Unusual or Creepy Totems and Animal Spirit Guides

Updated on May 31, 2018
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty has been communicating with her spirit guides for over a decade. She uses the lessons she's learned through them to write about them.

The vulture is creepy to many people but can be a powerful totem.
The vulture is creepy to many people but can be a powerful totem. | Source

Your Totem Is A What?!

Many of us have a series of animals that come to us when we need to hear a specific message. They come to us at various times in our lives, in the good times and in the bad. They bring messages of hope and faith during turmoil, and they bring messages to wake us up when we just aren't getting it.

If you ask someone to tell you their totem animal, you might hear words like "the wolf", "the horse", or "the eagle". But rarely do you hear someone say their totem animal is the spider, the snail, or the frog. There are thousands of types of animals with messages for us, so why should we disregard the more unusual animals' messages? Why should we ignore the less-loved animals just because they aren't as fluffy or as powerful as the bear, the horse, or the cat? Let's talk a little about what some of the more unusual and creepy totem animals have to say to us.

The beetle has a multitude of messages for those who pay attention.
The beetle has a multitude of messages for those who pay attention. | Source
Ants can be a nuisance but demonstrate strong team work.
Ants can be a nuisance but demonstrate strong team work. | Source

Unexpected Insect or Bug Totems

Some people may be shocked to find that others consider various types of insects and bugs as their totem animals or animal spirit guides. Some of the more attractive of this kind are butterflies and dragonflies. But what if someone said their totem animal was the beetle? The ant? The grasshopper? Or even the common housefly? Let's learn what some of these creepy crawlers can add to one's spiritual life.

The Beetle Totem

Beetles were sacred to plenty of cultures throughout the ages including the ancient Egyptians and the Chinese. To the Egyptians, the scarab (dung beetle) was a symbol of reincarnation, of the never-ending cycle of life. They were also living representations of the sun god Ra, this is because the dung beetle would be shown rolling dung into a ball and as such this reminded the Egyptians of the sun rolling around the earth. To the Chinese, seeing a beetle of many kinds was considered pure good luck. If a beetle happens to appear to you or attaches itself to you in dreams, you might want to think twice about getting the heebie jeebies. See the beetle totem as a very spiritual symbol, one of strength of spirit and resurrection.

Grasshopper Totem

The grasshopper was kept as a pet in some households in China, and it was thought that the grasshopper housed the soul of one's ancestors on occasion. They were seen as sacred insects, and therefore were thought of as good luck and a sign of abundance. The grasshopper totem teaches us to push forward, to keep going no matter the terrain of life.

Ant Totem

The ant totem will show up to someone who needs to focus on teamwork, on being a productive member of society. The ant also teaches persistence and determination. Do you remember those cartoons that showed a colony of ants lifting an entire watermelon? Just because the ant is small, don't disregard him. He is powerful because he is one of the team, and with others he can move mountains.


Flies? Really? Who would find the fly as a helpful animal totem? Actually, the fly was sacred to the ancient Greeks as he was related to Zeus, and the fly was also sacred to a particular Native American tribe. The fly was thought of as a purifying animal, one who scavenges but who also removes dead, rotting tissue and other unnecessary things. If you have the fly as your totem or animal spirit guide, do not be grossed out...appreciate the fly for its ability to take life's crap and turn it into fuel for the future!

A grapevine snail...even snails have a message for you!
A grapevine snail...even snails have a message for you! | Source

Slimy Animal Spirit Guides

Do you have the heebie jeebies yet? Good! Then we'll keep going and discuss the slimy animal spirit guides. Just because they appear to be slimy doesn't mean they don't have an important message for you and your life.

Snail and Slug Totem

The snail was a creature that was quite sacred to the Aztecs, as its shell was seen as a representation of the cycle of life. The snail might also have a message for you to take things slowly, enjoy the world around you a bit. The snail also says that you can protect yourself by going home. By retreating to that place within yourself. But don't forget to come back out when the coast is clear! The slug totem is a representation of fertility and healing.

Snake Totem

The snake usually sends people running for the hills, but don't be alarmed if the snake totem has appeared in your life. The snake might have a bad reputation to various religions, but if we go further back in time we can see that the snake was also a good symbol to various ancient cultures. The snake's winding image can be seen used in different symbols such as the Ouroboros and the Caduceus. The Caduceus symbol is used in healthcare—think of the staff with the blue snakes wrapped around it. The snake totem teaches us about eternity, healing, and initiation into a deeper form of spirituality. Are you ready to shed your old skin and take on the new?

Frog Totem

Despite the frog's reputation for being slimy or gross, the frog can teach us many lessons. The frog is a powerful symbol of evolution, and of bridging the gap between the spiritual and mundane world. This is because the frog can survive in both water and on earth...able to forge a connection between sacred elements. The frog also represents fertility.

Are you afraid of the shark? The shark can be a powerful and primal totem.
Are you afraid of the shark? The shark can be a powerful and primal totem. | Source
As creepy as he might seem, the possum is a master at outwitting his predators.
As creepy as he might seem, the possum is a master at outwitting his predators. | Source

Scary Spooky Scavenger Totems

Vulture Totem

Ew! Gross! You might be thinking. These birds are straight up cannibals! Yes, while that is true, I believe we forget to see the importance of this. These birds are scavenger birds, which means they will take anything dying or dead in nature and turn it into fuel for themselves. So in a curious way, they take death and turn it into life. Nekhbet, an ancient Egyptian goddess, is associated with the vulture. And the vulture was used as a symbol to represent the ancient city of the dead or Necropolis. The priestesses here wore robes made of Egyptian vulture feathers. Even though this scavenger bird is feared or leaves some disgusted in modern times, it was revered in ancient times.

