Unusual or Creepy Totems and Animal Spirit Guides
Your Totem Is A What?!
Many of us have a series of animals that come to us when we need to hear a specific message. They come to us at various times in our lives, in the good times and in the bad. They bring messages of hope and faith during turmoil, and they bring messages to wake us up when we just aren't getting it.
If you ask someone to tell you their totem animal, you might hear words like "the wolf", "the horse", or "the eagle". But rarely do you hear someone say their totem animal is the spider, the snail, or the frog. There are thousands of types of animals with messages for us, so why should we disregard the more unusual animals' messages? Why should we ignore the less-loved animals just because they aren't as fluffy or as powerful as the bear, the horse, or the cat? Let's talk a little about what some of the more unusual and creepy totem animals have to say to us.
Unexpected Insect or Bug Totems
Some people may be shocked to find that others consider various types of insects and bugs as their totem animals or animal spirit guides. Some of the more attractive of this kind are butterflies and dragonflies. But what if someone said their totem animal was the beetle? The ant? The grasshopper? Or even the common housefly? Let's learn what some of these creepy crawlers can add to one's spiritual life.
The Beetle Totem
Beetles were sacred to plenty of cultures throughout the ages including the ancient Egyptians and the Chinese. To the Egyptians, the scarab (dung beetle) was a symbol of reincarnation, of the never-ending cycle of life. They were also living representations of the sun god Ra, this is because the dung beetle would be shown rolling dung into a ball and as such this reminded the Egyptians of the sun rolling around the earth. To the Chinese, seeing a beetle of many kinds was considered pure good luck. If a beetle happens to appear to you or attaches itself to you in dreams, you might want to think twice about getting the heebie jeebies. See the beetle totem as a very spiritual symbol, one of strength of spirit and resurrection.
The grasshopper was kept as a pet in some households in China, and it was thought that the grasshopper housed the soul of one's ancestors on occasion. They were seen as sacred insects, and therefore were thought of as good luck and a sign of abundance. The grasshopper totem teaches us to push forward, to keep going no matter the terrain of life.
The ant totem will show up to someone who needs to focus on teamwork, on being a productive member of society. The ant also teaches persistence and determination. Do you remember those cartoons that showed a colony of ants lifting an entire watermelon? Just because the ant is small, don't disregard him. He is powerful because he is one of the team, and with others he can move mountains.
Flies? Really? Who would find the fly as a helpful animal totem? Actually, the fly was sacred to the ancient Greeks as he was related to Zeus, and the fly was also sacred to a particular Native American tribe. The fly was thought of as a purifying animal, one who scavenges but who also removes dead, rotting tissue and other unnecessary things. If you have the fly as your totem or animal spirit guide, do not be grossed out...appreciate the fly for its ability to take life's crap and turn it into fuel for the future!
Slimy Animal Spirit Guides
Do you have the heebie jeebies yet? Good! Then we'll keep going and discuss the slimy animal spirit guides. Just because they appear to be slimy doesn't mean they don't have an important message for you and your life.
Snail and Slug Totem
The snail was a creature that was quite sacred to the Aztecs, as its shell was seen as a representation of the cycle of life. The snail might also have a message for you to take things slowly, enjoy the world around you a bit. The snail also says that you can protect yourself by going home. By retreating to that place within yourself. But don't forget to come back out when the coast is clear! The slug totem is a representation of fertility and healing. To learn more about the snail and slug animal spirit guides/totem click here.
The snake usually sends people running for the hills, but don't be alarmed if the snake totem has appeared in your life. The snake might have a bad reputation to various religions, but if we go further back in time we can see that the snake was also a good symbol to various ancient cultures. The snake's winding image can be seen used in different symbols such as the Ouroboros and the Caduceus. The Caduceus symbol is used in healthcare - think of the staff with the blue snakes wrapped around it. The snake totem teaches us about eternity, healing, and initiation into a deeper form of spirituality. Are you ready to shed your old skin and take on the new?
Despite the frog's reputation for being slimy or gross, the frog can teach us many lessons. The frog is a powerful symbol of evolution, and of bridging the gap between the spiritual and mundane world. This is because the frog can survive in both water and on earth...able to forge a connection between sacred elements. The frog also represents fertility.
Scary Spooky Scavenger Totems
Ew! Gross! You might be thinking. These birds are straight up cannibals! Yes, while that is true, I believe we forget to see the importance of this. These birds are scavenger birds, which means they will take anything dying or dead in nature and turn it into fuel for themselves. So in a curious way, they take death and turn it into life. Nekhbet, an ancient Egyptian goddess, is associated with the vulture. And the vulture was used as a symbol to represent the ancient city of the dead or Necropolis. The priestesses here wore robes made of Egyptian vulture feathers. Even though this scavenger bird is feared or leaves some disgusted in modern times, it was revered in ancient times.
The jackal in Ancient Egypt was closely linked with the god of embalming, Anubis. Anubis was depicted with the head of a black dog, or what we assume in modern times to have been the head of a black jackal. Therefore the jackal is also a representation of the Underworld or afterlife. He is a psychopomp, which means he is there to guide those from life through the stages of death. The jackal totem represents dedication, protection, and the end of one phase to begin anew.
What kind of emotions does the image of a shark stir within you? Fear? Intrigue? Excitement? The shark is a very feared animal, but also a very powerful animal and powerful totem to have. If the shark totem is appearing to you, it is telling you to rely on your instincts...to focus on that primal energy within your gut. At the same time, it is also saying to never be fearful, to know that you are powerful. The shark totem represents speed, mystery, and the most ancient of ancients.
The possum is an animal in the United States that sends old women into a frenzy. "They look like big white rats and can hang from the trees!" I have to admit that I have been a bit turned off to the idea of possums before, but recently realized their significance. Having the possum as a totem animal is rare but can happen and is special when it does happen. He represents the ability to hide, to escape his predators by faking death. He is smart and outwits the most intelligent predator. The possum totem will teach you to rely on your instincts (just as the shark will), and knows some of the most earthy wisdom one can find.
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© 2014 Author Nicole Canfield
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