Compiled by Christie Michelsen
Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews – This is the classic book on working with spirit animals and interpreting animal symbolism. If you only buy one book on animal spirits, I’d recommend this one. It includes quite a lot of instructional information as well as a pretty comprehensive directory of animals and birds.
Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals
by Jamie Sams and David Carson – I love this book, which is based on teachings passed down from tribal elders in nine Native American traditions. It’s meant as a complement and companion to the Medicine Cards oracle deck listed below. I was only recently gifted this book but it’s already become one of my favorites.
Spirit in the Stone: A Handbook of Southwest Indian Animal Carvings and Beliefs
by Mark Bahti – I’m just starting to explore this one. Written from an anthropological/art history point of view, it is a little treasure trove of Southwest Native American animal lore. Plus the multitude of photos of animal carvings are absolutely fabulous.
There are a lot of other books out there worth exploring. If you have a favorite, let me know and I’ll add it to the list!
These are some of my favorite online sources of information about spirit animals:
AnimalSpirits.com animalspirits.com – Lists dozens of animals and keywords for each. Not a lot of in-depth information, but good for a quick overview of an animal.
Spirit Animal Totems http://www.spirit-animals.com/ – This website is a bit hard to navigate but has very helpful animal meaning interpretations. If you want to look up an animal you’ll need to scroll down on the home page and find the section where it has links to different animal categories: Land Animal, Birds, Insects, Ocean and Water Creatures, and Reptiles and Amphibians. Also listed are a number of domestic dog breeds and horse breeds and colors as animal totems.
Spirit Animals & Animal Totems http://www.spiritanimal.info/ Lots of ads, but pretty good spirit animal interpretations.
All Totems http://alltotems.com/ – Nice, long, easily searchable A-Z animal totem list with pretty comprehensive spiritual meaning information about each.
Diana Haymond http://nativebearspirit.com/Animal_Totems.html – Diana is a psychic and healer. She has posted a few spirit animal interpretations on her site. There aren’t many (although she says she’s adding more), but the ones there are insightful and worth a read.
What’s Your Sign http://www.whats-your-sign.com/ Avia has extensive information about the spiritual meaning of many different animals as well as other symbols. One of the best spirit animal sites on the web.
Morningstar http://morningstar.netfirms.com/totem.html – Lynx Graywolf’s website. In addition to vibrational essences she also has a list of animal totems and their meanings – extremely comprehensive and well-written.
Spirit Animal Oracle http://brightspiritrising.com/category/animal-spirits/ – Yep, that’s me! I’ve got a couple dozen animals now on my blog, and counting. 🙂
Cards can be a fun and insightful way to access your animal spirits. Here are a few decks I’ve checked out:
Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals– Jamie Sam’s awesome book is also available as a set with oracle card deck (and yes, you do need the book – the cards wouldn’t make much sense without it unless you are very familiar with the animals already.) This is my favorite of the animal decks I’ve seen. The art is beautiful, the instructions area clear, and I really like that blank cards are included so you can add animals that are not present in the book.
Animal Messages – If you are looking for a deck that will provide a done-for-you framework for an animal reading, this would be my pick. Suzie Green has done an excellent job pairing each animal with a meaningful message, and the included guidebook expands on the message in a concise yet impactful way. Like the Medicine Cards book above, this book also includes quite a lot of instruction on using the cards, including several suggestions for different types of spreads.
Power Animal Oracle Cards: Practical and Powerful Guidance from Animal Spirit Guides
– Also a really nice looking, easy to use deck, from Steven Farmer. Each animal is paired with a single attribute (for example, Koala = empathy). I personally find this approach rather simplistic (although the guidebook does include additional attributes for each animal) but it might be a good beginner-level tool, and of course you can always interpret the cards in your own way using your intuition and/or other resources. This would be a nice oracle deck to use for a “card of the day” sort of approach.
Shaman Wisdom Cards — Tarot Cards: 65-Card Deck – Based on Native American shamanic tradition, Leita Richesson’s cards include not only spirit animals but also the seasons (moons), plants, trees, stones, and medicine wheel elements. It might be a bit overwhelming if you are just starting out with spirit animals, but if you are familiar with or would like to learn more about shamanic principles you might really enjoy working with these cards. I find the more I work with them the more I get out of them.
Spirit Animal Awareness Oracle Card Deck – This is a deck I was guided to create. I’ve included the animal meanings right on the card, so you don’t have to keep flipping back to the guidebook. I’ve included shadow meanings as well as power traits for each animal, because one of the things power animals are really great at is to help us become aware of, heal, and integrate ALL aspects of ourselves. The deck comes with a guidebook with suggestions for how to use the cards. Also I took a clue from Jamie Sam’s deck and included a couple blanks for your favorite critters.