Animal Totem Meanings

Animal Totems

Last Updated on February 26, 2023 by Avia

Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness. That’s why I’ve devoted a big portion of this website to exploring animal totems and animal meanings.

Additionally, they assist in understanding our past, and if we are attentive, our animal totems can reveal glimpses of our future. By paying attention to the creatures that come into our lives, we can learn huge lessons and get vital guidance.

Totem Meaning

Totem Definition: “A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol. A means of personal or spiritual identity.

Webster’s Dictionary

Since time immemorial, animals have served as harbingers of personality traits we, as humans, all aspire to achieve. This makes animals some of the most powerful symbols in our spiritual toolbox.

Native American animal totems most commonly come to mind when discussing this topic. However, animal signs are found throughout all cultures spanning the globe. Furthermore, totems come in many different forms, which makes life incredibly interesting and the guidance we receive virtually limitless. So, if you’re looking for guidance with black and yellow butterfly significance or seeking direction with a different totem companion – animal wisdom is always available to you.

Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with the purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into our lives affirms our spiritual goals.

Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into our lives affirms our spiritual goals. Achieving spiritual goals is probably one, if not the most important, thing a person should achieve during their earthly life.

Animal Totem meanings
Animal totem meanings

Why Bother With Animal Totems and Animal Meanings?

If you think about it, animals can inspire, enliven, and motivate so many things in our lives. Consider animal totems as muses – able to ignite creativity within you. Some of the greatest artists of our time, such as George Stubbs or Alan M. Hunt were profoundly moved to portray the majesty of animals in their artwork.

Similarly, some of the most renowned authors, such as Jack London and E.B. White, were inspired by animals to write best-selling novels. You can do the same with animal totems. When you connect with animal energy, there are no limitations to what you can create. Even if writing isn’t your thing, you can get rewriting\editing assistance from Edubirdie, which, in partnership with your animal totem, could perhaps result in a literary masterpiece! You never know!

By focusing on the attributes of our totems, we internalize these traits and thus begin to externalize the very character we absorb from our totems.

To discover more about the fascinating realm of animal totems, simply click on the animal totem and animal symbolism links on on this page.

Below are different classes of animals, birds, fish, etc. Each is broken up into their dominating environment and personality. Please enjoy browsing through these animal totems and animal totem meanings. I hope these articles offer you as much enlightenment as they did to me in creating them.

“Whatever happens to the beast, also happens to the man. All things are connected.”

~Chief Seattle, Suwamish Tribe

Types of Totems by Classification

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve broken out the animal totems by element. So, you’ll see creatures from land (mostly mammals), water, and air. Then, I’ve got a section on insect totems, as well as reptile/amphibian totems. Lastly, I’m providing you with some top tips to help you connect with your spirit animal guide.

I’m constantly adding new creatures to this site, and updating this page. So, please check back as there’s a good chance I’ve popped in a new creature feature! Enjoy!

Land Animal Totems

Every animal resonates to a specific kind of energy. As you would imagine, earth animal totems rock this ‘burg called Earth. Essentially, these are the mammals of our animal kingdom. They spend most of their time upon the body of our Mother Earth, or within it. They carry a special kind of message, and it’s important to realize their habitat as a feature of their animal meanings.

First up: Land animal totems. These are critters who are mostly found hanging out on the land. As land creatures, these babies talk to us about what is foundational in our lives. This list of animals will speak to us in terms of what anchors us, such as: Home, Family, Work…elements that are essential to the ‘creature comforts’ of our lives.

You can get a snap-shot of earth animal totems and animal meanings here: Meaning of Earth Animal Totems. This article will provide you with the core ideal of land animals and their profound messages they have to share with us.


Bear (Native American)BeaverBobcat
CamelCat (domestic)Cheetah
Dog (domestic)ElephantFox


OtterPantherPolar Bear

Tiger (Chinese)White StagWolf

Water Animal Totems

If you’ve taken a gander at my earth animal totems and animal meanings, you can see a very distinct message offer up to us humans. Water animals, such as fish, crustaceans, etc. have a pearl of equally vibrant and diverse wisdom to share with all of us. It’s important to note each habitat of each animal carries with it a unique flavor that also seasons the meaning of each creature visiting us.

Second up: Water animal totems. These are critters who are mostly found hanging out marshes, seas, lakes, ponds, etc. As water creatures, these lovelies speak to us about what is churning within our emotions. These water babies tend to lend us understanding when it comes to our dreams and intuitions. Consider – water is an unknown quantity. We can see what is above the surface, but we’re rather clueless as to what is mustering below. That means water creatures will help us understand some unknown/unseen or murky elements in our lives (should we choose to listen to them).

You can get a more focused view of water totems and animal meanings here: Meaning of Water Animal Totems. This article will provide you with the essential ideals behind water animals and the messages they have to share with us.

