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.

Fall cleaning (Vulture spirit meaning)

turkey vulture feather Somebody handed me a feather the other day. A very long, dark brown flight feather. Neither of us knew what sort of bird had dropped it. But I took it home and looked it up on the Feather Atlas (one of the better things our taxpayer dollars have been spent on.)

Turns out it is from a turkey vulture. I had to chuckle, as for me it was a timely coincidence.

I’m in the midst of a big transition, and as part of the process I”m cleaning and organizing my entire house – closets, attic, the whole nine yards.

Vulture: Symbol of Purification

Despite Vulture’s sordid looks and its diet of decaying flesh, its symbolic meaning has to do with purification and transformation. One of the stories I love about Vulture came from the native people of Costa Rica, who believed that the Vulture is responsible for carrying the souls of the dead up to heaven.

Fall is nearly here – the season of decline and decay. But it is also a season of beauty when seeds are being sown for new growth and new life.

Cleaning house is lots of hard work – especially when you’re digging through 20 years of accumulated stuff. But I’m already feeling clearer and lighter, and look forward to renewed energy and time for exciting new projects once the process is complete.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, take some time today to give thanks for the cycle of life and honor the way it is manifesting for you right now. Give it time – whatever is happening, this too shall pass! 🙂

(I don’t think I’ve introduced my spirit animal affirmation posters here yet. I’ll do it more formally in the next post, but for now just have to include the Vulture one!):

Spirit Animal affirmation poster - vulture

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.

Red Panda spirit animal meaning

Red Panda watercolor painting by Christie Michelsen

Usually when spirit animals come in for me, they are ones that are native to North America where I live. Or at least domestic animals I’m familiar with. However, the other day I did a spirit animal art reading for a person living in another country, and was visited by an animal from a very different part of the world. It was a Red Panda. I thought I’d share the reading as it will apply to anyone who is drawn to the Red Panda Spirit Animal.
First, a little bit about my Spirit Art Readings, since I’ve had a lot of people ask.

Here’s how it works: I’m an empath, which means I tune into people’s energy. I’m also an intuitive, so I’m able to pick up information about them without their telling me. (Don’t ask me how that works, I can just tell you it does, and that I’ve worked successfully with people as far away as Singapore.) Usually I do this over the phone or Skype. I can do it from a photo of the person, too (as I did in this case) but over the phone is better because if the person has questions I can answer them readily.

So basically if you come to me for an art reading, I tune into your energy and then ask to connect with your spirit animal. (Sometimes what comes in is something else, like an angel or other guide, but I’m getting better at selectively reading for specific types of guides.) I work closely with spirit animals so usually they show themselves to me readily. (I’ve been doing a lot of  guardian angel readings lately, too, and they are usually also quick to appear!) Then if I’m doing an art reading I quick sketch it onto paper. Sometimes it’s just the animal, sometimes it’s more than one, or it may appear in a landscape and/or with other symbolic images.  The animal may be your personal power animal (totem animal), or it may be a spirit animal that has a specific message for some aspect of your life right now.

Once I’ve got the image down, it’s time to interpret it so the message for you is clear. Sometimes I just intuit the meaning, sometimes I look up the animal’s habits and behavior and/or their spirit meanings from different cultures. In doing so I generally get a feeling for what aspects of the animal are relevant to you. Then I relay the message to you. If you want a written reading, I’ll write a bit about the animal and its spirit meaning in general, then go more specifically into its message(s) for you.

Like this:

Spirit Message from Red Panda

About Red Pandas

Red Pandas are native to the Himalayas. About the size of a large house cat, they are much smaller than the better-known Giant Panda, and are probably not closely related to them. However, just like Giant Pandas, they base their diet on bamboo. (They also eat other things including acorns, flowers, eggs, insects, and small animals.) They have a special adaptation on their thumb that helps them grip bamboo, but it also makes their front paws nearly as useful as hands. A Red Panda’s beautiful red coat and striking facial and tail markings make it an exceptionally beautiful creature.

Red Pandas also resemble the North American raccoon with their ringed tails and their habit of washing their paws in water before eating. In fact, they are quite clean animals and spend a lot of time grooming themselves all over like a cat.

Female Red Pandas are only fertile one or two days in a year. Once mating has occurred, the fertilized eggs don’t implant right away. Scientists think this helps to ensure the cubs are born at the time that will be best for their survival. Males don’t help raise the cubs, so the female must take care to hide her young safely in a den – usually in a hollow tree or rock crevice.

