ANIMAL POWER MEANINGS
Armadillo - Boundaries.
We learn from the armadillo, which, by rolling into a ball, can be completely armored against attack, how to consciously define our own emotional and physical boundaries.
Bat - Rebirth.
Shaman initiates undergo a ritual death in which they face their fears and are reborn without their old identities. Bat medicine teaches us to release fear and any pattern which no longer fits in with our pattern of growth.
Bear - Introspection.
Bear medicine teaches us to go within, in order to digest our experiences and to discover that we contain within ourselves the answers to all of our questions.
Beaver - Builder.
Beavers work in cooperation to build their homes and domes, and this medicine teaches us that we can create and fulfill most powerfully when all involved appreciate the talents of each and work together in harmony.
Buffalo - Prayer and Abundance.
Buffalo teaches us that true prosperity comes when we are grateful for what we have and when we live in harmony and love with all other beings.
Bumblebee -Community, Celebration, Personal Power.
For the ancient Druids the bee symbolized the sun, the Goddess, celebration, and community. At festival times, people often drank mead, whose main ingredient is fermented honey, and in later Christian times monks lived in beehive-shaped huts, symbolizing the goal of a harmonious community, whether it included oneself and Spirit or other people as well.
Butterfly - Transformation.
Butterfly fearlessly leaves the safety of its cocoon to meet a new world in a new form, trusting its untried wings to allow it to fly. It is a powerful symbol for anyone who's contemplating or in the midst of a major change.
Canada Goose - Sacred Circle.
The migration of Canada Geese marks the passages of the Great Circle of the Year, and reminds us of the sacredness of the cycles of our own life. We can also learn from the cooperative and communal behavior of these birds, who never abandon a sick or wounded member of the flock, and who know when to lead and when to seek guidance and follow.
Cat - Wholeness.
The cat, a creature which combines a high degree of sensuality with a deeply psychic and spiritual nature, teaches us that the physical and spiritual worlds are not separate, but one.
Cheetah- Speed and Focus.
Unlike other felines, who stalk, then pounce on their prey for the kill, cheetahs, the fastest four-footed animals alive, run down their prey. Their lesson to us is that of accomplishing our goals with speed and focus. When we feel stuck, cheetah medicine can launch us into motion. If we are moving with great speed but little direction, cheetah energy helps us to keep our eyes on our goals and to find the most direct way of achieving them.
Chimpanzee - Living in Harmony.
Chimpanzees are close to humans on the evolutionary scale, and the medicine of this animal can help to restore to us the simple ways of life that create joy. Chimpanzee medicine can nurture in us playfulness, curiosity, and self expression. It also fosters our ability to be full members of the human and natural community.
Coyote - Trickster.
When we're being too serious about life Coyote may come along to teach us to laugh at ourselves. It is also the karmic enforcer, reminding us that whatever we do to others will be done to us.
Crow - Sacred Law.
Crow teaches us to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws. This animal teaches to appreciate the many dimensions both of reality and ourselves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity.
Deer - Gentleness.
The power of Deer medicine is that of unconditional love. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, can dissolve the barriers which prevent us from realizing wholeness.
Dolphin - Breath of Life.
Dolphin teaches us that in attuning to the rhythms and patterns of nature we can learn true communication with the wisdom of All That Is and share this wisdom with others.
Dove - Peace.
The peace symbolized by Dove is that of the deepest kind. It quiets our worried and troubled thoughts, and allows us to find renewal in the silence of mind. In such moments of stillness we are able to appreciate simple blessings.
Dragon - Transformation.
Though Celtic tradition gives specific qualities for dragons of the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, in general terms, Dragon's power is that of shedding its skin and emerging as a new, transformed being.
Dragonfly - Illusion.
When we've tricked ourselves into believing that the limitations of physical existence prevent us from changing and growing Dragonfly medicine teaches us to pierce our self-created illusions.
Eagle - Spirit.
Eagle flies fearlessly, bridging heaven and earth, and teaches us to courageously face our fear of the unknown in order to fly as high as our heart's joy can take us.
Elephant - Commitment.
