I had so much fun writing about animals in magic in part one of the animal magic series but there were so many animals I wasn’t able to cover the first time around. I’m going to try to get to everyone’s favorites in the next two parts, and a few intriguing creatures that we may not think about as magical. Animals can lend such a wide variety of energies to a witch’s work that it’s worth it to delve into more of their associations. I hope you enjoy learning about these animals as much as I did!
With its jet-black eyes, ghostly movements, and uncontrollable power, the shark is an animal that strikes fear in the hearts of many. Sharks stay in perpetual motion to keep oxygen flowing into their gills and are great animals to channel when you feel stagnant and need to get out of a rut (or revive lost motivation). Sharks also have exceptional senses of smell and go after their kills with tenacity. The term “shark” is applied to those in business who are shrewd and obscenely rich, so this animal is a great inspiration to any witches looking to advance their businesses or careers. Invoke the shark by keeping an (ethically sourced!) shark tooth in a mojo bag or wear as a piece of jewelry around your neck. Also a wonderful protection totem.
Swans are associated with the Valkyries, or Swan Maidens, and transformation. The story of the Ugly Duckling plays on this transformative angle as well. In fact, swans feature prominently in fairy tales, often as devices of mystery, secrets, the night and the moon — typically in the form of maidens turned into swans to hide their true identity. You should use swans in your magic when you need to keep something hidden. Place an image of a swan on your altar when you’re trying to keep secrets or veil something from prying eyes. Pair the swan image with the moon or water for extra protection and to amp up your intuition.
An animal built for play. The otter embodies both earth and water energies and a joyful nature. They relax. They hold on to each other while they sleep, floating in the water, and symbolize support and friendship. Pair seashells with an image of an otter before a family outing to ensure a good time for everyone. Light a green or blue candle and invoke the spirit of the otter whenever you’re getting too serious!
4. Crocodile & Alligator
These animals can symbolize patience and stealth, and embody many of the dragon’s characteristics, but what I find most impressive about this reptile is their ability to survive. Crocodiles actually roamed the earth with the dinosaurs! They are also quite long-lived, and so I recommend using this animal in spells for health and longevity. In the south, alligator feet are sold to gamblers for luck, so drawing this animal somewhere on your person before buying lottery tickets may be just the edge you need.
Like the swan and the butterfly, the frog is a transformative animal. It changes dramatically from a polliwog to a frog and can live on land and in the water. Frogs were the second plague in Exodus and are seen in a bad light by some. However, in other cultures, the frog is seen as a good omen because he comes out when there is a lot of rain — a symbol of life. I suggest two ways to call on the frog symbol. First, if you’re a weather witch and would like help summoning rain, draw a frog symbol in a patch of dry earth and sprinkle this area with blessed water. Second, if you’d like to curse someone with an abundance of something unpleasant, draw a frog somewhere on your target’s taglock.
Fish have evolved to live in the deepest, darkest corners of the earth — places humans can’t go — and therefore they represent mysteries and deep understanding of the self. They are also one of the more colorful and brightly patterned animals and so are associated with artists, creativity, and enlightenment. Incorporate the fish symbol in sigils (as this shape is quite easy to draw) and focus the sigil on self-discovery. Some truths are hard to take, which makes the fish an especially good symbol for this type of magic. They remind you to learn, but not to dwell, and always keep moving forward.
Protection, stubbornness and emotion. In the zodiac, the crab is the symbol of Cancer and the moon. One of the most important things I have learned in life is how to set boundaries and the crab is an amazing animal to invoke if you wish to protect yourself in this way. Light a white or black candle, include a water element, and use a piece of real crab claw or a just simple drawing of one to represent yourself. Light the candle and reflect on simple and more complicated boundaries you’d like others to respect. Carry the image of the crab with you to remind you to be firm about how you expect others to treat you. Use the crab to get in touch with your emotions, in control of them, and responsible for them at all times.
Because this animal looks like it’s smiling, it is seen as a joyful, playful animal. However, dolphins are renowned by scientists for their intelligence — rivaling even our own. They use echolocation to find their way through water and have highly evolved communication skills. Some believe dolphins even have extra senses as they can perform extraordinary feats of athleticism, show high empathy, are extremely curious, and possess the ability to connect with other animals in unusual — even baffling — ways. They are a symbol of communication and cooperation, so I suggest using dolphins in your magic when you’re having difficulty saying something or letting someone know how you feel.
Tortoises and turtles carry a lot of weight — literally and symbolically. In Hinduism, the turtle carries the weight of the universe on his four legs (which represent the four cardinal directions and elements). Because turtles live for a long time, they are natural symbols of longevity, health and of course, wisdom. Illustrated in fables like the Tortoise and the Hare, the turtle is also a symbol of perseverance and taking things at your own pace. After all, it’s not about how fast you get there but thatyou get there in the end. At home in water and on land, you can use the turtle symbol with both these elements. You can wear the turtle symbol as jewelry or draw it on your altar or somewhere in your workspace to remind you to keep at your goals and to be unconcerned with rising to anyone standard’s but your own.
