A Spirit Animal for Each Rising Sign

Wake up your wild spirit!

Sometimes, we get so bogged down trying to fix and maintain everything in our lives, including ourselves, that nothing is fun anymore. We become automatons, just punching the clock and checking the boxes. We lose touch with our spontaneous selves; our own inner animals. Reconnecting with your rising sign is a way to let yourself out of the closet and start feeling alive again. I chose a spirit animal for each rising sign to rattle the bars on our cages and remind us what’s inside – that part of us never meant to be anything but free. The animal in this blog for your sign doesn’t have to be “it”, could never completely be it, but it’s a starting place for acknowledging and loving the hell out of whatever makes up your wild spirit.

Rising signs – showing up for life

In astrology, your rising sign is also called the Ascendant and technically, it’s the zodiacal sign on the eastern horizon when you were born. As a reflection of you, your rising sign shows how you rise to the occasion – the occasion of living. If you have Libra rising, that Libra-self will be obvious to others and you will always on some level be responding to life through a Libra-lens. This means looking for things to be fair, pretty, and presentable, including yourself. Libra rising usually shows up as cooperative, charming, and ready to compromise, someone who identifies themselves by their relationships and how others see (or appear to see) them.

While your sun sign symbolizes your sense of purpose in this life, your rising sign reflects your natural way of engaging the world to live out that purpose. If you think of yourself living in a vehicle, what type of vehicle will get you around the best? Your rising sign is like the vehicle. Your sun sign is the type of fuel your vehicle runs on. Some people refer to the rising sign as a mask, but it’s way beyond that. It’s the way you instinctively react to things and your sense of “I” or self-image. Basically, our rising signs just show up without thought or intention, especially when we’re under stress or taken by surprise. In many ways, your rising sign is your defense strategy, but if you consciously work with it, it’s the most natural and effective way you can approach almost any situation.

The animal in all of us

In the world of metaphysics, there are many correspondences, but one thing almost all of us relate with is the animal kingdom. When you need to get back to your own nature, what better place to seek inspiration than nature itself. If your rising sign or personal life vehicle were an animal, what would it be? Once you have a feeling for your own animal, researching what it eats, where it lives, and how it exists can reveal countless ways to support yourself and your own nature. Imagine how different life is for a grasshopper versus a hippopotamus. What works best for one could be detrimental for the other. Getting into your own groove, using your natural talents, and meeting your own needs sounds like a great plan, but it’s amazing how often we do the very opposite, going against nature.

We’re not always born into the easiest environment to be ourselves, but maybe that’s the point. To really come into yourself, you’ve got to have some sense of separation and individuality. You chose to be born at an exact moment, in specific circumstances, but they do not define you. Self-definition and self-realization is your journey and it’s activated the moment you’re born. Your rising sign is your personal “I am” declaration from the moment of that first breath, and it never leaves you, no matter how old you get. It’s primal, preverbal, preconditioning, and powerful! So… what’s your animal?

Rising spirit animals – from Aries to Pisces

Aries the Wolf

You’re learning about and discovering your inner-self and inner power. Wolves stand for growth, trust, guardianship, instinct, intuition, and adaptability. Their medicine teaches how to avoid unnecessary confrontation. A fierce predator, wolves trust their instincts and are not afraid to take action. Wolf reconnects you with your wild spirit and reminds you that you are in charge of your life.

Taurus the Pig

You’re learning to enjoy the simplicity and abundance of life. Pigs are symbols of wealth, luck, determination, prosperity, and swift motion. Greek goddess Demeter kept a sacred pig that becomes a symbol of fertility. Pigs are intelligent, friendly, and naturally clean. They know how to make themselves comfortable, and when free from factory farms, spend hours exploring, relaxing and playing.

Gemini the Swallow

You’re learning about perspective and to be flexible as you change course on your journey. Swallows display impressive aerial acrobatics to catch insects. They symbolize speed, problem-solving, happiness, self-discovery, and connection. It’s said that seeing a swallow three times means it has a spiritual connection with you. Just watching swallows can bring about new insights and renewed playfulness and joy.

Cancer the Salmon

You’re learning to find your true home and a genuine sense of belonging. Swimming upstream, like salmon during spawning, symbolizes spiritual evolution. Nothing can keep them from returning to the place they were born. Salmon reminds us not to give up, to be strong, and not to always just go with the flow. It’s important to honor our roots and know where we come from, but also necessary to let go, grow up, and go on.

Leo the Kingfisher

You’re learning to trust and follow your heart to manifest your destiny. Kingfishers are stunning bright blue and green in color and their dark crest symbolizes royalty. Kingfisher medicine teaches us when to act – when to dive straight into that activity or love. Kingfishers are associated with warmth, sunshine, abundance, and love.

Virgo the Dog

You’re learning to help others with compassion and get to the true essence of yourself. Dogs are the very essence of spirit, and it takes something extreme to break it. Could there be any better symbol of friendship, faithfulness, love, and protection? Dog medicine teaches us to be steadfast, loyal, and to heal each other with love.

Libra the Dove

You’re learning to find the sweet spot of balance between the extremes. Dove is known as a spirit messenger that bridges the sky and earth, or the spiritual and physical realms. The dove is Aphrodite’s bird, symbolizing peace, beauty, hope, and love. Dove vocalizations are calming and remind us to release emotional disharmony.

Scorpio the Crocodile

You’re learning to tap into your most primal energy and step into your own power. Crocodiles are known as the keepers and protectors of all knowledge and teach us to go deep for the truth, even when it’s cold and dark. Crocodile medicine connects us with unbridled creative forces and the transformative cycle of creation and destruction.

Sagittarius the Elk

You’re learning the impressiveness of your true nature. Elk symbolizes stamina, strength, energy, passion, nobility, and wisdom. Elk reflects a time of plenty and a state of gratitude, optimism, and simply feeling good about life. Elk also teaches us that to keep the journey going, a long and steady pace is the best choice.

Capricorn the Bear

You’re learning to be a leader, in your own life or otherwise. Bear stands tall and has earned our respect – its medicine helps us be our fullest and strongest selves. There is no need to play small and you are up to the task! Bear teaches us to follow our vision, to stay grounded in the physical, and be secure in what we’re doing. Bear calls us to stand our ground, make good use of resources, and protect others when the time calls.

Aquarius the Zebra

You’re learning the balance between just being yourself and being part of the group. Zebra symbolizes individuality, agility, speed, and objective insight. Zebra medicine helps us come up with creative ways of looking things, incorporating all the shades of gray. Zebra reflects a willingness to experiment and explore the mysteries.

Pisces the Lizard

You’re learning to turn inward and listen to what your heart is telling you. Lizards symbolize objective detachment, letting go of the past, listening to your intuition, and paying attention to dreams. Lizard medicine teaches us to slow down and withdraw from the rat race long enough to reimagine our reality. Lizards spend most of their time alone and teach us the blessing of solitude and introspection.


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