Ferocity is a very relative term in the animal kingdom. For example, when we think of the really wild animals, we often think of the big cats like lions and tigers. Or maybe wolves and bears, too. But pound for pound, one of the wildest and fiercest animals in the animal kingdom is one that is often overlooked —- the badger.
Badger Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
The badger is very assertive. It always stands its ground, even when faced with bigger foes. You can readily find videos of badgers facing off with lions and hyenas, and never backing down even if it is a losing fight. This way, the badger holds many lessons for us.
Badger Symbolism & Meaning
The badger’s assertion can be applied to many different areas of life. Preeminently, such ferocity can be channeled when you need to fight against pressing problems. There are times when our problems get too heavy for us, and we just let them weigh us down. The badger tells us to fight back, even if we have to do it slowly and bit by bit.
The badger is also a symbol of fearlessness. In the animal kingdom, it’s a very small creature —- but it can pack a punch, and it proves that size does not matter when you’re up in a survival situation. Sometimes you might find yourself in competition for something, or defending something that is yours from being taken. Even though you might find yourself disadvantaged, you can still stand tall knowing that it’s he who fights best that wins.
Badger Spirit Animal
As a spirit animal, the badger teaches us to be grounded. This means the badger shows up when we are feeling out of touch with reality, or our responsibilities. Often, when we feel that we are not able to fight for what we believe is ours, that’s because we are distracted with our various preoccupations. We may have built biases and similar mental roadblocks that prevent us from seeing our priorities objectively.
Being grounded also helps us to discover our individuality, which in turn helps us become more expressive. Individuality is an important prerequisite to understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses, allowing one to get the strength one needs in times of conflict.
Badger Power Animal
When you need to have focus and strength of will, call on the badger. This is also the same if you need to protect something that is yours, or to fight for something that is important. Tenacity is an often undervalued trait, but it can often save the day.
The badger is also the perfect animal to call on when you need independence. Being independent means you will also fight off the problems mostly on your own, and the badger is just the right one for this.
Badger Totem Animal
A person born with the badger totem tends to be a very territorial person. They are unafraid of taking on big risks to defend what they think is right. This does not always mean that they are hard and tough people, since they also take time to address the needs of others (albeit after making sure their own needs are met).
Badger people are also pretty inured to social commentary. They don’t care what other people think of them, but they do take constructive criticisms when in order.
Badger Native American Symbolism
Because they are similar in size and ferocity, the Native Americans often used badgers and wolverines interchangeably in their stories (or at least, that’s how it appeared when these stories were translated to modern languages). Badgers are considered hard working and alert animals, and are also the symbol of protective parenting. They are also seen as guardians, and bringers of good luck.
Badger Celtic Symbolism
The ancient Celts also recognized the sheer will of the badger, and has hailed them as an example of survival even under brutal circumstances (which these people had sometimes been subjected to). They are also considered magical animals connected to the Earth —- their continuous digging is seen as symbolic of the soul returning to the Earth, which is the Source of everything. Their symbolism is often paired with the holly, a plant equally known for its survivability.
Badger Far Eastern Symbolism
In China, badgers are seen as symbols of happiness because of the sound used to refer to them in Chinese (similar to the word for “happy” ). They are often paired with cats and magpies, who also symbolize happiness. This is fitting with the theme, since a person who has successfully fought for what is his is one step closer to happiness.
Badger in Dreams
When a badger appears in your dreams, it’s almost always a sign of success. This is especially true when you are struggling with personal issues or big problems.
If the badger seems aggressive in your dreams, then it means that you may be under attack by someone close enough to be a territorial threat. This means you have to double down your efforts to find this person and address the problem.
Badger Encounters / Badger Omens
When you see a badger cross your path, it is telling you that you have to follow its example —- you have to walk your own path as well. Walking at your own pace means that you don’t bow down to the dictates of others, even if there is tremendous pressure. Peer pressure can be a very dangerous thing, but if you have discovered your individuality then you can fight against the former. It’s the lesson that badgers want to show us.
Badger Mythology and Folklore
The badger appears in different religious and mythological contexts. In Ireland, one of their legendary kings had kinsmen who hailed from badgers. In Japan, the image of Mujina, a badger who can change shapes at will. They also have the tenacious tanuki, which have also been translated into badgers.
And of course, there are the Native American legends. The Lakota tribe hails us with the story of a hardworking badger family who was threatened by a bear, and was subsequently helped by a spirit warrior. There is also a trickster badger figure from the Canadian Indians.
The badger is one of the most straightforward animal symbols, but it is not without its multiple layers of meanings. It’s up to us to know how we can make the most of the lessons it tries to impart.
On Native American myth:
“…or at least, that’s how it appeared when these stories were translated to modern languages…”
Native American languages are also modern languages. The Native Americans aren’t gone, and neither are their traditions or languages. If your sources for understanding these myths come from old translations from white anthropologists instead of actual, living people, that’s a problem.