Animal Totems?


How do you find out what your animal totem is?


The word "Totem" means, that you are indigenous - Native American or Siberian or....
and are BORN!!!
into the Clan of the Bear People, the Wolf or the Snipe People or.....
due to the fact that your tribe is matrelinea = you have your mother's Totem - or patrelineal in which case you would at birth acquire your father's Totem.
Your Clan Totem / Guardian will not change during your life and depending on the tribe you will pass it on to your children.

What you probably are asking about is how you get to encounter a personal Spirit Guide/ Spirit Guardian Animal. If you have one, it will make itself known to you in auspicious dreams or it shows itself to you repeatedly while you are in Nature.
, most often during an extended fast in a remote location.
In popular vernacular and in New Age spirituality these 2 "Medicines" are very often confused, revealing how little people know and understand.The word totem is not interchangeable with 'personal Spirit Guide'

The Happy Squirrel

Thanks Mi-Shell for this clarification. I was a bit confused when I saw some YouTubers using this term for animal based oracle card exercises. I thought to myself, that is not what I understood "animal totem" to be.

(This is probably somewhat related to my post about using various 'philosophies' extraneous to the genesis of the 'traditional' tarot system in the other sub forum).


I follow the Celtic Shamanic Wicca path and I'm in a coven for a decade. Mi-Shell is right when she says solely the Native Americans have totem animals. Everyone else have power animals and/or animal guides but NO totem animals. The word "shaman" though is not Native American, it's from Siberia in Russia.

A power animal is an animal guide and protector that comes to you. It is necessary to have one power animal to do shamanic work since they can protect you while you do shamanic work. Power animals are there to teach you something, and they will leave once you've learned their lessons, to be replaced by another power animal, so they never stay for a long period of time. A person can get more than one power animal. In my case my power animal is the frog.

An animal guide is an animal guide that develops a fondness about you, and that will appear in your dreams and give you other signs. They can stay with all your life.

I say that because some are persuaded that the animals that they like are their power animal or animal guide, when it's those power animal or animal guide that choose you and not you that choose them. You have to be open to be surprised in a good way when you're looking for a power animal or animal guide.

In my case I love wolves, foxes, cats, black birds in general, and it's the frog that I got as power animal. And after working with it I don't regret it at all getting the frog. Frogs are shapeshifters and tricksters and since I do a lot of shapeshifting (in dreams and shamanic work), we often shapeshift together to get the job done, or just for the pleasure of it. He has a good sense of humor and we have a wonderful relationship. He likes to have a cute crown on top of his frog's head because he thinks he's the best, and I agree with him, he is. I've decided to call him Rupert because I think it sounds high class and he likes it.

The Happy Squirrel

So do we all have animal guides but we just don't know it because we don't seek them or not sensitised to them?

I must say although I am familiar with the Native American animal totem concept I had no idea we have animal spirit guides.....


Sorry guys ... its pretty hard, as an Australian and having the oldest extant culture on the planet 'just outside the window', to hear you say " solely the Native Americans have totem animals"

Especially when the indigenous moiety system here ( which is regulated with totemic pairings) is one of the most complex in the world.


Sorry guys ... its pretty hard, as an Australian and having the oldest extant culture on the planet 'just outside the window', to hear you say " solely the Native Americans have totem animals"

Especially when the indigenous moiety system here ( which is regulated with totemic pairings) is one of the most complex in the world.
YES!! :)
And just to mention, we in Siberia do all have our Clan Guardians as well as our personal Spirit Guides, which may be in Animal form - or a Plant or another Entity. We also have Ancestor Guardians. I am Uryanchai Wolf Clan from my Ada = father's side, I have several personal Animal Guides aside from my Clan Guardian and I also do work closely with my Ancestor Guides. without these I would not be able to work and heal as a shaman. You guys may feel like taking a loooook at my blog - to which I can not link from here....

Happy Squirrel - do you HAVE an Animal Guide - you may not, because none has been asked for, prayed for and none is apparent in your immediate Ancestor line. People became christians, Jews or.... and banished these Entities - wilful - or by neglect. All it takes is 2 generations of that.....

The Happy Squirrel

Ah yes. My father is third generation Protestant and my mother first generation Catholic. Oh well. Good info here though.


No need to despair. Do the work and a Being will appear
Start with dream work: What Animals appear in your dreams - beside your regular pets.
Which ones do you encounter again and again in nature?
Then learn EVERYTHING about this Being, about it and what it eats, where it lives, who eats it...
find pictures, do drawings, create an altar...
Doing this pathwork will make this Animal your Gate Keeper. NOT your Spirit guide!!!!!
... This work will sensitise you to Animal Energy.
Eventually an Animal - not necessarily THAT one will make itself known to you.
It may be in real life- or in Spirit form.....

You also could chose to start with a Plant .....
Good luck!


Its all very interesting here, especially with our distinctive animals and plants.

One of my fav Kooris is a kola man ; he is the biggest fattest furiest friendliest kindest gentle considerate ..... :laugh:

Teacher is a ring-tailed possom.

Another, , has a friend that he says is 'not liked' - not in 'our' manner, he is part of the social/cultural/ family network , but he makes people very uncomfortable . He says , "Although he is my friend and we spend time together " (which might not mean they talk a lot ... maybe they just sit together ) " I feel uncomfortable and edgy just sitting next to him. His totem is a tiger-shark. "

Good Lord ! Imagine having a tiger-shark totem :bugeyed: