Meaning of Animals

Native Indian Tribe

Meaning of Animals
The Meaning of Animals plays an important role in the belief system of Native American Indians. Their beliefs are based on Animism which embodies the spiritual idea that all natural objects within the universe, have souls or spirits.  Animists believe that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in animals, plants, animals, rocks and natural phenomena.

The doctrine of animism is that everything is alive, and possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom. In the ancient culture and traditions of Native Americans the meaning of animals are inextricably tied to the belief that animals, as spirit guides, walk through different stages of life with a person, teaching and guiding them, and in some instances protecting them.

Native American Meaning of Animals Chart
The meaning of animals and other creatures such as birds, insects and reptiles, are of great significance as they are believed to possess supernatural powers that can embody, attach and influence a person empowering them with the powerful traits, attributes and characteristics of the animal. The animals that are are  regarded as spiritual guides appear in dreams or Vision Quests. The following list describes the meanings of animals and other creatures providing information of the significance of each animal together with its meaning, attributes, characteristics and symbolism.

  • Alligator: The alligator symbolizes emotional understanding, cleansing & Spiritual Healing
  • Badger: The badger symbolizes boldness, is outgoing and a good communicator
  • Bat: The bat symbolizes rebirth and is regarded as a Guardian of the Night
  • Bear: The bear symbolizes courage, physical strength and leadership
  • Beaver: The beaver symbolizes resourcefulness determination and a strong-will
  • Bobcat: The bobcat symbolizes independence, clear vision and self-reliance
  • Buffalo: The buffalo symbolizes the sacred, life, great strength, abundance and gratitude
  • Butterfly: The butterfly symbolizes transformation
  • Cow: The cow symbolizes contentment, fertility and nourishment
  • Cougar: The cougar symbolizes power, leadership, humility and encourages responsibility for life
  • Coyote: The coyote symbolizes cunning, stealth and humor
  • Deer: The deer symbolizes compassion, grace and survival
  • Dog: The dog symbolizes loyalty and trust
  • Dragonfly: The dragonfly symbolizes happiness, speed and purity
  • Eagle: The eagle symbolizes the divine spirit, creation and freedom
  • Elk: The elk symbolizes bravery, agility and independence
  • Frog: The frog symbolizes cleansing, sensitivity adaptability and transformation
  • Fox: The fox symbolizes anticipation, observation and stealth
  • Gila Monster: The gila monster symbolizes preservation and survival
  • Grizzly Bear: The grizzly bear symbolizes strength and ferocity
  • Horse: The horse symbolizes mobility, stamina, strength and power
  • Lizard: The lizard symbolizes conservation, subconscious hopes and fears and self-protection
  • Moose: The moose symbolizes balance and longevity
  • Mouse: The mouse symbolizes observation and diligence
  • Opossum: The opossum symbolizes diversion, strategy and deception
  • Otter: The otter symbolizes speed and curiosity
  • Raccoon: The raccoon symbolizes curiosity, adaptability and resourcefulness.
  • Porcupine: The porcupine symbolizes safety, companionship, and trust
  • Prairie Dog: The prairie dog symbolizes swiftness and preparedness
  • Scorpion: The scorpion symbolizes transformation, strength and chaos
  • Serpent: The serpent symbolizes chaos, corruption and darkness.
  • Shark: The shark symbolizes remorselessness, survival & adaptability
  • Squirrel: The squirrel symbolizes planning and the home
  • Snake: The snake symbolizes healing and re-birth
  • Spider: The spider symbolizes creativity and is the weaver of the fabric of life
  • Turtle: The turtle symbolizes tenacity, good health and long life
  • Weasel: The weasel symbolizes boldness and courage
  • Whale: The whale symbolizes ancient knowledge & awareness
  • Wolf: The wolf symbolizes direction and leadership and embodies both protection and destruction
Native American Culture
Native Indian Tribes Index

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