animal totems

47 Different Animal Totems and Their Meanings

Your animal totem is an animal that has chosen to be your guide and represent you and your life. They also represent the characteristics that you, or your family, have and will have while traveling through life.

While animal totems don’t guide you through hard times as spirit animals do, they support you through all times in your life and help you remember who you are. Keep reading if you want to learn more about animal totems, including what they are, how to find them, and examples of 47 different animals that could be your totem.

What Does Animal Totem Mean?

Animal Totem

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An animal totem, or totem animal, is a symbolic representation and sacred part of a group. These animals were originally used in Native American tribes. An animal totem could belong to a tribe, a family, or a single individual.

They’re slightly different than spirit animals, which are there to protect and guide you on your most difficult journies. They are permanent fixtures in your life. You don’t get different totems as you age and grow. It’s just the one.

47 Animal Totems and Meanings


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Though the original Native American animal totems were based on North American animals, any animal can be a guide or totem. These are just some of the hundreds of animals out there that could potentially be your chosen totem.

1. Alligator: Alligators, though quick to aggression and revenge, are stealthy and efficient when they need to be. They are also maternal and have the skills to survive in any situation.

2. Ant: Ant totems tend to see the bigger picture. They know that situations are about more than just the individual and are quick to self-sacrifice for the bettering of the group.

3. Anteater: Those with anteater totems tend to be a little too curious and nosy for their own good. They are rather skilled at figuring out solutions and sensing trouble before it arrives, though.

4. Badger: Badgers come off as aggressive, and do display some hostility. Underneath that, though, is passion and drive.

5. Bear: Bear animal totems mean physical strength and leadership. Those with a bear totem often represent the protector of their family group.

6. Buffalo: Buffalo animal totems represent strength, stability, and blessings. They are consistent and bring forth gratitude.

7. Butterfly: Like many insect totems, butterflies represent transformation. They’re also balanced and graceful, though there may be some traces of vulnerability.

8. Cat: Those with the cat totem are often self-sufficient and fiercely proud of their independence. They are watchful and often detached from situations.

9. Cobra: Cobras represent intelligence and speed. They are decisive in their actions, and not prone to drawing out confrontation.

10. Cow: Cows, and those with this animal as their totem, tend to be community-driven. Even in tough situations, they express patience and have a sense of joy.

11. Coyote: Coyotes are tricksters, stealthy, and intelligent. However, they are also innocent and wise.

12. Crow: Crows are said to be carriers of souls into the afterlife. They protect against the dark and fear.

13. Deer: Deer represents gentleness, a sense of adventure, and compassionate intelligence.

14. Dog: Dogs are loyal and faithful to their families. They are good at perceiving situations, and providing protection when necessary.

15. Dragon: Dragons are powerful, prosperous, and full of infinite wisdom.

16. Dragonfly: Those with dragonfly totems tend to be a bit more flighty. They have a powerful imagination and are often carefree and full of joy.

17. Duck: Ducks are often animal totems of seers. They bring forth water energy and the ability to regulate and control emotions.

18. Fox: Foxes are sometimes put in a bad light, associated with cunning and tricks. While they can represent this, they also represent a bid of wildness, camouflage, and the ability to be quick-witted.

19. Frog: Frogs are often associated with water. For that reason, they tend to mean rebirth and cleansing. However, frogs also represent adaptability and metamorphosis.

20. Goat: A goat means surefootedness, stubbornness, and diligence. Those with a goat animal totem tend to be stubborn but often study.

21. Hawk: Hawks are messengers. They bring victory, healing, and cleansing. They’re also associated with intuition.

22. Horse: Horse animal totems represent journeys and traveling through life at full speed.

23. Hummingbird: Hummingbirds are animal totems for those who never stop. These people tend to be playful and full of what seems to be infinite energy.

24. Kangaroo: Kangaroo animal totem owners are balanced and quick on their feet. They constantly move forward, helping others to reach a better future as well.

25. Lizard: Lizards are for the dreamers who spend much of their life in their own heads. They can also be agile and great at conversation when the need arises.

26. Lynx: Lynx are trustworthy people. They are excellent listeners and intuitive, if not unconventional. They are often referred to as secret keepers because they never betray the trust of people they care about.

27. Mole: Moles are sensitive to their situation. They’re always on the hunt for something and tend to dig themselves into holes because of it.

28. Mouse: Mice are fairly innocent. They like everything to stay organized and love order.

29. Otter: Otters represent a playful and joyful path. They are usually innocent and sensible, but rarely suspicious.

30. Owl: Owls are connected with darkness, and are sometimes thought to be bad. However, they are also highly respected.

31. Porcupine: Despite their sharp edges, those with porcupine totems are compassionate, innocent, and rather good-natured.

32. Rabbit: Rabbits are often scared, but push through their fear. Many owners of rabbit totems are also artistic and rather joyful.

33. Raccoon: Raccoons are incredibly curious and secretive. They often use disguises and keep many secrets close to their breast.

34. Rat: Rat animal totems often represent intelligence, wealth, and a drive to be successful.

35. Scorpion: You might see scorpions as dangerous, but they are truthfully strong and compassionate, if not a bit chaotic.

36. Shark: Sharks are hard workers, often pushing themselves too far. They are hungry for the next promotion or opportunity for growth and know what signs to look for to keep them on the right track.

37. Snail: Those with a snail animal totem are often rather solitary, but are sensitive and protective when they need to be.

38. Spider: Spiders symbolize balance, wisdom, creativity, and a repeating cycle.

39. Swan: Swans provide grace and balance. They are full of love and often undergo a major transformation.

40. Toad: Those who have a toad as an animal totem often possess a fair amount of luck and inner strength.

41. Turtle: Turtles are shy, but nurturing. They can also be protective, patient, and strong.

42. Unicorn: Unicorns place importance on purity and innocence, as well as faith and healing.

43. Weasel: Those who have the weasel totem are often observant, stealthy, and focused on revenge.

44. Whale: The whale represents kindness, awareness, and nurturing.

45. Wolf: Wolves represent loyalty, but also have a layer of independence. They’re protective, cooperative, and a strong agent of found families.

46. Woodpecker: The meanings behind woodpeckers include sensitivity, communication, and devotion.

47. Wren: Wrens symbolize strong sibling relationships, being the voice of power, and fearlessness.

How to Find Your Animal Totems

Find Your Animal Totems

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For some people, it’s easy enough to find your animal totem. It’s the animal they’re drawn to their whole life. The energy and what the animal represents resonates with them.

It’s not that easy for everyone. Thankfully, there are ways to get a better idea of what your animal totem is. You can start by asking yourself questions. For example, have you ever been drawn to a particular animal, and you can’t describe why you feel so strongly about them? Don’t limit yourself to apex predators, think about all sorts of animals, including birds, reptiles, and insects.

If that line of questioning doesn’t help you out, think back through your life. Are there any animals you’re particularly drawn to? Do they show up in your life? Not just as a living creature, but in pictures, posters, artwork, and news articles as well.

When all else fails, you can ask the universe for help. Try and meditate for a while. Does an animal show itself to you? Even if it doesn’t appear right away, try to remain open after meditating. Do you see an animal popping up around you more than normal, or more than any other? It could be the sign from the universe you were asking for. Take the time to pay attention to your surroundings.

Your totem animal isn’t one that you can pick for yourself. Instead, you have to find the one already assigned to you. If you try and force an animal too much into the role of your totem animal, you may run into problems in your life as you upset that animal and the one that is your true animal totem.

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