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

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" 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

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

New painting – Sun Panther

Watercolor painting "Sun Panther" All life is energy. We are one with universal energy. The spinning of the Earth, the turning and burning of the Sun, the wind in the trees, the slinking panther in the grass, and the grass, how it grows…All one. Breathe, and become transparent to it, for you, too, encompass it all…

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Bats!

Bat upside downBats! Most people find them at least a little scary. If nothing else, it can be a bit disconcerting when one swoops close to your head from above.

But unless you go out of your way to bother them, bats are typically completely harmless.  Not only that, but they bless us with amazing gifts. Nectar-eating species are wonderful pollinators. Other species eat huge numbers of flying insects and are awesome natural mosquito control.

As a Spirit Animal, Bat carries numerous and profound messages. In fact, too many to list them all here! So I’m just going to mention a few today, but if you find Bat calling to you, know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. (You might want to try to find out about the specific Bat that has come into your life, because different ones may have different messages for you.)

Sensitivity & IntuitionBlogging from A to Z April Challenge

You probably know about the Bat’s ability to navigate by echolocation. It’s so good at this that it can actually fly through the blades of a slow-moving fan. But don’t worry – it’s also astute enough to avoid doing so when the fan is going to fast for safety. (And don’t worry about bats getting caught in your hair – they’re smart enough to avoid that, too.)

This incredible ability to find their way in the dark makes Bat a powerful totem for Intuition. Bat teaches us to trust that still, small voice within to lead us safely through, even when the way seems treacherous.

Night, Rebirth, & the Sacred Feminine

Bats are, of course, nocturnal.  As a general rule, you can count on animals of the night having a strong connection to feminine energy. Bats in particular are a great symbol for this, since they tend to roost in caves and emerge en masse into the dusk. This makes them a wonderful symbol for rebirth and regeneration.  Bat is an especially appropriate ally for women coming into their power in the second half of life. This is why they are traditionally associated with witchcraft. (It is no coincidence that both bats and women have been sadly misunderstood over the ages, leading to the terrible persecution of both.)

By the way, Bats are almost always highly social, and mother bats often help raise each other’s offspring. A symbol for how important and nurturing the deep connections women have with other women really are!

Rising above Fear

Bat in flightThere is a great deal of fear surrounding Bats. But if we listen close, Bat can help us to face and rise above our fear. And when we do, we enter a higher dimension where we can truly soar!

The Bat is the only mammal that has truly learned to fly. That in itself is an expression of faith. Bat teaches us to trust in our ability to soar above the dark obstacles in our path.

Wings, Hands, Flight of Spirit

Take a look at the wings of a bat. You will see that they are made up of thin, membranous skin stretched across fingerlike bones. Yes, the wings of the Bat are really hands, adapted to flight!

Spiritually, this is super significant. Wings indicate a connection to higher self, to Spirit. Hands as wings show us that we can connect with Spirit through our daily actions. Think of everything you do as prayer, and you will be heeding the message of Bat.

Power Animal of the Arts

Bats are an excellent power animal for artists of all kinds, who intuitively translate impulses from Spirit into the physical world through their hands and bodies.

isabella pendant by Julia LowtherMy cousin Julia Lowther, a Seattle artist who raised 2 orphan flying foxes while in the Peace Corps in Western Samoa, made this observation, which I love:

“Bats, like art, are often considered useless and expendable. Though we finally understand that the survival of South Pacific island forests depend heavily on the fruit bats, we are still trying to get a similar grip on the value of art.”

Has Bat flown into your life? Post your experiences and observations below!

Upside down bat photo credit: IMG_3718 via photopin (license)
Bat in Flight photo credit: Short-tailed Fruit Bat via photopin (license)

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

What the Bear brings…

Bear painting in watercolor and gouache
"Black Bear," watercolor and gouache sketch, 6x9"

This one was done on impulse.  I had pulled out a bunch of scraps of watercolor paper, many of which had been used to demonstrate washes, etc.  This one was covered with a decidedly pink wash and adorned with a value scale along the right hand side.  Probably I should have tossed it, but as I stared I began to imagine a bear looking back at me.

I’m told the bear is a healing totem.  When I looked it up this is what I discovered it also stands for:

bear sketch in watercolor
Sometimes you've just got to paint it, even if it doesn't seem to make sense...
  • Strength in the face of adversity
  • Finding one’s way back
  • Solitude
  • Maternal protection
  • Focus on the practical side of life

Not surprisingly, these are all  major themes in my life right now…

Do you ever get messages from animals, or feel a spiritual connection to them?  I’d love to hear about it!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne