Salamander – Land-Swimmer

Hellbender Salamander illustrated by Ravenari


Land-Swimmer. Delicacy. Fire. Elemental Metamorphosis. Primitive. Danger. Homecoming. Poison. The Joy of Change. Cryptic. Toxic. Sensitivity. Dark Waters. Elemental Magic.

General Description:

Salamanders are long-bodied amphibians which retain a tail throughout life, they experience one or multiple periods of metamorphosis. Their skin is generally soft and in some cases slimy, all salamandrids have toxic skin secretions, and all newts are highly poisonous. On land they wriggle rapidly in order to move, a movement which is almost exactly the same as the land. wriggling movement a fish makes in order to swim. In other words, they swim on land. All salamandrids must return to water in order to bear live young that live in water until they lose their external gills. They are cryptic creatures generally active on mild, damp nights. They tend to live in burrows or refuges under logs and leaves, and newts tend to live in dark, protective places under-water or near water.


Please remember that if this animal is contacting you, it will often be the best resource for teaching you what its lessons are. What I write is only intended to be a guide, it is not absolute, nor is it infallible.

– The true salamander uses a fish-like movement in order to move on land, reminiscent of its aquatic roots. This movement is described as land-swimming, and for this reason the salamander can be thought of as the land-swimmer. Salamander teaches us to radically change how we move through our lives spiritually and physically in order to negotiate how we get there. Salamander also teaches us that with better internal fluidity we can negotiate life smoothly, even if we may look a little odd to others.

– The true salamander, due to its mythological associations, is connected to the element of fire in magical workings. The salamander is a creature that in its natural habitat has very little connection to fire, yet this elemental connection persists. It is important to negotiate our balance with the elements. It is important to realise that even though we may have had, or can imagine ourselves having negative reactions with fire in real life, that our spiritual lives will be enriched if we work with this element.

– Many creatures can be thought of as primitive in origin, but there is a timeless quality to the salamander, which persists in the shadows and the dark waters, often on the periphery of our conscious. It is not a glamourised creature in many circles, yet it is unique and ancient in origin. Salamander in dreams and journeys or visualisations can teach us to pay attention to our own dark waters and primitive origins, and look for the amphibian within that negotiates boundary, embraces and delights in metamorphosis, and seeks to quietly transform who we are. Salamander teaches us to listen hard and look well.

– Salamander is a creature of the hidden. Salamander opens us up to secrets within ourselves, secrets within others, and secrets of the spirit. Salamander also teaches us that it’s important to keep aspects of our life secret and to do this with a sense of subtlety that does not draw attention to ourselves.

– The salamander is at constant risk of being killed slowly through the absorption of environmental toxins when it breathes the air around it and swims in waters. It is also itself a poisonous or toxic creature that excretes poison. Salamander as a teacher can come at a time when we ourselves have a compromised health to teach us how to live with poisons around us, or to teach us how to become more ‘toxic’ to those who wish us harm. Some people need to learn how to fight back with brute force, but the true salamander teaches us how to fight back with venomous words, toxic actions and poisonous mannerisms.

– Salamander can teach us how to look within to find our place in the world, our home, and also to return to our birth place and the home of our ancestors. Salamander can be a very beneficial energy for people who have been adopted, who wish to trust their cell memory and ancestor’s guidance in discovering their true home and heritage. Salamander can also help us find our way home in a spiritual sense.

– The true salamander and newt have strong connections to all aspects of elemental magic and the ability to work with multiple elements in a form of elemental metamorphosis. True salamander’s presence in our lives can draw with it a need to focus on elemental magic, elemental theory, and to deliberately place ourselves outside of our comfort zone and work with elements we rarely work with. Salamander energy tends to focus more specifically on Water, Earth and Fire.

– Finally, the true salamander is one of the creatures to undergo more than one or more metamorphoses. Salamander teaches us that it is important to embrace change joyfully throughout our lives, regardless of how many life-changing events we’ve experienced already.

If you have True Salamander or Newt as your guide:

People with this animal as a guide will often manifest traits similar to the animal itself. I work on the philosophy that we only have one guide, and it teaches us lessons as well as representing the core aspects of our personality. Therefore –

– People with salamander energy are generally concerned with helping others to enjoy change, and also helping others to look at the secrets in themselves and around them – and use newfound knowledge in order to grow.

There will be other ways your guide manifests, and you will recognise them with awareness and communion.

As a shadow energy:

The shadow guide is the animal we often fear irrationally, that teaches us things about ourselves that are profound and difficult to confront. Often the traits we fear most within the shadow guide, are the traits that we dislike in ourselves. We must scrutinise why this is, and learn how to work with them.

– People may fear salamander energy if they are gossips who are prone to not respecting the boundaries of other’s secret knowledge and their information. In this sense, salamander energy may inspire subconscious feelings of guilt.

– People who fear salamander or newt often also fear ceremonial and elemental magic, and witchcraft. This is both due to historical associations, and the energy of the creature itself.

Contacting True Salamander / Newt:

Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Meditating in quiet, dark places are likely to be more successful, also consider the importance of your surrounding – places rich with water, loam, decaying logs and leaves and sources of permanent water are likely to be far more yielding than say meditating in the middle of summer out underneath the hot sun. I find that animals tend to appreciate you making the effort to understand their habitat and surroundings and try to synchronise yourself with them, rather than forcing them to synchronise with you.

Salamander tends to be cryptic and silent in visualisation, often appearing during important events but not always communicating directly with you. It’s also important to distinguish between salamander and lizard if you come across them in meditation, journeying or in dreams.