11 Animals Often Associated with Magic

Magic Animals
© MattCuda from Getty Images Pro and Stephen Chantzis from Pexels/ via Canva.com

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: December 24, 2023

Share on:


Throughout history, certain animals have been inextricably intertwined with the supernatural world. However, how and why these associations were forged varies greatly. Some animals were caught in the middle of religious strife, while others were the subjects of rumor and mystery. From gigantic dragons to tiny toads, magical animals come in all shapes and sizes! Today, we explore 11 animals that have strong ties to magic.

1. Owl

Snowy Landing

The lifespans of owls are greatly varied. In the wild, owls most often live between 8 and 10 years.

©Karyn Schiller/iStock via Getty Images

All across the globe, many people view the owl as one of the most magical animals of all. Countries like India, China, America, Egypt, and Japan depict this bird in supernatural light. According to Owl Pages, “In many cultures, owls signal an underworld or serve to represent human spirits after death; in other cultures, owls represent supportive spirit helpers and allow humans (often shamans) to connect with or utilize their supernatural powers.” In addition, owls have been depicted as sorcerers and witches’ helpers for many years. Even the famous series Harry Potter features an owl that serves as Harry’s companion. When it comes to magic animals, few are quite as captivating as the owl!

2. Butterfly

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in bloom with a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) feeding on nectar in the flowers

There are roughly 17,500 species of butterflies across the globe.

©Nancy J. Ondra/Shutterstock.com

Butterflies have had long-standing associations with magic throughout religion and folklore. In many European cultures, the butterfly symbolizes a messenger from heaven. These creatures show us that our lost loved ones are always nearby, even if we can’t see them. In Native American culture, the butterfly has different meanings. While some tribes believed butterflies were capable of delivering messages to the other side, others believed they represented the spirits of lost warriors. Today, some people feel that a butterfly is a sign of coming good luck. For others, they are a symbol of transformation and evolution. No matter what the symbolism attached, a visit from a butterfly is a positive event!

3. Bat

Flying Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) action shot of hunting animal in natural forest background. This species is know for roosting and living in urban areas in Europe and Asia.

Some bats can fly over 100 miles per hour.

©Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com

Bats are yet another entry on this list that are associated with supernatural creatures, specifically vampires! Many people know that in common superstition, vampires are believed to be able to take on the form of bats whenever they please. This association comes from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Count Dracula frequently disguises himself as a bat when appearing to Lucy. However, it is rumored that Stoker was inspired to include this element upon discovering the existence of vampire bats.

4. Rabbit

Spring morning in Wyoming. Closeup of a wild cottontail bunny rabbit sitting next to a pine tree. Easter bunny rabbit.

Rabbits are social creatures, and they tend to get lonely without company.

©Mendenhall Olga/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever heard of a lucky rabbit’s foot? The origins of this talisman are rather dark. Throughout history, witches have inspired paranoia in the masses. Many believed that witches could take on the form of an animal. While the black cat was a very popular candidate for potential witches, so too were rabbits. In the 1800s, individuals believed that cutting off a rabbit’s foot would injure the witch in question and bring the assailant magical power and protection. Luckily, many modern rabbits’ feet are not authentic, and no animals were harmed in the process of making them. However, they serve as a grim reminder of humanity’s not-so-distant past.

5. Frog

Squirrel Tree Frog on Rose Leaves
The Princess and the Frog

was based on a story called “The Frog Prince” in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

©Steve Bower/Shutterstock.com

Many people will recall the fairytale of The Princess and the Frog. In this story, a young prince is cursed by an evil witch and transformed into a frog. The way to break the spell varies based on the version of the story, but in general, either the friendship of a princess or receiving a kiss from her can save the prince. Apart from this cute story, many people believe frogs are helpful medicinally and emotionally.

6. Spider

Close up trapdoor spider on black background.

Spiders are not actually insects. They are arachnids, and they belong to the subphylum Chelicerata.

