All images are public domain.
Some of the information on this webpage was derived from the following sources:
Sams, Jamie & Carson, David. Medicine Cards: the Discovery of Power Through the Way of Animals. Santa Fe, NM. 1988. Print.
Andrews, Ted. Animal-speak: the Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1993. Print.
Andrews, Ted. Animal-Wise: the Spirit Language and Signs of Nature. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1999. Print.
D. J. Conway. Animal Magick: the Art of Recognizing & Working with Familiars. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2003. Print.
Farmer, Steven D. Animal Spirit Guides. Hayhouse Inc., 2006. Print.
StarStuffs� http://starstuffs.com/animal_totems (webpage)
Ocelot, Margay Animal Totem: Adaptability, Regeneration
Ocelot is the perfect totem to use while meditating for it is a strong and sure guide to the spirit world. Ocelots live in both land and water, and therefore have a connection to both the physical and spiritual world and the ability to be in two places at once. Imagine Ocelot walking beside you as you journey into the ethereal plane. Imagine him not only as a guide but a fierce protector. Ocelot can also show you how to regenerate through solitude and quiet meditation. You can channel nervous energy through Ocelot and turn it into creative expression. Be sure that your next project is one that stirs your passions, and use Ocelot to help you tap into that creative energy.
Octopus Animal Totem: Intelligence and Camouflage
Related to the spiral of life, Octopus is reflective of the mystic center and the unfolding of creation. Octopus people usually have good memories. The number eight is important - eight is the number of power. Octopus shows us how to get what we want in an intelligent and efficient way. You can accomplish more than the average person in the same amount of time. However, you must be careful to care for yourself while you are working. Housekeeping is not a strong point with Octopus totem people.
Okapi Animal Totem: Silent Truth
A very difficult totem, Okapi medicine is that of silent truth. By listening and not reacting, a person with an Okapi totem can learn the truth without fear. However, this ability needs to be developed through meditation exercises. When developed, Okapi people can slip through life unseen and unheard. If undeveloped, they might appear clumsy and draw unwanted attention. They must learn to remove themselves from rigid thinking. The Okapi can also give clairvoyant abilities, for they see both the present and the near future. The Okapi's black and white stripes are associated with spirit and form, density and light and represent polarity on the earth plane. Those who hold this medicine often carry life lessons relating to polarity. The Giraffe should also be studied since the Okapi is related to them. The Okapi expresses the concepts of "being different, uniqueness and individuality". This is one of the Okapi's greatest gifts. It can also draw on different energies as needed making Okapi people quite versatile in accomplishing tasks.
Opossum Animal Totem: Diversity
Opossum medicine requires a great deal of strategy. Although an opossum has teeth and claws, it rarely uses them, preferring the strategy of diversion to save itself. It plays dead until the attacker loses interest and then bolts for safety. The Opossum teaches us to use our brains rather than our brawn. The number 13 is very symbolic for Opossum people. When an Opossum shows up as a totem, check appearances. Are there people around you putting up false appearances? Is your attention being diverted?
Oriole Animal Totem: New Sunshine
Oriole is the symbol of approaching summer or sunshine, usually within a two-week period. An Oriole totem reflects this symbolism bringing sunshine (or positive changes) to your life and/or current projects. Oriole is associated with the Archangel Auriel who oversees all nature spirit activity on Earth. Oriole can open doorways to the nature realm and its spiritual inhabitants. Where Orioles live, fairies are usually living there also. Orioles will help you discover your own inner child and a renewed sense of joy in life.
Osprey Animal Totem: Assertive Actions
The Osprey shows you how to go after what you want and also how to hold on once you've attained your goal. Osprey people can dive deep into the creative waters of life and draw forth what helps them. When the Osprey appears, check your commitments to others and theirs to you.
Ostrich Animal Totem: Becoming Grounded
Ostrich is a wonderful totem for cleaning house, be it a physical home or an emotional one. Ostrich can help you sort out what is no longer useful to you and then letting it go. Ostrich helps you take ethereal knowledge and apply it to everyday, practical life. However, make sure that you take the time to digest this knowledge thoroughly before using it. Ostrich is a protector totem against harmful psychic or spiritual invasions. Ostrich can tell you when to stand tall and be seen and when to lay low and become invisible. Ostrich can help you link to the spirit realm without getting lost in it. Meditating on its large, well-planted feet will help you ground yourself to the Earth; especially if you feel that you are becoming a little flaky or flighty.
