashes of insight, surges of power - electrifying vision.

I also like to look into the eyes of the eagle. There I see the lightning. I see the sun itself living in those all-seeing bright yellow orbs.

Do these observations this strike a chord with you? If so, take flight with the eagle meaning by experimenting with these visualizations:

contemplate the power cased in the heart of the eagle.
Synchronize your own heart beat with that of the eagle's - visualize each pulse as a flash of lighting - an impulse of divine thought.
Picture the power of the gods clapping like thunder with each flap of their wings. With each crack of thunder consider barriers and blockages in your life being shattered.
Then see the great 7 foot wingspan of the eagle growing even longer in your vision in order to swipe away the rubble - making all trace of limitation disappear.
Look into the eyes of the eagle, and see the dawning sun shine clarity upon the dawning of your own awareness. These eyes are like a light into your own contemplative vision - let them illuminate your from the inside out.

These kind of powerful connections can liberate on so many levels.

But, you don't have to take my word for it. Consider our ancestors perspectives on the eagle meaning for more inspiration.

Alchemy symbolic eagle meaning:
A representation of prime matter, the start of an alchemical operation. The eagle spreads its wings over the step into creation and fans the fire, encouraging growth of new matter.

Aztec and Mayan meaning of eagle:
The eagle carries the veil of night and dark over our existence and awareness. It's affiliated with the dawning sun, and is a magnificent celestial power, able to shine light into our world.

Celtic animal symbolism of eagle:
Associated with the symbolism of water, and the intuitive oracle water serves as. Perhaps because our Celtic kin observed their magnificent ability to see into waters with miraculous clarity. Like scrying. I like to think the Celts skimmed across the waters of their existence invoked the eagle for assistance in "diving in" for treasures of wisdom.

Christian eagle meaning:
Associated with the Christ himself. Because the eagle seems to easily ascend the skies, looking into the sun with unblinking focus, we relate symbolism of Christ's unblinking faith in the Way, the Truth, and the Light. We also see themes of renewal (baptism) as the eagle plunges the soul of man into the sea, and lifts them out renewed and cleansed.

Greek meaning:
Another reference as a solar animal, the eagle is symbolic of authority, rulership and virility. It's depicted with thunderbolts in each talon. In my mind, this seems like a phallic reference would bolster sexual energy as well as warrior status (energy, thrust, courage, bravery, fearlessness). I get a confirmation of this by Zeus's strong affiliation with the eagle in myth.

I could go on forever about the symbolic meaning of the eagle. It's an inspiring creature, so it's only natural that every human eye that has witnessed it would be enraptured by its regal presence.

The eagle imparts spectacular wisdom. Take purposeful, meditative time to connect with the eagle, and discover what kind of glorious insight it can share with you.

Last word on the symbolic eagle meaning: "Fly Higher."

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The Falcon animal totem comes to us when we require higher vision, or higher knowledge in solving current dilemmas in our lives.

The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation.

Further evidence of its solar influence, the Falcon was symbolic of the rising sun in Egypt. It is also the king of all birds where many gods were shown with the head or body of the Falcon (including Ra).

In European tradition, the Falcon represents the huntsman and is associated with the Germanic sky-gods Wodan as well as Frigg and the trickster Loki. In European culture the Falcon is considered a warlike symbol.

At its core, the Falcon animal totem represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship. This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads you to your life purpose. The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change - perhaps in your vocation, work, career, etc.

A quick-list of falcon animal totem attributes:

Superiority
Spirit
Light
Power
Focus
Prophecy
Freedom
Aspiration
Intensity
Determination

The Peregrine Falcon lives up to its Latin name: Falco Peregrinus which means foreigner or stranger because it is a migratory bird rather than sedentary - it is found throughout the world and tends to travel great distances.

The Peregrine is most often used in falconry due to its keen intellect and incredible ability to calculate or judge its prey.

Falcon animal totem s encourage us to calculate and strategize. If we have a goal, Falcons beckon us to make plans and strategies to obtain these goals. Falcons are all about focus - strong, one-pointed focus. When they show themselves to us, we are being called to focus on our desires and our goals, and do what is necessary to bring our desires into our reality.

The fact that the Falcon is a solar creature could mean there is something in your life that you are highly passionate about, and the Falcon is asking you to take action on this passion. But be smart about it - don't jump into something without doing research and planning. Make your passion a reality by persuing it methodically and as stratigically as the Falcon would persue his hunt.

Lastly, invoke the spirit of your Falcon animal totem in your meditations, during quite/relaxing times, and just before sleeping. When you calm yourself and call upon the spirit of the Falcon, the Falcon is then able to come through your consciousness and provide you more details about what you must know.

Animals are always willing to provide us with profound messages - it is up to us to listen, and allow their messages to come through. I hope you found this Falcon Animal Totem page meaningful to your Path.

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Bird Meaning of the Finch

I think their wisdom is unique, and often profound when we pay attention to the messages they wing our way.

I fell off my roof this morning (while cleaning 2nd story windows). This was another opportunity for birds to make their meanings profound.

Why? Because I'd been asked to write about the symbolic meaning of finch, but until now, the inspirational well was dry. From meditation pillow to keyboard, to communing with nature - no finch song would come to lift my awareness in symbolic revelation of the finch.

However, in that slow fall from the roof (quit laughing), my vision was inundated by a slew of bright yellow finches. The first (and early to boot) of this spring season.

As I lay in my shrubbery (thick and soft as hay bales, thank Zeus - or else I'd not be writing this article on bird meaning) after the fall - I closed my eyes to really emulsify the image of those bright, bounding yellow beauties.

Here are some lessons they shared with me, but first, a quick-list of symbolic bird meaning related to the finch:

Joy
Simplicity
Variety
Diversity
Appreciation
Happiness
High Energy
Honoring Resources
Healthful Diet
Enjoying the Journey

When finches come into our awareness it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead. Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy and bright days on the horizon.

Consider their flight pattern. In the same way you can pick up on a person's character by his/her gait, we can do the same with a bird's flight. And, in the realm of symbolic interpretation, flight can give us a lot to work with in bird meaning.

Finches are never satisfied to just go from point A to point B. They seem to boogie from place to place. Bouncing and bobbing through air currents is big fun for these birds. Observing them just gives you a feeling of freedom and happiness.

Indeed, Native People of North America held the finch as a bird of happiness. They observed their variety and colors and considered this bird to be favored because they were painted in shades of bright joy. Furthermore, joyful dispositions and their obviously freedom-loving behaviors are admirable qualities much revered by our wise ancestors.

If that weren't enough, Native wisdom holds the finch as an oracle of celebration and upcoming festivities. These are song birds, and their music heralds the bounty of spring.

Indeed, the song of the finch is holds a great deal of symbolism. When the finch sings to our awareness it is a beckoning to unleash our own song. If we've been concealing our brilliance from the world - the finch is a sign to start making our value more audible and available to others.

The finch will sing lightly to your heart, and guide you on a bouncy path of creativity.

Its bird meaning deals with sociability too, and if the finch comes into your life it may be a signal to get more involved with social activities.

To summarize our bird meaning of the finch, and offer a few quick-points:

Flight:
Full of zeal and zest. The message here is "Enjoy the journey!"

Color:
Derived from food source (finches don't produce their own pigment. The quality of their food determines their brightness. Better food, better color). Message: "You are what you eat!" Feed your body good stuff, and let it flourish brightly.

Diet:
Finches feed their young plant matter (not meaty worms and such like most birds). Another message "Nourish your body!" with good greens from the earth.

Feathers:
Did you know finches have, on the average, 12 tail feathers? Twelve is symbolic of structure, particularly in matters of time (our 24 day is halved by 12, twelve signs of the western zodiac, twelve months in most calendars). Tail feathers are the rudders, so the finch may be telling us to "Navigate time wisely!"

Habitat:
Finches are happy to nest anywhere. They are extremely opportunistic (even using discarded nests from other birds) and seemingly easy to please. The message "Appreciate what you have, and make the most of it!"

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The animal symbolism of the goose hasn't got its full honor. Too often in myth and lore we see the goose representing silly attitudes or lazy dispositions.

On the contrary, the symbolism of the goose is quite inspiring.

When we consider the goose never leaves one of its own kind behind, we begin to see the goose in a different light. Just like the US Marines, "Semper Fidelis" (always faithful) is the motto of the goose too.

Geese annually migrate to warmer climates during the winter. Should a goose become injured during this trek, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with its fallen comrade. The goose will stay with the injured until he has recovered or until its final breath. Nothing silly about that.

Indeed, this kind of valor puts the symbolism of the goose in a far different light. Here are some attributes of the goose:

Communication
Determination
Fellowship
Teamwork
Confidence
Protection
Bravery
Loyalty

Geese are incredibly gifted navigators and instinctively know the way across the long haul to warmer climates. They forge ahead with confidence and bravery.

Further, geese have intricate methods of communication - not only do they sense when their brethren are in trouble, they also work as a team to communicate warnings, as well as messages of prime landing sites.

Geese are also fiercely protective of their young - often presenting an impressive thrashing display to would-be predators. These scare tactics often work to protect goslings from attack.

Those who have the goose as their animal totem need not worry if they are silly or lazy. This is far from the truth. In actuality, those who are kind, loyal, and brave-hearted attract geese as their totem. Those with the goose totem are the clear communicators, true-blue defenders and compassionate keepers of the community.

Lessons we all can learn from our totem geese include:

Remember your roots - don't forget the people who helped you along the way
Follow your gut - rely on intuition and instinct in order to get where you need to be
Communicate your needs to others - no one can help you if you don't speak out
Protect that which is most valuable, but make sure you have your priorities straight (meaning, be sure you're protecting that which is worth protecting)

I hope I've put a more accurate spin on the animal symbolism of the goose with this post. Perhaps the US Marines will consider replacing their bulldog with the goose as their mascot (or not :-).

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Hummingbird Symbolism

It is not commonly known that the fluttering wings of the hummingbird move in the pattern of an infinity symbol - further solidifying their symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity.

By observing the Hummingbird, we see they are seemingly tireless. Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day.

Amazing migrators, some Hummingbirds are known to wing their way as far as 2000 miles to reach their destination. This quality reminds us to be persistent in the persuit of our dreams, and adopt the tenacity of the Hummingbird in our lives.

The Hummingbird animal totem is a messenger of hope and jubilation.

Hummingbird Animal Totems offer attributes like:

energy
vitality
joy
renewal
sincerity
healing
persistence
peace
infinity
agility
playfulness
loyalty
affection

The Hummingbird animal totem most important message to you is:
"The sweetest nectar is within!"

The most profound questions the Hummingbird asks is:

"Where is your joy?"
"Is your happiness found within, or do you seek it externally?"
"What is the source of your joy?"
"What must you do to increase your joy?"

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Magpie symbolic meanings are numerous and varied. This stands to reason because the magpie herself is a varied creature. Her colorful character is a delight to observe with symbolic eyes because she is so unpredictable, high-spirited and expressive.

When we observe the magpie's behaviors in nature, we can pick out many strong symbolic messages.

Among her many common attributes, here are a few magpie symbolic meanings:




Quick List of symbolic traits of the magpie:

opportunistic
intellect
perceptive
flashy
refined
communicative
social
deceptive
illusion
expressive
willful

The magpie's speech is symbolic of communication and creative expression. When we hear the magpie speak it is a message to us that we might need to listen to what is being spoken to us - listen with more attention. The chatter of the magpie is also a symbolic message that we may need to speak our minds more clearly....speak up, express our opinions, be creative with our spoken words.

