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.

Once you’re connected, though—watch out! Ferrets embody the word FEARLESS! An awesome super power for when you are going after your goals, or entering into any kind of David and Goliath situation in standing for your truth. Not so awesome if you are simply rushing in where it would be more prudent to walk away and live another day.

One of my readers, Sally, who kept ferrets for many years, says:

Ferrets are sometimes foolishly fearless, they lack fear so much that they have never even heard of the word! They will often attack a huge hunting dog or pitbull or a cunning hunter like a feral cat without second thought or thought at all.  However, in times, in need of fearlessness, the ferret is a great inspiration.”

Ferret does take shelter in the earth, so balance those fiery warrior tendencies with the more earthly qualities of discernment and strategic thinking. Cultivating good people skills, including negotiation, is a good idea, too.

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. (Another observation from Sally: “I feel they dance around doing the war dance also because they are trying to take their enemy off guard with comical behavior. They’re trying to laugh you out of your attack towards them. They do have a way of charming bigger and better predators than themselves.”)

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! Or conversely: Are you making a stink unnecessarily?

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.

Is the Octopus your totem animal?

octopusO, what an oddity is the Octopus!

With its eight tentacled legs and its funky looking face, it looks more like something out of Star Wars than an Earthly animal.

In fact, there’s something magical about the Octopus. If you find Octopuses occupying your dreams or imagination, you may find that you are in for some magical or mystical experiences!

For one, the Octopus inhabits the depths of the ocean. Therefore it may point to things happening under the surface – in your emotions and/or subconscious.

The Octopus is a master shapeshifter. Its body is nearly as fluid as its watery home; octopi are mollusks (like clams or snails) but most have no hard parts, aside from a hard “beak” they use to feed on shellfish and other prey. They are capable of changing the color and texture of their skin to match their surroundings – or to make themselves stand out. The color changes can happen instantly and are thought to also sometimes reflect the Octopus’s mood and emotions.

One species, the Mimic Octopus, actually alters its shape to impersonate other species – at least 15 of them, including the Flounder, Sea Snake, and poisonous Lionfish.

Shapeshifting is not the only trick the Octopus keeps up its eight sleeves. When startled, it shoots out a cloud of ink as it zooms away. This creates a “smokescreen” behind it, which confuses its enemies and allows it to safely escape from predators.

OK, and here’s something even more bizarre: Octopuses may be able to see with their skin! Researchers have found gene sequences in octopus skin that are usually only found in ocular centers. Speaking of ocular, Octopuses have well-developed eyes and are supposed to have excellent vision. They are also quite intelligent and able to plan and solve problems.

Octopus as a totem animal can indicate:

  • Adaptability
  • Magic and mystery
  • Shapeshifting
  • Highly developed vision
  • Psychic ability
  • Deep emotions
  • Connection between mental and emotional faculties
  • Protecting self using intelligence, slyness, or other means other than brute force

 

photo credit: Pulpo 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.

Power Animals: What does Nighthawk symbolize?

Nighthawk paintingAre you familiar with Nighthawks? If not, you probably have seen them flying overhead on summer evenings, but most likely mistook them for Bats.

Nighthawks are not hawks at all but  night-flying, insect-eating birds related to the Whippoorwill.

The Nighthawk is a wonderful power animal for many reasons, but today I’m just going to focus on one of them. If you look at a Nighthawk with its beak shut you might think it had a very small mouth, since its bill is indeed tiny. But when it opens its mouth… wow! That sucker is HUGE!

The Nighthawk feeds with ease simply by swooping through the air and opening its wide, wide mouth to scoop up insects. What a wonderful symbol of abundance!

Nighthawk teaches us that abundance results from two mindsets: taking action, and opening oneself to receiving the goods. Nice! 🙂

(This article is a sort of sneak preview. I will be sharing a LOT more about Nighthawk symbolism in an upcoming article for The Essence of Spirit, Mind, Body. If you’re not familiar with this interactive magazine, check it out – it’s awesome. You can get it on the Apple app store 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.