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(From Janice Doe Banks, Center Barnstead, New Hampshire, USA)

Through your primary helper, you may draw n the entire spirit animal kingdom's power. Have a variety for different issues. Once you've made connection with your primary helper, you should make a scrapbook or journal, in honor and to keep notes of the ways you're helped. Collect pictures of that animal, draw portraits. It reinforces the connection. When you require guidance, look at your book.
Native American Indian shamans often wear skins, feathers, teeth, and claws of their totem animals to attract the animal's powers into their bodies. Dance with the movements that imitate your spirit animal helper. Be as one with that spirit and feel it's power enter and heal your body, or help with your wants and needs. You may travel back or forward in time, following your animal guide, to find the answer you need. It may seem as though you're viewing a movie or you may be taking part in a play. It's best to participate. Your eyelids ma flutter, your body may twitch. Ignore it. Trust your animal spirit guide. Follow where it leads, see what it wants you to see. It will help you if you need help. When you wish, you may reverse the journey and waken, be totally refreshed and conscious. Write down your experience at once. The first time, perhaps not much will happen. It may take several tries, especially if you aren't used to meditation, visualization. Know that it will happen. Your guide wants to travel with you just as much as you want to be with it.

 If you have a specific issue or circumstance and need help from one or more of the spirit animals, study their traits and attributes. It will help you choose who
you best think fits the situation. Also, make note of their habitat to see if there's a similar connection to your circumstance. Is it city or wild, interact with people or not, nocturnal or not, etc.. Once you decide which animal to ask for guidance, it would be good to perform an honoring ritual to invoke it's spirit. So, learn about the animal let it know what your purpose is and let your mind create an open space, a place to meet with, to connect with your guide. It does create a positive environment to burn a white candle, burn sage, and have Indian flute ritual music playing softly. Be sure to arrange not to be disturbed. No negative thought. Do breathing exercise or meditate. Be totally calm. Have a jar of water that you will hold, once you are totally calm, facing east. Walk in a clockwise circle around your area, sprinkling a few drops of water along your path as you walk. Walk to the east, then south, then west, then north. Sprinkle a pinch of cornmeal in each corner. Pray to your guide at each spot, requesting it join you now. Sit in circle canter, white candle in front of you. You may beat a small drum to shake a rattle or sing to the music. Eyes closed. Call your spirit helper. When it comes, ask it to let you borrow it's power to help your aim. Talk as long as you wish with it.

When you're ready to journey with your helper, sprinkle water on the candle, snuff it out, and do not blow it out. Thank your spirit animal for it's help. Retrace the circle counter clockwise. There are other rituals, drumming, dancing. When you find what works best for you, go on the journey. The more you work with your helpers, the more often you'll be helped.

BEAR: Strength, protection, inner wisdom. Large, strong, can be dangerous, but unless provoked, a bit shy. Very fast, particularly in the forest, outrun humans, can climb trees. Hibernate in winter, living off their body fat, with metabolism dramatically slowed. During the sleep, mothers birth. People the bear is guide and helper for can be enemies or loyal protectors. Usually patient, peace-lovers, slow to anger, but don't cross them. Slow, quiet. Others misjudge their speed and perceptiveness. Devoted to their young and loved ones. A bear person may be more active, happier in summer. In winter may be reclusive. As with deer, the bear is companion of Diana, Roman goddess (Artemis to Greeks). The bear is in Northern skies as Ursa Major or "The Great Bear" (The Big Dipper) and Ursa Minor (The Little Dipper). Native American Indians believed there was strong connection between the bear and the human, as both walk on two legs. Some consider them the last of the wild creatures.

If you see the bear or it comes to you, in it's habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean you must go deep within yourself. Draw on instinct or other inner awareness. Sometimes it means you should withdraw from the world. Reflect, be alone. Or it is advice to be more social. The bear tells you that you are one who can help others, but you may not be using your abilities properly.

BEAVER: Accomplishment, practicality, creativity. Hard worker, industrious. Methodical, diligent, architect of the animal kingdom. Amphibious, can stay underwater 15 minutes. Lives in a close family group, mates for life. People the beaver guide are often strong-willed, determined, resourceful, "busy as a beaver", industrious, persevering, reliable, stick to a task until it's done. Usually achieve their goal no matter how long it takes. Not satisfied with ideas, dreams. They want to see their dreams become reality. Try to make their families and themselves secure, safe, protected. Work hard to make home stable. Can be stubborn, too conservative, and materialistic. The beaver was a totem for the mystical order of Freemasons, maybe because of the ability to traverse the terrestrial and water world, or because of the many secret tunnels and doors it builds in it's dam home.

If you see a beaver or it comes to you in it's habitat, dream or vision, it means you should try to be more industrious and enterprising, or it is time to act on your visions and dreams. The beaver tells you success will come if you don't give up. You may need to create a stable work environment or a safer more secure lifestyle. The beaver also says don't be too stubborn or possessive of people and things.

