A little light to those who would like it...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spirit Guides and Totem Animals
Some people are unaware of their guides, or don't have a specific one. There are many different animals that you can call upon. Once you do this more often, you will find yourself befriending a certain one. Usually this animal is one that is most like yourself. Here are some things you should look at when finding your spirit guide...
~~~What animal are you most drawn or attracted to? When you go to the zoo, what is the first animal that you want to see?
~~~What animals do you dream about? If there is a specific animal that you have dreams about all the time, this is probably a guide that is already there for you, and speaks to you through your dreams.
~~~Animals you can relate to. Is there a certain animal that you think has a personality like your own? Are you like a dolphin because you are extremely playful and good hearted? Are you like a dog because you are a good and loyal friend?
~~Animals that are the opposite of you. I say this because if you need help in something you may have to call on an animal that has none of your qualities. Maybe you are depressed and need to call on that dolphin to help make you happy. Maybe you befriend people too easily and need an owl to open your eyes and see that many of these people are betraying you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is a Spirit Guide?
A spirit guide is one who helps you through the trials of life and helps you learn the lessons that these trials teach. Often, ones Spirit Guide represents different aspects of themselves. A spirit Guide can be somone from your past who cared about you, or someone who owes you a sort of karmic retribution for somthing in the past. They can also be spirits sent by the Divine to help you in times when you need it.
A Spirit Guide may stay with you your whole life, or it may not. You may have several or only one. This will depend on the lessons you must learn and the trials you face in life. I have found, that, on average, people have about four spirit guides. One for each aspect of themselves: emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical. Somtimes people have more to represent sub selves like the love self, the working self, the careing self etc. All this will depend on you.
There are several ways to discover who your spirit guide is. Most guides want you to discover them. There are also several different ways of working with a guide. You just have to do what feels 'right'.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is a Totem Animal?
Unlike a Spirit Guide, I see a Totem Animal as a guide who will be with you your whole life. A Totem Animal is the one who presents life's challenges. This is what gives one their personality, characteristics and level of understanding. They don't nessecarily guide you, but they present that which you must learn, then help you deal with the results of just how you decided to deal with the problem.
You can have many different Totem Animals. I find that people generally have about 6. Perhaps it is one to signify each of the elements in your life, perhaps it is just to represent the six stages of your life. I have found that everyone has at least one 'main' totem animal which travels with them their whole life, a hidden totem animal, and several totems to help them through different parts of their life.
One's main totem is the animal which travels with them their whole life. It is the one which most influences them and their personality. This totem usually appears when one is very young and stays with them until they pass on. These totems will usually make themselves known to those around the person whom they represent.
One's hidden totem represents the inner aspects of their personality. A hidden totem might be considered the 'dark' side of ones personality. This totem animal often remains within a person, influencing their subconscious decisions and personality. Often these totems remain hidden from everyone around the person and will only show themselves if the time is just right, or the situaltion needs it.
There are several ways to find your totem animal. They also have different base meaning. None are all 'positive' and none are all 'negative'. They are niether and both. All have advantages and disadvantages, don't let the meaning of the totem animal prompt you to choose one, you don't choose your animal, it chooses you.
~~~~~~ The Difference Between a Spirit Guide and a Totem Animal
A Spirit Guide is just that, one who guides your spirit. A Totem Animal will influence how you deal with the information you Spirit Guide gives you. A Spirit Guide helps you make decisions and will give you advice. A Totem Animal will throw tests at you then help you deal with the results of that test. So, one starts the trials in your life so that you may learn, the other helps you through that trial.
Often the two will work together, but they can also be opposing forces. Although you may think that they know everything (and somtimes they like you to believe that they do), they don't. They can only see what is presented to them, just like you. However, they can help you make decisions and give advice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Animal Correspondences
The characteristics of a specific animal are often rubbed off on those who have it as a totem. We often harness the natural power and energy of our totem. This energy may come in many forms, but is often closely associated with the attitude and habitat of the animal itself. The relationship you have with your totem also depends on its energies and attitude. Relationships with your totem animals are strongly based on the emotional, spirituality, physicality, and psychological characteristics of the animal you are dealing with.
Alligator-- Rough, stern, stealthy, basic survival
Ant-- Order, patience, hard work, team effort.