The magpie's obsession with shiny things is symbolic of our tendency to chase after false ideas or perceptions. When the magpie comes into our lives it is often a reminder that we may have to re-evaluate our priorities. Are we chasing after unsuitable desires? Are we serving a false ideal? Are we putting materialism ahead of matters of the soul?

The magpie builds its home in the thickest "V" of trees. Forks or V's in nature are symbolic of gateways or paths into the spirit realm. In this fashion, the magpie asks us about our level of spiritual perception. Specifically, the magpie asks to keep an open mind in matters of the spirit. She also asks us where our spiritual foundation is and encourages us to open the gateways of higher (spiritual) vision.

Her plumage is also symbolic. With striking colouration, the magpie is symbolic of flamboyance, expression, and glamour. When we see her, we do a double-take because her appearance commands our attention. This is a message for us to not hide ourselves away from the world. The magpie beckons us to reveal our brilliance (physical and otherwise) to the world. We are each composed of incredible beauty and grace - the magpie is a reminder that we must express these attributes outwardly in a glamorous display just as she does.

And just when we get to know the symbolic meaning of the magpie, she eludes us and leaves us guessing what she's all about. In nature she has been known to be shy and reclusive - yet in cities she is noted to be extremely sociable with humans. Typically, she is a scavenger...but she has also been witnessed taking down small birds and rodents - acting as a bird of prey (which is not her classification).

These and other oddities in her behavior are symbolic of illusion and perception. The magpie's message her is that not all things are what they appear to be, and we should not set our judgements in stone. Further, this aspect of the magpie is a message that we do not have to be bound to perceptions. In other words, we may want to consider departing from our habitual behaviors and avoid being type-caste into a specific role.

In ancient European cultures the magpie is said to predict omens, and there is a type of divination based on the magpie according to an old riddle. I've forgotten how the rhyme goes, but gist of it is according to how many magpies are seen the following will be one's fate:

One magpie indicates danger
Two equals joy in union
Three means good journey
Four magpies means new beginning
Five equals company coming
Six indicates an ending
Seven magpies is a good omen, carry on with your plans
Eight magpies suggest a wait period, do not continue with your plans
Nine magpies speak of love will coming to call on you, or a return of love to your life

Magpie symbolic meanings take on a brighter note in the East, where the Chinese regard the magpie as a good luck symbol, joy, marital bliss, sexual happiness, and long lasting fortune.

When the Chinese hear the cry of a magpie it is said to be an announcement of the arrival of friends and family.

The ancient Roman's viewed the magpie as a creature of high intellect and reasoning powers. She is also an attribute of Bacchus, the God of wine.

In Native American animal lore, the magpie was also viewed as having intellect. However, more often than not she was faulted for trickery and her intelligence was typically used in deceptive schemes. She cannot be judged too harshly thought because her tricks are always played out with a light-hearted, good-natured intention.

As you can see, the magpie symbolic meanings are as diverse and colorful as the magpie herself. Her messages are many, and she gives them to us with a free and happy heart.

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Owl Animal Symbolism

The owl is sacred to the Greek goddess of learning, Athena and is even depicted on some Greco-Roman currency as a symbol of status, intelligence and of course, wealth.

In ancient Egyptian, Celtic, and Hindu cultures the symbolic meaning of owl revolved around guardianship of the underworlds, and a protection of the dead.

In this light the owl was ruler of the night and seer of souls. A misunderstanding of this necessary relationship gave the owl some negative associations with death.

It should be clear that the owl was honored as the keeper of spirits who had passed from one plane to another. Often myth indicates the owl accompanying a spirit to the underworld - winging it's newly freed soul from the physical world into the realm of spirit.

A quick-list of owl symbolic meanings:

Wisdom
Mystery
Transition
Messages
Intelligence
Mysticism
Protection
Secrets

Native Americans associated the meaning of owl with wisdom, foresight, and keeper of sacred knowledge. This may largely be due to the fact that the owl is a great foreteller of weather conditions. Also its ability to see at night is legend among the Native Americans, and this attribute would be invoked during ceremonies when an oracle of secret knowledge was required.

Similarly, West African and Aboriginal Australian cultures viewed the owl as a messenger of secrets, kin to sorcerers, as well as companions to seers, mystics and medicine people.

During medieval times in western and central Europe it was fabled that owls were actually priestesses (witches) and wizards in disguise. To this day the owl is considered a witch's familiar (an animal soul-spirit linked to a spiritual person via a unique, communicative bond).

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Peacock Symbolism

The peacock is a possessor of some of the most admired human characteristics, and is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors.

In history, myth, legend and lore, the Peacock symbolism carries portents of: Nobility, Holiness, Guidance, Protection and Watchfulness.

Here is a keyword quick-list of peacock symbolism:



Glory
Vision
Royalty
Spirituality
Awakening
Immortality
Refinement
Incorruptibility

In Greco-Roman mythology the Peacock is identified with Hera (Juno) who created the Peacock from Argus whose hundred eyes (seen on the tail feathers of the Peacock) symbolize the vault of heaven and the “eyes” of the stars.

In Hinduism the Peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

Similar to Lakshmi, the Peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Asian spirituality. Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness. Legend tells us she chose to remain a mortal even though she could be immortal because she wished to stay behind and aid humanity in their spiritual evolution.

In Babylonia and Persia the Peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon the thrones of royalty.

In Christianity the Peacock symbolism represents the “all-seeing” church, along with the holiness and sanctity associated with it. Additionally, the Peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity.

Themes of renewal are also linked to alchemical traditions to, as many schools of thought compare the resurrecting phoenix to the modern-day Peacock.

Contemplate the powers of the Peacock when you need more vibrancy and vitality in your experience. The Peacock can also help you on your spiritual Path, and breath new life into your walk of faith.

The Peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too. If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagine the glorious, techno-color display the Peacock provides. This puts us in a proper mood to embrace your own nobility. In no time, you’ll be walking tall and proud as a Peacock too!

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Pheasant Animal Symbolism

The flamboyant, eye-popping colors of the male pheasant, reminds us that nature knows no end to its variety and creativity. Nature makes a way for these males to be very attractive to their female counterparts by design. Consequently their bright colors are perfect for wooing pheasant strumpets.

Indeed, they are so effective, that males often have a harem of three hens at once. This is symbolic of creativity, sexuality, influence and magic. Why? Because females hold the gift of life (reproduction, creation of offspring), and the number three is a magical number that deals with the union of two to bring about the creation of another (male + female=progeny).

Those with the pheasant as their totem have the same ability to attract love and creativity in their lives as the male pheasant does. These people have strong libidos and are able to attract a healthy amount of attention from those with whom they desire to partner. Yes, even many at a time if they so choose.

A Quick-List of Pheasant Animal Symbolism:

Using your gifts to get what you want.
Knowing when to express yourself and when to refrain from doing so.
Being aware of when to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Being creative, productive, and tapping into the passions that burn within you.

It is important to note the element of balance in having this totem, and the pheasant's environment is our indication. He is a riot of glam and color, but ever-ready to slip into the tall grasses or sheltering shrubbery when he must. In other words, the pheasant can be a show off, but he is always ready to retract his wiles when the time calls for it.

This a powerful metaphor in our lives. We can show our bright colors of creativity, and influence in the world – but we must know the proper time in which to do so. The pheasant reminds us that no matter how vibrant and original we may be, if we carelessly throw our gifts out at inappropriate times, or to un-listening audiences our efforts are in vain.

Further, those who resonate with the pheasant may be wild on the outside, but quite tender-hearted and conservative on the inside. The pheasant asks that we honor our genuine selves, and not pretend to be something we are not. This incorporates the symbolism of protection of ourselves and our loved ones. Just as the pheasant knows when to blaze their beauty, they also know when to hide in the shadows for as a defense.

Their amazing ability to camouflage themselves, and hide may well have something to do with the fact the species has been hunted for both food and sport for ages. Over the eons the pheasant has “self-preservation” hard-wired in their bodies, and they know when to go.

The pheasant animal symbolism also speaks to us about the value of balance in areas of spirituality. Being an air animal totem, the pheasant deals with thought, dreams, aspiration, spirituality, and things that lift us into higher states of consciousness.

However, although an air creature, the pheasant rarely flies, and when she does, it is in short bursts and without much air time.

This is symbolic of our ability to reach ever-increasing heights in our spiritual understanding, but we must recognize the need for groundedness.

There is a reason air balloons have sand bags. Be lifted, be inspired, climb ever higher on your path to spiritual awareness – but the grounded pheasant reminds you to keep your feet on the ground too.

Animal symbolism of the pheasant includes:

Passion
Balance
Sexuality
Protection
Creativity
Good Judgment
Being Genuine
Law of Attraction

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If you're looking for raven symbolism pertaining to ill omen, death or other gruesome turns of thought, look elsewhere. There are plenty sources to feed macabre minds, and malign the raven.

It's not that I'm a big advocate of raven energy, and even if I were, it wouldn't matter because the raven needs no champion. Content to move about its bizarre ways in solo-mode, the raven could care less if I'm pro or con for its symbolic status.

I just think the raven has more to offer than uneducated conjecture and superstition (most of which has only cropped up over the last few centuries).

A lot of negative raven symbolism comes about from their appearance on battlefields. They are scavengers (and curious to a fault), and are often seen picking at mangled remains of fallen warriors on battle grounds.

Spans of massacred bodies and gore besieged with glimmery black ravens with chiseled beaks driving coldly into the bloody mire can conjure some nightmarish connotations. I'm betting a lot of the darker raven symbolism came from these eerie appearances at sites with massive death tolls.

This is underscored by the raven's placement in Celtic animal symbolism because it is a bird closely connected with battle and the Celtic goddess Morrigan, who was a remarkable prophetess (connecting oracle themes with the raven).

Nevertheless, this page on raven symbolism will focus on the raven's higher attributes.

For example, the raven's intelligence is possibly its most winning feature. Indeed, these birds can be trained to speak. This speaking ability leads into the legend of ravens being the ultimate oracle.

In fact, the raven is often heard to cackle utterances that sound like "cras, cras." The actual word cras is tomorrow in Latin. This lends more fuel to the legendary fires that distinguish the raven as a bird who can foretell the future, and reveal omens and signs.

Countless cultures point to the raven as a harbinger of powerful secrets. Moreover, the raven is a messenger too, so its business is in both keeping and communicating deep mysteries.

Raven symbolism of wisdom and knowledge-keeping is connected with the Welsh hero Bran, the Blessed whose name means raven. Bran was the holder of ancestral memories, and his wisdom was legendary. So much so, that he had his head (the vessel of his powerful wisdom) removed and interred in the sacred White Mount in London. Ravens are still roosting there (in the Tower of London), and they're thought to keep Bran's wisdom protected and alive by their presence

The raven is symbolic of mind, thought and wisdom according to Norse legend, as their god Odin was accompanied by two ravens: Hugin who represented the power of thought and active search for information. The other raven, Mugin represented the mind, and its ability to intuit meaning rather than hunting for it. Odin would send these two ravens out each day to soar across the lands. At day's end, they would return to Odin and speak to him of all they had spied upon and learned on their journeys.

Odin was also known as the Raven God. He had many daughters known as Valkyries who could transform into ravens . I like to think Valkyries would ride as ravens after a bloody battle and whisper to the souls of fallen Norse warriors to raise up from their bodies and come with them, where they would soar the skies to Valhalla. What a trip back home that would be.