BEE: Like the beaver, known for being industrious, hard worker. "Busy as a bee". Needed in the plant kingdom for fertilization. Without it many fruits and flowers would die. Produces delicious, medicinal honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis. Bee sting's venom is also medicinal. Bees live in a hierarchical colony, a queen ruling over many drones and workers. People a bee guides are often active, energetic, tireless workers, proud of their productivity and their ability to do many things efficiently. Sexuality, fertility is often very important in their lives, for some it may take artistic form. On the negative side, they may be too busy and involved in too many activities, not taking or making time to notice their environment, "smell the roses". Ancient Greeks thought the bee to be a priestess or right-hand-maiden of the goddess Aphrodite. Her role as pollinator making her an important creative power, her honey being the elixir for the gods. Ancient Egypt considered the bee a symbol of royalty. The Celts connected the bee to wisdom, hidden knowledge.

If you see a bee or it comes to you in it's habitat, dream or vision, it means pay attention to your productivity. Enough? Too much? Do you enjoy your labors and their rewards? Do you ever take or make time to do what you want? Or the bee may indicate the start of a fertile time, especially if you're artistic. Or, the bee may be telling you of a pregnancy or may suggest you should examine your sexuality or attitudes toward sex.

BUTTERFLY: Joy, friendliness, changeability. The butterfly is prized for beauty, delicacy, and grace. Like air spirits, they appear to skip, dance, flitting among the flowers. Though fragile, monarch butterflies migrate 2,000 miles. Butterflies have the amazing ability to transform from caterpillar to butterfly. They are the topic of many myths and legends. People a butterfly guides are usually joyful, playful, carefree, love beautiful objects; wish to experience much happiness and beauty as they can. Flit from one thing to another, not remaining with one thing long, as they're afraid they'll miss something better. Some are ethereal, of another world. On the negative side, may be fickle, superficial, childish or even unreliable. They often go through many changes in their lifetime and may totally transform themselves over the years. The Hopi Indian Butterfly Maiden is a springtime nature spirit, at times made into a kachina
doll, a reminder to children that there are invisible spirits around. In China, the butterfly is a symbol of marital happiness. Early Christians thought it a symbol of the soul. In many cultures it is the symbol of metamorphosis, transformation.

When you see a butterfly or it comes to you in it's habitat, dream or vision, it means a change is on the way or you may need to make a change in your life or attitude. A butterfly also appears when we need to become more sociable, playful, joyful, less sober, less involved in responsibilities, worries.

CAT: Grace, intelligence, independence, cleanliness, cleverness, intensely curious, quick, awesome eyesight, including night vision. Excellent hunters, mostly nocturnal, ability to land on their feet when falling from heights. Tend to be loners, though they ma make friends with animals. The only creature that purrs. Self-possessed, dignified, affectionate. People a cat guides are also independent and intellectually curious. They don't like being bossed. They're discriminating, fastidious, treasure beauty and comfort, and are very graceful and well-poised, quite mysterious, not being very open to most. Some like to sleep late as they're "night owls". Negatively, they may be lazy, anti-social, restless, refusing to make commitments. Ancient Egyptians revered them and royalty pampered cats. The goddess of pleasure, Bast, depicted with a cat companion and sometimes as half cat, half female. Hindu goddess, Shasti, was often depicted riding a cat. Pre-Christian matriarchal cultures considered the cat a divine being.

When you see a cat or it comes to you in a dream or vision, it may mean you possess mysterious or magical powers. Perhaps you aren't using them properly, or something of that nature is about to occur. Or, it may mean you need to be more independent or discriminating. Perhaps with your circle of friends and associates.

CHEETAH: Speed, courage, independence, decisiveness. In three seconds they can go from standing still to running 70 mph, but maintain that speed for a short time. Excellent hunter stalks prey silently, gracefully. Stealthy, very powerful, loner but will at times hunt in pairs or small groups. Have few foes. People a cheetah guides are strong, assertive, difficult to intimidate, quick witted, sharp-tongued, may be insulting or hurtful without realizing it. When they set a goal, the run after it at top speed. Unafraid of risks, courageous. They shoot for the moon, often trying things most folks wouldn't dream of. Low odds or long shots don't deter them. On the negative side, they're quite impatient. If they don't attain their goal pretty quickly, their interest may wane. Sometimes associated with Egyptian sun goddess, Sekmet, who is often depicted with the head of a wildcat and female body.

When you see a cheetah in it's natural habitat, on safari, in a zoo, or in a dream or vision, it may indicate that you need to be more assertive. Take risks, push hard, use your power decisively, be strong, courageous, and persistent. Maybe pick up the pace. It may be telling you to attack or go on the defense quickly.

CHIPMUNK: Thrift, prosperity, efficiency, work ethic. Always seem to be busily scampering from one place to another, chattering to them selves loudly with an abundance of nervous energy. Gatherers, hoarders, storing for the future. Live in ground burrows, in deep sleep through most of winter. People the chipmunk guides are usually hard workers, determined, efficient, have need for sense of security, work at earning and saving money, store things away for hard times ahead. They're usually attached to their belongings. Most always versatile, intellectual, witty, quick, chatterboxes, high-strung and sociable. Negatively, can't relax. They must get plenty of exercise. Some cultures depict the chipmunk as a symbol of prosperity. A folktale says if you find a chipmunk's nest, it will contain buried treasure.

