Spirit Animals – Why They Can Change Over Time & Common Types

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wolf howling

Nothing stays the same forever. This is true in both in life and when it comes to spirit animals. They have long been linked to certain cultures and spiritual belief systems. Today, many people believe in spiritual guides. These guides are thought to offer protection, compassion, and of course, guidance. One common misconception? That your spirit animal or guide will remain the same throughout your lifetime. This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there is a wealth of information that suggests people can have one or more spirit animals. Some animals may stay with you long-term while others might only be around for a specific life event or occasion. Keep reading to find out more – and discover why your spirit animal can change over time.

spirit animals

What Are Spirit Animals?

First thing is first. Just what is a spirit animal? Essentially, it is an animal that guides or protects a person on a particular journey or throughout their life on earth. This concept is typically linked to indigenous cultures. However, it has also become a part of new age belief systems as well as Pagan and Wiccan spirituality. A spirit animal may be referred to as many things, including a power animal, spirit guide, or totem. The general idea is that a particular type of animal will offer you protection, insight, or guidance.

You may intuitively know what your spirit animal is or you may discover your spirit animal in a different way. For example, you might have a dream (or dreams) about a specific type of animal, see your spirit animal during a guided meditation or oracle card reading, or even physically see an animal during a time of need. However you discover your spirit animal, it is important to trust your gut. If you feel drawn to a specific animal…there is likely a reason. Chances are, what the animal represents will resonate with your personality or current life path.

Why Your Spirit Animals Can Change Over Time

Spirit animals come into our lives at different times. They can help us navigate stressful moments, strengthen our inner bond, and allow us to achieve a happy and balanced existence. While you may start out with (or be aware of) one spirit animal…it is unlikely to end there. Many more will come and go, as you need them. According to SpiritAnimals.info, people can have one or more spirit animals throughout their lives. Some animals are with you from the start while others come to you during a specific phase or chapter. Another may appear during a major shift or change. Yet another might present itself around a special event or occasion. It varies from person to person!

These animals typically represent certain characteristics you posses. (For example, strength, stillness, or intelligence.) Or they may highlight traits you feel you are lacking. (Perhaps independence or an assertive nature.) Seeing or sensing an animal with these traits can act as a reminder that you are not alone…or help you tap into characteristics you feel you lack. What does this have to do with the number of spirit animals in your life? Or why your spirit animal can change over time? The guidance you require shifts and changes based on your current life path, experiences, and needs. For instance, what may have been suitable during your youth may no longer resonate with your adult self. A major loss or trauma could also cause your spirit animal to change. Remember: it does not matter how many spirit animals you have. What really matters is the connection you feel to each one.

deer in woods

Common Types of Spirit Animals and What They Represent

Not sure what your spirit animal is? Do some research and see which animals stand out to you. Or look for signs in your own life. Is there a picture, figurine, or animal painting that you’ve had for a long time? This could be an indication of your spirit animal. These days, there are even online quizzes, books, and card decks to help you figure it out. Alternatively, you can read through a few of the most common types (listed below) and see if you feel a connection.

Spirit Animal: Swan

  • The swan often represents messages from angels, energy healing, and spiritual devotion. It also relates to beauty, grace, poise, and elegance.
  • If a swan appears to you, it is a sign to slow down and be in the present moment. The swan has messages of love and healing – and urges you to let go of emotions that no longer serve you.
  • When you are strongly drawn to the swan, it means you are a healer. You want to bring blessings of hope to other people.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly

  • The butterfly is a symbol of change and personal transformation. It represents changing in some way (physically or emotionally) and moving into a new season of life. It is also tied to happiness and good luck.
  • If a butterfly appears to you, it is a sign of rebirth. Something old is leaving and something new is entering your life. It could be the end of a toxic relationship or the start of a more fulfilling career.
  • When you are drawn to the butterfly, it means you are a spiritual and enlightened human being. You want to grow, learn, and become your best self.

Spirit Animal: Spider

  • The spider may not seem like the most…enchanting spirit animal. That being said, it can reveal an awful lot about your life. Spiders are linked to femininity, creativity, and patience.
  • If a spider appears to you, it may be time to take responsibility and make changes. It symbolizes creating the life you want to lead. Just like the spider spins a web, you too need to take control of your destiny.
  • When you are drawn to the spider, it means you are a highly motivated person. You enjoy the journey just as much as the end result – and make extraordinary things happen.

Spirit Animal: Deer

  • The deer typically represents innocence, adaptability, new doors opening, the presence of angels, and a promise of peace.
  • If a deer appears to you (in one form or another) it means that angels are nearby. These animals relate to softness and light – and in these moments of gentle light, angels are able to appear.
  • When you are drawn to the deer it often has to do with something new beginning in your life. It could mean a new job, the start of a new project, meeting someone significant, and so on. This new adventure energy is positive and loving and can help you adapt to change.

Other Common Spirit Animals

There are many other animals that may speak to you – or already be a part of your life. Other common types include: the bear (balance and harmony), the eagle (connection to the divine), the fox (mental responsiveness), and the wolf (loyalty and guardianship). Determine which animal or animals resonate with you and learn more about their spiritual meanings. 

Spirit animals are an incredible way to gain understanding and learn more about your true path. Whether you are drawn to one or more of these guides…there may still be more in your future! Pay attention to signs, symbols, and of course, your intuition.