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In the Native American tradition, man communicated with the Creator through interaction with nature; the birds, the forest, the animals…. Many chose or were given symbolic “power animals” whose strength or character reflected the human character traits of the individuals claiming the “power” of that specific animal. Much of this attitude has carried over into modern society as advertisements picture tigers with gas tanks (speed and power) or the U.S Government and the bald eagle (power from a lofty position).

“What does the symbol of a bear, a whale, a wolf, ….. mean?” Each picture or listing provides a starting place in understanding the possible symbolism of each of nature’s creations. Tribal legends or stories have been added to many of the animals

It is my intent to spur your interest into further examination of possible symbolism of each listing and how it may relate to you personally. By no means do I intend that this list represents a totality of information as individual tribes have adopted specific symbolic meanings based on their own cultural folklore.

Click on this link to read more about animals and their meaning based on Native American teachings: Animal Totems and their Meanings

I felt that this would be a good addition for those who have not found their animal totem. An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward. In the Native American culture this is the reason people wear fur, feathers or heads of animals on their body, because they were taking on the energy of the animal.

Comments on: "Honoring the Animal Spirits" (23)

  1. Hi dear Cherokee! Hi everyone! How are you all doing?

    Very interesting article! It’s amazing the Native’s wisdom! My totem is definetly the hummingbird. Aaaw, I really love these little ones and they’ve been part of my life in so many moments! They make me feel happiness and love each time I see them! I like the energy that they bring me!

    I’ve heard about them being messengers and it’s nice to have your confirmation on this, dear Cherokee. Maybe they’ve brought some “messages” from spirit to me 🙂

    Birds are the animals I most like. All of them. Swallows, sparrow-hawks… It’s beautiful to see them flying happy and free in the sky! Owls are beautiful, clever and mysterious, too! There’s an owl that sometimes appears here in my appartment, in the balcony, mostly about midnight. I try to get close to see it better, but it realizes my presence immediately, looks at me with those big eyes (very intense) and the flies away (LOL :D).

    But hummingbirds are even more special to me!

    Love to all!

  2. It is amazing to me how you seem to post things that I have been pondering. I have been reading a book on Animal Spirit guides by Steven Farmer PhD, have you heard of him. I so try to tell people how important it is to respect and understand all aspects of nature and our surroundings.

    With Love
    Melinda

  3. I love the picture of the paw and hand. When you posted a similar article a few months ago, you created the interest in me that was always just under the surface. I frequently notice now animals….especially the birds. I have particularly noticed that crows catch my attention much more than they used to…also cardinals and butteflies. Thanks for posting this topic, Cherokee Billie.
    love,
    Anna

  4. Great post, thanks Cherokee. I’m still not sure what my Animal totem is. Talking about animals (the Cat kind) My 2 kitties are taking up ALL my attention and time! 😉

    I hope everyone has a great weekend.
    Light and Love Susanxxxx

  5. giselamj said:

    I didnt know and I just knew what My animal totem was..!! its the dragon..
    I tatooed two years ago.. a very slim and “feminine” dragon tattoo on my right ankle…
    and I just realized.. I did research the meaning of it some time ago. and now I refound it in your article about the different animals…
    It was great to know.. 🙂

  6. karinatcc@yahoo.com.br said:

    Again, another inspiring post! It is so interesting to see how you can be so right, Cherokee Billie!
    I was just wondering what life would be if I didn’t have the 2 dogs we own around… They are so full of life, always so welcoming, so eager to show us their love, that I sometimes wonder if we really deserve it all. Dogs have always been present in our lives here at home, so just their presence is a blessing!! They are very special to us!!

