Mythical Totems and Spirit Guides: Fairies, Unicorns, Dragons, and Mermaids!

Updated on November 9, 2017
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Kitty has been following a pagan spiritual path for seventeen years. Because of this, she encourages others to follow their own paths.

Mermaids can be totems and guides to those who are magical and emotional in nature.
Mermaids can be totems and guides to those who are magical and emotional in nature. | Source

Mythical Animal Totems

When we are open to the universe and open to receiving messages from the universe, we are often graced with the presence of a spiritual totem or spirit guide or both. A totem is an animal or creature that represents you as a guardian in the other world and will stay with you for your entire life. A spirit guide is an animal or creature that comes to give you a message or lesson and may leave after you've learned that lesson. We can have multiple totems and spirit guides at any given point in our lives.

Sometimes when we are least expecting it, a totem or spirit guide from the pages of a book might pop up and make itself known. These are called mythical totems or mythical spirit guides. Some mythical totems might include (but aren't limited to): unicorns, fairies (of multiple kinds), mermaids, dragons, phoenixes, griffins, etc. Though you will probably not see these creatures on the physical plane, you might see them in your dreams, visions, and through other forms of communication such as movies, books, songs, in random conversations, in artwork, etc. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of mythical totems and spirit guides and what they mean for your life.

Fairy Totem and Guide

At first glance, you might think a fairy totem or guide sounds like a ridiculous notion. Our ancestors from Europe (and truly all over the world) would disagree if we only traveled back in time by a few hundred years. Before the industrial revolution, before civilization began to tear down forests and the landscape and replace it with buildings and modern conveniences, our ancestors lived simple, yet difficult, lives on farms and in villages. Our ancestors in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, Scandinavia, and elsewhere believed in what we call "fairies" but may have called them different names. They believed in them so much that there were traditions of leaving out offerings for the fairies in many different countries. The fairy faith was one that spanned countries and centuries, and was once no laughing matter.

So yes, you can have a fairy totem or guide. A wise woman from the eighteenth century in Ireland might have called this a familiar. In fact, many of the wise women and men from the past believed fairies could help with medicine and magic. Fairies could be good or bad, depending on the kind and whether or not they trusted the human. If you have a fairy that has come into your life and wants to help you in some way, let it. Use your instincts. If you feel the fairy is deceitful or bad, you don't have to work with it.

So what do fairy totems and guides have to teach us? If the fairy is your totem, he or she will stick with you for your entire life. Maybe you've had a fascination with fairies your entire life...the fairy could very well be your totem. Maybe a fairy has come to you in your dream to tell you how to heal yourself, this is your fairy guide (some might call a fairy godmother). Fairy Totems and Guides can represent a multitude of things: caring for the earth, keeping the old ways alive, caring for animals, healing, reckless abandon, skill in music or art, protecting the sacred.

You are a lucky person indeed if the fairy guide or totem has come to be a part of your life, as fairies don't often show themselves to humans much less help them in modern times. You are someone who believes in magic and exudes magic on a daily basis, that is why the fairy totem chose you. Keep in mind there are hundreds of different kinds of fairies, so familiarize yourself with the specific kind that is your totem and guide and you'll get to know them better all around.

Fairy guides were once called familiars and associated with witches centuries ago.
Fairy guides were once called familiars and associated with witches centuries ago. | Source

Unicorn Totem and Guide

So many little girls all over the world have a wild obsession with the unicorn. The unicorn has been in folk tales and legends for thousands of years, and is actually mentioned in the Bible (though this is debated whether the original word meant rhinoceros or not). When the pilgrims first sailed for the New World, there were tales of great beasts that frightened the weary travelers. One of those great beasts was the unicorn! Though I'm sure the colonists were a tad bit disappointed once they landed on shore to find no unicorns in the New World.

Unicorns are magical horses with one horn in the middle of their forehead, according to the modern imagery and older folklore. They have been featured in children's books, movies, TV shows, and more, inciting a fascination all over the world.

What if the unicorn has come to you as a totem or spirit guide? The unicorn chooses its humans carefully. It is a finicky, majestic creature with an affinity for magical people. For people who see the beauty in the world where others do not. The unicorn totem is a manifestation of pure light - rainbow and white light - from the Heavens/Universe. The unicorn totem and guide help you realign with your spiritual, divine purpose and higher self. He also reminds you not to forget how to play and be light-hearted. Embrace your inner child and free imagination. When you have unicorn as your totem or guide, your crown chakra is open and balanced. You are able to receive messages from the Universe easily.

