What The Hippopotamus Symbolizes: Spiritual Meaning, In Dreams & More

The hippopotamus is not the most beautiful creature to behold, but they are incredibly versatile and robust. The hippopotamus has immense strength and speed, even though the latter does not seem evident. So when looking at these amphibious creatures, one cannot help but stop and wonder what their spiritual meaning is.

The hippopotamus speaks of living a well-balanced life that is practical yet ambitious. They represent bold and daring people who like to push the limits. They also encompass stability, strength, intelligence, wisdom, perseverance, and courage. It also stands for honesty and sincerity.

If you struggle to navigate complex relationships or tend to hide your true feelings, it is a good idea to look to the hippopotamus for guidance. This creature offers great encouragement, support, and strength while staying true to who we are. For an in-depth analysis of the spiritual meaning, be sure to read on.

Spiritual Symbolism And Meaning Of A Hippopotamus

Due to their sheer size and mass, it is no wonder that hippos symbolize stability. And in terms of spirituality, this is often a crucial component, which is sometimes overlooked. The hippo sees challenges in life, but with their firm foundation, they can tackle them with ease.  

The next takeaway is their tremendous strength, particularly their impressive jaws. They symbolize power and durability. We need to channel this strength and raw energy in our own lives, especially when pursuing what we desire. We need to be unrelenting in reaching our goals.

Although they may appear to encompass brute force solely, hippos also have immense intelligence and wisdom. They exist in complex social groups and can anticipate future events. If they resonate with you, you will find them enabling you to establish creative solutions to problems you experience.

Hippos are persistent creatures, representing perseverance, especially when they wish to move from one space to another. Nothing gets in their way, and if you do, you should be very careful. They are determined and confident beings that encourage others to tackle their goals in the same way.

Along with sticking to the plan they have established in their minds, they are also very courageous. This is made easier seeing that it has one of the most powerful bodies in the animal kingdom, but they inspire us to confront danger and be brave in the face of adversity.

When it comes to confrontation, the hippo might seem stubborn as it will not back down, but in truth, it demonstrates honesty and sincerity when it encounters an opposing force. People who have them as spirit animals are likely to remain true to themselves regardless of what others say or do.

Symbolic Meanings Of A Hippopotamus

The Greek name for the hippopotamus means “Water Horse” which is rather flattering when you consider the enormity of the beast. What is true about the title, though, is that they are incredibly agile and maneuver well in both water and on land. This represents how unassuming they are and how we can be too.

They also symbolize the need to understand one’s potential for greatness. We need to believe in ourselves when pursuing our goals, even if others underestimate us. The hippo has a range of talents, from running to swimming to being effective fighters, and they use all of this to their benefit.  

There is also a strong protective and defensive side to the hippo, especially regarding the water element. They will guard their territory, and likewise, we do so with our emotions. The hippo might be asking you if you are overly defensive or need to take a stronger stand for what you believe in.

Communication and the ability to speak up are facets of the hippo. The hippo has no qualms about opening its mouth wide and expressing itself loudly. The hippo shows us that it is acceptable to speak our mind and not let ourselves be held back when we have something worth saying.

Dreaming About A Hippopotamus

When it comes to dreaming about hippos, we must pay close attention to the dream’s details, as there are arrays of meanings that can be drawn from what we see. One of the main reasons is that you need to realize that you have the strength and power to overcome whatever you face.

If the hippo is wounded in your dream, it means that you are living in an environment that is not conducive, particularly to allowing your true self to thrive. This could be work, home life, or the people you socialize with.

If a hippo attacks you in your dream, then it means that you are threatened by powers that are greater than yourself. This may be true or a conceived notion, but either way, you need to distinguish why you feel threatened and how best to combat this.

If the hippo is chasing you in your dream, it is indicating that there is something that you are trying to avoid or that it is something that is weighing you down. Either way, it is causing you frustration, and it needs to be dealt with.

If the hippo is in the water when you dream of it, it likely means that you are looking for a fresh start or want to live a more relaxed existence. You may also want to escape something that you feel is burdening you.

Finally, if the hippo is a calf, then it means that you are nurturing feelings that had been dormant, but now you are allowing them to surface. These may be romantic feelings or allowing yourself to experience joy and self-love. 

The Hippopotamus As A Spirit Animal

When the hippopotamus arrives as your spirit animal, it will not be a quiet affair. You may feel intimidated and uncomfortable, but what it will likely be doing is to help guide you to the realization that you need to stand strong and ground yourself.

The hippo will also come to you in times when you are stagnant. If you have reached a point in life where you have come to an obstacle and found it too difficult, so you gave up, the hippo wants you to push on and commit. Defeat is not an option for the hippo, and thus neither can it be for you.

Apart from its powerful jaw, the hippo also has a great defensive element, and that is its thick skin that helps it from being injured. The hippo will guide you on a journey to growing tougher and reaching a point where hurtful elements of life will not batter you so easily.

Yes, it is true that many people talk far too much and listen far too little, but this may likely not be the case for you. You may shy away from speaking your mind, and the hippo wants you to change this. Find your words and realize that your story is also important.  


The sheer power of the hippopotamus can be intimidating, but it can teach us valuable lessons. We need to be secure in ourselves and our beliefs. In general, hippos are calm, tranquil creatures, but they know when to use aggression. So be like them and show courage even when it’s hard and be tough.

Other Popular Spirit Animals

See if you relate to any of these popular spirit animals.