What Is Your Spirit Animal? A Guide to the Best Land Totem Animals
A totem is defined as a spiritual symbol or emblem (usually in animal form) that reveals the past, present, future and personality of an individual, family or tribe. Several indigenous cultures around the globe use totems for guidance.
While some match an individual's totem by their birthdate or zodiac sign, others believe the animals we're most drawn to (in dreams, visions or regular sightings) are the totems that represent our spirituality. Specific animals that frequently appear throughout our lives are there to offer guidance and a glimpse into how life should be lived — simply and with pure thoughts and emotions.
So what is your spirit animal? Check out these 30 land totem animals to see which one best represents your lifestyle and personality traits.
Symbolic attributes: Authority, Bravery, Patience, Duality, Motherhood
The bear is a meaningful totem representing balance in both survival and success. Many cultures view this animal as a symbol of power and protection, especially when it comes to a female bear and her cubs. The mother bear is known for fiercely guarding her young and will defend her territory at any cost. Her imposing size automatically commands fear and respect.
The bear totem also represents the duality of our personalities, which consist of both light and dark sides. The bear's purpose is to teach us to balance these traits as we navigate life and accept diversity in ourselves and in others.
Symbolic attributes:Persistence, Creativity, Harmony, Intuition, Cooperation
Beavers are diligent animals that work well in groups to build their dams. This totem animal symbolizes a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the contributions of others.
The beaver also represents harmony in family relationships and friendships. If you are goal-oriented, creative and love to sink your teeth into new projects, then the beaver is the perfect spirit animal for you.
Symbolic attributes: Strength, Prosperity, Consistency, Gratitude, Blessing
In Native American cultures, the buffalo is considered a sacred animal. They remind us to be grateful for the provisions we've been blessed with and can be a symbolic totem for earth-centered people who have generous spirits.
Buffalos also represent the strength needed to endure hardship and stress.
Symbolic attributes: Supernatural, Clever, Intuitive, Secretive, Watchful
The domestic cat is an ancient Celtic animal symbol representing the guardian of the Underworld. These mysterious felines are often featured in the legends and lore of ancient cultures during an era when they were worshipped (and feared) by many.
The cat totem represents the magic of psychic powers that we each have and to value our uniqueness. Although the cat has long been associated with witchcraft, this resourceful feline reminds us to rely on our own intuition, trust ourselves and follow our hearts.
Symbolic attributes: Endurance, Journeying, Protection, Survival, Adaptive
If you come across a camel in your dreams or visions, it's usually a sign that you are about to embark on a journey. This could be an actual trip or a metaphor for changes that will soon occur in your life.
The camel reminds us to pace ourselves by conserving our energy to endure whatever tasks lie ahead. But, more importantly, they teach us that the greater lessons are learned during the journey rather than at the destination. Thus, the camel totem is an excellent guide for helping us navigate the ups and downs of life.
Symbolic attributes: Intelligence, Playful, Resourceful, Trickster, Transformer
The coyote is a good-luck symbol of the power we have to change a negative situation into a positive experience if we rely on our own intuition. Another aspect of the coyote's personality is his playful nature, which teaches us not to take life too seriously.
Finally, the coyote totem represents growth, transformation and our ability to embrace new beginnings, which is also symbolic of the cycle of life. If you share the coyote's characteristics of laser-sharp instincts, humor and resourcefulness, then he's the perfect spirit guide for you.
Symbolic attributes: Gentleness, Compassion, Peace, Love, Fertility
The deer totem is also a symbol of good luck and a reminder to move through life with grace while tapping into our spiritual side. They teach us to dig into our souls to a place where gentleness and compassion reside deep within our hearts.
This particular totem encourages us to regain our balance and become more sensitive to the rhythms of nature.
Symbolic attributes: Protection, Respect, Faithful, Obedient, Resourceful
The dog totem carries the medicine of loyalty, representing an abundance of affection for family and friends. Dogs are symbolic of devotion to a spiritual path or personal goal that is attained by remaining vigilant and focused.
We can learn much from the dog about communicating our emotions since canines regularly vocalize their intentions through barking. The dog totem also makes an excellent spirit guide for those seeking to serve others or who want to feel a sense of security and protection.
Symbolic attributes: Wisdom, Fertility, Sensitivity, Tenacious, Protection
The symbol of an elephant with a raised trunk brings good fortune and positive energy into the home. An elephant totem is also potent medicine for people seeking wisdom, strength or fertility.
People who identify with the characteristics of these massive animals are often sensitive to the needs of others and very protective of their loved ones.
Symbolic attributes: Fun, Beauty, Stealth, Quick-Thinking, Noble
If you frequently see a fox in dreams or in real life, it is a sign that you have a situation that needs to be resolved. The fox is the best spirit guide to help you accomplish this. However, some cultures view the fox as a trickster bent on leading people to their deaths.
A fox sighting may also be a sign of reassurance from a loved one who has passed on to the spiritual realm. People who appreciate beauty, have a sense of humor and are quick on their feet will benefit the most from the guidance of the fox totem.
Symbolic attributes: Gentle, Graceful, Intuitive, Patient, Perceptive
The giraffe's long neck is symbolic of raising our standards and setting high expectations to meet our goals. The giraffe totem helps us seek patience and clarity of vision when it comes to improving our lives and rising to the challenges of change.
Individuals who feel an affinity with the giraffe are natural visionaries focused on the future.
Symbolic attributes: Inquisitive, Independent, Intelligent, Spiritual Ambition, Balance
An animal domesticated 10,000 years ago and often featured in ancient lore, the goat has numerous symbolic implications. They are agile climbers, which represents our desire to progress and achieve our goals.
If a goat crosses your path or visits you in visions and dreams, it may be a sign that it's time to separate from the herd and explore new avenues independently of others. If you are the curious sort seeking balance and a higher level of spirituality, the goat is the right animal totem for you.
Symbolic attributes: Leadership, Intelligence, Strength, Nurturing, Community
When a gorilla enters your life, it's a signal to accept the dignity and honor you possess and to use compassion when dealing with others.
If a gorilla in your dreams is threatening, it means that you feel threatened by a person or a situation on a subconscious level. It's a reminder to take action, and the gorilla totem offers the inner strength required to deal with a negative situation.
Symbolic attributes: Perseverance, Rebirth, Honesty, Strength, Problem-Solving
The hippopotamus is symbolic of the inner resources we have to tackle any obstacles that come our way. Those who relate most to this animal are confident and stable in the face of adversity and will stop at nothing to pursue their goals.
Thus, the hippopotamus is a powerful totem for luck, wisdom and fortitude when dealing with challenging situations. Although highly persistent, the hippo is also wise enough to know when to let go.
Symbolic attributes: Courage, Nobility, Independence, Endurance, Beauty
For years, the horse has played a significant role in mythology and folklore and has always been regarded as a loyal, noble companion. The horse totem is used to call upon our courage to move forward in life and to discover the best version of ourselves. Native Americans have long revered the horse as a spiritual symbol of power, freedom and wealth.
If you dream of riding a horse, it means that you will achieve your goal. If you fall from the horse in your dream, it's an indication of nervousness while trying to succeed. A roped horse or one pulling a wagon symbolizes a lack of freedom and a bucking horse means it's time to change old habits and start anew.
Symbolic attributes: Courage, Confidence, Dignity, Wisdom, Justice
As expected, the lion has always been viewed as a sign of courage and strength, but in some cultures, this big cat represents a solar and lunar animal symbol due to its twilight tendencies. They have also been portrayed as beasts with superpowers from the Underworld and are rightfully feared by many.
Lions appearing in dreams may indicate a need for protection or a desire to connect with our emotions. If you need to channel your creative side, the lion is the perfect totem for motivation.
Symbolic attributes: Joyful, Mischievous, Explorer, Energetic, Compassionate
People with the monkey as their totem are highly energetic individuals eager to inspire others to have fun. The monkey is a bit of a trickster, but their intentions are always good. They just want everyone to be happy.
They are also intuitive, caring animals and quite protective of their family. As a totem, the monkey is used for innovative thoughts as well as problem-solving while teaching us to let go of emotional burdens.
Symbolic attributes: Keen Insight, Resourcefulness, Cleanliness, Fertility, Groundedness
In ancient Greece, mice were considered sacred because they were food for snakes, which were viewed as holy healers. People who align most with the mouse totem can see and describe the world in great detail — often seeing the beautiful things in life that many of us miss.
The mouse is also known for a keen sense of danger and quick thinking. In darker references, mice represent creatures of destruction, but if you receive frequent mouse visions or dreams, it's usually a message for tidiness and organization. This can be as simple as tidying up your home or cleaning out any negativity around you.
Symbolic attributes: Playful, Agility, Friendship, Joy, Energy
The otter is a symbol of life due to its water-loving nature and fluidity. In Native American lore and Celtic legend, the otter represents transition, its spirit guide called upon for birth, death and marriage ceremonies.
People who are generally happy, playful and curious associate with the traits of the otter and seek guidance from the animal totem for increased energy and joy in their lives.
Symbolic attributes: Courage, Valor, Protection, Power, Psychic
In certain cultures, the panther was believed to be a deity of the Underworld, its spirit linked to death and destruction. However, the panther is also considered a symbol of power, protection and motherhood since they are fierce guardians of their young.
Individuals drawn to the panther totem are spiritually intuitive, passionate and artistically inclined.
