Animal Symbolism: What Do Different Animals Represent?

Has anyone ever asked you if there is an animal that you feel closely connected to? This doesn’t need to be an individual animal but rather that animal as a whole.

Animals have always been attached to spiritual attributes, so it’s no wonder why we feel close to them. Similarly, when a particular animal crosses your path, it can be a sign of the universe. Animal symbolism has been around for years, you can see it depicted in classic art, and it is present in Indigenous culture. 

Learning to be aware of each animal that you connect to or crosses your path isn’t difficult. It can also bring a new sense of awareness and healing, a necessary step in your journey of self-discovery. 

Let’s take a look at animal symbolism and what different animals represent. 

History of Animal Symbolism

When an artist places an animal in a piece of art, their presence has profound symbolism. 

In medieval times, it was believed that animals had the ability to distinguish good from evil in humans. This type of imagery was expressed in different artwork, with animals used as symbols to represent parts of the human soul.

This became more apparent in the Renaissance era, where artists used animals to convey their own religious beliefs in their art. The meaning behind an animal’s presence has shifted and changed depending on the spiritual or religious views. 

With such a rich and vibrant history, we can see that animals play a significant role in our lives. Whatever the reason may be, animals are placed in your path for a reason, and it’s up to you to stop and notice.

What Do Different Animals Represent?

Reference these common animals below and pay attention if any of them appear in your life. This could be in dreams, in person, or if you’re thinking of them more often. Once you know what they represent, you can understand what the universe is trying to tell you.

The Spider

Many people often fear spiders. Perhaps it is their appearance or the perceived danger of the poisonous species. However, it’s important to note that spiders are an important part of our ecosystem, and they’re quite smart. 

If many spiders appear in your life or dreams, it symbolizes that you need to create the life you want to lead. Spiders create beautiful, intricate webs and have to wait for their food to get caught in it. This informs us that it is time to build the life we want.

There’s also a feminine aspect to spiders, and they can represent the power behind feminine energy. Take this as a sign to be patient with yourself and get into more creative work.

Think of yourself as a spider, creating the web you want to create for yourself.

The Butterfly

Butterflies are one of the most indicative signs symbolizing profound change and transformation. There may be something transformative occurring in your life. Perhaps you are navigating different life cycles.

Another butterfly meaning is the idea of death and rebirth. Take this as a peaceful message that your old self is leaving to make way for a newer version. 

Butterflies are also one of the animals that symbolizes hope. Maybe you are looking to start a new chapter in your life and are feeling discouraged. A butterfly crossing your path should reassure you that everything is going to be okay.

The Buffalo

Yes, it is unlikely you’ll come across an actual buffalo in your day-to-day. However, it is important to mention the importance of buffalo in animal symbolism. This is one of the animals that symbolize protection and tranquility.

Buffalo are large, gentle creatures that are closely tied to bison and are sacred to Indigenous people. They were a source for everything in the Native American community, from shelter and food to weapons. It’s no wonder that the buffalo is also a symbol of abundance and prosperity. 

The Elephant

Another large beast on the list is the elephant. 

They hold significant meaning in many cultures, and these majestic creatures have been depicted in religion and mythology for thousands of years. There is a lot of meaning behind elephants, particularly in Asian and Indian faiths. 

When an elephant crosses your path, one of the most universal meanings is that of power and strength. This refers to both the body and the mind.

There’s also the symbolism of wisdom, loyalty, sensitivity, and stability. You can easily see that this is in the animal’s nature when you observe them in the wild.

The Owl

The owl is a mysterious and alluring animal and a true sign from the universe if you happen to encounter one. They represent wisdom, but there’s also a deep intuitive knowledge that they’re known for.

Crossing paths with an owl means you might be at a time in your life where you are venturing into the unknown, embarking on a journey. Owls have intuition and can see what others don’t.  If they choose to interact with you, it is because there is something significant occurring in your life that you need to be aware of. 

Connecting to Animals in Your Life

Next time you notice an animal appear in your life, especially if it happens repeatedly, take note. Whether you see more owl imagery than usual or lock eyes with a deer as you go for a drive, it may be tempting to dismiss it but learning about animal symbolism leads to a more meaningful understanding of life.

These guides and symbols are here to remind us how to get back on track. Remain aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for any animals that cross your path.

Are you looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out our extensive collection of interviews that discuss the meaning of life. 

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