Praying Mantis – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Praying mantis is an insect that belongs to the large family of Mantis. There are over 2400 different species of mantises and they are all specific in their own way. The peculiar name comes from their appearance or stature that looks like this interesting insect is holding his legs like he is praying.

Symbolism surrounding the praying mantis has been created by many different cultures around the world. Every culture sees this insect in their own way and every interpretation is interesting in its own way. Praying mantis lives all over the globe, so their symbolism has been created by almost every nation in the world.

There are amazing stories regarding praying mantis that have been a part of folk stories and myths, and some of them are even frightening to people. This insect has definitely a scary appearance and if it was any larger it would definitely be even scarier.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Spirit animals are there to remind us how to handle life situations and how to evaluate or own character. There are many similar characteristics between people and animals.

Sometimes animals can even teach us a thing or two about life and our behavior. We can relate to their basic instinct to survive but their actions are certainly much more honest and clear than human.

When we look at animal traits and characteristics, we can’t help but to wonder whether we are spiritually linked to them. Words that best describe the praying mantis are:

  • Stillness,
  • Intention,
  • Fulfillment,
  • Hypnotism,
  • Evolution,
  • Balance,
  • Creativity,
  • Mindfulness,
  • Awareness

All of these characteristics are important for the person that is being led or guided by this spirit animal. Everything they do and say is influenced by the powerful effect of this animal totem. Person who is born under the praying mantis totem is a calm and still person. They take everything in life with a sense of seriousness and calmness.

There is no situation in life that can set them off balance and make them too aggressive or unsteady. There is always a solution for everything you just have to keep your mind cool and think carefully about the decision you have to make.

People born under the totem of praying mantis are very mindful in everything they do. They would never do something without thinking twice about their actions. This helps them make rational decisions and prevents them from jumping into something without thinking. If we would all behave this way and took care of our lives the way a praying mantis does, we would be much happier and calmer.

The praying mantis is also a symbol of cannibalism and raw female energy. Unlike other maternal figures, the praying mantis is a symbol of a strong and powerful woman. The energy that this woman creates is much stronger and powerful than any other, and if you are a female then you will recognize this characteristic in yourself. You never let the man to take the lead and you know how to be in charge.

Praying mantis also symbolizes hypnotism. People guided by this totem are very influential and can have a strong effect on other people around them. This is not something they do intentionally, this is simply the way they are born. People trust them and fall into their web easily.

Others feel seduced and guided by the energy that this person is creating, and this can sometimes be bad for them especially if this influence is negative. Since you have a strong power over other people, you need to take the responsibility for your influence. Be careful not to lead others in the wrong direction and never use your influence for something negative.

People born under this totem or guided by praying mantis spirit animal are guided by their intuition. The feeling they have inside of them is something that is guiding them and making them sense when the decision is the right one. We have all been in a situation where we had to make an important decision in life but we couldn’t figure out the right thing to do.

People guided by the praying mantis totem are always mindful and think twice when they need to make a decision. This helps them cope with important life situations better and following their intuition always makes them feel like they have made the decision that felt good to them.

People guided by this spirit animal are aware of everything that is going on around them.

There is nothing that can escape their eye, because they always know where to look and what to look for. Being present is something they are good at. This helps them to be prepared for everything that is coming without a problem.

People guided by the praying mantis totem are creative and patient. They use their creative minds to create something useful and beautiful. Since they are very hard working, there is no job in the world they can’t do. When they have the necessary motivation they can do anything. Rushing decisions and progress is not something they do. They would rather wait for the right opportunity than rush into something they don’t feel so good about.

Praying mantis is also a symbol of balance in life. Everything these people do, they do it with a sense of balance and stability. You will rarely see them in extreme situations rushing into dangerous situations. They take care of the stability in their life and would never endanger that stability.

Symbolism and Meaning

Praying mantis is often a symbol of calmness and stability. They are praised by many cultures and considered as highly respectable creatures. Their outside appearance always mesmerized people and captured their attention. To the Chinese people, the praying mantis was a symbol of motivation and mindfulness. Praying mantis made them admire the mindful movements and actions of this insect. It reminded them of people who think carefully about what they do and how they do something.

Praying mantis was interesting to people because of a ritual they perform. Female mantis eats the male mantis after reproduction. This insect is one of the rare examples of sexual cannibalism, therefore it became much more interesting to people when they noticed this unusual behavior. In ancient Chinese dictionary Erya, praying mantis was a symbol of courage and fearless behavior. In a text called Jingshi Zhengleo Daguan Bencao from the year 1108, there is a detailed description of the praying mantis and its behavior. There is an early mentioning of the praying mantis in the 10th century AD that is written by Suidas. His description showed the praying mantis as an old woman with a stick-like body and an appearance that resembled a locust.

Roesel von Rosenhof illustrated a more accurate description of the praying mantis and showed it as a cannibalistic insect. In M.C.Escher’s woodcut Dream, there is a human-sized mantis on top of a sleeping bishop which was supposed to be a representation of a nightmare. Because of a peculiar appearance of this insect, people would often represent them as monsters and enemies. The cannibalistic behavior only added up to this scary image.

In popular culture, praying mantis is seen as a “femme fatale”. Just like the praying mantis eats her male partner, there is a popular belief that women should behave like that or we see it as something brave and attractive in a woman. Woman is no longer represented as gentle and fragile, so the best way to paint the new powerful image of a woman is with this interesting insect. There is a completely separate movement and fighting technique in China, that imitates the movements of the praying mantis.

Dreams about praying mantis

Praying mantis in our dream can have different meanings. Sometimes they have a positive meaning and other times they are seen as negative. Our dreams need to be interpreted in a whole and not partially. The more we remember about a dream the more accurate our dream interpretation is going to be. One symbol can have a completely different meaning in combination with another symbol.

Dream about a praying mantis is a symbol of calmness and stillness. Your subconscious mind is telling you to be less aggressive and calmer especially when it is time for decision making. Take your time to think about everything and don’t lose time over things that are not important. Calm yourself and think only about what is important no matter what that is. When you figure out what you want everything else is going to be much easier.

If you saw a praying mantis attacking you in your dream, then you need to be careful about people in your surroundings. Someone might be out to get you and cause you harm. These people are fed up with your success and they want to see you fail. No matter what you do, be extra careful with your words and actions. They could use something against you and cause you extreme damage.

Dream about being a praying mantis is a symbol of your desire to be stronger in life. People get to you easily and you find yourself manipulated by them. Their actions are only directed to harm you, so be extra careful about your behavior. Try to gather strength by talking to people who love and understand you. Their help could be crucial and you might even understand some things much better than you would if you only rely on yourself.

Dream about several praying mantis, represent people in your life who keep nagging you. They are not evil, they simply are that way. You feel overwhelmed by their presence but you don’t know how to tell them that. Their actions are easy to understand because this is their personality and not something they do on purpose. If you want to get rid of them and make it easier for yourself, try talking to these people and explaining them your feelings.


In conclusion, praying mantis is definitely one of the most interesting insects in nature. From its appearance to the behavior, praying mantis keeps mesmerizing us. Many cultural and artistic remains tell the story about this insect and portray it in different ways.

From positive to negative view, the praying mantis symbolism is definitely spread across the globe. The way this insect moved inspired people to create even a martial arts technique and made us re-evaluate our view of the value of nature. Animals can teach us so much more about ourselves and make us think more about our behavior.

If we learned from them and imitated their behaviors we would be much more successful in life. Praying mantis as a spirit animal is highly powerful an influential insect that has many traits and characteristics. Even though the symbolic meaning of this insect was created by different cultures, it is still quite similar in many ways.