When you see a chipmunk in it's natural habitat or when it comes to you in a dream or vision, it means it's time to work harder, busy yourself. Or, it may mean you're working too hard and should relax. The chipmunk tells you to save and protect resources, be thriftier, more efficient as to how you use your time, talents, and money. Sometimes the chipmunk symbolizes prosperity or investments coming to fruition.

CROW: Magical knowledge, intelligence, wariness, communication skills. One of the most wary, intelligent birds, living in large communal roosts. Like high perches to view activity. If danger comes, they loudly warn all in the area and sometimes try to chase away intruders. Principal food source is rodents, but they also like insects, eggs of other birds, garbage, carrion, and crops. People, who the crow guides, are often intelligent, trustworthy, keep secrets, sceptical, inquisitive, and alert for danger, always aware of their environment. Very sociable, prefer doing things within a group and desire approval from peers. Some like sharing their knowledge so make gifted teachers, writers, and researchers. Negatively, may be very talkative, outspoken. Native Americans saw the bird as teacher and valued the crow's social, tribal behavior. Some ancient mystery traditions believed it was guardian of magical secrets. Norse god, Odin (or Wodin), kept two ravens named Munin (memory) and Hugin (thought) as companions. Crows are in the Bible and brought food to the prophet Elijah when he was hiding in the wilderness. In the ancient Chinese art of placement, feng shui, the crow is considered inauspicious. Viewed as messengers. Thus, Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The Raven". In Roman mythology, the crow was white until the day it carried bad news to the god Apollo.

When you see a crow in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean you should be more alert, wary. Or it may indicate that a betrayal is likely or has already happened. A crow also appears when you begin a new course of study. The crow comes to encourage and guide. Or it may mean a letter or message is coming.

DEER: Grace, loveliness, sensitivity, swiftness, beauty, fast runner, alert, very developed hearing and sense of smell. The White-tailed deer is the most common variety. Deer usually live in small herds with a single male adult overseeing several females. Their physical bodies allow them to blend into surroundings, becoming invisible to predators. People the deer guide are most often quick, high-strung, graceful, appreciate beauty, are discerning. Usually gentle, compassionate, friendly, welcome in all social groups or gatherings. Flighty, changeable, seldom stay with one thing for very long. Tend to leap from place to place, thought to thought. Negatively, they get moody, easily discouraged, are not consistent. The Roman goddess of the forest and guardian of the wilderness, Diana (Artemis to Greeks), is often depicted with a deer as companion. Some early Pagans initiated new kings in ceremonies in which he wore the antlers of a stag. Saint Nicholas flew through the skies in a sleigh with magical flying reindeer, delivering gifts of hope and joy at the darkest time of year.

When you see a deer in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may indicate that you need more beauty in your life. They appear when it's time to have sympathy, gentleness, or compassion for others. Have you been working too hard? Maybe taking on too much responsibility? Deer strongly suggest you allow others to take those responsibilities on for a while. Or, it can mean flightiness, needing to become more disciplined, consistent and learn to focus.

DOG: Loyalty, compassion, affection, protection, devotion, playfulness, unconditional love. Descended from the wolf, one of the first animals to be domesticated, have lived with people for about 10,000 years. Keen hearing and smell. "Humans best friend". They stick with their human companions, no matter what. People the dog guides are most always have a good nature, affectionate, friendly, don't like being alone, enjoy company, are optimistic, try to find the good in all folks, aren't judgmental. In relationships, are loyal, devoted. As a parent, they are nurturing, protective, and kind. On the negative side, they can be indiscriminate, perhaps letting others take advantage of them. They may not motivate themselves, looking for guidance. Ancient Greeks thought dogs were companions of the dead who guarded their spirits as they traveled to the other side. Early Christians saw dogs as guardians, connecting them with priesthood. Ares, the Greek god, had a dog companion. Anubis, a god of ancient Egypt, was depicted with a wild dog or jackal head

When you see a dog or it comes to you in a dream or vision, it may mean you should try to be more affectionate and faithful, loyal, loving. Or it may mean you need companionship. Sometimes it indicates you need protection or is telling you to be more protective of yourself and your loved ones and the things you love. When a dog comes to you, he may also be telling you to have fun, play, enjoy life. Pay attention to the breed of dog. A Doberman may be warning you to be on guard. A setter or bloodhound may be telling you to search more deeply for something.

DOLPHIN: Intelligence, curiosity, communication skills, graceful, vocal, very sociable. Live in the ocean, are mammals that can swim 40 mph, dive 300 feet, must come p for air every two minutes. In captivity, form friendships with humans. Excellent sonar ability lets them find objects by sensing vibrations. Used by the military, scientists, and researchers to track underwater on missions. Used to entertain at water parks. People the dolphin guides are curious, intelligent, intuitive, often delve deeply into interests, are sociable,
talkative, enjoy sharing knowledge, may have many friends. Ancient Greeks saw the dolphin as a messenger of the gods and thought it bad luck to kill one. Sacred to the Greek god, Apollo. Early Christians thought it a symbol of salvation. Sailors’ report they swim beside boats and dolphin were the source of mariner's tales of mermaids and sirens.