The blackfish, or wolf of the sea, is a respected predator, but is also known for its deep familial bonds, intelligence, and prowess — the human being’s ocean counterpart. Orcas travel great distances each day and are a symbol for travelers. Perhaps more than anything, the orca is known for their devotion to their families, often becoming despondent after losing a mother or calf. Call on the spirit of the blackfish when you need inner strength, especially when dealing with family conflict. Before traveling to see family, draw a symbol of an orca in chalk on your dashboard to ensure safe travel.
Made Of Air
This elegant bird is a prominent symbol in Asian cultures for good fortune, long life and a strong marriage. Cranes also represent serene calm — retaining your dignity during chaos and storms. The iconic origami crane is a symbol for happiness and learning how to craft one to add to your altar will bring joy and good luck. You can also invoke the crane before a wedding to bring good fortune and wishes for a stable, happy life together.
Peace. Strangely, these birds produce “milk” for their offspring and because of their pure white feathers and nurturing nature, doves are a symbol of motherhood, sharing links to the Virgin Mary and Ishtar. Doves are symbols of communication, appearing in the bible with an olive branch to alert Noah to the presence of land. They can be trained to carry messages back and forth between parties, like pigeons, but even before that were seen as messengers from the gods. Any mothers facing problems with their children can call on the dove for assistance by lighting a white candle and placing a white feather before it while asking for help.
Courage and communication with the divine. Known as the “king of birds”, the eagle has excellent eyesight and flies much higher than other birds, it sees all and knows all. This also gives it a link to the sun, as it is often appears to fly straight into it! The eagle is a symbol of power, and its feathers are treasured among the Plains tribes who use them to make magnificent headdresses. However, those who don’t have a right to own one of these creatures feathers will face heavy fines if caught with one. Use the eagle symbol in magic to communicate with spirits and your chosen patrons. Draw an eagle before yellow and golden candles to receive messages about which direction to take during confusing times.
This jewel-bright bird can live in the desert, jungle, or mountains and survives on nectar and small insects. Its adaptability and flight maneuverability have made it a symbol of mystical connection — the hummingbird can move in all directions, even beyond the veil to converse with spirits. The hummingbird is a master at conserving energy, slowing down its heartbeat to a near standstill at night only to revive in the morning light and begin its endless mission for food all over again each day. You can use hummingbirds in your magic to bring things into perfect focus. Throughout the day, we waste time on so many useless or petty things, but the hummingbird does not! Keep a hummingbird figurine on your desk or wear a piece of hummingbird jewelry to stay clear on your goals and stop wasting time on things that simply don’t matter.
A delightfully fun trickster bird. The magpie collects shiny objects and can imitate human voices and other sounds with eerie perfection. Because of its thievery and imitation skills, the magpie is often seen in a negative light, but I happen to disagree with this assessment. I see this bird as resourceful and a wonderful totem to those who like to think outside the box and play the game by their own rules. It’s not an easy path, though, and invoking the spirit of the tricky magpie may be just the thing to evade those who seek to impede your individual journey. Remember to pay homage to the magpie when you ask for his help by placing mirrors and other shiny things on your altar as thanks!
Each morning on the farm, the rooster heralds the sunrise. He is alert, ready, and brave. Universally, the rooster is a symbol of sexuality and the sun, though to some he is vain, prideful, and flamboyant — “cocky” if you will. This is a bird to call on when you need confidence before a big event in your personal life or at work. Be sure to include a fire element, either stones or candles, face east, and perform any rituals involving the rooster as the sun rises.
This unassuming brown bird is so common she often goes unnoticed but the sparrow represents perhaps the most important part of many of our lives: Family and home. We often take for granted the simple things in life, things that were they to go, we’d miss more than anything else. Paint or frame a small image of the sparrow in the kitchen or living room to remind you to appreciate the things in your life that are most important: Your loved ones, your safety, and your home.
This clever little bird is a surprising symbol of royalty and shares the title “king of the birds” with the eagle. It is a symbol of magic and intelligence, and despite its small stature, is considered quite powerful. The wren can be used to amplify spells, especially those concerning wisdom and truth. Carrying an image of this bird will also give you an edge in games of chance and any competition where you may be an underdog.
The peacock is a showstopper with a big reveal. The eyes in the peacock’s tail feathers lead some to believe that the peacock is a symbol for visionaries and was the protector of royalty. In Hinduism, the peacock is associated with Lakshmi, a goddess of good luck. I suggest using peacock feathers in your magic for any new projects that require creativity and your psychic gifts. This beautiful bird’s gifts will facilitate art projects, writing, and anything involving design.
For some the vulture is a symbol of oncoming death, which is understandable because vultures are scavenger birds and follow death around to survive. However, in Egypt they were revered for keeping the city clean. The vulture is the perfect bird to help with cleansing. Keep an image of this bird on your altar to peck away any invading negative energy or channel its spirit while doing personal cleansing to clear away any residual bad vibes.
Stay tuned for part three!