Octopus Meaning and Symbolism
Jun 01
Discover Octopus Symbolism

Octopus Meaning and Symbolism

Overview of the Octopus Spirit Animal


The octopus is an invertebrate, which means it is boneless, 8 armed sea creature.  This carnivorous creature spends it’s time solitarialy hunting for prey. Because it is boneless the octopus can squeeze its way into or through tight or impossible looking places.  Which is why around the world octopus symbolism represents flexibility. Not only is the octopus incredibly flexible it is classified as the most intelligent invertebrate. Through research scientists have documented octopuses’ being able to unlock complex locks, mazes and even open jars!  Octopus spirit animal people are known for their intelligence and their ability to work through difficult problems. Not only do they keep a sharp mind they also need to take care of their physical body to ensure they stay healthy!

Octopus Symbolism

Embrace Your Spirit Animal


Encounters with the Octopus

What is the meaning of octopus symbolism? Find out what symbol the octopus spirit animal is trying to teach you, and gain some insight into your life.

Are you physically tired or weighed down?

Octopus symbolism will appear to you when you find yourself feeling this way with this message, limber up!  Now is the time to begin a yoga practice or another gentle way of stretching and exercising your body. Look for energizing practices that help you connect with your body and your inner energy.

Has it been a long time since you’ve seen a doctor or medical professional?

Octopus medicine tends to focus on your heart and physical body. When you haven’t seen a doctor or a medical professional for a long time the octopus will appear to you to remind you to take care of yourself.  Especially in regards to your heart and lungs.

Are you being personally attacked by others for your life choices?

When you are following your true path in life and others are coming against you the octopus bears this message.  It’s time for you to take a step away from these people or camouflage yourself when they’re around. The octopus is excellent at the art of camouflage and can help you navigate these types of situations.

Do you find yourself struggling to retain and remember information?

The octopus totem will appear to you to help you restore your memory and improve your cognitive function.  You must spend time practicing mental agility through puzzles and regular challenging activity. This will help you improve your mental agility and increase your memory.

Have you started to experience deja vu or do you see future events before they happen?

The octopus spirit animal brings with it the power of clairvoyance. When you begin experiencing deja vu or when you start witnessing future events before they happen the octopus totem with appear to you.  It will help guide you through learning how to harness this energy and ability.

Octopus Symbolism: The Octopus Spirit

Could the Octopus be my spirit animal? What are the traits of the totem? This might be your spirit animal if you are:


Like all creatures of the deep the octopus totem is tied to emotion and the element of water.  Because of this connection octopus totem people tend to be on the more emotional side of things. They use their emotions to navigate through their world and process their wellbeing.  When the octopus is your spirit animal you are easily classified as an emotional person.


Octopus symbolism is often said to represent diversity.  People with this spirit animal don’t blend in with others but instead stand out.  Their opinions and worldview tends to be diverse compared to those around them. Even their actions cause them to stand out from the crowd.  As a octopus totem person you will be drawn to a more diverse style of living.

Is the Octopus your Spirit Animal
Learn about Octopus Symbolism


As an octopus totem person you are no doubt an intellectual type of person.  You enjoy learning new things and have a mind for complex theories and perplexities. This comes from your ability to really work through problems and look at things from a step by step perspective.  As long as you’re able to seperate the steps necessary you are able to work out anything.


Octopus totem people are flexible by nature.  Not just in the physical type of flexibility but in social flexibility.  When circumstances or situations change they are able to change with it and make the most of a situation.  When they are faced with a unique social dynamic they are able to adapt in order to benefit from the event.

What are the Traits of the Octopus Totem?

Lessons from the Octopus Spirit Animal

Octopuses are:

  • Clever
  • Thoughtful
  • Emotional
  • Physically Minded
What is octopus symbolism?

From octopus symbolism we learn the importance of addressing our physical health.  Because they have three hearts we learn that heart healing and medicine is needed in our lives.  As an octopus spirit animal person you need to take extra care of your internal organs. As well as spend time ensuring that you are giving them everything thing they need in order to function properly.

What does the octopus spirit mean? Mental agility and heart medicine!

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Octopus

What is octopus symbolism?