Elephants can teach us the power of gentleness, commitment, and communication in relationships. They are are deeply committed to all creatures with whom they have relationships, are powerful when protecting others and gentle in nurturing them. The matriarch of a herd practices leadership in a way that is both gentle and inclusive. Elephants' ability to communicate telepathically can teach us how to truly listen to others.
Elk - Stamina.
This medicine teaches us the best use of our energy, helping us to take on no more than we need to accomplish, and to endure on our chosen path until we've reached our goals.
Fox - Camouflage.
Fox's greatest gift is not being able to outrun the hounds, but to know in advance when they'll be on the hunt. When we learn to detach from our surroundings and to observe with all of our senses, we, too, will be able to anticipate and create the future.
Frog - Healing.
As water cleanses the arid earth and returns life to it so Frog's medicine can wash away any physical and mental energies which deprive us of harmony and peace, and helps to replenish our own ability to heal ourselves on all levels.
Gazelles, as the intended dinner of the big cats, are vulnerable, and maintain a high alertness to what goes on in their surroundings. Because cheetahs can run faster than them, gazelles have evolved the ability to nimbly dart from side to side, thus putting themselves out of the path of the cheetah's straight-line dash.They teach us that with awareness and skill, we can be comfortable in our own vulnerability.
Giraffe - Grounded Vision.
The giraffe, the tallest of animals, may be as tall as 18 feet, with a neck as long as 7 feet. Ungainly as this animal may seem, its weight is well distributed, and it's vulnerable only when it bends down to drink water. Giraffe teaches us to view our lives in a way that is both grounded and expansive and that in our desire to evolve spiritually, we must always remember we are physical creatures.
Hawk - Messenger.
Hawk teaches us to be observant and to pay attention to what we may overlook. This could mean a talent we don't use, a blessing for which we haven't expressed gratitude, or a message from Spirit.
Hippopotamus - Emotional Depths.
The hippopotamus, sacred in Egyptian and African traditions, is the second largest mammal on earth. Its name means "Water Horse," and it spends most of its day in water. This animal, very substantial in physical terms, can guide us in grounding ourselves so we can face and dissolve emotional issues (the power of water).
Personal power is our servant, to be neither abused, squandered, nor kept to ourselves. When we share our power with others and teach them how to nurture their own power, our journey becomes faster and more joyful. In Celtic tradition the horse-goddess governs the life cycle of birth, death, the afterlife, and rebirth; thus, to work with Horse medicine enables us to feel comfortable with all aspects of this cycle.
Hummingbird - Joy.
Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence.
Jaguar - Solitary Path.
Like the tiger, this solitary hunter stalks patiently and strikes with lightning speed. Thus, it symbolizes the importance of knowing when it's preferable to take the solitary path in stalking one's own dreams. For the native people of the rainforests, everything contains Jaguar.
Lion - Courage.
The Lion symbolizes the astrological sign of Leo, which rules the heart (coeur in French). Courage comes from the heart and from one's deep sense of personal authority, which creates the power to act in a way that accords with one's spirit. One who acts truly from the heart is capable of leadership, achievement, and the kind of success that encourages the accomplishments of others.
Lizard - Dreaming.
In our dreams we imagine different futures and choose which we will materialize. Lizard teaches us the importance of respecting and remembering our dreams.
Moose - Self-Esteem.Moose represents expressing the joy of accomplishment, not to boast or seek recognition, but in a spirit of sharing, born of the understanding that joy is contagious.
Mouse- Scrutiny.Mouse teaches us to pay attention to the little details which might get overlooked in our mad dash to see the big picture, and reminds us not to overlook the obvious.
Mountain Lion Leadership.
To be true to oneself, allowing neither fear of responsibility nor the jealousy and insecurities of others to divert one from one's path, is the mark of a genuine leader.
Otter- Woman Medicine.
Otter is receptive, playful, and free of jealousy. As both women and men begin to express the highest qualities of this medicine the world can become a joyful place where all can play without fear of harm or loss.
Owl, the night hunter, has the ability to see what others may miss. The gift of this medicine is to be undeceived by external appearances and to discover the truth beneath them.
Peacock - Wholeness.
