Deer Spirit Meaning and Finding Your Purpose

Deer painting in watercolor

Deer has been coming forward for me a lot lately so I thought I’d share a bit about the spirit meaning of this magnificent animal. Perhaps it will speak to you, too!

Like all animal guides, Deer has multiple meanings and I could go on for pages about it. For now, though, let’s explore Deer spirit meaning as it relates to soul’s purpose.

Connecting head and heart

This animal relates very strongly to two chakras in particular: Heart and Crown. Gentleness, innocence, nurturing, giving of oneself, and Love are some of the symbolic meanings of Deer in many traditions. All of these resonate very strongly with heart energy. And the antlers of the male deer symbolize the crown’s connection with Spirit. While pursuit of purpose involves all the chakras, this connection of heart and crown is especially significant. Deer can therefore be a powerful guide in the process of seeking one’s purpose.

It’s interesting to note that in English, another word for “stag” is “hart,” don’t you think? There are many examples in folklore of a hunter or prince being led deep into the dark forest by a mysterious stag, becoming lost and embarking upon a great adventure that eventually leads to love, wealth and happiness.

And that is what often happens when we begin to follow our h(e)art’s purpose.

Often we feel alone in the wilderness, at least at first. And we face many challenges and even demons and monsters along the way. Every hero of story and myth experiences their dark night of the soul, and it can truly be a place of woe and despair.

3 whitetail deer illustration

So as innocent as the Deer animal guide may appear to be (and innocence is indeed one of its symbolic meanings), taking it on as a totem is not for the faint of heart.

But there is immense wisdom to be found in myth. Inevitably, our hero meets up with helpers and guides along the way, and is given tools and wisdom to vanquish the forces of the dark and accomplish his task (the first step of which is often to realize that he has a task in the first place, and to find out where and what he needs to do!)

Letting go of attachments

On another note, purification is another huge symbolic meaning of Deer totem. And in fact, a large part of finding and pursuing Purpose often entails letting go of that which does not support it.

Here we want to take a close look at one of the shadow aspects of Deer: jealousy.

Male deer can be extremely jealous, which if you think about it makes sense, since during rutting season it’s a buck deer’s goal to gather together a harem of does and to mate with as many of them as possible. If he is successful at this, of course, his genes get to rule the next generation. But he has to not only fight with powerful rivals, but also guard against rogue bucks who will sneak into his harem and mate with the does while his back is turned.

So like nearly all shadow energies this one is here for a reason. When jealousy shows up in human relationships the underlying reason is typically fear of loss.

I’m not talking just love relationships here. I’m talking about any kind of attachment energy, where you cling to and/or defend a person or behavior or idea of how something should be. And what happens is that we fixate on that thing, we keep giving our energy to that instead of focusing on our connection with Light.

So one thing to consider if Deer keeps showing up for you, especially if you are experiencing some sort of dark night of the soul, or relationship issue, is what fixations might be present in your consciousness? Are you relating to the person as he or she really is, or some sort of projected belief about that person? Are you focusing on what you really want in your heart, or on what some part of you thinks you should want? Are you clinging to things that no longer serve you? Recognizing and releasing these fixations and attachments will help free you to get back on the path you seek.

Watch my new video for more about the spiritual symbolism of Deer

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Deer spirit meaning. If you’d like to hear more Deer spirit wisdom (including Deer’s connection with Christ energy), check out my newest animal spirit video here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Armadillo Spirit Animal Meaning

Armadillo One thing I love about Nature is you never know what she’ll come up with.

 

This little fellow is a case in point. Looking like a cross between an anteater and an armored tank, the Armadillo is an ingeniously clothed little critter and is the only modern mammal with a shell. Since I’ve had him show up for a couple of people lately, I thought I’d take some time today to share his message.

What is the Spirit Meaning of Armadillo?

