The Concept of Spirit Animal Explained

The concept of spirit animal
Spirit animals are considered to be our spiritual guides that enrich our lives by their presence, warn us, channelize our thoughts and actions, and make us better human beings. This Buzzle article discusses the concept of spirit animals, by considering various aspects such as the Native American culture, Celtic culture, Chinese zodiac, and astrology.
It is possible for a single person to have two or more spirit animals. Since, spirit animals reflect our conscious, desires, and dreams, there is a chance that a person may have different spirit animals in different phases of life.

Animals are strong and intelligent beings, but most of the time, we consider them as inferior. They are superior beings with qualities that we should adopt. In many cultures, animals are revered, and believed to be playing significant roles in guiding the lives of humans.

Many believe that there is an animal associated with each of us, referred to as our 'spirit animal'. It is the spirit animal that guides us through different phases of life. It connects with our subconscious and reflects our innermost thoughts, dreams, desires, and fears, thus forming a deep spiritual connection with us.

This Buzzle article discusses the concept of spirit animals in various cultures, and explains how one can find his/her spirit animal using simple methods.

Native American Spirit Animals

Native Americans called spirit animals as Animal Totems. They strongly believed that animals protect, educate, heal, and inspire humans.

According to them, every animal has unique knowledge and wisdom. Just as animals and humans co-exist in the physical world, they exist in the spiritual world as well.

Every animal has certain traits―positive as well as negative, and it carries a unique message. Also, every animal is associated with a different aspect of your life.

Native Americans emphasized more on the spiritual connection that you feel towards an animal, rather than associating animals based on your birth date or year.
Types

The animals are classified into four basic types according to their habitat. Each type is associated with certain virtues. When you are going through a certain phase of life you may come across a certain animal repeatedly. Understanding its virtues may help decipher the message it carries.

Land Animal Spirits: They are linked with vigilance and intuition. They are also considered as physically and emotionally grounding.

Bird Animal Spirits: Presence of a bird in your life indicates freedom and harmony.

Water Animal Spirits: They are associated with spirituality, and indicate a spiritual transformation.

Reptile Animal Spirits: They are associated with the 'self". They help you understand your innermost desires and fears as well as your ambitions.

It is believed that each animal enters your life to serve a special purpose. The following three types are based on the presence, duration, and purpose of the spirit animal in your life.

Messenger Guides: These spirit animals show up to warn you or give you a message about significant changes or an important incident in life.

Life Guides: This animal will be your companion for life, but most people have more than one life guide. As we pass through different phases of life or as our personality changes, our life guides may change.

Shadow Spirit Guides: This guide is a tester who instills fear in your life. This guide may come into your life to teach you a lesson.


Celtic Spirit Animals

You will observe that animals are prominently depicted in Celtic art forms. The Celtic people, called Celts, associated animals with fertility and vitality.

Animals were considered to be reminders of many attributes of man. According to their beliefs, animals carried symbolic messages or omens.

A specific animal's presence in a dream, or repetitive encounter in real life had a special significance. They believed that the spirits of animals were connected to spirits and gods.

In fact, you can find deities in the form of animals in many Celtic arts. Many holy places had an animal spirit guardian for protection.

Since the Celts were an agrarian society, animals had special importance. Boar, fish, serpent, and herd animals were the most common ones.

Animals were an integral part of all aspects of Celtic life. Every animal had a specific quality associated with it. Some of them are listed below.

Fish: Knowledge

Serpents: Trouble

Birds: Prophetic knowledge

Cattle: Fertility


Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac uses your birth year to find the animal associated with you.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac; namely, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Every year is associated with an animal according to the above sequence.

Thus the cycle is of 12 years, after which the animals repeat.

Every animal has peculiar characteristics, strengths and weaknesses which impact the person born in that year.

They believe that the traits of the animal of that particular year will also influence major world events.

Thus, a person should understand his spirit animal and try to inculcate the positives associated with it, while also trying to overcome the associated weaknesses.


Spirit Animals in Astrology

The animal associated with your zodiac sign is also considered as your spirit animal, since it is believed that the traits of that animal affect your personality.

Different sun signs have different animal totems. These animals share characteristics with people born under those signs.

It is believed that you share a deep connection with the animal/animals associated with your sign, and they guide you in life.

The table below shows spirit animals according to astrology.

♈ Aries
whales, lamb, ram
♉ Taurus
bull, cow, dove, pig

♊ Gemini
dogs, spotted cats, rabbits
♋ Cancer
scarab beetles, small dogs, bear, bee

♌ Leo
cats, snake, hawk
♍ Virgo
cow, dove, bear, snake, horse

♎ Libra
dove, snake, bee, spider
♏ Scorpio
sea snake, swan, wolf

♐ Sagittarius
horse, eagle, birds
♑ Capricorn
goat, frogs, salamanders, dolphins

♒ Aquarius
fish, dolphins, horse
♓ Pisces
fish, birds, sea mammals



How to Find Your Spirit Animal

Knowing your spirit animal will help you become a better person. When in a difficult situation, your spirit animal will support you, guide you, and give you strength to face challenges.

Finding your spirit animal is not easy; it requires a lot of patience. But, it is not impossible. You don't need to search outside; you should look within, become more aware about yourself and your nature. A deep understanding of the self can take you towards finding your spirit animal.

Taking random quizzes will not help. Meditation (as a way to connect with yourself), interpretation of dreams (to take a hint from the frequent/recurrent appearance of a certain animal in your dream), and being observant about whether a certain animal is forming an association with you (by frequently being around you or you coming across the animal in different phases or crucial times of your life) might help you find your spirit animal.

You may notice a certain animal repeatedly appearing in your life, or feel a natural connection with one. Finding your spirit animal is a spiritual process. Some animal being your favorite doesn't necessarily mean that it is your spirit animal.


Once you find your spirit animal, it is important to draw strength and positive energy from it. It is believed that when you form a bond with your spirit animal and connect with it in the real sense, the animal guides you through difficult times. The association is believed to enrich your life and help you grow spiritually. And that reminds me of Benjamin Hoff's quote, "Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem."
Advertisement