Otter Animal Totem: Joy, Primal Feminine Energies
Otters awaken curiosity. They remind us that everything is interesting if we look at it from the right angle. The Otter totem is connected to the primal feminine energies of life: the elements of both Earth and Water are present in Otter medicine. With an Otter totem, you must remember the beauty of a balanced female side, creating a space for others to enter our lives without preconceptions or suspicions. If you have an Otter totem, it may be time to find some playtime in your life, to awaken your inner child. Allow events to unfold naturally in your life. Be careful not to hang on the material things in your life that bind you or become a burden. Become Otter and move gently into the river of life.
Panda Animal Totem: Gentle Strength
Panda gives you the gift of gentle strength. Since a Panda's diet consists of 99% bamboo, the study of bamboo is very important to this totem. Bamboo has strength yet flexibility. Therefore, both the Panda and bamboo reflect a quiet, unassuming essence - one that is modest and strong at the same time. Panda reminds you that it is very important not to take on more projects than you can handle. Be sure to fully develop a project before taking on a new one. Focus is the key to all your endeavors. Panda also warns you not to be narrow-minded and to see things only in black and white, right or wrong. Look at things from a different perspective and remember that there are many shades of gray in-between.
Panther Animal Totem: Reclaiming Power
The Panther is a very ancient and powerful totem. It embodies aggressiveness and power but without solar influence. A Black Panther's power is lunar. People with a Panther, Jaguar or Leopard totem have the ability to do a variety of tasks at the same time. They tend to be loners, very comfortable with themselves and are often drawn to other solitary people. You must learn to pace your work and not push too hard. Women with a Panther totems often find themselves raising their children alone, whether it is through divorce or just circumstances of the job. They can develop clairaudience, the ability to hear communications from other forms of life or dimensions. They should trust their thoughts and inner visions as they are based in reality. A Panther totem gives you a guide to help you on your path - in the form of a real person - a mentor or teacher. The Black Panther is endowed with great magic and power and this power will increasingly be experienced.
Parrot, Lovebird Animal Totem: Sunshine and Color Healing
Parrot is a bird of sunshine and color which gives it magic. Its feather can be used in healing rites and to invoke the energies of the sun. Studying colors and their effects would be very beneficial for Parrot people. Parrot is the link between the bird kingdom and humankind. Their magic can help you understand others more effectively and help awaken a sense of diplomacy when dealing with other people. They show you when to speak and when to stay silent, and remind you to stay clear of gossip. Be alert to new ideas which can bring about new growth or a new direction. Maybe it's the perfect time to go after dreams that you once thought were out of reach. Lovebird adds companionship, love and marriage to its gifts.
Peacock Animal Totem: Resurrection and Watchfulness
The Peacock has many legends surrounding its beautiful plumage. Greek mythology tells of Hera giving the peacock its many "eyes" while Chinese mythos says that the blending of the five colors of its feathers is the sweet harmony of sound. The Peacock is also associated with the Phoenix. Those who have a Peacock as a totem can receive insight into their past lives and their karmic connection to their current life. The study and use of foot reflexology would also be beneficial as the feet are very pronounced in the Peacock. The Peacock's loud and raucous call, almost like laughter, reminds us to laugh at life.
Pegasus Animal Totem: Inspiration
Pegasus is a symbol of knowledge, glory, and inspiration. Since ancient times, Pegasus has been a symbol of power and speed as well as imagination. He symbolizes heightened power of the natural forces - the innate capacity for spiritualization and for transforming evil into good. Pegasus also symbolizes the immortality of the soul, and serves as the carrier and protector of the spirit in its journeys to the astral plane. Pegasus teaches humility and boundaries.
Pelican Animal Totem: Buoyancy, Unselfishness
Pelican people can rise to the top no matter what life throws at them; no matter how weighed down them become with life's trials and tribulations. Emotional turmoil is often the weight in a Pelican person's life. Pelican teaches you how not to be overcome by your troubles, but rather to rise above them. Pelican shares nesting sites and food with others and therefore teaches unselfishness. Teamwork is key to a person with a Pelican totem.
Penguin Animal Totem: Dreaming and Astral Projection
A Penguin Totem can show you how to move freely through the astral plane and the dream dimension. A Penguin person will have lucid dreams and have the ability to change the course of those dreams while still asleep. You can use those same energies to change the course of your waking life as well. Think of the leap the Penguin makes from land into the water - astral projection is just that easy for Penguin people.
