Totem. Ref: cr.nps.gov

Totem. Ref: cr.nps.gov

A totem can be the 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. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.

Animal Characteristics & Meaning

Alligator Maternal, revenge oriented, quickness, aggression, and basic survival instincts.

Ant Group minded, determination, patient, active, and industrious

Anteater Lethargy, curiosity, nosiness.

Antelope Active, agile, jumpiness, and willing to sacrifice

Armadillo Safety oriented, grounded, and has boundaries

Badger Courage, aggressive, healer, having problems relating to others, and energy conduit

Bat Rebirth, longevity, secrecy, initiation, good listener, and long life

Bear Industrious, instinctive, healing, power, sovereignty, guardian of the world, watcher, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength.

Beaver Determined, strong-willed, builder, overseer, and protector

Bee Organized, industrial, productive, wise, community, celebration, fertility, defensiveness, obsessive nature, and enjoys life

Boar/Pig A very powerful totem – prosperity, spiritual strength, organized, self-reliant, fearless.

Buffalo Sacredness, life, great strength, abundance, gratitude.

Bull Insight into the past, fertility, rushing into things without proper preparation.

Butterfly Metamorphosis, transformation, balnace, grace, ability to accept change

Camel Survival, positive, accomplishments

Caribou Traveler, mobility, preference to be nomadic, adaptability to adversity

Cat Guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence

Cheetah Swiftness, insight, focus

Cougar Leadership, loyalty, courage, taking responsibility, foresight

Cow Swift, insightful, and focused

Coyote Trickster, intelligence, stealth, wisdom and folley, guile and innocence

Cheetah Nourishment and mother figure

Cobra Swift and decisive

Coyote Stealth, mischief, rickster, intelligent, clowining around, ability to recognize mistakes.

Crab Good luck, protection and success

Crane Solitude, justice, longevity, independent, intelligent, and vigilant

Crocodile Ensuring your emotions are displayed accurately/appropriately

Crow Justice, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, energy, community sharing, and balance

Deer Compassion, peace, intellectual, gentle, caring, kind, subtlety, gracefulness, femininity, gentleness, innocence, and seller of adventure

Dog Noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, and guidance

Dolphin Kind, salvation, wisdom, happiness, playfulness, prudent, capable of deep emotion, and happy.

Dove Cross-world communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love

Dragon Longevity, richness, prosperity, infinity, wisdom, power, and fiery

Dragonfly Flighty and carefree, strong imagination, higher aspirations.

Duck Water energy, helper of seers, can clearly see/deal with emotions

Eagle Divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, and risk-taker

Elephant Strength, power, affection, loyalty, royalty, and wisdom

Elk Strength and agility, pride, majestic, independence, purification, strength, and nobility

Falcon New beginnings, adventure, passionate, and leadership.

Fish Graceful, slyness, open-minded, quick to change one’s mind.

Flamingo Heart healing, psychic, people person, flirtatious.

Fox Cunning, agility, quick-witted, diplomacy, wildness, feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting and invisibility

Frog Water energy, cleansing, rebirth, sensitivity, medicine, hidden beauty, peace, adaptability, poor character judgment and power.

Gazelle Aggressive

Giraffe Communication, intuition, attaining the unreachable, seeing the future

Goat Surefootedness, stubbornness, independence, diligence, lack of foresight.

Goose Self-demanding, reliable, prudent, rigid, vigilance, parenthood, and productive.

Gorilla Family-oriented, intelligence, strength, environmental protector, keeps peace through aggression.

Grasshopper Good luck, abundance, forward, progressive.

Grouse Personal power, enlightenment.

Hawk Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.

Heron/Egret Aggressive, self-determined, self-reliant, multi-tasking, balanced.

Hippopotamus Power, creation, imagination, healing.

Horse Freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, power, and freedom.

Hummingbird Messenger, timelessness, healing, and warrior.

Jaguar Chaos, shape-shifter, aggressiveness, power.

Kangaroo Forward, balance, creative, stamina.

Lion Family, strength, energy, courage, guardian and protector.

Lizard Conservation, vision, self-protection, hidden defenses.

Llama Comforting to others, secure.

Lynx Keeper of secrets, guardian, listener, and guide.

Mole Sensitivity, guidance, searching.

Monkey Ability to change the environment, health, success.

Moose Headstrong, longevity, steadfastness, and wisdom.

Mouse Scrutiny, order, organizer, and an eye for details.

Octopus Intelligence, camouflage, nocturnal.

Opossum Diversion, strategist, and deceiver.

Ostrich Grounded, practical.

Otter Playful, friendly, dynamic, joy, helpfulness, and sharing

Owl Deception, clairvoyance, insight, messenger.

Ox Sacrifice, chastity and self-denial

Panther Protection, hidden emotions, introspection, caution, careful decisions

Parrot Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, thinking before speaking

Peacock Immortality, dignity, and self-confidence

Pelican Resilient, unselfish, rising above.

Penguin Self-discipline, grace, self-confidence, spiritual

Porcupine Innocence, companionship, and trust

Prairie Dog Swiftness, industrious, constructive, preparedness

Puma Companion on journeys to other worlds, grace, silent power

Quail Group-work, team play, creator of harmony and group tolerance, protectiveness (especially toward children)

Rabbit Fear, timidity, nervousness, humility, rebirth,

Raccoon Curiosity and cleanliness

Ram Stoic, sensitive, persevering, curious, imaginative.

Rat Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury

Raven Introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic

Rhinoceros Wisdom, solitary, insightful, solid.

Roadrunner Mental agility, speed, opportunistic.

