What Are Spirit Animals? A Closer Look

What Are Spirit Animals? A Closer Look

According to Native American tradition, each person is associated with as many as nine different animals. These animals act as guides throughout our lives in order to support us on our chosen path.

But what exactly do these animals mean, and where do they come from? Keep reading to learn more about spirit animals and the role they could play in your life.

Table of Contents

What Are Spirit Animals?

The beliefs in spirit animals in the original indigenous traditions came from the kinship and spiritual relationship that people have with animals. Spirit animals are a sort of spiritual guide. While a person might have multiple animals, there is usually one they are the most connected to.

Usually, your guiding animal has a certain quality (or a number of qualities) that help you better navigate your life.

It’s important to make the distinction between spirit, totem, and power animals. Spirit animals are sacred guides. Totem animals are usually called upon to protect a community and represent a group, whereas power animals represent the spiritual energy we may need in a certain situation.

What Is My Spirit Animal?

For some people, it might feel as though you’ve always known what your spirit animal is. For others, it’s more of a process. There are a couple of ways you can go about discovering your spirit animal.

You can learn about any possible animal connections in your lineage, or pay attention if any pop up in your dreams. If you’ve felt a past connection to an animal, that’s also a good place to start.

You can also reflect on a number of questions:

  • Do you feel drawn to any particular type of animal?
  • Does a certain animal seem to always appear in your life?
  • What are you most interested in seeing if you’re at the zoo or around wildlife?
  • Are you drawn to artistic representations of any particular animal?

It’s important to remember that finding your spirit animal is not about choosing one but more about recognizing it when it presents itself to you.

Some Common Animals & Their Meanings

Although spirit animals act as guides, they do still have symbolic meanings. Just like the bluebird meaning is one of good messages and reminders of happiness, your particular guide can have a certain meaning as well.

This list outlines just a few of the possible spirit animals and their meanings.


This animal is emotional and often feels a connection to the outdoors. It represents strength, courage, and support. It’s a signal to stay grounded and stand by your beliefs.


This insect represents transformation. It’s a symbol to adapt and approach changes with an open mind. It shows that change can be good for anyone.


The fox represents camouflage, blending in with its surroundings. It stands for cunning, awareness, and sharp wit. It encourages thinking on your feet and learning adaptability.


This animal reminds us not to overlook the details and to hone our skills of scrutiny. It can also stand for modesty or innocence as well as a message of urgency to pay attention.

Take Your Spirit Animal With You

Now that you know what spirit animals are and what yours particularly can mean to you, carry your animal with you. Once you’ve determined what yours is, you can listen for its messages and allow it to guide you when you need it.

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