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

The hyena is not merely a scavenger, but an effective killing machine. They are fearsome creatures found in Africa, which roam in groups known as clans. These clans can contain from six to one hundred members. They have strong, stocky builds and eerie laughter, but what is the spiritual meaning of a Hyena?

Hyenas symbolize survival at any cost; they are fast thinkers and more intelligent than they appear. A strong meaning they hold is the importance of community and connections. They embody loyalty, protectiveness, and ferocity. They also signify balance, resourcefulness, and gratitude for what one has.

When people speak of hyenas, they typically ridicule them and condemn them due to their scavenging nature and ability to be nuisances. However, they are incredibly adaptable creatures that can survive in various habitats. They are strong and agile, and when it comes to looking at their spiritual meaning, you’ll be surprised.

Spiritual Symbolism And Meaning Of A Hyena

It may be due to movies like The Lion King, but hyenas tend to provoke a negative reaction. And yes, it is true; they have certain negative spiritual connotations, such as being devious scavengers that steal from others instead of putting work in themselves and being wild and volatile.

However, there are also good sides to them, and one of the most noteworthy is their gift of laughter. They embody a flippant spirit and remind us not to take life too seriously. They see life and the present absurdities, and they tackle it all in good humor.

And yes, although they are scavengers, they serve an essential service. They are part of nature’s cleanup crew, and they do so with joy in their hearts. Although other animals are often annoyed by them, they play a key role in the food chain. In the end, they resemble balance, resourcefulness, and gratitude.

They also stand for community and communication within their specific groups. Although one grows by spending time alone in meditation, we also grow spiritually by interacting with others. The hyena’s vocalization establishes their age and social rank and introduces them to others. 

Along with communication comes the notion of openness and honesty. This is because deceit, lies, and cruel words not only harm others but blacken our souls. Therefore the hyena also implores one to be mindful of how we say things. Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it.

Now, although they are exceptional communicators, one aspect of them stirs up confusion, and that is in their gender identification. It is relatively difficult to distinguish the males from the females, leading to sexual ambiguity. This misleading aspect attributes connections to trickster elements.

Hyenas do not exactly have any predators to worry about, other than other clans of hyenas and lions, which they often pester. When there is a threat, they will assess the situation and only engage if they have superior strength and numbers. Otherwise, they will evade the danger, representing escapism, stamina, and insight.

There is a fine balance between having competitive and cooperative spirits when it comes to ensuring their survival. Although they compete for food, they need to cooperate and ensure all are taken care of. When it comes to mating, though, this is where only a select group of males will be chosen.

Symbolic Meanings Of A Hyena

The hyena is also symbolic of word choice, as although they tend to have constant communication, it is easy to be lackluster with what we say. Although words can express love and kindness, they can also deliver sharp blows that cause long-lasting damage to those we direct them.

On the note of communication, the hyena also represents group work. If a team is well oiled and everyone plays their part as they ought to without rubbing people the wrong way, the tasks at hand are made that much easier for all.

Being in large groups also signifies security, protection, and safety. Hyenas stick together because they know that going on their own, they will have much less of a fighting chance at survival. By being a clan member, they can rely on others to help when danger comes around.  

These groups also bring up the idea of family and socializing. In our modern world, where families are not as tightly knit as in years gone by, we lack the support and comfort of being surrounded by loved ones. And the hyena reminds us of the importance of support structures.

If you have ever witnessed hyenas seeking out a meal, you will realize that they most definitely symbolize stubbornness and persistence. They are unrelenting, and giving up is not an option for them, even if something is difficult. They keep pressing forward and hold onto the hope of succeeding.

Dreaming About A Hyena

There are various interpretations regarding dreaming about a hyena, many of which are unfortunately not incredibly uplifting; however, do not despair. There are some positive reasons, and the negative ones can still be used to our advantage.

One of the main reasons to be dreaming about a hyena is that there is a secret enemy who slanders and spreads rumors about you. It is secret because this person is likely masquerading as a friend.

In your dream, if you are running away from a hyena, which is a rather frightening experience, it means that you are likely to face challenging obstacles in life. Although this seems like a bad thing, it can lead to personal growth and development if approached the right way.

When faced with a hyena in a dream and you are at a loss in terms of what you should do, it means that you are likely to experience an unpleasant surprise. Again, this is not ideal, but how you react to whatever happens will at times be of greater weighting than the thing itself.

Encountering a hyena and wrestling and fighting with it is a sign that you will defeat or do away with competitors in life. This is sure to bring you joy, but be vigilant that you do not become complacent once you have gained a win.

Unfortunately, feeding a hyena in a dream is not a good sign; it signifies that you will experience difficulties in relationships with the opposite sex. This is not ideal, but it can be an opportunity to investigate the nature of the opposite sex and to understand their thought processes better.

A clan of hyenas present in your dream denotes that you need to focus on your family. Take time to strengthen bonds and build up relationships that are a bit shaky. Additionally, if you are a business person, it may refer to your needing to capitalize on networking opportunities. 

If the hyena in your dream is laughing and seems energetic and playful, it is a message that your life might be boring you, and you need to find a means of having some fun and letting loose for a change.

The Hyena As A Spirit Animal

Now, although dreaming of a hyena is not particularly encouraging, having it come into your life as a spirit animal is an excellent thing as it denotes that opportunity is upon you. The hyena will teach you how to make the most of all situations and if you have physical, emotional, or mental struggles, healing is on its way.

The hyena will encourage you to become a more flexible individual who can adapt to situations as they materialize. It will also assist in realizing the importance of not taking things too seriously and that being silly and having fun is good from time to time. You will enter into a period where you will learn the importance of laughter.

Another reason for the hyena arriving is that you need to expand the horizons of your social circle. This also means that you may have to sever ties with toxic people and rather build up healthier relationships. On that same note, though, the hyena may also aid you in mending fading connections.

And finally, one of the fundamental reasons the hyena will appear is that your communication skills need fine-tuning. You may not realize it, but one can always grow in interacting with others. This may be in improving how you relate with people, interpret body language, or practice empathy.


So at first glance, we may perceive the spiritual elements to be as negative as the connotations that surround them; however, there are several qualities that they can teach us. Being strong and focused and having the ability to have fun is important, as well as family values, survivability, and resourcefulness.