Animal Totem Gallery: Insects/Arachnids

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Insects and Arachnids Have Spiritual Lessons to Teach

Collage of Insect Photos
Insect Totems. Canva / Getty Images

Insects normally live in colonies and teach the importance of working within a team. Is your ego in check? Primary message for anyone with an insect totem is that the individual is not as important as the collective. Insects are survivalists and adapt to change very well and can assist you during transitional periods. Although insects are small in size they can assume the role of pest or getting under you skin. Insects are not to be swatted away thoughtlessly. When they annoy you they are trying to get your attention. Be alert and listen to their message, they are very wise.

Totems: Insects / Arachnids

  • Dragonfly Totem
  • Beetle Totem
  • Bee Totem
  • Ant Totem
  • Cockroach Totem
  • Grasshopper Totem
  • Mosquito Totem
  • Cricket Totem
  • Butterfly / Caterpillar
  • Spider Totem
  • Ladybug Totem
  • Moth Totem

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Dragonfly Totem

Dragonfly Totem
Keeper of Magic Dragonfly Totem. Michael Wheatley / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: navigator, light being, reflective, transformation, new vision

Alternate Name: Mosquito Hawk

Meaning of the Dragonfly

The dragonfly has a beautiful, jewel-like coloring. The bright colors take time to develop, reflecting the idea that with maturity our own true colors come forth. Structures in their shells scatter and refract light, making them look iridescent green and blue. This ability to reflect and refract light and color has caused it to be associated with magic and mysticism. Dragonfly's magic is the power of light and all that has ever been associated with it. In Japan, dragonflies represent new light and joy. Dragonflies remind us that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so. Life is never quite the way it appears, but is always filled with light and color.

Source: Wendy Kayte Kaplan

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Beetle Totem

Dung Beetle Totem
Resurrection Dung Beetle. RainervonBrandis / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: change, solar energy, protection

Beetles are associated with change or movement from one stage to another.

They have thick protective wings with softer underbellies. If you ever see a beetle laying on the sidewalk with its legs wriggling upward toward the skies it will thank you if you would roll it over by gently nudging it upright with a stick or leaf. Also, if this is how you discovered it you might want to check to see where you might be vulnerable in your own life. You need assistance in some way or need to become more cautious.

Because beetles progress from grub stage to growing wings its message mirrors growth through stages. Consider any projects you are currently undertaking or have recently completed. What is the next step, or are you ready to begin a new project? Perhaps you are ready for a change.

The scarab is an Egyptian amulet representative of the dung-beetle. Scarabs were buried along with the deceased to protect them as they journeyed into the afterlife.

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Bee Totem

Honey Bees
Honey of Life Honey Bees. Paolo Negri / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: sweetness, accomplishment, levity, community, sun energy, sacrifice

The saying "busy bee" is important when considering the bee as a totem. When a bee totem appears it is helpful to evaluate your activities. How much work are you getting done? Don't ask yourself how busy you are. We can be very busy and yet accomplish little. The bee is very productive and doesn't mess around. Bee teaches us to stay on task until the work gets done.

Bees, like ants, live in a caste system. Ask yourself what role your are playing, queen bee, drone, or worker bee. Sweetness is also associated with the bee. Bees pollinate flowers, burrowing their mouths into fragrant blooms. Honeybees collect nectar to make their honeycombs.

The stinger is also significant, a bee's stinger represents sacrifice. The stinger is used as a defensive weapon, yet can result in death. When a bee totem appears you may need to ask yourself what needs to be sacrificed or let go of. If you allow yourself to let go of things that no longer serve you, the sweetness that may be in short supply will flow toward you more freely.

Also See:

A to Z Animal Spirits Index
Honey Bee Therapy

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Ant Totem

Ants as Totems
Builder Ants as Totems. Nazarudin Wijee / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: industrious, community, socialization, gatherer, slave, hard worker, team player, promise of reward for good effort.

Ants are the ultimate laborers. They live in a communal colony, sharing menial tasks and food sources. Underneath the ant hill that we see on our lawns and gardens are elaborate living quarters. Ants as totems teach the value of work and getting along with your co-workers. 

They also teach the importance of community as a unit. Ants live within a caste system, A queen ant, mates for the queen, guards to protect the queen, and laborers. When ant appears you may need to evaluate the role you are playing in your current life situation. We can't all be queens. Laborers do have value! Team work offers rewards. However, if you feel you are enslaved by your job or circumstance ant totem showing up could mean that it is time to break away from current associations with others and take a solitary path for awhile.

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Cockroach Totem

Cockroach Totem
Metamorphosis Cockroach Totems. London Scientific Films / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: change, resurrection, hidden aspect, aloofness

Cockroaches are from the beetle family within the insect kingdom. All beetles carry metamorphosis energy and for this reason the cockroach showing up in your life can indicate a change will soon occur. Cockroaches prefer to keep to the dark and will scurry from the light. For this reason, cockroaches surfacing can be indicators of the desire to pull back from society and keep under the radar of others. If you spend a lot of time socializing the cockroach could be telling you to spend more alone time. On the flip side, it could also signify that you are isolating yourself too much. Don't be afraid of the light, put on a pair of dark glasses and get outdoors into the bright sunlight for a new perspective. Anyone with a cockroach as a totem will adapt easily to any environment.

