Spiritual Animal List & The Symbolic Meaning Of Power Animals

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Spirit animals are our guides in life, directing us in the right direction and teaching us lessons along the way. They bring awareness to our inner self and allow us to walk through the course without failing to acknowledge our higher purpose.

Knowing who is helping us offers a sense of safety and assurance, and strengthens our sense of independence and resilience. Spirit animals are here to help us understand our personal challenges by exploring their symbolic meaning and unique characteristics. 

In Native American and Indigenous cultures, specifically, spirit animals serve an important purpose and are considered sacred.

That is why non-Natives must be careful not to use spirit animals in a way that appropriates this culture.

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Similar to spirit animals, totem animals are called upon for assistance in protecting your community and are symbolic representations of a spirit guide.

Native Americans formed clans many years ago, where ancestors used a totem animal to represent their group, calling upon a specific animal, based on their special traits, to ensure the safety and protection of their community. 

Another similar term to spirit animals is power animals, which is the spiritual energy from within that we call to help us in specific situations or circumstances.

Whereas, a spirit animal is invoked when we need guidance, support and strength for a particular reason.

How do you find your spirit animal? 

Spirit animals are our personal animal guides to living an enlightened life and discovering the answers to life's greatest questions within ourselves. If you cross paths with an animal often, that may be a sign that this is your spirit animal. 

Be very observant if you suddenly start seeing an animal in your dreams or in reality, as this is a sign that a cosmic shift is waiting to occur in your life. You can also find your spirit animal while meditating, seeing them again and again on certain products, or having a psychic pull to them.

Another important fact about spirit animals is that you cannot choose your own. Spirit animals will present themselves to you at the perfect time. However, just because you don't encounter your spirit animal doesn’t mean it’s not there. You can feel a strong connection to any animal based on their traits, your appreciation of the animal, or finding common qualities within yourself.

You can also take various online quizzes to determine your spirit animal.

In addition, you might feel a strong connection with particular animals in the Native American Zodiac, as well as Western astrology. 

What is are spirit animals by birthday?

Well, depending on the date you were born, your birthday spirit animal is based on your zodiac sign. Some zodiac signs (like Gemini, Virgo, Libra, and Aquarius) don’t have animals as their Zodiac symbol; however, other animals represent these four zodiac signs’ traits:

Aries: Ram

Taurus: Bull

Gemini: Phoenix (Twins)

Cancer: Crab

Leo: Lion

Virgo: Fox (Maiden)

Libra: Swan (Scales)

Scorpio: Scorpion

Sagittarius: Centaur

Capricorn: Sea Goat

Aquarius: Spider (Water Bearer)

Pisces: Fish

What are the 12 spirit animals? In Native American astrology, a specific animal is assigned based on birth date or period.

The birth totems below are assigned in this way and are almost identical to the dates in Western astrology.

(Keep in mind that these dates are solely for the Northern hemisphere, and differ if you live in the Southern hemisphere.):

Otter: January 20 - February 18

Wolf: February 19 - March 20

Falcon: March 21 - April 19

Beaver: April 20 - May 20

Deer: May 21 - June 20

Woodpecker: June 21 - July 21

Salmon: July 22 - August 22

Bear: August 23 - September 22

Raven: September 23 - October 22

Snake: October 23 - November 21

Owl: November 22 - December 21

Snow Goose: December 22 - January 19

RELATED: The Spirit Animal That Best Represents Your Zodiac Sign

Spirit Animal List And Meanings:

Alligator

Alligators are patient creatures, laying in wait to snap their jaws shut on their prey. But they are also quite strong and agile animals. An alligator spirit animal symbolizes protection and bravery, but also is a nudge to seek out knowledge and realize what you really want out of life.

Ant

Ants are very goal-oriented and work well in groups. If you discover this tiny but mighty insect as your spirit animal, it could be a sign that you love teamwork and should always remain persistent in anything you do.

Bat

Despite hanging upside down in caves, bats are quite resilient animals, using echolocation and their sensitive ears to communicate. If you have a bat as your spirit animal, it’s a sign that there’s a major change in the future; they are associated with observation and illusion, and help individuals realize their natural intuition.

Bear

Bears aren’t the aggressive creatures many say they are; rather, they are nurturing and gentle. Considered one of the most powerful spirit animals, if you have crossed paths with one and have a bear as your spirit animal, it’s reassuring you of the courage you have inside. Remember to hold fast and keep going in the face of adversity. 

Bee

Bees are all about productivity and working hard to serve their queen. If a bee is your spirit animal, pay attention to how hard you’re working, both in your personal life and job. This guardian spirit is helping you call attention to whether you’ve been exhausting yourself, or have been slacking. It’s also a reminder to “stop and smell the roses,” as bees are so inclined to do.