There's more good news about raven symbolism from the ancient Greeks and Romans. In spite of its midnight-colored feathers, the raven was a solar animal in this culture, and was associated with both Athena and Apollo, both deities closely affiliated with the sun, and the light of wisdom .

Apollo was also a major oracular god, which makes its connection with the chatty and (and alarmingly human-like) conversational raven a smart match.

There are some Greco-Roman legends that say ravens were once all white. And, because the raven couldn't keep a secret to save its life, Apollo punished the raven by turning its bright white feathers black after it divulged too many secrets. There's also a version that said the owl replaced the raven by Athena's side as her associate of wisdom because of raven's blabber-mouthed tendencies.

Raven color changes are also mentioned in Christian lore when Noah sent a raven first to confirm the receding floodwaters. When the raven did not return, it was said God turned its feathers black for its failure, and Noah sent a dove out to do the raven's job. And since then, the raven has gotten a bad rap as being anti-mankind.

I'm not convinced. I rather think (as long as we're postulating over legends) the raven is very pro-mankind and its feathers turned black from sorrow - a heaviness in its heart to witness the floodwaters were still too high to accommodate the birthing ark.

Ravens are humanitarians in Native American symbolic legends too. In fact, the raven was a hero to many tribes. The Inuit for example believed the raven tricked a giant sea monster into submission, and to this day its body serves as the Alaskan mainland.

Other Native North American tribes saw the raven as the bringer of light. In fact, southwestern tribes (Hopi, Navajo, Zuni) felt the raven was flew out from the dark womb of the cosmos, and with it brought the light of the sun (dawning of understanding). Consequently, the raven is considered a venerated bird of creation, for without the raven, humans would forever live in darkness.

The raven is symbolic of mind, thought and wisdom according to Norse legend, as their god Odin was accompanied by two ravens: Hugin who represented the power of thought and active search for information. The other raven, Mugin represented the mind, and its ability to intuit meaning rather than hunting for it. Odin would send these two ravens out each day to soar across the lands. At day's end, they would return to Odin and speak to him of all they had spied upon and learned on their journeys.

Odin was also known as the Raven God. He had many daughters known as Valkyries who could transform into ravens . I like to think Valkyries would ride as ravens after a bloody battle and whisper to the souls of fallen Norse warriors to raise up from their bodies and come with them, where they would soar the skies to Valhalla. What a trip back home that would be.

There's more good news about raven symbolism from the ancient Greeks and Romans. In spite of its midnight-colored feathers, the raven was a solar animal in this culture, and was associated with both Athena and Apollo, both deities closely affiliated with the sun, and the light of wisdom .

Apollo was also a major oracular god, which makes its connection with the chatty and (and alarmingly human-like) conversational raven a smart match.

There are some Greco-Roman legends that say ravens were once all white. And, because the raven couldn't keep a secret to save its life, Apollo punished the raven by turning its bright white feathers black after it divulged too many secrets. There's also a version that said the owl replaced the raven by Athena's side as her associate of wisdom because of raven's blabber-mouthed tendencies.

Raven color changes are also mentioned in Christian lore when Noah sent a raven first to confirm the receding floodwaters. When the raven did not return, it was said God turned its feathers black for its failure, and Noah sent a dove out to do the raven's job. And since then, the raven has gotten a bad rap as being anti-mankind.

I'm not convinced. I rather think (as long as we're postulating over legends) the raven is very pro-mankind and its feathers turned black from sorrow - a heaviness in its heart to witness the floodwaters were still too high to accommodate the birthing ark.

Ravens are humanitarians in Native American symbolic legends too. In fact, the raven was a hero to many tribes. The Inuit for example believed the raven tricked a giant sea monster into submission, and to this day its body serves as the Alaskan mainland.

Other Native North American tribes saw the raven as the bringer of light. In fact, southwestern tribes (Hopi, Navajo, Zuni) felt the raven was flew out from the dark womb of the cosmos, and with it brought the light of the sun (dawning of understanding). Consequently, the raven is considered a venerated bird of creation, for without the raven, humans would forever live in darkness. I've written more about the symbolic meaning of raven from a Native American perspective here.

Dr. Carl Jung deemed raven symbolism to represent the shadow self, or the dark side of the psyche. I very much like this. Why? Because by acknowledging this dark side, we can effectively communicate with both halves of ourselves. This offers liberating balance, and facilitates tremendous wisdom (something the raven would be very pleased with).

In other words, through the consistent unveiling of inner depths, and the positive/active utilization of inner impulses the esoteric secrets become exposed to the light of our own consciousness. This is at the crux of what the raven speaks to me.

What does the raven whisper to you?

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Robin Animal Symbolism

There's a reason we "start singing that old sweet song when that red robin comes bob bob bobbing along."

Foremost, the red robin is a portent of spring. Robins are one of our first visual signs from the animal kingdom that the return of warmth is on its way after a long winter haul. This is a time for celebration! Bird song returns to the skies, little buds on trees are ready to burst open, and the spring flowers are poised for blooming. At long last we can put away our coats and mittens; the first red robin has been sighted!

Animal symbolism of the Red Robin - A quick-list:

Joy
Hope
Clarity
Renewal
Pleasure
Simplicity
Happiness
Satisfaction
Rejuvenation
Contentment
Bright future
New beginning

Native American Plains' tribes attributed the return of the sun (inception of spring) with the red robin too. Indeed, many Native American beliefs attributed solar symbolic meaning to the red robin because its rosy red chest is symbolic of the dawning sun. Also, its bright yellow beak is symbolic of sun rays lighting the earth with hope. Omaha tribes believed the sun rose and set on the wings of the robin.

The robin's bright yellow beak is also symbolic of sun rays to the Native American. Native Americans attributed their beak color with being mindful of the spoken word. The robin was a sign to only present the highest truth when speaking.

Further, Iroquois and Shoshone tribe lore indicated the white ring around the red robin's eye was symbolic of prophetic vision, clarity, and great wisdom. The robin would be called upon during ceremonies when clear understanding was needed, and quality judgments needed to be made.

The robin brings a fresh new perspective to situations that are otherwise foggy and unclear. Try calling on robin energy for clarity when your judgement is clouded or when you need light shed on an issue.

The red robin reminds us it's time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it's only going to get brighter!

Not only is the robin a promise of new beginnings with the new cycle of spring in our midst, it carries symbolic meanings of cheer, joviality and light-heartedness. We can see this in the spring of the robin's step, and it reminds us of that wonderful song I quoted in the intro of this post. The song also hails the message: "Live, love, laugh and be happy" and that is precisely what the symbolic meaning of the red robin tells us too.

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Symbol meanings of the Rooster (cock or cockerel) are as vibrant and diverse as the rooster's plumage.

Rooster symbol meanings are all about fanning out with brilliance, and showing the world your shimmering facets of personality.

Most cultures embrace the Rooster as a solar symbol, and a sign of illumination, with the exception of the Nordic and Celtic cultures. Celtic and Norse lore describe the Rooster as a creature of the Underworld. Specifically, the cock served as a messenger of the Underworld, screeching out warnings in danger, and calling out for the souls of the fallen in battle.

A summary of symbol meanings for the Rooster include:

Pride
Honesty
Courage
Vigilance
Arrogance
Strength
Watchfulness
Flamboyance

The ancient Greeks believed the Rooster rose to attention and saluted the sun every morning with a hearty cry, symbolizing victory over night. As such, the Rooster was considered a solar emblem to the Greeks, and was adopted as a sacred sign to the god Apollo as well as Zeus, Persephone and Attis.

In Christianity the Rooster is noted for crowing three times after Peter denied Christ. As such, it became a symbol for Christ’s passion. Later, the Rooster would signify the repentance of the saint and religious vigilance as well as resurrection. To this day the Rooster seen on a weathervane is steeped in symbolic meanings that deal with watchful vigilance against evil, as weathervanes are commonly seen atop churches.

One of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, the Rooster is a Chinese symbol of honesty, as well as physical and moral fortitude. It is of the yang attribute and signifies fortune, luck, fidelity, protection as well as bossiness.

Roosters are considered sacred symbols in Japan, and are permitted to run free amongst the Shinto temples. This is partially due to the Rooster calling Shinto followers to prayer with its morning crow at dawn.

In dreams, the Rooster is considered a time-keeper and is a sign of time passing in our lives. Hearing a Rooster's voice in our dreams may indicate we need a wake-up call, and need to pay attention to some circumstances in our lives. Seeing a brilliantly plumed Rooster in our dreams indicates it is time to let others discover our true selves, and strut our stuff (show our talents) to others.

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Welcome to my Sparrow meaning page, which I've devoted to my mom for poignant and heartfelt reasons.

All too often we take the little Sparrow for granted - small though she may be, she is certainly powerful. It is her slightness in size that gives her advantages. She reminds us we do not have to have the big stuff (cars, houses, etc.) to be important, and we do not have to have the loudest voice in order be heard.

Some keywords/symbolic Sparrow meaning s include:

Joy
Inclusion
Creativity
Simplicity
Protection
Community
Productivity
Friendliness


Sparrows derive power and protection from their numbers. Always in a clan, they move in clusters, eat in clusters, and are always content as such. This can be quite intimidating to some would-be predators. Safety in numbers is a lesson the Sparrow has to share with us.

The Sparrow is ever vigilant in her goals. She is always bustling for her food, foraging for her nests, and gathering for her young. Fastidious and productive, the Sparrow is a reminder that idle hands (and idle minds) should be avoided in order to live a full, healthy life.

She is a master of flight, and camouflage, and as such the Sparrow teaches us to use our creativity to get around in life - think outside the box, and be creative in solving our problems.

As an bird totem, the Sparrow speaks of higher thoughts and ideals. She beckons us to keep our burdens as light as we can in order to avoid a heavy heart.

In closing, I can’t wrap up this brief piece on the Sparrow meaning without making mention of the traditional hymn “His Eyes are on the Sparrow.” The tune always runs through my head when I ponder the Sparrow and all her gifts. Here is a paraphrase of the song:

“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely When I know with Source I am One? I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, The Eye of Source is on the Sparrow, I know Source watches over me.”

No matter what your spiritual affiliation, this hymn offers a fitting partnership to the symbolism of the Sparrow. The core message reminds us that there is safe-keeping, bounty and beauty for even the tiniest of creations. Ergo, there is ample supply of spiritual abundance for us too.

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Swan Meaning and Swan Symbolism

Our first symbolic clues from the swan can be taken from observing them in nature. They are waterfowl, closely connected with water, even nesting near the water.

Water is symbolic of: Fluidity, Intuition, Dreaming, Emotions, Creativity.

In this respect, we can intuit the swan’s appearance in our lives as an arrow pointing to our dreamier depths and feelings. Furthermore, we get the sense of balance from swan meaning as it lives harmoniously amongst three of the four Aristotelian elements. Grounding herself on earth, lofting to great heights in the air, and winding through waters with magnificent elegance.

A quick keyword list of swan meaning:

Love
Grace
Union
Purity
Beauty
Dreams
Balance
Elegance
Partnership
Transformation

The swan may also bear messages of love and relationships. They pair for years, sometimes male-female unions are sustained for a lifetime. When the swan glides upon the waters of our awareness, it might be a symbol of love, and a reminder of the blessings found in our relationships.

