Animal symbolism: When a dead animal crosses your path

animal symbolismWhen an animal crosses your path, you would be wise not to take the experience lightly. Animal symbolism can be powerful, offering you guidance and insight into the next steps on your path. Think about it from a larger perspective: what are the odds that you and that particular animal would share that particular space at the same exact time?

There are animal symbol dictionaries that can tell you what a given animal symbolizes. For example, a rabbit may let you know that you are entering a fertile period since rabbits are known for their fertility. A skunk could be giving you a preview of some funky times soon to come. A skunk could also be letting you know that you might want to do a better job of protecting yourself.

While I sometimes consult animal symbol dictionaries, more often I come up with my own symbolism. I look at what that animal means to me and go from there. For example, if I see a squirrel cross my path, I often take that as a sign to hold onto my money and save since squirrels are masters of gathering acorns for the winter. When I see a deer, I’m often reminded to move through my obstacles with sensitivity and intuition.

But how can we tell what animal symbolism is trying to tell us if the animal is no longer alive? What does it mean if we come across a dead animal? Perhaps your car passes a raccoon on the side of the road. Or perhaps a small animal has died in your garage or your back yard. Do the traditional meanings still apply?

The traditional meanings do still apply, but there is a caveat. The death of an animal often carries a second meaning.

The animal symbolism of a dead animal

When it comes to animal symbolism, different people will likely have a different take on the message. And that’s ok. When determining what an animal is trying to tell you, it’s important to look at the message in light of what’s currently going on in your life. Ask yourself, what are your current questions? What are your current challenges? What are you grappling with? The messages you receive from the Universe will likely make sense in light of your current situation.

So how do you determine what a dead animal is trying to tell you? Try the following tips:

Ask yourself ‘what is ending?’

Death is a natural cycle of life. Death is not an ending, but rather it is a transition from one form to another. So the death of an animal is not a sign of an ending, but rather one of transition.

–It might be alerting us that we are ending one cycle in our lives and moving toward a new one.
–It might be letting us know that it is time to make a new choice.
–It might be letting us know that a major life transition is at hand.

Think about areas of your life where you feel that a door is closing (or perhaps where you feel that you should close the door.) A dead animal may be letting you know that your instincts are right. For example, have you been contemplating ending a relationship? Seeing a dead animal could give you the nudge that you need. Have you been asking yourself if it’s time to start looking for a new job? A dead animal could be letting you know that you’ve gained all that you’re going to get in your current job.

Consider whether you have been grappling with a threat.

A dead animal can often be a sign of hope, particularly when we’ve been battling a current threat in our lives. In this situation, a dead animal can be a sign or an omen that the threat has ended. For example, say you’ve been going through a particularly tough financial challenge. You’ve been having financial setback after financial setback. Seeing a dead animal could be a sign that your troubles are about to be over.

Ask yourself what the animal represents.

Another way to determine what the dead animal means is to think about what the living animal would mean to you. What qualities are apparent in that living animal? A dead animal might suggest that those qualities are lacking in your life.

Take the example I gave earlier of the squirrel and how squirrels tell me that I should save or store up for a rainy day. Well if I saw a dead squirrel, I might think that the Universe is warning me to stop being so free-wheeling with my money. The dead squirrel might be letting me know that I’m currently lacking the qualities that the squirrel possesses and I need to change my ways because I’ll need those savings in a short period of time.

Pay special attention if it happens more than once.

There’s one important thing I will say: If you see the same type of dead animal multiple times, make sure you pay attention. The Universe uses repetition to get us to do things differently. Seeing the same type of dead animal in different places in a short period of time means the Universe is screaming for you to act.

If you still don’t know what the animal is trying to tell you…

If you’re not sure what message you’re supposed to take away from the experience, meditate on it. Here are some meditation apps that may help you to shut out the chatter in your mind and get clear.

You might also ask the Universe to send you a clearer sign and stay alert for signs and symbols that provide clarity. You can even increase the signs and synchronicities that show up in your life simply by asking for more signs. Then be on the lookout for them.

You might hear a song on the radio or turn the television on and hear someone say something that strongly resonates with you. You might feel an urge to read a particular book or magazine article that sheds light on your current dilemma. Signs and symbols surround us constantly. It’s up to you to set the intention to receive them.

If an animal crosses your path or another message gets your attention and you have no idea how to interpret it and it’s bothering you, a psychic may also be able to help you. He or she may be able to ease your mind about whether the animal has an important message for you.

Before I consult a psychic, I always set the intuition that I be led to the person who will have the answers for me. If you have friends who are interested in metaphysics and psychic ability, they may be able to recommend a psychic for you to go to. (Or if you have friends like me or are very intuitive, they may be able to give you the insight that you need).

If you don’t know anyone to go to in person, you can try an online psychic. I personally like to either get a recommendation or see someone in action before I spend money on a reading.  Oranum lets you chat with a psychic for free so you can get a feel for whether you like the person’s energy before you decide on paying for a reading.
Simply join Oranum for free, and then you can see what psychic you feel drawn to.

