Praying Mantis Symbolism and Meaning: Do They Bring Bad Luck?  

Praying Mantis Symbolism and Meaning  

Praying Mantis has some complicated interpretations and symbolism associated with it. It varies from one situation to another, be it seeing it in your dreams or in real life.

These creatures have huge significance in the world of symbolism, greatly due to their human-like structure that makes people worship this insect and pet them.

Most cultures talk about this insect and the belief that commonly comes along with every culture is that these insects should never be abandoned. 

In this article, we’ll explain the Praying mantis symbolism and meaning in detail. We’ll cover every little detail about this amazing creature.

Understanding Praying Mantis Meaning and Symbolism 

In a general context, a praying mantis is a symbol of concentration, focus, wealth, and good fortune. In western culture, the praying mantis is a symbol of great healing spirit, resurrection, rebirth, and success. While in eastern culture, they represent greed, change, and courage.

Praying Mantis, by its naming itself, is believed to be an icon of devotion and prayer, as one of its pairs of legs resembles a human figure while praying.

This resemblance with the human figure and framework of Praying makes this insect connect with some sacred beliefs around the world. 

Again in its name itself, the word “Mantis” has a Greek origin that translates to the meaning of “Priests.”

This naming vividly reflects how these insects were assumed to be worshippers since ancient ages and have emerged into the belief of establishing a connection with the Spirits. 

However, the exact interpretation of its symbolism has varied approaches in different cultures based on their own mythology and folktales.

Where some groups assume that they are magical creatures and see them as holy and pious, some groups believe that their human-like appearance is a curse and is symbolic of pessimism and demonic energy. 

Again, if some cultures had to go by their character traits instead of appearance to establish its perfect symbolism, the negative connotations however can seem quite justified for its traits like devouring male counterparts by female counterparts during mating.

This particular trait has also been also compared with black widow spiders who have impactful evil symbolisms because they too kill their male partners after mating. 

Praying Mantis Symbolism In Different Civilizations 

Native Americans about Praying Mantis 

This culture mostly believes in the good omens exhibited by Praying Mantis mainly because of the benefits they apparently draw from the insect. 

Connecticut considers Praying Mantis as their state insect for how this little creature widely feeds on other insects that are harmful to humankind, like moths, grasshoppers, aphids, and caterpillars, hence being a protector for the dwellers. 

Native Americans tend to see most of the insects as sacred symbols because of how they contribute to greater actions of human interests even though they are small in size.

They also believe that insects preceded humans while the creation of life on Earth and hence deserve to be respected by the creed of humans who have succeeded them.

Some mythologies even mention insects as the creators and hence plenty of carvings, manuscripts, mythology, and folktales have significant roles of insects and also involve sacred paintings associated with them. 

Their ancient paintings, symbols, currencies, inscriptions, rock carvings, cave paintings, jewelry, crowns, and jade artworks have insects used as designs for their spiritual significance and unique shapes and beauty. 

They also tend to believe that these insects are symbolic of wealth and prosperity, along with a bright fortune in greater endeavors for life.

They symbolize and rather guarantee success in the lives of the one who realizes their value and worships them. 

And just like other insects, Native Americans symbolize Praying Mantis as symbolic of the continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth. 

Their praying structure made the natives believe that they represent the Almighty on Earth and hence are symbolic of God himself in their grand spiritual ceremonies. 

They also tend to put these insects in the mouths of deceased people for them to safely travel through the pathway to God and attain peace. 

They also carefully listen to the sounds made by these insects while hunting, to figure out the predictions for the harvest for that year. 

Praying Mantis Symbolism In Eastern Culture

Eastern civilizations actually do consider the huge contribution of this insect in the environmental Ecosystem of planet Earth. How? 

Well, a Praying Mantis helps in the pollination of plants and flowers and also largely takes part in the decomposition process to form organic compost and also takes an active part in recycling. 

From the above traits and the major role of the insect towards environmental well-being, the Asmat of New Guinea emerged the female Praying Mantis as the symbol of a Goddess who decapitated her partner after copulation to contribute to ancestral lineages and headhunting beliefs. 

On the other hand, the Zuni tribes of the east firmly believe that these unique insects, Praying Mantises are symbolic of divinity, wisdom, and power. 

Chinese culture perceives Praying Mantis through the literature of Poet Lo-Hung-Hsien of an ancient dynasty.