Armadillos are found exclusively in the New World, and there are about 20 species of them. I’m going to focus here primarily on the 9-Banded Armadillo, which is the only one that ranges into the United States. However, if Armadillo comes into your life you may want to look up the particular species you are dealing with. Studying its specific behaviors and characteristics – which may differ a bit from those of the 9-Banded type – may help you discover its message to you. (Also be aware that many of the Armadillo species are named after the number of armored bands at their waist. If your armadillo is one of these, you may also want to delve into numerology and/or angel numbers as well.)

 

If there ever was a spirit animal that resonates with the Root chakra, Armadillo is it. Root chakra energy is all about grounding, safety, and security. With its portable armor and its ground-dwelling habits, this burrowing creature is definitely a security-oriented animal. Some species can actually curl up into a ball. Others will press themselves into the ground when threatened, protecting their soft, vulnerable underbellies. On the other hand, Armadillos are fast runners (up to 30 miles per hour!) and will also sometimes jump several feet straight up into the air when startled. This can be a super effective strategy when they are faced with a coyote or dog, but unfortunately often backfires when it comes to cars, earning them the nickname “Texas speed bumps.”

 

Armadillos eat mostly insects, especially soil-dwelling ants, grubs, and termites. Like their relatives the anteaters, armadillos have sticky tongues which they use to collect their insect prey. They are one of the few animals that can comfortably feed on fire ants, which can’t penetrate their thick armor.

 

When Armadillo shows up for a person it often points to issues with security and feeling safe. When out of balance, this can include the tendency to withdraw or curl up into one’s “shell.” It can also manifest as jumpiness or flightiness – the instinctive tendency to react without thinking to perceived danger, sometimes with disastrous results.  Grounding exercises can help restore a sense of inner security and balance Armadillo energy. Healthy Armadillo energy manifests as the ability to stay super calm and level-headed even through situations that would “bug” other people.

 

The Armadillo is a warm-climate animal. It doesn’t have the fat stores or ability to hibernate that would allow it to thrive in cold weather. However, within limits it does overcome these shortcomings by altering its behavior according to its surroundings. During hot spells, it tends to be nocturnal. When the weather turns chilly, it will switch to more diurnal habits. On cool nights, this typically solitary animal will sometimes invite others into its burrow as well, huddling together for mutual warmth. This – along with their armor – points to Flexibility being one of the lessons Armadillo is associated with. Armadillo people can easily show signs of being hard-headed and inflexible. However, they may surprise you at times by their ability to adapt, especially in the face of hardship.

 

One interesting thing about Armadillo is its tactics for crossing water. They don’t swim in the normal sense of the word. Often, they will hold their breath – which they can do for up to six minutes – and walk along the bottom. However, some species also have the ability to super-inflate their stomach and intestines with air, turning the animal into sort of a living inflatable raft. Armadillo teaches us to discern when to plod methodically through a situation according to a set path or plan, and when to simply go with the flow. 

 

If Armadillo calls to you, start observing your own behavior. When is it advantageous to be unyielding? When would it best serve you and others to be flexible and accommodating?

 

Armadillos have poor eyesight, but an excellent sense of smell. Many also sport long, stiff hairs that protrude around their armor and which function rather like whiskers, helping them feel their way around. If Armadillo is your totem, you likely have a strong sense of intuition, and can probably smell out danger and/or opportunity a mile away. However you might not be particularly visionary, unless you also work with more celestial spirit guides such as any of the raptors, or angels.

 

Nine-banded armadillos have some very unusual reproductive habits. Like bears, they are capable of delayed implantation – meaning they can carry the fertilized egg around for months before the embryo actually starts to develop. A female nine-banded armadillo always gives birth to a litter of four offspring, and they are always genetically identical quadruplets. Armadillo energy thus can lend support to creative projects in which a high degree of consistency must be maintained. However it may be necessary to wait until conditions are right before starting such a project.

