Spirit and Power Animals by M. Rustan, Unicorn Wisdom


Spirit or Totem Animals have existed since the days of the cavemen.  We find there are cave drawings, endless legends and statues of them.  There was a time, in the history of our planet, when there was no separation between mankind and the animal kingdom.  We were and still are linked to each other.  Animals actually are our teachers and they teach by the example of their actions, reactions and the energy field that surrounds them.

Each animal expresses the spirit nature of its particular species and they will convey to us the spiritual and/or psychological quality that is needed in our life at any given time.  They can be seen as channels as we observe their qualities, actions and reactions to any situation.

They appear to us in our dreams, meditations, our lives in answer to  questions or foreshadowing the future. They suggest solutions to experiences or incidents we find ourselves in.  

We have a guardian animal with us at birth that remains with us our entire life.  Other spirit animals appear when we ask questions or contemplate dilemmas, when we are in the process of making decisions, when we are presented with situations that confuse us and often when we experience health problems or emotional upsets.

To understand the gift of a spirit animal, we must first know something of the energies of the animal itself and how we feel and respond to it. There can be personal associations with particular animals above and beyond the archetypal energies.

Pets like cats and dogs are seldom our spirit animals, although some suggest that the “familiar” may be a guide or teacher. Spirit  animals can be mammals, reptiles, insects or sea creatures.  Plants, trees and rocks can also serve as spirit guides.  

It is important that we each honor and thank our Spirit Animals. By doing so, we assure them that their assistance is received and welcomed. As we become more acquainted with our Spirit Animals, the deeper our understanding grows of the messages conveyed to us.

I urge you to open your arms and heart to the love, protection, understanding, and wisdom your Spirit Animals offer.

I am presenting a brief list of the many diversified energies and attributes of a number of Spirit Animals that can appear, either psychically, in dreams or, on rare occasions, as an actual physical presence. 

Antelope: The Antelope represents right action and when it appears it is telling you it is now time to act.  It warns there is something out of balance and it is urging you to analyze what is transpiring in your life and to follow your gut instincts to correct the situation.   It is saying you can adapt and move forward.  

Bat: (Eastern)  The Bat exhibits a vibratory rate that makes it helpful for psychic phenomena The Bat is the Guardian of the Night. He represents rebirth, reincarnation, initiation. When the Bat appears, it indicates you are or will be going through a transformation and that now is the time to begin releasing old habits, old concepts. The Bat will help you do that. There may be an awakening of the Kundalini. When working with any Spirit Animal, it is always wise to work with the Chakras to maintain a balance.

Bear: (Native American) The Bear is a very strong Spirit Animal and is usually your Power Animal or one who has been with you since your birth. It carries a vibratory rate that allows messages to come through in dreamtime. The Bear is associated with healing, inner knowledge and introspection. It brings awareness of the need for quiet time. The Bear is a symbol of the warrior. The Polar Bear teaches survival. It may mean it's time to go inward to contemplate situations and pull your energy out of them for a while.

Beaver: (Native American) The Beaver represents the Builder. It is resourceful and ambitious. It may help you settle differences with others and put your ideas into action. The Beaver gives us clearer vision. It also can symbolize creating a home base.

Blackbird: (Britain)  Used by Etheric World to carry psychic messages to Earth entities. The Blackbird affords you the ability to sway gracefully with the winds of change as they come.

Buffalo: (Native American)  Worshiped for its psychic energy.  Acts as an Etheric World guide to bring psychic information to man to protect him. The White Buffalo represents purity and uprightness He is considered one of the four most important spiritual animals.

(Note Here: The Great White Buffalo is considered to be one of great spiritual significance. In 1833, a white bison was killed by the Cheyenne during the Leonid Meteor Shower, [known as The Night the Stars Fell] and they inscribed a peace and trade treaty on its skin. The legendary White Buffalo Calf Woman is said to have taught the natives how to pray.)

Bull: When the bull appears he is saying it is time to become more flexible, to allow things to happen as they will and to look for new beginnings.  His presence suggests you become more open, helpful and unselfish.