When you see a dolphin in it's natural inhabitant or in a dream or vision, it might mean expand your awareness beyond your family or town. You should think of yourself as a member of the global community. Dolphins are teachers, so they may be telling you to pay more attention to intellectual development, or it may be trying to tell you to communicate. The appearance of a dolphin may also mean enjoy life, be more playful.

DUCK: Balance, emotional comfort, adaptability, (wild duck: adventurous), gregarious. In North America ducks are the most common waterfowl. They're adaptable, comfortably able to walk (earth), swim (water), fly (air). Often believed to symbolize balance. Live in flocks, seldom found alone. Domesticated ducks follow their keeper everywhere. Most Northern ducks migrate to warm regions during the winter. They may change their plumage twice a year. People who the duck guide are adaptable, make the best of their situations, prefer warm climate, are friendly, sociable, tend to be creatures of habit, usually go along with the crowd, are comfortable in emotional relationships. There is a Native American Iroquois tale, telling of ducks who propelled boats of both heroes and devils. Seen as guides who were capable of leading them to any destination.

When you see a duck in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean you should establish balance in your life or learn to be more adaptable. A duck also appears with a suggestion that you pay more heed to your emotions and close relationships.

ELEPHANT: Intelligence, strength, loyalty, highly emotional. The largest mammal on earth, native to Africa and Southern Asia. They display strong feeling toward each other. Though they have poor eyesight, they have long, versatile trunks and keen sense of smell to guide them. Their ivory tusks are for defense and for digging food. They usually live separate lives, according to gender, except in mating season. Females and calves usually live together, their guide an older cow. Males stay together in bachelor herds. People who the elephant guides are usually powerfully sexual or physically strong, or possess emotional powers. Most often intelligent, may have interest in ancient wisdom, the past and are traditionalists when it comes to family and society. They show their affection for their friends and relatives. Negatively, they tend to hold grudges. They're very loyal, but if they feel mistreated, abused, betrayed, they may seek vengeance. The god Ganesh, in Hindu mythology, is depicted with an elephant's head. Ganesh is thought to have helped humans overcome obstacles and hardships. In parts of S. Asia, they're associated with fertility, the male elephant viewed as a symbol of sexual power. Royalty rode them and soldiers used them in battle. The God Indra is often depicted with elephant companions. Some cultures view the elephant as the most sacred of the animal kingdom. Buddha's mother dreamed that she carried a white elephant in her womb, while she was pregnant.

When you see an elephant in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it could mean you have a good mind that needs further development or use. Maybe it is time to concentrate, focus on mental things, not the physical. Or it sometimes symbolizes ancient wisdom, the uncovering of fundamental truths. The elephant may appear to tell you that you must help those less powerful or you should press on to get past your difficulties.

FOX: Ingenuity, cunning, unobtrusiveness, keen powers of observation, agility, gracefulness, stealthiness. The fox, graceful, agile, a member of the canine family, has long, soft fur of either gray, reddish-brown or white, depending on it's habitat. The fur protects from heat or cold and lets them blend into their environment. Usually nocturnal loners, they hunt for small rodents. They release excess body heat through their large, sensitive ears, rather than through panting. People the fox guides know how to use their cleverness and cunning to delight and manipulate others. Intuitive, perceptive, keen observers of other's behavior, sometimes tricksters, not as they seem and might have hidden motives. Folks tend to overlook faults, as they're so charming. Some Native American tribes see the fox as feminine. Cherokees thought the fox knew the cure for frostbite. Apaches revered it for bringing fire to human beings. Some cultures connect the fox to shape-shifting, magic, invisibility. Chinese folklore suggests it capable of taking on human form, usually as a "foxy" female beauty. Ancient Persians saw it as a sacred animal who assisted the dead in crossing over into heaven. Aesop's fable, "The Fox and the Grapes", depicts the fox as clever but spiteful.

When you see a fox in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean you should become less naive and innocent. Learn to be more wily. A fox may also appear to warn that you're being watched or that you should observe and be silent. Sometimes it may show you that you're becoming reclusive, or that you're too visible.

GIRAFFE: Intuition, ability to see the big picture and see things that others miss, easy-going nature, sociable. Tallest of all animals, extremely long-necked, stands up to 18 feet tall, is long-legged, can run up to 30 mph. They develop bonds with their herd and family. Can see far into the distance. People the giraffe guides are intuitive, usually have good vision, pick-up on things other folks don't notice, see the big picture, easy to get along with, don't let pressures of everyday life get to them. On the negative side, may have their head in the clouds and not be well-grounded in the physical environment. Amiable, talkative, may be psychic and able to communicate telepathically. Most African tribes depict them as symbols of friendship. They view the bump between the giraffe's horns as a "3rd eye", psychic ability.