This man symbolized the insect of the never-ending hunger of humans and the extent to which they go to serve themselves with their greed. Hence, greed and pertinacity are the traits that are linked with the insect. 

Japanese tend to name Praying Mantis as Kamakiri as symbolic of courage to stand for oneself and others with an honest belief in the truth.

This insect also symbolizes autumn in their country for its attraction towards autumn seasonal plants and fruits like gourd vine.

Their militant courage symbol also comprises a Praying Mantis as an emblem of bravery as this insect only moves forward. 

Praying Mantis Symbolism In Christianity

Christianity deals with the high spiritual side of humankind and hence, an insect with a framework of that of a praying human is ought to gain significance in the religion. 

The exact spiritual interpretation of a Praying Mantis in Christian mythologies is to keep your faith and focus on God.

It largely speaks of the immense devotion and strength of divinity of a Praying Mantis as it offers worship to the Spirit for its entire lifetime. 

Also, these insects are symbolic of fear as they are carnivorous and tend to kill their own male counterparts. 

Hence, the significance of Praying Mantis in the religion is reflected in famous paintings of great painters like Pablo Picasso as well to represent the cycle of life, the inevitability of death, power of love, the strength of hatred, epiphany, pain, and all extreme human emotions and situations.

This was an important part of the ancient arts of Christianity. Praying Mantis in their religion is also regarded as the God of the Hottentot. 

Celts and Praying Mantis 

Praying Mantis has multiple symbolisms in the culture of the Celts, from courage and perseverance to cruelty, violence, and greed that is sugar-coated as spirituality, an ugly representation of vicious intentions. 

Based on the post-mating behavior of female Mantis, they also tend to symbolize the voracity of women and how their cunning and evil intentions can bring down even mighty men. 

Are You Dreaming About Praying Mantis? Here’s The Meaning

  • Praying Mantis simply appearing in your dreams will represent good fortune and that good things are about to happen to you in the near future. If you indeed want to savor this goodness approaching, you must endure for a while and not give up until you see the results. 
  • A Praying Mantis is a soothsayer. So if it appears in your dreams, it might also mean that you are having a hard time in your life and are confused whether you are on the right track, and you are assured that you are in the right direction. Whatever is a hindrance today will pass. It means that you should have hope to see the silver lining in the end. 
  • If you see a Mantis in a certain life situation in your dream that you have been desiring for too long or avoiding for too long, it’s a sign that you will either achieve it soon or will have to confront it soon, no matter what. 
  • If you see in your dream that a Mantis is hunting might mean that there’s a shadow of danger lingering above your head and you must stay cautious and aware of it. You might have to take a disguise to catch the ones conspiring against you. 
  • A Praying Mantis in a spiritual situation might mean that you are heading towards a spiritual transformation that would be an epiphany and change your life forever. The Spirits are favorable to you and that you have only pure intentions to achieve. You have the power to reach where you want to. 
  • It is believed that a lost traveler should approach a Praying Mantis to show them the way. They can use this insect as a pathfinder and travel in the direction where it points. 
  • South Africans believe that if someone by fault, be it voluntarily or involuntarily kills a Praying Mantis, they are not supposed to see the light of good fortune anymore in their lives. 
  • Placing a Praying Mantis in the mouth of the dead ensures them a smooth journey to Heaven and brings them eternal peace. 
  • While harvesting, a fat female Mantis is symbolic of good harvest and a lean male mantis is symbolic of poor harvest. 

Is Praying Mantis Your Spirit Animal? 

Having a Praying Mantis as your Spirit Animal reflects high chances of you developing a close affinity to spirituality and building a firm connection with the Universe. 

It also symbolizes that you are supposed to indulge in strong physical involvements to build strength and endurance that will back your spiritual strength to build your personality. 

If Praying Mantis is your Spirit Animal, you should trust your intuition at all costs and strive to build that mindset where petty concerns don’t bother you with mental peace anymore. 


Hence, Praying Mantis is a symbolic and iconic insect that has diverse and profound interpretations in diverse cultures, beliefs, and Civilizations around the world.

It has great significance in mythologies and holds a great impact on the lives of the followers and believers.

Its diverse meanings however make it confusing for people whether this insect is a good Omen or not.

Whether you belong to any of the above cultures that deal with Praying Mantis interpretations, or your spirit Animal, this insect can guide you to some lifetime-worthy skills to survive and make your mark in this world.

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