When you embrace a metaphysical life, you accept the idea that everything has an underlying meaning. While some may laugh at the fact that you see messages in EVERYTHING, you recognize that divine guidance is always at hand when you pay attention.
One way the Universe communicates with us is through spirit guides. When these guides take on the form of an animal, they can provide special protective energies that can point us in the right direction.
What is a totem animal?
A totem animal is a spiritual being that takes the form of an animal. In other words, it’s a spiritual animal that has a special relationship with you. If you’re into animal symbolism, you know that different animals have different symbolic meanings associated with them, and you may look up the meanings of different animals when they cross your path.
For example, a squirrel crossing your path may be telling you to be proactive and to store up your resources for leaner, more challenging, times.
If you come across a dead animal, some take that to mean that the animal relates to a cycle that is ending in your life.
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Totem animals vs general animal symbolism
While working with totem animals is a way to embrace animal symbolism, there are certain differences between the two concepts.
With general animal symbolism, an animal is giving you a message for the moment. When the animal crosses your path, it’s telling you what you need to hear at that particular time.
However, a totem animal has a more permanent relationship with you. It’s giving you a message about a theme in your life. For example, if a squirrel is your totem animal, one of your life lessons might be to learn to prepare more diligently for the future. If a snake is your totem animal, you may be called to shed your skin and start over again on more than one occasion.
To figure out why that particular totem animal has chosen you, look at its attributes and qualities and figure out how they apply to your life.
With general symbolism, you typically come across an animal physically. For example, it crosses your path or you see it outside the window.
However, you may never see your totem animal in person. You may dream about it or intuitively know that a certain animal is calling to you. You may also be drawn to your totem animal by picking a card from an animal oracle deck.
In some cases, you may never see your totem animal in person because it may be an animal that’s common in a different part of the world. I’ve also heard of people having totem animals that were mythical such as unicorns. Since a totem animal is believed to exist in the spiritual realm, there is no need for it to be in your physical space at all.
It’s also possible to have more than one totem animal so you can have different animal guides at different periods of your life.