I love questions from readers. Here is one from Angie, about masculine and feminine energies in spirit animals:
Hi Christie! I enjoyed reading about owl totem. Can you tell me if different species put out different energies or is it based on sex of the animal. For instance, I believe snakes are a feminine energy which applies to both the male and female. Is that correct or no?
While in Sedona I discovered I didn’t react well to the masculine energy of a male juniper tree – it made me nauseous. However, when near a female juniper I felt fine. I would enjoy any insight you have on this.
Great question, Angie! Masculine and feminine energy, and the balance of the two, is a core spiritual topic. The divine union of masculine and feminine gives rise to new life on the material plane and the expansion of consciousness on the spiritual plane. The sexual energies have a lot to do with Unity, Harmony, Abundance, Manifestation, all those good things. Super awesome stuff, and super powerful stuff. When not in balance, though, watch out! The effects can be horrific.
For a lot of us, a central part of the ascension or self-realization journey has to do with balancing the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, and getting them to work in harmony with one another rather than fighting or undermining each other. When we do, it enables and empowers our divine creative ability to manifest wonderful things in our lives and in the universe.
But it’s not always easy. Male and female energies are quite different. They have different needs and purposes, and don’t always see eye to eye. This is a topic worthy of its own post (or maybe even a book!)—so stay tuned; I’ll write more about it soon. For now though, let’s look at masculine and feminine energies in spirit animals. Identifying these can help unlock the lessons they can teach us about balancing the masculine and feminine within ourselves.
Male and Female Energy in Spirit Animals
Let’s return to Angie’s question (I’m paraphrasing it here:)
When working with spirit animals, do we consider that a species of spirit animal is either masculine or feminine? Or do we need to consider the sex of the individual animal we are working with?
First, we need to determine what type of power animal we’re working with.
When I teach about spirit animals, I usually spend a little time explaining what a spirit animal is, and about the types of spirit animals. I won’t go into that in depth here, except to say that we can work with power animals on the species level or the individual level.
On the species level, it’s like working with the oversoul of the animal: the collective spirit of all Horses, all Turtles, etc. (although we usually just say the spirit of Horse or Turtle.) It’s the spiritual energy associated with the species as a whole—the archetype of that animal.
On the individual level, you’re working with a specific animal of that species. This can be an animal that comes to you in spirit, or it can be a physical animal. (Or in Angie’s case, a plant.) This being will resonate with the archetypal energy of the species, but it will also have its own individual characteristics. For most animals, one of these traits will be its sex (male or female.)
So when it comes to the animal’s sex, do we work with the masculine or feminine energy of the individual animal, or of the species/oversoul?
The short answer is: both, or either—depending on circumstances.
But that probably isn’t very helpful. So let me explain a little about each.
Archetypal masculine and feminine energies in spirit animals
Some, but not all, archetypal (collective to the species) spirit animals have characteristics that tend to polarize more towards the masculine or feminine. Spider spirit animal, for instance, has very pronounced feminine energy, while an animal like Eagle leans more towards the masculine. This manifests in various ways in the animal’s behavior and physical structure.
There are also animals which are energetically highly dimorphic, meaning that the meaning can change if it appears in its masculine vs its feminine form. Take the Deer power animal, for instance: while they do share some things in common, the meaning of the Buck varies significantly from that of the Doe.
More rarely, you may find an animal that embodies both sexual energies very strongly. Personally, I regard Snake one of these. While it is phallic in form, it is also highly receptive (a feminine quality) in its habit of soaking up the sunlight. (I could go on about the masculine and feminine qualities of Snake but will save that for another post.)
So it’s quite common when a spirit animal to presents itself for it to be pointing out something to do with one of these energies.
Individual masculine and feminine energies in spirit animals
But what if it’s an individual animal that presents itself to us—one that is clearly its own being above and beyond representing its species?
This happens quite a lot. Most of the time when we come across a flesh-and-blood animal it will be either male or female. But even animals that come to us purely in spirit or dreamtime will often appear as distinct individuals, and many times they will have an obvious gender.
Even if it’s not as clearly male or female as a bull vs. a cow, you can usually get a feeling for the sex of the critter. This may be different from the overriding sexual energy of the species as a whole. For instance, you can very easily come across a spider that is quite obviously male.
Working with the sexual energies of spirit animals
So when we’re working with spirit animals and sexual energies we do need to take into account the masculine and/or feminine energy of the spirit animal oversoul in question. But if that spirit animal comes to us as an individual animal—whether purely in spirit or in the flesh—we also need to be aware of the sexual energy of that individual. Either one can override the other, or temper the meaning.
Ultimately, the important thing is to trust your intuition.
If you find that the sex of the animal (either the individual or the energy of the species) comes forward strongly for you, it probably has something important to tell you regarding the balance of masculine and feminine energies within yourself, or in a situation you are involved in. You will need to keep this in mind and pay attention to your emotions and intuitive hits when working with the animal. Allowing these to guide your interpretation will help you arrive at helpful insights for your situation.
If you would like to see my video on masculine and feminine energies in spirit animals (including an example using Hummingbird), watch here: