Animals can make life-changing spirit guides, or totems. They bring powerful guidance and insights to help you make better decisions, understand yourself, and realize your dreams. They can also come as signs from your loved ones in Heaven. So, how do you know what your spirit animal is? Can your animal totems change over time? And how do you tune into their guidance? Deb shares these answers and more!Download Now
Welcome to spirited straight talk, the podcast to help you thrive with the help of spirit. I'm Deb Sheppard, psychic medium spiritual teacher and author. Each week, I bring new insights to help you heal from loss connect with spirit, enter in setbacks and to triumphs. So let's get started. Well, I'm here with Dana and Dana and I are passionate about a lot of things. And one of them is animals. What would your, what would our world look like if we didn't have animals? How about if we didn't have any bees? You know, my, my name Deborah means Bee. So, you know, I collect them, but bees provide all of the foods that we need on this planet. And if those were gone, could you imagine what would happen to the human race as well as all animals, but there's another side to it.
Most of us do live animals in, I think they average over $1,500 a year. We spend on just one dog a year. We could probably retire a lot earlier, right? We didn't have our animals. There are 69 million households that have dogs and just the U S I think that's pretty incredible. So obviously animals have quite a meaning for us. And so the topic today is about your totem animal. What is your totem animal? How do you know what the totem animal is for you and how do they speak to you? Because they're messengers. And if we understand that many cultures around the world have used totem animals as part of their belief system and their culture and how animals bring so much to our world and the beauty of what our planet looks like.
1 (1m 45s):
So I think today, we're going to dive into the arena of what is your totem animal? What do they mean? How do you get messages from your loved ones? Do they become your guides through life? I know some people love animals more than people, and that's really interesting. Well, besides me. Okay. So our world would be completely, well, we probably wouldn't be alive. Let's put it that way. If it wasn't for the animals in our world and what they do and bring to our, to mother earth. But there's also a lot of stories because animals can have a lot of power. So in the lot of cultures, when a baby is born, they actually have a ceremony to bring in the totem animal for a baby, which I thought was really an amazing thing.
1 (2m 34s):
Isn't that cool. So that, and you see this, especially in the native American cultures where they give their child a name, a lot of homes represented by an animal, a power or something that is an energy that, that animal brings.
2 (2m 48s):
I like calling it your power animal, because that's really what it is. It's what you're connected to that
1 (2m 56s):
Energy. Yeah. Then I was thinking, how can we don't do that here in America? But actually we do, if you think about all the stuffed animals, we give these babies. I mean, you really think about it. I mean, our grandson Beorn, his name is Vikki name, but it means bear. And so we collected all these bears for this young man. So if you think about it, naturally, we actually are his family, his parents gave him the totem at birth there isn't that cool. So when we look at these different things that we do bring and how we decorate the child's room, or the child is really excited about a particular animal and how they relate to these animals.
1 (3m 35s):
So we sort of do it without knowing, so this could maybe be a past life, but we think it's cute. But I just think a lot of that really shared with me that we do do that unknowingly, but some people know their totem animals pretty early on. I, or they are not sure if they'd like their totem animal that we've done in classes. And I've used animal cards and decks throughout all my classes, teaching because people are relate to them sometimes. And a lot of times they don't like the totem, which is really interesting. So we have a couple of stories that I want to share with you today. And one of them is, you know, my sister-in-law, which we both love Lisa very much. And she has over the years collected elephants. And she says, I don't know why, but I just, I'm just passionate about those.
1 (4m 19s):
She's John. And so one time I, I got the information for her, send it to her. She goes, isn't that fit? And I go, absolutely. So it really resonated with her too. And I think you said something about your, your grandmother did too.
2 (4m 31s):
Yeah. My grandmother collected elephants that had their trunk up, which means luck or meant luck to her, you know, in some cultures that means good luck. Correct. And she liked to go up the hill here in Colorado to the casinos. And that was one of her lucky symbols.
1 (4m 50s):
She brought with us
2 (4m 52s):
With her trunk up.
1 (4m 54s):
And one of my favorite stories too, is our friend now Dawn, but she wasn't a friend. Then she was a first time client that came to one of our weekend workshops. And I have him pull a car just to get into the mode and mood, I guess, not mode, but the mood into getting to the spiritual work. And she pulled a Raven and she looked at it almost later. I found it wanting to leave at that moment. She almost turned around and walked out, but ended up staying. And do you remember the reason why the Raven kind of scared her? Do you remember the story behind?
2 (5m 25s):
Yeah. She told us that it was assembled to her. She saw Raven when her husband had passed away and for her, the symbol was scary and dark and death to her. Cause that's what she had in her mind that she learned about the Raven and stayed in the class, shared this with us,
1 (5m 50s):
Continued working with,
2 (5m 54s):
And now has Ravens in her home.
1 (5m 59s):
And that's really interesting. We get to that place of thinking, oh, this is not a good symbol or sign and it's not true. We have to understand. And that's where a lot of the cultures understood what every animal brought to the tribe as messengers. And so when they would see certain things, it would give them a message from spirit or from source
2 (6m 19s):
Animals. And I know you always share this animals are great messengers because you're not in your head. So if you notice an animal or something unusual, it's an easy way for you to interpret a message from your loved ones or from spirit, because they're all around us. And we can't, we can't control that. Whereas if we're in our head, we control it.
1 (6m 43s):
Absolutely. And that's what we have to kind of get gauge on is what each animal means. So I had a small class that was a weekend, like really tiny class. We again had everyone pull an animal card. And one of the ladies in the class pulled a slaw. And I thought to myself, I wonder what she's going to think about this. And you know, she gonna think this is odd. This is weird. And she was so excited because she actually loves the slot. She collects them, she had them in her office. She has a Slav calendar and the end of the session or enter the class, she was going to go to a place where they had slots, where you could go and be with them.
2 (7m 22s):
1 (7m 23s):
Loves how that out of a deck of probably 60, 70 cards, that's what she pulled. And she was already connected to, which I thought was very interesting. But one of the most interesting ones I believe is our friend's daughter that has, I think, four trenchless now. So she has,
2 (7m 41s):
Yeah, something like that. That's her spirit, animal
1 (7m 44s):
Harrisburg. It's her therapy. She loves these things and
2 (7m 47s):
She took it to class.
1 (7m 49s):
2 (7m 50s):
Mom fought to
1 (7m 52s):
2 (7m 53s):
At school to allow her to take it to class
1 (7m 56s):
And maybe the dorm, maybe not class, but I know for sure the dorm
2 (7m 59s):
That was college,
1 (8m 0s):
That was college. Yeah.
2 (8m 2s):
Didn't she have it in high school or something like she would carry this little,
1 (8m 6s):
The treasurer with her and she, it calmed her down. So, and if you look at the spiritual meaning of these animals, it really makes a lot of sense. And that's really, it is going deeper into it versus having that scary feeling. It's like how people are when they see a snake or think, oh, this is just really creepy. And really this snake is a very powerful totem for people. And we even see it on the doctors. Cymbeline never pronounced it correctly. So do you want to take a stab at, I
2 (8m 35s):
Think it's conduces,
1 (8m 37s):
2 (8m 38s):
A Greek Word
1 (8m 40s):
And you see this and you see the snake going up, which is all about healing. He reversed new beginnings and ending to new new life. And some people think, well, an ending's a bad thing, but some endings are needed. They're the endings of things that are no longer serving you. So when you see those little steaks garden snakes, or whatever, it's saying, hello, and they'll always come at different times, which is interesting. We even had, I think it was the last year we found in our neighborhoods, we were walking like three or four dead snakes and we're like, whoa, it was just apt one after another. So it was really kind of hitting us in the head about what to do,
2 (9m 17s):
Right. So we had to look up the spiritual meaning of a dead snake. Yes. Because there is meanings to all the animals that we come across. I mean, not every animal we come across, as you say a messenger, but when it's something unusual or it's something repetitive that stands out to you, it can be a messenger.