The concept of partnership is further expressed on a divine level in Hinduism, wherein the swan graces vibrant traditions as the Hamsa bird. In the Saundarya Lahari (translated: “Waves of Beauty,” it’s a text filled with beautiful mantras from the Hindu perspective) two swans (Ham and Sa) pair together, swimming around in the divine mind “living on honey from the blooming lotus of knowledge.” Isn’t that a lovely concept?

In the Celtic mind, swans and geese were observed in the context of movement. Specifically, the keenly observant Celts noted their transitory nature and the swan’s pattern of migration. Consequently, the sign of the swan urged Celtic intuition to consider changes of mood (water) and heart (love).

Swan meaning is also linked to Celtic deities with solar associations, like Belanus and Lugh. As solar animals, the swan represents the rising glory of a new day as well as the farewell of an old day with the setting sun. Fittingly, the Celtic goddess Bridgid is also associated with the swan as her grace is expressed with equal elegance in the form of writing (poetry) and song.

Celtic myth also indicates when inhabitants of the Otherworld required passage to the physical land of life you and I experience every day, they would take the shape of the swan. Furthermore lore states they would travel out of the Otherworld in pairs, thus reinforcing the theme of union, bonds and partnership.

In Celtic art, gold and silver chains are often depicted around the swan's neck. I’ve read where this is symbolic of supernatural appearance of divine energy or the descent of gods to earth. I like to think the chains are symbolic of a harmony between cosmic forces; gold representing the sun, and silver symbolic of the moon. Perhaps the Celts recognized the essence of gods within the guise of the swan, and honored that power in the bird.

We see further themes of transformation and deific embodiment in Greek myth wherein Zeus (Jupiter in the Roman pantheon) transformed himself into a swan in an effort to slake his uncontrollable passion for Leda.

Symbolic swan meaning continues the theme of transformation in the tale of the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson. Mislabeled from birth, the little duckling lives his life with the heroic heart of a swan. Indeed, after growing strong under the nurturing of kind humans, the duckling is set free, and sees its image for the first time in a reflective pool of water to discover he had “transformed” into a lovely swan.

Who doesn’t love this little fairy tale? It reminds us of our inherent glory, power and beauty (as the duckling was always a graceful swan). At the same time, the tale encourages us to have faith and have a persistent heart while pursuing the gifts that are our birthright.

In dreams, the swan asks us to spread our wings and take flight into our waking dreams. She also encourages us to strengthen our relationships, as well as make new, long-lasting bonds with people whom we admire.

White swans in dreams are symbolic of cleansing and purifying ourselves and our lives. Black swans indicate deep mysteries within us that are longing to be set free to express themselves creatively – perhaps as Bridgid would have us do, in poetry or music.

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Turkey Animal Symbolism

Turkeys have been a symbol of thanksgiving and abundance long before the Piligrim's "first meal" in 1621 with the Northern Native Americans.

Native American Indians view the turkey as both a symbol of abundance and fertility. Indeed, the turkey was the guest of honor (sacrificial, that is) in various fertility and gratitude ceremonies.

The Creek tribes still practice the turkey dance during its annual fire festivals. The feathers of turkeys are also used in ritual (see my Native American Feather Symbolism post )

The turkey was thought to be sacred to ancient Mexican cultures. The Aztecs, Mayans and Toltecs viewed the turkey as a "jeweled bird" and also referred to it as the "Great Xolotl." Male turkeys were honored for it's beauty and essence of cocky pride.

A Quick-list summary of animal symbolism of the turkey:

Pride
Abundance
Generosity
Awareness
Virility
Fertility
Sacrifice

Turkeys (like the peacock) give clear signs of agitation prior to poor weather conditions This is often seen by primitive cultures as a symbol of foretelling.

Turkeys are at their peak of power in the autumn months. As fall season animals, turkeys are also symbolic of:

harvest
new beginnings
cycles
preparation

Animal symbolism of the turkey also deals with male virility and pride. This isn't surprising when we observe male turkeys in the wild. They are quite noble looking as the strut and fan their impressive plumage for all to see.

When the turkey visits us it is a sign that we must be mindful of the blessings bestowed upon us each day. Further, it is a message to express our strength and brilliance - it's time to show our own plumage and reveal true selves.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief page on the animal symbolism of the turkey. Take the time to communicate with this noble creature and find out what revelations and symbolic meanings come to you!

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Bird Meaning of the Vulture

Bird symbolism deals with the element of air, and air is symbolic of the mind, thoughts, and intelligence. That the vulture is a master navigator of the winds reminds us we might need to "go back to the mental drawing board" before acting in projects.

The vulture also asks us to be patient with ourselves, and think things through. They encourage us to be quite sure of how we feel before we enter the arena of our plans.

This symbolism is underscored by the magnificent level of patience the vulture exhibits. I've seen vultures coast air currents for hours, waiting for the perfect time to descend upon a tasty treat.

We all know vultures are scavengers. This holds keen symbolism for us, in that the vulture represents resourcefulness.

Bird symbolism and attributes of the vulture:

Loyal
Serious
Patience
Tolerance
Renewal
Equalizing
Cleanliness
Perceptive
Protection
Impervious
Unconventional
Resourcefulness

We can take its cue by being the same way: Resourceful and wise with the resources we have at hand. Rather than working hard, we can open our senses to the opportunities already available to us. The vulture does not hunt, it seizes the resources available to it.

Of course, this calls for a fair amount of flexibility and perception. The vulture is all about higher awareness. Those who are called to this bird are equally perceptive - maybe even coming into a time of higher awareness.

Vultures can spot fresh meat from miles away. In fact, its vision is vastly advanced. Vultures also have an uncanny sense of smell.

This kind of bird symbolism prompts us to use all of our senses to navigate in the pursuit of our highest benefit.

Bird symbolism of vultures also deals with renewal. Specifically, the solar aspect of the newness brought about by the dawning day.

Perhaps the most eerie image I have of the vulture was when I was a kid visiting my Uncle Dan in West Texas.

He lived on sprawling acres of sun-baked dirt with crazy craggy trees jutting wicked looking fingers into the cyanic skies.

It was here I saw dozens of vultures perched on these gnarly trees. Each bird had their wings spread wide open in the bright morning sun.

I asked my uncle why they did that. He told me they were welcoming the day with open arms.

I thought that was very cool (and even emulated them the following morning by opening up my own arms, greeting the day with as much mysterious reverence as those buzzards did).

Technically, they open their wings to the sun to dry evenings dampness from their feathers. The sun also cooks off any bacteria and guts lingering after eating - a natural cleansing process. Again, very resourceful and the vulture reminds us to call upon our natural resources to get the job done (don't work hard, work smart and work with the elements).

One other observation. I noticed the buzzards at Uncle Dan's peed on their feet. Later I learned this is a way for them to keep clean. Their excrement keeps acts like a bleach, and keeps bacteria on their feet at bay.

This is an unorthodox method that achieves remarkable results. In fact, if we think about it, bird symbolism theme of the vulture is all about opportunity and resourcefulness brought about through unusual and clever methods.

So, as it turns out, there are a myriad of reasons why the vulture presents itself proudly (and the do strike a regal figure. Observe them at rest - they're kings and queens in their own right). Independent and beautiful in exotic ways, the vulture is the spokes-bird for nonconformity and intelligent design.

Some historical and cultural facts about bird meaning of the vulture:

Some cultures like the ancient Iranians, Zoroastrians and Tibetan Buddhists participated in "sky burials" in which they would leave their deceased to be picked over by vultures. This was an honorable process, as the vulture was a symbol of renewal and so, in a creative way, the deceased were given new life by their remains being consumed by the vulture.

Egyptians recognized vulture mothers as fiercely protective, and amazingly nurturing to their young. They also keep their babies much longer (about three months) than most birds.

So, the vulture is often seen depicted with Nekhbet the goddess of childbirth and feminine energies. Mother bird symbolism is also seen in the mother goddess Mut who claims the vulture as her familiar.

Both Nekhbet and Mut are protective figures (particularly protective of the young and innocent), so then, logically the vulture is a symbol of protection too.

In Roman mythology the vulture was the steed of the god Saturn (dominion over justice, agriculture, harvest and strength via control). The vulture was also associated with the god Mars (representative of strategy, military, masculinity, initiations, and protection).

The vulture was also sacred to Apollo, and picks up symbolism of higher knowing, prophecy and oracular understanding (which plays nicely into the bird symbolism linked to the mental element of air).

In fact, Native American seers held the vultures flight pattern as an augury. Shamans of great skill could interpret the language of vulture flight to reveal important weather signs and omens.

Native Americans also deemed the vulture as a symbol of renewal and linked it with renewal themes seen in the rising of a new sun every day . Solar renewal symbolism is due to the same reasons my Uncle Dan cited (opening their wing to greet the new day).

The Mayans had their ideas about bird symbolism. To the Mayan mind the vulture was observed as a death eater.

As a consumer of death, the Mayan felt the vulture could also convert death to life. So, the vulture was considered a symbol of cleansing , renewal and transformation. It's also associated with water and the vulture controls the rain.

This connects that theme of spinning the revolving wheel of life. In their region, droughts were death and water meant life. Vultures were viewed as fearless of death - they stared it in the face and ate death for breakfast (literally).

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Symbolic Meaning of Woodpeckers

To be sure, the woodpecker is an attention-grabber, and those who claim this amazing bird as their totem will attest to its ability to shake up awareness.

Nothing breaks the silence of a hiking in the woods like the urgent, rapid-fire percussion of a woodpecker's rapping against a tree.

A Quick-List of woodpecker symbolic meaning:

Balance
Progress
Signaling
Returning
Protection
Initiation
Attention
Prophesy
Listening
Opportunity
Discernment
Communication
Determination

When I hear the woodpecker knocking, I think of opportunity. You know the old saying "when opportunity knocks, answer the door." That's precisely what I'm driving at here.

Woodpeckers are extremely opportunistic themselves. Each tree is a door, revealing tender morsels of food (grubs and ants are their favorites). Other trees will yield against their beak-hammering to provide great mansions for their young.

When the woodpecker comes tapping into our awareness, it's also a signal to use our heads. Just as the woodpecker uses its head (beak) to hammer out solutions (food, shelter), we too can use our intellect in finding solutions to our own barriers.

The symbolic meaning of woodpeckers also point to a need for creative vision. Being opportunistic, woodpeckers can see value everywhere, even in dead trees. Have you ditched an idea or given up on a project? The woodpecker may be trying to tell you to breathe new life into your project, just as they build new homes into dead trees.

Further, the symbolic meaning of woodpecker indicates a return to our roots, or having trust in our basic (gut) feelings. Dr. Carl Jung observed the woodpecker as a symbol of a return to the womb of creativity. In this observation the tree is symbolic of a womb; earthy, grounded, sturdy and secure. The woodpecker's home within the tree is analogous of a fierce determination to return and protect that which is sacred to us.

When this bird comes pecking, it is a call for us to return to our roots, back to the womb of our ideas and use our intellect and discernment to follow through with our plans.

This analogy is doubly profound in the case of red-headed woodpeckers as the color red is associated with the root chakra. Prime, protective energy. Another clear sign for being aware of our core impulses, and our basic beliefs.

Native North American wisdom recognized the protective home-based themes of the woodpecker too. Prairie tribes had a myth that the title of protector of humankind was once vied for by the turkey and the woodpecker. The woodpecker won the title because of her ability to make such marvelous nests wherein the spiritual seed of humankind would always be sheltered from predatory threat.

