Last Updated on September 18, 2023
The chameleon is a well-known type of ‘Old World Lizard’ that has the ability to change its color depending on its surroundings.
It has a huge amount of symbolism, particularly in some African cultures, and its camouflaging ability is something we can all identify with. It is insightful, resourceful, and clever.
Read on to find out more about the symbolism associated with this beautiful animal!
Chameleon Spirit Animal
If the chameleon is your spirit animal, then you need to get in touch with your intuition.
Self-awareness is key, and if you don’t use these types of psychic abilities in your daily life, then you may cause trouble for yourself.
Don’t be afraid of your potential!
As well as this, the chameleon is most often known for its ability to camouflage.
If the chameleon enters your life, it may be implying that you need to either expose or conceal certain parts of yourself to navigate the next step in life.
It’s okay to leave some people guessing!
You are in charge of how you present yourself to other people, nobody else gets a say in that. So put on any persona you want, as long you use your awareness and intuition to judge a situation correctly.
Essentially the chameleon just wants you to feel comfortable wherever you are, whatever you are doing. If you are going through hard times, or a period of big changes, you will be able to adjust to this new situation.
Use this power for good – use it to make your environment better.
Chameleon Totem Animal
As a Totem animal, the chameleon stands for adaptation, insight, and multi-tasking.
They are the magicians of the animal world, so the chameleon Totem animals mean that you have an advanced vision that will help you solve problems that others may struggle with.
With the chameleon’s influence, you will be a sure-footed person. While you may enjoy occasionally taking risks, you will feel the need to triple-check every decision you make.
It is important to take your time to think about your next move.
It’s okay if you are moving slowly, as a chameleon would. Watch and wait, only acting when the right time presents itself. You will end up winning in the end.
Chameleon Power Animal
There are different variations of the chameleon as a power animal.
It is believed that a green chameleon means you shouldn’t wait for success to just happen, you should go out and find it for yourself. Take control of your life!
A mixed-colored chameleon indicates that you may be experiencing some confusion in your personal life, particularly your love life.
This is only concerning your feelings – are you unsure that your relationship is right for you? You may need to make a decision about this in the future, otherwise, you will cause yourself even more inner turmoil.
If the white chameleon is your power animal, then everything is at peace. You are able to relax in the knowledge that people love you and enjoy spending time with you!
Chameleon Christianity Symbolism
It was common for animals to represent symbols, vices, or personalities in the Bible. There was rarely any explanation behind them, only that they had labels on them. For the chameleon, the label was hypocrisy.
We can only assume that this is because a chameleon changes its skin depending on the situation it is in. It is constantly changing its mind, depending on who it is around.
While this matches the definition of ‘fickle’ more than hypocritical, the inconsistency of a chameleon could be why it has been labeled as ‘hypocrisy’.
In Leviticus 11:30 (New International Version), it was said that ‘Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you (…) the chameleon.’
It states that if a dead chameleon touches anything, water or clothing, then it is unclean and shouldn’t be touched by humans.
If a chameleon appears in your dreams, it can either be a very good thing or a very bad thing.
Since a chameleon is able to adapt to its environment and blend in well, a chameleon dream can mean that you have adapted to some situations in your life that you may have been concerned about. This shows personal growth.
On the other hand, this adaptability can also mean that somebody doesn’t have your best interests at heart – meaning that you will need to protect yourself against this.
Interestingly, the chameleon has a variety of traditional meanings from different cultures/religions.
In a European (Judeo-Christian) environment, if you notice that someone changes into a chameleon in your dream, then you may already be worried about this person’s intentions.
You feel you may have to confront them at some point because you know that they aren’t truthful and will use their adaptability to manipulate others.
However, if you find yourself feeding and nurturing a chameleon in your dream, then you may have to fully embrace your confident side.
There may be some big life changes in your life at the moment, and this chameleon situation signifies that you are ready to accept these changes!
Don’t hold yourself back, work with the opportunities that have been given to you.
In Hinduism, again there is a positive and negative meaning to seeing a chameleon. If you spot a green chameleon lurking in your dream, this can mean that you are ready to adapt to some circumstances in your life that may feel unnatural or strange.
On the other hand, if you are catching a chameleon, this could be a warning for you. Someone in your life may be intending to cause you harm by first gaining your trust, then using this against you. You may want to remain wary.
In Islamic cultures, if you dream of a chameleon in a green environment, this means that there are good changes coming your way!
Considering that the chameleon is a lizard, we must also consider what seeing lizards in a dream means. Most lizards symbolize that there is a part of your personality that is ‘cold’ and ‘slippery’.
It represents the primitive side of human nature, which may be the side that has little concern for others. This is nothing to be alarmed about since we are made up of so many different aspects of human nature!
Chameleon Tattoo Meaning
Chameleons are an incredibly popular lizard tattoo, because of their unique color-changing ability. In tattoos, the animal has multiple meanings. People take lots of different lessons from how a chameleon acts and how they are built!
