Animal Totems Photo Gallery: Barnyard Totems

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Animal Totems Living on the Farm

Photos of Farm Animals
Farm Animals as Totems. Canva Collage / Getty Images

The pets who live with us and also domesticated animals from the farm have spiritual lessons to teach us. Domesticated animal totems have been fondly portrayed in many children stories. How can we forget Mother Goose, Old MacDonald, or Charlotte's Web? I certainly can't.

I was born in Iowa and grew up in Illinois. And although I did not grow up on a farm I do have family roots in farming. My father grew up on a farm. I often visited my great-grandparents hog farm as a child. I loved going with my grandmother to gather up eggs from the chicken coop, although I'd hang behind grandma's skirt because I was afraid I might get bitten by the chickens. They had sharp beaks. Grandpa would let my older sister and me sit on his tractor. We also got to holler at the hogs and were delighted to listen to their squeals when it was their meal time. Baby pigs are sooo cute! My aunt and uncle were farmers too. They had dairy cows and grew crops of soy beans and corn. I liked to hang out with Uncle Ralph in the barn when he was milking the cows. A heifer was born when my sister and I were visiting them once. That was really exciting!!

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Bat Totem

Bat Totem
Awakening to New Horizons Bat Totem. Jared Hobbs / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: time of change or transformation, clairaudience, facing ones fears, death/rebirth, heightened intuition

Bats typically live in caves, but they also are found living in the rafters of barns and in the roof tops or attics of our homes. The bat totem can trigger change or transformation. Its visit can be a warning that change will soon occur and not to be afraid. Sometimes the bat is a symbol for facing ones fears. It can also indicate a time of an awakening because the bat, a nocturnal mammal, awakens in the dark. Its presence can illuminate dark shadows. Bat totem can also be a sign of opportunity.

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Billy Goat Totem

Billy Goat
Sacrifice Billy Goat. MyLoupe/UIG / Billy Goat

Meanings and Messages: dietary concerns, sacrifice, gratitude

The billy goat is known for its appetite. People with goat medicine tend to be nibblers, they don't eat heavy meals but tend to graze throughout the day. Goats have a four-chambered stomach allowing them to digest their food slowly. Are you experiencing any digestive difficulties? If goat totem appears it may indicate a need to evaluate your dietary habits, or may require a visit to the doctor to check out your digestive system.

The goat also has a biblical and pagan history in regard to sacrifice. Goat medicine can also indicate a need to make a sacrifice of some kind. Have you shown appropriate gratitude for the blessings in your life?

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Chickens as Totems

Chickens as Totems
Symbol of Fertility and Sexuality Chickens as Totems. LM Photo / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: sacrifice, sun power energies, optimism, birth

The chicken and cock symbolize the yin-yang balance of male and female energies. Together they represent fertility and sexuality. Chicken eggs have been historically used in rituals as fertility symbols.

Chickens, longtime domesticated, are a stable of food in households. For this reason chickens also represent nutrition and sustenance. When chicken or rooster visits the significance may very well have to do with your sexuality or hormone issues. Ask yourself if your yin is in balance with your yang. Everyone carries a mixture of masculine and feminine within them. How comfortable are you with your sexuality and relationships? Could you be gentler or more nurturing? Or, perhaps you have been sitting on the sidelines being silent for too long and really need to be show your dominant side and shout out a Cock-a-Doodle Do.

Also see other birds often found on the farm:

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Cow Totem

Cow Totem
Motherhood Cow Totem. PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: nurturer, fertility, goddess energy

The cow represents mothering and nurturing aspects. Together, bull and cow totems, they represent symbolize fertility. Bull and cow together are a pairing of masculine and feminine energies. When either cow or bull totem appears ask yourself if your personal masculine and feminine energies are in balance. Bull energies are bold and rigid, whereas cow energies are more gentle. Are your edges sharp and need softening? Or, are you feeling too soft or weak?

Bull Totem Offers Strength and Stamina

Cow totem offers love and nurturing. Cow can also signify the importance of calcium in your dietary intake. Lessons of gratitude and sacrifice often surface when cow totem comes around. Are you grateful and able to show appreciation for the sacrifice of others? The cow gives its milk freely, but the red meat at our table comes at a sacrifice.