Antelope-- Graceful, speed, quick to start, jumpy, easily startled
Badger-- Does not relate well to others, self-reliant, a teacher rather than a student, has earth knowledge
Bat-- Initiation into magickal practices, long lived, facer of fears, finder of hidden messages, divination
Bear-- Introspection, inner strength, protective of their young, thought of as wise and gentle, keeper of hidden wisdom
Beaver-- A builder, talkative, likes structure and building, story teller, short lived, makes dreams a reality
Bee-- Hard working, social, follower, communittee oriented, can be obsessive
Beetle-- Purpose, innocence
Bird (general)-- Needs freedom, unity of fellow creatures, open minded, can be overbearing in beliefs and views
Bobcat-- Solitary, has spiritual force residing within them, will often carry the burden, manifestation of power and control
Buffalo-- Healing, good fortune, abundance, slow witted but kind, easily persuaded, keeper of medicine
Bull-- Insight into the past, might rush into parenthood and family, ill-prepared, fertile
Butterfly-- Transformation, accepting of others, graceful, indecisive, likes to be noticed and stand out in a crowd
Caribou-- Traveler, mobile, can adapt to surroundings, prefers to keep moving and have freedom
Cat-- Curiosity, many lives, cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.
Cockroach-- Reproduction, long lasting
Cougar-- Leadership, physical strength, quick tempered, quick witted, agressive, keeper of inner strength, will be quick to anger and slow to forgive
Coyote-- Humorous, tricky, looks out for itself, willing to laugh at itself, committed, scavenger, keeper of magick
Crane-- Royalty, proud, balance, inner meditation, lucky, likes movement and travel
Crow-- Resourceful, greedy, tolerated, loud, willing to council others, opinionated Deer-- Gentle, sensitive, generally peaceful, passive, slow reactions, easily startled
Deer-- Teaches us to understand our emotions, to understand the physical and the spiritual.
Dog-- Faithful, inner loyalty to a fault, make good friends and family, will protect those they care for
Dolphin-- Harmony, joyful, swift, passionate, meditative, likes company, keeper of self
Dragonfly-- Restless, refined, ever moving, skilled, acrobatic persoanlity
Eagle-- Illumination, majesty, adeptness, potency, power through knowledge, often arrogant and self assured
Elephant-- Long lived, doesnt listen to insults, tough and agressive, strong but peaceful
Elk-- Pride, beauty, ageless wisdom, keeper of the forest
Fish-- Agile, mobile, sly, generally open minded, but quick to change its mind
Fox-- Clever, subtle, agile, swift, uses discretion, not outgoing, willing to hide
Frog-- Growth, inner child, clensing, emotional healing, poor judgement of character
Giraffe-- strength, flexibility, link to higher and lower worlds, silent reflections
Goat-- Dilligence, willing to work to the top, unbending, no foresight
Goose-- Love of home, returns to place of belonging, friendly and caring, ever searching
Gorilla-- Powerful, wise, inner sadness and emotional self, represents those who keep peace through agreesion
Hawk-- Awareness, inner truth and contemplation, hidden talents, a watcher
Hedgehog-- Defensive, self preservation, abrasive personality, loner
Horse-- Loyal, inner power, freedom, safety in movement, beauty through strength
Hummingbird-- Agile, quick movements, easily distracted, abundance of energy, often has a sweet tooth
Ladybug-- Good luck, money, a job
Lizard-- Relaxed, knows when to back off, hidden defenses, elusiveness
Lion-- Strength, pride, agile, family motivated, willing to sacrifce self for others, strong channeling energies
Loon-- Serenity, good communicator, judgemental and uncaring
Manitee-- Slow but graceful mover, control of elements and though, open experience and destiny
Moose-- Unpredictable, slow to temper, stands up for what they believe in, abrasive
Mouse-- Hidden emotions and movements, illusive, charming, prepared, knows when to run away
Nightengale-- Soft tempered, good speaker, smooth movement and voice, keeper of the night
Octopus-- Multifacited, skilled in many things, like to know everything, can be overbearing and controling
Otter-- Playful, joyful nature, likes games of all sorts, bring laughter whereveer they go
Owl-- Insight into the unknown, clear vision, can see all influences around them, hidden hunter
Panther-- Hidden emotions, silent thought, careful decisions, quick movemnts, stealthy
