What Is the Purpose of A Spirit Animal?

what is the purpose of a spirit animal

I am grateful to that day which I have attended a gathering held by a shaman. I am thankful for those days that I practiced what I have learned and finally found out what my spirit animal is. You can say but wait a minute, why you are grateful, what is the purpose of a spirit animal at the end of the day? 

Spirt animals are our companions in this life reality. 

They are our guides to support us in this world. 

They are much more than just this support and guidance, though, which is already huge. 

Spirit animals are a gate opener to another perspective, leading us to live a more harmonious and beautiful life. 

Come and join me in the journey of discovering the purpose of a spirit animal. 

What does a spirit animal mean?

Let’s look at what a spirit animal means first in the urban dictionary and then through the explanation of shamans and different book writers in the field. 

What is a spirit animal urban dictionary?

In the urban dictionary, there are two explanations about spirit animals that I come across:

An animal who chooses you or you choose it to get guidance & learning to help you through life.

In pagan religions and systems, a spirit animal or totem represents the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have.

What does a spirit animal mean – Ayşe Nilgün Arıt?

Ayşe Nilgün Arıt, in her book called “Sacred guides in Shamanism, the symbolism of spirit animals” explains what spirit animal is as such:

“All peoples who have lived in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas have cultures that believe in close ties with animals.

Spirit animals are guides and guardian spirit companions who show themselves in the image of an animal on their shamanic journeys.

For the shaman, both the world he lives in and the extraordinary world he travels through rituals are in the same reality, so his guide spirit companions are as accurate as his family in the world, his wife and friend.

In the shamanic belief, anyone who can harmonize with the cosmic energy of nature has something to learn from the natural messages of the animal kingdom.

Ancient peoples believed that with the figures and symbols they carried on them, they attracted unique energy belonging to that animal’s power.”

What does a spirit animal mean – Steven Farmer?

Steven Farmer, in his book “Pocket guide to spirit animals,” explains the term spirit animals as such:

“The spirit world is another dimension that exists alongside our material reality and is populated with nonphysical beings, or spirits. 

It’s not someplace up in the sky or removed from us but is present and accessible at all times, requiring only the willingness, intention, and openness to make contact with those beings that reside there. 

Our awareness and consciousness are the vehicles that allow us to accomplish this. 

In this alternate nonphysical reality called the spirit world, you’ll find ancestors, archangels, ascended spiritual masters, religious figures, deceased loved ones, fairies, and, of course, spirit animals. 

These beings are extensions of God, Great Spirit, Source, or whatever name you give to All-That-Is, just as those of us and everything else in the material world are. 

What we call matter is denser and more tangible to our usual senses, whereas accessing this other dimension requires greater receptivity, heightened awareness, and a consciousness that allows for the existence of this aspect of being. 

The term spirit guide, also known as a helping spirit or guardian spirit, is a term for any of these spiritual beings that help us in a life-positive way. 

Those spirits in animal form that teach us, guide us, empower us, and help us heal are called animal spirit guides or spirit animals.”

What does a spirit animal mean – Skye Alexander?

Last but not least, Skye Alexander explains what a spirit animal is in her book “The secret powers of spirit animals.”

“Different people hold varying ideas about precisely what spirit animals are. 

Some traditions say that animal guides once lived on earth as physical creatures and passed over into the spirit world after death. 

Your beloved Fluffy may have taken off her catsuit, but she’s still nearby in spirit. 

Other views suggest that spirit beings never existed in the flesh, although their earthly counterparts may embody the spirits’ energies. 

Still, others tell us that spirit animals can assume the forms of physical creatures when they want to and can move between the worlds of ordinary and nonordinary reality at will. 

A deer that darts across your path and then disappears might be a “real” deer, but then again.

People who study and work with spirit animals agree on one thing; however: These entities willingly offer us their help, and they do so whether or not we realize it. 

If you learn to recognize their presence in your life and understand their unique abilities, you can tap their special powers and use them to enhance your own well-being intentionally.”

Spirit animal synonym

Spirit animal term is called “Nagual” in the Mayan language. Moreover, “power animal” and “spirit guide” are also synonyms for the word ‘spirit animal.’

Steven Farmer adds totems to this list of synonyms as well: 

“In shamanic and indigenous cultures, they’re usually called totem animals or power animals. Often these terms are used interchangeably, although there are subtle differences in meaning.”

Spirit animal origin

“They used to say, my friend, that the words of the oak in the holy place of Zeus at Dodona were the first prophetic utterances. The people of that time, not being so wise as you young folks, were content in their simplicity to hear an oak or a rock, provided only it spoke the truth. Still, to you, perhaps, it makes a difference who the speaker is and where he comes from, for you do not consider only whether his words are true or not.”

Platon, Phaedrus 

In Shamanism, there are many rituals, ceremonies, and meditations. All are serving for the search of the path. 

