Species of Animals Associated with Rebirth, New Beginnings, and the Cycle of Life and Death

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animals that represent rebirth

Animals That Represent Rebirth: Creatures That Give Us A New Lease On Life

While all animals are equipped with natural defenses to care for and even heal themselves, we tend to look deeply at various animals and learn from their remarkable healing mechanisms. Although they often employ this gift only as a means for them to survive, we highlighted several creatures that have been found to possess the power to treat and rehabilitate our infirmities and ailments.

From the mythical and reviled, to those that symbolize beauty, stability, and strength, here are some animals that represent rebirth.


Key takeaways

  • Rebirth helps us shed the troubles of our past. Much like the phoenix, going through a period of rebirth allows us to rid ourselves of the pains of the past. They provide us with a sense of lightness and wholeness as they inspire us to embrace change.
  • Rebirth makes life feel fresh. Starting its life as a caterpillar and ending it as an attractive butterfly, rebirth encourages us to begin our lives anew with countless possibilities and opportunities. The butterfly urges us to grow, learn, and keep moving forward.
  • Rebirth enables us to face life with hope and optimism. The starfish’s ability to re-grow its limbs reminds us how embracing our individual changes help us be the best versions of ourselves. They also give us the spiritual strength to welcome new beginnings and endure hardships with certainty and confidence.

“A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures.”

– James E. Faust

The Phoenix


Considered a legendary creature that lives for hundreds of years before it expires by setting itself on fire, the phoenix offers contrasting symbolic messages such as creation, destruction, and fresh starts. Its ability to rise up from its own ashes and start a new and long life has made it a highly revered animal that symbolizes rebirth and renewal.

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Featuring brilliant colors of red, yellow, and purple, it has encouraged millions throughout history to embrace the challenges of a new beginning. Gloriously emerging from the suffering of its old self, the phoenix comes out as a stronger and better version of itself. It is reborn with a fresh perspective on how it wants to take on the challenges of the world.



Known to be among the most intimidating creatures on the planet, snakes have slithered their way into our list of animals that represent rebirth. A legless and scaly reptile that is often found in forests, swamps, or grasslands, the serpent’s nature of shedding its skin through sloughing led many to view it as a symbol of healing and transformation.

Although an extraordinarily rare occurrence, this notoriously deceptive creature would sometimes mistake its own tail for prey. While it may seem that the snake carelessly mistook its rear for lunch, tradition describes it as the ouroboros, which is an ancient symbol that shows a dragon consuming its own bottom. Typically the stuff of bad dreams and nightmares symbolizes the never-ending cycle of life, death, and rebirth.


butterfly rebirth

Boasting wings that feature dazzling patterns and colors, butterflies are some of the most amazing creatures in nature. Beginning its life as a fearsome caterpillar, it goes through a period of changes and transformation before arising into a gorgeous winged creature. This earns the butterfly a spot in our list of animals that symbolize rebirth.

Usually taking at least two weeks to several months, the most critical part of a butterfly’s metamorphosis takes place inside the pupa where larval tissues break down and re-organize. This indicates that while periods of change and spiritual rebirth take time, they often lead to a happier and more colorful life.

Bearded dragon


Deriving their name from the scales that surround their necks, bearded dragons are recognized as the most popular lizard that people keep as pets. Favored for their ability to acknowledge the presence of another dragon with a wave, they share similar symbolic meanings with both mythical and real-life dragons and lizards, such as strength, wisdom, rebirth, and good fortune.

While they are unable to grow their tails back, they own the natural skill of growing back their teeth each time they lose them when catching or tearing their prey apart. With its remarkable ability to change color depending on the temperature as well as go into hibernation when the days grow colder, the bearded dragon teaches us to be more flexible and open to growth.



Coming in an array of attractive colors including blue, green, red, orange, and purple, the starfish is not actually a fish but a cousin of sea urchins and sponges. Its remarkable capacity to re-grow lost limbs allows it to be a part of our animals that represent the rebirth list.

While commonly referred to as sea stars, these beautiful marine animals can also be found in varying shapes and sizes. Observed to sacrifice their arms as a way to confuse predators, their presence indicates how we are also capable of rejuvenation and renewal.

“We are born and reborn again and again. We are changing with the waves of time.”

– Debasish Mridha

Rebirth and Buddhism

Rebirth and awakening remain to be central teachings in Buddhism. The Buddha clearly instructs us that gaining enlightenment requires us to make choices that help shape not only this life but our many lifetimes in the future as well.

While it is only human to want things, attaining that lasting state of happiness and contentment enables us to experience joy at a much deeper and more permanent level.

Saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth
Saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth

Buddhism helps weaken the way our negative impulses affect us while bringing forth admirable qualities such as compassion, courage, and wisdom. By putting the teachings of this practice into use, we attain lasting joy, prosperity, and peace, which makes the idea of rebirth ever more exciting.

Mindfulness and yoga

As life has fast become more stressful than ever, yoga and mindfulness meditation aims to bring an increase in awareness of both thoughts and feelings. Taking a few minutes to stretch and maybe even meditate in the confines of your desk increases productivity and helps relieve stress.

mindfulness symbol
The mindfulness symbol

Apart from providing us with the focus to take care of the tasks at hand, a healthy dose of yoga and mindfulness meditation provides us with a peaceful and worry-free mind. Not only do they help eliminate stress and anxiety, but they also allow us to keep our brains clear and sharp.

Meditation can also be used for achieving an altered state of consciousness, click if you’re interested in the article.

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Author: Cynthia Demers
Cynthia is dealing with animals' symbolism and all things spiritual for many years. She wants to help readers achieve balance in physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

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