    Best wishes,
    Karina

  7. Hello Cherokee Billie I did not have a chance to write a post after michaels last message to us . My husband and I are Polish and have been watching the news on our Polish satellite. The terrible news of our Polish president and his wife and important people that were flying to russia to be at the ceramony at katyn for the 70th anniversary of that tragedy. The plane crashing close to the airport in Russia. I am soo happy to be part of this spiritual community! I felt michaels message to us was very strong. He was talking about being in a cave and about Native Americans. I had done some research regarding his parents. His father is part Chowtaw Indian and was born in Arkansas and his mother is part Cherokee Indian and was born in Alabama. I myself just wanted to see if there was any information regarding michaels parents. I kept rereading Michaels message and felt such a sense of peace and also a type of closure that Michael is at peace and wants us to move on with our lives. A life that has moe meaning to all of us and for our beautiful colors to be shining through like a diamond as Michael had said. We all need to grow spiritually and learn more about spritual truth like Michael had said. Knowlege is power I heard that somewhere, reading about quantum physics and more on Spirituality will help us when Michaels Spirit comes back to Planet Earth.We will all be prepared to be his helpers. Thank you cherokee billie for everything you are teaching us! I am soo appreciative!

    • Dear Terry,
      I am very sorry about the plane crash. Please accept my condolences and sympathy on such a tragic happening. I have always had the highest respect and regard for Poland and its people. My son-in-law is half Polish. His paternal grandparents were survivors of the Nazi atrocities during WW II. His paternal grandmother was in Auschwitz and his paternal grandfather was in a work camp. My daughter saw the tatooed number on his grandmother’s arm; his grandfather passed away several years ago. Again, I have said and will continue to say prayers for the President, his wife, and all of the others who were on board.

      I agree with what you said about Michael’s message. It is very comforting but powerful in what he is urging us to do. I knew that his parents had Native American ancestry; you can see the characteristics in him, and I had read about his mom and dad also. I am very happy for him. Everyone has to find his or her individual path in life and in the afterlife. I am learning and understanding that so much more. I thank and appreciate Cherokee Billie for getting this message. I also thank Michael for being so kind and generous to give this message. He truly seems to care about us and wants to help us understand so that we can study and learn more about the afterlife and spirit so that we can advance. What we learn here goes with us when we pass, and the more we learn, understand, and know in this life, the more helpful it will be for us when our times come to pass into the afterlife. Russell Crowe, one of my favorite actors, said as Maximus in Gladiator, “What we do this day will echo in eternity” or it was something like that. I am learning that is very true…..not just a line in one of my favorite movies, which carries a powerful message about that very thing.
      love to you,
      Anna

    • Dear Terry, my condolences and prayers for all the people of Poland! God bless

      Love,

    • God bless Poland and its grieving peoples.

      Godspeed,
      N

    • Dear Terry, My heart goes out to everyone in Poland for your great loss 😦
      I enjoyed reading your post and I agree with all you said 🙂 Light and Love Susanxxxx

  8. Loved reading this, thanks Cherokee! I relate to many of the animals here – All the big cat’s as well as the domestic cat, the owl – love owls, and the mystical unicorn…and the ram of course as my sign is Aries.

  9. An interesting article that Cherokee Billie has written and can be found in the “Articles” section of her website is “Communicating With Animals.” I just read it as well as a couple of others which are “Follow the Mystic Path” and “Stop in Order to Move Ahead.”

    I think it is important to stay focused on what she has put before us as she posts articles on this blog and not to stray too far from the path and eventually get off topic. Obviously she posts different articles on different topics as a focus for us because that is what she feels is important. I hope that you are exploring about different animals that come into, stay, or go out of your lives; it is a way of getting more in touch with yourself for better self understanding and a springboard for thoughts of spirituality. I know that I pay much more attention now, and often look up different animals that come and go in my life. I don’t get immediate interpretations or answers, but with the information I do get from what I read from different sources, I begin to put more thought into what my life is all about and just ponder it all. Of course, you can always just dismiss it as nothing and that it just happened.

    Many times I have looked for the meaning and wondered if there was one; now I am learning that there are different sources that I can use to help me to discover those possible meanings. I hope that what I have written here makes sense.

    As any good teacher, Cherokee Billie has her lesson in each post that she wants to teach us and sometimes she has to gently pull us back to that point. I remember this happening frequently in my teaching experience. Sometimes I would allow the sidetrips to take place if I felt some worth, productivity, and benefit (and sometimes just for enjoyment) came from the discussions; other times, I had to pull them back to the focus of the lesson that they needed to learn. I encourage you to contact Cherokee Billie; she is waiting for you.
    love,
    Anna

    • Hi Anna, how are you doing? Hope you’re well 🙂

      As you talked about “not getting off topic”, I just wanted to add some words here, ’cause I was in a hurry when I wrote the other comment. As my language is not english and when I don’t have much time to think how to put my words in other language, sometimes what I write may not express what I really mean.