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Grasshopper Totem

Grasshopper Totem
Opportunist Greg Johnston / Getty Images. Grasshopper Totem

Meanings and Messages: fearless, opportunity, faith, progress, trust

Grasshoppers are the ultimate opportunists, the first to leap toward new horizons. They can leap out of trouble just as fast too! Grasshopper totem is fearless, always moving forward, never backwards. Grasshopper teaches us to take chances and not be afraid.

Grasshopper will often make its appearance when we are on the fence with a decision helping us to know which way to leap. Grasshopper is a totem that values momentum and is not happy at a stand still.

A person with grasshopper as a personal totem is not content to settle down in one place for very long.

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Mosquito Totem

Mosquito Totem
Life Blood Mosquito Totem. Douglas Allen / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: Energy Depletion, Irritability, Sacrifice, Charity

Blood-sucking insects such as the mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and leeches are probably most often looked upon as pests... insects that bring minor discomfort at best and blood borne diseases at worst. They prey upon our life blood, taking from us without asking first. The female mosquito lands lightly upon the skin, its presence not noticed until the sting from its sucking begins, making you an unwary blood donor. You may not notice the bite at all, but become aware of the rash and itchiness long after the sucker has moved on. The mosquito can represent an irritant in your life that demands your attention, perhaps someone who is getting under your skin.

If the mosquito is your totem your lesson could be to evaluate your charitable nature. Is your compassion or kindness toward others being taken advantage of? Is there someone in your life who has become overtly dependent upon your charity? The mosquito takes blood and gives nothing in return... a selfish act. Or, alternately, you may need to become aware that you are too dependent on others. It may be time to break free of crutches and become more independent.

Ask yourself if your energies are lowered or depleted. Are you sacrificing your own energies, giving more than you have energies in reserves? The mosquito teaches the need to protect yourself from potential attacks. Mosquito repellent and nets will guard you from bites. A little preventative care is called for when mosquito totem appears. Time to learn about energy vampires and energy shields.

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Cricket Totem

Cricket Totem
Good Luck Charm Cricket Totem. Peter Lilja / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: abundance, chance taker, emotional evaluation, activates inner voice

The cricket totem in general is a good luck omen. Similar to the grasshopper, cricket totem is a jumper and is willing to leap toward new opportunities. When you hear the chirp of the cricket it can indicate an opening or reopening of your inner voice will happen. Sing! The chirp of the cricket is a happy song heard in the bedroom at night and can indicate a happy relationship.

The cricket's message is not always a loving one however. The house cricket will chew holes in your clothing. If you discover a cricket in your home, OR discover garments that have been chewed by crickets ask yourself these questions "What is eating up your insides?" "Do you feel empty?" "What is bothering you or missing in your life?" The cricket totem can help you get your emotional body in balance.

Note of Interest: Farmer's Almanac notes the number of chirps a cricket makes can be an indicator for temperature. To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature. Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

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Caterpillar and Butterfly Totems

Caterpillar Totem
Shapeshifter Caterpillar Totem. Javier Millán Photography / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: transition period, preparation for upcoming change, transformation

Caterpillars symbolize transformation. When caterpillar totem presents itself know that a transformative change will occur. The transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly is nothing short of magical. If it is the butterfly, and not the caterpillar that shows itself then the transformation has already taken place and you have already experienced an awakening or enlightenment.

Butterflies as totems represent light, color, and joy. Notice the coloring of the caterpillar or butterfly totem that shows itself to you and study the significance of these colors for additional messages.

A to Z Animal Spirits Index
Butterfly Release Ceremonies

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Spider Totem

Spider Totem
Weaver of Dreams Spider Totem. Daniela Duncan / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: creativity, ingenuity, entrapment, dreamer, architect

Spiders are not scientifically classified as insects. But in the totem world they do walk within the insect kingdom. Their bodies resemble the number 8 or infinity symbols, so whenever spider totem appears look to numerical eight meanings and messages. Their two-segmented body is not equal, appearing more like an hour glass, one segment weightier than the other.

When you come upon a spider time may be concern. Ask yourself if time is slipping away too quickly or are you experiencing a slow down of activity?

The spider weaves his sticky web as an entrapment device for gathering prey to feast on. Web-weaving demonstrates how we can use our creative talents in our work and livelihood. If you come upon a spider ask if you are the one feeling trapped or entangled in chaotic activities. You may very well be better off preparing to create your own web.

Spider will also teach you how to break out of your stuck energies and how to weave you own personal power web.

Spiders are architects, creating intricate webs. These dream-weavers teach us to take action. As soon as you begin weaving your own power web you will surely capture your dreams and desires.

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Ladybug Totem

Ladybug Totem
Good Luck Ladybug Totem. Martin Ruegner / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: protection, aloofness, earthiness, time for change

Related: Insect Kingdom, Beetles

Lady bugs are teachers of unity, family values, and working as a team within communities.

As you might imagine because of its name, the ladybug, is representative of feminine energies and brings nurturing characteristics to light. . The female role in the family unit is to nurture and protect the child. So, if a ladybug lands on you, look around to see who in your life may need special nurturing from you.

The ladybug is often depicted in children books as a friendly bug. Its brightly colored red shell with black spots is very easily recognized and generally sparks feelings of joy and happiness.

When ladybug appears it is considered good luck, and could indicate a wish will be fulfilled. As a totem the ladybug uplifts our spirits. 

Also See:

A to Z Animal Spirits Index
Beetles as Totems

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Moth Totem

Moth Totem
Shape Shifter Moth Totem. M. & C. Photography / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: metamorphosis, transformation, change, seeker of light