The first meaning is intuition, awareness, and the ability to see the truth.
Since chameleons have separate mobile eyes, they are able to see what is in front of them and behind them at the same time. Some chameleons even have a third eye on the back of their heads!
They are constantly keeping an eye out for danger and food, and their eyes give them this heightened awareness.
This is why they symbolize intuition and psychic abilities.
Some people get a chameleon tattoo in recognition of how they have adapted to their circumstances and still survived.
People should admire and remember this resilience. So, a tattoo of it will serve as a reminder of how brave people can be.
Chameleon Spiritual Meaning
Spiritually, the chameleon symbolizes clairvoyance.
This is when something/someone can sense what is going to happen in the present or future, or knows what has happened in the past, without the use of their main senses. They seem to absorb this information, or it just appears to them.
With the chameleon’s advanced vision and patience, they notice and absorb more information than most other animals.
To follow the chameleon’s lead, you have to take notice of things. Look at the small details!
This type of insight can be incredibly useful for learning more about the people around you, as well as yourself.
Chameleon in Astrology & Zodiac Signs
Chameleons are difficult to define. They use their skills to camouflage themselves to anything around them, and they don’t like staying the same for long periods of time.
However, this skill of adapting to their surroundings doesn’t stop them from being courageous or venturing out into the world. They have a tough spirit. This is why the chameleon has a Sun sign of Aquarius.
Chameleons are a Primal Zodiac sign that, although not one of the main Zodiac signs, still represents an animal spirit.
Aquarians born during the Zodiac’s Year of the Dog are chameleons because they can be passionate and extraverted, loving other company, or they can enjoy time by themselves in their own head.
They are highly intelligent and intuitive, and they have a unique perspective that would make the world better.
However, they can be quite uncertain and defensive. Anxiety is ingrained into their DNA. Trying to balance these two personalities, the ‘alter-egos’, can be difficult.
Chameleons in African Folklore
People thought chameleons are related to witchcraft in many African countries.
For example, Swazi-speaking people believe that witch doctors use chameleons to curse families with bad luck.
This is simply because they change color. It is believed that if they can transform themselves, then they can transform good luck into bad luck, transform women into men, etc.
It has also been said that Zulu people believe that if a chameleon bites you, then this wound will never heal until they die. Other people think that if you are bitten, then you will laugh yourself to death.
Some Tsonga people believe that when a chameleon bites you, you will immediately become infertile. They also have the belief that if a chameleon dies, then the bones of this animal will produce baby chameleons.
When it comes to the Bantu people of Africa and their mythology, they share a common idea surrounding the origin of death, which involves a chameleon. It is believed that the animal is a ‘herald’ of eternal life.
This original myth says that God sent a chameleon as a messenger to humans, letting them know that they would never die. When it went on its mission, it could only travel at a slow pace, and it kept stopping to eat to sustain itself.
Because of this, another lizard traveled to visit human civilization first. It told them that they would eventually die. This sealed humanity’s fate of life and death.
Because the chameleon was so slow with its message of eternal life, both chameleons and lizards are seen as bad luck for some Bantu people.
There are many variations of this myth.
Some believe that God sent both the chameleon and the lizard at the same time to let destiny decide humankind’s outcome. Others believe that after having sent the chameleon, God witnessed the trouble that humans can cause, so sent the lizard instead.
To some Missionaries, the chameleon (who was carrying this amazing news) is equated to Jesus Christ.
Out of all of these myths, it is clear that the chameleon plays a pivotal role in the origin story for many African people.
Chameleon Symbolic Meanings
Insight – The chameleon’s unique eyes (and its parietal third eye) are symbolic of insight into people’s characters and difficult situations. You have the ability to see things from a different perspective, which is a good thing. It allows you to be more considerate of others and use this power to help people.
Change – From the chameleon’s ability to change the color of its skin, we are taught that change is okay – and is encouraged! Sometimes change needs to happen to protect others, and adapting to different environments is natural. It is a sign of strength, and it helps us to survive.
Patience – Chameleons stand for patience and stability. It is okay if you have to wait longer than others to achieve success, it will still happen. All you have to do is carry on working hard, and the rewards will steadily stream in. It just may take a small amount of time.
Resourcefulness – The chameleon has all of its resources to hand to look after itself when it needs to. It has adapted to change its color, and it knows exactly what it needs to do/what color to be to suit a situation.
This has been referred to as ‘crayon cunning’! It is clever (and sometimes crafty), but it always successfully overcomes its challenges.
The chameleon most often symbolizes adaptation and insight.
As a spirit animal, it teaches us to use our heightened vision to keep an eye out for those that might hurt us, as well as those that wish us well.
It also teaches us that it is okay to adapt certain parts of ourselves to feel comfortable in situations we struggle with, we are just protecting ourselves!
Finally, have patience – all good things come with time.
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