1 (9m 39s):
And what you said earlier, I agree upon where we're in our head and we're looking for answers. And then we see this odd animal energy and we're thinking, wow, okay. I remember one point funny story. This was several years ago. And one of my former students, she's actually a friend to Mary. She lives close to us and she goes outside and she sees like hundreds of butterflies. Do you remember the story? And she's thinking, I I'm really getting the message of transformation. I mean, look at all these butterflies and kind of doing the same thing. We'd walk around and I'm like, God, look at those butterflies. And I think it was the time of year,
2 (10m 14s):
1 (10m 14s):
Doesn't happen very often, but they happen to come in through. But to me again, it was a great way to slow down, pay attention and even thinking, what do you want to transform?
2 (10m 23s):
Well, and she was going through a tress.
1 (10m 25s):
She was that beginning stages of it. So again, when you get things like that is to definitely pay attention and to see what the messages are regarding that hog has been my totem for a long time where I feel like I'm above things and I can see the bigger picture where you're down. You're, you're, you're down into the nitty gritty, getting things done. You get all the details
2 (10m 48s):
Between Hawk and mouse. Yes, I do. I will look at the bigger picture, but then I'll dig into the details.
1 (10m 54s):
Yeah. So the mouse is like really into the details and I'm like, yeah, no,
2 (10m 58s):
You figure out the details, but I'll stay up here.
1 (11m 1s):
So the hock is really about seeing that large picture and Dana can see that and then make it happen. And sometimes I'm just about, well, in my readings, it's about helping them get more detailed with
2 (11m 11s):
What they're seeing between
1 (11m 12s):
The mouse too. Not as much with mail. So
2 (11m 15s):
To dig into details, I would have to disagree with them.
1 (11m 20s):
Okay. Well then for awhile I kept seeing the giraffes everywhere. And so I looked it up and again, it's standing up and looking above things and it really began that I was just starting to laugh, but I kept seeing them all the time. So of course I had to find a giraffe to actually bring in, remind myself about bringing in that energy from the, from the giraffe as well. And they're so beautiful with those. I don't have a long tongue though.
2 (11m 46s):
They did not black.
1 (11m 48s):
So it's really giving you the idea to pay attention to what is, what are you seeing? What are you recognizing if you're in an office, how many times or in someone's place or home and you, things are popping out or all of a sudden you're seeing all these commercials that have a particular animal that you would normally not see, that's when you need to stop and just say, okay, what is the universe telling me? And that's the key to paying attention to that. We're also attracted to certain animals like the, the lady with slots. She really had an interest in that type of animal. So a lot of times we are drawn to that, that animal that helps us through our journey that we, we don't know why we're drawn to it.
1 (12m 31s):
So with that said, there's so many cultures out there, not just the us. We think of us being in the U S we have a lot of native American kind of culture. But if you look at cultures around the world, there are so many of them that have brought in the animals that they believe really helps them in their, their life, in their area. But also, if you think about it, animals are used for many types of totems. You look at teams, sports, tons of animals for that P they sell cars
2 (13m 0s):
With the Seahawks. I can't think of any more. Yeah. The bears.
1 (13m 8s):
Yeah. So there's all these different animals that we use as symbolism for what kind of energy we want to bring in. And that's where you want to be able to
2 (13m 16s):
Say, don't see mice as a team.
1 (13m 21s):
Absolutely not. Yeah. Or squirrels, or
2 (13m 27s):
They're all power and
1 (13m 28s):
Power animals, their power, even though the mouse and the squirrel can be great totems of what they messaged to us. If you really want to have that warrior energy, that's where they're usually these power animals that can, that come to us, that we noticed too. And what I found interesting in some of these cultures, if you, if your totem animal let's say is a Turkey, you're not allowed to eat the Turkey, which is okay with you. Yeah. So you can't eat your own totem, which
2 (13m 57s):
Mine is a peacock.