Red Pandas are nocturnal and mostly solitary. They are great climbers and spend much of their time in trees. Unfortunately they have become endangered because of habitat loss.

Red Panda spirit animal meaning and message

Gentle Red Panda carries the message that you don’t need to be aggressive or loud to succeed or make a difference.

You are most likely a very sensitive person and although you may have one primary talent, you are most likely able to learn quickly and pick up easily on new ideas and new tasks. You are probably an independent thinker and self-directed worker, but able to also get along with and work well with others. You can enjoy being part of a team – as long as you are respected for your contributions and can retreat from the crowd when you need to.

It is important for you to find a place for yourself to connect with your inner world. Like the Red Panda, you may find that the outer world and modern society encroaches so much on your life that it limits your ability to thrive. You will need to insist on protecting the time and space you need in order to nourish your soul through whatever activities you are drawn to – perhaps yoga, meditation, quiet reading, walking in nature, or just plain sitting and daydreaming. These activities are important not just for recreation but in order to “fill your cup” so you can be highly productive when you need to.

This is especially true for your creative projects (whether it’s creative expression through the arts or through a business or social endeavor). You may find that once you get an idea for a project you may need to let it “gestate” for a while in your mind before the time is right to bring it out into the world. Be careful who you speak to about it during this time. You will need to protect your ideas from negative people while they are developing.

Early morning and/or nighttime are power times for you. These times are likely to be very productive times for you- either for your work or for spiritual activities.

Finally, Red Panda signifies the ability to develop your spirituality to a high level while remaining grounded in practical life. If you find yourself feeling ungrounded, head for the trees. Remember how a tree reaches for the light at the same time as it clings to and receives nourishment from the earth. If you are feeling stressed, going and spending some time in a wooded area or even just hugging a single tree will help you feel better and come back to center.

This person said she felt the Red Panda and its message resonated with her very well.
If you’d like a Spirit Animal or Angel art reading, contact me 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.

What does it mean to dream of a rabid dog?

rabid dogSomeone asked me recently: “I woke up this morning (in a dream) to a rabid dog at my door. I was able to shut the door and keep him out but it was terrifying. Any hits?”

Here is what I told her:

Dog is a real heart animal. Think unconditional love, loyalty, and selfless service. They are also protectors and guardians. They are incredibly intuitive, able to read their people effortlessly. And, they are terrific communicators. In addition to nuanced body language, they have a whole range of vocal communication.

From the rabies I’m picking up fear more so than aggression. Rabies is also called hydrophobia. Fear of water. Water = deep unconscious. It could be that something in you is afraid of your power. Or that there’s been a betrayal of some sort. Or fear of being out of control in some way.

You’re trying to let yourself out and expand your territory and this fear is keeping you in.

Focusing on it will call its attention to you and enrage it more. Stop trying. Avert your eyes. Be aware of it but don’t engage it or send it energy. I’m getting to go be quiet and meditate or go into yourself more. Focus on the positive things in you and in others. As you center into yourself the dog will eventually either go away or, more likely, transform into the positive version of itself, at which point it will be a powerful ally and guardian for you.

Do you have a question about a Totem Animal or other spirit guide in your life? Comment below!

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.

Animal Totem Art Reading: Bear Goddess

The bear is a powerful animal, and carries powerful symbolism as well. They have a reputation for being unpredictable. People with bear energy may be a bit (or a lot) eccentric, and may have diverse interests. The latter is reflected as well by the bear’s diet. Bears are omnivores and will eat nearly anything. They are equally willing to forage, scavenge or hunt, depending on the situation. Keeping a positive, resourceful attitude and taking what life offers is a wonderful lesson Bear can bring.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

Animal totem art reading: Bear goddessSo I have been doing these drawings lately. I hold a person in my mind, and close my eyes, and before long images will appear to me, and I get them down on paper.

I think I’ve been doing this kind of thing for most of my life. It’s called art. 🙂

Seriously, though, after several many years of painting and drawing things out of my head it dawned on me that hey, I think these images have meaning. About two years or so after doing a painting I’d look back and realize what it signified.

After even more years it started getting easier to interpret the symbols and images that appeared to me. It’s a lot like dreaming on paper. After a while you learn to interpret your ‘dreams’, and if you pay attention, you will find that your dreams (or in my case, my drawings) become a series of guideposts to help in navigating through life.