      So this is what I meant to say: This article, as well as the others that dear Cherokee has posted about this subject, wich I have read and liked a lot, has helped me to see what’s the importance of the hummingbirds in my life. I believe that most times they bring me messages from my Guardian Angels and spiritual friends, telling me that they’re taking care of me, that they’re present. I’ve been so depressed and feeling lonely for years and the hummingbirds made me feel much better 🙂

      I wonder why are birds in general so special to me… There might be a reason, related to my personality or to something I need in my life.. I hope one day I’ll find out!

      Did you find out what your totem is, Anna? If I remember well, was it you who said it was the Whale? If so it’s a wonderful totem, I hope it brings you good energies and help in your life 😉

      Love,
      Mayra

      • Hi Mayra, How are you? I really like dolphins and always have. Whales are nice too, but I always look for dolphins when we go to the coast on vacation in the summer. I also love to look at pictures of dolphins and just generally really love the ocean. Dolphins are very special to me. It was very kind of you to remember. I also remember you talking about hummingbirds too. They are beautiful little birds. I have a hummingbird feeder on my front porch. They will begin coming to feed soon. Last year we had 3 or 4 regular visitors. I hope your animal totem brings good energies to you too!
        Love,
        Anna

      • Oh, dolphins are real special animals, to me they bring a feeling of joy!

        Hope you get many visits from my little friends hummingbirds! 😉

  10. Hello everyone! Hello Cherokee!
    I hope everyone is ok ! My animal totems are the dog and the dolphin. And since Cherokee told us about the animal totem, I started to pay attention to my relationship with animals and I found that cats follow me and I find this quite interesting.
    Many blessings to you all. Thanks for the article Cherokee! It´s interesting!!
    Love. Mara

  11. I’m glad so many of you are seeing what your animal totem represents. Hummingbirds represent pure joy and they bring many blessings for those that have that totem. My totem Throughout my life has been the owl. I have many others as well. Thank you all for commenting.
    Many blessings,
    Cherokee Billie

    • Thank you for commenting about the hummingbirds, dear Cherokee! I’m glad and thankful that they are in my life! A hummingbird came here in the balcony today, all the afternoon!

      I admire very much the owls, their eyes are so powerful, I can imagine how much strenght they bring to you 🙂

      Love,

  12. Lilystardust said:

    The same day you posted this topic, I had a job interview at a veterinarian hospital!

    I had really wanted an opportunity to work in an environment focused on animals, where I could really learn things of much personal value to me. In addition to having a regular clinic, it is also the same 24 hour emergency (veterinary) hospital I’ve had to take my cats to twice in the past. I would be super excited to have the job there just to learn as much as I could, but don’t know if I’ll get it; I wasn’t well the day of the interview and had only had four hours of sleep, in addition to another problem). The job is only part time, which means I’d have to find another part time job to supplement it (and I don’t know about the health benefits), but the learning experience there would be so invaluable; I’d love to work there just in order to learn. (I didn’t even ask what it paid!) I had sort of decided that if I were to focus in the area of the medical field for employment, I’d rather work in something animal oriented than people oriented. Veterinarians are among my very favorite people on earth – they’re practically Gods to me. I hold them in the highest regard. I’ve wondered about possibly learning to become a vet tech. So it was funny that you posted this the same day.

    I have a small bird’s nest in some rafters under a wooden awning right outside my sliding front door. A little finch built it about six years ago. It is located only about a foot higher than my head so I can easily see it. Every spring right around this time the finch returns to her nest, and usually has two sets of offspring. I was so delighted the first time. I got to watch the whole progression and development of the chicks; got to see mama feeding them, got to watch them grow, and eventually fly away. Within two months, the bird would return and have her last brood of the season. There is always another bird with her, which I assume is her mate. They chirp back and forth to each other. They would protect each other and the nest, and take turns. We used to stare at each other, only a few feet apart.