 

Finally, one more interesting fact about armadillos.  They can actually be carriers for leprosy! Since leprosy is an old world disease, they undoubtedly picked it up at some point from us humans. Leprosy is a bacterial disease that results in loss of sensation, which ultimately can lead to loss of extremities because there is no pain to tell a person that what they are doing is harmful. Spiritually, this can correlate to the tendency to suppress emotional pain,which can lead to isolating oneself in some way – whether from parts of oneself, from healthy relationships, etc. Self-loathing, ostracism, and shunning of some sort may become part of the picture as well. If Armadillo is part of your spiritual team, watch for this pattern – and know that this is not something native to you. There is nothing innately unlovable about YOU!!! (Just look at that cute little Armadillo – he is adorable, isn’t he???) 🙂 (If this kind of pattern persists, though, I would encourage you to consider embarking on Heart chakra work.)

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this. If there’s an animal you’re curious about let me know. When I get poked enough to write up a particular animal I will eventually do it! 😉

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

What does Ferret mean as a Spirit Animal?

Ferret sm
Black Footed Ferret illustration by Anne Christie Michelsen. This painting is copyrighted. Want a copy? Contact me for purchase information!

People who receive my spirit animal readings are sometimes surprised at what animal comes up for them. It’s sometimes an animal they never would have thought of.

No disrespect to spirit animal oracle cards (I’m working on creating a deck myself), but that’s the beauty of doing it on pure intuition. It can literally be ANYTHING.  For instance, I had a 5-lined skink come up for someone once – and it turned out she had a previous connection with the animal! (She actually has a skink skin she once picked up and the reading brought attention to some relationship healing that needed to happen in relation to that incident.)

Anyway, Ferret came forward in a reading I did recently, and since it’s an animal that doesn’t get featured very often, I thought I’d give him a chance to sit in the spotlight today. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who is fond of Ferrets! 🙂

Ferret Spirit Animal Meaning

The common name “ferret” includes any of a group of animals in the Weasel family, including the Black Footed Ferret of North America, and the European Polecat. (Domestic ferrets are thought to be descendants of the Polecat.)

Ferrets are carnivorous, and ferocious hunters. As such, they definitely speak to the Warrior within us – and they have lessons to offer both for when our Warrior energy needs some encouragement, and for times when it might be coming on a bit too strong.

In English, to “ferret something out” means to track down something hidden and bring it to light. A ferret’s long, low body allows it to go down into the burrows of its prey (such as rabbits or prairie dogs), where it often takes its sleeping prey by surprise. Ferret can help you uncover hidden blocks and energies in your own psyche – sometimes ones that have been buried for a long time. It takes courage to work with Ferret energy, though, because it will ask you to hold yourself to your own truth.

Ferrets and weasels sometimes have a negative connotation in English, as being sneaky or sly, and even thieving. That can indeed be the shadow side of this power animal, and a ferret person may find themselves tempted on occasion to hide the truth from themselves or others. The little bandit mask on many ferrets is a visual symbol of this type of energy.  However, this aspect of Ferret has its positive side, too. When a Ferret person is aligned with her higher self she can put that tenacious, let’s-bring-it-to-the-light-and-get-it-done kind of energy to use in a way that contributes to the highest good.

Like many weasel-family animals, ferrets will sometimes engage in what is known as the “Weasel War Dance”: a ferocious-looking, frenzied display that is supposed to disorient its prey. What can Ferret people learn from this? The value of posturing! Attitude is everything, and putting on a mask of confidence when you have to negotiate or are in a shaky situation can make all the difference. (Keep in mind here, too, another characteristic of the Ferret: like most weasel – family animals, they have musky – smelling scent glands under the tail. Translation? Don’t be afraid to make a stink if you have to!)

If you find that you attract a lot of conflict, though, remember that a Ferret’s little war dance can also be an invitation to play. Keep the competition friendly and open yourself to creatively “ferreting out” solutions that allow everyone to walk away with their dignity and livelihoods intact – if not actually finding win-win ways to do things.

Finally, a word about our native ferret, the Black Footed Ferret.

One of the benefits the Black Footed Ferret brings to people is to keep the prairie dog population in check – and in the process, reducing outbreaks of bubonic plague, which those animals can carry. Once thought extinct, this feisty little guy is making a comeback with the help of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other organizations.  That makes him an awesome power animal for Survivor energy! 🙂

To find out more about the Black Footed Ferret, and/or to donate any amount to help this beautiful animal stay here on the planet with us, visit the nonprofit Prairie Wildlife Research website: http://www.prairiewildlife.org/support.html

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

What is the spirit animal meaning of the Nighthawk?