Penguin-- Family oriented, emotionally cold exterior, non-expressive, adaptive to many environments
Prairie Dog-- Swift, industrious, readiness, doesnt like cold, builder
Porqupine-- Knows humility, inner innocence, appears to be scared and defensive, kind private nature
Potato Bug-- Childhood
Quail-- Works best in a group, creates harmony and group tolerance, protective, likes children
Rabbit-- Safety in numbers, needs to conquer fears, quick minded, emotional, physically weak
Racoon-- Borrower of skills and items, hidden enemies, hidden skills, lurker, mischief maker
Rat-- Can adapt to anything, quick witted and hard working, scavenging when needed, likes luxury
Raven-- Mysterious, ingenuity, distant watcher, keeper of the unknown
Rooster-- Vain, likes gifts and attention, early to rise, will go after the best
Salmon-- Determined, persistant, strength through desire, trusting but not trust-worthy
Scorpion-- Strength, depth, survival
Seagull-- Versitile, loud, abnoxious, carefree, inventive but lazy, open minded
Seal-- Contentment, peaceful, over-emotional, playful but hard worker
Skunk-- Wanring, dangerous, misunderstood, respectful and worthy of respect, carefully judgemental
Snail-- Perserverance, although stern and cold on the outside has a soft hearted nature
Snake-- Sexually potent, solitary but likes pleasing others, inner power through passion, keeper of the life force
Spider-- Teacher, story teller, trickster
Squirrel-- Thrifty, well prepared for any disaster, trust worthy, knows how to survive
Swan-- Beauty, elegance, nurturing nature and open heart, sense of calmness and inner retrospection
Tiger-- Mothering nature, Strength through determination and inner power, fickle personality
Turtle-- Protection, love of life and nature, healing powers, inner knowledge and thought
Walrus-- Trickster, loner, likes to be an individual, has little respect for life and others, vain
Whale-- Intuitive, wise, graceful, inner beauty, communittee preservation, gentle but will attack when provoked
Wolf-- Teacher of skills, loyalty, independant but likes others, strong willed, easy to anger, holds a grudge
Yak-- Ancient wisdom, higher being and understanding, self doubt, lack of emotional control
Zebra-- Indecisive, hidden aspects, confuses others, can be emotionally up or down rarely in between
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Birds and their Magical Meanings
Blackbird = Omens and mysticism, color of fear and promise
Bluebird = Happiness and fulfillment, color of north or east
Canary = Healing power of sound, heightened sensitivity
Catbird = Communication potential, new lessons or opportunities
Chickadee = Sacred number is seven, seeker of truth and knowledge
Crow = Intelligence, watchfulness, magical, past-life connections
Duck = Maternal, graceful and comforting, protective
Eagle = Capable of reaching zenith, great perception, bridging worlds
Finch = New experiences and encounters, wide range summer soltice
Goose = Story telling, fertility and fidelity, symbol of eight and infinity
Grosbeak = Heals old wounds, family values, past loves significance
Hawks = Primal life force, fulfillment, spring and fall equinoxes
Kingfisher = Halcyon days, peace and prosperity, linked to north, blue
Loon = Realizing dreams, haunting and eery song, imagination
Magpie = Occult knowledge, doorway to new realms. wily and willful
Meadowlark = Cheerfulness, sublimation, inner journey, linked to moon
Nuthatch = Applying wisdom to natural world, groundedness, ethereal
Oriole = Positive energy, reconnecting with inner sunshine, nature spirits
Owl = Silent wisdom and nocturnal vision, healing powers, magical
Peacock = Wisdom and vision, ostentatious, protective and powerful
Pelican = Self-sacrificing, non-competitive, buoyant, rising above trials
Pigeon = Love and security of home, fertility, archetypal energies
Raven = Shapeshifting, messenger or omen, blending human and animal
Robin = New growth, territorial, color link to throat center
Starling = Sociable, communicating diversity, forceful
Stork = Related to humanity, connected to emotions, water, birth process
Swan = Sensitive, emotional, dreamer and mystic, longevity
Swift = Feminine and psychic energies, speed and agility
Turkey = Spiritual connection to Earth Mother, shared blessings
Vulture = Purification, never-ending vigilance, guardian of mysteries
Woodpecker = Weather prophet, drumbeats into other dimension