Insect animal totems have been used symbolically within all cultures throughout history. However, it is the Native American culture that is most often associated with the term animal totems. These totems are animal spirit guides who serve as messengers and are with us throughout our physical and spiritual lives to help us gain insights, self-awareness, enhance our connection to the past and even see glimpses of future events.
In the true sense, specific animal instincts and characteristics represent the qualities that we humans should learn to emulate. However, because we lead such busy and complicated lives, often there is no time for self-reflection. Having animal totems surround us gives us pause to reflect and perhaps make important changes for the better to our mind, body and spirit. At times, they can come into our lives when we are at a crossroads or during times of major decision-making.
Each specific animal has its own cycle of power. This cycle is the time at which the animal can pass on his most important messages and powerful energies to you. For example, the bear has a cycle of power that is spring and summer, because he is not as active during the winter months when he spends some of that time hibernating. However, the bear leave the den out of necessity during hibernation to sustain him. He can still send you very strong messages and lessons in times other than during his cycle of power.
You may be wondering how you can access your animal totems or how you can find out which ones are guiding you. One or more may be revealed. Listening to the animals around you will help you form a connection. Animal totems can also come to you as a vision in your dreams or through meditation. Pose these questions to yourself: Are there animals who you have been fascinated with since you were a child? Is there a type of animal who represents your personality? What animal have you felt a certain kinship with? Which animals are you the most fearful of?
This will begin the process of learning who your animal totems are. Study the habits and characteristics of those specific animals and try to discover how those things can apply to your own life or to a message the animal is trying to convey to you. If it is an animal you are fearful of, it may be a lesson in how you might overcome your fears in certain areas of your life. Also, if you find an animal is suddenly near you or one that comes into your life out of extraordinary circumstances, take notice. Watch its behavior — how does it appear, is it content, where is it looking, what is it doing? Look for the subtleties, as these will help decipher if it is sending a message to you.
Listed below are a few examples of insect animal totems.
Ant is dutiful, patient, industrious and focused. The Ant represents the assurance that your goals will be realized if you put forth your best effort and hard work. If you ever put an obstacle in the middle of an ant trail, you’ll notice that Ant will go over it, around it, or even under it — but he will NOT let the obstacle drive him backwards. Above all, Ant is a team player, and knows that if each member of the team does his assigned task, the team will succeed. Do you have goals that are best met by team effort? If so, get the other players off the bench and let them into your game. The Ant’s cycle of power is year-round.
Bees are symbolic of teamwork and productivity. If Bee shows up as your totem, ask yourself if you are being productive in life — mentally, spiritually and physically. Also, are you savoring the honey that life has to offer? If you have the power of the Bee working with you, you will experience greater focus and attention to detail, a greater ability to work with others, increased dedication and a realization of your goals.
Beetles come in many varieties, and not all beetles can use their wings to fly. They are one of largest insect groups and have been on the planet since ancient times. For example, the ancient Egyptians buried Scarab Beetles with the dead in order to guide and protect them on the journey into the afterlife. When Beetle appears in your life, he is there to remind you that to continue to your life’s journey, you will need to be persistent and trust your intuition. Make sure that you follow through on your current projects. He also shows up in your life to let you know that you have chosen the correct path for you.
Beautiful butterfly has fluttered into your life to remind you of the powerful transformational energies and forces of change at work. If something important seems to be stagnating, know that transformation is at work just below the surface — and just like the caterpillar, the “cocooned” situation you’re fretting about is about to be freed. This change will be as graceful as the Butterfly. It is not an indication of trauma. The Butterfly is symbolic of change, happiness and beauty. Look within yourself to see if you are allowing yourself to experience all of the joys available to you. The Butterfly’s cycle of power is seasonal.
Cockroaches, members of the Beetle family, have crawled over the Earth for hundreds of millions of years — they are true survivors. In fact, they can live without food for up to six weeks. They prefer a sweet diet, but will eat almost anything. Cockroach teaches how to go with flow and adapt to your surroundings to survive. As Cockroach scatters into the darkness when the lights go on, are you perhaps isolating yourself from the light of others? Or if you have been in the limelight, Cockroach may be warning you to step back and gain a new perspective within yourself. You may have overlooked some hidden resources.
Cricket totem symbolizes good fortune. Cricket will assist you in finding new vibrational energies, enhanced intuition and psychic abilities. He may appear when grounding is needed when you use your psychic abilities. Cricket’s chirp is usually a happy one and can indicate a resurgence of your inner voice. He is similar to the grasshopper in that he is a jumping creature. He teaches you to leap over and leave behind difficult or troublesome situations. He will get you where you need to go effortlessly.