Butterfly: (Ancient Greece: the psyche or soul and its expression of immortality) (Chinese: represents immortality) (Japanese: the white butterfly represents the Soul of a departed one and if two butterflies dance about each other it symbolizes young womanhood.) Butterfly is one of the most symbolic spirit animals that represents personal transformation. It reminds us that we are merely doing the dance of life and that transformation and growth need not be traumatic. It can be joyful. It says that there may be issues in your life that need to be carefully looked at to see what may need to be changed and to make the changes easily. When understanding comes that change is brought about through four stages, much as those of the Butterfly (the Egg...which is the realization that change is due; the Larva...which lays out the issue plainly for us to see; the Cocoon...which is bringing into play the change itself; and then the Birth...which is the transformation into actual change) it becomes a natural process.

(Note Here:  Remember the universe communicates to us all the time and if a butterfly or bird or insect flies across your path pay attention.  The meaning of any animal you may see  and  how  you  interpret it will depend on your  intuition  and  understanding of why it is appearing to you at a particular point in time.)

Cat: When the cat appears it is concerned with how you communicate.  It is letting you know you have the power and magic to create the life you desire.  It urges you to focus on yourself and to spend some time caring for yourself.  If it is a kitten it is reminding you to laugh and smile more with those around you.

Coyote: (Native American) Coyote accompanied the first man and woman into the entrance of the first Physical World. He is the symbol of the Bringer of Life.) The Coyote is the Way-Maker of new direction. He is the teacher of hidden wisdom and is symbolic of the magic in life and all of creation. He hones your instincts and leads you to experience the unexpected as there may be surprises in your future. He is the jokester, adaptable, playful, a shape-shifter and is known as the trickster. He works through subterfuge and his wisdom may be observed as a joke. Be aware that answers to your problems may be found in totally unexpected ways or places. He is a reminder to be flexible and willing to make adjustments as unexpected events occur. He warns against playing tricks on yourself or others and be aware of the consequences your actions may bring. He may also indicate you need more fun and joy in your life.

Crab: (Chinese) Prosperity, success and high status; cycles, success, regeneration, transformation) The Crab comes to remind you that not all paths are direct. His route is never direct as he travels on his sideways dance and he indicates to you that a sideways approach is sometimes needed to reach personal goals. As a Crab casts off his shell for a new one it is sometimes necessary to cast off some emotions that are causing undue stress. If he comes to you in a dream he indicates that abundance and success is at hand as a result of your perseverance and tenacity. He deals with the elements of water and carries themes of protection. He is also a strong lunar symbol and is featured on the Tarot Moon card. He reminds us that our lives are based in cycles and to understand the need for rapid change. 

Crane: (Chinese) The Crane is independent, vigilant and intelligent. It symbolizes justice and honor. Cranes, like Wolves, mate for life. When the Crane comes it often brings out past problems and indicates that focus is needed to release those problems. The Crane is drawn to individuals who can be fierce fighters, when necessary, and it is that fighting spirit which allows them to attain new successes. In New Zealand, if you see a crane flying, it is indicating you will go on a spiritual journey.

Crow: (Native American) The Crow represents skill and cunning. It aids in the release of past beliefs and helps you find balance in the present. It may enable you to take a look at your darker side and communicate as a messenger from your Sub-Conscious Mind to your Conscious Mind. The Crow is the carrier of souls from darkness into light and it moves freely in time and space. It is the Guardian of the place that was before existence. It is a shape-shifter.

Deer: (Scotland)  Ability to communicate between the Etheric World and Mankind. Every part of the deer's body has medicinal purposes.  Antlers ward off negative vibes and can store psychic energy. Noted for their ability to send psychic messages to humans.

Dolphin: (There are those who think that Dolphin is far more evolved than humans and they may be alien beings from a different realm.) The Dolphin has a large brain, superior intelligence and is often associated with higher forms of consciousness. Sound (whistles,, grunts, clicks), rhythm and the power of breath are important to Dolphin, as is the release of negative emotions. He teaches that when we vibrate with the patterns of nature we can communicate with the All. When Dolphin comes into your life he will show you how to enter the waters of life and through breath and sound (communication or the creative life force) how to call forth what you are in need of or what you desire deeply. Dolphin loves to play, he loves life, he loves his community and he loves self. Dolphin takes care of Dolphin. He wants you to swim freely and go with your natural feelings, express your inner truth and follow your inner joy and, most importantly, to breathe.

