Octopus Symbolism and Meaning: Do They Really Hold Some Secret?

Octopus Symbolism and Meaning

Octopuses are indeed some interesting underwater creatures that ignite a lot of curiosities and hence result in interesting beliefs in the minds of people.

There are plenty of interpretations of an Octopus, be it in your dreams or in an encounter in your real life, most of which revolve around the wonder of its tentacles and the way those 8 limbs display some awestruck traits. 

Hence, In this article, I’ll explain octopus symbolism and meaning in detail. I’ll cover every positive and negative aspect of this creature.

Understanding Octopus Symbolism and Meaning 

In a general context, the octopus is a symbol of selflessness, regeneration, intelligence, and versatility. In western culture, an octopus symbolizes cleverness, adaptability, and unpredictability. While in eastern culture the octopus is a symbol of sexuality, wisdom, and individuality.

  • Octopuses have no skeletal system and are entirely built out of flesh, making them comparable to the serpent family for this similarity.
  • These animals are scientifically proven as quite intelligent for how they use the eight tentacles that they have and their high learning and adapting skills along with efficient decision-making regarding their cues. Hence, these animals are clearly symbolic of intelligence, mainly street smartness that amplifies the chances of survival for any creature on earth including humans.
  • Octopuses are also associated with the occurrence of sea swirls and whirlpools due to their significant size under the water and some scientific statements definitely back up this belief quite well.
  • These are also symbolic of protection for their multi-armed advantage which generates the idea that these creatures tend to protect the ones who matter to them by using their eight arms.
  • There are also some sinister associations noticed that revolve around the idea of these creatures ejecting a black inky fluid as a result of being threatened or frightened.
  • They are also regarded for their power and impact under the water and the Ancient Greeks even used them for their aphrodisiacal properties.
  • Some parts of the world tend to perceive an Octopus as a sign of supernatural occurrences on Earth while some others regard their 8 arms as symbolic of some amazing catches.

Octopus Symbolism And Meaning In Different Civilizations 

What Does Octopus Symbolize In Native American Culture? 

Octopus is one of those animals in this culture who have been mentioned in their quote popular moral fables for kids to learn ethical values from.

These stories used to be both intriguing and imparting for kids, like Raven and the Octopus.

These people have also managed to generate some exemplary fashion statements by seeking impressions from the natural build of Octopuses.

We all have heard of some of them, like Athapaskan Octopus smoking bags, made by Plateau Indians.

What Does Octopus Symbolize In Eastern Civilization?

Japanese art mentions Octopus is quite noticeably frequent intervals. These arts depict the creature as the squid but in a sarcastic, rather humorous perspective.

The caricature goes like the awestruck face and entangled tentacle face of an Octopus. However, apart from such humorous portrayals,  this culture also believes that octopuses are a crucial source of food for the Japanese tribes and hence are treated with delicacy to cook foods like sushi.

Astonishingly, some parts of Japan also perceive Octopus as a sensual symbol of multiple affairs, including the idea of shapeshifting into humans to indulge in sexual intercourse.

Some cultures, mainly based on rural areas, believe that Octopus symbolism can be a significant cure for addressing whooping cough.

However, in China Octopuses have a rather political approach, mainly its eight limbs being compared to an all-enveloping communist state, showcasing individuality and dissent.

The popular Swastika Symbol has also been related to Octopus by the Kuna people who believe that this symbol denotes that an Octopus itself created the world.

What Does Octopus Symbolize In Christianity?

We all know how strong fish symbolisms can be in the culture of Christianity because of how they relate fish symbolisms with the Lord Himself.

Thus, this leads all sea creatures to have high regard in their holy book, with extraordinary healing power for carrying the energy of the Almighty. 

Also being referred to as Nautical freaks, these creatures were also worshiped for disposing of fish into the nets of the fishermen and hence named the great cosmic fish of antiquity.

Christian arts too frequently mention Octopus and its symbolisms for depicting mystery, fluidity, flexibility, adaptability, unpredictability, and indomitable intelligence.

Spiritually, Octopuses represent the art of creativity and acts as an encouraging force to motivate one towards their goals but in an unorthodox way, and instruct humans to get over our physical and emotional baggage.