Before any reading, I keep in mind a few tips.
• You’ll get better results if you calm your mind and take a few deep breaths before your reading.
• Also, have a pad of paper nearby so you can jot down notes. The psychic may tell you something that doesn’t make sense today but it may make sense tomorrow.

Like all signs and synchronicities, animals are here to help us. By understanding animal symbolism you may be able to move forward in your life more successfully.

Read: Beware ~ Signs an Animal is Trying to Warn You






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  1. Saw 2 dead raccoons in one day and haven’t seen a raccoon in years. Both were within 10 miles of each other. Both were a distance off the road. One had been electrocuted while climbing a power pole.

  2. On my way to go for a walk i drove by a turtle thar had been run over by a car. During my walk on the beech i came across a seagull that was lying beautifully wing spread so full of grace. I wasnt sure if it had already passed its eyes were open and it appearedvto be in the grips of transitioning. I prayed over both and am grateful for their presence and asked the universe to help them and guide them each in their transition. A peaceful one. On my walk back to my car i discovered what i believe to be a bone from a deers leg. Its definitely a leg bone.

    Although I am in transition in my path in life i am still trying to understand the significance of each. I believe I am not alone and am blessed with much guidance. Any insight would be appreciated.

  3. Perhaps their peaceful transition is to remind you to embrace the transition you’re currently experiencing in your life. Think about what qualities you associate those animals with. Thank you for reading!

  4. My neighbor’s want to buy my house that is not for sale. I found a dead rat or rabbit, purposely put, in my garden. And a few dead birds. They have also poisoned many plants. What is the meaning of dead animals?

    • What is toxic in your life. Have a look T your thoughts. Maybe your holding on to something and it’s time to let go and move your life forward. Fertility freedom and awareness into the unknown x

  5. I found 3 dead chipmunks on the same stretch of road today. I know that chipmunks are supposed to mean good luck, but what does finding a dead chipmunk mean? And does three of them mean anything?

  6. I just encountered a dead vole that a sudden breeze rolled in front of my side door as I was taking my dog for her potty in the back. So I scooped up the animal and buried him next to my fence. Don’t know what prayer to say to a vole I don’t know and had no incense to burn for him like I did a dead crow years before but as I was taking my dog back into the house I did say I hoped the vole was in peace as he looked freshly dead in my mind. Since I already have ocassional paranormal stuff in my house I didn’t want an angry vole spirit messing with me.

  7. I found a deceased cat, with no obvious injuries, under a bush by my porch. I have 2 of my own and it saddened me that it was so close to help but we didn’t know it.

    • Hi Sound,
      Do dogs have a certain meaning for you? When you’re confronted with a dead animal many believe that it means that the animal is sacrificing its qualities so that you can use them. Think of what qualities you think of when you think of dogs. Thanks for reading.

  8. A couple weeks ago, I was driving through town, and found a dead black cat perfectly placed in the center of the road. I took it and burried it. This morning on my way to work, I came across the same thing. A dead black cat, placed so perfectly in the center of the road. Miles apart from the first cat, And weeks after. I find it incredibly strange. My mother is extremely superstitious, so she has me really paranoid about it thinking it’s a sign that me or someone I love will die. I’m honestly a bit worried. It’s seems way too strange to be just a coincidence. I burried the second cat as well. They were both males, if that means anything…

  9. My husband found a dead rat on doorstep early in the morning, while he was trying to get the mail. What is the meaning or symbolic meaning of that.

  10. This all happened last night! I was at a friends house all I ended up having a snail on me?!?!? Then…..I had the craziest ride home and once I got home!!!
    A car in front of me hit a deer and I saw the bones fly everywhere. Then!!!! I get home I hear something scurrying around in the grass like a bird . Once I was in the house and look out the patio and see a cat but not a regular cat it was like a Bob cat or something. I look in the grass and see the bird just sitting there. I scare the cat off and walk away. I come back and look and the bird is dead mangled on my patio. I dont know whats going on but I am FREAKED OUT! I feel like something is trying to tell me something or get at me.

  11. Thank-you for sharing this. I just came across a beautiful turtle who had passed. It was belly up. Turtles are one of my main totems… I identify with All Nature in some way <3 I just got a tattoo of one on my foot for my birthday. I'm in my 50's and a 'late bloomer' some would say…. All Is in Divine Time <3. I do feel this is telling me things are about to speed up… I just got my deer totem tattooed on my back right shoulder for Mother's Day ; Working on a living totem pole ; <3

  12. When I moved into my current home I found a turtle happily strolling down the side walk. I tried to keep it but he looked miserable. So I released him. Today walking with my daughter I came across a dead turtle apparently ran over by a car.
    We’ve been debating if we should move for 6 years I wonder if this encounter has any meaning


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