Octopus Symbolism & That means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)

Octopuses are sometimes acknowledged as one of many cleverest animals on earth. These eight-legged cephalopods are famed for his or her problem-solving, their mysterious magnificence, and their uncommon anatomy. From Lovecraftian horrors to successful music from The Beatles to a big selection or cartoon and comedian guide characters, the influence of the octopus is felt all through human cultures.

The octopus’s title comes from the Greek phrase “oktopus” that means “eight-legged.” As a result of “octopus” comes from a Greek phrase that was Latinized earlier than being adopted into English, there’s various confusion surrounding the proper technique to pluralize it. “Octopi” and “octopodes” are each frequent selections for a plural model of this phrase. Each of those are thought-about incorrect. Because of its adoption into English, the technically right plural for “octopus” is definitely “octopuses!” On this article, we’ll examine octopuses and a few of the fascinating myths, symbols, and concepts linked with these fascinating aquatic animals. (1)

Desk of contents

Octopus symbolism and that means

Octopuses are thought-about to be amongst probably the most clever animals on the planet. The web is chock filled with movies and anecdotes of octopuses utilizing their unimaginable brains to resolve issues in intelligent, and infrequently mischievous, methods. Octopuses have been identified to resolve mazes. They’re able to opening containers in addition to squeezing themselves within small containers with a purpose to retrieve their desired reward. In a single aquarium, it was reported that fish from numerous tanks stored going lacking. The aquarium arrange cameras to try to remedy this thriller and had been shocked to seek out their resident octopus was the wrongdoer. The octopus would raise the lid of its tank when no person was trying and crawl over to different tanks to feed on the fish therein. (2)


One of many strongest associations linked with the octopus is versatility and thriller. It’s because octopuses have very distinctive talents. They will manipulate their our bodies to suit into nearly any area. As long as their beaks can match, the octopus could make its physique match. Moreover, octopuses are sometimes able to altering shade at will. Their talents to vary their form and shade offers the octopus unimaginable camouflage talents. For that reason, octopuses are identified for his or her adaptability, fluidity, and mysterious natures. (3)

Many individuals aren’t conscious of this, however octopuses are literally venomous. The Blue-ringed Octopus is well-known for its deadly capabilities. One chunk from the beak of this small creature is sufficient to kill an grownup human, usually in as little time as only a few minutes. The Blue-ringed Octopus stands out as the most threatening one round, however latest analysis signifies that all octopuses are venomous to some extent. (4)

The sometimes-deadly venom of the octopus just isn’t the one organic weaponry that these cephalopods make use of. Octopuses are additionally well-known for his or her capability to expel “ink” when threatened. Octopus ink is a mixture of glandular secretions together with melanin and mucus. This secretion is used to confuse threats by enveloping them in murky ink and aggravating their senses. Because of their ink and their venomous bites, octopuses are related to poison, deception, and viciousness. (5)

Octopuses have eight legs, referred to as tentacles, upon which there are a variety of greedy suction-cup-like appendages referred to as “suckers.” Most octopuses have two rows of suckers alongside every tentacle, though this isn’t all the time the case. Due to the greedy energy of the octopus’s tentacles, these aquatic invertebrates are sometimes related to reaching for, greedy for, or defending the issues that one values. (6)

Octopuses are additionally linked with parenthood and sacrifice. Male octopuses die after they breed. Feminine octopuses then spend the rest of their lives ravenous themselves with a purpose to guard and shield their eggs till the brand new technology hatches efficiently. As soon as that is performed, the feminine’s physique breaks down and she or he dies, having achieved her parental obligation.

Octopus Native American symbolism

Based on a Haida fantasy, a person and his household had been as soon as paddling their canoes close to a cove the place a household of “Devilfish” lived. Devilfish is one title used for octopuses. Based on the legend, the younger man, who was a gifted shaman, was snatched from his canoe by the tentacles of a Devilfish. He was dragged beneath the water, a lot to his household’s dismay, and was assumed to have died. What no person knew, nevertheless, was that the Devilfish had introduced the person to her father, who was chief of the Devilfish. Inside the village of the Devilfish, the younger man was wed to the chief’s daughter and have become a revered Devilfish himself. After some time, although, the person started to overlook the floor. He requested his father-in-law for a canoe in order that he and his new spouse may rejoin the human world. This was granted to them and so they returned to the younger man’s village laden with treasure from the Devilfish cave. There, the person and his spouse and their kids lived as people for a few years. Sooner or later, the person’s spouse started to really feel homesick for the ocean. She returned to her octopus kind and slipped by means of the cracks within the floorboards of their dwelling and made her technique to the ocean. When the person noticed this, he returned to his octopus kind too, and joined his spouse beneath the waves forevermore. (7)


For some tribes within the Pacific Northwest, the Big Pacific Octopus is considered an emblem of prosperity, good luck, and drugs. That is due, partly, to the truth that the quantity eight is taken into account auspicious to a few of these tribes. (8)

Octopus Japanese Symbolism

The natiev Ainu folks of Japan have a legend which options an unlimited kraken-like octopus which dwells beneath the ocean and devours passing boats. This creature, referred to as “Atkor Kamuy” in Ainu, and “Akkorokamui” in Japanese, is considered a divine god of the ocean. Atkor Kamuy is alleged to be each fearsome and admirable. His dimension is meant to be so huge and formidable that he can swallow complete whales in a single gulp. (9)


