A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each individual is connected with nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides. Different animal guides come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.
Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.
With this one animal a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.
This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they "communicate with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that you actually pet or spend time with this animal, more that you are open to learning its lessons.
For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. Its as if theyve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animals energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if youre wondering what your animal totem is:
- Have you ever felt drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be animal, including birds and insects.
- Does a certain kind of animal consistently appear in your life? This doesnt necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be represented in other ways such as receiving card and letters with the same animal pictured over and over, unexplainable dreams of a particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show up.
- When you go to the zoo, a park, wildlife area, or forest, what are you most interested in seeing?
- Are there any animals that you find to be extremely frightening or intriguing?
- Is there a particular animal that you see frequently when youre out in nature?
- Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?
- Have you ever had a recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood that you have never been able to forget?
- Are you drawn to figurines or paintings of a specific animal?
The totem itself is a symbol that represents this animal. This could be any number of items - a crest, a totem pole, an emblem, a small figurine or anything else that depicts your animal guide.
Maternal, revenge oriented, quickness, aggression, stealth, efficiency, basic survival instincts.
Group minded, determination, patient, active, purposeful, unity, self sacrifice and industrious.
Lethargy, curiosity, nosiness, ability to smell out trouble, rooting around for solutions, finding the lost.
Active, agile, jumpiness, keen eyesight, survival, willing to sacrifice, mental clarity, intuitive, protective.
Safety, grounded, sensitivity to attack, strong boundaries, trusting, reclusive, neutral, peaceful.
Courage, aggressive, healer, problems relating to others, energy conduit, determined, focused, confident.
Rebirth, longevity, secrecy, initiation, good listener, long life, illusion, journeying, inner depth.
Industrious, instinctive, healing, power, sovereignty, guardian of the world, watcher, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength.
Determined, strong-willed, builder, overseer, dreamer, protector, builder, motion, subconscious.
Organized, industrial, productive, wise, community, celebration, fertility, sweetness, defensiveness, obsessive nature, and enjoys life.
A very powerful totem - prosperity, spiritual strength, organized, balanced complacency and activity, fearless.
Sacredness, life, great strength, abundance, gratitude, consistency, blessings, stability..
Insight into the past, fertility, raw expression, rushing into things, confidence, strength, provision.
Metamorphosis, transformation, balance, grace, ability to accept change, lightness, soul, vulnerability.
Survival, endurance, obedience, nobility, positive, accomplishment, adaptive, temperance, humility.
Traveler, mobility, preference to be nomadic, adaptability to adversity, sensitivity, guidance, surety.
Guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, independence, astute, watchful.
Swiftness, insight, focus, brotherhood, self-esteem, acceleration, elusiveness.
Leadership, loyalty, courage, taking responsibility, foresight, sensing danger, awareness.
Love of home, community, contentment, joy, easy going, patience, grounded, fertility.
Trickster, intelligence, stealth, wisdom and folly, guile, innocence, skill.
Swift and decisive, power of life and death, transformation, energy, connected to eternity.
Good luck, moves sideways, savvy, unorthodox, relaxed, cycles.
Solitude, justice, longevity, independent, intelligent, vigilant, focus.
Ensuring your emotions are displayed accurately/appropriately
Magical, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, inelegancy, energy, higher perspective.
Compassion, peace, intellectual, gentle, caring, kind, subtlety, gracefulness, femininity, gentleness, innocence, and seller of adventure
Noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, guidance, obedience, sensory perception.
Kind, salvation, wisdom, happiness, playfulness, prudent, capable of deep emotion, and happy.
Cross-world communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love.
Longevity, richness, prosperity, infinity, wisdom, power, fiery, mythic.
Flighty and carefree, strong imagination, higher aspirations, lightness, joy, transformation.
Water energy, helper of seers, affectionate, community oriented, can clearly see/deal with emotions.
Divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, and risk-taker.
Strength, power, affection, loyalty, royalty, wisdom, reliability, sense of history, pride.
Strength and agility, pride, majestic, independence, purification, nobility, sensual.
New beginnings, adventure, passionate, leadership, rising above, guardianship, superiority, prophecy.
Graceful, slyness, open-minded, quick to change one's mind, fertility, good luck, happiness.
Heart healing, psychic, people person, flirtatious, colorful, open, power of illusion.
Cunning, agility, quick-witted, diplomacy, wildness, feminine magic of camouflage, shape-shifting and invisibility
Water, cleansing, rebirth, sensitivity, medicine, hidden beauty, peace, adaptability, metamorphosis.
Awareness, speed, grace, eagerness, lightness, overcomes vulnerability, alert.
Intelligence, intuition, attaining the unreachable, sees the future, elegance, cleverness, beauty.
Surefootedness, stubbornness, independence, diligence, in the moment, aloofness, virility, sturdiness.
Self-demanding, reliable, prudent, rigid, vigilance, parenthood, productive, teamwork, fellowship.
Family-oriented, intelligence, strength, environmental protector, keeps peace through aggression.
Good luck, abundance, forward, progressive, virtuous, forward thinking, creative.
Personal power, enlightenment.
Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.
Aggressive, self-determined, self-reliant, multi-tasking, balanced, calm, present, independent.
Power, creation, imagination, healing, birth, mother-fury, protection of family, emotion depth.
Freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, power, freedom, grace, nobility.
Messenger, timelessness, healing, warrior, energy, vitality, infinity, affection, playfulness.
Chaos, shape-shifter, aggressiveness, power, confidence, manifestation, breath.
Forward, balance, creative, stamina, leaping away from danger, nurturing, generous.
Family, strength, energy, courage, guardian, protector, ferocity, authority.
Conservation, vision, self-protection, hidden defenses, shrewdness, variation.
Comforting to others, secure, responsible, strength, adaptation, hard work, curiosity.
Keeper of secrets, guardian, listener, guide, aware, intuitive, unconventional.
Community, precise vision, good boundaries, lively, courageous, intuition, heart energy.
Sensitivity, guidance, searching, extended senses, underworld, hidden treasure, digger.
Good boundaries, good defense, courage, cleansing, heart-forward, rebellious, impulsive, authentic.
Ability to change the environment, health, success, light and dark, communication, swiftness, energy.
Headstrong, longevity, steadfastness, wisdom, self-esteem, primal feminine energy, crown chakra.
Innocence, scrutiny, order, organizer, eye for details, grounded, super-aware, temerity.
Intelligence, camouflage, nocturnal.
Smart, clever, sensible, grounded, group-minded, proper use of deception, strategic, surprising.
Grounded, practical, avoidant, spiritual truth, understands denial, truth and justice.
Playful, friendly, dynamic, joy, helpfulness, sharing, love of young, sensibility without suspicion.
Wisdom, deception, intuition, insight, messenger, mystery, freedom, secrets, stealth, vision.
Sacrifice, chastity, faith, humble, self-denial, enduring, strong, magical.
Protection, hidden emotions, introspection, caution, careful decisions, multi-dimensional, dark and light.
Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, language, prophecy, verbosity, promise.
Immortality, dignity, self-confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, refinement, beauty, sexuality, pride.
Resilient, unselfish, rising above, friendliness, responsible, safety, camaraderie, bounty.
Self-discipline, order, purpose, community-minded, grace, self-confidence, spiritual.
Innocence, companionship, trust, curious, imagination, good-natured, non-interference.
Swiftness, industrious, constructive, preparedness, common goals, retreat, family, digger.
Companion on journeys to other worlds, grace, silent power
Group-work, team play, creator of harmony and group tolerance, protectiveness (especially toward children)
Fertility, artistic, in motion, hyper vigilant, joyful, lives by own wits, steps through fear.
Curiosity, disguise, explorer, secret, night vision, cleanliness, dexterity, seeker.
Stoic, sensitive, persevering, curious, imaginative, new beginnings, change, life force.
Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury, intelligent, wealth, success, drive.
Magical, introspective, self-realized, courageous, transformational, messenger, psychic, divination.
Wisdom, solitary, insightful, solid, good judgment, paradox, stamina, freedom, longevity.
Mental agility, speed, opportunistic, multi-tasking, energy, busy, accomplishment.
Persistence, honesty, strength, flamboyant, upward reaching, eager, cocky, watchful.
Proud, intense, confident, wisdom, inspiration, can swim upstream, rebirth, determined, spiritual desire.
Transforming, strong, inspiring, chaotic, passionate, altered perception, death and rebirth, seduction.
Versatility, loud, easy-going nature, creativity, laziness, resourceful, opportunistic, freedom.
Confidence and grace
Love, longing, dilemma, active imagination, creativity, protection during change, dreamer, good luck.
Prowess, perpetual motion, hunter, survival, warning signs, workaholic, savior, guardian, superiority.
Reputation, presence, strength, demands respect, sensual, steady, pacifism, taking your time.
Protective, aware, solitary, tender nature, androgyny, healing, sensitivity, time and cycles.
Impulsive, primal energy, shrewdness, rebirth, transformation, initiation, and wisdom
Balance, wisdom, creativity, communication, networker, cyclical, crafty, fate, protection.
Planner, gatherer, preparedness, awareness, sociable, playful, energy, prudence, resourceful.
Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, signs.
Grace, balance and innocence, soul, love, beauty, elegance, transformation, dreams.
Strength, valor, power, energy, devotion, tactful, royal, illuminated, unpredictable.
inner strength, luck, self-examination
Generosity, life-giver, sharer, abundance, blessings, pride, virility, sacrifice.
Nurturer, shy, protecting, patience, strength, innocence, endurance, longevity.
Purity, innocence, dreamer, personal power, gentle, spiritual vision, other realms, faith, healing.
Strength, energy, ingenuity, stealth, wild, ferocious, aggressive, commanding.
Wisdom, provider, intelligence, kindness, deeper awareness, nurturing, navigator, communication.
Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, spirit, appetite for freedom, can be a loner.
Sensitive, protective, devotion, prophecy, progress, determination, balance, communication.
Clarity, motion, individuality, balance, illusion, instinct, free, wild, communal, playful, social.
Information courtesy of http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems.html