Ancestral Animal Guardian Spirits: Guides in the Family Tree
Have you ever wondered if your family has a totem or animal guardian spirit? No matter your culture or heritage, every family bloodline has an animal or plant guardian spirit that watches over its descendants. Learn more about ancestral animal guardian spirits here.
First, What is an Ancestral Animal Guardian Spirit?
I wouldn’t say I made up the term, but I often use the term Ancestral Animal Guardian Spirit. In some American indigenous cultures, the “totem” is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe, such as in the Anishinaabe clan.” Since I am not Native American, I try not to use the term totem; however, I know that every culture has or had their own version of the totem. Even if it was called something else. Unfortunately, for many cultures, this concept was lost over time as other people conquered our countries and other religions washed out the old pagan ways.
Everyone Has An Ancestral Plant or Animal Guardian
Everyone has an ancestral plant or animal guardian spirit that’s been passed down to you through your family’s bloodlines. In fact, we usually have more than one, because we are made up of thousands of people. These are animal or plant spirits attached to your ancient ancestors that serve the bloodline. They protect the bloodline’s descendants, first and foremost.
Why does everyone have an animal or plant guardian spirit? At one point in time, all of our ancestors were pagan or followed the old ways. Our ancestors were deeply connected to the earth and therefore in harmony with its plant and animal inhabitants. So much so that our ancestors made pacts to honor the earth and in return the earth provided guardian spirits to them. Sadly, the majority of the world doesn’t care for Mother Earth any longer. But for pagans and those who honor the earth, we may find it easier to connect to our ancestral animal and plant guardian spirits.
What Ancestral Animal Guardian Spirits Do
Truly it depends on the bloodline, culture, region and situation, but ancestral animal guardians do a number of things for their loved ones. As I’ve said before, their first job is to protect the bloodline. This means not only protecting the living descendants, but also watching over the ancestors on the other side. In fact, I believe they go between us and our ancestors as messengers too. Here’s a few duties they uphold:
- Protection of the individual AND the household, FIRST and Foremost: warding off harmful spirits, warning the living of danger, and intervening in dangerous situations when called on
- Carry and deliver messages between the living and the dead (and sometimes between gods and the living)
- Teach lessons to the living, especially if the ancestors have asked it
- Represent the bloodline in the spirit and physical realms (like a mascot, of sorts)
- Sometimes provide healing to the living in dire illness and pain
- Guide the living during astral travel and shamanic journeys
- Rarely will enter the living’s body in times of war and when physical defense is crucial (think the bear and Berserkir, bear warrior)
- Carry out specific magical tasks (similar to a familiar spirit but no contract has to be made between witch and ancestral animal guardian)
How To Connect With Your Ancestral Animal Guardian
Now you’re wondering, how do I connect with my personal ancestral animal guardian? There’s a few ways. First, you might already know the animal or plant connected to your bloodline. Sometimes we grow up hearing stories of a specific animal that seems attached to our family. For instance, if your grandmother had an obsession with crows and told stories of other ancestors having crows as pets. This is a big sign the crow is your ancestral animal guardian. Other times, we may dream of our animal guardian as a child. Don’t discount scary animals in your childhood dreams. Once I came to the witchcraft path, I realized the ferocious wolves in my dreams as a little girl were actually there to protect and guide me in the other realms. The wolf is one of my ancestral animal guardian spirits.
Next, Your Family’s Name May Tell You…
Sometimes these guardian spirits will be obvious to you, if your last name reflects an animal or plant name. For example, my maiden name is Wolf, so I know the wolf animal spirit is an ancestral guardian of mine. If your name isn’t so obvious, make sure you research your familial surnames’ origins. Some might truly surprise you. For instance, a last name that sounds nothing like Hyacinth is Jacintho. But the individual wouldn’t have made that connection unless they had researched its origins. Now they know the hyacinth is a flower attached to their family, probably since Medieval Times! And can call on the Hyacinth’s spirit to aid in their endeavors. If your names reveal nothing, don’t forget to look up your family’s Coat of Arms online. Sometimes animals and plants are there too.
European-American Ancestral Animal and Plant Guardians
I’ve looked at dozens of European-Americans’ ancestral lines, and here are a few common animal and plant guardian spirits that come up:
Our Service: YOUR Magical Ancestors’ Origins Profile
Lastly, if you still can’t figure it out, we offer a service where we look at your Ancestors’ Magical Origins for you. In addition to looking for ancestral animal and plant guardian spirits we also look at your ancient pagan origins, and search for your potential witch or other magical ancestors. You can find that service here in the shop.