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Native American Animal Symbols: Omens: Who Are They? What do They Mean?

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posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 01:57 PM
As a very vocal Native American I get many questions on animal spirits and Omens Who there are what do they mean... this is by no means a definative work on the subject more a quick glimpse... also each and every tribe (there some 500 in the US alone) has there own slant on the subject... this is what I've been taught...
How you know it's an Omen when you see one is you get this odd out of place feeling, maybe the hair on the back of your neck stands up? maybe some part tells you there is a meaning to this... well sometimes there is... Sometimes what you see isn't an animal at all just a shape or after image... if it feels like it's trying to tell you something your probably right

•Alligator: Symbolizes stealth and a fight for survival.
•Ant: Symbolizes group effort, teamwork and overall perseverance.
•Antelope: Quick to bound into action (if you need to act while taking a leap of faith – just do it); calm down, be still and look before you leap.
•Armadillo: Understands personal boundary and respects the boundaries of others; carries protection at all times; understanding of vulnerabilities; empathy; discrimination.
•Badger: Symbolizes aggressiveness, passion and drive.
•Bat: The guardian of the night.
•Bear: The protector and symbolizes physical strength and leadership as well as the wild, untamable side of humanity.
•Bear Paw: Good omen; symbol of direction and power.
•Beaver: Best known as a hunter and gatherer.
•Bird: Free of worry, carefree, light-hearted.
•Bobcat: clear vision in dark places; vigilance; suspicion; seeking ancient mystical mysteries; ability to live in solitude; ability to see through masks.
•Buffalo: Provides the good things for those living as well as sacredness. Wisdom, renewal and personal power based on knowledge.
•Butterfly: A transformer and a symbol of metamorphosis; everlasting life.
•Cat: guardians of the spirit and good fortune; can see energy and self-sufficient. If you are drawn to cats, you may need to be more protective of your time and resources or you may be learning to take better care of yourself and to receive.
•Cougar: Stands for power, leadership, and swiftness.
•Coyote: Sometimes considered an omen of bad things; also considered a trickster. The embodiment of the things we cannot change or understand. He is about acceptance of human limitation.
•Crane: A symbol of solitude and independence.
•Crow: A Carrier of souls from darkness into light and guards against fear in the dark. Also a Shapeshifter; keeper of spiritual law; likes to steal shiny bright objects; always a clown. Look for the bright and shiny aspects of life.
•Deer: Symbolizes speed and family protection; plenty of game. Watch, listen, be patient, consider irreversible decisions carefully.
•Dog: Heals emotional wounds; understands duality of doubt and faith; companionship; unquestioned loyalty; love; knowledge of all things sensual; protection; ability to smell trouble.
•Dolphin: A symbol of power and control. Also a symbol of kindness, but has the nature to be playful.
•Donkey: Stubbornness; ability to make decisions; refusing to move when you know it’s not right; saying “NO” to others; ignoring other’s opinions.
•Dragonfly: Considered a messenger.
•Duck: Graceful on the water; sees clearly through emotions; spirit helper of mystics and seers.
•Eagle: Freedom, courage; considered the protector, carrier of prayers, visions & spirits. Emissaries from the sky.
•Eagle Feather: Sacred pieces of spirit - a reflection of a person's vision and accomplishments - bravery, good judgment, humility and special perspective. Prayers floating in the wind. Chief.
•Elk: A symbol of nobility, power, freedom, and great strength and agility.
•Falcon: Assists in soul healing; accompanies the soul back to the soul world; teaches swiftness and aerobatics of life; controls speed and movement.
•Fox: A very cunning, intelligent, and providing animal.
•Frog: Symbolizes renewal, fertility & springtime.
•Hawk: The great messenger and observer of the sky.
•Horse, Saddle bags: Journey.