The path is for healing the spirit, to reach a union. 

The principal intention and the desire to heal the spirit are to receive guidance and support from the universe.

The spirit animal origins are as old as the animal kingdom, if not older. It is as old as the guidance and support of the universe. 

What does a spirit animal do?

Ayşe Nilgün Arıt, in her book called “Sacred guides in Shamanism, the symbolism of spirit animals” explains Jung’s animus/anima, which can help us to understand what does a spirit animal do.

The word animal comes from the Latin word “animalis.”

The root of the Latin word “animalis” is anima. 

Anima means spirit or life-breath. 

According to Jung, animals are the archetypes that are forming the ancient symbols of humanity.

Jung also refers to animus and anima as masculine and feminine in his theory of the collective unconscious. 

Jung also adds that animus and anima, these archetypal energies are the gateway between our collective unconscious and accurate identity. 

Spirit animals show the person what is going on in their life, the essential themes, and how to resolve them.

It is no good or bad, only lessons to learn to restore balance and harmony.

Moreover, Steven Farmer, in his book “Pocket guide to spirit animals,” answers what spirit animals do as such:

We can call on them for guidance, protection, encouragement, and inspiration. 

Some have been with us since childhood, while others have appeared at various periods in our life, perhaps to help us through a difficult transition. 

We may see them, hear them, feel them, or know they’re with us, and we can have any number of spirit guides throughout our lives, whether we’re aware of them or not. 

They want to help us have a more peaceful, harmonious, and happier life without interfering with our free will. 

They are happy to serve and willingly do so whenever called upon.

Why are spirit animals important?

There are many cosmic teachings presented through animal images when we intend to teach their language.

The key to understanding this language is to delve into the features of any of them and discover which features interest you.

Even considering spirit animals as tools of spiritual teaching and learning about them creates spiritual awareness.

Power animals and all of nature form a spiritual web, and human self-discovery becomes possible by being consciously involved in this network.

In Mayan shamanic belief, every living thing is a source of wisdom, that it exists in the world to offer this wisdom, and that animals were created to set an example for people and teach some lessons.

Spirit animals are energies that will guide us and be our teachers to strengthen our intuition.

They shed light on people with their healing powers and inspiring wisdom.

Under the guidance of this wisdom, we can easily find answers to questions about life.

Anyone who meets their power animal can communicate directly with it and seek its help and guidance on shamanic journeys.

Even those who have never met the shamanic teaching, those who do not know the spirit animals, and those who are not aware of guiding spiritual beings benefit from the same guidance but consider events as luck or life’s beautiful coincidences.

Ted Andrews explains why spirit animals are essential in his book “meet and work with spirit guides.”

Spirit animals inspire creativity, help open us to abundance, stimulate insight and knowledge. They protect us and serve as our companions. 

Ted Andrews

What do spirit animals represent?

Spirit animals represent teachers, guides, supporting mother and father, best friends; however, you would call them. 

They provide us with their teachings from a tremendous broad perspective from timeless space. 

Spirit animals’ symbolism is so powerful and inspiring that it adds richness and creativity to your life. 

What is your spirit animal?

To answer this question, first, let’s check different kinds of spirit animals. 

1. The spirit animals who will guide you for life: 

In most cases, you will have one spirit animal that will teach you all your life. However, in sporadic cases, your spirit animal for life would change. 

2. Seasonal spirit animals: 

These spirit animals are temporary. They can come for some days or years, but when their task finishes, they will leave. 

They come when we are ready to take the lesson.

It is essential because it means that a new era will begin.

Seasonal spirit animals can be in two groups. 

2a. Seasonal spirit animals that bring messages:

Enters life suddenly, gives a message, disappears when the message is understood

2b. Seasonal spirit animals for choices: 

It comes when you have to make an important decision when you are indecisive at a crossroads.

3. Shadow spirit animals:

They are shadow spirit animals because, like the aspects of the person they do not like, they are also unusual animals that do not appear often and prefer not to be noticed.

They reflect one’s own reality in the mirror.

Some develop phobias towards these animals. They are unloved animals.

The thing we hate the most about them may be the thing we hate the most about ourselves.

Represents the identity traits that we’ve never known.

4. Spirit animals in the physical world:

They enter our daily life. 

Sometimes you realize that an animal stares at you. Or sometimes an animal acts in an unordinary way. 

They appear in the reality of the physical world in a hurry to guide a particular need. 

What does it mean when your spirit animal visits you? Simply, they may be calling you on a shamanic journey.


Even you know what your spirit animal is or not, your spirit animal is guiding you. The difference when you find out and when you learn how to interact with them, you will be able to ask your questions and receive answers. 

So listen to your gut feeling and join the journey of finding your spirit animal. 

Check our other articles around the topic:

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so, you can pin it to your Spirit Animal Board!

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