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Spiritual Symbology / Guardianship

In Native American Culture and other cultures around the world, the concept of Animal Totems is universal. In this concept, animals are our guardian, or guiding spirits. Each of us, as an individual has a totem and groups may also have a totem. Individuals inherit totems at birth or may acquire them through some type of “marriage.” They may also discover their Animal Totem’s watchful presence through meditation. As the “totem” each animal holds a specific representation which lies on a parallel plane with our own and teaches or guides us in this life through its unique characteristics. Native American dancers invoke the power of the totem by imitating the animal in movement and posture. Animals also manifest in our lives and “passing teacher” totems, bringing heightened awareness to a specific stage, or growth period in our lives. Animals represent the first beings, the ancient ones, the all-knowing deities responsible for creation and the source of strength and guidance in times of trouble, need or spiritual healing and growth.

BUTTERFLY Butterfly is a symbol of joy, reminding us to take life less seriously. They are graceful messengers of the moment and assist us in recognizing our power to live in present time. Butterfly represents the process of transformation through continually flowing forward movement.

CAT Cats, both wild and domestic, are associated with magic and mystery as well as with healing. The energy field of Cat rotates in a counterclockwise direction, opposite of the human energy field. This allows Cat to absorb a neutralize energy that affects humans negatively. Cat helps us heal and realign energy fields, restore internal balance and move forward in self-discovery and transformation.

COUGAR Cougar is powerful and agile. Associated with leadership, Cougar teaches decisiveness in the use of personal power. Bringing the strength of balance and quiet power, Cougar teaches us leadership through gentle assertiveness.

COYOTE Many Native American tribes consider the coyote to be their creator. Some tribes also regard Coyote as teacher and magician. Coyote is often associated with the “trickster.” In all of its roles, Coyote is a benevolent figure, intentionally or otherwise helping us to restore balance and order.

CROW Crow is linked to abundance and prosperity. In some Native American myths, Crow may restore order to the heavens. In one myth, Crow is caught warning Buffalo of hunters and thrown into a fire, only to escape just singed by the flames. Crow is a kind of phoenix, rising from the ashes, symbolizing renewal, transformation and the promise of abundance.

DOLPHIN Spending large portions of the day playing, Dolphin lives in joyful harmony with others and the environment and life experience. Dolphin’s community has a powerful balance and purity of being that touches our inner nature. Dolphin teaches us to open ourselves to the energies of love, harmony and balance and to follow our inner truth and joy.

DOVE Dove is a symbol of peace and divine inspiration, also offering promise and hope. Dove has long been associated with maternal instinct and female sexuality. Home and family are important to those with Dove’s energy. Dove often reflects hidden emotions, teaching us to go within and release our emotional discord whether it be from either past or present.

DOG Dog holds the energies of unconditional love and forgiveness. Dog is intelligent and sensitive and is able to sense subtle energies which may be undetectable to the human frequency. Dog often reflects the personality of its human companion, serving as a mirror energy image.

ELEPHANT Elephant holds a tremendous energy of loyalty, teaching us compassion, strength, discernment and quiet power. With his tusks pointing backward, elephant assists us in our ability to uncover secrets left behind us and bring to conscious awareness for evaluation and healing.

FROG Frog is a creature of the water and is associated with new life and emerging creativity. In ancient times, Frog was placed on mummies to facilitate rebirth. In some Native American beliefs, Frog is associated with the moon, also a feminine symbol.

GIRAFFE Head towering high in the sky and feet firmly on the ground, Giraffe represents the link between the higher and lower worlds. Giraffe’s flexible neck allows him to see behind, alongside and in front of him, helping him walk fully in the present. Giraffe holds the teaching of clear sight, helping us to increase our perception by viewing life from all angles.

GORILLA Gorilla has a gentle strength, patience and clarity of vision as well as excellent memory and a keen sense of observation. Gorilla also has exceptional hearing and listening ability. Gorilla helps us to observe, conserve and maintain balance and harmony within ourselves through appreciation of nature and its elements.

HORSE Horse symbolizes freedom and the power that comes with being free. Individuals drawn to Horse can be fiercely independent with a strong need for free expression. Horse brings safety of speed and promise of adventure. Horse helps us travel to new ventures and experiences, awakening our inner power and allowing us to move forward with courage.

HUMMINGBIRD Hummingbird has tremendous stamina and perseverance, helping us to see our ability to travel the road without becoming depleted. Hummingbird also brings the gift of beauty, reminding us to pay attention and truly observe the awesome wonder and beauty of all creation.

OWL Sometimes called the night eagle, Owl is a messenger from the mystery, teaching us to embrace our personal darkness without fear. Owl helps guide us through the dark tunnels of change and uncertainty to the brilliant light shining at the other end.

PIG Pig is exceptionally intelligent and loves companionship. Pig has strong reasoning power and sense of justice and kindness, as well as acute listening skills. Pig teaches us how to remain focused and develop a solid, secure foundation in our lives.

TIGER Tiger represents primal power, creation, sexuality and perception.

WOLF Wolf embodies both freedom and community, helping us to establish a balance between the two in our lives. Wolf is also a powerful messenger of stamina and strength. Wolf teaches us self-awareness and assists us in developing personal confidence.



I’ve worked with Reiki and the Chakras in my healing practice for years. One night I stayed up for hours on end working on a horse painting. I felt so compelled to paint that horse that I couldn’t stop - the motion of that horse had to be right. Several days later, I noticed that all the colors I used in that painting were the colors of the chakras along the spine. It opened up a whole new way for me to paint living forms.”

BAT Bat holds the power of adaptability, helping us to examine our experiences and identify the opportunities being presented to us. Bat assists us in releasing old patterns and offers us the wisdom and insight needed to embrace change for our continued personal growth.