Anyway, as I mentioned, lately I’ve started doing these for people I know. One day I just sat down and held my dad in my thoughts, and this is what came out.

I won’t go into what it might mean for him, because that is his business, but I can tell a bit about the general symbols involved, in case they resonate with anyone else out there.

Bear Animal Totem

The bear is a powerful animal, and carries powerful symbolism as well. Bears have a reputation for being unpredictable. People with bear energy may be a bit (or a lot) eccentric, and may have diverse interests. The latter is reflected as well by the bear’s diet. Bears are omnivores and will eat nearly anything. They are equally willing to forage, scavenge or hunt, depending on the situation. Keeping a positive, resourceful attitude and taking what life offers is a wonderful lesson Bear can bring.

Another important lesson we can learn from Bear is to respect one’s natural cycles of rest and activity. Bears don’t experience true hibernation in the winter (their body temperatures don’t go low enough and they can be awakened), but they do hole up in their dens and experience a sort of “hibernation light.” Incredibly, they can go more than 3 months without food, water, or bathroom breaks. People with a Bear totem may experience cycles of ups and downs, or periods of intense creativity or activity interspersed with unproductive periods. This is normal for them, and being aware of their natural creative cycles and learning to honor and respect them can help Bear people overcome the pressure society sometimes puts on people to go, go, go. Everyone needs a break, and sometimes a deep rest is needed in order to prepare oneself for high accomplishments.

Bears are excellent mothers and bears are often associated with protective nurturing. Another interesting quality of bears that relates to creativity is delayed implantation. Bears mate in summer, but the embryos don’t implant in the female’s womb until late fall before she dens. If she hasn’t gained enough fat over the summer, they won’t implant and she won’t have cubs that year. Bear people may experience delays between initial inspiration and actually taking creative action. They may also need to pay special attention to “putting their own oxygen mask on first.” Taking care of oneself first ensures that you will have enough energy to meet everyone’s needs.

Bears aren’t pack animals like wolves, but they do interact with each other, and they do develop social hierarchies. Attitude seems to be the determining factor when it comes to bear dominance. They prefer to use posturing and intimidation to make their point rather than resorting to a fight. However, if a bear does get pushed to its limit, watch out!

Bear Goddess

The Bear has had special spiritual significance since Neolithic times. It is the sacred animal of Artio, the Celtic goddess of wildlife, who is thought to be the precursor to the Greek goddess Artemis (or Diana in the Roman tradition), also associated with the Bear. Artemis is best known as the goddess of the hunt, but was also goddess of wild things and protector of young women. She was supposed to have asked her father, Zeus, to allow her to remain always a maiden, a request which he granted.

A Bear person may not find it easy to stay in a conventional relationship. However, Bear energy is wonderful for connecting with one’s true (wild) nature, or nurturing one’s inner child.

Moon Symbolism

When I first drew this image, I saw the orb in the figure’s hand as glowing with light. It struck me as being connected with the light of knowledge. I think it may be a moon image as well. The moon is another symbol of the goddess Diana. Like the bear, the moon goes through cycles, waxing and waning in power and influence. It is also closely connected with feminine power. I think in this image the moon serves to amplify the energies of the bear and the goddess. In general, the moon is associated with emotions and intuition. The message I got for this particular one, however, is one of a strong intellect – perhaps giving power and focus to intuition. (An example of how an individual’s symbols can sometimes over-ride, underscore or vary from universal symbolism.)

 

I hope you have enjoyed this interpretation, and if you are working with any of these symbols in your own life, I hope it was helpful! Keep in mind that any particular symbol can have multiple meanings, so if my interpretation doesn’t quite resonate with you, it doesn’t mean the symbol isn’t relevant to you. Keep searching! Some sources that may be helpful include:

  • Avia’s What’s Your Sign website – one of my favorite resources for looking up the meanings of all kinds of animal totems and other symbols
  • Ted’s Andrews’ excellent book Animal Speak

Or, you might want to study up on bears and their behavior and come to your own conclusions. Here are some good links to start with:

Thanks also to Granny Moon’s Goddess School for information on the Bear Goddess Artio!

 

Have you worked with bear energy? Please feel free to share your insights!

 

(P.S. I have a bunch more of these I’ve done for various people, and will post them as I find the time. I’m also planning to do a painting based on this particular drawing, so stay tuned!)

 

Did you enjoy this post? Anne