This bird, honored around the world for the beauty of its feathers, has also an association with resurrection. For us it can help in sheedding the old and drab feathers of the past and to claim our the true beauty of our individual natures. As such, it helps to enhance confidence and self-esteem.
The more we focus on our fears the more we attract them to us. Rabbit medicine teaches us to attract to us abundance, love, health, and a warm, dry burrow.
Polar Bear -Integration.
To the Eskimo and Inuit peoples this animal is a source of both physical and spiritual sustenance. Spiritually, Polar Bear is considered the embodiment of the spirit of the North, an animal who holds ancient wisdom and has shamanic powers. One of the largest land carnivores, Polar Bear is, nonetheless, capable of great speed on both ice and earth and can swim one hundred miles without stopping.
Raccoon - Dexterity, Disguise.
Though Raccoon's mask is commonly associated with its so-called banditry (it has been know to open house doors with its clever hands in order to appropriate human food) the mask has a deeper meaning. It teaches us that none of us are quite what we seem, even to ourselves, that in our lives we can experience the freedom of many identities. This medicine helps us to assume and release the many roles we play.
Robin - Growth and Renewal.
Like many birds, robins are good parents, and one aspect of this power animal is the ability to nurture oneself into true adulthood. This concept also relates to Robin's traditional connection to spring. This is the season of renewal, and when we let go of the past (much of which comes from childhood experiences) we are renewed, and free to nurture and serve both ourselves and others.
Seal - The Inner Voice.
The seal reminds us of our connection to our deep inner rhythms, feelings, and knowing, as represented by the sea. When we fear drowning in these depths, Seal reminds us how to swim.
Salamander - Transformation.This animal helps to connect us to the mysteries of the earth and to feel grounded in the present moment.Some salamanders are terrestrial, others and aquatic; while in magical traditions, Salamander also relates to the element of fire,
Skunk - Self-respect.
When we fully accept who we are and learn to express the essence of ourselves, without ego, we attract those who share our path and repel those who don't. Skunk medicine is the original "Walk your talk."
Salmon - Wisdom.
Salmon journeys to its ultimate goal against all obstacles in its quest to be reunited with the Divine. The energy of this animal helps us develop the wisdom to find the meaning and purpose of our lives, and to move with perserverance on our spiritual path.
As Snake sheds its skin so we can shed our illusions and limitations in order to fully use our vitality and desires to achieve wholeness.
As Spider weaves her web so we weave our realities. This medicine teaches to remember that we are the creators of our lives.that we are the creators of our lives.
Squirrel - Gathering.
Squirrel, in preparing for winter, gathers only what it needs. This medicine teaches us to discard not only unnecessary physical objects but those negative beliefs which limit our trust in love and abundance.
Swan teaches us to trust the grace of our being as it operates in both the physical and spiritual planes, and urges us to rejoice in the gifts of our physical bodies and our intuitive minds.
Tiger -Being in the Now.
The tiger is one of the most powerful of the big cats. A solitary, silent hunter, it symbolizes removing all distractions from the mind and being purely focused on the present moment. Thus, Tiger is able to call on all of its abilities in order to achieve success.
Turtle- Mother Earth.
By following the example of Turtle we can learn to ground ourselves in the nurturing and protective energy of the earth and to flow with its energies at a pace which assures completion of our tasks.
Whale - Record Keeper.
Through the rhythm and patterns of sound Whale teaches us to hear our inner voices, to be in touch with our personal truths, and thus to know the wisdom and feel the heartbeat of the universe.
Though the moon rises every night Wolf always finds something new to learn from it. We, too, in exploring the hidden paths of consciousness, may discover new truths to share with the rest of our clan, the human race.
Zebra - Individuality.
The zebra's distinctive stripes serves as a protective camouflage against predators, who are often unable to pick an individual out from the herd. For herd members, the stripe patterns, unique to each zebra, have the opposite effect of helping to identify individual zebras. This power animal thus helps us to both maintain our individuality in group settings and helps us to be supportive members of our communities. A third spiritual meaning for the stripes has to do with the integration of opposites, thus enabling us to see a deeper truth.