The woodpecker may also remind us to be mindful of our words. It has a narrow tongue, extremely effective for picking up food in narrow places. This is symbolic for using a narrow route to get the most profound effect. The woodpecker asks us to use fewer words to make a stronger impact in our statement.

As we continue to explore the symbolic meaning of woodpecker, we see communication is a strong theme. In fact, when I hear the woodpecker, I think of Morse code, and I try to figure out what kind of rhythmical message the woodpecker is sending me.

It wasn't until years later I did some research on the bird that I discovered, indeed, the woodpecker actually does peck out signals to their kin as communication!

Drumming has historically marked the beginning of events such as processions, honorable ceremonies, even war. Perhaps this is why the woodpecker (and its beak-drumming ways) was often associated with Roman battle, war and victory.

Native North American wisdom also prescribes drumming as a means to journeying (transcendentalism), and so many tribes considered the woodpecker as an other-worldly messenger, and a prophet.

In Roman mythology, the woodpecker is associated with Mars, which is a planet of energy, and initiative. The zodiac sign of Aries might be drawn to the woodpecker as a totem animal because of its association with Mars too (Mars is the ruling planet for Aries).

These two (woodpecker and the Ram which is the zodiac animal for Aries) have the propensity of initiation (trail blazers, starting new projects) in common. The woodpecker is the first to initiate communication. Consider the silence of a winter day cracked wide open by the echoing beat of a woodpeckers beak.

Also, the symbolic meaning of woodpecker deals with progress because she doggedly hammers at her purpose until she sees to the other side of the obstacle. Aries are equally determined in their purpose, often ramming through astounding odds to obtain their goals.

Concepts of determination and drive in the symbolic meaning of woodpecker can be stretched further when we consider the woodpecker's love for the oak tree. Oak trees are symbolic of stability and strength of character, read more about their meanings here.

Also in Roman myth the woodpecker was noted as befriending the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus (who, interestingly were fathered by Mars, the god of war). Legend states the both the wolf and the woodpecker fed the twin boys in their infancy while they were sequestered in the wild to avoid demise.

And so, when the woodpecker comes calling, it may be a sign to:

Fly back to our roots.
Nurture our ideas in the womb of our core passions.
Shelter our wisdom from predatory threat.
Use our heads (intellect) to think up innovative solutions to overcome barriers.
Communicate our ideas in more creative or non-traditional ways.
Stop and consider the opportunities available to us at this time.
Look at projects in unique creative ways to bring new life to a project.
Listen more clearly to subtle energies, there is a message that only our intuition can interpret.

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Celtic Meanings of the Wren

The Celts keenly observed all animals in their environment. Much like Native Americans, Celts translated animal behaviors as highly significant and symbolic.

In so doing, Celtic meanings of this little bird begin with observations in raising their young. Both male and female wrens take part in caring for their young. This is symbolic of sharing tasks within the home. It's also a reminder to not getting stuck in gender roles, and approach the "traditional" from a fresh, innovative angle.

The wren is an active little bird, and so its symbolic Celtic meanings include activity, vibrancy, alertness and efficiency. The wren is rarely seen resting on her laurels. The Celts honored that fastidiousness, and took the lesson of making progress each day to heart in their own lives.

Further, the wren is quite sociable. She reminds us to keep a happy heart and be kind to others.

Quick Celtic Meanings for the Wren (keywords):

Friendliness
Sharing
Determined
Quick-Witted
Active
Agile
Creativity
Light-Hearted
Free-Spirited

This light, bright cheer carries over into the delightful song of the wren. Bards were particularly inspired by this songbird's lyrics, and the wren wins high status as a symbol of musical poetry, art and song.

Like many songbirds, the wren is a champion at migration and movement. She's content to flit from place to place with shallow roots. This is symbolic of the old adage "home is where the heart is."

In this respect, the wren reminds us it is not the material items we gain, but the quality of relationships made along the way that enrich our lives.

We can also interpret the wren's flighty ways as a message to branch out, expand our circle of contacts, and step out of our habitual rounds in life.

The wren may be tiny, but she packs a powerful symbolic message, encouraging us to go beyond the realm of the "known" and to access the adventure that waits for us!
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:22 pm

Insect Animal Totem Meanings


The Buzz on Insect Animal Totem Meanings

Insect animal totems all seem to point to a few key characteristics: tenacity, patience, and detachment.

Seemingly unaware of their surroundings as they go about their business, insect animal totem meanings herald the importance of minding our own business. Yet, at the same time, most insects have a strong sense of community. The trick is keeping balance, and insect animal totems certainly do that.

Insects are progressive, and proactive - always adapting to the environment, and never letting little things like natural disasters get in their way of progress. When we get discouraged, we could all learn a thing or two from insect animal totem meanings. It's their unsinkable nature that reminds us to keep moving forward for progress.


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The meaning of bees in dreams speak of:

industry,
action,
communication, and
our ability to consciously choose the results we want in our lives

Dream bees also point to spiritual gifts as we incorporate the treasures of (golden) honey as their industrious byproducts. When we dream of bees it may be an indication that we are ready to communicate our spiritual gifts, or perhaps we should more clearly recognize the treasures that reside within us.

The symbolism of bees in dreams also activates the concept of pollination. Upon awakening from our bee dream, we may ask ourselves:

What ideas am I pollinating (nurturing) in my life?
If my attitude is like a pollen, what kind of pollen am I spreading? Do I spread love wherever I go? Gossip? Peace? Anger? Joy?
Where do my thoughts most frequently land? Am I enjoying the nectar of the sweetest flowers, or do I linger in the marsh of unproductive thinking?

Bees have intricate modes of communication. Often when we dream of bees it’s a sign that we may want to observe our social networks. Dream bees ask us if we are communicating effectively and keeping in touch with our loved ones.

The number of bees in our dreams may also give a clue to the dream meaning. Incorporate number meanings to your bee dreams by brushing up on symbolic numbers here.

We may even turn to the beehive as a source of dream symbolism. Beehives lend themselves to perfect storage, efficient living space, and excellent architecture. Consequently, dream beehives are symbolic of structure and order – specifically in our homes. A dream of bees within a beehive may be a message to establish some organization within the home.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on the meaning of bees in dreams. Take time to sit with your bee dreams. Even call upon the realm of bees for guidance in interpretation – you’ll find bees are quite willing to buzz some useful insights your way.

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Butterfly Animal Symbolism

Overwhelmingly, cultural myth and lore honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis.

From egg, to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges in her unfurling glory.

What a massive amount of transition this tiny creature undergoes. Consider for a moment the kind of energy this expends. I daresay if a human were to go through this kind of change we’d freak out!

Imagine the whole of your life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Mind you, this change takes place in a short span of about a month too (that’s how long the butterfly life cycle is).

Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.

This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same.

A quick-list of Butterfly animal symbolism:

Resurrection
Transition
Celebration
Lightness
Time
Soul

Interestingly, in many cultures the butterfly is associated with the soul – further linking our animal symbolism of faith with the butterfly.

In Greek myth, Psyche (which literally translates to mean “soul”) is represented in the form of a butterfly. Befittingly, Psyche is forever linked with love as she and Eros (the Greek god of love, also known in Roman myth as Cupid) shared an endlessly passionate bond together – both hopelessly in love with the other.

Greece doesn’t corner the market on associating the butterfly with the soul. Here are a few other ancient cultures that associated this elegant creature with the soul:

Asian (central)
Mexican – Aztec
New Zealand
Zaire

Even Christianity considers the butterfly a soulful symbol. To wit, the butterfly is depicted on ancient Christian tombs, as Christ has been illustrated holding a butterfly in Christian art.

It’s connection with the soul is rather fitting. We are all on a long journey of the soul. On this journey we encounter endless turns, shifts, and conditions that cause us to morph into ever-finer beings. At our soul-journey’s end we are inevitably changed – not at all the same as when we started on the path.

To take this analogy a step further, we can look again to the grace and eloquence of the butterfly and realize that our journey is our only guarantee. Our responsibility to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly as the butterfly.

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Symbolism and Cicada Meaning

May I share a fond memory with you? I remember, years ago, finishing a long day of back-breaking work in my friend, Carolinda's garden in Texas. It was mid-July, and Carolinda and I were mending fences, moving stones, pulling weeds. Our toiling in the Texas heat was accompanied by the music of cicadas the entire time - a soft droning - a supernatural humming, that waxed and waned throughout the afternoon. Their song served as a backbeat to our work - a driving reverberation through the landscape that seemed to sustain our energy and buoy our endurance.

At dusk, our garden chores complete, Carolinda and I settled our bones in her wicker chairs, surveying the results of our hard work. As we sat drinking rose hip iced tea, we also settled into the music of the cicada. That's when Carolinda shared some interesting insights about the cicada with me. This page on symbolic cicada meaning is a result of Carolinda's observations with a few of my own tossed in the mix.

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"How can they keep humming like that? I mean, don't they run out of breath?" I asked Carolinda, after savoring a long sip of tea, and sinking deeper into the wicker chair from exhaustion.

"Silly VeeVee." Carolinda replied (she called me VeeVee, I'm not sure why). "Cicadas don't sing like we do, they produce sound in their abdomen's with their tymbals - it's like they make a drum roll in their bellies. They purr in large groups, as a whole. Cicada's are very big into teamwork, and they sing in unison for the benefit of the group rather than exultation of the individual. That's a lesson...one we learned today. By working together in the garden we got twice as much accomplished. Teamwork reaps higher rewards."

I thought about this for awhile in silence. Then, "What's the cicada's reward for singing as they do?" I asked.

"Love." Carolinda said matter-of-factly.

"Huh?" I inquired, hoping for more detail.

"We're hearing male cicada's crooning to woo their females! It's better than Frank Sinatra! Ooooh Fraaaaankieeeee!" As she said this, Carolina made swooning motions as if gone limp from Sinatra's honey-dripped vocals.

Sometimes it takes a village to encourage love to come our way. I'm reminded of close-knit families in which matchmakers and kitchen-table meetings among matriarch's of the family gather together for long conversations about what young man would best pair with their lovely daughters. Indeed, the cicada is a symbol of love, matchmaking, and calling out to our proper mate. Moreover, cicada's remind us to seek advice from trusted allies (friends, family) when it comes to matters of love. In short, when our awareness is drawn to the sound of cicada's it's a good time to tune into our love-lives, and perhaps get some trusted advice from an outside resource about love and relationships.

"VeeVee, did you know cicada's can lay dormant for over a decade?" Carolinda asked, rustling me out of my reverie about love-bug-song.

"No, why is that?" I asked.

"They chose their own time to be born. That's powerful, don't you think?" She lifted her eyebrow at me as she said this, then tipped her rose tea to her lips for a sip.

Cicada's nestle themselves in the cool earth, almost as if in hibernation, feeding on the roots of trees until their internal body-clocks sound an alarm, resurrecting them from the earth. The symbolic implications of this were staggering to me. It spoke to me about things like: Timing, Inner Knowing, Patience, Resurrection, and also a symbiotic partnership with the Mother [Earth] as well as a special union with trees (an aspect that's always intriguing, as trees are phenomenal wisdom-keepers).

They choose their own time to be born. What a cool concept. Years later I did research into why cicada's lay dormant, sometimes only a year, other times up to 17 years. It has to do with predators. Although still a mystery to biologists, the cicada has a keen ability to sense the right time to emerge from their earthy cocoons in order to produce the most off-spring. They do this during a time in which their predators are low in numbers - insuring the chance of their brood's survival (reducing the likelihood of predators gobbling up their babies for lunch).

