Bats are found in almost every country on earth. They’re incredibly widespread, and because of this, they feature in folklore and myths from across the globe.
Bats can be found in stories dating back thousands of years.
Because they tend to lurk in the nighttime, bats often come to symbolize darker things. They can be seen as messengers from the dead, and trickster animals who deal with demons.
But a bat can also represent good things — especially spiritually. They’re a sign of change, and of moving away from negative energies.
Bats may represent an ending, but they also symbolize a better beginning.
Bat Symbolism & Meaning
Bats can symbolize darkness and night, but they aren’t just a spooky omen. Instead, a bat can be a symbol of change, and personal growth.
In Chinese tradition, the bat is a symbol of health and fortune. Bats can be a guide in difficult times, rather than just a warning of what’s to come.
Bat Spirit Animal
A spirit animal is there to provide us guidance when we need support. When a bat swoops in as your spirit animal, it’s often an indication that a major life change is on its way.
The bat is there to guide you through these changes, and help you to respond to difficulties.
Bats are creatures that live in the dark and rarely see the light. Because of this, they have to rely on senses other than sight.
When you have a bat as your spirit animal, it’s important to stay alert, and stay aware, as change happens around you. Trust your intuition to guide you through changes.
A bat can be seen to symbolize death, which is why many of us are wary of bat spirit animals in times of major change. But that doesn’t mean they’re something to be afraid of.
Rather than representing literal death, a bat spirit animal can guide you through major upheavals.
Bat Totem Animal
A bat totem animal is a sign of a person with a great deal of perception.
The bat is an intuitive and sensitive creature, and those with a bat totem animal will often be talented at seeing through misconceptions and false impressions.
Those with a bat totem animal tend to be naturally nurturing and form close bonds. Bats are animals that typically thrive in communities, with many choosing to live in large colonies.
If you have a bat totem animal, you tend to form strong ties and can communicate effectively. Those with a bat totem are often fantastic listeners.
A bat totem animal will help to guide you through a journey, which can seem difficult at times. The bat will be by your side to help you see through misconceptions, push past fears, and find courage.
By working with your wise bat totem, you can also help others through their difficult journeys.
Bat Power Animal
When a bat appears to you as your spirit animal, it means it’s time for you to summon your courage, and face your fears.
Bats are animals that are adapted to the night, and with a bat as your power animal, you can push through your dark worries, and come out stronger.
A bat power animal can provide you with the strength needed to turn towards the dark. Not just in our everyday life, but within ourselves.
Those with a bat spirit animal tend to be excellent secret keepers, but that also means you can keep secrets within yourself.
A bat power animal can give you the strength to find these secrets, and bring them forward.
With a bat power animal guiding you, you can adapt to challenges, and come out stronger. Remember, “blind as a bat” is just a saying — bats actually have sharp eyesight, and cunning echolocation.
Your bat power animal can guide you through murky circumstances (and understands when to make a hasty retreat).
Bat Native American Symbolism
Bats have a diverse symbolic meaning across the Native tribes of North and Central America.
Some saw bats as a trickster animal, existing between the bird and the mammal. Because of this, it might be rejected by its animal neighbors, or become a spy.
But to the Navajo, the bat was a mentor. The bat helped people to deal with tricky gods and could guide humans in troubled times.
Hiding in the shadows, the bat could provide answers when plans and discussions were failing. The bat appeared in traditional Navajo sand paintings, often wearing a yellow diamond to symbolize their help in overcoming the powerful Gambler deity.
The Zuni people of New Mexico saw the bat as the guardian of the night.
Not all Native American symbolism of the bat is good, however. In South America, where the vampire bat roams, bats were seen as messengers to and from the dead. Bat monsters, small creatures that craved blood, decorated folklore.
Bat Celtic Symbolism
Halloween is closely associated with bats, and so was the earlier version of the festival — Samhain. Samhain was a festival marking the end of the harvest and the movement towards the darker half of the year.
Bonfires were traditionally lit on Samhain, which might be why bats are so strongly associated. Bonfires would draw insects, and bats would come to feast.
But on Samhain, the veil between our world and the Otherworld is said to be thinner. Bats could be seen as messengers from the Otherworld, or strange and spiritual creatures.
Bat Christianity Symbolism
Bats in the bible were seen as unclean birds and were not to be consumed. In the book of Isaiah, we are told to throw away idols to the caves where moles and bats have their dwelling.
Puritans saw the bat as messengers from Satan. And you had to watch out if a bat flew too close! It meant someone was trying to bewitch you.
Swooping and flying bats in your dreams can often seem like a dark omen, and they do often represent a negative change.
When bats begin to fly into your dreams, it may be a sign that you can’t hide from your fears any longer.
If bats are attacking you in your dreams, then there are annoyances and demons in your life that need to be dealt with.
