totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a
tribe, clan, family or individual.
American tradition provides that each person is connected with
nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life,
acting as guides.
Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals,
come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed
and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.
Native beliefs further explain that a
is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual
world. Though people may identify with different animal guides
throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal
that acts as the main guardian spirit.
With this one animal, a connection is shared, either through interest in
the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.
This Animal Guide
offers power and wisdom to the individual when they "communicate” with
it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily
mean that he or she has actually touched or spent time with this animal, more that,
they are open to learning its lessons.
For some, knowing
what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve
always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special
feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell
what their animal totem is.
Here are some
questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem is:
Have you ever felt
drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be
any type of living creature, including birds and insects.
Does a certain kind
of animal consistently appear in your life? This doesn’t
necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be
represented in other ways, such as receiving card and letters with
the same animal pictured over and over, unexplainable dreams of a
particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal
featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show
When you go to the
zoo, a park, wildlife area, or forest, what are you most interested
Are there any
animals that you find to be extremely frightening or intriguing?
Is there a
particular animal that you see frequently when you’re out in nature?
Have you ever been
bitten or attacked by an animal?
Have you ever had a
recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood
that you have never been able to forget?
Are you drawn to
figurines or paintings of a specific animal?
If you still need more help ask the Universe for a dream or a vision
to see if anything comes up. Also ask the animal to show itself to you
and pay attention to what you begin to see from all sources --
television, books, billboards -- it doesn't have to be the actual animal.
Does one animal begin to appear frequently?
One thing to remember is that you cannot choose your totem spirit,
rather it chooses or has already chosen you. The Spirit chooses you
and they decide to whom they will reveal themselves. Much of the
process of identifying your spirit animal is paying attention to both
your past and your present. It is a process of developing your inner
knowledge and spiritual understanding.
itself is a symbol that represents this animal. This could be any
number of items - a crest, a totem
pole, an emblem, a small figurine, and engraved or painted stone, or anything else that depicts your
American totems did not include all of the animals listed below, as
many of these creatures did not exist in North America; or, in some cases,
not at all (such as the unicorn.) However; the
concept of "totems," by whatever name they were called, have been known
throughout the world since the earliest days of Greek Mythology. Though
the unicorn and dragon are generally accepted as centuries old mythical creatures of
Europeans, pictures of
these fabled animals have been found in Native