Among the Native Americans, and many indigenous tribes around the world, animals are known to carry a special power, or medicine. These are known as animal totems or animal spirits. The appearance of an animal totem in a dream may mean that it has a particular message for you related to its power.
Animal medicine "is anything that improves one's connection to the Great Mystery and to all life. This would include the healing of body, mind, and of spirit." From the book ~ page 13.
Animal totems frequently appear in the dreamtime. Though you may actually be getting intuitive nudges to pay more attention to a particular animal during your waking time, its appearance in your dream is much more likely to cause you to sit up and take notice.
Of course if you dream about a turtle, yet have no personal connection to the animal, its appearance in your dream may leave you scratching your head in the morning.
That is why I so enjoy and appreciate the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson.
Technically an oracle deck, the Medicine Cards provides a detailed description of 52 animals. For each animal, there is a bit of mythology, then a description on how to work with the medicine, and what it means to have this animal appear in your life. There is also a short description on the "contrary" medicine of each animal. This is very useful, especially when working with dreams where the animal frightens you.
The book itself is 246 pages, and then includes 7 lined pages for taking notes. The cards themselves are simply beautiful and very artfully done in full color. They have a blue and green background, with a pale yellow circle in the middle; which may perhaps be a full moon ~ a very intuitive symbol.
Within the full moon is the drawing of the animal, and then below hang several objects; bones, beads, feathers, medicine bags, stones, etc. So the overall affect is of a medicine wheel.
To dream of animals is to receive a visit from an animal of special power. And, to be able to understand their message is a gift beyond measure!
Deanna purchased Jamie Sams' Medicine Cards in a local bookstore with her own funds.