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Dog Totem

Dog Totem
Keeper of Home and Hearth Dog Totem. Nick Ridley / Getty Images

Meanings / Messages: unconditional love, companionship, protection, faithfulness

Relatives: Wolves, Coyotes

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Feral Cats

Wild Nature Feral Cat Under the Barn. J. MacNeill-Traylor / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: caution, abandonment

Cats living on the farm are often feral. Farmers like having the cats around to help maintain population of rodents (mice and rats) to a reasonable number. When a feral cat makes its appearance ask yourself if you have any abandonment issues to work on. Also, a feral cat as a totem can indicate the wild nature of your personality. A feral cat messenger could be signaling caution, reminding you to be wary of anyone who tries to come near you who you don't know very well.

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Horse Totem

Horse Totem
Journey Horse Totem. Maria itina / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: momentum, air element, joy, expansion

Horse totem is associated with the element of air because of its swift movement. Visualize a horse galloping across the horizon with its mane flowing freely to get in touch with wind energy. There are many different types of horses. Work horses, race horses, recreational horses. Depending on what type of horse presents itself the lesson horse offers will vary.

All horses represent journey, the horse is not happy fenced in, it is happiest running. A race horse teaches the joy of speed and prompts momentum in your goals and initiatives. A work horse teaches the fruits of labor. It is the plow horse that helps to cultivate the soil that grows our crops. A carriage horse teaches us to pull away from our comfort zones and to travel to new places. A horse that is ridden offers companionship and shared joy of the ride. A stud, or stallion. represents the wild masculine energies that urge us to expand our horizons.

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Ox Totem

Ox Totem
Endurance Ox Totem. PhotoAlto/James Hardy / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: strength, determination, service, work ethic

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Pig Totem

Pig Totem
Prosperity Pig Totem. Ben Miller / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: fertility, luck, abundance, independent, responsible, fearlessness

Symbolically, pigs are associated with abundance and prosperity. In feng shui pig amulets are often strategiously placed in the home to attract money and business successes. Children are given piggy banks to begin learning about the value of savings.

Whenever pig totem appears it is a reminder to pay attention to your spending and saving habits. Ask yourself if you are open to receiving, OR, are you possibly overspending. Pig medicine teaches the law of attraction.

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Rat Totem

Brown Rat Eating Grain in a Barn
Survivalist Brown Rat Eating Grain in a Barn. Nature Picture Library

Meanings / Messages: adaptable, shrewdness, aggression

The rat is a social animal that can adapt to any environment, from city sewers, farms, or woodlands. Rat energy is restless and is often viewed as a pest or nuisance by humans. When rat appears look around at the people in your life, is someone annoying you or whose behaviors are  pest-like? Rat can also signify that you have become too complacent in your endeavors and is encouraging you to become more pro-active in attaining your goals.

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Sheep Totem

Sheep Totem
Wanderer Sheep Totem. jimss / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: lost your way, meek, timid, warmth, renewal, teachers

People with sheep totem are naturally wanderers. Unfortunately they can lose their way easily. They tend not to pay attention to the natural flow. It is important for them to look for leadership to stay with the herd. Did Little Bo Beep lose her sheep? Or did the sheep wander off on own? Who is the more responsible party after all? Ask yourself if you have lost your way? When sheep totem appears it may be time for you to stop wandering and to seek a mentor to help you find your way. After you have found your way, in time, it will be your turn to help others who have lost their way.

A slang term associated with sheep is "sheepish" meaning embarrassment or shame. When a sheep totem appears you may have recently been involved in a situation that sparked actions that you are now not proud of. One lesson sheep offers is that you if you are wishing to move past your poorly choose actions, well, YES you can. A sheep's coat is sheared away and it is later cleaned and spun into clothing which offers warmth to others. You too can shed away any dirtiness you are feeling and begin anew with a scrubbed clean slate. You are not worthless just because you made some mistakes. Sheep medicine teaches that all experiences have value. You can use your mistakes as teaching tools to assist others not to fall into the same muck you did, or to offer a helping hand to pull them up out of their personal muck.

A common phrase "quiet as a lamb" is often used in association with a sleeping baby. Lamb totem is more innocent that a grown sheep. Whereas sheep medicine grooms a teacher, lamb medicine teaches us to be quiet, listen, and reserve our energies.