When you see a giraffe in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it could be reminding you to look at the larger picture, not just the details. A giraffe urges you to look to your future and also appears when you should be noticing how you're communicating.

GOAT: Ambition, perseverance, appreciation of nature and Earthly delights. All goats, wild and domesticated, are hardy, able to survive in terrain where other animals would die. Sure-footed, they climb craggy peaks with grace. Domestic goats thrive where vegetation is too scarce for cattle and livestock. People the goat guides are usually strong, hard-working, no-nonsense souls. Stubborn and won't be turned away from their aims. They understand the importance of working until they get what they're aiming for. Independent, confident that they'll be safe. They may be frugal, live modestly, but do like their comforts and physical pleasures. The Roman nature god, Pan, was depicted with goat horns, hind legs and feet. He was cheerful, playful, a musical pipe-player, a god of shepherds and goatherds. The goat is the symbol for the astrological sign, Capricorn, signifying persistence, determination, used to overcome adversity.

When you see a goat in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it could be saying get serious about your project or goal, or try harder to get what you want. Sometimes the goat appears to tell you you've been working too hard. Or, it may give you the message that a new endeavor is about to enter your life, to chase after it slowly, very carefully and industriously.

GOOSE: (Wild) Fidelity, perfectionism, adventurousness. (Domestic) Protectiveness, versatility. Relatives of the duck and swan, these waterfowl are large and high-flying. Wild geese, like the Canadian and Snow geese, live in marshes, along streams, rivers, and lakes. They're sociable, live in large flocks, mate for life, and migrate each year, flying in a "V" formation. The domesticated geese are often used as watchdogs. They honk loudly, hiss, and even nip at times. People geese guide are perfectionists and may get disgruntled when they don't get their way. They look to the future, want to soar to greater heights, are ambitious. Adaptable, versatile, can be successful in many areas. They have good imaginations, keen vision and are always up for new ventures, new adventures, new frontiers. Usually devoted to their mate and parents, treasure companionship and approval of their peers. The goose was a symbol of purification and renewal to the Celts. In European fairy tales and stories, the goose appears many times, including in "Mother Goose" and "The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg". Some Native American tribes used the goose as a symbol of the Great Dreamer who inspires them to greatness.

When you see a goose in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean you should set your sights higher, dare to go farther a field. The goose suggests you draw on inner strength, be true to your soul. Or, it may indicate that you need to protect yourself, resources, loved ones. Also, a trip may be imminent.

HORSE: (Racehorse) Speed, grace. (Mustang) Freedom, adventurousness. (Workhorse) Determination, strength achievement. (Stallion) Sexual energy, vitality. In our culture, perhaps no other animal has been more important and more admired. First used as transportation by Sumerians about 5,000 years ago, reintroduced into N. America by Spaniards in the 16th century and used for riding, pulling carriages and wagons, cultivating fields, other tasks. Vital to development throughout the globe. Herds of wild horses, mustangs, still roam parts of N. America. Many are now in peril. Long treasured for strength, speed, beauty, and in dreams represents freedom, basic instincts, and personal power. People the horse guides are usually restless, energetic, free spirits, love travel, are adventurous, quite temperamental especially if you constrain them. They balk at taking orders, may be hard-headed, rebellious. Usually are powerful, charismatic, sexually attractive, inspirational, magnetically lure others to join them. Pegasus was the winged horse of Greek muses and the mount of Poseidon's son, Bellerophon. Pegasus now lives in the heavens as a constellation of stars. In Greek mythology, sun god, Apollo, travels across the sky in a chariot pulled by galloping stallions. The Hindu god, Surya, also rides in a horse-drawn chariot. Norse god, Odin (Wodin), is often depicted riding an eight-legged horse. In Western astrology, a centaur with man’s torso and horse’s body symbolizes the sign Sagittarius. In Chinese astrology, the horse is also one of the twelve animals.

When you see a horse in a dream or vision, or it comes to you, it may mean your independence is being restrained. Maybe you need to take more risks, love freedom. Or, it may mean you're about to take a trip. Or, it may urge you to start off on a new physical or mental journey. The horse may suggest you're not expressing your sexuality well enough. When the horse appears, notice your relationship to it. If you're riding on him, it indicates you're master of your personal power and are engaging it at top form. If the horse is running and you're watching it, it may mean you're standing on the sidelines and not taking part in an action. If the horse stampedes, it may mean your emotions are not controlled. If the horse is pulling a heavy load, perhaps your freedom is being limited due to your responsibilities.

