ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Spirit Animals and Totems

Updated on April 5, 2015

Why Learn About Animal Spirits?

If the term ‘spirit animal’ makes you wince and think of wonky New Age seminars run by women who wear too much gauze, think again!

We all share the world with a variety of amazing animals, and building an awareness of them and how they live is an important first step in reconnecting to the natural environment. Even in the city, animals thrive and can teach anyone willing to listen quite a lot about living in harmony with the Earth.

Almost all native cultures attach meanings and intentions to animals beyond simple facts about how they live and think. Establishing an emotional connection to the common creatures in your part of the world is one of the best ways to cultivate a gentler, more ecologically sound existence.

In short, when you care about an animal, your caring naturally extends outward—to the animal's habitat, diet, special beauty, and means of communication. Seeing an animal as a sentient creature in a living world heals and expands human awareness with minimal effort.

You Don't Have to Pick Just One

You might have heard of the notion that each person is assigned a specific ‘spirit animal’ for guidance and inspiration. But you don’t have to believe this to benefit from learning the symbolic meanings and spiritual history attached to various animals.

Once you get used to accepting that creatures are each possessed of a specific energy, the habit of watching and interpreting the natural world comes easily and automatically.

A good example of this kind of watching and interpretation is local lore about wooly worms and ladybugs. In many locales, the number of appearance and number of wooly worms is taken as a predictor the coming winter weather. Ladybugs are almost universally a sign of good luck and for good reason—their larvae eat garden pests and herald a more plentiful food supply.

When you understand spirit animals and the history and lore behind each one, animals change one by one from objects in an impersonal outside world, to allies and friends that inhabit your heart and imagination.

Beyond Environmentalism and Ecology

Environmentalism is a political advocacy movement that often provokes confrontational dialogue and action. Ecology is a science that requires very specific procedures for observation animals and collection of data. Both of these are worth pursuits but they are also rather impersonal.

Understanding spirit animals and totems is a very personal pursuit that involves emotion, intuition, and openness. Anyone can learn this art, regardless of intellectual or religious orientation. You don’t need to commit to specific religious beliefs or to any hard and fast doctrines about anything.

All you really need is an open mind and a willingness to look at the natural world more carefully and more personally.

When you being to understand the stories and lore behind common spirit animals and totems, a new appreciation of life, spirit, and the environment emerges organically.

Once you understand that each animal is a fellow creature connected to you personally, the world will never look the same again.

Future hubs will focus on specific animals and their meanings, history, and life patterns, so stay tuned.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CR Rookwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thanks Ethereal Elements. :)

    • EtherealElements profile image

      EtherealElements 

      6 years ago from USA

      Very nice, interesting Hub. Thanks.

    • CR Rookwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thanks CW BoB!

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Interesting hub, CRR. Welcome to Hub Pages. I hope you find as kind a community as I have these last few weeks!

    • CR Rookwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thank you Daughter of Maat! Thanks for reading!

    • CR Rookwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thanks hecate-horus! I appreciate the welcome too. :)

    • CR Rookwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thank you Dale!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 

      6 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Very well put. I think taking into consideration the archetypes of the animal is very important and like you said gives a deeper meaning to the animal and the world as a whole. Great job and welcome to hub pages!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and thanks for SHARING.

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Very nice and well done. Voted up and interesting! Welcome to hubpages!

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 

      6 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Well done and most informative. I certainly agree that you do not have to have your own animal spirit guide, familiar, totem and such to learn from the spirits of the animals. I am blessed to have several such "guides" in my life, but I learn from all, daily! Just an open mind and an open heart will open a whole new world for many!

      Voted up, interesting, useful and thanks for SHARING.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)