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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

People like to think that their spirit animal is the animal that they embody most. A bear if they’re brave. A monkey if they’re wild. But people get caught up in their ego when choosing what their spirit animal is. In doing so, they forget that even the most mundane creatures have spiritual meaning. These spirit guides appear to people who need to see them, carrying an invisible message for that individual. This can occur in dreams, reality, or media. Each animal means something different, and like tarot cards, the individual must apply their message to their own life. Here is a list of animals you might overlook and what it might mean if you see them:

The butterfly is more than just a pretty bug. If you come across a butterfly, or more accurately if a butterfly comes across you, you may want to take a look at your emotional wellbeing. The most basic meaning of the butterfly is transformation and change. It could be referring to a sort of Tower moment (the Tower is a tarot card that symbolizes everything crashing down around you) that leads to a beautiful rebirth and personal growth. Each colour points to a different emotional journey, but I will only explain my favourite: orange, for the Monarch. This butterfly encourages you to trust your instincts because you are on the right path. The Monarch is important to me in particular because whenever I feel lost, one always finds its way into my life to remind me I won’t feel this way for long. 

The bunny is a springtime animal, often associated with fruition and good luck. When a bunny hops in front of you, it is a sign to double-check your position in life. Though a comfort animal, the bunny is also known for its vulnerability. They are burrowers, and they encourage us to retreat within ourselves, get comfortable, and remember who we are and what our purpose is. Within each hop is the cycle of life, all the good and all the bad. This tells us that new beginnings are just around the corner. I have a family of bunnies living in my backyard. They like to eat our garden and terrorize our plants, yet whenever we see one, we are filled with joy. Have you ever seen a bunny hop? Even without knowing the spiritual meaning, everyone knows that they were blessed by its visit.

The hawk reminds us of our spirituality because it is so close to the spirit world in the sky. When you spot a hawk soaring above you, remember to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Look at your analytical mind; what are your thought patterns like? Can they be oriented towards betterment instead of negative cycles? The hawk reminds us that we are not our thoughts, that we only observe them and as such, are able to control them. This is why the hawk symbolizes intelligence, independence, and spiritual awareness. I come into contact with hawks all the time when I drive. Just their appearance draws my gaze upwards. They allow me to broaden my horizons and remember my own spiritual power.

The deer is a symbol of unconditional love and compassion. If a deer crosses your path, know that you are loved. These are peaceful animals that like to keep to themselves and do no harm to others. They remind us to be gentle with ourselves and others. When you see a deer, make sure you focus on yourself and practice self-love so that you may openly love others. They are also a symbol of return to innocence. When you look into their doe-eyes, you will see all the good things in this world. The circumstances in which you see these animals matter. To take the opposing approach, my family once hit a deer with our car. This was a shocking experience for all of us and woke us up to the fact that we had not been unified as a family. Even so, this event helped us to treat each other with kindness. 

The cicada is a creature that is usually not seen but heard. In the case that you do see the actual physical manifestation of a cicada, it is usually when you are feeling stuck. They come to us to remind us that we should not worry, that change is afoot and it will bring abundance. The cicada sings its song for all to hear, yet it hides. In doing so, the cicada encourages us to leave behind the ego. We must accept ourselves for who we are and not care what others think. The one time I saw a cicada, I was completely shocked. I had no idea a cicada could be so beautiful. It came at the perfect time, right as I was debating a big, life-altering decision. It eased my mind, reminding me that I was on the right track and that I needed to make this decision for myself. So the next time you hear the cicada’s song, do not get annoyed. It’s really just trying to serenade you.

Animals are more than cute little creatures that we share this earth with. They are here for a reason, just as you and I are. Everyone will get a visit from an animal spirit guide now and then, but it is up to you to recognize the message they are trying to send. When you start to see that everything is happening for you and not to you, your life will get a little bit better.

My name is Serafina Piasentin and I'm enrolled in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Writing has long since been a passion of mine, and I specialize in fiction and poetry. I have won and been published in numerous short story and poetry contests and have completed a fantasy trilogy. I aspire to be an author and this opportunity with Her Campus allows me to take a step closer to that dream! A bit about me outside of my writing career: I am a lifeguard and I play the piano. I consider myself an ambivert and I love adventures and meeting new people! Feel free to contact me on instagram: @serafinaarose or email me @[email protected] <3 I also have a blog where I post my poems, stories, essays, literary reviews and more! You can find me here: https://serafinaarose.wixsite.com/wordalchemy
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