Animal Totems: Reptiles as Totems

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Reptiles as Animal Spirit Teachers

Collage of Reptile Photos
Reptiles as Totems. Canva Collage / Getty Images

Reptiles as totems in general are wise teachers. Their bodies are covered with scales, offering a lesson in the importance of shielding from outside influences. When they shed their skins they are teaching us to let go or discard the past and evolve through birthing new ideas. Reptiles abandon their young very early demanding their offspring to develop self-reliance. When a reptile totem is present it can signify it is important to cut the apron strings. Remember, although our children take the biological leap and are born into human bodies through us eventually they will break free and march onto an independent path.

Reptile Totems

  • Alligator Totem
  • Crocodile Totem
  • Lizard Totem
  • Snake Totem
  • Tortoise Totem
  • Turtle Totem

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Alligator Totem

Alligator Totem
Fertility and Power Alligator Totem. Simon Crockett / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: hidden wisdom, clairvoyance, absorbs and retains knowledge, blocked emotions

Alligator and Crocodile totems share similar traits. Both are closely related to mythical dragons. Although unlike fire-breathing dragons, alligator and crocodile act as a bridge between earth and water energies. One role the alligator serves is water conservationist. Watering holes are dug in mud creating small water ponds. When alligator totem appears look to see if you are being conservative in your water usage? Any animal that is associated with "water" can indicate emotional issues. Is your emotional body in balance? Alligators eyes are set high on their heads so that they are able to see above water. Ask yourself if you are able to intuit higher truths. Alligator energy will help you with this ability.

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Crocodile Totem

Crocodile Totem
Ancient Keeper of Knowlege Crocodile Totem. angdumrong / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: fertility, hidden wisdom, clairvoyance, emotional displays, opportunity

The crocodile is a sand dweller, its habitat, a hole in the sand, serves as a bridge between earth and water elements. You could say that anyone meeting up with crocodile is straddling two worlds. The earth represents a firm ground, whereas water is more fluid. A person with crocodile medicine will not be swept away by emotional waves, nor is he rooted too deeply into rock where one could become stuck or rigid in his views. Crocodile totem is also representative of new growth because seedlings emerge from earth and water. When crocodile appears ask yourself what needs nurturing, or what new idea needs planted into the earth. Use your crocodile tears to water the seedling to bring forth new growth from energies within the depths of your being.

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Lizard Totem

Gecko Totem
Lucid Dreamer Lizard Totem. Auscape / UIG / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: speed, balance, heightened sensitivity

Lizards are associated with "dreamtime" and "clairvoyance." They have the ability to consciously tap into intuition and higher knowledge. People with lizard medicine are able to sense subtle energies that most people overlook. It is important for people with lizard as their totem to pay heed to their own inner messages.

Lizards are also known for their great speed and quick movements. For this reason, it is not surprising that a cartoon Gecko is a commercial icon for a well known car insurance company. Car accidents are often the result of speeding on the roadways. When lizard shows up it is likely a message to slow down and observe. It is time for you to be put on alert. Pay attention! You may be missing obvious clues that are right in front of you because you are in such a hurry to get somewhere.

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Snake Totem

Symbolizes Death and Rebirth Snake Totem.

Meanings and Messages: renewal (shedding old skin), sexuality, higher knowledge, time of transition

The snake holds significant symbolism in many cultures, Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Native Americans, and others. Depending on your heritage or spiritual leanings the meaning of snake as a totem will vary. In general the snake is representative of wisdom and rebirth.

When snake appears as a totem you can expect a transition or spiritual awakening to take place.

Notice how the snake looks. Is the snake coiled in slumber or are its fangs exposed and ready to attack? Is the snake shedding or preparing to shed its skin? A coiled snake usually symbolizes an awakening will happen. A snake ready to bite could indicate a need for you to defend your territory or personal beliefs. A snake shedding is representative of a death, usually a symbolic death, which will create a space for a new birthing to occur.

Also See:

True Story About a Snake Visitation/Communication
A to Z Animal Spirits Index

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Tortoise Totem

Tortoise Totem
Symbolizes Wisdom Tortoise Totem. Ingram Publishing / Getty Images

Meanings and Messages: careful thinker, strategist, patience, longevity, survivor

The tortoise totem carries similar medicine that relates to the turtle. Tortoises, however, are land dwellers, and are not associated with water. Tortoises are known for their longevity and slow movement. They are persistent, but not speedy. One major lesson the tortoise teaches is patience, "all in good time." Because of its deliberate movements the tortoise is a keen observer and learns along his path. He lives long and is a wise character. When tortoise totem shows up look around at your environment and see what you may be missing. Take care in your thinking before making any major decisions. Time is on your side.

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Turtle Totem

Turtle Totem
Longevity Turtle Totem. Tim Zurowski / Getty Images

Messages and Meanings: protection, survival instincts, nomad, opportunity, self care

The turtle is probably best known for its longevity. The turtle is a nomad who carries his home wherever he goes. The turtle's shell serves as a protective shield from the elements and its predators. It lives on the beach, between water and land. Turtle teaches us that Life is a Beach.

The turtle does not stress. Turtle moves slowly, reminding us to slow down. What is the hurry? If turtle appears you may need to start delegating your duties, or let go entirely of some things. You also may need to withdraw from others (retreat to your shell) and recoup your energies. Why not book a beach vacation while you are at it?