Animals have meant different things to different people and cultures all through time. When we talk about the meanings of an animal or its symbolism it is this body of knowledge that we are talking about. However no definition will ever be truly comprehensive. For instance if you asked ten people to picture a "ball" in thier mind you would get at least ten different images, from a beach ball to a baseball, from a medicine ball to a cotton ball. This is just an example of how diverse something as simple as a "ball" can be as seen by different people. It is our personal experiences that mold how we see animals just as it does how we see everything else. A person who was bitten by a dog as a child may see them as viscious beasts while someone else might see them as man's best friend. When it comes right down to it it is what you believe an animal symbolizes that matters most. Sit down and meditate about the animal. Think about when, where and why it is appearing in your life. Look for a common thread. Learn about the animal from books, online or just go out there and experience it in its own environment if possible.
With that in mind this list
was created to help you on your search for animal symbolisms. It was drawn from
many sources including my own experience. To name a few, Animal magick by D.J.
Conway, Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Animal Spirits Knowledge
Cards, and many wonderful individuals that have donated thier personal
experiences to this project, as well as countless other books, hikes, animal
companions and animal spirits. Many of the entries have contradictions in them.
This is because different cultures and time periods have ascribed vastly
different meanings to the same creatures. It is for this reason that what the
animal symbolizes to you is what should be most important to you over anything
that you read. Each section contains the animals, insects and birds that are
most commonly associated with that area, although some are cross-listed if they
clearly fit more than one area.