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Butterfly

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful insects. They grow from a small, hungry caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Their growth process is spiritually symbolic and meaningful because it proves that change can be good for anyone. If you discover a butterfly as your spirit animal, this is the time to realize that you are evolving and need to transform parts of your life.

Cat

Our favorite furry friends don’t just lay in the sunlight or stalk their prey; in fact, cats are known for their curiosity, adventure and independent nature. If you keep seeing a cat or have a cat as your spirit animal, it means you need to take action, or it’s a negative warning of the future. 

Cheetah

Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world, running at speeds up to 80 MPH! They are a symbol of focus, intensity, intelligence and quick action. Having this animal as your spiritual guide is a nudge to stick to the goals you’ve set for yourself, and achieve them.

Coyote

Coyotes have been said to be sort of paradoxical in nature; although they are tricksters and love playing around, they know when it's time for business. If a coyote is your spirit animal, this might lead to the assumption that you need to take a step back, relax, and not take life too seriously.

Crow

Unfortunately, many are superstitious about crows; however, these birds aren’t a bad omen if you see them out in nature. This animal symbolizes transformation, intelligence, and wisdom, and are a warning against people trying to use you; as a spirit animal, they also mean that you are now wise enough to overcome something.

Deer

Deer are incredibly gentle, graceful animals whom we often see grazing meadows and protecting their offspring. Seeing a deer in person or in a dream means you need to have that same compassionate temperament not only with others, but yourself. 

Dog

Dogs are known to be loyal, devoted pals, and many believe that their souls reunite with their owners in heaven. So, to have one as your spirit animal is a warning to be aware of hidden issues you haven’t come to know just yet; it’s also a reminder to possess a high level of loyalty with the people in your life, just like the animal does.

Dolphin

Dolphins are majestic and family-oriented; they are the dogs of the sea because of their playful and intuitive nature. If you discover a dolphin as your spirit animal, you need to seek peace within your own life and those around you.

Dove

Doves are a symbol of peace, and were frequently used as messengers. One appearing in your life is a sign that you may feel uneasy and need to seek out harmony in all aspects of life. Doves also deliver the message that you might be searching for a place to call home.

Eagle

Eagles are the messengers and patrollers of the skies; their sharp vision allows them to see the world from a broader perspective. These animals symbolize the need to look at every detail of a situation you’re facing, and think of these situations on a more grand scale.

Elephant

Not only do elephants never forget, but they are highly intelligent mammals who symbolize honor, royalty, strength and power. An elephant as your spirit animal means you must connect with your loved ones and yourself, but also show up when you need inspiration to push forward. 

Fox

Foxes are also known to be little trickers, but this doesn’t mean they are naive to the world around them. If you have a fox as your spirit animal, you may be in need of thinking on your feet and developing a keen sense of adaptability.

Frog

We usually see frogs hanging out by bodies of water, and symbolize cleansing, rebirth, and peace. When a frog seems to be drawn to you, or vice versa, it’s reminding you of the importance of keeping yourself emotionally and mentally strong, and healing from past trauma. A frog will also appear when you’re going through a transformation.

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Goose

Despite the bad rep they get for being standoffish and mean, geese symbolize wisdom, bravery, and reliability. Seeing a goose or having this creature as your spirit animal is a good lesson in showing your creativity. A goose also guides you to focus on welcoming a good opportunity in the future.

Hawk

These powerful birds have long been used as messengers, and are associated with strength, leadership, protection and healing. As a spirit animal, a hawk is guiding you on the right path where you listen to your intuition and can see a troubled situation in a new light.

Horse

Horses are the most resilient and persistent animals; they are noble and have a drive for motivation. Having a horse as your spirit animal means you should tap into your strength and abilities to fight through anything you’re facing.

Hummingbird

Hummingbirds beat their wings more than 4,000 times per minute! But having a hummingbird as a spirit animal, it’s telling you to be more self-sufficient, spend time doing things you enjoy, learn from your past mistakes, and seek out the dreams you want most in life.

Jaguar

As the third biggest cat in the world, jaguars are ready at a moment’s notice, and quickly take action against their prey. These strong animals are symbols of speed, grace and knowledge. And having a jaguar spirit animal guides you towards discovering your inner power, driving you to welcome change and improve your psychic abilities.

Ladybug

Ladybugs are most noticeable for the black spots on their red shell, and are often used to make wishes. These insects are a symbol of luck and love, and, as spirit guides, help you let go of the past that’s holding you back, that love is in your future, or that you need to enjoy the moment.

Lion

Lions are incredibly courageous animals and are king of the jungle. They know how to remain focused and can quickly adapt their senses into attacking any situation head-on. If you discover a lion as your spirit animal, it’s a reminder that you can do anything, as long as you stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.