Dove: (American) Dove is a Spirit Messenger between worlds. He brings peace and love, prophecy and understanding. If Dove is your Power Animal, you are gentle and giving with a sense of innocence that attracts others to you. If Dove appears, you may be experiencing turmoil and can find no peace. Dove tells you to breathe and let go of any thoughts of hate or revenge. The wind will support your wings and you can watch as your reality shifts into an energy that will bring about that which you are seeking.

Dragons: (Ancient) (Believed to be one of the four most important spiritual creatures.) The Dragon represents change and transformation and the supernatural. It is, in all forms, a protector.

Earth Dragon: represents the energy of power and riches and opens you to your potential to discover the beauty that is in all of us. His energy is that of Mother Earth and he will nurture you and help you ground scattered energies that are plaguing you.

Air Dragon opens you to clarity and insight to solving pressing problems. He urges you to come to trust your gut (Inner Voice/Vision).
Water Dragon helps you deal with past experiences that are holding you back. He brings balance and peace and teaches compassion.
Fire Dragon is a powerful, enthusiastic protector. He opens you to the understanding your abilities of leadership and overcoming obstacles.

Dragonfly:  (Asian - Japan, Native American - Plains Region)  A symbol of transformation, good luck, harmony, strength and peace.  It brings joy and is a connection with Nature's spirits and the fairy realm. It also represents illusion.

Duck: Duck is the Spirit helper of mystics and seers. Her connection with water aids in her connection to feminine energies and the Astral Plane. She will help you get in touch with your deepest emotions to bring balance between them and your mind. It may be in order for you to spend time with your family. Duck does not carry a grudge and with her help you may be able to release any you are burdened with so you can begin to live in the moment. She will teach you how to glide through the waters of  life and to see clearly through emotions. She may be telling you to stop ducking a situation that needs to be dealt with. If Duck has green on her head she may be telling you that you need healing. Mostly brown feathers, she is indicating you are in a period of new growth. If Duck is white, she may be urging you to seek truth in your emotional being. When she appears, you are urged to act swiftly as a new opportunity is offered to you.

Eagle: (this also includes the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle)

(Egypt)  Considered to be a deity, linked psychically with the invisible powers of the sky, sun, and Etheric World.

(Native American)  Belief that energy flows from Totality through the Eagle who frequently acts as a guide.  Power that emanates from its body, feathers and claws is held sacred. The Eagle is symbol of leadership, strength, courage.and great intellectual ability. He brings self-renewal in your effort to gain your greatest desire. He deals with high ideals and spiritual philosophy and has knowledge of magic and can see hidden spiritual truths. He has a connection to Inner Band Guides and Teachers. He offers all aspects of clear vision. He understands the sun cycles. When misused, the eagle represents aggression.

Falcon: (Native American) The Falcon brings the understanding of magic and assists in soul healings. It teaches the control and use of speed and movement. It warns against being too aggressive. It can represent the pursuit of a goal.

Feng-Hwang: (Chinese)  A Native Spirit in the form of a bird that expresses the element of fire for humans to use.  It works, lives and has its being in Fire.  It is the most exalted of the four most important spiritual creatures.  It was used as an emblem in primitive culture, bears on its body the characteristics for virtue, righteousness, humanity sincerity and integrity.  It presents the balance of the negative and positive energies of the feminine and masculine.

Fox: The Fox is an elusive animal and survives because he can see through deception. If fox comes to you, you may need to become more adaptable and responsive to some situation you are facing. It will take you into the silence until answers to your problems are shown. In some circles, it is considered to be a trickster but that energy is its ability to work through “tricky” situations. It is adept at role changing to reach a satisfactory ending.

Gull: (Celtic) The Gull is a spiritual messenger and is a bridge between the physical and the spirit world. Deals with friendships and urges responsible behavior. Flies in total freedom and would have you understand that freedom is only a state of mind. Will teach you perspective. Brings together the healing energies of water and earth. Teaches you to be all that you truly are.

