The early priestess-magicians would adopt the guise of animals-wearing skins and masks-to symbolize a reawakening and endowing of oneself with specific energies. Most of the Hindu yogis have Asanas(seat) made out of animal skin ; many of the animal secretions are used in many Vedic,Agamic and Tantric puja’s .Our ancient mystics believe that they were a part ad parcel of the environment they live, They performed rituals in accordance with the natural rhythms of the seasons to awaken greater fertility and life. To them, every species and every aspect of its environment had the power to remind them of what they could manifest within their own life. It was an aid to bridge the natural world to the supernatural, awakening the realities of both within the environs of their own lives.
We can use animal imagery and other nature totem images as a way to learn about ourselves and the invisible world. We do not have to believe that these images and totems are beings of great intelligence, but there are archetypal powers that reside behind and oversee all manifestations in Nature. These archetypes have their own qualities and characteristics which are reflected through thebehaviors and activities of animals and other expressions of Nature.
Terrestrial animals have always had a strong symbology associated with them. They have represented the emotional side of life, often reflecting qualities that must be overcome, controlled, and/or re-expressed. They are also symbols of power-powers associated with the invisible realm that we can learn to manifest within the visible.
Birds have often been considered the symbols of the soul. Their ability to fly reflects the ability within us to rise to new awareness, bridging the earth and the heavens. As totems, birds each have their own peculiar characteristics, but they can all be used to stimulate greater flights of hope, inspiration and ideas
It’s amazing how animals permeate our consciousness and are with us all the time .Those spirits that are in animal form that teach us, guide us, empower us, and help us heal are called animal spirit guides or spirit
animals.One of the great advantages of working with animal spirit guides is that the actual animal is physically and symbolically present in so
many ways throughout every society and culture on Earth. Because of their abundant representations in third-dimensional reality, they’re
continually in our consciousness. Depending on how and in what way they show up in the material world, either in the flesh or
symbolically, their appearance may be as a representative of the spirit of that animal.
There are a number of different ways in which we may communicate with animal spirits. When we find that our connection with a particular animal spirit
goes deeper than just having them serve as a guide in our life, we can call this our "animal spirit totem," or more simply, our "totem." This link is forged deep
within our soul on the astral.
Legends and mythologies are full of accounts of animals closely connected to specific deities. These stories are found in almost every culture. The Latin word anima means possessing life and spirit, the ability to move, the connecting quality that links all creatures. The ancients applied this word to both human and non human creatures without distinction.
Following is the list of Hindu Vahanas,arudas (totems):
4.Raja Rajeswari= Lion
11.Indra= Airavata/ Elephant
12.Lakshmi= Red Lotus, Owl
13.Sarasvati=White Lotus, Swan
14.Ganga Devi= Crocodile
15.Manamatha & Rathi= Parrot
16.Kubera= Man,Parrot or Horse
17.Vishnu= 7 headed Snake/ Sesha
22.Sindhi saint= Fish
23.Ganda Beranda Bird= Mannarkudi Rajagopalswamy
24.Varuna= Makara (Shark or Crcodile)
25.Agni / Fire= Ram
28.Lakshmi in Nepal=Turtle, In Bengal=owl
29.Durga= Lion or Tiger
31.Asvini Devas= Donkey (also for Indra and Agni)
32.Dead Body= Niruthi
33.Sun= 7 Horse Chariot
34.Rahu/ Shasti= Cat
37. Cow Chariot=Ushas
38.Kali= Yali (Yali is a mythical animal)
Nava Grahas (Nine Planets)
Sun=Chariot drawn by Seven Horses
Moon= Antelope chariot
Bhudan/ Mercury= Horse
Venus= Horse/ Crocodile
Saturn / Saniswara= Crow
Rahu= Lion/ Cat/Tiger