1 (13m 58s):
Well, he has, I forgot about that story too.
2 (14m 2s):
1 (14m 3s):
I don't think you're ever going to be happy.
2 (14m 4s):
The pucks feathers. I have. I wonder if some people do though, that's a weird thought anyway,
1 (14m 10s):
I don't want to go there.
2 (14m 11s):
I don't want to go there, but
1 (14m 12s):
We were at a friend's house that had probably
2 (14m 15s):
At least 50 peacocks.
1 (14m 16s):
Yeah. Going up and down the street, they even have the peacocks strut. And we don't really talk about me trying to communicate with them through my abilities. It was on film. It would be on a YouTube or Tik TOK and beginning, lots of hits because after that, so one or two, No one thought I was very cute, but I thought I was really communicating with them as well. So, and also the other one was you cannot marry somebody with the same totem, probably because they would not get along, I guess is part of it. But the other I thought about too is in astrology. There's a lot of animals as well is in Chinese astrology
2 (14m 58s):
1 (14m 59s):
They're all animals. So if you look around, we have so many different animals around us that are power in images and bring messages.
2 (15m 8s):
Every single piece of that is bringing a message to us to help us, or connecting us with our higher self, with spirit, with all without that.
1 (15m 18s):
And now we're even changing laws to protect our animals, which I think is really powerful because before people were not accountable. So even the idea of us trying to protect these animals and the forest in different landscapes that we want to protect them. They are important to us. And so they're also very connected to the earth. They're not, they're not swayed by a mental thought. They're so connected. Like they know when there's going to be an earthquake or a tsunami and things like that. Yeah.
2 (15m 45s):
Yeah. That's right. You see animals running away from it's coming 24 hours.
1 (15m 51s):
Right. And I think we also get animals. And we said this while back to when your animals starts to begin to look like you are, you look your animal, you know how many times we look at people and go is related.
2 (16m 5s):
So JC looks like you. And
1 (16m 9s):
Well, I think they act like us a little bit. Piper is a little five pound Yorkie that actually manages the entire house of all the animals, which we have
2 (16m 20s):
1 (16m 21s):
She tries to manage us the Roomba, anything that's out of place. And Dana likes things organized. That's her, her mouse is interesting. Cause she was trained to be a yes. Do you want to tell that story about the minarets and
2 (16m 35s):
Well, they, they used to read Yorkie's Yorkshire terriers to protect the lunches of minors in England. So they had mines for whatever it was, coal mines, whatever it was. And the Yorkies were read to protect their lunches.
1 (16m 53s):
Isn't it incredible. And we have two cats and they are not good at catching mice, but Piper, she knows, and we don't have those problems anymore. But when there was some construction and we didn't have,
2 (17m 6s):
Well, we had hoped he was good at catching them. One of the cats who
1 (17m 10s):
2 (17m 10s):
Strengths around, like he is just
1 (17m 13s):
The king of the hill.
2 (17m 15s):
He's got an interesting energy, but he would play them to death and we'd catch him. And here would be this
1 (17m 22s):
2 (17m 23s):
Mouse that he had played with for hours.
1 (17m 28s):
We didn't know it. We got to go in there, but the Piper, she would get them right away. But also with that said, we have caught mice and put them out in nature because we don't want to kill them. So that's kind of people we are. So when the animals get it and we don't know, that's another thing, but we were very humane. We catch and release sort of like fishing. They probably come right back. Cause you remember that house down the street where they took us on a truck, they took us on that. So you it's looking to see what you're gravitating towards. So if you do have mice in your house, then look fat up, understand those kinds of things. And then we also talk about the messages in dreams. How many times do we have animals that come through in our dreams?
1 (18m 10s):
And people get sometimes kind of freaked out with some of the animals that show up.
2 (18m 14s):
What do you think is the scariest or the most common?