Jackal Totem

The jackal in Ancient Egypt was closely linked with the god of embalming, Anubis. Anubis was depicted with the head of a black dog, or what we assume in modern times to have been the head of a black jackal. Therefore the jackal is also a representation of the Underworld or afterlife. He is a psychopomp, which means he is there to guide those from life through the stages of death. The jackal totem represents dedication, protection, and the end of one phase to begin anew.

Shark Totem

What kind of emotions does the image of a shark stir within you? Fear? Intrigue? Excitement? The shark is a very feared animal, but also a very powerful animal and powerful totem to have. If the shark totem is appearing to you, it is telling you to rely on your instincts...to focus on that primal energy within your gut. At the same time, it is also saying to never be fearful, to know that you are powerful. The shark totem represents speed, mystery, and the most ancient of ancients.

Possum Totem

The possum is an animal in the United States that sends old women into a frenzy. "They look like big white rats and can hang from the trees!" I have to admit that I have been a bit turned off to the idea of possums before, but recently realized their significance. Having the possum as a totem animal is rare but can happen and is special when it does happen. He represents the ability to hide, to escape his predators by faking death. He is smart and outwits the most intelligent predator. The possum totem will teach you to rely on your instincts (just as the shark will), and knows some of the most earthy wisdom one can find.

Participate in a poll:

Which of these would be the creepiest or most unusual totem animal?

See results

© 2014 Kitty Fields


Submit a Comment
  • newbizmau profile image

    Maurice Glaude 

    2 years ago from Mobile, AL

    I have a Camel and an axolotl, i know very weird. I wrote about them in my hub, What is the Meaning of the Camel Power Animal as your Totem?

    Before this experience I only thought of totems like the familiar Eagles, wolves.

  • Emma Vine profile image

    Emma Vine 

    4 years ago from Texas, USA

    Wow, no one ever mentions the Beetle. The Beetle has been in my totem for years. I've quested for years for the perfect Beetle charm to wear on my neck when I need the Spirit with me - it hasn't been found yet. Thanks so much for mentioning the Beetle here, it made my night.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Hooray KTD. You have redeemed the lowly but sacred dung beetle. You know I don't think it is any coincidence that the Beatles were such a successful musical group either. I am so happy to see the creepy totems get their day in the sun. The only other one I could think of is maybe a worm, I bet somebody has a worm totem animal. Especially since so many people love to bait hooks with worms and go fishing. That or another creepy one would be a tree sloth. But I love love loved this hub. As always great reading your work KTD, the queen hubbing honeybee. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

  • Bishop55 profile image


    5 years ago from USA

    This was just flat out fun! I'm glad I don't have these as a totem, but I think we can learn from all life, so I'm not shocked to see you compiled a great list on these critters and creatures! I think personally that totems can change throughout life. I seem to have 3 right now. Butterfly, Owl, and Crow. Glad I don't have a slug, even though I love them! lol

  • Dreamhowl profile image

    Jessica Marello 

    5 years ago from United States

    I wouldn't find the snake odd, but the vulture and shark would frighten me for sure. But all animals have a message to get across it seems, no matter the stereotypes we place on them. I enjoyed reading, thanks for sharing!

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    5 years ago from Summerland

    Seafarer Mama - What a lovely idea! Thanks for sharing. :) I too had the frog come to me this past October on many occasions.

    Eddy - Thanks so much!

    Mythicalmethods - I like that you said that. "Life isn't cute or beautiful always why should all totems?" Blessings.

    JS Matthew - Glad I could have taught something new. Love turtles!

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 

    5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Very interesting. I was aware of some of these totems and learned about some new ones. My animal totem is the turtle. I enjoyed reading this. Up and shared.


  • Mythicalmethods profile image


    5 years ago

    I think there is something interesting about a totem being somewhat intimidating, it might even the importance of it--a boost of confidence perhaps? I really like that you address the animals that we as humans either fear, or disgust us because life isn't cute, or beautiful always, why should all totems be the same? Love it!

  • Eiddwen profile image


    5 years ago from Wales

    Wow I thoroughly enjoyed this read and voting up for sure.

    It leaves much food for thought and one to definitely vote up.


  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen A Szklany 

    5 years ago from New England

    Great hub,Kitty. So glad to have come across it.

    This past summer, I was visited often by dragonflies, frogs, and spiders, so I looked them up in my Medicine Card deck, and posted the cards with their images on my livingroom wall. Now I enjoy their energy on the coldest of deep winter days.

    Was also visited by a June Bug beetle many years ago, too. Very lovely. :0)

    Voted up, Pinned, and Tweeted this hub. ~:0)

  • kittythedreamer profile imageAUTHOR

    Kitty Fields 

    5 years ago from Summerland

    WiccanSage - Haha. I understand completely. Some bugs don't bother me, while others creep me the f*ck out! LOL. Thanks for reading!

    CMHypno - I agree 100%. We are under this aesthetic mindset but forget to see the other things in the world as significant towards our spiritual growth, sometimes. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • CMHypno profile image


    5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

    Fascinating hub Kittythedreamer. I think from the ones you've mentioned I would find the slug to be the most gross, but every creature on this planet has evolved to fill a specialised and necessary niche in its local ecosystems. I also think that having an unusual totem animal is a way of teaching us that it is not always what we perceive as the cutest, most beautiful creatures that are of the most value and that all life is equally valuable and precious.

  • WiccanSage profile image

    Mackenzie Sage Wright 

    5 years ago

    Ha, interesting. I think i could take anything but the bug. The bug would send me running. I'm okay with snakes, mice and other things like that. Even sharks- though they're scary. But I have a bug phobia, it could put me in the hospital with anxiety attacks if I were having visions or visitations from bugs. Great hub as usual, thanks so much!


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