©Pichit Sansupa/Shutterstock.com

Arachnophobia is not uncommon, and certain people find themselves paralyzed by fear of spiders. Even though these creatures are undeniably divisive, they are also undeniably magical. While some people feel that spiders are representative of negative phenomena, others regard them as wise and lucky. They are common spirit animals, and those who feel connected to these creatures are likely to be artistic, assertive, and self-assured. Spiders also represent death and rebirth, so those who are going through a transformative period may feel drawn to them.

7. Raven

Common Raven - group of birds in early spring at a wet forest

A group of ravens is sometimes called an “unkindness.”

©Simonas Minkevicius/Shutterstock.com

Ravens symbolize many things for many different people. Wisdom, bravery, transformation, and the quest for knowledge are some of the most common. In fact, many people believe them to be spiritual messengers who exist at the precipice of the material plane and the afterlife. However, these unique and mysterious birds also have some detractors. While many look at the raven as a representation of intelligence, others think they represent death or the underworld. This may be due in part to their unique diet, which consists in part of other birds, garbage, and even carrion.

8. Fox

Red Fox

The diet of wild foxes consists of mice, rabbits, birds, insects, and sometimes carrion.

©JMrocek/ via Getty Images

The fox is a controversial animal, and opinions on them are sure to divide the masses. In Japan, folklore tells many stories of a fictional creature called a kitsune. These fox spirits are divisive. Within mythology, foxes are sometimes clever, playful, and helpful guardians. However, often times they are tricksters with the intent to deceive. This dual-nature representation is common, and Chinese, Korean, and Greek cultures contain similar stories.

9. Dragon

Man standing in front of a fire dragon. Fantasy scene. Wizard and huge dragon. Fantasy scene. Battle of a magician with a mythical creature. Fight against monster. 3D Digital painting.

Dragons are incredibly popular throughout fiction.

©Elena Zakhariya/Shutterstock.com

Even though these animals may be mythical, it doesn’t make them any less magical! In fact, when it comes to magical animals, are any more fitting than this flying, fire-breathing giant? In many Eastern cultures, dragons are considered symbols of good fortune and happiness. They represent wisdom, bravery, and power, and many people keep dragon trinkets nearby as good luck charms. However, in the Western world, dragons are sometimes viewed as symbols of chaos and evil. Regardless of what you believe, it’s hard to deny that dragons are as supernatural as it gets!

10. Snake

slug-eating snake isolated on black background, Pareas carinatus, a snail-eating snake

Snakes often use their tongue to smell.


When you think of a snake, a wide variety of adjectives might come to mind. Much like foxes, snakes are divisive. Some describe snakes as agile and cunning, while others call them deceptive and dirty. Even though some people feel as though snakes represent groundedness and humility, others do not view them as favorably. The negative light that snakes have been portrayed in has been around for centuries. In fact, one of the oldest stories of this creature is that of Adam and Eve. The snake in this Bible story attempts to lure the pair into a life of sin, further perpetuating this negative connotation. There’s certainly no denying that snakes have had strong ties with magic and spirituality throughout the years.

11. Black Cat

Black cats became known as harbingers of bad luck.

©Viktor Sergeevich/Shutterstock.com

Although some might think it’s cliche, we had to add the black cat to our list of magical animals. Throughout history, black cats have undeniably had an association with the occult, spirituality, and magic. However, their reputation was once heavily tarnished. Events like the Salem Witch Trials inspired fear and panic in the masses, and black cats became known as harbingers of bad luck. Thankfully, today, many people recognize this all as silly superstition and black cats have regained popularity.

Summary Table of 11 Animals Often Associated with Magic

Magical AnimalMagical Association
OwlSpiritual helpers, messengers between the physical and spiritual planes
ButterflyMessengers between the physical and spiritual planes
BatOften thought of as a disguise for vampires
RabbitMany believed witches could take on the form of rabbits. Because of this, killing them was common, and taking their feet offered spiritual protection.
FrogCommon in fairytales, potentially medicinally helpful
SpiderPowerful spirit animals
RavenMessengers between the physical and spiritual planes
Fox Associated with magical trickery
DragonMythical creatures that represent good fortune and power
SnakePopular throughout folklore for being deceptive and cunning
Black CatMany believed witches could take on the form of black cats.

Share this post on:
About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.