Carrying messages that are often hidden in plain sight, spirit animals are ever-present in our lives whether as our pets or thriving in the wild. From the most adorable and friendliest to the most frightful and dangerous, these spirit guides connect with us to bring a new understanding about ourselves and to help improve our relationship with the world.
While spirituality implies different meanings to different people, it takes into account a belief in a higher power that can help mend whatever it is that we have gone through in the past and are continuously recovering from. Whether you consider yourself a devout or you seek inspiration from the gifts of nature for cure and rejuvenation, here are some of the animals that represent healing.
“Embrace the unknown and the answers will be provided.”Dr. Dolittle
Throughout history, humans have had a special relationship with horses. From transportation and combat to sports and companionship, these highly social creatures present gifts that go well beyond riding them enjoyably around the stable or park. Already running mere hours after birth, they use their strong and able legs to gallop into our consciousness to bring messages that pertain to fertility, travel, nobility, and freedom. Loyal, welcoming, and affectionate, the horse incredibly possesses a healing power that helps a host of people in treating conditions that range from cerebral palsy, dementia, depression, and anxiety, as well as therapy for those on the autistic spectrum. A spirit animal that shows great importance to adventure, relationships, and spiritual growth, they inspire us to jump over our hurdles regardless of the bridle.
What better spirit animal can promote healing than one that is believed to have nine lives, right? Domesticated since the time when the Egyptians were the benchmark, it is believed that a cat’s purr contains healing powers that help alleviate the impact of pain, infections, and swelling. By providing a somewhat calming effect, this soft hum can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease as well as boost muscle repair, mobility, and growth. Commonly associated with superstitions (check here our top 10 weird bird superstitions), witches, intelligence, and magic, this mystical animal guide’s presence will not only soothe and calm you but also help you get through your physical and spiritual ailments (if you came across a dead cat, read our dead cat symbolism).
Traditionally trained to assist in battle, for herding sheep, and to catch a flying disc, dogs are some of our most favored companions regardless of their drool, the overwhelming welcome, and the amount of fur they shed. A representation of heroism, loyalty, and trust, this sweet-natured spirit animal’s capacity for unconditional love has won them the reputation of being man’s best friend. A popular symbol of healing and protection, their eagerness to spend time with you can warm both the heart and soul which can help mend feelings of pain and brokenness. Featuring a sense of smell that is far more superior than ours, they are blessed with an incredible ability to sniff out certain medical conditions such as migraines, low blood sugar, stress, and early-stage cancer which paw-sitively makes them a total lifesaver.
Animals that represent healing: Praying Mantis
A carnivorous insect that feasts on flies, grasshoppers, and moths (also, check the moth symbolism), sightings of these unusual-looking critters are something that we should not dismiss. A master of camouflage, their stillness and somewhat contemplative nature remind us of the importance of being mindful and setting aside time for some peaceful meditation. A popular symbol of balance and patience, the guidance of the praying mantis is summoned in times we need healing as their calm and reflective state allows them to get in touch with a higher knowing. Using legs that resemble a razor as well as their deep-seated meditative connection, the mantis points to the area in our lives where restoration is required and encourages us to remain peaceful and quiet for “good things come to those who wait.” It seems odd to count the mantis as animals that represent healing but we believe it’s a strong contender, read more about it in our post: praying mantis meaning.
Varying from one culture to the next, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the symbolism of this bird with vibrant plumes is highly revered by people around the world. Tiny in nature, they are brimming with a host of powerful positive energy which allowed them to be respected as a sacred spirit animal by many. Their role in pollinating flowers, which in turn extends the plant’s life, has made these enchanting creatures a known symbol of health, vitality, and healing. Swooping down into our consciousness to serve as a reminder to slow down and be mindful of where we get our physical and spiritual nourishment, the hummingbird gives us the courage to turn our backs on unhealthy situations and fly off to those that bring us harmony, tranquility, and balance. Read more about the hummingbird in our posts: the meaning of seeing a hummingbird, are hummingbirds good luck or hummingbird symbolism death.
Demonstrating courage, strength, and stillness even in times of crisis, this spirit animal which spends most of its time underwater after birth reminds us that we have the potential to emerge and become whomever we choose to be. A representation of stability, intuition, and creativity, the hippopotamus uses these gifts to feel revitalized and navigate through its emotions with renewed clarity. As a spirit animal of intuitive healing, the assertive hippopotamus reinvigorates itself by bathing and swimming most of the day, allowing it to draw the spirit of the water. Standing still with only its eyes and ears visible from the surface, this restive spirit animal becomes aware of the messages of the spirit through its constant meditation enabling it to connect with the spirit of restoration and good health.
A menacing creature that is found across the world and is equipped with eight legs, a set of pedipalps, and a tail that injects its target with venom, this intimidating yet extremely patient spirit animal comes into our lives to help us get rid of all its toxicity. From a particularly harmful relationship to an unproductive dead-end job, the scorpion knows exactly what’s making you seem unsound and crawls in to help you heal. Not only will it encourage you to let go of the unfavorable events and situations that have been holding you down, but it will also motivate you to reconcile with the things that have hurt you in the past and welcome positive growth and transformation. A well-known symbol of determination, progress, mystery, and rehabilitation, this remarkable spirit guide wriggles into our consciousness as our protection from all the negative affairs we have that may sting and eventually poison our dreams. Read more about in our post: scorpion symbolism.
Animals that represent healing: Snake
Undoubtedly, no animal has been hallowed and admired yet scorned and cast out more than the snake. A symbol of love, immortality, wisdom, recovery, and death, they have long been used for worship and magic potions which ironically makes one of the deadliest animals in the world a symbol of healing and restoration. From Greek mythology where a pair of snakes is seen straddling a staff to the symbols of pharmacies in modern-day Europe, our fear of these slithering creatures, particularly of their venom, contradicts its actual meaning and significance. Known for shedding their skin, snakes symbolize a way for our bodies to renew themselves from past hurts and come out as better individuals who are ready to take on life’s challenges.
Moreover, in Celtic, Nordic, Hebrew, and several Asian cultures, healers were able to determine the ability of our bodies to react and fight off bugs or illnesses when exposed to a controlled amount of the pathogen. Since snakes are naturally venomous, these ancient healers may have introduced small amounts of venom into the immune system of their patients to make them stronger. Not only does this indicate the snake’s ability to adapt to any environment, but it also gives prominence to this spirit animal’s capacity to squirm out of the darkness fully rejuvenated and healed. Read more about the snake in our post about dead snakes you might have come across.
Representing our views and attitudes, a situation that has recently occurred or traits that we have yet to develop, spirit animals fly, gallop, and dive into our lives to offer guidance as well as an intuitive understanding of their symbolic nature. While it is natural for us to overlook the higher power that exists to protect and guide us, spirit animals come into our lives to help make our journey more bearable and easy. Often symbolizing strength, fearlessness, healing, and rebirth, these spirit guides are here to remind us that regardless of our past, we can always make well, rebuild, and get back on track.