Rooster Vanity, likes to be showered with gifts and attention, early riser, settling for nothing less than the best

Salmon Proud, intense, confident, wisdom, inspiration

Scorpion Transforming, strong, inspiring, chaotic, passionate

Seagull Versatility, loud, easy-going nature, creativity, laziness

Seahorse Confidence and grace

Seal Love, longing, dilemma, active imagination, creativity

Shark Hunter, survival, and adaptability

Skunk Reputation, presence, and strength

Snail Protective, aware, solitary.

Snake Impulsive, shrewdness, rebirth, transformation, initiation, and wisdom

Spider Balance, wisdom, creativity, communication

Squirrel Planner and gatherer

Stag Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, signs.

Swan Grace, balance and innocence, soul, love, beauty, of the self

Tiger Strength, valor, power, and energy

Toad inner strength, luck, self-examination

Turkey Generosity, life-giver, and sharer

Turtle Nurturer, shy, and protecting

Unicorn Purity, innocence, dreamer, personal power, gentle

Weasel Strength, energy, ingenuity and stealth

Whale Wisdom, provider, intelligence, and kindness.

Wolf Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit

Woodpecker Sensitive, protective, and devotion

Zebra Agility and individuality

Dolphin Kind, salvation, wisdom, happiness, playfulness, prudent, capable of deep emotion, and happy.
Dove Cross-world communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love
Dragon Longevity, richness, prosperity, infinity, wisdom, power, and fiery
Dragonfly Flighty and carefree, strong imagination, higher aspirations.
Duck Water energy, helper of seers, can clearly see/deal with emotions
Eagle Divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, and risk-taker
Elephant Strength, power, affection, loyalty, royalty, and wisdom
Elk Strength and agility, pride, majestic, independence, purification, strength, and nobility
Falcon New beginnings, adventure, passionate, and leadership.
Fish Graceful, slyness, open-minded, quick to change one’s mind.
Flamingo Heart healing, psychic, people person, flirtatious.
Fox Cunning, agility, quick-witted, diplomacy, wildness, feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting and invisibility
Frog Water energy, cleansing, rebirth, sensitivity, medicine, hidden beauty, peace, adaptability, poor character judgment and power.
Gazelle Aggressive
Giraffe Communication, intuition, attaining the unreachable, seeing the future
Goat Surefootedness, stubbornness, independence, diligence, lack of foresight.
Goose Self-demanding, reliable, prudent, rigid, vigilance, parenthood, and productive.
Gorilla Family-oriented, intelligence, strength, environmental protector, keeps peace through aggression.
Grasshopper Good luck, abundance, forward, progressive.
Grouse Personal power, enlightenment.
Hawk Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.
Heron/Egret Aggressive, self-determined, self-reliant, multi-tasking, balanced.
Hippopotamus Power, creation, imagination, healing.
Horse Freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, power, and freedom.
Hummingbird Messenger, timelessness, healing, and warrior.
Jaguar Chaos, shape-shifter, aggressiveness, power.
Kangaroo Forward, balance, creative, stamina.
Lion Family, strength, energy, courage, guardian and protector.
Lizard Conservation, vision, self-protection, hidden defenses.
Llama Comforting to others, secure.
Lynx Keeper of secrets, guardian, listener, and guide.
Mole Sensitivity, guidance, searching.
Monkey Ability to change the environment, health, success.
Moose Headstrong, longevity, steadfastness, and wisdom.
Mouse Scrutiny, order, organizer, and an eye for details.
Octopus Intelligence, camouflage, nocturnal.
Opossum Diversion, strategist, and deceiver.
Ostrich Grounded, practical.
Otter Playful, friendly, dynamic, joy, helpfulness, and sharing
Owl Deception, clairvoyance, insight, messenger.
Ox Sacrifice, chastity and self-denial
Panther Protection, hidden emotions, introspection, caution, careful decisions
Parrot Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, thinking before speaking
Peacock Immortality, dignity, and self-confidence
Pelican

Resilient, unselfish, rising above.

Penguin Self-discipline, grace, self-confidence, spiritual
Porcupine Innocence, companionship, and trust
Prairie Dog Swiftness, industrious, constructive, preparedness
Puma Companion on journeys to other worlds, grace, silent power
Quail Group-work, team play, creator of harmony and group tolerance, protectiveness (especially toward children)
Rabbit Fear, timidity, nervousness, humility, rebirth,
Raccoon Curiosity and cleanliness
Ram Stoic, sensitive, persevering, curious, imaginative.
Rat Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury
Raven Introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic
Rhinoceros Wisdom, solitary, insightful, solid.
Roadrunner Mental agility, speed, opportunistic.
Rooster Vanity, likes to be showered with gifts and attention, early riser, settling for nothing less than the best
Salmon Proud, intense, confident, wisdom, inspiration
Scorpion Transforming, strong, inspiring, chaotic,  passionate
Seagull Versatility, loud, easy-going nature, creativity, laziness
Seahorse Confidence and grace
Seal Love, longing, dilemma, active imagination, creativity
Shark Hunter, survival, and adaptability
Skunk Reputation, presence, and strength
Snail Protective, aware, solitary.
Snake Impulsive, shrewdness, rebirth, transformation, initiation, and wisdom
Spider Balance, wisdom, creativity, communication
Squirrel Planner and gatherer
Stag Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, signs.
Swan Grace, balance and innocence, soul, love, beauty, of the self
Tiger Strength, valor, power, and energy
Toad inner strength, luck, self-examination
Turkey Generosity, life-giver, and sharer
Turtle Nurturer, shy, and protecting
Unicorn Purity, innocence, dreamer, personal power, gentle
Weasel Strength, energy, ingenuity and stealth
Whale Wisdom, provider, intelligence, and kindness.
Wolf Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit
Woodpecker Sensitive, protective, and devotion
Zebra Agility and individuality
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