Reptile 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 reptile animal totems.
The Alligator and Crocodile are considered the keepers and protectors of great knowledge. They represent of birth and re-birth — the ending of one period and the rebirth of another in an individual’s life. These reptiles also symbolize intelligence, knowledge and a deep intuition. They appear as a balancing force and are also indicative of emotional issues. Alligator reminds us to cool ourselves down during emotional stress and practice slow and deep breathing. When the Crocodile or Alligator shows up as a totem, there will be a chance to acquire new knowledge. Observe this newfound knowledge before taking action on it. As this reptile takes care of his eyes, so should the person with him as a totem. Taking care of the eyes is very important.
Chameleon as your totem signifies that you have the ability to be sensitive to the energies that other people emit or their surrounding auras. He shows up in your life to make you aware of your own psychic abilities and to help you awaken your clairvoyant powers. Trust your gut feelings and intuition.
Frog as your totem is telling you that something in your life needs cleansing, and frog is here to help. As the frog grows from an egg to a tadpole to an adult frog he never strays from his beginnings in the water. This can indicate that you may have a strong familial or maternal connection. He also symbolizes growth, transformation and change and the ability to come into your creative power. Frog is traditionally associated with water and rain — that powerful force of Nature that can flood, nurture, heal, or drown. If Frog appears you’re being asked to examine what is stagnating in your life. Then ask Frog to help you let it go. Need to cry? Jump in the shower and let Frog Medicine do its work.
An interesting fact about Gecko, is that if he gets trapped by his tail, he can quickly escape by leaving it behind. In time, his tail will grow back. Gecko as your totem is showing you that you must make a decision about whether to fight or to take flight. To make that decision, you must pay attention to your intuition and learn to trust it. Gecko shows you that it is possible to rejuvenate and regroup even after you have had some setbacks. He is also the message of patience and letting go of opposition.
Gila Monster appearing in your life sends you as strong a message as does his poisonous bite. He is one of two venomous lizards and can survive a year without food. He shows you that it is okay to be frugal and warns you to be careful with your resources. Gila Monster also symbolizes the need for self-preservation and not to overextend yourself in any facet of your life. He represents protection and maintaining balance. As your totem, he wants remind you that before you make any final decisions or changes, make sure you weigh all of your options before you let others know about them. Try to keep yourself on a positive level of thought at all times.
Komodo Dragon is a venomous and fierce reptile, feared by most. He is here to remind you of the importance of your own survival instincts. Komodo Dragon teaches you to trust your instincts when making decisions about improving on or going forward with a current project. He also gives you the ability to change your course quickly, at any given moment. Most importantly, he warns you that in communicating with others you must not speak venomously, but rather, kindly and well thought out.
Are you dreaming a dream that’s big enough? If Lizard appears as your totem, the gauntlet has been thrown down, the challenge made. Stop hiding your own light and talents beneath a rock. Be willing to be larger than life, to dream greater than your imagination, to throw caution to the wind and aim for the target you’ve spent a lifetime avoiding. Just like a Lizard you may feel and sense thing that other may not. Listen to your own intuition over anyone else’s ideas. Success will come to you by learning to trust your own perceptions.
Salamander is born in the water, but also adapts to land. He teaches us to look outside of ourselves and be cognizant of the environment surrounding us. He can also appear when you are feeling stuck. He will assist you in transforming those feelings into a renewed and strong sense of purpose. Salamander reminds you not to pick up negative emotions and feelings from others. He can teach you how to separate the positive energies from the negative energies.
Has Snake slithered into your world? If so, you are being asked to undergo a major transformation. Are you willing to shed your old skin? Are you willing to let go of people, places and things that no longer have a place in your life? Snake will help you make the grand transformation, then slide into a new life that’s brimming with possibilities. Snakes are also symbolic of change and healing. Look for a rebirth into a new chapter of your creative energy and a heightened wisdom.
Tortoises are land dwelling reptiles with a lifespan of 80 to 150 years. Tortoise is here to remind you to keep things simple and that patience is important. Remember the phrase, “Slow and steady wins the race?” She teaches you not to be too hasty and to pay more attention to details. Take inventory of the stresses in your life and try to eliminate them. Tortoise carries her shell, which is also her home, on her back as she journeys to forage for food. Her simple life reminds you to focus on your needs, not on your wants. As your totem, she also reminds you to stay grounded and to nurture your spiritual growth.
Water dwelling turtle shows up when things appear to be in a mess in your life. As he uses his head to turn himself right-side up, you must use your head and thought processes to solve your problems. He also serves as a reminder that you might be moving too fast and hastily. It is time to slow down because in your haste you may be unnecessarily passing up possibilities for advancement. Turtle carries his home on his back, and as your animal totem, he asks you if your life right now is weighed down with too many things that serve no true purpose. Everyone enjoys material goods, but do you use shopping, spending and the acquisition of things as a substitute for passion, conviction and commitment? It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it? Turtle teaches you to be flexible, adaptable and grounded to the earth so that you may find harmony and balance within your life. Call upon the earth and its powerful energies to become all that you can be. It is also important to retreat into your own shell at times in order to regroup so that you will be able to grab opportunities and express new ideas.
To learn about Bird Totems, click here.
To learn about Mammal Totems, click here.
To learn about Insect Totems, click here.
For a guided meditation to meet your animal totem(s), click here.