Nighthawk

Animal Totem for Creative People

Flying Nighthawk watercolor paintingIn an international study conducted by Adobe, slightly over 50% of U.S. respondents, and 39% overall, considered themselves to be creative people. What’s more, the overwhelming majority viewed creativity as being valuable to society and a key driver of economic growth.

However, when the same people were asked if they thought they were living up to their creative potential, the story changed. Only one out of four felt that they were.

How about you? Do you feel your creative self could use a boost? Perhaps it’s time to pay a visit to Nighthawk.

Meet the Nighthawk

Nighthawk is a wonderful spirit animal for creatives of any type – healers, artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, or anybody who uses their intuition. I’ll explain why in a moment. First, though, let me introduce you to this bird.

The Nighthawk is not actually a hawk. It’s a member of the nightjar family, which is related to the whippoorwill. With its long wings, stubby body and round head, it looks a bit like a bat. In fact, Nighthawks have a lot in common with bats. They, too, are a crepuscular animal, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Like bats (and unlike hawks), they feed primarily on small winged insects.

If you live in Nighthawk territory and spend much time outside, you’ve probably experienced them passing overhead on many occasions. They are more common than many people realize. Nighthawks are often mistaken for bats, because they swoop around in a very similar manner to those flying mammals.

Nighthawks spend a lot of time on the wing. They have big eyes and very small bills, but don’t let the small size of the beak fool you. A Nighthawk’s mouth is incredibly wide, and that is its secret to success. With its massive mouth open wide, it flies through the air and catches insects for its dinner.

At first, the Nighthawk may strike you as a drab-looking creature. With its unpretentious, mottled brown and gray coloration, it rarely gets chosen for posters and calendars. However, if you ever get the chance to see one up close you will appreciate the utilitarian beauty of its plumage. Because it nests on the ground, it has beautiful barred feathers which blend in perfectly with fallen leaves, dry grass and gravel. On its underside, though, it does sport white patches that show up when it takes wing. These include a white “V” on the throat and white bars across the tail and wings. The wing patches sometimes create a flashing effect as it flies.

Like many creative people, the Nighthawk is quite adaptable. It’s capable of thriving in many different habitats, although it prefers open areas. You’ll even find Nighthawks in the city, where flat urban rooftops provide safe places for them to lay and incubate their eggs.

Nighthawk as Spirit Animal

The Nighthawk is a spectacular spirit animal for creative people and anyone interested in accessing their intuition or searching for higher truth. That is because it represents a bridge between the spirit and the mundane.

This is reflected in the time of day when it is active –neither night nor day but both. It takes flight during those magical ‘between’ times when our intuition tends to be a little stronger. Most traditions align the darkness with more of a feminine energy, and the light with masculine energy. Crepuscular animals like the nighthawk combine both. That is a very powerful thing. (In fact, psychological testing has repeatedly shown that highly creative people tend towards being “psychologically androgynous” – incorporating more of the psychological characteristics of the opposite gender than average.)

Staying Grounded While on the Wing

Even though the Nighthawk spends a lot of time on the wing, it nests on the ground. Like all creatures that fly on the wing, it can be a helpful guide when we are undertaking in higher purpose, spiritual work. But because it is a ground-nesting bird, the Nighthawk offers that down-to-earth connection, too.

Sometimes it’s hard for people who are interested in expanding their spirituality to ground themselves and to relate to and function well in the physical world. If you are having a hard time feeling grounded, if you feel like you’re walking 2 feet above the ground, or if people accuse you of being spacy, the Nighthawk is a wonderful spirit animal to spend some time with. It can help you ground yourself without leaving that wonderful ‘upper realm’ kind of space.

On the other hand, this bird doesn’t actually build a nest on the ground; it just lays its eggs directly on the ground and sits on them. If Nighthawk appears to you, it may be a sign to pay attention to your ‘nest egg.’ Are you tending to your savings and your retirement plans the way you should?