DolphinFish (General)Fish (Japanese Koi)
FrogHermit CrabLobster
OctopusOrca WhaleOtter

Air Animal Totems

Moving through all these different animal meanings according to their environment might have brought you to a higher level of thinking. That’s great, because there is no better being on this planet to get you high than air animal totems. Just consider: Air creatures all all about freedom. They express a kind of limitlessness that all we humans crave. When you hear the adage “the sky is the limit”, that’s what the birds and babies of the air offer us – endless horizons upon which to soar.

Third up: Air animal totems. These are critters who are mostly found caught up in the clouds. These creatures live in an ephemeral, dreamy realm. Think on it: Unless they are touching ground, or nesting, our creatures of the air are consistently in a state of intangibly, airy bliss. These air babies tend to lend us understanding when it comes to our communication. Our air creatures are superior messengers. Why do you think a dove was selected to bring Noah the big news about the Earth’s condition (according to Biblical text)? And why are so many birds the icon of so many nations? It’s because the beasties of the air represent infinite potential. They bring us news of a certain type that is both reliable and remarkable.

Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? Just take a look around at my articles on these amazing air creatures. You can get a more focused view of air totems and animal meanings here: Meaning of Air Animal Totems. This article will provide you with the essential ideals behind air animals and the messages they have to share with us.

BatBlue JayBird Meanings (general)
Black Birds (general)CrowBluebird

DoveDream Birds
MagpieMother Bird SymbolismOwl
MockingbirdOwl MessagesOwl Visitation
Owl and DeathOwl TattooPenguin
RavenRaven TattooRooster
WrenWoodpeckerWhite Crow and Raven

Reptile and Amphibian Animal Totems

Are you jump-jiving with animal totem juju yet? If not, then you’ve got to peruse these glorious examples of animal messengers. The reptile and the amphibian world give us fathoms of lessons and wisdom. Wonderful stuff like: Transformation, Disguise, Agility, Adaptation, Sensitivity. Don’t believe me? Just take a look through these articles on reptile and amphibian totems and you might have second thoughts. 😉

Fourth up: Reptile and amphibian animal totems. These are creatures who are snuggled up in the earth or even in muggy bogs. We’re talking about nitty-gritty critters here. Amphibians and reptiles are all about sensory perception. They reverberate to the energy of awareness, being alert, and taking care of business. What’s more, these creatures take care of their business in short order. In essence, these creatures help us understand our primal instincts. They also guide us in obtaining our goals on the straightest path of least resistance.

Crocodile/AlligatorChameleonDreaming of Lizards
FrogIguanaLizard (general)

Insect Meanings

insect meanings
insect meanings

Bugs. Whether you love some or hate them all, insects are all extremely symbolic. As animal totems, insects have a lot to teach us in terms of productivity, communication, teamwork and more.

Insect animal totems all seem to point to other key characteristics like: Tenacity, patience, and detachment.

Seemingly unaffected by their surroundings as they go about their business, insect animal totem meanings herald the importance of minding our own business. Yet, at the same time, most insects have a strong sense of community. The trick is keeping balance, and insect animal totems certainly do that.

CicadaCrane Fly
SpiderWaspWoolly Caterpillar

Miscellaneous Animal Totem Articles

Tips For Identifying Animal Totems

Okay, so by now you may have figured there are as many animal totem messages as there are hearts to receive them. Messages from our animal kin come in a myriad of different varieties. From their environment, their prime attributes, to where you are when you encounter your animal – that will influence the message your critter has for you.

So what do we do? With so many different meanings behind animals and an infinite way of how they reach out to us, how can we get assurance we are interpreting animal messages correctly? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all meaning. And there are no quick-and-easy answers either. Let’s face it. Anything worth having is worth working for. If we want insight and guidance from the Natural world, we’ve got to meet it halfway. In other words, we have to take the time and make the investment to investigate the potential messages our animals are wanting to share with us.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Just take a look around at my articles on how to identify animal totems, how to interpret animal visitations and much, much more.

You can get a more focused view of how animals communicate with us and how we can learn from them here… How to Identify Animal Totems and Animal Meanings. This article combined with the other pages offered below will provide you with the essential ideals behind animal communication.

Identifying Animal TotemsInvoking Animal TotemsAnimal Totem Meditations
Meaning of Animal TracksKnowing Your Totem AnimalsChakra Animals
Good Luck AnimalsAnimal Lucky CharmsSolar Animal Meanings
Lunar AnimalsLove Animal MeaningsDream Animal Meanings
Chinese AnimalsCeltic AnimalsNative American Animals
Totem AssignmentAnimal Likeness – RepresentationConfusion about Animal Totem
Animals in DreamsChinese Zodiac AnimalsBurmese Zodiac Animals
Birth Animal Totems Pt.1Birth Animal Totems Pt.2Connecting With Your Power Animal

Mighty brightly,

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