What The Praying Mantis Symbolizes: Spiritual Meaning, In Dreams & More

With its legs held in a perpetual position of reverent prayer, the praying mantis has always fascinated humans and appears in many cultures. These stick-like insects are regarded as powerful symbols and bring a positive message of quiet, calm, and patience in a fast, technology-laden world. If you see a mantis or even dream of one, understanding the profound spiritual message it brings you can be deeply meaningful.

The spiritual meaning of the praying mantis is related to its ability to wait patiently and motionlessly until it is confident of its next move. These fascinating carnivorous insects symbolize stillness, contemplation, self-awareness and encourage us to reflect carefully before acting decisively.

If you have been fascinated by a photo of a praying mantis or seen one, there may be more to the encounter than simply a random encounter with an insect. Your energy might be drawn to notice praying mantis for specific reasons as the universe beckons you to become aware of the profound message that it is sending.

The Spiritual Meaning Of A Praying Mantis

If you see a praying mantis in an image that you find fascinating or if you are fortunate enough to encounter a live one, it is an extremely good omen. Mantis is a powerful spiritual symbol that almost universally means good tidings.

The characteristic long body and triangular head with strong forelegs positioned in front of its body is a common symbol in our modern world. However, if you suddenly notice them more and have become aware of seeing praying mantis imagery all around, it is time to acknowledge the meaning for your life.

Mantis calls to us to slow down. The busy modern world often necessitates that we rush from one place to another without much time for ourselves. If a praying mantis visits you in any form, it is time to step back and reflect. Listen to the quiet voice inside and make time to be at peace with yourself.

A praying mantis never moves hastily or haphazardly. Every move is the result of thoughtful contemplation and careful observation. When it finally strikes out at its prey, it does so with intent and precision. The spiritual significance is immense. Take time to gather your thoughts, don’t overreact, but act with purpose once your mind is made up.

So too, in our lives, mantis encourages us to take time to meditate, unplug from our busy lives and become self-aware. The spiritual meaning is one of balance and calm. All options need to be thoughtfully pondered before deciding on a path. The power of calming meditation, especially during periods of immense life pressure, can provide clarity and allow you to embark meaningfully in the right direction.

Like a praying mantis, one should become truly mindful of our choices and not act in haste. You might find that you become aware of praying mantis images or see a praying mantis during times of great change in your life, and decisions are necessary. New partners, careers, homes, and family changes can be confusing, and our minds can shift into overdrive when making important decisions.

If you encounter a praying mantis, know that harming it is considered a bad omen. Do anything you can to release it unharmed if it has come into your home as it has been sent to bring you a message and brings good fortune.

A praying mantis is a multifaceted and powerful creature that brings many spiritual messages. These include:

  • Remaining present in the moment
  • Being quiet and observant
  • Patience and inner peace
  • Taking care of oneself
  • Acting decisively

Let’s look at each one individually to understand the message that a praying mantis brings.

Praying Mantis Reminds Us To Be Present In Each Moment

Life can become a tangled web. We get bombarded with information constantly and are often expected to respond quickly to keep up. If you see a mantis, it is reminding you to step back and reflect.

A praying mantis sits motionless and absorbs the world around it. We can often be so busy taking photos or recording special moments that we forget to be present and enjoy moments in life for what they are. Allow experiences to seep through your senses, rather than trying to hold on to them artificially.

Like A Praying Mantis, Remain Quiet And Observant

A praying mantis’s slow, almost robotic movements are not because it is incapable of speed. Mantis reminds us that although we are completely capable of coping, sometimes we need to slow down the pace and become at one with our surroundings.

A praying mantis can rotate its head 180 degrees, and without moving its body, it observes everything around it. The lesson for us is to remain keenly aware of our surroundings but not react to things that do not require our energy.

If you have ever quietly observed a praying mantis while it is hunting, you will notice that it does not make a sound. It can perch undetected for long periods before striking. Sometimes when things become overwhelming, we need to quiet our hearts and minds and reconnect with the natural world.

A Praying Mantis Represents Patience And Inner Peace

Blending in and taking time out can take the form of just giving yourself a breather. A praying mantis is a solitary insect that sits still and is not easily agitated. Its message to you is to find time for yourself.

A praying mantis only lives around six months, and although the life span is relatively short, it does not hurry a single day. It lives life on its own terms and acts quietly and methodically, going about its daily activities. This is a reminder that we should not feel limited by our own finite life span because our spirits are enduring.

Mantis, therefore, gives us a new perspective. We can live an unhurried and peaceful existence that has meaning. Seeing a praying mantis may be a signal to slow down the pace and allow your soul to find solace in the small things around you: a beautiful flower or a lovely aroma of freshly baked bread. Stop and breathe in everything around. It is unnecessary to rush headlong through life.

