Hawaiian Spirit Animals

Animals play a role as spirit guides in the Hawaiian tradition and are part of a culture that honors the visible as well as the invisible. As you look at the list of spirit animals, you are invited to connect with your own relationship to each of them or any in particular that you’ve previously identified as a power animal.

Spirit animals and Hawaiian lore

Traditional Hawaiian way of life is characterized by its symbiosis with spiritual guidance that comes from every animated and inanimate entity – be it an animal, a rock, a tree, the sea, the moon, etc. Animal spirit guides are amongst the messengers providing guidance on the path and in everyday life.

The islands of Hawaii each carry a special energy and character that can be felt to anyone who’s able to attune to the spirit of the land and its inhabitants. The ability to perceive presence, whether it’s associated with physical reality as we usually feel it or with more ethereal, subtle realms, is part of the natural Hawaiian way of life. Spirit animals play a special role as the embodiment of both dimensions, where the physical meets the spiritual.

Hawaiian spirit animal list

Hawaii is often seen as a piece of paradise, rightfully so! The usual divide between humans and gods seems thinner here, as spiritual form pervades everyday life. We can tap into an harmonious relationship with spiritual guidance by looking at animals and the messages they carry.

  • Albatros – Moli: Finality
  • Bat – Pe’ape’a: Respect
  • Chicken – Moa: Magic
  • Dog – Ilio: Truth
  • Dolphin – Nai’a: Unconditional love
  • Eel – Puhi: Emotion
  • Hawk – ‘Io: Ascension
  • Hawaiian Crow – ‘Alala: Self-esteem
  • Hawaiian Goose – Nene: Initiative
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal – Hulu: Immortality
  • Honey Creaper – I’iwer: Magnificence
  • Jackfish – Ulua: Sacrifice
  • Kuzard and Gecko – Mo’o: Independence
  • Mullet – ‘Anae: Safety
  • Pig – Pua’a: Stubbornness
  • Owl – Pu’eo: Protection
  • Octopus – He’e: Reverence
  • Rat – ‘lole: Generosity
  • Sandpiper – ‘Ulili: Compassion
  • Shark – Mano: Strength
  • Surgeonfish – Kala: Forgiveness
  • Turtle – Honu: Sovereignty
  • Whale – Kohola: Wisdom

The symbolic and spiritual meaning of animals can vary from culture to culture. If you wish to learn more about a specific animal, visit the spirit animal meanings.

Hawaiian tradition and the relationship to spirit

The Hawaiian tradition is rooted in a deep respect for nature and the relationship with the land. Hawaiian mythology is still very much alive in modern times, even though a lot of knowledge and rituals have vanished with the assimilation to modern Western culture.

Nevertheless, the relationship with mythological gods and goddesses can be seen and felt in the ordinary life on the islands. Pele, the Goddess of the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is an example of a revered power throughout the whole archipelago.