Symbolic attributes: Family-Oriented, Purity, Strength, Protection, Survivalist
Polar bears are fierce, adaptable creatures that have a playful side and are very family-oriented. People who seldom complain and are highly focused on tackling life's challenges relate closely to the attributes of the polar bear.
This animal totem is especially helpful to those who seek endurance, protection and the strength to stand against adversity.
Symbolic attributes: Wealth, Arrogance, Fertility, Clever, Stubborn
Every culture throughout history has a different perspective on the symbolism of the pig. Native Americans considered the animal a harbinger of rain to help grow their crops. Ancient Celtic cultures viewed the pig as a sign of fertility and abundance. The pig was a sign of ignorance in Buddhism, and in ancient Christain symbolism, the animal represented laziness and greed.
However, people who relate most to the pig totem are usually successful in business, finances and even relationships. So, if a pig comes to you in the form of imagery, dreams or actual sightings, it is a sign of good fortune and fertility. But if you dream of being attacked by a wild pig, it's a message that you are too materialistic and need to let go of any unnecessary things you're holding on to.
Symbolic attributes: Agile, Intelligent, Aggressive, Wealth, Speed
Rats are clever rodents with great survival instincts. They know where to find food, escape dangerous situations and hide in small places. In some cultures, rats are seen as destructive and demonic, but others consider the animal to be a good omen of happiness and wealth.
The rodents have also been admired for the power to forewarn doom, hence the stories of rats jumping ships before they sink or abandoning homes before a fire. If a rat suddenly leaves a house in many Celtic countries, it's a sign of impending death. The rat totem is used by those who wish to gather strength for handling any difficulty that comes their way.
Symbolic attributes: Love, Protection, Rebirth, Good Luck, Awareness
Due to their renowned ability to multiply, the rabbit totem is called upon for fertility, abundance and luck. This animal totem is also used to get faster results on a project or start a new phase in life. For many cultures, rabbits are a symbol of gentleness, family, longevity and the celebration of spring.
Since they are natural burrowers, their connection to the ground makes them genuine earth element animals. Rabbits remind us to stay grounded, be aware of our surroundings and tap into the coping mechanisms within ourselves to deal with challenging situations.
Symbolic attributes: Loner, Freedom, Spiritual Awareness, Stability, Achievement
People who identify with the rhino as their spirit animal are self-sufficient and comfortable in their own skin. They enjoy being alone and don't need the company of others to have a good time. For years, shamans and mystics have recognized the rhino horn as a symbol of renewal and a connection to the divine.
If a rhino appears in your vision or dreams, it's a sign of spiritual awareness to become an enlightened being. It may also signify the need to take a step back and spend time alone to get back in touch with yourself and Mother Earth.
Symbolic attributes: Diplomatic, Confident, Prudent, Effective, Good Judgment
The skunk uses their pungent spray to ward off intruders in a nonviolent manner for self-protection. The message here is to do no harm, and as a totem animal, the skunk is used for guidance in defending ourselves without causing conflict.
People who exude a peaceful energy and lead a carefree lifestyle align with the skunk totem. They are naturally calm and confident individuals, making them very attractive to others.
Symbolic attributes: Energetic, Playful, Resourceful, Problem-Solver, Balanced
Squirrels show us that perseverance and quick thinking are traits needed to obtain our highest goals. This clever animal also teaches us to always be prepared, as seen in his ability to store nuts and seeds to get through the winter months when food sources are scarce.
The squirrel totem offers excellent guidance for finding balance in work and play and reminds us not to stress over the little things in life.
Symbolic attributes: Power, Wealth, Generosity, Protection, Unpredictability
In China, the tiger is considered a sign of wealth, and in Asian lore, they’re the protectors of the dead. They can also be a symbol of reverence used to honor loved ones who have passed on.
The tiger totem teaches us to conquer our fears and trust our primal instincts to overcome whatever obstacles cross our path. Tiger encounters, visions and dreams are symbolic of personal strength, courage and an intuitive understanding of the world around us.
Symbolic attributes: Loyal, Cunning, Independent, Intuitive, Compassionate
People who identify with the wolf are excellent communicators, expressive both vocally and physically. Their creative nature leads them toward the arts, where they excel in writing and delivering eloquent speeches.
The wolf spirit is symbolic of deep faith and high intellect that they generously share with others. As an animal totem, the wolf is used to gain knowledge and discover the best resources for survival.
Symbolic attributes: Playful, Free, Adaptable, Social, Durable
Zebras are social animals that prefer to work in groups and rely on their community for shelter. Their stripes remind us to embrace our uniqueness and accept that there is more than one way of looking at things.
As an animal totem, the zebra also helps us find balance and fairness at home and in the workspace. Their spirit symbolizes our ability to be open to new ideas and be respectful of others. More importantly, the zebra reminds us that we were born free and to not let anyone's negativity dominate our own thoughts or behavior.