What Does Octopus Symbolize In Celtic Culture?

Octopus symbolisms are quite popular in their culture, wherein their arms are however depicted as straight rather than their usually curled depiction.

This makes the symbolism relevant to the Swastika symbol in some parts of Europe. They also use the Octopus symbol for the representation of the Zodiac of Cancer, about summer solstice and depths of the oceans. These symbols are mainly symbolic of good fortune and long life.

Some other symbolisms of the animal used in their culture are that of Female Reproductive organs, magical influence, dragons, Goddess Mother, and personification of Aphrodite, as the mother of the source of Fire and Water.

What Does Octopus Symbolize In Africa?

Their culture seems to categorize Octopus in their arts as slow-moving creatures who are epitomes of perseverance and persistence.

Also linked to the Sun for its shape, this creature has also earned the respect of the Culture as the God in disguise.

In this entire Continent, especially in Egypt, the Octopuses were referred to as crude idols in the Neolithic age, as a conventional symbolism for the ocean strength and water fertility.

Are You Dreaming About Octopus? Here’s The Meaning

  • An Octopus dream is mainly symbolic of your unconscious mind winning over and casting a spell over your conscious mind to pull you towards a realm and loop that you are voluntarily quite unaware of.
  • It can be a hint from the Universe to introspect yourself and study what is the driving force behind all your actions that you tend to perform in a day and whether they are truly what you want to do or is just a systematic and unconscious habit that you have developed. Hence, it’s time you start connecting to your hidden psyche.
  • If you see an Octopus living its life in its habitat, i.e. under the sea, it depicts that you should stick to your roots more rather than just trying to fit in a place that you inherently do not belong to and that your roots will always embrace you and take you closer to your endeavors than a forced habitat.
  • When you see an Octopus making a move with its wit, it is a symbol for you to be more organized with your life rather than indulging in multiple activities without keeping any record or track of it. You must put your life on a schedule to extract the best of your potential.
  • An Octopus on a hunt or trying to attack by wrapping their limbs around you is a sign of danger in your life. This danger has the potential to choke with its arms tightly wrapped around you and exhaust your fuel for your greater life endeavors and hence beware.
  • When you spot an Octopus with its partner in your dream, known as the “cheat of the animal world”, you should brace yourself for infidelity.
  • An Octopus changing colors in your dream is a sign of fickle-minded behavior in you which urgently needs to be put in a check for your best advantage.
  • It also mean that you have a spirit of adventure in you and you just keep up with it to explore wonderful things in your life.

Octopus Totems and Omens Explained

Octopuses are some rare animals with the least chance of encounters with them, often mentioned as immemorial.

  • Fishermen mostly consider spotting an Octopus in the sea while fishing an extremely negative omen for its mystery and dangerous aura.
  • These are also some scary and often considered creepy-looking animals and hence encountering them in the rarest scenario can cast a spell of nightmares on you.
  • These animals are strong and powerful and might be equivalent to a life-threatening feat when encountered.

Is Octopus Your Spirit Animal? 

If you have an Octopus as your Spirit Animal, it is a clear indication that you are a mysterious human with a lot of hidden secrets to yourself, and hence, you definitely are introverted and yet interesting to explore.

You are the epitome of intelligence and always handle situations wisely and maturely, hence also reflecting your extremely optimistic decision-making capabilities.

You are cautious and capable of recognizing your enemies quite quickly and once you do, you tend to disguise yourself and blend in as your defense mechanism.

You are flexible and unpredictable, adding to your mysterious personality a hint of fun and thrill of exploration. You indeed are a beach person any day.


Hence, Octopuses, as we observed, are some iconic creatures who definitely are mysterious yet adventurous with an intriguing list of character traits to study.

It has both optimistic and evil interpretations around the world which is rather quite reasonable for how wide-ranging and diverse their activities are, portraying both the lighter and the darker side of the coin of the Universe.

Interestingly enough, there is not much detailed research that has been conducted on this creature so far leaving a lot of this animal to our imagination.

With the hope of expansion of information available regarding this animal, we can however choose to learn from what we know as it’s still an extremely enriching source of character development lessons.

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