This phenomenon is symbolic of timing in my mind. To this day, when I hear cicada's in the summer, they make me contemplate my own timing, as well as the timing of the Universe. It also makes me pay attention to my internal body clock, and the rhythms of the Mother [Nature]. In respect to timing and the cicada, we can ask ourselves questions like: "Is this a good time to start? Or, perhaps I should wait to protect my assets from becoming devoured by poor conditions/circumstances? (just as the cicada does to protect their offspring from predators)."

Some keywords to consider in conjunction with symbolic cicada meaning:

Change
Metamorphosis
Renewal
Rebirth
Past to Present
Reincarnation
Illumination
Longevity
Surprise
Sensuality
Libido
Love
Partnership
Teamwork
Self-Expression
Patience
Timing

Some other symbolic corollaries with cicada meaning...

Cicadas and Numerology:
Recently a Facebook pal (thanks Richard) asked me about the significance of the "7 Year Cicada" - it's a reference to the timing of a cicada's emergence from the earth mentioned earlier in this article. Cicada's pick and choose their own time to creep from the soil based on environmental conditions. We can take a look at their annual brood cycles for more symbolic meaning. For example, if a clan of cicada's have been dormant for two years, their arrival after that time of incubation could signify: New partnerships, a time of making a choice between two opportunities, a time to become more balanced (justifying polarities and balancing duality). This comes from the energetic meaning of the number two. We can look at the number of years for insight. In the case of the 7 Year Cicada, we could attribute the symbolism of the number seven to this: The number seven is a representative of scholarly activities, mystery, and the focused search for esoteric meanings. Seven deals with the activation of imagination and manifesting results in our lives through the use of conscious thought and awareness. This combined with the symbolic cicada meaning (see keyword list above) can offer profound insight.

Cicadas and Themes of Resurrection:
Can you imagine being entombed in silent stasis for up to 17 years? That's what some North American cicada's do. Kept alive by the nutrients of the soil, fed by the root-sap of trees, the cicada sleeps underground, waiting for the right time to break the earth and burst forth in a bustle of activity. Asian symbolism took note of this as a theme of resurrection. So much so, ancient Asian burial ceremonies include the making of intricate jade figures of cicadas; these were placed in the mouths of deceased ancestors. This allowed ancestors a pleasant, tranquil after-life sleep, and gave them the ability to re-emerge in spirit to help families or accomplish goals when the timing called for their aid. A burrowed cicada could also be interpreted as a sign of the past, and it's emergence is a sign of the present. Therefore, when cicada's choose to come out from Mother [Nature's] womb, it may be time to look into our past and see what, if anything, might need to be resurrected and re-examined.

Cicadas and Solar Connections:
No doubt about it, cicadas are heat-lovers. Some years it seems the hotter it gets, the louder cicada humming fills the air. This is a solar connection worthy of our attention. The sun is symbolic of: Outward expression, illumination, radiating light/joy, exposing shadow, and also nourishment (as few things can grow without light). When cicada's come into your awareness, it's time to contemplate your own sun-features. Meaning, how are you expressing yourself to others? Are you singing in harmony with your community, as the cicada does? Cicada song is an outward expression - our words are too. Cicada's and their solar-affinity also remind us to contemplate the things that warm our hearts - what kindles our passion? What gets us all fired up, and motivates our energy?

These are just a few thoughts about the symbolic cicada meaning. I hope you've enjoyed my little walk down memory lane with Carolinda. I hope the cicada offers you many blessings , and facilitates a great deal of symbolic delights in your life.

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Symbolic insect meaning of the crane fly (also called mosquito hawks or daddy long legs) deal with:

Purpose
Resourcefulness
Balance
Introspection

My cousin asked about this symbolic insect meaning, and here are a few other observations I shared with him:

crane flies are creatures of both air and water. Air in esoteric symbolism deals with thought, and water symbolism speaks to us about emotion. When these or other insects of their ilk come into our awareness it suggests a fitful, but sometimes whimsical juxtaposition between our analytical mind and our dreamy-type emotions.

It's interesting how their legs are so fragile, and break off so easily - this is a survival technique. They can often escape from becoming lunch for birds by leaving behind one of their legs in a bird beak.

Legs speak to me of foundations (four pillars of stability) and core beliefs. If we do as the insect intuitively suggests, and consider our softer emotions in relation to our hard-core thoughts, we may detect a "loose leg" in our prime, stabilizing belief systems. We may want to "sacrifice" one of these "legs" if that belief no longer serves us.

Mosquito hawks and crane flies are, on the whole, innocuous - they take life casually, flitting from food source to food source. None of these sources being human or animal. Rather, they conusume nectars. This reminds me of resourcefulness, and going light on consuming resources of the earth - not invading or harming other creatures in order to gain life for self - being gentle with our consumption, and taking only what is required.

As with most insects, (it would seem to the scientific eye) these little guys mostly have one purpose. To procreate. This can be a symbolic message to use our time wisely, and be mindful as well as passionate about what we create for ourselves and others in the life-span we have. Maybe this insect meaning would have a "this life is what you've got right now, give this life time the best shot you've got" kind of motto.

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Symbolism of Dragonflies

As a creature of the wind, the dragonlfy totem represents change. It's iridescent wings are incredibly sensitive to the slightest breeze, and so we are reminded to heed where the proverbial wind blows - lest we run into stormy weather.

Dragonflies are also creatures of the water, and any creature whose habitat is in, or around water carries symbolism relative the the subconscious, or "dreaming" mind and thoughts.

This is because in the animal world, water is symbolic of the subconscious mind ("deeper mind," "dreaming mind") and relates to the thoughts we have in relaxed/meditative/sleeping/subconscious states.

Quick-list animal symbolism of the dragonfly:

prosperity
good luck
strength
peace
harmony
purity

These symbolic meanings of dragonfly are particularly associated in Asian (Japan) and Native American (Plains region) circles.

Dragonflies carry messages that deal with deeper thought - and they ask that we pay attention to our deeper thoughts and desires.

Further symbolic insect meaning of dragonfly comes into play when we observe the dragonfly's mode of transportation as it skitters across the top of water surfaces. This implies that our deeper thoughts are surfacing and we must be mindful of the outcome we wish to have.

The dragonfly is a reminder that when our deeper thoughts rise to the surface we must pay attention - there are lessons to be learned, and we are also reminded that what we think is directly proportionate to what we "see on the surface." ...In short, our thoughts (even the deeper ones that we might not be as in-touch with as we are with our conscious thoughts) are responsible for what we see in our lives - in our physical surroundings.

The dragonfly gives us a very powerful meditation tool. Close your eyes, and focus on a thought - let it rise to the surface of your mind's ocean - see that thought float lightly up to the water's surface. Now upon the top of a smooth, calm glass-like surface - visualize that thought moving across that water - sliding across - smooth and fast.

This exercise is useful when we want to visualize positive outcomes in a situation. We see the thought of hope happily moving across an ocean of peace (peaceful mind) and skitting to a perfect outcome.

Lastly it should be noted that the Dragonfly lives a short life, and it knows it must live to the fullest with what it has. This lesson is huge for each of us. When you see a dragonfly, be aware of the gifts it has to offer by keeping its animal totem meanings in mind.

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Firefly Symbolism

The symbolic meaning of the firefly of course deals with light, illumination and the like. Although an important focus, the issue of light is not the high feature behind the symbolic meaning of the firefly. Rather, it is the messages this wonderous creature gives us while her light is off may be most profound to our growth.

An ordinary looking creature during the day, admittedly, the firefly is a remarkable sight when it glows at night. This is a symbolic message to us humans that although our physical appearance may seem one way - it is our internal makings - what is inside us (such as our spirit) that makes us shine from the inside out. That which is within us will always illuminate us and those around us.

Here is a summary list of symbolic meaning of the firefly:

Inspiration
Illumination
Patience
Attraction
Energy
Hope
Aspiration
Guidance
Efficiency
Creativity
New Ideas
Awakening

The firefly primarily uses its light in mating ceremonies, and it is quite elaborate an intricate. Light signals are precise and exactly timed in order to attract the right mate. This is a symbolic message that if we are to attract the people, places and things in our lives, we must plan accordingly, lay down the groundwork, and be persistent in our ideals.

It is interesting to note that the firefly does not produce heat in order to create her light. This is a message that we must not burn our candles at both ends. Creativity and development is suppose to be a free, natural, and easy-going process - there is no need for us to "burn-out" in order to reach our goals.

In addition to using no heat to produce her light, the fact that fireflies eat very little is another symbolic meaning of economy or efficiency. Adult fireflies use their environment to the most effective extent possible in order to gain their energy. This is a lesson for us to use the resources we have availble to us, and not waste or consume to excess.

When fireflies come into our lives they are there to guide us to ways of living that are more earth-friendly, and soul-friendly. Fireflies teach us the value of living simply, and relying on our own inner voices for illumination. Fireflies also come to us with a message of creativity, and remind us that our paths are made lighter by the beauty that we allow into our lives.

Thus concludes this page on the symbolic meaning of the firefly. I hope you have enjoyed some of these symbolic observations.

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Grasshopper Symbolism

A reader asked me for clarification about grasshopper symbolism and various symbolic/cultural roles this magnificent creature plays within the insect realm.

As a cultural symbol, this insect is a prominent feature in Asian traditions. For instance, the Japanese connect its molting phases with the wax and wane of the moon. Further still, the Japanese cherished the song of this creature (particularly the long-horned grasshopper), and believed the moon coaxed the music from them.

As a Chinese symbol, the grass hopper offers attributes of longevity, happiness, good health, good luck, wealth, abundance, fertility and virtue. In fact, grasshoppers were thought to be fertility symbols; specifically omens of the birth of a son (hence, another reason for its good luck symbol status as sons are considered prized gems within the setting of the family).

In certain regions of China, grasshoppers were kept as family pets and it was believed grasshoppers embodied the personalities of family members who were deceased. Keeping these reincarnate souls in the form of grasshoppers insured prosperity amongst the family members.

In Ancient Greece the grasshopper is a status symbol. Athenians would adorn themselves with golden grasshopper hair combs and brooches as an indication of nobility. The grasshopper is also a symbol of immortality as we see in Greek myth when Zeus grants immortality to Tithonus, who was later transformed into a grasshopper (who of course, lived forever).

In Native American Indian symbology and tribal lore (specifically the Iroquois nation) grasshopper symbolism deals with messages of glad tiding. In this context, the grasshopper is a harbinger of good news. Indeed, when this creature is seen on spirit walks, it is a sign that the seer will receive profoundly joyful news that will benefit the entire community.

Here's a quick-list of grasshopper symbolism:

Lucky
Stable
Virtue
Vibrant
Content
Intuitive
Fertility
Patient
Peaceful
Creativity
Abundance
Insightful
Messenger
Connected
Courageous
Resourceful
Forward Thinking

As an animal totem, the grasshopper appeals to artists, musicians and dancers. To wit, the lilting song this creature emits is an inspiration to our muse; its skittering and jumping is divine choreography. The artist within us all easily recognizes the grasshopper making its own dance steps, and grooving to its own special melody.

The grasshopper moves to its own rhythm and tune, indicating this creature is a advocate of intuition and listening to our inner voices. The grasshopper encourages us to listen to our own stirrings – those beautiful chirping lullaby’s that sing in our hearts are indications of our inner beauty and creativity. The grasshopper totem reminds us these inner musings must never be silenced – rather, they should be nurtured, and always remain as the background music to the performance of our lives.

