We know the cheetah to be the fastest among all land creatures, so it isn’t surprising that when it is conjured as an animal symbol, the cheetah is all about speed. But it’s not that simple, because speed in itself is a very complex thing. For one, speed is relative, and what might be fast for your normal pace may be slow in the grand scheme of things.
Second, speed is a mere attribute — it has its uses, and whether it becomes important or fruitful would depend on the situation. In other words, speed isn’t everything, and a truly wise person will know not just to use speed, but when. Just like our observations of the cheetah, speed doesn’t have to be constant but something reserved for when it is needed.
Cheetah Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
The cheetah teaches us all about the wisdom of speed, and there are many subtleties we should learn from it.
Cheetah Symbolism & Meaning
The cheetah primarily emphasizes the raw attributes of speed, especially the excitement and exhilaration that goes along with it. Speed can be a very beautiful thing, and the cheetah wields this effortlessly.
Of course, speed is also related to taking the initiative. The cheetah is the perfect symbol of a first-mover advantage, which allows it to outpace any of its enemies or prey. In life this means you will be able to position yourself favorably, allowing you to seize the moment. The cheetah is all about you acting not simply faster than your previous self, but faster than what is going on around you. Being fast isn’t important to the cheetah, but being faster is. It nails the relative aspect of speed, turning it into something useful, and this is done by keenly observing his surroundings.
Cheetah Spirit Animal
When the cheetah zooms into your life as a spirit animal, it might not always come in the form of a blessing. Sometimes it can also be a warning. As alluded to earlier, speed is just a tool and it’s our use of it that will determine how useful it can be for our everyday lives. Sometimes, moving too fast results in us spreading ourselves too thin across the board, robbing us of precious time to contemplate and plan our next moves. Sometimes, our speed disorients us when it forces us to change directions every now and then. And of course, just because one moves fast does not mean one has understood the meaning of his motions completely.
If we are to own a weapon, we might as well understand how to use it. The same goes with speed. The cheetah tells us more about this, and helps us inculcate these lessons in our lives.
Cheetah Power Animal
As a power animal, the cheetah helps you not just use speed, but use it in pursuit of your life’s goals. Remember, though, that while the cheetah uses its speed in a predatory manner, we humans could use it to either run to something or to outrun something. If ever you need speed for anything, from outrunning danger to catching an opportunity, then the cheetah is someone you can call on.
Call on the cheetah as well if you need to imbue this speed with the uncanny accuracy that only a hunter can provide. The cheetah is a calculating animal, and is capable of adjusting on the fly when circumstances around it change. This is also something one could imbibe.
Cheetah Totem Animal
People born under the cheetah totem are very instinctive, and they place an emphasis in being able to outrun and outmaneuver any obstacles in life. While other people may take time thinking, they already make their first moves even while analyzing the situation. Not all cheetah people zip through life, though — some of them prefer to emphasize the calculating and accurate nature of their totems. This is so that when they finally move, everything happens in a blur, and before you know it the pursuit is over.
Cheetah Native American Symbolism
The Native Americans did not have any meaningful encounter with cheetahs because of the latter’s African habitat. Therefore, the symbol of speed was transferred itself to the dragonfly, where it also merged with a spiritual symbol.
Cheetah Celtic Symbolism
The Celts of old likewise lived far from the homeland of the cheetah, and hence the symbol for wisdom in speed has been transferred to two animals — the horse on land, and the dolphin in water.
Cheetah Far Eastern Symbolism
The Asiatic cheetah lived in the areas now occupied by the Middle East, and did not have any significant contact with the Far East. Instead of the cheetah, the animal symbolism for purposeful speed has been transferred to the trusty horse.
Cheetah in Dreams
When the cheetah comes to you in a dream, that means you need to be careful about losing an opportunity. Planning is very important, but it is useless without action to follow it up. The cheetah may also appear to warn you about the way you are carrying through your life, as you may need more than speed in resolving your current woes. You might have to borrow from this hunter’s ferocity, as well!
Cheetah Encounters / Cheetah Omens
When you encounter cheetahs, this means you have to be very careful! Not only are you in the wild, but you might also be in a wild patch of your life. Meeting a cheetah is not a random event, and when it happens then there’s going to be a new development in your life coming in fast. You have to think fast to identify this, and act accordingly afterwards. By then, the speed of the cheetah is already with you to help you gain success.
Cheetah Mythology and Folklore
African lore brings us several myths and legends about the cheetah, from the origin of the cheetah’s spots to the origin of the “tear lines” on a cheetah’s face. The latter was the result of a lazy human hunter stealing a mother cheetah’s children so he could use their speed and skill to hunt for him. The mother cried so hard it left streaks — and this was passed on from generation to generation.
This, again, is a demonstration that speed isn’t everything especially if it is wielded negligently. In our fast-paced world, this is something we could all keenly learn.