Monkey

Monkeys are known for their curiosity, cleverness, and being tricksters who play practical jokes. But they symbolize confidence, playfulness, and creativity. So, a monkey spirit animal is sending a message to invite fun and excitement into your life, as well as getting your life on the right track.

Mouse

Mice symbolize modesty, innocence, sympathy and secrecy, but these small rodents serve an important purpose in your life as a spirit guide. They bring the message of urgency, wanting you to change your bad behavior and have compassion. A mouse will also appear to bring the message of abundance.

Owl

Owls are nocturnal birds with large eyes, often associated with wisdom. But they are also symbolic of freedom, protection, and stealth, so when you see an owl or have an owl spirit animal, expect guidance on realizing your “higher self,” seeing things that are currently hidden, and, above all, stay true to who you are.

Panda

Pandas are most recognizable by their black eye patches and curiosity for their surroundings. A symbol of balance, solitude, and willpower, pandas guide us towards our foundation that keeps us safe, as well as helping us realize that we need to show gratitude for what we have. 

Panther

Black panthers, in particular, are known for being active, hiding in the shadows, and living a solitary life. A panther spirit animal guides you to seek strength from within and overcome darkness, and will show up when you call for protection of some kind. 

Peacock

Peacocks know how to turn heads and be the center of attention, and for good reason. They are style and grace, and honor self-love. If you discover a peacock as your spirit animal, you’re being reminded to be confident, and always stay true to who you are and what you represent.

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Rabbit

Rabbits can be very shy when encountered; however, this doesn’t mean their timid traits mean any less, as they represent abundance and creativity. A rabbit spirit animal means now is the time to break out of your shell and express your creativity.

Raccoon

Raccoons aren’t just the animals hiding in our dumpsters or trees; in fact, they are quite intelligent and nurturing, leading solitary lives. Seeing a raccoon is a message to be true to yourself, learn to adapt to change, and let go of whatever holds you back.

Rat

Rats are associated with strength, kindness, and intelligence, despite their negative associations with filth and disease. In fact, having a rat as your spirit guide is associated with career success, pushing yourself to be productive and/or take a step back, and warns you when a situation is going downhill fast. 

Sheep

More than just producers of wool, sheep are symbols of humility, courage and peace. You won’t expect their appearance as your guide, and help you be more vulnerable in your relationships, tap into your soft side, and show more compassion to others.

Snake

While many associate the snake with deception dating back to the beginning of mankind (as in, the Garden of Eden), this reptile is associated with wisdom, power, and transformation. Snakes as a spirit animal bring a sense of focus towards moving forward in life, letting go of the past to grow, and can even provide a spiritual awakening with the chakras.

Spider

Spiders might not be everyone's favorite insect, but they have proven time and time again just how valuable they are. Their patience and skills show how and why we need them. If you discover a spider as your spirit animal, be patient in your everyday life and you will see the amount of opportunities that flood in.

Squirrel

While squirrels certainly give us a laugh when they jump up trees and chase each other, these small mammals are symbols of hard work, resourcefulness, and balance. Having a squirrel as your spirit animal is meant to encourage and motivate you, both for the future and to have a little more joy in life.

Swan

Swans are symbols of grace, beauty, love and elegance, and we’ve likely made the same associations watching them glide across the water. A swan as your spirit guide can serve as a sign that your true love is somewhere near, that you need to take your dreams seriously, or are experiencing grief.

Tiger

Tigers are fearless hunters who rely on their instincts to survive. These symbols of passion and pride appear in your life when you need guidance related to curiosity and fighting the good fight. This spirit animal teaches patience and planning, and to keep spontaneity under control.

Turtle

Turtles aren’t the slowpokes they appear to be. With grace and great agility, they swiftly maneuver themselves through the water while carrying a heavy shell. If you have a turtle as your spirit animal, no matter how heavy your baggage is, you’re going to make it to the end of the race at your own pace.

Wasp

Wasps are insects most people are terrified of, and steer clear of due to their aggressive nature and painful sting. But this spirit animal is powerful, and is a symbol of creativity and determination. They also bring a message of the need to clear clutter from our spaces, focus on our goals, and protect ourselves from getting caught up in failure.

Whale

Blue whales, specifically, are the largest animal to ever exist, and can grow over 100 feet long. This beautiful sea mammal is a symbol of bravery, strength and power, and their message is just like the ocean: they encourage you to go deeper and discover who you are, contemplate your place in the world, and help you find your sense of self and purpose.

Wolf

We may think of wolves as loners, but these animals are highly social, intelligent, and loyal to their pack. They are a symbol of spirituality, instinct, and freedom. A wolf spirit animal guides you to look closer at someone in your life who may be manipulating you, teach you self-control, and help you delve deeper into your intuition.

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers astrology, spirituality, love, and relationship topics.