Presence to Animals as Messengers, Guides and Affirmation


World speaks to us in ways we can each best receive and process.

I believe that animals may be messengers and guides, as well as perfectly placed symbols and signs to provide insight and affirmation. 

In the above photo, I found a feather while walking on the beach. (It was cold, thus the Uggs.) In general, when you find a feather on your path, it is an affirmation of *Source connection*. For many years, I walked the same stretch of beach and didn’t notice feathers.  I spend hours in nature each day, yet would hear stories of people in urban cities finding feathers on their desk in their homes and wonder how that could be? When I began to open to the idea, I saw (and still see) feathers almost daily – in the same space I previously saw none!

A friend asked me, “How do you know if an animal is meant as a sign for you (the person seeing it) or for the person you are with? And, how do you know which animal is meant for you to see?”

Great questions.

You probably won’t *know*. But… your eyes will be drawn to see and your heart will feel a natural burst of gratitude and your mind will automatically begin processing the message.  It will feel comfortable and exciting to you – a similar feeling to that you experience when visiting a friend.

You may even be drawn to take the time to stop and connect with the animal pausing to share presence by: breathing in the beauty, sharing words, reaching out a hand, giving food or water.


It doesn’t have to be a complex/dramatic encounter and you don’t have to live in nature – it can be as simple as seeing a butterfly passing by or hearing a dove coo or paging through a book and the color of an animal or the look in their eyes draws you in.

There are books and courses that explain the energetic meaning and spiritual symbolism of each specific animal.  While these can be wonderful resources, the message or meaning doesn’t need to be researched; you may simply open your heart to feel into the intention.

Ask, “what would you like me to know or to receive from you, what would you like to share”…then listen through your heart space for the answer.  You may be surprised to find that often your intuitive answer matches the material given in the book or course.

Once this feels comfortable to you, you may also ask first, before moving through your day, “What message does World have for me?” then be prepared to see and feel the answer.  It can be fun to play with energy in this way – knowing, for example, that when you ask your question then see ducks throughout your day, duck might have a message for you.

Here are two examples from my life of animals as messengers and symbols:

I like to run on a beach path. One of my friends identifies strongly with crow. Often when I am running on the path–usually when I am most tired/about to give up –crow appears and sits there waiting until I pass by. (I find this interesting because beach crows tend to fly away when people pass.) So I like to think my friend is there in spirit to support and encourage me to continue running on this path (which, for me, energetically opens my creative flow–an affirmation to embrace expansion).

One of my personal totem animals is hummingbird. Wherever I am, when I am most centered and open to love, hummingbird shows up – even in the most unlikely places. One very unexpected place was at a horse ranch located in a very remote place – there was quite a lot of dust and dirt and very few flowers. I was standing there, watching my daughter compete in her first horse show and some spectators standing near me started excitedly pointing my way. Someone said “hummingbird” as another said “we just don’t see hummingbirds here”. And my son, who was standing next to me, simply smiled as he pointed out the hummingbird next to my shoulder.

What is your experience with animals as messengers, guides and/or external signs and affirmation? Do you have a totem animal? (when you share, you inspire!)

Thank you for your presence!

Much peace and abundant love,


This article was written as a contribution to Kaleidoscope of Creative Connections: Animal Speak edition. To read other articles with various perspectives on this theme, please click the title link. Several of my peers whom I respect and love have contributed articles.

Comments on: "Presence to Animals as Messengers, Guides and Affirmation" (11)

  1. Hello Joy! Thank you for bringing your beautiful reflections to the energy of animals. I love finding feathers and always delight in the different shapes and colours they come in. Sometimes they point me in a new direction and I love to follow where they lead.

    Right now I’m appreciating more fully my very special guide, Lynx, who allows me his wisdom. He’s especially powerful at seeing the things people keep hidden from themselves, and when asked, he will reveal them. I’m understanding more deeply the enormous gift this is. I feel so honoured and humbled by his presence.

    I also have a warm dog in my lap, which is joy on another level :)

    Big Love to you <3

    • This is what I love about opening through vulnerability to share, Jenny – which I did with this article –I would not have known you enjoy finding feathers! How fun! Yesterday as I got into the car, I saw the feather I keep in my console and I thought with a smile “I am a woman who collects feathers”. I had the windows wide open, enjoying he breeze and the feather flew right out the window…so I laughed, because I absolutely understood the “release labels and enjoy the moment” sign. Then, the feather flew back in. It felt comforting! I have renewed appreciation for it.

      I love that Lynx is your guide. *Honored and humbled* is the space of magic and miracles!

      With a warm dog in your lap, I imagine you will begin to draw to you many deep, loyal connections. I am excited to see how this all unfolds for you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Joy this is a beautiful reflection on the presence of animals. I have never had a cat (more of a dog person) but they seek me out, I’ve had many comments from owners of cats who have sat on my lap without invitation that their cat ‘never’ goes to strangers. I also get random cats sitting outside my window staring in from the street. I also find feathers in random places :)

  3. You’ve reminded me of the time our cat Zoe passed, coming up three years ago in May. The evening before she transitioned I was holding her on my lap. A hummingbird appeared in the window – right in the middle of the window about an inch from the pane. This is the first time we’d ever seen a hummingbird here. The totem meaning is “Symbolizes devotion, permanence and eternity. Although the hummingbird is small in stature, it is extremely determined in its own territory.” Totally Zoe! The next morning she took her last breath, about 30 minutes after we got out of bed (and I’m positive so we could be with her.) Ten minutes before her passing I looked out the window to see a lone eagle circling over the house, directly in line with the bedroom where she was laying. I knew her time was near and she was going to be lifted on the wings of Spirit. A hummingbird has visited once in each summer since. We smile, knowing Zoe has dropped by to say hello.

    • Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience, Lorraine! I have goosebumps as I read – memories from different experiences from my past came flooding in…synchronistic moments integrated into my tapestry that I had forgotten about but are so wonderful to remember right now…*magic* in every day life is as abundant as we allow it to be. Thank you!! Truly.

  4. Joy,

    I love the way you see how animals can be messengers coming to us as needed.

    I have butterflies that are sent to me by my Mom who passed last year. Prior to this experience I never would have suspected such things happen.

    • How beautiful, Roberta – thank you for sharing! Butterflies are one of my totem animals – symbolizing transformation and change. I love that you are open to the awareness that your Mom is sending the butterflies – how comforting and exciting it must feel when you see one and feel the connection with your Mom!

  5. Joy, I love all the stories shared here. They touched my heart and made me smile.

    Animals are such wonderful messengers. I’ve been in situations before where an animal came right into full view, but if I was in a group I was the only one who saw it (or was the only one who missed it sometimes!). So I think, as you said, that if we spot an animal and it catches our attention for a few seconds, then it’s meant for us to see it – to give us a message.

    I often have animals show up in dreams, too, which is phenomenal because they’re not limited to climate or, uh, believability. I once dreamt of a rainbow-horned unicorn (I kid you not!). That was a fun one to research the next day!

    To all of our animal messengers, thank you

    • It is so *fun* to receive your comment here, Megan, because you are one friend whom when we speak and I mention an animal in my experience, you ask what does it mean? Knowing you would ask, I began to research the meaning before I spoke with you and it soon became a natural part of my life. Here is what I see, what does it mean?

      Thank you for mentioning animal presence in dreams – I forgot to include that in my article! A rainbow horned unicorn sounds quite interesting – very magical! Perhaps sometimes we are more open to (or aware of) animal messages in our dreams.

      Yes *to all of our animal messengers, thank you*!

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