•Hummingbird: Symbolizes devotion, permanence and eternity. Although the hummingbird is small in stature, it is extremely determined in it's own territory.
•Lizard: Promotes dreaming, agility, and conservation.
•Loon: Symbolizes peace, tranquility, and generosity. Loyalty and leadership. Brave and courageous. The best parents.
•Mole: Guardian of the lower regions; connects with the energies of the Earth; knowledge of herbs, roots, minerals, seeds, rivers and other hidden bounties of the earth; ability to turn inward; blindness to all but light and dark in the material world; love expressed in nature.
•Moose: Symbolizes scrutiny and attention to detail.
•Mountain Lion / Cougar / Puma: Wise leadership without ego; balancing power, intention, strength; self-confidence; freedom from guilt; cunning.
•Mouse: Symbolizes humility and is the pathfinder. Humble, generous and innocent; small and hard to find, just as humility is.
•Owl: A very respected animal and is thought to symbolize the souls of the departed. They are connected with darkness and night and are considered a bad omen.
•Otter: A mischievous creature that is also a symbol of laughter, curiosity, grace, and empathy.
•Parrot: Considered bringers of specific prayers and could bestow blessings.
•Pheasant: Symbolizes warning and concealment.
•Polar Bear: Never gets lost; solitude; expert swimmer through emotional waters; ability to find food where none seems to exist; strength in the face of adversity; communication with the spirit; creature of dreamers, shamans, mystics and visionaries; defense and revenge.
•Porcupine: Symbolizes gentle innocence and trust.
•Possum / Opossum: Proper use of deception; sensibility; guidance to uncovering talent, psychic or physical; gains wisdom; recovery.
•Quail: lives close to the earth; ability to blend into the background; finds peaceful solutions to peril; courage to face hardships.
•Rabbit: Symbolizes fear and overcoming limiting beliefs.
•Raccoon: Understands the nature of masks / disguises; dexterity; seeks guidance and confidence; questioning without fear; balancing curiosity.
•Raven: Sometimes considered a trickster like the coyote. It is also known to be a teacher, hoarder and the mark of a shape shifter. He is creator, deity, clown, caretaker and mischief-maker.
•Robin: Understands the power of song; happy; guide n the wisdom of change.
•Salmon: Symbolizes instinct, persistence, and determination.
•Seahorse: Symbolizes confidence and grace.
•Shark: A great symbol of survival, adaptability, and hunting prowess.
•Skunk: Understands energy flows; self-respect; courage; will power; self-confidence.
•Snake: Usually seen in healing and fertility rites. He is often considered a hunter.
•Sparrow: Symbol of desire and fertility; manifests new love in someone’s life; understands the aspects of race; ability to use the power of song; understands all aspects of color.
•Spider: The story weaver-creating something from almost nothing. Said to connect the past with the future; creative and weaves the pattern of life.
•Starling: Ability to control mobs; imitation, adaptability and intelligence; mental receptivity.
•Swan: The symbol of total grace, serenity, and innocence.
•Tadpole: A very powerful figure. They are a symbol of fertility, change, and renewal.
•Turkey (Earth Eagle): Sacrifice of self for a higher purpose; understands the gift of giving; honors Earth Mother; harvest bounties.
•Turtle: A very powerful symbol for women. It symbolizes fertility, long life, and perseverance. It is sometimes even considered able to defy death.
•Weasel: Stealth; cunning; ingenuity; revenge; ability to see hidden reasons behind things; power of observation; Weasel and otter hides, because they come from "tough little animals", are linked to the Crow sun dance, probably conferring endurance. For the Lakota, these two animals are especially "wakan", meaning akin to sacred.
•Wolf: The teacher of new ideas and wisdom; shows intense loyalty with a balance of independence. Teaches cooperation, protectiveness and the value of extended families.
•Wolf Print: This print symbolizes tracking and movement.
•Wren: Messenger from the gods; sibling relationships (brother/sister); power of the voice; fearlessness; sees future events.