As with most insect totems, the grasshopper keeps itself to the ground. As such, this is a grounding totem, and the grasshopper can teach us stability, patience, security, and solidarity.

The grasshopper chooses those of us who are innovators, forward-thinkers, and those who progress in life by unorthodox methods. This is because grasshopper symbolism recognizes tremendous leaps of faith, impressive jumps in progress and consistent forward momentum. Those with this totem are likely to aim high, and achieve amazing feats – they take great leaps where others fear to tread (or jump, in this case).

Another special feature of the grasshopper totem is that it calls to those who have natural clairvoyant abilities. Just as the grasshopper uses thousands of tiny eyes to formulate the “big picture” so too do those whom the grasshopper is called. In other words, those with this totem are visionaries. They see things intuitively, seeing beyond what the concrete world holds, and they use this special vision to see the world with a childlike wonder.

We can call upon the grasshopper when we need a sense of adventure in our lives. When we feel stuck in a rut, the grasshopper can bounce us into magical viridian worlds filled awe and joy.

The grasshopper can also help us when we need a little creative inspiration. If muses kept pets – the grasshopper would certainly be a first choice.

Take the time to connect with the grasshopper. Here are some suggestions in doing so:

Consider the spaces in your life that need a little extra-sensory vision and call upon the eyes of the grasshopper for a grandiose view.
Visualize some amazingly good news hopping your way on the back of the grasshopper
Invoke the grasshopper’s help in making forward-motions in your life with great leaps of courage and faith.
Ask the grasshopper if it might share its antennae with you – see yourself with a pair of antenna – sensing out your environment, detecting the energy around you, and gaining new clarity with your new sensory organs.
Recall the summer songs of the grasshopper that lift from warm grasses like a background fragrance. Tapping into grasshopper song can be incredibly uplifting, as well as inspirational.
Consider the earthy grounded-ness the grasshopper represents when you need some anchoring and stability in your life

I hope you have enjoyed these observations on grasshopper symbolism and grasshopper totems. This is truly a magnificent creature capable of expanding your horizon to new heights.

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Praying Mantis Meanings in the Realms of Animal Symbolism

The mantis comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. Usually the mantis makes an appearance when we've flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us because of the external din we've created.

After observing this creature for any length of time you can see why the symbolism of the praying mantis deals with stillness and patience. The mantis takes her time, and lives her life at her own silent pace.

A quick-list of praying mantis symbolism:

Stillness
Awareness
Creativity
Patience
Mindful
Calm
Balance
Intuition

These traits have lead the mantis to be a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In fact, in China, the mantis has long been honored for her mindful movements.

The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.

Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds.

An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.

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Moth Symbolism and Meaning

A friend of mine has been getting consistent visitations from the moth, and she asked me what I thought. This page is a result of a few meditations with the moth, and symbolic observations.

Moths have similar animal symbolism as butterflies, but have a few distinguishing characteristics that set it far apart from its winged relative.

Namely, the moth is a nocturnal creature, whereas the butterfly is diurnal.

Nocturnal creatures have philosophical symbolism such as:

Dreams
Shadows
Otherworldliness
Secret knowledge
Psychic awareness

We gather these symbolic attributes because night creatures conduct their life-sustaining activities in complete darkness.

As humans, we may translate this as symbolic of living our lives by intuitive feeling rather than physical sensory perception.

Philosophically speaking, night creatures do not tumble in the dark, and neither do humans. We use our dreams, our awareness, and our deeper, inner knowing to navigate through the darkest hours of our lives.

Faith is another tool we use to move through shadowy times of uncertainty, and the moth also shares this aspect. The moth never questions provision. She has complete faith that all of her needs will be meet each night.

A quick-list of animal symbolism of moths:

Vulnerability
Determination
Concealment
Attraction
Subtlety
Intuition
Faith

Even in navigation, when we observe the moth to fly into artificial light or flames, the moth demonstrates its faith and determination.

It is still unproven as to why the moth is driven to light – but the best hypothesis is that the moth navigates by lunar light. In the absence of moonlight, the moth moves to the next best thing: man-made light.

Even at the risk of loosing its life, the moth is ever-vigilant in following its path of light. This may also serve as a moral to us to keep our own vigilance, but not fall victim of blind faith.

Here we see a fragile vulnerability in the moth. The moon is her mother, and she will follow her course at all cost. This makes her open to distraction, vulnerable to harm. Here we may find another message to adjust our course as our path indicates rather than drive forward without heeding important signs along the way.

As a creature of the night, and by her navigational devices, we see the moth is highly influenced by the power of the moon. This aspect ties in with animal symbolism of intuition, and psychic awareness.

Indeed, those with the moth totem will find this creature a magnificent assistant in developing higher awareness, and psychic enhancement.

However, with higher perception we sometimes overstep into the realm of confusion. It is important to seat ourselves in grounding foundations when we step in-tune with the lunar aspects of the moth. In other words, fly high with the moth – but always have a clear runway for happy, safe landings.

The moth continues to be under the influence in matters of love. She emits pheromones that are powerfully strong, attracting her male counterpart through the dark nights. These scented trails can be followed for remarkable distances. Here we see animal symbolism of:

Suggestion
Attraction
Allure

The female moth is subtle in her scent, wafting out like a loving tendril pulling in her mate. She has no doubt about her ability to attract her lover (those pheromones are powerfully effective!). Us humans would do well to follow the same cue. We do not have to be overt in our advances to attract our mates. Rather, the art of subtle allure can be learned from the moth.

A master of disguise, the moth can blend in to the point of invisibility. This is a metaphor for us to use our environment to our advantage, blend in when necessary, adjust and adapt when the situation requires it.

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Scorpion Symbolism and Meanings

I've gotten a few email requests about the symbol meaning for Scorpion, thus I'm including it on the site.

The symbol meaning of Scorpion, much like its appearance, can be little foreboding. That is, if we do not have the inner eyes to see the beauty and complexity of its symbolism.

Below are a few facts on the symbol meaning for Scorpion along with some cultural history and background.

A summary of symbol meaning/associations for the Scorpion are as follows:

Transition
Death/Dying
Sex
Control
Solitary/Being Alone
Treachery
Passion
Protection
Defensiveness

A potent message the Scorpion chooses to express is that of protection and/or isolation. In fact, they themselves are quite solitary - part of the reason why they symbolize In fact, many people with the Scorpion as their totem tend to have brief spells of passion with a partner only to end the relationship and spend long periods content to be alone.

The Scorpion will mate in an exotic, dance of passion and control. The Scorpion sex dance is one of beauty, control, and calculation.

The female allows her new offspring to ride on her back until they shed their first exoskeleton - then her offspring leaves her - all of them going off to their lone, solitary lives - another example of intensity in relationship followed by isolation.

Defensiveness/control/protection is evident in the Scorpion's appearance - which seems to say "Do not trifle with me." One look at this magnificent creature says "back off!" does it not?

As another symbol of protection - we can consider the venomous tip of the scorpion which numbs its prey as well as makes its prey chemically digestible for the Scorpion. Whether the Scorpion intends to eat the victim of its sting is irrelevant because its sting will most certainly protect the Scorpion in order for it to live another day.

In Samaria, the Scorpion is associated with the Sun, and ancient writings depict Scorpion-men guarding (protecting) sacred gateways leading to ascension, pleasure and enlightenment.

Death symbolism comes into play in Greco-Roman mythology where Artemis (Diana) used the Scorpion to sting Orion's foot, which caused his death. Afterwards, Zeus (Jupiter) made the Scorpion a zodiac sign among the stars.

There are some species where the venom is actually the antidote for its sting (like cobras). In Egypt and Tibet this is seen as an omen, and the Scorpion is made into an amulet - signifying protection and warding off evil. In Africa, the Scorpion is also seen as a healing sign - its venomous oil used for medicinal purposes.

When we consider the message this incredible creature has for us, we must first consider its outstanding features, which are the Scorpion's natural protective/defensive mechanisms. For example, consider the Scorpion's hard exoskeleton as a line of defense. Also consider its sharp potentially damaging pinchers - not to mention its venomous stinger.

Therefore, as a symbol meaning, the Scorpion represents protection. When the Scorpion makes an appearance in our lives, it is beckoning us to consider the following:

What needs protecting in my life?
Am I being overprotective?
Am I being defensive? Why?
Am I afraid of being vulnerable?
How do I feel about control in my life? (too much, too little)

Although the symbol meaning for Scorpion can appear a little harsh at first glance, when we really contemplate the Scorpion in all its wonder - then compare these meanings against the events in our own lives, we will inevitably find a common ground and learn some timely lessons from the Scorpion too.

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Spider Symbolism

The Spider is an ancient symbol of mystery, power and growth.

We take our first lesson from the ancient symbol of the Spider by contemplating its web.

Just as the Spider weaves a web, so too must we weave our own lives. The Spider symbol meaning here serves as a reminder that our choices construct our lives. When the Spider appears to us, it is a message to be mindful of the choices we are making - and ask ourselves:

How are my choices affecting my life?
How can my choices improve my life?
How are my choices affecting others in my life?

Not only do Spiders and their webs draw attention to our life choices, they also give us an overview of how we can manipulate our thinking in order to construct the life we wish to live.

Spiders do this by calling our awareness to the amazing construction of their webs. Fully functional, practical, and ingenious in design - Spider webs serve as homes, food storage, egg incubators - seemingly limitless in their functionality.

When we consider this ingenious diversity, we can also consider the web-like construct of our own lives. How are we designing the most effective life?

When we see our decisions, choices and actions as far-reaching, effective tools in life - we can see how we weave a web that can either serve us or enslave us. The Spider symbol meaning beckons us to be mindful of our behaviors - be smart about the life we weave for ourselves.

We can derive more Spider symbol meaning when we consider certain subtle characteristics that represent ancient symbols of infinity.

The infinity symbol meanings occur when we consider most Spiders have eight eyes and all have eight legs. The number eight is also a symbol of infinity or lemniscate (an eight turned on its side). Also, the vibrational frequency indicates the meaning of number eight involves cycles, passage of time, and evolution.

Further Spider symbol meaning:

Cunning
Progressive
Female
Cyclical
Rebirth
Death
Crafty
Resourceful
Creation
Protection
Fate

In Native American symbolism, the Spider is a symbol of protection against torrential storms. In yet other Native American lore accounts, the Spider (personified as the Grandmother) was the teacher and protector of esoteric wisdom.

The meaning of Spider in India is associated with Maya. The term Maya comes from the Sanskrit root “Ma” which means no form or limit. The term Maya describes the illusory nature of appearances. The Spider’s association with Maya brings about the understanding that not all things are as they appear to be.

The Spider symbol meaning in Egypt, is akin to Neith, a complex deity usually depicted with arrows as she is associated with hunting. Along with hunting, she is also associated with the creation, specifically the process of recreation in the dawning and dusking of each day. Neith is also a weaver, and is often shown with a shuttle in her hand (a tool used for weaving). It is this activity that gains her association with the Spider.

And of course, no conversation about the meaning of spiders is complete without discussing the Greek myth of Arachne, a mortal (although of noble stature) who was a spectacular weaver. Acclaim for her luscious lively looms spread over hill and dale and ultimately reached the immortal ears of Athena. Arachne claimed she was the best weaver, and thus prompted a challenge from Athena.