    The second year the finch came back, I was so surprised! I had left the nest intact after she had left the first year, even though I had had a “rope light” wound around the railing she had built it right on top of, which had half of the lights burned out and needed to be replaced – I couldn’t replace the rope light because it would destroy the nest. So I left it as it was, and the finch returned the next year, then the next, and again, every year since (except for the one year I had built an enclosure on the deck for my cats, and it was too disruptive and dangerous). I now can recognize their particular chirp out of all the other bird’s chirps, and heard it for the first time this year a few weeks ago. The chicks are usually hatched or close to being hatched by Mother’s Day every year, and then the second ones come later in the summer. Anyway, it’s become a very special and magical thing I look forward to now, when my little bird returns. I feel so privileged to witness it.

    I also have many hummingbirds here, and blue jays, and other sweet forest birds. What is really special, though, is that we get Monarch butterflies here. Certain times of the year they are everywhere. I will start to see the caterpillars on my walkway and around the ground. I am careful not to step on them. I love it when they start to show up. It feels magical too – a bit like Michael Jackson’s Earth Song rain forest movie – very similar. A very pretty small white butterfly flew into my mobile home yesterday, and ended up sleeping overnight in my white bathroom sink. I was able to help it fly back outside this morning (left the door open and it found its way out). By summer we get a few dragonflies. I love them too.

    There are raccoons here, and they have caused me untold grief with my two former cats. It is much too long and dramatic a story to go into here. I also have rats and mice that took over the outdoor shed my washing machine is in, and nearly completely ate away the wooden wall of one side of it. They make a racket (and a mess) and I hear them outside my bedroom all night. (My landlord is going to try and replace the wall eventually – it has to be rebuilt from the inside. Another story). In the meantime, I made peace with them, believe it or not. I was freaked out at first, but don’t have the heart to kill them. I’ve had these rodents for about two years now. It’s another long story.

    In the redwood forest where I live (more in the surrounding areas), there are foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, wild boar, opossums, deer, many, many squirrels (I have one that lives in a tree in my yard I have become familiar with – I now believe it’s the same and only squirrel, and this is his territory – I put out bread or peanuts for him sometimes, and talk to him – raccoons, and occasionally, mountain lions. Sometimes it’s a bit scary.

    The spiders never go away. They come in all the time and I’ve learned to make peace with them too. Every now and then I make a round up and catch them in plastic containers and release them back outside, but they always come back. In the summer there are large, almost tarantula sized big brown spiders that start appearing. I have to remember to check my shower before entering in the summer, because more than once, I’ve gotten into the shower only to find one of those right on the shower wall in front of me!

    We also have banana slugs. They are HUGE bright yellow forest slugs. You can’t touch them or they’ll leave slime on your hands that is nearly impossible to wash off. To remove them from plants (like my potted deck flowers), you have to put on yard gloves to pull them off. Trust me.

    There are occasional scorpions around here too. This time of year the big carpenter ants start showing up too.

    So with so many creatures in my habitat, I certainly have a lot of “messages”! But my own two cats are my favorites, obviously.

    Lily

  13. Lilystardust said:

    (I for got to mention the snakes, lizards, and frogs. Small snakes and lizards are all around here, and there is a frog that lives in (or returns to – I’m not sure) a small plastic storage container on my deck. I also start hearing him singing (and occasionally jumping) in there in the summer every year. The storage container wall won’t stay in place, so there’s an opening – so the frog isn’t trapped in there.)

    Lily

  14. Lilystardust said:

    One last thing …. on the road where I live, several miles down, there is this one property where the owner has a big sign advertising their fruit, honey, and other things that they grow on their land and sell from their home (there are lots around here – (chicken) eggs, lemons, pears, apples, persimmons, duck eggs), but this particular place raises peacocks. There have ben several times I’ve driven down that road and have seen these peacocks walking along the road! If I could afford to, I’d love to have some peacocks (even though I know they’re noisy). I went there and looked at them once; met the owner and talked about peacocks. But I just can’t afford to take care of them. (They were two for a hundred dollars, and only sold in pairs). Maybe someday. They’re so beautiful.

    Lily

  15. Cherokee Billie,

    Thank you for bringing us back to discovering our animal totem. Repetition is the key to learning.

    As always I love the photos you find to match the topic. Perfect!

    Love to all,
    Lynne

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