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What is the Praying Mantis Symbolism and Meaning?

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Praying Mantises are called what they are because of the way that their front legs are bent forward in front of their faces. Just before they catch their prey, they also look like they’re bowing their front legs and heads in prayer.

They don’t have any known Christian symbolism. However, the Praying Mantis symbolism does hold many meanings elsewhere.

Mantis is derived from the Greek mantid, which means prophet or seer. Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians shared the belief that the Mantis was a guide to those who were lost, especially lost travelers.

The most common association with Mantises relate to stillness and patience.

Praying Mantis Symbolism

Unlike many other creatures, the Praying Mantis doesn’t make its move until it’s absolutely positive that it’s right to do so. The Mantis moves at a pace that many would call silent but deadly.

When it does make a move, it doesn’t hesitate and isn’t afraid to start chowing down at it’s prey’s head or face.

As a result, the Praying Mantis can mean something with mindfulness, creativity, stillness, calmness, awareness, balance and/or intuition. As a result, the Praying Mantis totem is a representation for peace and joy.

In China, the Praying Mantis has long been hailed for it’s calculated and mindful movements. This is taken to mean that the mind and the soul should be on the same page with the choices that the person makes.

The ancient African Kalahari Bushmen consider the Praying Mantis to be the oldest symbol of God. As a result, whenever they spotted one, they believed that it was bringing them a divine message and would try to decipher it.

Today, seeing Praying Mantises everywhere or in a dream is generally a sign that your life has been so busy lately that it’s been stressing you out. It could also mean that you have gotten too oblivious to your situation and that it’s time to pull back and figure out what you’ve been missing.

It could also be warning you of danger. For example, if someone is scamming you, deliberately ignoring you or trying to take credit for the work you’re doing, the Mantis is a sign that you need to take action now.

Having a Praying Mantis Spirit Animal

If you have a Praying Mantis spirit animal, chances are, you usually take your time before coming to a decision or before acting. You’re probably one of the most cautious people that you know, too and are probably quick to attract good rewards.

You’re probably one of the most patient people that you know, too. You probably also have a reputation for saying the right thing at the right time.

The Mantis’s three key divine meanings are of peace, stillness and mindfulness. Since it is so skillful at moving with the silence around it, many eastern spiritualities consider the Mantis to be a symbol for meditation.

If you desire peace and stillness, consider watching a Praying Mantis or just thinking of one.

The Praying Mantis totem is considered to be one of the most peaceful ones in the entire animal kingdom. This is because it never seems to see chaos and remains almost completely still at all times.

In fact, it could be standing on the window of a burning building and not run away from the fire. Instead, it just stays and observes what’s going on around it.

The Mantis often stays in one place for hours, usually not moving unless it’s about to catch prey or mate.

It is believed that the Mantis spends all that still time planning. Maybe so.

However, I believe that the Mantis is simply not programmed to move unless it’s absolutely necessary. I believe that it just prefers to enjoy its surroundings.

As a result, the Praying Mantis teaches us to be mindful of our surroundings. To also be mindful that our actions don’t harm others and that they only do good.

When a Mantis Appears in Your Life

When you cross a Praying Mantis, that also means that your luck is about to turn around for the better or get even better.

Be aware that it may be about to come from an unexpected source, such as a big lottery win or an inheritance windfall. However, please do not try to make any specific predictions as this will block your ability to see and accept your good luck.

All you need to do is stay peaceful and harmonious wherever you are now, do what’s yours to do and the cosmic divine will take care of the rest.

If your life tends to be very fast-paced and a Mantis happens to appear in your life, please pay very close attention. Same if you’re in a relationship that’s been on the rocks.

You may get a seemingly random thought or feeling that you need to be still. This is a message to take a step back and to weigh your options or to tone down the noise level.

When Else to Call On a Praying Mantis Spirit

When you need to step back and make strategic planning for a project, you can get all kinds of conflicting advice. You know that not everything or everyone is right for you and during times like this, it pays to step back and consider everything you’ve come across so far.

However, if you’re still absolutely can’t decide, that’s a good time to call on a Praying Mantis spirit.

In nature, Mantises don’t move on their prey until their prey makes the mistake of moving too close to them. When they catch their prey, they devour it very fast piece by piece.

Likewise, when you step back and consider your options, you may notice that one or two solutions seems to be coming back to you more than the others. That’s your Mantis’s prey.

Another good time to call on a Praying Mantis spirit is if your life seems unfocused. Not necessarily just if it’s in the chaotic way but also if you’re having issues with knowing what’s calling to you.

Whether your life is chaotic or you don’t know what your next step in life is, that’s the time to step back and notice the nature of the Mantis.

Just like the Mantis waits for it’s prey to come to it, sometimes you have to wait for your life’s next step to come to you and move on it when it does. It’s always a question of when, not if.

Not that it pays to be lazy while you wait. You still have bills to pay and need to eat.

If your current job is not your calling, just think of it as a stepping stone to your calling.


Yet another thing to remember about the Praying Mantis is that most of the time, it camouflages flawlessly. As a result, if you can spot a Mantis, it means that it has chosen to step out and show itself.

Since they resemble stereotypical extraterrestrials, some people believe that Mantises are not native to Earth.

If Your Mantis is Dead

If your Mantis is dead or you see numerous dead ones, it could mean numerous things.

First, it may mean that you’re too distracted by worldly things and you’re not spending enough time on your spiritual growth.

Believe it or not, it could also mean the opposite. That you’re stepping out of the world too much and are spending too much time on your spiritual growth and/or too much time meditating.

Remember, you’re not here to be lazy. You’re here to learn and apply what you learn in your actions in life.

If your relationship is on the rocks, the dead Mantis could be letting you know that there’s been a spiritual disconnection between you and your partner. As a result, now’s a good time to have a heart-to-heart chat about each other’s spiritual goals.

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