Octopus Christianity symbolism

Octopus are now not acknowledged as such, however older sources usually refer to those creatures as “Devilfish.” Maybe as a result of their look is considered menacing or sinister, or due to their venomous chunk, octopuses are typically linked with concepts like evil, sin, loss of life, and the satan himself. (10)(11)


Octopus Celtic symbolism

References to octopuses aren’t simple to seek out in Celtic sources. Whereas octopus-like creatures are featured fairly a bit in Scandinavian fantasy, Celtic myths don’t appear to dwell as a lot upon these beasts. Nonetheless, it may be assumed, at the least, that the octopus can be linked with the Celtic gods of the ocean. (12)


Octopus African symbolism

Just like the Kraken, a cryptid of Scandinavian origin which we’ll talk about in a later part, or Atkor Kamuy, Central African mythology additionally includes a big and lethal cephalopod who grasps victims with its extremely lengthy tentacles. Based on Central African fantasy, the “Migas,” is a huge squid or octopus-like monster which dwells is recent water lakes or swamps. It may possibly journey over land, however is most snug in water. The Migas is considered simply able to consuming people. (13)


Octopus in desires

Dreaming of the octopus can point out a worry that one has but to handle. There’s a cause that H.P. Lovecraft selected to evoke the picture of the octopus when describing the eldritch horror of Cthulu. These tentacled animals are discovered deep inside the sea and infrequently really feel otherworldly in look to us land-dwelling mammals. Dreaming of the octopus might characterize one thing that lies hid beneath the floor in your aware thoughts. (14)


Dreaming of an octopus might converse to a want for management. With their eight limbs, each geared up with greedy suckers, the octopus is constructed for controlling and manipulating its rapid surroundings with ease. An octopus dream might point out a want to emulate this management. (15

Octopus encounters and omens

An encounter with an octopus is usually a profound reminder that there’s a complete world round us that we don’t see. Octopuses disguise themselves as they transfer by means of their surroundings; an surroundings which people are sometimes not capable of entry in any respect. An octopus encounter is usually a nice reminder that there are unimaginable issues that lie simply past our rapid notion.


An octopus encounter may additionally be a reminder to not promote oneself brief. With the fitting angle and sufficient willingness to roll with the punches, unimaginable issues are doable. Octopuses can stroll on land, squeeze themselves by means of miniscule openings, and far more than we may ever predict by merely them. (15)

Octopus mythology and folklore

Essentially the most well-known piece of mythology surrounding the octopus is that of the “Kraken.” The Kraken is normally depicted as an unlimited octopus or squid which lurks within the deep sea, ready for any alternative it finds to destroy passing ships, typically even devouring the ships themselves or their crews. Kraken mythology may be very previous and appears to stem from a worry of the unknown related to the ocean. The earliest sightings of this beast happen round Norway and Greenland as many as 800 years in the past, although the legend appears to be even older than this. (16)


Octopuses seem fairly a bit in historical Greek and Minoan artwork. The octopus was a preferred motif in Minoan ceramics and is usually discovered adorning urns, jars, and amphorae from this era. On this capability, the octopus was used as an expression of admiration for the mighty, terrifying, and life-giving sea. (17)(18)

Octopus spirit animal

In case your spirit animal is the octopus then you’re a born problem-solver. Individuals with the octopus as their spirit animal are intelligent, usually too intelligent for their very own good. They face new issues with an angle of “how” fairly than “if.”

Individuals with the octopus as their spirit animal are mischievous and secretive, nevertheless they’re prepared to dedicate themselves to others if the trigger feels proper to them. They are often fiercely loyal to their households and can use their unimaginable skills to the good thing about those they love. (19)

Octopus totem animal

In case your totem animal is the octopus, then you might be doubtless a deeply artistic particular person with an unimaginable expertise for instinct. Individuals with the octopus as their totem animal are uniquely in tune with their environments and their friends. The octopus totem animal has the unimaginable capability to intuit the most effective plan of action from a state of affairs, lengthy earlier than others would have the ability to resolve.


The octopus totem animal is artistic and loves to precise itself, nevertheless folks with this totem animal are sometimes secretive and shy. Individuals with the octopus totem animal should stability their want to precise themselves with their discomfort with opening as much as others.(20)

Octopus energy animal

If the octopus is your energy animal, chances are you’ll be blessed with a uniquely potent capability to adapt to any state of affairs. The octopus is just like the residing embodiment of the ocean. Like water, this cephalopod is fluid and unafraid to vary its form. The octopus energy animal takes on no matter form will permit it to outlive and thrive within the ever-changing habitat of the untamed sea.


Octopus tattoo that means

An octopus tattoo could also be an emblem of fluidity, adaptability, admiration for the great thing about the oceans, or problem-solving. Octopuses are sometimes related to intelligence and mischief.

octopus illustration

An octopus tattoo may additionally characterize worry and conquer worry.


From self-sacrificing moms who spend the final interval of their lives ravenous with a purpose to shield their younger, to fearsome “devilish” monsters awaiting their likelihood to sink boats and devour sailors, the repute of the octopus is huge and diversified. All through all of it, there’s a persevering with sense of awe and mystique for the octopus’s otherworldly kind. Not like something on land, the octopus acts as a stand-in for the ocean itself, the huge and uncharted hiding place for the infinite mysteries of or mom earth.


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