Hawk:  The Hawk brings focus and perception and protection. It is clear sighted. It is a messenger from spirit and symbolizes strength and being far sighted. There is a need to proceed with caution. It recalls past lives. It is courage and wisdom. It may encourage you to take flight toward a new pursuit.

Horse: The Horse brings a message of freedom and new journeys. He is the symbol of Wind. If the horse is tied or stabled you may be experiencing feelings that you are being held back or limited by associations or attachments to individuals or a place (perhaps your home) or a job. The Horse brings you to understanding that you have the ability to overcome obstacles and “run free as the wind”. Horse excels in competition and has a great heart. It has the spirit of a nomad and the strength to take you through rough times. The Horse is part Pegasus and part Unicorn ... two very great, mystical powers ... and has the power to change from one to the other. Horse represents ultimate freedom.

Hummingbird: The Hummingbird has the ability to heal, in close quarters, by sharing the light from its mouth. It is of the Fifth World. It is joy, love and happiness. It has endurance over short periods of time and must feed regularly. It is agile, playful, persistent, and sincere. It offers renewal and healing and encourage you to play more.

Jaguar: When the Black Jaguar appears it is telling you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, to keep moving, trust your instincts and have faith in yourself.   It is telling you to focus on things that bring love and happiness, to lay low and observe but not to participate in a situation at hand.

Jay: Both the Blue Jay and the Stellar Jay are well-known to us as master thieves. They are bold and powerful. The Jay teaches balance and shows that your true power lies within and that the need to become adaptable is important for survival. They teach the power of being in the “now” and becoming fearless and resourceful.

Lion: Commonly associated with Strength and Courage, the Lion is also the Guardian of Travelers. If the Lion appears it is an indication that it is time to choose a new path and different direction that will afford more freedom to tackle issues that are being presented. It helps you trust your feminine energies of intuition and imagination and it increases Clairvoyance. Lion leads you to understand and accept your own, personal strength. Lion deals with understanding that unreleased anger and frustration is truly hazardous to your well being and teaches you how to release anger in a non-destructive manner. Learn to look at your shadow self and develop ways to understand and deal with that side of your being.

Lizard: Lizards represent dreamtime as they sleep in the sunshine and absorb the power of the sunlight. Chameleon's represent the need for change and adaptability.

Mockingbird: The Mockingbird learns through experience. It is territorial, intelligent, curious. It will guide you through situations that are not of your making but that influence your energies in an unhealthy manner. It may also represent legal issues.

Monkey: (See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil) The Monkey represents the dark and the light side of the human psyche and he teaches the balance between them. He is creative and imaginative and can inspire you to go into a deeper study of an ancient wisdom you may have recently encountered. Monkey's attributes contribute family protection, ability to change environment (see him swing through the trees), agile movement through a heavy ego, an understanding of excesses, and ingenuity. If Monkey comes in your dreams there is an indication you are being deceived in some area. If Monkey bites you he is probably indicating that something you have done or said is on its way back to bite you. You may find yourself in a position of apologizing or un-ruffling some feathers to bring peace. Monkey helps develop the sixth sense of knowing and teaches not to rely on the physical senses. 

Nighthawk: The Nighthawk is patient, has good night time vision, and uses camouflage. It can rest when others can't. It will help you to bring focus into your life.

Owl: The Owl is the link between the unseen world and the world of light. It is Moon Magic and a messenger of secrets and omens. It is silent and swift and sees behind the masks. It is freedom. It is a shapeshifter. It works in the shadows and manifests from the void.  It is associated with psychic powers and is of a nocturnal nature. White owls are considered a spiritual blessing. The owl is aware of everything around it, a 360 degree view.

There are different meanings of the Owl (as is true with the majority of Spirit or Power Animals) depending on the area and era they are considered to be Power Animals:

(Semitic)   Felt to be ominous
(Persia)     The Angel of Death
(Greece)   The Goddess of Night
(Rome)      To ward off strangers and to combat the  evil eye.
(Africa)      Associated with sorcery.
(U.S.)          Considered a symbol of wisdom.