Unicorns choose only the most magical and imaginative of people.
Unicorns choose only the most magical and imaginative of people. | Source

Mermaid Totem and Guide

The mermaid is another one of those mythical beings that has been passed down through time and still fascinates us in modern days. Going back hundreds of years, there are tales of mermaids being spotted by sailors all over the world. Some mermaids were thought to be dangerous and could cause storms on the sea, resulting in wrecked ships. The men were drowned in the depths of the sea, sometimes attributing these shipwrecks and deaths to mermaids. However, there are also tales of mermaids being benevolent and saving sailors who were at risk of drowning. There are various names for mermaids depending on the country and culture, including: mermaids, merfolk, finfolk, undines, sirens, etc. Another type of water being similar to the mermaid is the selkie (a seal-woman known to the Scottish).

The mermaid or merman totem and guide represent the bridge between humans and the water element. Some say mermaids are spiritual in nature, similar to fairies, while others believe mermaids were once real, physical creatures...perhaps a missing link somewhere in the evolutionary chain. Either way, you most likely will not see a mermaid in the physical realm, but you might see them in your dreams or visions. The mermaid totem and guide are guardians of the oceans, lakes, rivers, seas, ponds, streams, and more. The mermaid may have come into your life with a message to embrace your emotional side. The mermaid also represents seduction, forbidden love, and transition. Mermaids were said in many tales to have the ability to shapeshift - to change forms from a fish or fish-like being into a human or from a mermaid into some other form of aquatic animal.

If the mermaid totem or guide chose you, you are a person who feels connected to the water element. You may be an emotional person or may need to get in touch with your emotions. You may also be a dreamer, one who sees things in their dreams as the water element rules over our dream-time. Mermaid can also help you improve upon your intuition and "psychic" abilities, as well as teach you how to weather the storm of life and love. If mermaid is your totem, you may have once lived a life in Atlantis or Lemuria. You are blessed to have mermaid in your life.

The dragon is a very special being as it encompasses all four elements.

— Nicole Canfield

Dragon Totem and Guide

Mythology and folklore is steeped in legends of the dragon from Europe to Asia. Only the bravest knights and warriors would dare venture or fight a dragon during the Middle Ages. The people of Medieval Europe feared dragons, but it is thought that the ancient Celts revered them and saw them as land guardians. There are tales of dragons living in mountains and guarding treasures of gold and jewels. Dragons were most likely protectors of sacred sites and might have actually been the energy or spirit of those places that took a fearsome form to frighten off potentially damaging humans.

In China and other parts of Asia, the dragon was seen as good fortune. In China, the people saw the rivers as spirits of dragons and even named them after dragons. To this day, the dragon is often seen in Chinese festivals and celebrations as a sign of honor and good luck.

Today the dragon is seen in some of the most popular movies and shows including The Hobbit, How to Train Your Dragon, and Game of Thrones. If the dragon has come to you via dreams, visions, or synchronicity, get ready for transmutation. The dragon takes air into its body and transmutes it into fire when exhaled, thus the dragon totem represents transmutation, alchemy, fire magic, and transformation. The dragon is associated with the element of fire, but since it can fly and also guards the earth is associated with earth and air. Sometimes there are also water dragons. In conclusion, the dragon is a very special spiritual being as it encompasses all four elements.

If the dragon totem or guide has chosen you as its human friend or ally, you are very blessed indeed! Be prepared to learn how to take one thing and make it into something in the ancient practice of alchemy. Also be prepared to learn how to be a fierce guardian of the earth and of sacred spiritual practice. The dragon totem and guide also appear to those who need to be freed from their binds in life...let the dragon breathe fire into your soul and watch is spread!

Dragons teach alchemy, transmutation, and guardianship.
Dragons teach alchemy, transmutation, and guardianship. | Source

© 2017 Nicole Canfield


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  • Lexy Parker profile image

    Lexy 2 months ago from Peterborough

    Thank you for writing this, I found it so intriguing.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 2 months ago from the Ether

    Heidi - Typically a totem or guide will make itself known to you through dreams, visions, or physical manifestation.

  • k@ri profile image

    Kari Poulsen 2 months ago from Ohio

    I like this a lot. I love learning about other beliefs. I have heard of totem guides, but this explains them much better. When I was a young child, I had a Pegasus. You could only see him on cloudy days, lol. But he was always with me.

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 2 months ago from Chicago Area

    I've found dragons fascinating for many years. Even thought about putting a few cute little dragon figures in my garden some years back. Not sure if that makes them my totem or not. :) But glad to know more about their mythology and symbolism. Interesting stuff, as always. Blessings!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 2 months ago from the Ether

    Nell - That's why we've followed each other for so long! I love your topics too as they are similar to mine! Can't wait to read it.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 2 months ago from England

    I love your subjects, they are exactly the same as mine, lol! I am surrounded by fairies in my bedroom, and dragons on the shelves, along with a lot of unicorns too. at this moment I am writing a book on fairies, with a poem and other things, nice one!