Hot dance of Animals

LADYBUG: Ability to accept change, cleanliness, healing, wisdom. Most are red or yellow with dark spots, some are solid. They go through complete metamorphosis, from egg to grub to small, circular, winged insect during their life cycle. Common in nearly all locales, prefer sun and warmth. Most active in summer, nearly immobile in winter. People the ladybug guide are practical, nurturing, protective, good parents and homemakers. They may love sunshine, happiest in warm climates or in summer when they can be outdoors enjoying nature or gardening. Usually they go through many changes or transformations in their lifetime. Some have an interest in magic, spirituality, hidden knowledge, do soul-searching, and introspective thinking. Children know that it's considered good luck if a ladybug lands near or on you, and that you should place it on top of your hand and make a wish. When it flies away, your wish comes true. Ancient Egyptians considered beetles or scarabs to be symbols of the soul. They made jewellery, statues, and ornaments in the mage of them. They were also thought to be messengers of sun gods. Some Native Americans thought they represented hidden knowledge, wisdom. Many cultures viewed them as symbols of transformation, reincarnation, and new life.

When you see a ladybug in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean a change is on the way or that a phase is ending and a new one is about to begin. Also, it may be suggesting that you need to change something in particular, like the pests in your life. She my be telling you to allow more sunshine and warmth in your life.

MOUSE: Attention to detail, cleverness, silent watchfulness, humility, quick, adaptable, unobtrusive. There are dozens of types and they're found everywhere on the planet. Known as hoarders of food in their nests. They build these nests in underground burrows, trees, in bird's nests and in our dwellings. They're the prey of many animals and birds, surviving by being quiet, alert, quick, adaptable, unobtrusive and very prolific. They have 3 to 4 litters each year. People who the mouse guides should learn about their predators in order to fully understand the mouse as their spirit helper. These people are usually quite shy, nervous, sensitive, like to curl up in a comfy chair at home, stay away from the outside world's stresses. Mouse-folks hate any change or upset in routine. Meticulous, conscientious workers, clever problem-solvers. They tend to be hoarders, especially of possessions and may fear poverty. In the Illiad, Apollo is called the mouse-god. In Chinese astrology, one of the 12 animals is rat, a close relative of the mouse. They're in many fables and stories, but maybe the most famous is Walt Disney's cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, the modern day symbol of every man.

When you see a mouse in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may mean stay quiet, unobtrusive and you'll notice things you missed before. Mice also appear to tell you to pay closer attention to details. Or, it may mean you're spreading yourself too thin, your energies are too scattered.

OTTER: Playfulness, curiosity, orderliness, sociable. Member of the weasel family, the river otter makes a home in a river bank, protecting it by putting the entrance underwater. Sea otters live along rocky shores. Very curious, playful, sociable, at home on land or in water. Has webbed feet, a strong tail, allowing it to swim fast and do water aerobics with agility. Their diet is mostly fish, crustaceans, and it eats and sleeps while floating on it's back. People the otter guides, are outgoing, playful, devoted to their family. Some find it difficult to let their children become independent. Usually organized, neat, constructive, often skilled managers and adaptable to changes. Very curious, love water, though always willing to help, they demand their own independence, resenting any restrictions. To Native Americans, the otter represented cleansing and purification.

When you see an otter in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it might mean you need to have more fun, don't worry, be happy. The otter also appears when it's time to renew your sense of wonder and joy at the world around you, be open to new experiences.
OWL: Clairvoyance, wisdom, precision. In North America, there are many species, all have large, sensitive eyes, keen hearing. They fly and hunt at night. This makes them mysterious. Usually they live alone or with a mate, roost in high trees, rafters, towers, steeples. Good parents, and while mother, sits on the eggs, father brings food. Their hunting accuracy is that of falcons and hawks and the primary prey is small rodents, People the owl guides are usually intrigued by mysteries, hidden knowledge, secrets. They're intuitive, realizing things before others do. Some owl-folks are loners and rather read or study than socialize, at their best at nighttime. Often brave, independent adventurers, pioneers, visionaries and require the freedom to pursue their dreams and quests independently. On the negative side, they may be too aggressive and take risks when they shouldn't. They may also keep people away, not accept help or companionship. Ancient Greeks connected the owl with the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Gnostics associated it with Adam's first wife, Lilith. Pre-Christian Europeans viewed owls as sacred symbols of ancient wisdom. Some ancient cultures connected them with death, reincarnation. Old tombstones were often inscribed with a "death-head" which was sometimes an owl's face and wings. Connections with the moon are due to it's round, light-colored face and nocturnal habits. Some Native American tribes thought the owl had healing powers, while other tribes believed the owl was a protector. The Welsh associate them with fertility.

When you see an owl in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may be urging you to develop and use psychic powers. Or, it may suggest you study someone or something more closely, taking special note of details. An owl may appear to advise you search for secrets, hidden info. Or, the owl is a prophetic messenger; notifying you that something important is about to occur.

