UPDATED June 17th, 2017

Have you ever wondered, what is your spirit animal? If you’ve spent any time on social media recently you’ve probably heard the term, and chances are you’re a bit confused as to what that phrase even means. Your friend posted a photo of a puppy taking a nap, claiming it to be her spirit animal; you saw someone on the street wearing a tank top claiming whiskey is her spirit animal (no comment); when you’re feeling extra sassy and diva-esque perhaps you think that Beyoncé is your spirit animal. The hashtag #spiritanimal currently has over 244,000 posts on Instagram alone. But what is a spirit animal anyway? Does it have to be an animal? Can it be a person? Can it be a fictional character? Do you have to pick just one, or can you connect with different spirit animals at different times depending on your mood?

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Back up…let’s start with the basics. What the heck is a spirit animal anyway?

According to a recent article in The Atlantic, “the concept of the spirit animal comes, most directly, from Native American spirituality. In that tradition, though there are variations across tribes and cultures, the spirit animal—otherwise known as a “totem animal”—generally takes the form of a single animal with which a person or a clan shares a certain set of characteristics, and therefore a kinship.” Clearly, the concept of a spirit animal isn’t new.

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