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Intro to Identifying Animal Totems

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Intro to Identifying Animal Totems

Exploring and Identifying Animal Totems: There are many ways to identify ourselves with specific animal totems.  Some ways are simpler than others. When I am asked questions about animal totems, I usually like to encourage people to open communication with the animal realm. 

When we take the time to meditate upon the realm of animal spirits, we often find that these animals are just as willing to communicate with us as we are with them. Furthermore, we find that animals are willing to share their attributes and wisdom with us out of innate knowledge that will both benefit ourselves, and will benefit the animal kingdom. 

Identifying animal totems is a vital practice if you want to enhance your spiritual growth as well as learn more about yourself and the reality of nature.

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”

~A.A. Milne
Identifying Animal Totems
Identifying Animal Totems

About Native American Zodiac Animal Totems

A simple way of identifying animal totems is to determine your Native American zodiac animal symbol. According to certain Native American belief systems, certain animals rule certain segments of the year. 

Note: Animal totem assignments (in terms of your date of birth) will vary according to the tribe consulted.
I don’t know what other people are saying/assigning out there but in the case of my website, I have zodiac totems from various tribal wisdom sources, so you may see different animals for the same birthdate. For example…

Wolf, March 7 = Sioux tribal wisdom
Whale, March 7 = Algonquin wisdom

Animals shift according to the tribe.  Example: Pawnee, Apache, Crow, Navajo, Osage, Miwok, etc., etc., all different tribes have different animals within their zodiac…if they subscribed to astrological wisdom, which some North American Native tribes did not.

The animals shift from tribe to tribe because, for example, Sioux were primarily located inland (Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska) where wolves plentiful and associated for their activities during the month of March. Alternatively,  Algonquin originally dwelled in the northeast, close to the Atlantic Ocean (Canada, NY, Maine) where whales were noted to be active, and typically beginning to mate during March.

Identifying Animal Totems
Identifying Animal Totems

Seasons and Animal Totems

Just as we have astrological symbols, so too do we have animal symbols according to our season of birth. For example, the ancient Celts adopted animals according to the season in which he/she was born. Here are Celtic animal assignments for the four seasons:

This loose guide might help determine your Celtic ruling animal symbol according to the Celtic way of thought.

Asian wisdom also holds their own animals dear in terms of zodiac and symbolism.  Chinese zodiac animal symbols are determined according to the year of your birth. There are twelve ruling animals of the Chinese zodiac and according to mythology, these were the creatures that attended the Buddha’s passing of the earth.

Final Thoughts About Identifying Animal Totems

Whether you establish an animal totem according to your birth date, or if you connect with your animal via meditation or another encounter, rest assured that getting in touch with your personal animal is a profound investment.

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.

Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with a purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into our lives not only affirms our positive ideals but also aids in the attainment of higher life goals.

As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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