And so, they played a round of “dueling looms,” but no one could confirm the victor. However, Arachne was quite smug about the whole process. So much so, that Athena smote her with a mighty blow of conscience and a dose of guilt. Arachne took the dosage hard, and could not live with the intense feelings of guilt and sorrow so she killed herself. Athena felt awful over the whole mess and decided to resurrect Arachne in the form of a spider so that she and all her offspring would forever be the best weavers of the universe.

One final note, if you've visited my website often, you know I'm a big proponent of individual interpretation. Symbol meanings are very personal and profound. I merely provide a foundation of symbol meanings; utlimately, only YOU can determine what the meaning of Spider is to you.

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Animal symbolism of the wasp deals with:

order
construction
communication
involvement
development
progress
team-work
productivity

In some African traditions, the wasp is a symbol of evolution, and control over our life circumstances.

Some Native American Indian tribal myth inidcates the wasp as the creator of the earth, and was a symbol of order, organization as well as productivity.

Ancient European lore recognizes the wasp as big part in pollination. Here the wasp is symbolic of fertility as this genre of earth-based believers honored the wasp for its role in continuation of certain plants and flowers.

The prime season of the wasp is spring, and so it is symbolic of new beginnings, and starting new projects.

The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family. When the wasp appears in our lives it is a message for us to consider our own methods of communication. The wasp might be a sign that we may need to express ourselves more clearly.

Because the wasp is symbolic of communication, order and productivity, those who encounter the wasp may ask themselves:

"Are all my affairs in order?"
"Am I aligning myself with my goals?"
"Am I procrastinating about something?"
"Am I keeping myself from reaching my highest potential?"
"Am I allowing my progress to be held back by others?"

Those with the wasp as their totem may learn more by asking these questions of themselves, and calling upon the wasp for more clarification too.

Wasps are perfect totems for those of us who need a bit of organized focus, and assistance with assertive communication.

The wasp can also help in areas of building, whether it be a new home, or building on a dream - the wasp is a master architect and can guide you with the planning of any building project you have in mind.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:26 pm

Identify Animal Totems - A How To Overview

There are many ways to identify animal totems. In fact, there are as many ways to discover animal totems as there are beliefs surrounding them.

Due to the variety of methods and beliefs, determining your animal symbol can be confusing and sometimes a discouraging process.

These pages will give you tips to identify animal totems, characteristics associated with your animal, and working with your animal totems.

Native American animal totems are identified in dreams, meditation, or through purposeful observation to surroundings. Other cultures use similar methods to determining an animal symbol.

First, a word of advice about how to identify animal totems:

Relax.

The practice of animal totem identification is a personal one. There's no right or wrong answer.

Identifying your totem is a personal process, and occurs when you open your inner self to the natural and spiritual realms. This can only be achieved by relaxing, and being patient with yourself.

Also, understanding the qualities of an animal, and how these qualities relate to you is and your reality is key.

With that said, understand that the following guidelines to determining your kindred animal spirit are just suggestions. Ultimately, YOU will be the one to determine your animal symbol.

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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:28 pm

Identify Animal Totems - Invoke and Observe


Another method of identifying your animal totem is by purposefully observing your environment at all times.

Specifically, you can invoke an animal spirit by mentally or verbally setting an intention that you wish to contact your animal totem, and then set about your daily routine, or go on nature walk.

To set this intention before your walk or routine, simply say the following phrase, or use one of your own:

"As I go now on my way,
I affirm my animal totem show itself today.
I am thankful for this sight,
I receive this gift with delight."

Be confident in the repetition of this or a similar phrase of intention. Confidence will inspire your animal totem to show itself to you as you go on your way through the day.

Your animal totem can show itself to you in several different ways. To identify its presence you will need to be observant, patient, and sensitive to your surroundings.

One way an animal totem will come to you is if you actually see an animal during your daily routine or nature walk that calls to you in some way. For example, if you see a red fox walking through a hedgerow during your morning commute after you set your intention to meet your animal totem – this is a potential totem for you.

How to confirm this? Ask the spirit of the animal that revealed itself to you. Be still, and the answer will come to you. It takes practice to be still and listen – but once we are able to do this, our animal spirits will begin to confirm their presence to you, and serve as powerful totems in your life.

For the Native American Indians, totems were encountered when they set a similar intention while in a trance-like state or while journeying in nature. The animal totem would be revealed in the either physical form or in a vision to the Native American.

Australian Aborigines go on "walk-about" and often encounter their personal animal totems during this purposeful, observant walk through the realm ofnature.

Many cultures use invocation and purposeful observation to identify animal totems. The trick is to remain intent, patient, and observant as you expect your animal totem to reveal itself to you.

Don't eliminate obvious revelations either. Say, for example, you walk by a billboard every evening, and on it is a beautifully depicted octopus.

You don't know why, but it calls to you every time you see it. It draws you in, and even comforts you when you look upon it. This is a very big sign that a octopus is identifying itself as one of your animal totems!
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Using Dreams and Meditations to Discover and Communicate with your Animal Totems

Working with our animal symbol or animal totem (the terms are synonymous) is a process that will aid in our self-discovery, and also teaches us about life and the world around us.

Animal spirits often reveal themselves to us through our subconscious during sleep and meditation. During these sessions, animals indicate valuable information about our past, present and future, as well as help us with situations we are dealing with in our lives.

Animals also show themselves in our dreams and meditations to simply identify themselves as our spiritual guide, and thus our animal totem. This requires us to pay attention, and learn more about what this animal represents so that we can work with our animal totems.

Animals tend to have a keener sense of purpose, and instinct. These are valuable traits we can learn from them by asking for their guidance, and observing their behaviors in our dreams and meditations.

Meditation is simply a state of conscious dreaming, so you can use the following steps to help in identifying animal totems through both dreams and meditation.

1. Start an animal totem journal. Have this journal and a pen by your bedside or around the area in which you meditate. This is because you will want to record your experiences upon waking each morning or returning from deep meditation.

2. Go to sleep or meditate around the same time of day/night each day/night. Your subconscious is a creature of habit. As you settle into a routine, it will be easier to relax, and animal symbol identification will come more smoothly.

3. Make sure your environment is conducive to relaxation. It's tough to meet our animal totems when we leave the TV on, or if we have piles of laundry nagging us to be put away. Simply put a little order to your sleep/meditation area – it doesn't have to be a big deal. The subconscious loves order, and will be more cooperative if there aren't any distractions or nagging nuisances hanging around in your space.

4. Begin your sleep/meditation session by setting your intention for animal totem identification. You need to set forth a firm directive to both your subconscious mind, your spirit, AND the animal spirit realm that you wish to contact your animal totem. Silently to yourself, repeat your intention to meet your animal spirit in your dreams. You can use the following phrase, or set your own intention:

"This moment, I receive the gifts of animal sight.

This moment, my animal spirit takes flight Reveal to me what I must see.

This moment, my animal totem connects with me."

By repeating this or a similar invocation, you will coax your ego and chattering mind to relax, while your intuition and spirit begin to "warm up" to the goal of contacting your animal totem. Eventually, you will find yourself drifting into sleep (or alpha state of meditation). Relax, and roll with it, your animal totem is ready to reveal itself to you!

5. Upon waking up or rousing from meditation, write down your experience in your animal totem journal. This is critical. It's tough to rely on our memories with such delicate experiences. Dreams and meditations can be so elusive, and like the wind, the can disappear on us. It's important to record our experiences so that our minds can further digest the events surrounding our animal symbol. Writing these events also gives us a point of reference when determining the characteristics of our animal symbol, and helps us interpret the messages our animal is conveying to us.

6. Be sure to write each detail. For example:

What was your animal doing when you saw it? Flying? Swimming?
What exactly did it look like? Healthy? Sick?
What color was it? Natural color? Unusual?
What were the surroundings? Rain forest? Desert? Murky water?

7. Take a break. After awhile, a few hours, or even a day – come back to your animal totem journal and read what you wrote for that session (See Animal Totem Meanings page). Begin to do research on the animal that revealed itself to you. Begin to piece these characteristics together, along with the other details surrounding your animal's appearance during sleep/meditation. Eventually, you will begin to piece together a beautiful tapestry of deeper understanding of yourself, your life and your reality.

8. Repeat this process for continuous messages, and deeper understanding.

By continually following this guideline, you will become stronger in your interpretive abilities, and trust your intuition more in working with you animal totems. Furthermore, as you grow in this process, the animal spirits will show themselves more frequently, as they will sense your confidence as well as your respect for their presence.

DO NOT get discouraged if animals do not appear to you the first few times. This is a process, and like any other process, it may take a little time and patience to get underway.

Be diligent, and know that your animal spirit is just as eager to communicate with you as you are with it.

Also, DO NOT get all tangled up in these guidelines. If you find a better process to identify or contact your animal totem – by all means use it! This is merely a guide to a very personal experience. Ultimately, YOU are the one calling the shots!

Lastly, this process is a cooperative one. We must respect the animal world, by asking our animal spirits to come to us, and thanking them when the do appear.
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Re: Animal Totems

Postby Symandinome » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Tips on Knowing Your Totem Animal

This page on your totem animal tips is in response to a question from someone newly exploring the realm of animal energy. Specifically, she wanted to know more about how to more clearly identify and communicate with her animal counterparts. The following is part of my response:

As we make our way through this new realm of understanding, you're going to find a lot of information about animal totems, power animals, animal symbolism, shamanism. This is a time of massive expansion and subjects like these are exploding with revitalization.

My best piece of advice is to follow your own impulses as you sift through the perspectives available to you. Your own perspective & opinion is always the best one.

A few tips on getting on knowing your totem animal:

Take Time for Silence:
The majority of our non-human counterparts exist in present-moment simplicity and quietude. If our goal is to expand our awareness of the bountiful wisdom our animal queen/kingdom offers us, it makes sense to energetically meet-up on their level. Whether you call it meditation, or just settling into a still moment of awareness, be present to the potential that is present within the collective animal realm. This one small step into stillness engages something within the human mind that brings us face to face with our animal counterparts.


Empty Out:
Vessels need to be emptied out before they can be filled. The capacity of the human heart is no different. Animal energy is expansive, and must have room to flourish. We can allow that room for the fullest animal expressions (and allowing rich animal relationships) by emptying out. What do I mean by this? To encounter the animal parallel, we must make a clearing within the woods of our souls that is suitable and attractive to our energetic animal counterparts. Empty out judgments, preconceived notions, limitations, emotional clutter, and doubts. These limitations are easily replaced with the wisdom and virtues of our animal kin.


Research:
Whether in a moment of silent clarity, or as an intuitive surge - your animal attraction will happen. When your totem surfaces through energetic waves to meet your awareness make the effort to learn more about this magnificent animal. The totemic way of life is a commitment requiring an energetic investment. An important investment of this energy is to research the animals that come into our awareness. We can do this by reading about them, watching videos about them, observing them in nature. Learn how they live their lives. Where do they live? What do they eat? How do they love? How do they behave? This is a clear signal of earnest and sincerity to your deepest self and your animal counterpart. This kind of invested interest will enhance your connection to the animal realm, and gather your animal energies more close to you.


Observation and Reflection:
Totemic living is 95% observation. Observation of animal energy. Observation of Self. Observation of new flavors of experience that emerge as relationships are established between you and your animal(s). Observation of that relationship growing, and the changes both it and you (and your animal counterpart) undergo as time moves. The more we gaze into the steady pools of observation, the more clear our energetic reflections will become.
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