Animal Totem Gallery: Arctic/Tundra Totems

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Survivalist Totes from the Arctic

Collage of Tundra Animal Photos
Collage of Tundra Animal Photos. Canva / Getty /


Which Creatures Are Your Personal Totems?

All the arctic totems are survivalists. Living in a cold climate and harsh environment demands stamina and determination to survive. Arctic totems teach the ability to thrive under the direst of circumstances.

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Hare Totem

Hare Totem
Symbolizes Fertility Hare Totem. Yves Adams / Getty Images

Meanings / Messages: new life, adventure, swiftness, nervousness, defensive

Also See: Rabbit Totem

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Harp Seal

Harp Seal Totem
Opportunist Harp Seal Totem. Sylvain Cordier / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: empowerment, keen sense of smell

The Harp Seal's sense of smell is very strong. A mother seal will use this sense of smell to recognize her young. Anyone with Harp Seal as a totem will likely also have a keen sense of smell. Harp Seals migrate as a group and also feed together. The Harp Seal enjoys a variety in its diet, eating whatever type of fish that is available. Anyone with Harp Totem will benefit from a diverse diet.

They are not able to walk, but rather use the strength of their front flippers to drag themselves along on land and ice. Harp Seal can appear at time of adversity or struggle. Its appearance serves as a reminder that you have the strength to pull up your boot straps and march forward.

Also See: Polar Bear

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Penguin Totem

Penguin Totem
Astral Projection Penguin Totem. David Cornejo / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: out of body experiences, lucid dreaming, perseverance, play

The penguin is an expert swimmer in water, but is unable to fly. Yet, the penguin's transition from water to land is swift. The penguin is able to leap out of the water and land on its feet. Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak assigns penguin totem with the ability to consciously go out of body. If penguin appears lucid dreaming or astral projection is likely to come easily to you.

The waddle movement of penguin on land demonstrates steady perseverance and its belly glide on ice showcases joy and play. The penguin totem teaches connection between the physical and the spiritual. Another lesson penguin teaches is that there is a time for work and a time for play.

Also See: Bird Totems

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Reindeer Totem
Keeper of Family Tradition Reindeer Totem. Wu Swee Ong / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: gentleness, adventure, innocence, opportunity

Relatives: Deer, Caribou

The reindeer is a family-oriented totem, skillful in communication and social activities. This totem is a born-leader and welcomes any opportunity to guide others in his herd into new directions. Reindeer has an innocent demeanor and is helpful to friends and family members. Receptive to the needs of others this totem teaches how to adapt to community concerns. "All for one, and One for all" could easily be the motto for this totem.

If a reindeer makes its appearance in your life the lesson may very well be that it is time for you to step up and take an active role in caring for the herd. If you have become isolated it may be asking you to take on a leadership role in getting everyone to work as a team. Or, if you currently have a domineering role, you may need to look and see if you are overshadowing others with your ideals, in that case, step back a bit.

Guidance is a key role for this totem. Be a kind and helpful teacher, not a bossy one. It is little wonder that Rudolph (who would be categorized with other mystical totems) with his beacon red-light nose was chosen by Santa to guide his team of reindeer into the foggy Christmas Eve night. Look around you, your help is needed.

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Sea Lion

Sea Lion Totem
Sea Lion Totem. Theo Allofs / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings:

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Walrus Totem

Walrus Totem
Mysterious Character Walrus Totem. Olaf Kruger / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: aloofness, uniqueness, secrecy, keeper of wisdom, survivor, opportunistic

The walrus inhabits both land and water, but is most agile when in water. It is a superb swimmer with the ability to dive as deep as the ocean floor. The walrus maneuvers quite speedily on land as well. It walks on all four fins, unlike other pinnipeds that have to drag their lower bodies with their fore fins.

Walrus' live in large herds, dependent on the group for its survival. The group will join together to protect a single walrus that becomes under attack.

As a totem walrus teaches the importance of connectedness and the lesson that each individual is important. Its tusks serve as a tool for climbing out of the water onto the ice, but can also use its tusks for defensive purposes when attacked. The walrus also has a thick-skin which serves as an armor to protect it from its natural predators. The walrus is a multifaceted character that is interesting to study. Walrus is said to be the keeper of wisdom and secrets.

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Wolf Totem

Wolf Totem
Keeper of Rituals Wolf Totem. Ken Canning / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: guardian, call of the wild (howl), loyalty, night walker

Wolves live in packs and have a strong sense of community. They depend on one another for protection, food, and raising their young. As a totem, wolf can indicate a need or desire for family or tribe connections. Wolves have heightened sense of both smell and hearing, helpful tools that help with fine-tuning intuitions. Anyone with wolf medicine is aware of their keen intuitive abilities, or will soon be at a stage of realizing it.

The wolf howls for many reasons, but primarily he howls because he loves the sound. When wolf totem appears ask yourself when you were last able to "let loose" and call out into the wild just for the joy of the sound. Are you feeling uptight about something? Let it go. The wolf also teaches confidence and pride. Be proud of your accomplishments and get ready to share what you have learned with others.

People with wolf medicine are often lovers of the night and will burn the midnight hours. Wolves have a wild streak in them which allows them to live on the fringes. Yet, family connections keep them grounded. A lone wolf is a rarity.

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