Dragonfly lives near water, in fact he will hatch and live in the water until he matures. As an adult, he flies away and gains his vibrant beautiful colored wings. As your animal totem, Dragonfly is an indication that you may be ready to experience your own transformation and change. He needs you to get in touch with your deep positive emotions in order to grow. Dragonfly, with his graceful movements in flight, is able to view his world through many different perspectives. His message to you is that you will find your true path by seeing through life’s illusions and finding the perspective that fits for you. Dragonfly also teaches you that when you do find your inner light, let it shine for all to see. Savor every moment of your life and live with joy.
Firefly represents the illumination of things unseen. He will guide you through the dark times in life. He will show you how to live the simple life and how to trust your own instincts and intuition. He is there to light up your life. Firefly will lead you on a path to realize your goals.
When fly shows up as your totem, he reminds you to respond or make decisions spontaneously in situations that you may find painful or adverse to your way of thinking. Fly will help you to stay persistent to your goals regardless of what others may think.
Grasshopper teaches you to take leaps of faith and to trust your intuition and inner voice. You will learn to be patient, yet persistent. You can show boundless courage, but you will know when it is time to retreat. This balancing totem will give you the stability you need in order to complete your projects. Grasshopper is the Chinese symbol of good luck, fertility and bounty. This totem tends to attract individuals who are active in the arts — dance, music and theater.
Ladybug does not have a long life-cycle and she is found in almost all climates. Culturally, Ladybug brings good luck and she makes you feel happy when she comes around. As your totem, ladybug reminds us to stay in the here and now and appreciate all the abundance around you. She is symbolic of going with the flow and finding balance in your life. Ladybug teaches you to let go of any aggravations or haunting thoughts that might be holding you back from your dreams.
Most of us view Mosquito as a blood-sucking insect pest. However, as your totem, Mosquito reminds you to be vigilant of those who might be draining your energies — physically, emotionally or spiritually. Take a closer look at those who are around you that do not give back as much as they take from you. Are you currently experiencing energy depletion? It could be due to someone in your life who is playing the role of a psychic vampire. Mosquito implores you to shield and protect yourself from this energy drain.
The illusive Moth is nocturnal and uses his senses of smell and touch to navigate throughout his life. And like the Butterfly, he is symbolic of metamorphosis and change. Moth is a master of camouflage, so when Moth flies into your life, ask yourself if you have been in disguise or hiding for self-protection? Or is there a need for you to make a transformation in your own life and accept the changes that are on the horizon? Just as the Moth looks for light in the dark, make sure that you use the best of your senses and intuition for guidance and enlightenment. He also tells you that that you will be able to finally shed some light on a circumstance that has been obscured from you. Moth’s cycles of power are Summer and Fall.
Praying Mantis never moves anywhere until she is sure it is the right move. She is full of patience. If praying Mantis is your totem, she is there to help you quiet the unwanted chatter in your mind and teach you patience and stillness. Be sure to stop and think clearly before you make any important decisions in your life. If you have difficulty meditating, Praying Mantis will help you achieve a relaxed state.
Scorpion is not technically an insect — he is an arachnid, although quite different from a spider. He is nocturnal and has eyes, but cannot see well. He relies on his sense organs of touch called pectines to navigate. He is telling you that even in darkness, you will find the light. As your totem, he shows up in your life to remind you to trust your intuition and psychic sense. Scorpion is symbolic of strength, transformation and patience. He waits for his prey to cross his path and then stealthily attacks. Scorpion reminds you to always be prepared, vigilant and carefully assess situations in order to achieve your goals. Scorpion’s cycle of power is year round.
Although the Spider is not technically an insect (she is an arachnid), many people consider her part of this category. There are many different species of spiders, however, there is a commonality among them all with respect to the totems. Spider represents a connection between past and future to remind you that the web you weave today is the web you will inhabit tomorrow. Are you spinning a balanced future? She teaches that through balance, creativity is inspired. Spider is also a creator, spinning stories just as easily as she does a web. Spider as your totem asks you to consider the future you are weaving — does it include your biggest dreams? The Spider’s cycle of power is year round.
Wasp is mostly solitary, preferring to be independent and to work diligently on her own. Wasp appearing as your totem is reminding you to focus on balancing your mind, body and spirit connections. She wants you to stay the course and be organized when working on a new or existing project. Are you doing things the way you want to, independent of other influences? Only through hard work will your dreams and aspirations be realized. Wasp’s cycles of power are Summer and Fall.
To learn about Bird Totems, click here.
To learn about Mammal Totems, click here.
To learn about Reptile Totems, click here.
For a guided meditation to meet your animal totem(s), click here.