But if a bat is flying overhead, it is guiding you to face your fears, even if they seem benign. It’s time to face up to the darkness.
When bats fly into your dreams, it isn’t necessarily a bad sign. Instead, the bats can help you to move forward. But they do often symbolize negative energy that’s following you, or on its way.
When bats appear, it’s a time for growth, change, and letting go.
Far Eastern Bat Symbolic Meanings
Although in the West bats are typically seen as a symbol of bad news, in China the bat is an image of good luck and fortune. They were frequently used to represent the Wufu, meaning the five blessings.
The five blessings are longevity, wealth, health and composure, love of virtue, and a peaceful death in old age.
Five flying bats are regularly seen in art to represent these blessings and indicate a virtuous and blessed person. The Chinese words for bat and happiness are both pronounced “fu”.
Bat Tattoo Meaning
A person who has passed through significant change, and emerged stronger, may get a bat tattoo to signal rebirth.
Bats are a symbol of both death and life, and a bat tattoo can signify a change that may have been difficult, but that was worth the struggle in the end.
Bats are still seen as spooky creatures, messengers from the underworld and friends to vampires. A person may choose to get a bat tattoo to indicate their connection with the darker side of life.
A tattoo of five flying bats is, in keeping with the Chinese tradition, a symbol of prosperity and good luck.
They represent the five virtues. Five bats can be used as a sign that you wish to convey these blessings to yourself.
If you have a bat power or totem animal, you may choose a bat tattoo to signify your journey or remind you of your strength and perception.
Bat Spiritual Meaning
Bats are mysterious creatures. They’re the only mammal that can fly, and that has led many to see them as an in-between animal.
Somewhere between the bird and the rat, the bat can be seen as tricky and cunning.
A connection to darkness and dusk has led bats to be associated with death and rebirth.
A symbol of the dark, the spiritual meaning of the bat can be an animal that leads you towards the light and causes you to examine your own fears.
Bats are deeply connected to the spiritual, and to realms of other worlds. In Native American symbolism, the bat could be a mentor for humans, and a voice from the Gods.
But they could also have emerged from the underworld, and carry messages from the dead and demons.
Because of their incredible perceptiveness, a bat can have a spiritual association with the Third Eye. They represent seeing beyond the obvious, and an innate level of understanding.
The spiritual meaning of bats can often be misunderstood. Accepting the spiritual meaning of the bat requires battling against perception, and having courage.
Bat in Astrology & Zodiac Signs
Bats in astrology are a symbol of rebirth, and of major changes in life. Although the bat may seem scary, it can actually be a good sign. But it may take some work and some canny perception.
Hawaiian, African, & Greek Myth & Symbolic Meaning
Bats feature heavily in Greek mythology, often as symbols of the underworld. In the story of the Minyades, three sisters neglected to worship the god Dionysus.
In anger, Dionysus turned the sisters into bats. Other versions have Dionysus drive the sisters to madness. In an act of mercy, Hermes turned them into bats.
In Polynesian mythology, the Samoan princess Leutogi was sent to Tonga to marry. She was held in low esteem by the people of Tonga and mocked when she nursed an injured bat back to health.
The bats remembered her kindness. When Leutogi was sentenced to the pyre, the bats urinated on the fire and saved the Princesses life.
She was exiled to a barren island, where the bats kept her company and bought her food. The bats colonized the island, and Leutogi became a goddess of bats and fertility.
Bat in Cuban & African Folklore
In African folklore, the bat is a trickster. In Nigeria, they tell the story of why the bat flies at night:
The bat was a good friend to the bush rat, and they always ate together. The bat was a skilled chef, and the rat asked how it always made the soup so good.
The bat said it boiled itself alongside the water, and the flesh of the bat gave the soup its flavor.
The rat went home and told his wife about the secret, and set about making soup when his wife wasn’t looking.
When she looked into the pot, she saw the body of her husband. He’d died in the boiling water.
The wife was furious and reported the bat to the king. All day, the animals looked for the bat, to punish him.
The bat hid and was forced to only come out at night, to avoid the angry animals.
Australian Bat Symbolism
Australian aboriginals saw the bat as a symbol of the trickster. The bat would change allegiance in arguments, between the bird and the mammal, depending on who was winning.
The other creatures soon caught on to their deceptive ways, and the bat was shunned.
Bat Symbolic Meanings
- Adaptability and evolution.
- A connection with the spiritual.
- Good fortune.
The initial reaction to the bat is often negative, but it can actually be a sign of good things to come. The bat represents change, moving forward, and letting go of the past.
A bat can symbolize looking within yourself and considering your own fears and secrets, as well as being perceptive of those around you. Bats represent the community and a connection to others.
If a bat spirit comes to you, don’t be scared. Instead, allow the bat to guide you through the darker periods, and move you forward.
A bat can be a sign of very good things, and you should feel lucky to have one buy your side.
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