Sloth – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Animal symbolism invites us into a world full of new information that we haven’t thought about before. Even though animals are different than humans and we are much further on the evolutionary scale, we still both come from nature and depend on it.

Animal symbolism is teaches us about traits that are common between animals and humans. We learn more about ourselves and our character through behavior of our spirit animals and totems.

Sloths are particularly interesting animals. They inhabit only a small portion of our planet, but their appearance and behavior is definitely something else. Sloths behave pretty much the way their name sounds. These “lazy” animals spend most of their days hanging or lying on branches and eating leaves. By appearance, they are unique and can’t really be compared to any other animal.

Sloths are not known for their beauty, that is for sure, but the symbolism behind this animal is still very strong and commonly used even in popular culture.

Spirit Animal and Totem

If you are new to the terms of spirit animal and totem, then you need to know that they are guiding forces that help us get to know ourselves better. Ancient cultures relied on nature and animals to guide them and help them use their traits in the best possible way.

Animal symbolism was extremely valuable throughout history, but it is still highly respected today. Artists used animal symbolism in their works of art to represent things or situations that they weren’t supposed to talk about. Animal symbolism carries an important message and each animal represents something unique and different.

Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, sloth is best described by these words:

  • Connection
  • Relationship
  • Laziness
  • Dreaming
  • Procrastination
  • Family
  • Independence
  • Pleasure

People guided by the sloth spirit animal are always searching for deep connection with others. They are not the kind of people to spend their lives alone, since that is something they cannot handle. They are constantly searching for companionship and friendship.

Almost every relationship they form is deeply meaningful and they don’t like spending time with people they don’t really like. Having a partner is something you are always on the search for because you are deeply romantic and you love having someone by your side.

Sloth spirit animal is also a symbol of dreaming and living in your mind. You are someone who likes to spend the day enjoying your own thoughts. People guided by the sloth spirit animal are aware of the importance of being in touch with your thoughts and emotions. Your mind is filled with ideas and sometimes you end up realizing them, while most times they remain in your head forever.

Sloth is also a symbol of pleasure and enjoying life. Everyone born under this spirit animal know how to enjoy life and spend their days in pleasure. If they have a choice of spending the days in pleasure and doing something they don’t like, making the decision is pretty easy for them.


As a totem, sloth is a symbol of laziness, enjoying life, community and wisdom. People born under the sloth totem are people who know what they like and what they definitely don’t like. It is easy for them to make a choice when it comes to pleasures, since they spend most of their days thinking about food, laying down, sleeping or something else they like.

You tend to be a little bit lazy, especially if you let pleasures take over your life. You become too static and you can’t seem to find something that is motivating enough. Even though your mind is full of ideas, most of them don’t get realized. Reason behind this is your procrastinating nature that easily takes over and doesn’t let you progress.

Symbolism and Meaning

Animal’s habitat influences the symbolism behind an animal. Because of this, sloth symbolism is mostly influenced by cultures who used to and still live near sloths. Situation is a little bit different today, because sloths have been introduced to the rest of the world, and their unique charm has captured everyone’s attention.

In Christianity, sloths are seen as animals that spread bad habits or promote something that is even considered to be a sin. Every person who spends their entire day laying down and doing nothing, will burn in hell and won’t get the reward for the lack of efforts in life. Sloths in Buddhism are one of five nirvanas, and they are called thina-middha. Sloths are symbols of ultimate truth and people often relate sloths with people who meditate regularly.

Sloths symbolism in Hinduism is not so positive. They represent everything that is negative and very admirable. People should never look up to sloths in anyway or use them as their guiding lights in life.

In popular culture, these sluggish animals have become our favorite. Their always smiling faces are simply adorable and people love them in all shapes and forms. Sloths can be seen as characters in beloved TV shows and cartoons, where they bring a unique sense of humor that can’t be replaced by anything else. Even though they are still represented as slow and lazy, at least this symbolism isn’t harshly judged as it was in the past.

Dreams about Sloths

Seeing a sloth – If you saw a sloth in your dream, this means your life is currently not too productive. Perhaps you have been putting off an important thing that needs to be taken care of. Sloths is also a warning sign that you might be in danger, if you don’t act and handle your obligations right now.

Dead sloth – Seeing a dead sloth in your dream is a symbol of great opportunities that are about to pop up in your life. These opportunities are going to be something you have been waiting for, so make sure you don’t miss out on them.

Holding a sloth – If you had a dream about holding a sloth in your arms, this means you are currently feeling loved by someone and this person is your world. The love you are currently experiencing in your life is unlike anything else and you are enjoying every moment.

Sloth talking to you – If sloth was speaking to you or you were talking with it, this means you have a great advisor in your life but you keep missing out on important messages this person is sending you. Perhaps you should be more open to suggestions and stop being so stubborn.

Several sloths – When there were several sloths in your dream, this means you need to start moving. Your life is stagnant or simply stuck and you need to start moving somewhere. Change your mindset and be more open to new ideas and adventures. Life is short and you shouldn’t waste time waiting for a miracle.


Sloths might be symbols of laziness and ultimate relaxation, but we can’t deny they are adorable. Sloths symbolism was developed by people that lived near sloths and had the opportunity to watch their behavior and learn from it. Western cultures weren’t too impressed with what sloth represented as a symbol, the popular culture is much more accepting of its symbolism.

No matter what your thoughts be on this peculiar animal, their symbolism is definitely going to grow and continue to exist in the future.