Opening to Inspiration and Abundance

Another wonderful lesson Nighthawk offers to creative people can be learned by observing its feeding habits. The Nighthawk actively sights and chases down its prey, which represents clarity of vision and the willingness to take action. Its fluid swoops and dives as it moves through the dusk are heart-stoppingly beautiful; like a sort of aerial ballet. At the same time, this bird totally opens itself to receiving. With that big, wide-open mouth, it effortlessly opens up and lets the nourishment come in. It is very, very open to abundance.

Often very creative or spiritual people have a hard time learning to receive. That image of being totally open to taking what you need in order to do your calling in the world is a wonderful one to keep in mind if you struggle with abundance. It can relate to both material and creative abundance. Remember the white bars on the Nighthawk’s wings? You can think of those as the flashes of insight that come to you when you put yourself in motion in the practice of your art. In other words, if you find yourself struggling with creative blocks, imagine yourself as a Nighthawk. Relax into the physical process of doing your work. Enjoy the flight – the process of your creative work. Trust that Spirit will provide the insight you need. The outcome will take care of itself.

In short, the Nighthawk symbolizes remaining open to Spirit and being willing to receive what Spirit sends your way. That’s where your creative inspiration or healing work comes from, after all, isn’t it?

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

If Red Tailed Hawk is Your Spirit Animal…

Red tailed hawk with preyWhere I live in Upper Michigan, Red Tailed Hawks are a common sight. (They are probably the most common North American hawk, and can be sighted year-round throughout most of the continental U.S.) You usually see them either majestically circling on uplifts of air, or sitting in a tree or on a power line, apparently doing nothing.

Appearances are deceiving.

Unlike the Peregrine Falcon, the Red Tailed Hawk hunts by perching in a likely spot and waiting and watching for its prey. (This makes sense because Falcons prey largely on birds, while Red Tails prefer mice, squirrels and other small mammals.) It is an efficient way to hunt; allowing the Hawk to remain physically relaxed while waiting for prey to appear. However, don’t mistake relaxation for laziness. The Hawk has to remain hyper-alert. Overlooking even the slightest movement below may mean a missed meal.

So, if Red Tailed Hawks don’t hunt on the wing, why do we see them so often soaring in the skies?

Well, apparently they just love to fly! And who could blame them for taking wing in celebration after a well-earned meal? But according to master falconer John Blakeman, there’s more to it than that. He believes that a sated Red-Tail’s flight serves an important purpose: as the hawk flies above the landscape, it takes in information that could help it land its next meal.

“…(A)s our Parkway red-tails have flown around their Philadelphia neighborhood in the last year, in all seasons and weather conditions, they have been diligently recording just where they’ve seen potential prey. That’s where they are going to go when they want to hunt, when they or their eyasses are hungry. They have learned to cogently read the entire landscape the occupy, and know exactly where the next meal’s most likely to be found.”

What does Red Tailed Hawk teach us?

If you find yourself drawn to the Red-Tail, consider what it has to tell you about choosing and pursuing your goals in life.

First, Hawks in general are all about Vision. The eyes of Hawks and other raptors (birds of prey) have special adaptations that allow them to see with far more clarity and focus than we do.

When Hawk appears to you, it’s a call to pay attention to the vision you have for your life. Red-Tail teaches us to take in the whole scene first, before planning your course of action. Get a feel for the lay of the land and where the best opportunities are likely to be. Then stake out your territory.

But don’t waste your energy in mindless activity. Instead, take a relaxed position and wait and watch until something juicy comes into view. Then, don’t let it out of your sight but claim your prize quickly and decisively.

What if it’s not a Red-Tail?

The Red-Tailed Hawk is just one of many species of hawks in the world. (There are over a dozen hawk species native to North America alone.) They don’t all hunt in the same way. If you suspect that Hawk is your spirit animal, pay close attention to what particular species you are dealing with. Remember, there is more than one way to approach a goal. Studying the hunting habits of your particular hawk can help you find the style that is best for you!

photo credit: Red Tailed Hawk via photopin (license)

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.