Peacock: A bird honored in the psychic field because of its alchemical traits ... eats poisons and transmutes them into a beautiful array of large iridescent feathers.  (Hinduism)  Has the properties that cure disease and dispel poison, feathers are displayed in homes to ward off evil. The Peacock can see into the past, present and future and discern all the different aspects of beauty. Represents immortality and dignity and exhibits self-confidence. It represents beauty and may warn against being ostentatious.

Raccoon: When Raccoon appears you are advised to let go and to go within in your attempt to settle a situation.  Raccoon is flexible, adaptable, has insatiable curiosity and ingenuity and is resourceful!  It is urging you to focus, stay calm and carefully research the options you have found available for the solution.  You may find that you have been overlooking an obvious solution.

Ram: Ram is an intellectual totem and lends stimulation and energy to all mental faculties. He is a symbol of power and of new beginnings. Ram gives you the balance to climb to great heights. Ram may also indicate you enjoy locking horns with others. He is also the totem of sacrifice and you may be looking at having to let go of a physical or an emotional situation. The Ram requires perhaps 2 inches of space to secure a foothold and when he appears to you he indicates that new beginnings may be small but they can be secured if acted upon. Ram has the courage to maintain balance, he seeks new sites to explore, he is curious and imaginative. Ram teaches you to seize opportunities quickly when they are presented .

Raven: (Native American, Northwest Pacific, Celtic, Norse)  An Etheric World entity temporarily taking on the form of a bird, works with and for the earthly Indian.  Used as a psychic tool, capable of knowing what is going on in a distant area and reporting to its master.  A guardian of secret wisdom. A symbol of magic happening in your life. The Raven speaks of creation and knowledge and is a bringer of the Light. It deals with ceremonial magic and healing and is a great shape shifter. (The Celtic tradition considers it a bad omen.)

Robin: (Britain)  A bird that is associated with blood, death, and fire because of it red breast; noted for its desire to cover up the dead with a pile of moss and for carrying water to put out fires.

Rook: A bird used to predict oncoming weather and human affairs of the country; made possible because the repetition on its performances, for the same set of conditions, does not vary over the years.

Snake: Snakes are symbols of healing powers and opportunities and when Snake appears, it means that healing, change, and increased energy are manifesting for you.  It tells you to be alert to how you use your energy, where you draw it from and to be sensitive to your healing abilities towards yourself and others. 

Spider: (The Dream Catcher, the Weaver of Fate. Greek: the Fates, India: Maya, the weaver of illusions) Spider has long been associated with death and rebirth (the Black Widow and the reweaving of the web). The spider teaches balance and brings memory of the spiral energy that links your past with your future. As the Spider weaves its intricate web, you, also, weave the web of your future. The spiral of your web, as it weaves to a central point, is where you discover if your weaving is taking you to your central goal or if you have lost your focus and are off the path. Spider is the guardian of ancient language and alphabets and is considered to be the teacher of language and to be imbued with the magic of writing. Writers usually have this Spirit Animal as it awakens creative sensibilities and opens the way to weaving that magic with the written word. Do you need to write? Are you inspired to write? Spider can teach you how to use words that will weave the web of understanding around those who read your writing. And in modern times, we now have the World Wide Web, and spider is the master of connection.

Squirrel: (Native American) As the Squirrel gathers and stores his food, his appearance indicates it is time to prepare for your future. Do you have a retirement plan in place or do you need life insurance. The things to store may be spiritual in nature or physical. As much of Squirrel's buried seeds and nuts goes toward the growth of new trees and plants for future generations, your storehouse of physical and spiritual wisdom will go to future generations. Squirrel is playful, active, and prepared. He teaches balance between work and play, between fruitful endeavors and fruitless ones (relationships or business), and between having sufficient and hoarding. If you dream of Squirrel gathering food, a windfall is coming your way. If you are feeding Squirrel it indicates you have goods to share which you have been able to store...these goods may be physical or spiritual. Squirrel wants you to be prepared and in balance in all areas of your life. Be mindful of what you store “plant” in your life for as you sow shall you reap.