Now that you have some insight on the subject let me add... I've seen a lot of Owls lately, in broad daylight...

[edit on 16-10-2009 by DaddyBare]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:16 PM
I attended a few knap-ins this year, and a few of us got together later and did a floating trip..canoes/kayaks
We all sat in a small alcove/almost cave, but just really overhang.
Due to rain....
While eating, and talking, campfire story's...
We discussed why they would draw them?

I have the impression it has got to be 1of 2 reasons?
Maybe they ate well there, stayed until they needed to move on, and these were left for the next, "travelers" letting them know that this is what you will see in the area?

Or they could be something as simple as the evening news, early comic "with an early theatrical" story teller?

We are all fimilar with most of their meanings...esp! owls
They all got the willies real bad, I'm very good at calling owls.
I got them "a few adolesent" owls riled up..
But yes I agree there seams to be more owls now, than I have ever seen in my 37 years.
More so in early evening/mornings than before, they were always a .,..
middle of the night bird here! Untill recently..3-5 years

I will ty in advance for letting me understand if I'm a long way off base!

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:25 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

thanks for putting the list on the forum pages,

i'm not from a native american lineage, i'm actually from the old word i.e.lithuania in english.

i have three animal spirit guides, the list characterizes them as:

•Turtle: A very powerful symbol for women. It symbolizes fertility, long life, and perseverance. It is sometimes even considered able to defy death.
•Owl: A very respected animal and is thought to symbolize the souls of the departed. They are connected with darkness and night and are considered a bad omen
(Cave) Bear: The protector and symbolizes physical strength and leadership as well as the wild, untamable side of humanity

here's how these profiles match up to the events of my journey in the world...

Turtle - although i'm male... I have already survived 2 clinical Deaths
Owl - the owl also allows on to discern hidden things, foresee stuff...
Bear- the neolithic cave bear has different power than what's mentioned

i practice/follow old world shaman-ism...i'd say very archaic compared to Native American Spirit tradition... Owl is a very fortunate spirit as opposed to the bad Omen as you report...

thanks again, because there will be a resurgance of spirits-and-shamanistic worldviews in the wake of the 2012 events.

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:33 PM
reply to post by St Udio

In the old stories Owl is not a bad spirit, in fact he's one of those that helped humans into this world... Where Owl gets a bad rep is that he brings warnings of danger and death... does that make him bad... do we shoot the messenger?

In my own somewhat colorful past I've seen owls, once in the middle of Ocean Side Calf...Just outside Camp Pendleton.. about three minutes before I was mugged! Once while out on a hunting trip I saw an owl and almost at the same time I heard that ZING of a stray bullet whizzing past.... it might not have missed if I hadn't paused to say look there's an Owl.... I dont see them as being bad just telling me to look out!

[edit on 16-10-2009 by DaddyBare]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by DaddyBare
reply to post by St Udio

In the old stories Owl is not a bad spirit,
Where Owl gets a bad rep is that he brings warnings of danger and death...
does that make him bad... do we shoot the messenger?

Owl has been of benefit to you...
Owl could reveal to you the mysteries & hidden knowledge that confound most people...
human beings however, mostly are put off by owl for wrong reasons...

i appreciate the added insights you have told me/us

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:51 PM
Wonderful thread I appreciate you taking time to share this information with us.

So many paths converging right now and each one is just as important as the next.

For many the truth of Nature is the greatest symbolism for where we have traveled , where we are now and where we are headed in the future.

Our spirits do resonate at different times with various animals of the wilds and for me the connection recently has been over the top.

Can you tell me why you decided to do this thread at this time?

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:54 PM
I 2nd St Udio TY again for more info!
I too believe in "The messenger of death"----don't ever shoot the messenger!
For fear of he will drop his message with you!

The only negative things that seem to happen to me with owls...
Are either about loved ones, or someone/thing that will affect my life.
A message of death...

I try, really hard, not to see them, but the daylight thing has me now....

While groing up coon hunting, trapping, and really just being in the woods in the Ozarks @ night.....I loved them, silent, stealthy, and it was dark!
I never had to see them, now days, not so much..

edit to add.. I do not think he is bad, just fear/respect, his power.

[edit on 16-10-2009 by Doc Holiday]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:00 PM
Can you check out this thread sometime and tell me what you think?

Again thankyou for this thread it was long overdue.

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:06 PM

Originally posted by antar
Can you tell me why you decided to do this thread at this time?

Without sounding to preachy A lot of people are scared right now... Feeling like something big, Good or bad as about to happen... To be honest... I do too but couldn't say what.... My grandfather would say my seeing so many Owls means this growing danger is not hidden, out in the open, in clear sight... Damn if I can see it though???

I've have found and taken a lot of comfort in my spiritual/ tribal teachings, though as a student of those teachings I'm more your C-, rather then the honor student... Still if what little I know can be of comfort, help someone find their own answers and hopefully a bit of peace... well I succeed... that's all.......

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Gota bump this ole thread.....

