What first drew me to the Eagle in my work? Though the symbolic representations in Native American tradition go deep, it is the practical way in which this powerful animal lives its life that I first found connection. There are many unique attributes to the Eagle that make it a meaningful totem animal, and a worthy mascot for my jewelry line.
Before delving into the symbolism behind this iconic bird, it helps to better familiarize ourselves with the concept of a totem animal, or "spirit animal" -- as it's commonly referred to in modern-day terms.
What is a Totem Animal?
In Native American tradition, a totem animal is an animal -- whether it be a fox, an Eagle, or another living creature found amongst nature -- that represents specific attributes or qualities that humans can associate with. Historically, totem animals have represented specific tribes, clans, or families. However, they can also represent individuals.
Many of us are drawn to certain animals that represent qualities we wish to embody. Perhaps we are drawn to the totem animal of the wolf for its fierce independence, or the totem animal of the dolphin for its childlike playfulness.
What does the Eagle represent?
The totem animal of the Eagle is one that embodies boldness, courage, fearlessness, and higher awareness. Those of us who identify with the Eagle as totem might be seeking strength, grounding, or increased self-assurance.
You do not have to already feel these qualities in order to embrace the Eagle as totem. Rather, they can be qualities you are actively seeking in order to overcome a trauma, heartbreak, or recent transition.
The Eagle is a creature of transformation and movement. It rarely stays in one place, always soaring the skies above in search of its next venture. Thus, it encourages us to explore outside of ourselves, to find change where change is most needed, and to use movement as a valuable form of expression.
What are the Eagle's attributes?
There are four particularly awe-inspiring facts about Eagle nature that align with values we can embody in our own lives. For starters, Eagles mate for life, representing a deep dedication to their partner and their tribe. This essence of loyalty reminds us to stay close to our support system, no matter where our adventures may take us.
Secondly, the Eagle soars to a higher altitude than any other bird. This represents its ability to reach higher levels of consciousness and achieve a closeness to the Creator. Furthermore, by being able to reach such heights, they can more effectively survey the landscape below and see the bigger picture.
Thirdly, their eyesight is nearly eight times more powerful than a human's. This symbolizes unlimited vision, an ability to access intuition and see beyond our physical plane.
Lastly, they are the only animal that loves the storm, frequently flying into its fierce winds while other birds fly away. It is because they know the calm that awaits beyond it, and that weathering the hardships is part of the process toward peace.