Native American animal symbolism is an ancient representation of what each animal stands for. They can be in the form of spirit animals, totem animals, or guides. In Native American culture, animal symbolism is extremely significant.
Significance of Animals in Native American Culture
Native American culture uses animals to represent spiritual beliefs. Each animal has a different meaning, often with a tie to creation. They say something about what someone stands for, where they came from, or what they want for the future. Sometimes, the symbols are for the earth; sometimes, they are granted at birth; other times, we can connect to them by choice in times of need.
What Are Spirit Animals?
Spirit animals are granted to Native Americans at a young age to help guide them. The animal represents admiral or even humorous traits that the person has. The spirit animal stays with them to represent a specific journey.
What Is A Native American Totem Animal?
Totem animals are specific to tribes and can be called upon in times of need. These totems that represent you or your tribe each have a specific meaning and are often represented in the living quarters by physical totems.
Totem animal examples:
- Ant – teamwork and determination.
- Bear – protector and leadership.
- Buffalo – successful and generous.
- Butterfly – everchanging and graceful.
- Crow – guardian against the dark.
- Eagle – freedom and bravery.
- Fox – intelligent and quick.
- Otter – funny and empathetic.
- Snake – healing, and fertility.
- Wolf – loyal and independent.
What to Do When You See a Totem Animal?
If you see an animal you feel a spiritual connection to, it may be a totem animal. You may have unintentionally called upon it, or it may be drawn to you. The best course of action is to learn more about what that animal represents in Native American culture. It is either there to reach you something or enhance one of your traits for a journey in your life.
12 Native American Animal Symbolism Meanings to Guide You
Every animal is a Native American symbol, even some mythical creatures. But a few stand out or are common enough that most people have someone close to them with said spirit animals.
Anteaters are spiritual guides that are curious and observant problem-solvers. They are good for helping you answer tough questions and pay attention to details.
Badgers are brave and determined. But they also absorb the energy of others. This can help one become more empathic or tune into why you pick up on what others are feeling.
Bats are intuitive and adventurous. Those seeking the bat spirit guide may want to find meaning in everything and want to be good at listening.
Bears are instinctive and protective. They are the best animal guardians and have natural healing powers due to their nurturing nature.
Cats are mysterious and astute. They know what is going on around them even when they appear aloof. Use the cat totem or spirit guide to draw in deeper sensuality and magical energy.
Dragons are prosperous and wise. Though mythical, they can still be your spirit guide, full of passion and longevity.
Eagles are divine spirits with a direct connection to the creator. Despite being loners, they symbolize freedom and intelligence without hesitating to sacrifice for others.
Goats symbolize stability and diligence. They may appear dull, but they represent a determination that isn’t found in any other animal guide. Goats are never afraid to live in the moment and be themselves.
Monkeys are adaptable and good at communication. Bring in a monkey totem to broaden your horizons and connect with people who aren’t like you.
Rabbits are artistic and joyful. They are super fertile creatures who can bring that blessing to those who surround themself with rabbit totems or allow themself to be guided by the spirit.
Stags are regenerative and meaningful. The masculine energy can be channeled by anyone to strengthen your core and give you more power over your life.
Turtles are shy and innocent but have a life full of protective energy. They will do anything for their loved ones and have more patience than any other animal guide.