About Animal Totems

There are always helpers and guides in the natural world, and the animal realm is one of them.

While there is always one animal with whom we identify, one that we hold the most dear, we can have more than one totem animal in our lives at any given time. Sometimes, at different stages of our lives, we need different traits to help us on our own journey. And also, some totem animals move aside to allow others to guide when different energies are called for. The totem animal you identified with ten years ago quite often has given away to something else, although your affection for it has not diminished.

"Celestial Whale" mixed media 20 X 24

"Celestial Whale" mixed media 20 X 24


Messenger Totem: A totem animal can be more of a messenger than a permanent totem. Nature doesn't speak Human, but she does communicate in many ways, and sending animals is one of them. These messenger totems are near and dear to the heart.

Birth Totem: At birth, we are provided with a totem animal who best represents us. Our personalities, qualities and characteristics can be linked. It is our protector as well as what represents our best qualities within. It is the animal we have identified with all our life as far as we can remember.


A totem animal can also bring us medicine. Dreaming of being eaten or bitten by an animal is how medicine passes from totem animal to us in the dreamworld.

And occasionally, an animal chooses us, an animal we wouldn't have normally picked given our choices. Eagle or Sea Cucumber? Lion or Fruit Bat? For all its seeming strangeness, this animal has chosen you for a reason, and is now your strong ally.

What does it mean to have an animal ally? It allows you to call on that animal's traits and characteristics when you need to. They are reminders of who you are and what abilities you have within yourself, for what is within is without.  It also allows you to call on their ability to harness different elemental energies of the planet.  Above all, totem animals are true beings of power within their own right. It goes without saying that they deserve our reverence and gratitude to be blessed with such helpers.

See also: Animal Totem Teachings and Animal Totem Artwork