Tapir – Peaceful Path-Maker


Peaceful Wanderer. Hermit. Shy Traveller. Gentle. Slow. Fight or Flight. Power of Play – Water. Custodian of the Forest. Wanderer. Boundary. Vulnerability. Keeping Your Nose to the Ground.

General Description:

There are four species of tapir, all are endangered or threatened. Each are donkey-sized, plump-hoofed animals related to the rhinoceros and the horse. They are forest dwelling, preferring primary or old-growth forest as their habitat. They are known for their elongated, elephant-like proboscis used for tearing leaves and fruit, and their flat hooves which enable them to navigate soft forest floors. They are shy, reclusive, inoffensive animals that are rarely seen and prefer a solitary existence treading well-worn trails from the dense undergrowth of the forest to permanent sources of water. They hide during the day, eating leaves and shoots.

They communicate through whistling, squealing, wheezing and scent-marking. They love wallowing in mud and water, and seek pools in which to laze about and cover themselves with mud which is thought to prevent insect bites and parasites. They can gallop like horses when aroused, and are excellent swimmers, hill-climbers and negotiators of forest paths.


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 tapir is the peaceful wanderer. It is well-known for its peaceable non-confrontational nature and its wandering habits along well-worn paths. Tapir teaches us that it is important to conduct ourselves with a sense of peace and well-being, and to not criticise ourselves for feeling comfortable doing the ‘same old thing.’

– Fight or flight is an important part of all of us. When do we fight back? When do we run? Tapir is by nature a gentle creature, but it will fight when cornered. Its aggression is fierce and terrible, but at almost all other times the tapir assesses the situation and simply runs away from the threat. Tapir teaches us that violence isn’t usually the answer, and that it’s important to recognise that there are very few situations where it is the answer.

– Tapir is not afraid to defend itself if absolutely necessary, it will fight its own kind, and others in order to protect the value of its quiet, reclusive lifestyle. Sometimes it is important to negotiate boundaries with your friends, partner and family in order to preserve ‘you’ time. Tapir teaches us how to best fight back in situations where others may be attempting to compromise this time.

– Tapir can be thought of as Custodian of the forest. Tapir can share with us the secrets of the complex energies of the forest, and teach us how to also look after complex, rare and ancient eco-systems. Tapir is often quite generous with this kind of knowledge, and as a guide can help us share the burden of custodianship.

– Many animals celebrate different aspects of the power of play, the tapir focuses its play within the elements of water and earth, and often in a combination of these. Tapir teaches us how to reclaim mud-pies, mud-baths, wallowing in pools, rivers and our own bath-tubs in spirited water-play. We can relearn with tapir how to celebrate water and the sloshy earth as elements that can bring us great joy and vigour. Tapir can also teach us to value the regenerative and healing aspects of mud and salt.

– The reclusive tapir can be thought of as the shy traveller. Tapir can teach us that sometimes our life requires that we must become introverted and travel our own paths without any human contact, in order to further our spiritual growth and lifestyle.

If you have Tapir 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 –

– Tapir people tend to be reclusive and shy, this is a healthy aspect of their personality and they tend to resent friends and family who force them into commitments, or who coerce them into spending too much time with others.

– Tapir children are inventive, playful and lonely – often through choice. It is important to recognise that if you have a child who is attracted to tapirs and tapir energy, that solitude is healthy for them at this stage in their lives, and that socialising can be detrimental to their spiritual development.

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

As shadow guide/guide:

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.

– Do you fear solitude? Those who have tapir as a shadow guide might find themselves fearing solitude, seclusion and loneliness. Tapir can help us confront these fears and understand that solitude in everyone’s life is necessary to a degree. Solitude can nourish our spirits and bodies, and life can still feature play and joy even when we are alone.

– Tapir shadow energy can manifest in those who have a fear of being stuck in the same type of lifestyle for the rest of their lives. These people often don’t notice that their lifestyle is fulfilling, and want to move on and upwards so often that they don’t stop to be grateful for the well-worn paths they already tread. It is not such a bad thing to travel the well-worn path, the ‘road less travelled’ isn’t for everyone.

Contacting Tapir:

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.

Tapir responds to silent methods of communion such as meditation and visualisation. It is a shy creature, and may not even physically present itself when it does contact you. Tapir energy is harmonious with instruments such as the flute and other woodwinds like the recorder or shakuhachi.

One of the most joyful methods of contacting this creature is through ritual salt / Epsom salt / sea-salt baths, and mud-baths. Tapir energy is attracted to both, and if one makes an offering of salt or mud before one covers one-self, the chances increase of making a positive connection with tapir. Once they have presented themselves, they can have very direct, even uncompromising methods of communicating.