I have noticed many new members and lots of others that this would/could be of interest to, them...


posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 08:11 AM
reply to post by Doc Holiday

Ya know doc...
If I didnt know any better I'd start to think I just might really be some wise funkly old red skin????
To bad I'm not eighteen again...Back when I really did know everything there was to know... or so I thought

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 09:23 AM

Thank you OP for this thread - a subject that is of interest to me. I am Cherokee and my Spirit Animal is the Raven. The Raven likes to mimic the crow and vice versa - therefore he is a trickster. When I encounter the Raven it teaches me a lesson that I am currently seeking - thus making me more aware and creating peace of mind. When I have encountered a flock of Ravens which is rare it is because something very significant is about to happen in my life - sometimes good, sometimes not but the visit prepares me spiritually for what I am going to experience.

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 09:57 AM
reply to post by crazydaisy

Your very welcome ....and you might also like to know there is a very old Cherokee story about Raven and the Hero Twins...
without going into an hours long tale... the jest of it is when the hero twins needed to be rescued from inside a volcano Raven Then a white bird... few down to rescue the brothers.... it was there he singed his feathers and became black...

To we NA's Raven is a protector and teacher, not at all the bad omen the Europeans tagged him with

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 10:20 AM
There are two Animal Spirits who have made themselves known to me. One is the Owl and one is the Lizard. Here is what I learned about them.

The Owl represents looking beyond the illusion of life, seeing past the tall grass to find the mouse hidden quietly at work. When the Owl shows itself or makes himself known then one must look around to see who is practicing a "deception", sometimes the Owl will tell us that we are deceiving ourselves.

The Lizard represents a sacrifice. If we try to catch him he will sacrifice his tail in an effort to escape. This can be true in relationships where the Lizard has shown himself, his message is one of acceptance without control, to hold him too tightly he will break a part of himself off so that he can escape; most often with humans it is our heart that we break in our attempts at freedom.

Thanks for the great list of Animal Spirits! S&F

posted on May, 22 2013 @ 10:10 PM
reply to post by Greensage

In my life I have an owl fly down in front of me 3 times (within 10 feet) during the daylight hours. One owl flew in front of me and landed on a stump across from a small pond and stared at me. She watched me as I made my way around the pond to her and stayed still as I came within 20 feet . The stump was only 3 feet off the ground and we stared at each other for over 20 minutes. I think she would have stayed longer but other people arrived and she flew off as if she did not want others to see what we were doing. Another time an owl flew down in front of me (within 4 feet) and flew away but left 3 small feathers in my path. The other owl just flew down in front of me just to let me know it was there. Recently I found 2 owl wings (I suspect it fell prey to a bobcat).

I have heard the Navaho and Shoshone tell me it is a bad omen and that someone was going to die. No one died and nothing bad happened. I now see they were telling me I was deceiving myself and that I need to look deeper for truth. This post has given me an answer I have looked for many years. Thank you for your insights and meanings!

I now am looking for the meaning for an encounter I had with a Golden Eagle. I was driving a truck down a steep grade on a mountain and midway there was a flat that was about a 1/2 mile in diameter. As I was coming down at 50 mph I saw a large bird on the far side of the flat coming from the hills. I watched it hoping I might see an eagle and noticed it was flying straight towards the highway. I kept watching it fly it's straight path and saw it was an eagle and it was going to meet me at the highway unless it turned. It did not turn. It flew intentionally so that we would meet at the same time on our courses. It flew within 10 feet of my passenger window and we looked at each other,eye to eye, as he slowly turned looking at me as he flew away. I was doing 50 mph and this was no coincidence. I will never forget this and I do not know the meaning behind it.

posted on May, 25 2013 @ 01:22 PM
Thanks for the fast-reference list! Interesting to read.

If this topic is still alive...I was wondering if there's something to be said about jackdaws? Specifically a pair of jackdaws?
edit on 25-5-2013 by Nemoparvus because: If...

posted on May, 25 2013 @ 01:38 PM
reply to post by Nemoparvus

it looks like the OP on this thread has been banned.

I can maybe offer you some help on this thread over here if you want to check it out:

Spirit Animal Guides Mine is Raven, what is yours?

Or just check it out anyways, it is a good read with lots of peoples guide experiences and lots of good links.

edit on 25-5-2013 by Darkblade71 because: typonese

posted on May, 25 2013 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by Darkblade71

Thanks, Ill have a look!

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