When an octopus is attacked by a predator they have the ability to cause one of their limbs to fall off in order to distract their attacker in order to escape.  While this may seem dramatic this ability to lose a limb comes with the odd ability to regrow their missing limb. Likewise, octopus totem people have unique regeneration abilities.  This is present in their spiritual, emotional and intellectual being. The ability to regenerate helps them to recover from difficult and potentially harmful situations.


The octopus is equipped with two distinct defense mechanisms.  One being their ability to detach a limb and the other being the ability to project ink in order to blind or confuse predator.  As a octopus spirit animal person you will have the ability to defend yourself some people who work against you. When you’re under attack look to yourself for the solution you need to escape unharmed.


When hunting or threatened the octopus has a distinct advantage – the ability to camouflage themselves.  This isn’t a simple trick but involves them not only changing their skin color but the texture of their skin!  As an octopus totem person you will be able to disguise yourself in order to slip by unnoticed by others. When the right situation arises you will be able to avoid unwanted attention!


Like all sea dwellers octopus symbolism is connected to emotion and the element of water.  As a octopus spirit animal person you will experience a true depth of emotion. And you will be able to understand these emotions in yourself and in others.  This will make you a valuable friend, mentor and significant other. Your ability to decipher emotions will help you and others better understand the world around you.



The octopus can suffer from something called autophagy, or self-cannibalism.  Especially when they are under a great deal of stress. As a octopus totem person it is important for you to keep your life as stress free as possible.  Take up breathing exercises, meditation and yoga to help keep yourself in balance. Schedule time in your week in order to destress and process your emotions.


One weakness of the octopus totem is it’s proneness to being clingy.  This can be with people and possessions they care about. Their attention and care can go from enduring to clingy or possessive.  It is important to keep this urge in check and for you to regularly evaluate your life and decide if there are things that you need to let go.  No one likes it when their friend becomes clingy – keep this weakness under control.

Self Care

Researchers have discovered that the female octopus after mating with a male will retreat into a cave or creavas.  Once there she will lay her eggs on the roof of the cave or cervass where she will stand guard. Gentle circulating the water around the eggs she slowly starves to death while caring for her young.  By the time the eggs hatch the mother has reached her point of death. As an octopus totem person self care is something that you will struggle with your whole life. It is important for you to set up habits that make self care a part of your routine in order to stay in your best health.


Researchers have a hard time understanding the mysteries of the octopus.  In fact their DNA is unlike an other on the planet. Despite spending years and years studying the octopus this creature still remains a complex mystery.  When octopus symbolism is present in your life a weakness will be that others will have trouble understanding you. This will cause confuse and make it hard for others to feel comfortable or to relate to you.  You will have to take extra care to help others get to know you and understand how you work the way you do.

Learn about the Octopus Totem
What is the octopus totem?

The Octopus in Dreams: What it Means

Octopus symbolism in your dreams has a variety of meanings.  When it’s grabbing onto you or objects and not letting go it means that you need to let go of things in your life.  And don’t be clingy!

When you dream of an octopus down in the depths surrounded by darkness it means that you need to evaluate your emotions.  Spend time sorting through your emotional state and health to discover if there is anything that needs attention. There may be secrets in the depths you need to uncover in order to grow and move on.

In general when you dream of an octopus it means that you need to embrace purity, flexibility and mental agility.  Along with your whole body health. Take time to make sure that you are giving these areas the proper attention.

The octopus is a sign of emotion and intelligence. It’s important to consider this when interpreting dreams.
animal symbolism in dreams

Cultural and Spiritual Symbolism of the Octopus

animal meaning in your life

In Hawaiian lore they call the octopus he’e. He’e has many spiritual meanings such as flexibility, multifaceted, highly cognitive and mystical. The hawaiian people believe that the he’e are good luck.

To practitioners of the occult the octopus is a powerful symbol of physic power and magic.

Historical Facts

If there was ever a question as to how smart an octopus is the fact that Inky, was able to make a grand escape, can put it to rest!

Animal Quotes

To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Creativity has always depended on openness and flexibility, so let us hope for more of both in the future.
Siri Hustvedt

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About The Author

We love you! The Totem Team is dedicated to expanding knowledge of, and connection to, the natural and spiritual world of animals. Whether you call it an animal spirit, totem, or guide, we aim to be THE definitive resource online for all animal dreams, meanings, and symbolism. Thank you for being a part of our wonderful community and sharing in our work!

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