1 (18m 17s):
I think snakes is a lot of it. This is what I hear most of us, but then they'll see water animals, which is all about the emotion. And what's his water look like? And what kind of animal is it? Is it like to be with it's like dolphins, they like to go in a school or a pack and that's probably the wrong word technically for him. And then you'll see maybe another animal that's always by itself. And what does that mean too? So it's those kind of messages that we can take from those dreams. Yeah. Have you ever had any crazy dreams about it? Mine's always about trying to make sure my dog's okay. I'm always looking for my dog, What? He's like eight pounds. So I'm always looking for him and my dreams. Like there's something wrong. I'm like, he's fine. He follows me everywhere.
2 (18m 58s):
1 (18m 60s):
He is Velcroed. What kind of animals have you had?
2 (19m 4s):
I'm trying to think if I've had any recently. Gosh, I can't remember.
1 (19m 9s):
And also don't rule out the bugs, you know, when you see a lady bug or a grasshopper or any kind of ants, things like that, Jacob look it up because sometimes you're like, yes, I needed to hear that. And when we are getting messages, especially from our loved one, a lot of people think that they're butterflies or this bird, things like that. But there are other ways to get, not every single bird that comes to you is going to be that messenger. But it will show you very well. They'll sit there for a while. It's kind of an odd situation. They may land right? Close you. I think I've told you the story I had with the Hawks. I had one year where these Hawks were taking refuge in my backyard basically.
1 (19m 51s):
And they ended up having three babies and one of them, I think it was the mother really started connecting with me and she'd be upset if I was gone and she would leave actually food for me. Like she would feed her babies and leave food for me. And I remember calling the Audubon society and telling them the story and they go, we have no idea what that's about. That's they've never heard of a story like that. And so I realized that again about really paying attention, stepping back, looking at my situation and it's sometimes hard. We just, sometimes we want to ignore things or we don't want to get close to it. And the hock is really pardon me, was like, okay, I'm really getting the message here.
3 (20m 30s):
Do you remember a few years ago when we were going through some stuff with a family member that's not connected any longer, there were the crows. Yes. That dropped food on the deck. When we were sitting out there, they literally landed in the tree above us and drop something down, which was, I can't remember what it was, but it was food of some sorts. Right. And we looked it up and it was exactly what was going on. Like it was a message. Right.
1 (21m 1s):
And it's the weird things. Like, remember the time you were on the deck again, we do a lot of the deck because that's where the animals are usually. But you were sitting out there with Piper, which is five pounds and she looks
3 (21m 12s):
Like a bunny.
1 (21m 13s):
She was like a bunny. Yeah. And so what happened when you were sitting there? I think you were,
3 (21m 17s):
Yeah, I was reading and a hock landed on a metal
1 (21m 23s):
3 (21m 24s):
Heater. Yeah. The top of a heater.
1 (21m 26s):
It wasn't on.
3 (21m 28s):
And so it landed in, I just heard it's class and it was very light, but I was like, oh shoot. And I knew immediately it was a Hawk. So I look around and it was, there was a Hawk and it was looking right at the dog. So for dinner?
1 (21m 43s):
3 (21m 44s):
Yeah. Easy meal. Not so, had to chase it away and bring the dogs inside. But yeah,
1 (21m 50s):
It was, I talking to you, is that my totem stocking, but that's where you really believe in no, hello. I'm here pay attention and not take those lightly if you're trying to connect. But if you don't know your totem animals, I recommend getting some totem cards. Animal totem cars are a lot of fun. Even I've encouraged counselors and teachers to have them in their classrooms for kids so that the kid can pull a card and see a message without you telling them, which is, I think it's a divine way to get kids, to pay attention and to get a message because kids love animals. Most of the time they're really connected to them.
3 (22m 28s):
And this is a really simple way though, too, for people to feel connected and feel like it's more than just themselves. They're not alone.
