Native American tribes are numerous throughout our lands. Animal symbolism may vary from tribe to tribe. Following are some basic attributes of animals from dog to eagle.
Dogs have been invaluable for people for centuries. They have been used to help with hunting, herding, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. It is no wonder this versatile domesticated animal has been nicknamed “Man’s best friend” in the western world. Dogs are very loyal and faithful to their adoptive human family.
Symbolism: faithfulness, protection, love, companionship, noble, loyal, teaching, guidance
The dove has always been a sign of peace and love. Their images are often on Valentine cards, prayer cards or poems, and in spiritual prose. Carrier pigeons are in the same family (Columbidae) as doves. Carrier pigeons are messengers. The dove has gentle and mild characteristics.
Symbolism: communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love, maternity, prophecy, maturity
Sometimes, a mythical animal may become a spirit animal to someone. Since ancient times, the dragon has been used in mythological stories as a guardian of treasures. The treasure is symbolic of secrets or wisdom that lies hidden deep in the unconscious — this is often connected to spirituality. Dragons often hold major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In mythology, the dragon lives forever.
Symbolism: longevity, richness, prosperity, infinity, wisdom, power, prosperity, intuition, spiritual, guardian
Ducks are very affectionate with their mates and their young. They can get very emotional when they think one of their little ones are in danger. I once saved a tiny baby duck from going down a drain to the rushing river downstream. The mother duck had been peacefully floating around a pond with her young when one fell over the edge into the gutter. She squawked loudly at me as I splashed around trying to save her baby. When I managed to catch her baby, I put it back in the pond near the mother. The mother stopped squawking, gathered her little ones closer and swam off, looking back at me several times as if to say “thank you”.
Symbolism: water energy, visionary helper, clarity of emotions, emotional comfort, affection
The Eagle is a very important symbol to Native Americans. Eagle flies higher than any other bird and takes messages to and from Creator. The Eagle is of high spiritual significance — it provides illumination of spirit.
Symbolism: divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to Creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, spiritual power, vision, wisdom