Swan: The Swan understands dream symbols and can see into the future. It understands spiritual evolution and can aid in the development of intuitive abilities. It foretells the awakening of the power of self and the understanding of grace when associating with others. It encourages you to expand into your highest good.

Tiger: Changes shape and form. He brings personal strength and courage and brings out the side of you that you hide from others (your shadow side). He brings out your ability to trust your intuition and to differentiate between the negative and positive energies that you are entertaining at the time. He helps you deal with anger that is directed toward you and teaches you how to handle aggression ... both yours and any that are directed to you.

Unicorn: A Nature Spirit that can change dimensions to the physical world, has the energy to live in the physical vibration for many months.  Considered to be one of the four most important spiritual creatures.

It combines male and female in one beast.

The one-horn beast designates supreme power and has been symbolized as a Ram, Goat, Bull, Fish, Antelope, Ass or Horse, all using the single horn.  It is the strength associated with single-pointedness.

In Alchemy, it represents Mercury as a male-female  element necessary to the accomplishment of humanity's inward victory over darkness.

The Unicorn's most vital function has been a symbol for a combination of the opposites...the male horn, the female body, representing the Soul-Mind as the spark of divine light in the darkness of matter.

Whale:  (Metaphysics)  Personifies the great cosmic force of the Universe.  Its mouth represents the gateway to the Etheric World and the belly represents the internal regions.  It is capable of changing size and shape. Also considered a keeper of spiritual knowledge.  If the Whale comes to you it tells you to open your mind to the messages that will be forthcoming from the Universal Mind of the Etheric World.

Humpback Whales are thought to be the record Keepers of Earth for all eternity. They are believed by some to be magical beings with psychic perception and creative intuition. They are viewed symbolically, in many sects of Native wisdom, as the creation of all life on earth. Whale will help you move through emotional depths and inner awakenings. He sings the song of the Earth and the song of you. He sings the song of the trees, the stars and the stones. He aids with emotional rebirth and new understandings. 

As the Whale uses sonar to tune into his environment he urges you to use your intuition to tune into a situation in your life which is at hand. Whale asks you to embrace the unknown and to work with the breath, sound (to chant, to tone) and music (to sing) to bring balance (emotional or physical) and to heal. When Whale appears in a dream it indicates a need to make the connection between your conscious and subconscious.

Wolf:  (Rome)  The Wolf is seen as a loner by many but wolves mate for life. They bring faithfulness and inner strength to us. They teach us to live with ourselves and to find our own inner strength and power. They are beautiful, graceful and always alert to their surroundings. They bring us the energy to face our deepest fears and teach us to take risks.

(Personal note here: At one time I found myself with two beautiful wolves as my Spirit Animals. They came in as I was going through a period of reassessing my life and my value system. I had begun to doubt the wisdom of remaining on the path I had chosen. As the weeks went by they were always present, they frolicked and played a lot and their joy was contagious. With their help I found that I was right where I was destined to be on my path and I was o.k. They reappear from time to time, as needed, to rekindle that joy for me.)

Woodpecker: (Norse) The Woodpecker is Earth's drummer who pecks away at hidden layers until truth is uncovered. It understands cycles and creates rhythms. Its energy is associated with Thor, God of Thunder.

(Personal note here: Thor came to me in a dream when I was living in the Mojave Desert and just beginning my spiritual studies. In my dream he handed me a lightening bolt. No words were spoken between us. The next day a friend came to visit and handed me a small gift box. Inside was a silver lightening bolt. I was stunned. She said she saw it in a jewelry store and knew she needed to buy it for me. That was some 50 years ago. I still have the lightening bolt and anytime I feel over-stressed I bring it out and do a wee meditation. It always seems to clear the air for me.)

I would like to think that the above information will instill a desire on your part to learn more about your Power or Spirit Animals, what they represent and how to begin working with them for fulfillment. This is a brief list with brief explanations but you can take this information, do a bit more research and run with it...right into better understanding of what makes you who you are and how to be more comfortable with your visit to this realm, in this time and space.

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