Octopus – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

If you search for an animal with a wide range of symbolical meanings and ascribed mythical and spiritual powers, the magnificent Octopus is true finding.

This extraordinary and strange creature has been intriguing and fascinating human world since beginnings of our civilization.

There is always a veil of mystery and secret around these unusual animals inhabiting depths of seas and oceans.

Octopuses are mentioned in almost every coastal tradition and they have a great significance to people who spend most of their lives traveling across unpredictable and turbulent waters.

Octopus has a prominent place in different traditions of peoples living near the coast, whose lives greatly depend on sea, as a source of food, a road to travel, a mysterious vastness hiding unpredictable water spirits, gods and forces unknown to humans.

Symbolism of octopus is an old one and it originates far back into past, when people knew nothing about these animals’ biology.

They would describe octopus only by its strange appearance.

The creature was given that name, because it has eight legs and arms (tentacles, to be more precise).

Octopus interesting facts

Octopus is an intelligent and flexible animal, with many naturally impressive characteristics. Perhaps one of the most remarkable is its ability to change the color of its skin.

Another interesting behavior octopuses express is surrounding themselves with a cloud of black ink its body produces.

Octopuses behave in such a manner if they feel threatened, frighten or angry. This incredible defensive mechanism makes them somewhat scary and incredibly fascinating to humans.

Octopus is a true master of visual performance. It can change the color of its skin and perform an incredible black tint show, in order to chase away the threat;

Giants from the depths – There are hundreds of octopus species and they inhabit almost all of oceans and seas on our planet. These species greatly vary in size, mostly depending on the water depth they live in.

There are small, tiny octopuses of only few centimeters in diameter, but there are hidden, strange things inhabiting ocean bottoms, ranging to more than forty meters in length!

The only enemy such animals have is another giant, one of the whales family members.

Giant octopus could weigh up to one hundred and fifty kilograms and it has legs of almost twenty meters of length, exactly as a mythical Kraken;


Food controversy – Octopuses are eaten alive in several countries in the world, a challenge that triggers numerous controversies, from what octopuses feel while it is being eaten, to how dangerous these challenges are to humans.

Well, to most of people, this exotic and extravagant spectacle is repulsive even thinking of it. The most famous living octopus eaters are Koreans.

They have a dish called sannakji, which consists of living octopus cut into pieces or served whole and eaten while it still moves.

Octopus symbolism and spiritual meaning

Octopus is often present in art. This strange, almost alien-like creature has always been a great inspiration to people whose life depends on the sea and who are, in a way, familiar with these creatures, but also to creative people, interested in things mystical, magical and unknown.

Octopuses are mentioned in classical literature works and they are featured in popular culture, as well.

One of the most popular novel featuring a giant octopus is Julius Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Mystery and secret powers – Octopus is a strange animal. It is too different from animals living around people, such as our lovely furry pets or domesticated animals like cattle, for instance.

Although we see them and are familiar with their appearance, octopuses remain hidden under the veil of mystery. These creatures inhabit oceans and seas and do not give a thing about us.

Their black tint and eight legs or arms, as you wish, make them mystical and even magical to us.

Since octopus has eight arms or legs, beginning at the centre of its body, this animal usually represents some hidden, strong and manipulative force we are not aware of.

It often symbolizes some organization that ‘pulls the strings’ and rule over people’s lives. It is interpreted as a negative concept of hidden power.

Danger and threat – Octopuses generally do not get near people out of their own will and people are somewhat afraid of them, because of their strange appearance, in the first place. There are stories about mythical giant octopuses and the most popular are ones about the Kraken.

This ‘fear of the sailors’ is often depicted as a giant octopus or an enormous squid, but stories are generally the same.

This incredible creature sleeps at the bottom of the ocean, somewhere in depths unknown to people. It represents an unimaginable threat sailors tell scary stories about.

According to their tales, once you disturb Kraken and wake him from his sleep, there is no way you and your crew will survive. Krakens are featured in world’s mythologies and in popular culture, as well.

A Kraken appears in Pirates f the Caribbean movies, for instance.

Flexibility and adaptability – Octopus is a soft-bodied animal and it has no bones at all. It has eight squiggly tentacles with vacuum pads and it is completely flexible. Octopuses move with ease and swim into stone fissures and holes other sea animals cannot enter.

Because of these characteristics, octopuses are skilful in avoiding their enemies.

Vitality and strength – People hunt some octopus species for food and their meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Octopus meat is on the menu of Asian countries, primarily Japan, Korea and Singapore.

It is eaten at Maldives, in Portugal and in Mediterranean. Octopus has its place on some of US menus, as well.

Some societies believe octopus meat brings power, strength, longevity and restore vitality.

Octopus as a totem and spirit animal

People have a kind of ambivalent opinions on octopus, because this animal is so strange. However, its spiritual guidance could be inspirational. Octopus totem is a great one.

People born under this totem are versatile, very creative and intelligent. They are able to outsmart almost everyone and disguise themselves when they need to.

They may appear mysterious and dark, but the true is they are soft and emotional.

  • Creative and imaginative
  • Intelligent and good with words
  • Emotional and kind
  • Intriguing and unique
  • Flexible

Octopus people are skilful with using words, so they prove excellent writers, journalists, researchers or spokespersons.

They do not want to draw much attention, though. However, they magnetic aura always bring new people in their lives. Octopus people love to engage in conversation on a higher level.

They like intellectual and philosophical debates. In addition to these, they also love chatting with their friends and family members.

These people are natural born artists. Being very emotional, they tend to channel their true feelings through their artworks.

Since they are highly imaginative, creative and they always seek for knowledge, these are personas you would love to spend time with.

You could always learn something new from an Octopus person. These individuals also love to research things associated with mysticism and spirituality.

They are sometimes introverted and shy. Most of Octopus personas are very emotional and that could be their weakness.

Octopus people are flexible and adaptable to changes. They are unique and kind, with many qualities others value and appreciate. Octopus people are warm lovers, great parents and good friends.

When angered or hurt, they tend to shot all the doors and completely clam up.

Chase away you black tint and embrace the world with all the qualities you have, Octopus person!