A Praying Mantis Is A Reminder To Exercise Self Care

We often feel obligated to take care of everyone around us and forget that we are worthy of our own time and efforts. Becoming aware of praying mantis symbolism in your environment or your dreams can be the universe telling you to allow yourself the time to indulge in your own self-care routine.

You don’t have to shower and brush your teeth at record speed each day. Praying mantis reminds us to take time to feel the sensation of the water on our bodies and indulge in the small things.

A praying mantis takes care of itself and its needs thoroughly. It eats with relish and grooms itself completely without any hurry. It does not rely on another praying mantis to assist it, and it makes looking after itself a priority. Noticing a mantis may mean that you can allow yourself to indulge in a long hot bath or go and order your favorite meal at a restaurant and savor every mouthful.

Live each moment mindfully and take care of yourself first. Only by taking excellent care of ourselves can we look after others.

A Praying Mantis Reminds Us To Act Decisively

Praying mantis is often associated with peace and meditation, and while these are hallmarks of its spiritual meaning, a mantis acts with certainty when the time for reflection is over. This tiny insect that has fascinated humanity for centuries is patient and reflective, but it is deadly when it makes its move.

When faced with complex and confusing choices in life, the praying mantis reminds us that although we must take time to meditate and shouldn’t act in haste, but once a path has been decided upon, it should be followed with commitment. A praying mantis doesn’t sway this way and that or walk up and down searching for prey. It waits, observes, gathers its inner strength, and then strikes with deadly intent.

Life’s challenges may sometimes feel daunting, but once we have allowed ourselves to reflect, observe, and weighed-up the situation entirely, we need to move swiftly and decisively towards our intended goal. A praying mantis can be a profound spiritual message to move with purpose along our chosen path.

What Does It Mean If To Dream About A Praying Mantis?

Dreaming about a praying mantis is an omen of good luck. In almost every culture where praying mantis is present, these insects represent prosperity and are tiny prophets of good things to come.

Dreaming of a praying mantis might also mean that you need to remain vigilant and exercise patience if a particular situation is troubling you. Remember, a praying mantis is extraordinarily patient and observes things from many angles before striking.

However, if your dream includes a praying mantis, you should feel extremely heartened. This is good news. Things will change for the better, but you need to exercise patience and spend time in reflection before acting on a situation.

The Spiritual Meaning Of A Praying Mantis In Other Cultures

A praying mantis is no ordinary insect. These peculiar-looking creatures have been prized in cultures around the world where are almost universally regarding as positive omen. What is fascinating is that entirely different cultures from different continents share very similar symbolic beliefs about praying mantis.

Let’s go through some of the meanings that various cultures have imbued on the lanky praying mantis with its characteristic triangular-shaped head and large eyes.  Whether you see one of these insects or it comes to you in your dreams, you need to remain open to the spiritual symbolism to do a stock take of your life and understand the powerful message of peace that has been sent to you.

From the ancient Greeks to the San people of the sand deserts of Southern Africa, the praying mantis has been regarded as a profoundly spiritual creature that has almost supernatural powers.

These are some of the cultures where praying mantis has a deeply spiritual meaning:

  • Ancient Greek culture – The word ‘mantis’ was given to the insect by the ancient Greeks. It means ‘prophet.’ These small insects were believed to have the ability to guide lost travelers home safely.
  • Ancient Egyptian culture – The Egyptians believed that the mystical praying mantis could act as a guide into the next life. These tiny insects feature in the Book of the Dead, where they are depicted as deities. Half birds and half insects that guide humans to the underworld.
  • Ancient Chinese culture – One of the earliest references to the symbolism of the praying mantis is from ancient Chinese literature, where it is represented courage and bravery. The praying mantis’s slow yet highly metered movements have served as inspiration for some forms of martial arts.
  • The cultures of the Khoi and San people of Southern Africa – The imagery of half-human, half mantis is a frequent symbol in rock art from this ancient culture. Man and nature were intertwined, and a praying mantis’s stance was a deeply reverent symbol.  The San culture also believed that praying mantis was one of the forms of a shape-changing deity called lKaggen.
  • Native American Culture – All insects, including mantids, are sacred in Native American culture. There is a deep understanding that insects predate humans and come from a time when the earth was forming. A praying mantis represented good fortune and wealth and finding one was a powerful omen of good luck.


Despite living in a modern technology-driven world, deeply spiritual symbols are still all around. No matter the form it comes to you, seeing a praying mantis is a profoundly spiritual message from the universe. It can be telling you to take time to reflect and meditate before taking your life forward with meaning and a spirit of determined purpose.

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