Animals have meant different things to different people and cultures all through time. When we talk about the meanings of an animal or its symbolism it is this body of knowledge that we are talking about. However no definition will ever be truly comprehensive. For instance if you asked ten people to picture a "ball" in thier mind you would get at least ten different images, from a beach ball to a baseball, from a medicine ball to a cotton ball. This is just an example of how diverse something as simple as a "ball" can be as seen by different people. It is our personal experiences that mold how we see animals just as it does how we see everything else. A person who was bitten by a dog as a child may see them as viscious beasts while someone else might see them as man's best friend.
When it comes right down to it it is what you believe an animal symbolizes that matters most. Sit down and meditate about the animal. Think about when, where and why it is appearing in your life. Look for a common thread. Learn about the animal from books, online or just go out there and experience it in its own environment if possible.
Here are a few examples
Ant: Ants are industrious, community oriented, single minded builders. They symbolize patience, self-sacrifice, planning, trust in the future, stamina, completion, storing energy, work, thrift, forethought, virtue, and orderliness. They are connected to Wang-ta Hsien, Demeter, and Ceres.
Bear: Bears symbolize healing, divinity, invulnerability, spirit helper, protection, introspection, truth, female receptive energy, prophesy, stamina, harmony, patience, defense, revenge, transformation, intuition, answers from the Dreamworld, benevolence, strength and bravery. They are connected to Artemis, Zeus, Callisto, Dea Artia, Thor, Odhinn, Freya, and Norse lunar water goddesses.
Wolf: Wolves symbolize family, teaching, co-operation, insight, stealth, strength, leadership, loyalty, freedom, individuality, psychic energy connected to the moon (hidden wisdom), sharing knowledge and wisdom, cunning, hunting, seeking, introspection, listening, magick, dreams, They are connection to the moon and to Wepwawet, Zeus Lycaeus, Apollo, Ares, Mars, Silvanus, Cernunnos and Odhinn.
Crow/Rook: Crows and rooks symbolize resourcefulness, survival, death, a call to the magick and the mystery around us, the law, the supernatural, the mysteries of creation, shape-shifting, change, harmony, justice, integrity, bad omens, boldness, skill, cunning, prophecy, eloquence and divination. They are tricksters connected to Morrigan, Varuna, Rhea Kronia, Apollo, Macha and Babd.
Eagle: Eagles symbolize nobility, clarity of vision, balance between the spirit world and everyday life, the ability to soar above everyday life, lightning, rising above material in search of spiritual, connecting with the spirit world, helpful rain, the warrior spirit, fearlessness, keen vision, war, freedom, majesty, authority, strength, victory and courage. They have a connection to the divine and to the Sun, as well as to Air, Fire and Spirit. They are connected to Ninurta, Marduk, Asshur, Pan, Zeus, Indra, Vishnu, Mithras and Ohdinn.
Owl (general): Owls symbolize wisdom, the ability to see things that are hidden, stealth, swiftness, darkness, freedom, dreams, shape-shifting, secrets, omens, clairvoyance, astral projection, magick, deception, observation, total truth, night, death and misfortune. They are connected to the Underworld and the Moon. They are connected to The Goddess in general, as well as Athena, Mari, Lilith, Anath, Gwynn ap Nudd, Blodeuwedd, Yama and Cailleach. Barn Owl: Barn owls are the ones who see without seeing and hear without hearing; the ones who can hear what is not spoken and ones that see things without physical sight.
Information from:Copyright © 1999 Wyldkat, Herne and The Celtic Connection., http://wicca.com. All rights reserved.
For more information on animals here a couple of very good books that I highly recommend:
Animal Speaks The Spiritual & Magickal Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews.
Learn how to read signs and omens in nature so you can open to higher perceptions by understnading animal symbolism.
Animal Magick The Art of Recognizing and Working with Familiars by D. J. Conway
Learn to communicate with animals for the benefit of both of you. Animal familiars can forewarn you of danger, help you work magic and develope your psychic abilities and heal.
If you would like these books please contact me at