Phoenix Animal Totem: Rebirth
Keeper of the Fire of Creation. Represents death and rebirth. Transformation and Regeneration. Protector of all fire. This totem gives hope in the midst of despair. Helps you transform your life into something purer and bring you closer to spiritual awareness. Call upon the Phoenix for strength and renewed energy when facing trials of life. Symbolizes the Sun, dying every night to be reborn with the dawn. The Chinese believe that the Phoenix has been sent to Earth to help the development of mankind. Known as the Feng-Huang.
Pigeon Animal Totem: Love and Security of Home
Pigeon can teach us how to find our way back to the security of home. It can help you remember and find the love of home that was lost. If a Pigeon totem comes to you, ask yourself if you have forgotten your foundation, your heritage. Return to your home, your foundation, and draw upon the loving energies surrounding them. In times of strife, huddle together with your family and draw upon its strength. Pigeon reminds us of the possibility of a loving and safe home.
Porcupine Animal Totem: Innocence, Wonder
The Porcupine has very powerful medicine: that of faith and trust. You can move mountains with these powers. A Porcupine totem reminds you not to get caught in the chaos of the world, where fear, greed and suffering are commonplace. Its medicine is relief from the seriousness of life. Open your heart to those things that gave you joy as a child; remember fantasy and imagination and bring into your life again. If a Porcupine is your totem you might be overly sensitive to criticism from others or overly critical of others. Perhaps you are allowing barbs from long ago to still affect your life now. Porcupine people often crave and overindulge in salt intake. Beware of this and watch your intake.
Prairie Dog Animal Totem: Community
Only the Wolf epitomizes the idea of community more. If you have a Prairie Dog totem, you need to make sure that you are part of your community and many social experiences so that you can flourish - a Prairie Dog person is not happy cut off from people. Because of their digging habits, people with this totem need to examine if they are involved enough in the aspect of their loved ones lives - or conversely, are they too involved? Also, lots of vegetables are a must for Prairie Dog people.
Praying Mantis Animal Totem: The Power of Stillness
The Praying Mantis teaches how to still the outer mind and go within ourselves. Through this, we can draw upon greater power -- physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. That stillness can be simple contemplation or meditation or even dreaming. Healers often have Praying Mantis totems -- for they use their inner stillness to focus their healing power. The greatest lesson this totem teaches is patience. Learning to wait for the right moment before striking.
Pheasant Animal Totem: Use of Color, New Experiences
The presence of a Pheasant means that your libido and vitality are at their peak. Color is very important to a Pheasant person. Color can reflect their moods and they can show others how to use color. You can set a romantic mood through the use of color. Pheasant can take you through hard times with the knowledge that things will change for the better. If you have a Pheasant totem, you like open spaces so that you can roam freely. You are open to new experiences, making new friends and meeting new people. You love variety.
Platypus Animal Totem: Clairvoyance and Inner Vision
Platypus gives you heightened sensitivity so pay close attention to the cues that your body gives you. Don't try to rush to another pace, but go at your own pace. Tune into your internal rhythm. Trust your inner vision for Platypus give you increased clairvoyance. Platypus people can detect and move energy through their body; therefore, make very good energy healers. People with a Platypus totem are usually curious and inquisitive. They made be unusual looking but are charming and almost everyone likes them.
Orangutan Animal Totem: Ingenuity and Cleverness
Orangutan teaches us how to be clever and how to put our best face forward. However, as we mature, we must also change the face we put forward, so that we are seen in this new mature light. Orangutan people usually have very expressive faces. They also have a strong mother/child bond which will last their lifetime. They are very gentle and have a well-developed capacity to nurture others, especially children. Orangutan shows you how to have a thorough knowledge of your environment and to read "signs" more effectively. They teach us to use what is available in our environment and their totem people have considerable ingenuity and cleverness in using them.
Orca Animal Totem -- see "Whale"
Oyster Animal Totem -- see "Clam"
Parakeet Animal Totem -- see "Cockatiel"
Pig Animal Totem -- See "Boar"
Polar Bear Animal Totem: Learning to Use Your Power
Polar Bear gives the gift of learning to use your power. You learn your own strength and how to pursue what you want deliberately and powerfully. This is not an easy learning period, rather it takes a period of years. Polar Bears are the guides and travelers between the living world and the spirit world. They can teach you how to walk between the worlds unafraid and unrestricted. They also teach how to be fierce and strong yet playful at the same time.
Oxpecker: Mutual Relationships, Give and Take
Oxpecker birds have the ability to perch expertly on others ideas and ventures. The know how to "ride" through life and its circumstances to form a mutual relationship, whether it be with people, animals or everyday issues. Oxpecker has the balance to maintain stability in all areas. This bird is an expert at "digging things out". This animal has a natural alert system for protecting the host animal. Oxpecker can teach how to get to the root of any problem or situation which may be beneficial to many. He can also show how to take care to not cause more harm than good. He teaches the art of give and take. The Oxpecker teaches how to have a strong direct flight and when landing, how to have strong feet to solidify your potential. Oxpecker has many valuable lessons and skills to teach.
