Spirit Animals of Fire Island

Photo by Alexander Sinn

Indigenous Americans believed everything is connected, and animals were revered as messengers uniting the spirit world with the earth plane. The animal helpers who guided them were known as totem animals. Shamans referred to their animal spirit guides as power animals. In today’s modern world, we can call upon spirit animals to deliver insightful messages to help us with our journey toward self-discovery.

According to the National Park Service website, more than 30 different species of mammals grace the Fire Island National Seashore. Whales, white-tailed deer, red foxes, meadow voles, squirrels, cottontail rabbits, porpoises, dolphins, seals, and bats are some of the spirit animals you can encounter going about your day. In February 2021, within the boundaries of the Fire Island National Seashore, a coyote sighting was photographed on a trail camera. Undoubtedly, you will have no trouble spotting spirit animals this summer. The trick is deciphering what these totems are trying to reveal.

Ascertaining the meaning of a particular animal sighting takes trusting your intuition, research, and self-reflection. For example, while riding my bike one day, a red fox appeared out of nowhere just as I was thinking about a particular person. My gut kept telling me she was a manipulator, albeit a sweet one. I sensed the universe put me in alignment with this red fox to offer some clarity about my relationship with her. I immediately took out my cell phone to Google the meaning of a red fox as a spirit guide and discovered these resourceful critters symbolize wisdom, mental alertness, and an increased ability to see through deceptive behaviors. They can also represent a cunning or sly person. Then I had an aha moment, where I recognized this woman was a skillful manipulator. With this insight, I avoided getting overly involved with her ever again.

Whenever I walk in the city, the suburbs, the country, or by the sea, I pay attention to the animals I encounter. In my journeys, I have seen whales, seals, foxes, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, squirrels, cats, dogs, possums, raccoons, and chipmunks, to name just a few. Not every animal we encounter is a totem or spirit guide. However, if you repeatedly spot an animal or it unexpectedly comes to you, your inner voice will kick in, letting you know that this creature came to you for a reason. For instance, a dolphin swimming close to the shore would be a rare sighting for most of us; therefore, that would serve as an animal spirit guide. In looking up the significance of a dolphin sighting, you would notice several possible meanings. Sometimes a dolphin shows up to remind you to seek peace, balance, and harmony. In addition, a dolphin symbolically represents transformation, rebirth, and a new way of looking at life. A dolphin might also appear when you need to reconnect with your inner child. How will you know which meaning is the correct one? You will have a deep inner knowing which message is best suited for your particular situation.

While writing this article, I stepped outside for a break and spotted a bunny. Rabbits are messengers portending good luck and prosperity, especially with creative endeavors. Since this was a baby rabbit, I viewed this as a sign from spirit to nurture my artistic side and to look forward to starting an upcoming creative project. The next day I saw a white-tailed doe nursing her fawn. That animal sighting validated the message I received from my bunny encounter the day before to nurture my creative self and go full speed ahead with an artistic endeavor, which is still in its infancy.

Every member of the animal kingdom can serve as totems, so be on the lookout for fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects such as ladybugs, butterflies, bees, and dragonflies as you stroll about Fire Island. In some traditions, domesticated animals can not be viewed as power animals because they are no longer a part of the wilderness world. Depending on the circumstances, I believe household pets and domesticated animals like cows, horses, sheep, chickens, and goats can be considered spirit messengers.

Spirit animals will come to guide, teach, enlighten, and protect you. In times of need, you may invoke or call upon an animal spirit to present itself as reassurance that you are being divinely guided. Embrace, enjoy, and encourage the experience of being aligned with the spirit world through your soulful connection with these mystical power animals.