RABBIT: Gentleness, versatility, quickness, creativity. Known for being prolific, with several litters a year, the young mature quickly and can survive on their own after 28 days. This cycle connects the rabbit with the moon. Fleet-footed, keen hearing and sense of smell, they use quickness and defensive action rather than strength and assertiveness to out-smart their many predators. Most active at dawn and dusk, the Celts connected them to the fairy realm that exists between the physical and spirit worlds. People the rabbit guides, might be physically and mentally agile, fast, jumping from one interest to another, not committing to any for long. Some rabbit-folks are affectionate, sensual, love children, are sensitive, gentle, observant, alert to their environment. They seldom assert themselves, running from conflicts. Ancient Greeks linked the rabbit to Hectate, goddess of the dark moon, and guardian of the crossroads. In Chinese astrology, the rabbit is one of the 12 signs. Native American Oglala braves dressed in rabbit skins during rituals to increase inner humility. Rabbits are associated with fertility and at Easter are the symbol of birth and rebirth. Aesop's fable, "The Hare And The Tortoise", advises that speed without consistency won't accomplish your goal. In "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", The White Rabbit is magical and reveals a mysterious new world to Alice.

When you see a rabbit in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it might indicate that you should slow down, especially if you've been hopping from one thing to another. Or, the rabbit may urge you to be gentle, compassionate, and modest, have humility when dealing with others. It may also mean the beginning of a project tat will take 28 days to complete, or you're soon to enter a 28 day cycle.

RACCOON: Cleverness, neatness, enterprise, adaptability. Known for their cleverness, curiosity, adaptability, usually friendly, and sociable. They have dexterous paws, able to open about anything. Deftness, it's dark "bandit mask" and nocturnal nature, give the raccoon a reputation of being a thief. They eat nearly everything with favorites being vegetables, fruit. Very fastidious, they wash all in water before consuming. Prefer forests and often nest in trees or hollow logs, though more and more they thrive in urban areas. People the raccoon guides, are usually skilful, clever, very curious, resourceful, good problem solvers. They may have physical or manual dexterity, be meticulous, tidy, efficient. Raccoon-folks are adaptable to change, at times friendly, but at times reclusive, usually slow to anger but can become ferocious when pushed over the edge. Negatively, can be too fussy, deceptive, sly, secretive, too nosy, snooping into other's business. Some ancient and aboriginal cultures linked the raccoon to mystery and secrets, as it hides behind a mask.

When you see a raccoon in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it may be telling you better get more organized. Or, it can also indicate that you must become more adaptable, act cleverly. Sometimes the raccoon appears to advise that you be more secretive or mask your goals. Or, it may mean that you're being devious or deceptive. The raccoon may also be saying that someone you know is hiding, in disguise.

ROBIN: Daring, musical appreciation, communication skills, hearty. The harbinger of spring, one of the first birds to return to Northern areas after winter ends. (*Janice Banks says that in her state of New Hampshire, USA, the robin many times remains in this Northern climate during winter months. This is due to climate change, our winters being a bit less severe. Also, I think the robin comes to understand that others and we put suet and sunflower seeds out all year long. We sometimes put raisins out on the snow or ice, hoping they resemble the robin's  favorite treat, worms). One of the most common songbirds in N. America, most notable characteristic is it's russet-red breast and has distinctive eggs of bright sky-blue. Mother may lay three sets a year with both parents caring for the babies. Males compete for territory. Their weapons are their songs. People the robin guides are quite vocal, expressing their opinions strongly. Usually, they like music, especially singing, and might have powerful, melodious voices. Sometimes they're very inspirational or are colorful orators. Adventurous, hearty, not easily intimidated, face their foes, especially when territory is threatened. Trendsetters or pioneers, but negatively, may be argumentative, combative, boisterous. An old superstition says it's bad luck to steal a robin's egg from their nest. Another says to make a wish when you see the first robin of spring.

When you see a robin in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it means there's something new about to enter into your life. The robin comes to help you grow through this new experience. If you see a robin's egg, it may mean that a new part of yourself is about to be born.

SALMON: Courage, versatility, intuition. The salmon is a large, pink fish, born in fresh water, but soon swims to the ocean to mature, for three to five years. To spawn, it returns to the exact stream or river it was born in, navigating rapids, waterfalls, and many obstacles to do so. Both fresh and saltwater varieties are cold water fish. Popular in the N. America, Russia, Japan, Northern Europe. People the salmon guides, are timid when it comes to confronting challenges and seldom take an easy out. Proud, passionate, energetic, confidant, usually willing to compromise their ideas, and principles. Most are travellers and those who aren't have an interest in far away places and cultures. They also are attached to home, heritage, attempting to return to their birthplace often. In North Europe and Britain, the salmon is known as the king of fish. Some Native American tribes thought they represent longevity. In legend, salmon possess clairvoyance and magical wisdom. It's element being water, it symbolizes emotions. According to superstition, their pink flesh was thought to be caused by it's passion, though it's most likely due to it's ocean diet.

When you see a salmon in it's natural habitat or in a dream or vision, it might mean you should broaden your horizons. They sometimes appear just before a trip or to tell you to be more aggressive when facing obstacles.