Puffer Fish: Intelligence, Caring, Honesty
Puffer fish is always full of ideas. Many totem people are honest to goodness geniuses, which can be both a blessing and a curse. With the proper outlet, they can make brilliant strides in art, music, science, medicine, engineering, or whatever they put their overactive minds into. Puffer fish make great friends. They are caring and honest and can be a lot of fun as long as they are not overly stressed. They love to be around interesting and eccentric people who they can share big ideas and big dreams with. That said, they prefer a mellower crowd to overly boisterous people. Puffer fish absolutely hate being manipulated - they feel it is an insult to their wide-ranging intelligence, and abhor people who try to charm them with a phony smile and smooth talking. Puffer fish can excel at just about anything they choose to put their mind too. That said, the only long-lasting career choices are going to be ones that keep them interested. Ironically, though they do prefer to go to the same workplace every day, routine is poison to this sign's motivation, so new projects or challenges are important to keep them engaged in their work.
Purple Martin Animal Totem: Peace, Spiritual Expansion, Luck
Purple Martin teaches cooperation, establishing peace, shows team work and community action. Pay attention to ancestral ways. Martin shows how to take flight with aerial precision. Higher realms may be opening at this time which is a time to expand spiritually and go beyond comfort level. Watch for and keep aware of new opportunities. These chances may prove to be long lasting if you listen to Martin. Purple Martins are associated with the divine and is a good luck bird. Any home that has Purple Martins nested on it is considered fortunate and blessed.
Puffin Animal Totem: Companionship, Long Life
Puffins are graceful in the water, clumsy on land and in the air, out of water there is difficulty finding equilibrium in life. They show us how to use body language to convey messages. Puffins usually leave their young ones to dive to a far away part of the ocean to get for them some small fish food. This teaches us the feeling that a child has when they are abandoned by the parent. We also learn the relationship of a child and a parent and its impact to us. Puffin totem people will want to have a lifetime partner or mate just as the Puffin that encourages lifetime mating. Partners are very important not only for procreation but also for companionship. Those who don't have partners tend to live a lonely life. Puffin people tend to live for a very long time. Their life is well lived and enjoyed because they have their partners for companion and their children that they work hard to provide for.
Ox Animal Totem: Strength, Intelligence
The Ox Totem gives you beauty and strength. This animal has long been associated with the ability to learn new things. The Wild Ox is a very intelligent animal and they were domesticated because they could be easily taught to take on farming tasks that took other animals too long to accomplish. They are also legendary for their amazing strength and endurance. Ox totem people will see their lives, spiritual energy and mental clarity imbued with all of the virtues attributed to the "Learner" of the animal kingdom, the Ox. The Ox animal totem is a strong spirit and its magical properties are one of the most enduring of all animal totems.
Plover, Lapwing Animal Totem: Team Work, Using Noise
Plover comes to you to teach you about how to work in a relationship as a team. She reminds you that it's time to lay down your challenges with your partner and work together to support your family. You each have your own roles within the relationship but work together instead of against each other. Plover is also extremely vocal and will make a scene if approached whilst she is protecting her young or eggs. She is asking you to stand up and make noise for the children. Sometimes if you stand quietly and remain softly spoken no-one will hear you. She is telling you that's it's ok to make noise, to flap your wings and act like you are determined in order to support and protect children. Plover is also a water wading bird which represents that she has the ability to stand strong whilst dipping into the emotions. She is able to reach emotional depths but still remain detached and objective, rather than getting caught up in the 'drag' of it.
Owl: Magic, Omens, Wisdom
The owl is the symbol of the feminine, the moon and the night. The owl is the bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom. Owl is the messenger of secrets and omens. She is the link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light. Those that carry this essence find themselves quite comfortable with their shadow self. An owl totem gives you the power to extract secrets. People cannot deceive a person who has an owl totem. Owl people can see into the darkness of others souls. Most owl people are clairvoyant because of this ability. It can be very scary at times. Learn to trust your instincts about people. Let your owl totem guide you. Owl, the night hunter, has the ability to see what others may miss. The gift of this medicine is to be undeceived by external appearances and to discover the truth beneath them. Owl is the totem bird of clairvoyance and astral travel. The veils which surround the normal boundaries of space and time can be pierced, if you take the owl as ally.