1 (22m 36s):
Right. And, and if you're not sure about your totem asking people, or what are you drawn to? I just had one of my students recently said, well, which one? And she's been around tons of animals. She's even been in the circus. So she's been around tons of different animals. So I told her what I saw and told her what I got. And she looked, she pulled them up and she says, yep, they really pretty much fit. But I also believe that your totem animal can change throughout life. So when I was always getting the hot and people would say, I think I see a Hawk around you. They would tell me this. But when I got the giraffe, I knew it was another totem coming in. So there are different times that you may receive another message.
3 (23m 15s):
You were vulture at one time. Wasn't that it wasn't that your totem time was a Voltaire?
1 (23m 20s):
Well, I was told that it was a vulture. And so I looked at them as needed it resonate when I looked it up, it said it never destroys anything. It only removes with no longer is needed. And so they don't kill anything. They actually clean up the planet from carcasses and things like that, that it died.
3 (23m 37s):
What no longer serves
1 (23m 38s):
No longer serves. And I guess their talents have antibiotic material or something on their talents. So they don't get, which is really cool. So the bird doesn't take on the negativity or the energy from that animal, which really kind of fit me and still
3 (23m 55s):
Does still does.
1 (23m 56s):
But I'm not that much of a vulture as much anymore. I'm a little kinder.
3 (23m 59s):
Well, sometimes you can bring it out when you need to, when somebody is not progressing and you mentor them.
1 (24m 7s):
Yeah. In my lane. Yes. So for, if you're really trying to do this, have some fun with it. Think about your dreams, writing things down in the past year, what animal kind of you were drawn to when you go to the zoo, what's the animal you say? Oh my list. I want to make sure I see this. Yeah.
3 (24m 24s):
To see the Mickey's elephant.
1 (24m 27s):
Yeah. So what does that, what does that animal? And I remember our zoo is really changed here in Denver. It's really beautiful. It was always beautiful, but it's even bigger. And remember the rhino, there was the baby rhino and then the dad around the corner, big, big, huge guy. And I was so drawn to that. So when I looked it up, I Googled the spiritual meaning of rhino. It was so right on. And so those are great ways to be more intuitive, to be more sensitive, to pay attention and get messages when you're in that place of frustration. Maybe like you said that you get in your head and to see what is it that brings something to you. And then people collect. I have another friend that cooks ladybugs for her daughter.
1 (25m 10s):
And so again, those lady bugs are another message for, for her and her daughter's connection.
3 (25m 15s):
We have somebody we know that collects roosters and there's roosters
1 (25m 18s):
3 (25m 20s):
House. And obviously that is her total.
1 (25m 23s):
That means something to her. So, so if you think that someone says, well, you're really crazy for clerking all these now, you know, there's always been a reason. There is a purpose behind your collection. That's your power animal, but you can meditate and see what comes to your mind. You know, what, what feels right? If you're the cat lady, I would imagine cats and big cats. If you think about, you know, cats have nine lives, they land on their feet. They don't need a lot of people around them. They're okay. Just being solitaire. They like sleeping all day. I think that's, that could be me. So again, these animals are going to have a purpose. You're going to draw them in and you're going to know what was going to feel right when it comes to you.
1 (26m 5s):
And to me, this is the Mo one of the most playful ways to start developing your intuition, which is why I always bring it to the beginning of my classes, because it's a fun way to get out of your head. And I can't recommend one particular one, a deck. I think we have like four or five desks,
3 (26m 21s):
The spirit animal decks, spirit, Oracle cards, spirit animal, Oracle cards.
1 (26m 26s):
Absolutely. And so what we want you to do is continue following us with other advice and other types of insight regarding the spiritual realm. Because bottom line, we have a lot of things that can help you learn to be more connected to your loved ones and to source and always remember your loved ones. Even though they're on the other side, they're always by your side. Thank you for listening to today's episode. I hope it inspired you. If you enjoyed our conversation, make sure you subscribe so that you get notified of new episodes and let's get connected. Visit Deb shepherd.com for more insights, support workshops, and a book, a session with me.
1 (27m 8s):
And finally, always remember your loved ones in spirit, or just a thought away, even though they're on the other side, they're always by your side,