SKUNK: Self-esteem, adaptability, strong defences. Skunk's pungent odor is sprayed when they feel threatened or irritated. Newborn skunks can spray also. The skunk is quite small, gentle, usually slow-movers and has few foes. Only great horned owls prey on them. Nocturnal loners, quite adaptable, they eat most anything and live in the city or the country. The two most common varieties have black fur with broad white stripes, or are spotted black and white, found in N. and Central America. People the skunk guides are usually quiet, easy-going, unassuming, but command respect, fearing nobody. Secure in their self-esteem, they easily take offense at slights, insults. They're on the defense. Often loners prefer calm, reclusive lives. Adaptable, resourceful, do most anything to not rock the boat. Many skunk-folks are quite sensual, attractive, and usually modest. North American Dakota chiefs tied skunk pelts to their feet to show that they never run from danger. In Eastern traditions, the white stripe is thought to represent the life force, kundalini energy. Some cultures link the skunk's powerful scent to sexuality and the ability to attract and repel simultaneously.

When you see a skunk in its natural habitat, or in a dream or vision, it might mean you should fortify defenses, protect yourself. A skunk appears to help you with your self-esteem so that you won't be controlled or too easily intimidated.

TURTLE: Wisdom, longevity, patience, perseverance. Oldest of the vertebrates, one of the most ancient reptiles, turtles and tortoises have many similarities. The main distinction between them is that turtles live in water and tortoises live on land. Many varieties are found around the globe. All have sturdy shells, it's home and protection. It's metabolism is very slow and that's how it moves. Slow and steady wins the race, as is related in Aesop's fable. It's life span is the same as human's. People the turtle guides are equipped to defend themselves, provide shelter for themselves and their families. Exceptional survival skills, as they're grounded, determined, take their time, won't be forced into rushing things, usually successful at whatever they set their mind to. Most Native Americans viewed the Earth as a turtle who supports human beings on her back. Plains Indians also thought it to be a wise, old woman with many powers, including ability to heal women's diseases. To some Eastern cultures, the turtle shell is a symbol of heaven. Nigerians link the turtle with female sex organs.

When you see a turtle in it's natural habitat, or in a dream or vision, it might mean your life is becoming too frenetic. Slow down. Or, the turtle may be suggesting you pull back into the protection of your shell to be safe from the outside world for a while. The turtle often comes when you're trying to speed things up. Be patient. Allow things to happen in their own natural time.

WOLF: Loyalty, intelligence, devotion to family, playfulness, affectionate. Not known to attack humans. Do not fight with each other unless there's no getting around it. If hungry, will kill livestock at times, generally preying on the weak or sickly and mostly upon small deer and rodents. Keen hearing and sense of smell, extremely intelligent and social, also playful and affectionate. The wolf usually mates for life, devoted to family. They live by a strict, ritualistic code of conduct. Within their packs, there’s a hierarchical social structure. Though they were once common in Central and N. America, most species are now endangered. People the wolf guides, have a strong need for freedom, but usually respect authority. Gregarious, nurturing, hold family and tradition in high esteem, some quite adept at communication, many are intuitive. Wolf-folks may have great strength and endurance, but seldom show-off and usually try to avoid fights. Native American Dakotas, believed the wolf was the keeper of great knowledge, and that it shares this with human beings through it's song, it's howl. Most Native Americans hold the wolf in highest esteem. It is one of the last truly wild creatures. The Oglala linked the wolf to healing powers. Ancient Celts revered the wolf, viewing it as a symbol of spring. In Roman mythology, a wolf mother reared Romulus and Remus, twin brothers who funded Rome.

When you see a wolf in it's natural habitat, or in a dream or vision, it may indicate that it is time to attend to family matters. The wolf can also help you to balance your emotions, establish priorities, and prevent you from forming inappropriate relationships. The wolf may appear to help you stabilize your independence with order and structure. Or, the wolf may come to encourage you to embrace your wild side---so, "take a walk on the wild side", as Lou Reed advised in a song.

WOODPECKER: Rhythmic motion, resourcefulness, discrimination. A large bird with a red head, who rhythmically pecks on tree trunks with a sharp beak, searching for insects to eat. It moves up and down trees with strong, hooked claws, in a odd forward and backward motion. It also has a unique up-and-down flight pattern. Usually the male hollows out a space in a tree top, and builds a comfy nest for himself and his family. Can thrive in virtually every part of the world except Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar and Polar Regions. People the woodpecker guides, usually have natural rhythm, are individualistic, emotional, march to the beat of a different drum, follow their own inner guide. Once they decide on a thing, are very determined, methodical, probing deeply into the heart of the matter for answers. They're tenacious, clinging to their beliefs, ideas, behaviors, possessions, the past, loved ones. Very protective, as a parent sometimes have difficulty letting go. Some Native American tribes admired the woodpecker for it's pecking sound was connected to the heartbeat of Mother Earth, similar to the beat of the drum. The Oglala thought it foretold of storms and could allow human beings to talk to thunder. In Greek mythology, it was companion to Zeus, the thunder god. The Roman goddess, Circe, is thought to have turned the god Picus into a woodpecker when he spurned her.

When you see a woodpecker in it's natural habitat, or in a dream or vision, it may indicate that you need to establish new rhythms and patterns in your life. Or, it may suggest you follow your own natural rhythms, march to your own drum, rather than trying to adapt to the environment around you. Do your own thing. (THE END)