Spirit Animals

About Spirit Animals

“Often the Druid will develop a special relationship with certain animal spirits that assist them in their work. If you have a special resonance with a certain animal, it would benefit you greatly to find out as much as possible about the animal from a Celtic viewpoint, because the chances are great that this animal is your power animal or even your totem. Some Seers who work with animal spirits often work with several power animals, depending on the work they are to perform, but usually have a special totem with which they work regularly.

Sometimes Seers may find that the energy and attributes of the totem animal with which they work is creating an imbalance within themselves. For instance, a person who works with Owl as a totem may find that they are becoming too much like their totem animal (nocturnal, solitary, living too much in the Otherworld and dreams), and may need to work with a balancing force like Dog to offset the energy of Owl. Usually, if this is the case, the balancing animal spirit will come to the Seer on its own, but one should always be aware that a balancing energy may be necessary so as to be open to the balancing animal spirit’s advances. It is not unusual for the Druid who works with power animals to have two totem animal spirits that “walk” with him/her, one on each side, each balancing the energy of the other in the Druid’s life.”

My two Life Totems are White Great Horned Owl and Black Dog. Their colors are significant and relate to Balance inside and out. Owl allows me to ‘fly high,’ viewing from an unattached, Divine observer perspective. Dog helps me to stay grounded in physicality, focused on unconditional love for self and others, as we guide souls, together, though cycles of death and rebirth. Keep reading to learn more about each of my Totems.

Spirit of Great Horned Owl

Role: Extractor of Secrets
Lesson: Timing
Element: Water
Wind: West The Quest Within
Medicine: Clairaudience 

Keywords: Insight into the Shadow Self. Feminine Power. Timing. Extractor of Secrets. Clairaudience. Sensuality. Protection of the Unseen. Able to Hear What is Not Spoken. Harbinger of New Cycles. Extractor of Secrets. 

The large eyes of the Owl appear to miss nothing as they glimmer into the night, and indeed their vision is amongst the keenest in the animal kingdom, the rods and cones of their eyes designed in such a way as to allow in the smallest amount of light in order to penetrate through the veil of darkness in search of prey. 

This uncanny vision has earned the Owl the reputation of being able to pierce beyond the veil that separates the physical world from the spirit world, a reputation that as a Animal Totem is well deserved. Yet in filtering out the light from the darkness, Owl reminds us that both exist simultaneously, and that it is up to us to recognize both. 

For the two-legged beside whom Owl flies, the implication of the Gift of such penetrating sight is highly significant, for there will exist the ability to see beyond the masks that are worn by Others to the true face beneath. This ability may also be nurtured to give the Owl Soul greater insight into the lessons which exist cocooned within every encounter and experience they face while on the Earthwalk. 

What the Owl individual does with information received via higher “sight” or intuition, is dependent upon both that person’s level of maturation as well as upon other Primary Totems.

For the Owl individual operating from Higher Intent, their code of ethics and confidentiality will guide them through the decision of whether or not, and how much, of the information received is meant to be shared with the one whom they have unmasked. These are the souls that constitute some of the finest clergy and therapists, as their insight into human behavior and penchant for confidentiality and respect of privacy engender deep trust in those whom they have been sent to assist. 

Harbinger of New Cycles 

Birds and Raptors are recognized in Earth Medicine as Messengers with the type of message and method through which these messages arrive, being unique to each specific breed. With the Great Horned Owl, it is believed that he/she arrives as a messenger heralding Change and New Cycles. Perhaps it is her close connection to the Moon with its constantly shifting and changing cycles that is at the root of this particular Medicine, but the fundamental power of this Owl’s ability to alert us to Change and Growth is highly significant when one learns to hear and listen to, the messages this beautiful and wizened creature brings. 

When one is blessed to have Great Horned Owl as one of their Primary Totems, there will be an emphasis placed upon cycles and new beginnings. Frequently throughout the life of these individuals, circumstances will thrust upon the two-legged change that will often initially arrive (or be seen) as “forced.” In reality, the changes occur as part of the process of growth and learning, a part of the process of continual renewal and rebirth, key components to New Cycles.

If the Owl Soul resists such change, the consequences may be quite profound and often very painful, and this arrives to teach the Owl individual the importance of relinquishing control and embracing in Faith, the change that is so much a part of their Earthwalk. In this way, each transition that later occurs in the life of these sensitive and perceptive individuals may then be embraced and seen for the opportunities of growth and evolution that they truly offer, rather than seen as a threat to their basic security. If this soul can tap into that intrinsic part of their fundamental nature that is excited and stimulated by such change, then they begin to realize their potential in a much broader and deeper sense and are willingly able to let go of models of behavior, thinking and feeling that have out served their usefulness, and step into the light of a new day.

Once the one beside whom Owl flies embraces, with an eager and open mind/heart, the changes they will frequently face, this ability to recognize such transitions as a fundamental cornerstone of new life may be transmuted into assisting Others through their moments of upheaval and accelerated growth. This ability may be honed into one of intuitively picking up on when new cycles are beginning, and to then assist themselves (and their fellow humans) through the moment of transition that exists in the golden doorway which separates the old from the new. In this manner, the Owl soul fully embraces the Medicine of Harbinger of New Cycles, and aligns him/herself with the beauty of their Life Path.


One of the physical characteristics that easily distinguishes the Great Horned Owl from other members of the Owl family, are the tufts of feathers that resemble ears or “horns.” These remarkable feathers that sets this Owl apart, are the reason for the Great Horned Owls namesake.

It has not been clearly established whether these feathers are merely adornments to attract mates, or if they serve a biological function such as increasing and/or filtering sounds as they travel through the air and to this beautiful birds ears. Regardless of their function (if any), these feathers create a signature appearance for the Great Horned Owl that is also closely linked to his/her Medicine of Clairaudience.

For the two-legged beside whom Great Horned Owl flies, there will be an inherent focus on communication in all forms, but as good as these individuals are at speaking and writing, they will also make excellent listeners. These souls are the best of friends, providing a listening ear and excellent advice that is based in their own rich experiences. Likewise, music is deeply stirring to the Horned Owl Soul and they can often elicit healing experiences for themselves by listening to some favorite music, or (if there are other creative Totems that travel beside them) they will be gifted themselves in musical endeavors. 

This responsiveness to sound is a reflection of the Horned Owl’s elongated head feathers that resemble ears, and hence much of life is processed through what these individuals hear. Often, they will pick up subtle voice inflections and tones that will alert them to when another is attempting to deceive them though the process may be so quick and automatic that they may not even be aware of this acuity. 

Another form that this ability to “tune in” takes on is Clairaudience. Where a Clairvoyant can often see other realms, alternate futures and realities, spirits and all manner of that which unseen to the average two-legged eyes, a Clairaudient will have the ability to hear messages that will elude Others. This ability may be somewhat startling for those Owl individuals who develop this talent later in life, rather than are born with it, as often the Gift will arrive out of as a result of an accident or a by-product of delving into spiritual and mystical philosophy.