Spotting a dolphin in your life may have you thinking about dolphin symbolism and what your dolphin sighting means. Dolphin symbolism is the evaluation of dolphin encounters and the messages they can relay on your life path, relationships, and more.
What Does a Dolphin Symbolize?
- A happy and playful spirit
- Strong willpower to overcome obstacles.
- A sense of virtue
- Humor and laughter
- Intelligence and high mental acuity
- Being polite and courteous to others
- Feeling whole and complete
Happy and Playful Spirit
Whenever you see a dolphin, they are happy to see you. Their faces look like natural smiles, and they are often jumping out of the water and doing fun flips and tricks. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a dolphin is known to embody a happy and playful spirit.
Spotting a dolphin could mean that you are a playful spirit or that you must let go of your inhibitions and become one. The exact answer will depend on what part of your spiritual journey you are undertaking.
Strong Willpower to Overcome Obstacles
Dolphins have it tough, as they are toward the bottom of the food chain in the ocean. Sharks and Orcas regularly hunt them for food. Even so, dolphins maintain a happy and positive vibe, displaying their strong willpower to overcome obstacles.
If you are facing a challenge in life, seeing a dolphin could be a reminder that you have the ability to overcome obstacles. It could also be an encouragement to strengthen your willpower.
Sense of Virtue
While dolphins aren’t the first animal that comes to mind when you think of virtue, compared to other animals in the ocean, they are quite virtuous. Dolphins only kill when they need to eat and care for their young until adulthood.
Dolphins are more virtuous than most humans and are known to be able to sense virtue in humans. It is even suspected that dolphins will not approach a human they sense is bad.
Humor and Laughter
Dolphins are funny creatures. They look a little weird, act a little funny, and even swim a little weird. If you can keep a smile off your face as you watch a dolphin, you are unique, and this is why they are known to symbolize humor and laughter.
Those who spot a dolphin may be reminded of its humorous qualities, or the encounter could be a push to spend more time in life having a good laugh.
Dolphins live in pods or teams their entire life. If you see a dolphin on its own, it is likely sick or lost. Because dolphins aren’t ever seen alone, they are a well-established symbol of teamwork.
Encountering a dolphin may be the universe telling you that you need to invest more in teamwork, just as the dolphin pods do. It could also be reminding you that if you need help, you have a team behind you ready to do so; you just need to ask.
Over 71% of the earth is covered with water, and dolphins can visit almost all these places with their ability to swim. They also don’t have to worry about working or paying bills as they do so. As such, dolphins are the ultimate symbol of freedom or liberation.
Those feeling trapped and coming across a dolphin should know that it is time to let go of whatever it is that is causing them to feel trapped, whether it is a job or a relationship. Also, remember to embrace the feeling of freedom when you have it.
Intelligence and High Mental Acuity
Dolphins are known for their intelligence and how easy they are to train. Chances are, you’ve even seen a dolphin show or two where the dolphins listen and react to humans. As such, dolphins are known as a symbol of intelligence.
Being Polite and Courteous to Others
Dolphins are kind animals known throughout history as being courteous and for saving sailors from storms. The savior reputation has lingered, leading many to believe that dolphins symbolize a need to be polite, especially if they are your totem animal.
If you are struggling to solve a problem and the universe sends a dolphin, it may be a push to try and solve your problem courteously. It could additionally be a reminder to be polite to all those that you meet.
Feeling Whole and Complete
Dolphins are one of the few mammals that live in the ocean, and humans often feel a kinship with them. Whether it is because of the fact that they live in families similar to humans or are just kind to humans, dolphins are known to symbolize feeling whole and complete.
Meeting a dolphin when you are feeling less than whole can indicate that you will feel whole soon, but you’ll have to struggle a bit to get there. The dolphin could also remind you that the struggle to feel complete is worth the reward.
Dolphin Totem Animal
A totem animal is an animal that appears in your totem and helps establish your strengths and weaknesses. Based on the animals you see in your totem; you might want to adjust your life. If you see the dolphin in your totem, it is a sign you need to be more lighthearted and humorous in life.
A duck in your totem can also represent a need to embrace teamwork to succeed and an innate need to feel free.
Dolphin Spirit Animal
Many people discover their spirit animal when they go through a period of trials or embark on a mental journey. A spirit animal embodies your spirit, and knowing your spirit animal can help you make choices in life.
If your spirit animal is a dolphin, you are funny, intelligent, and work well with a team. It can also mean that you easily feel trapped and may not always take situations as seriously as you should.
Whether you are just starting your spiritual journey or just found yourself connecting with dolphins, remember you are strong in your abilities, but you will never be happy if you feel trapped.
Pros of a Dolphin Spirit Animal
- Mentally strong
- Likes to save others
- Work well in a team
- Loves others with ease
- Playful spirit
Cons of a Dolphin Spirit Animal
- Can easily feel trapped
- Can be a bully
- Always ready to fight for friends and family
- Sometimes aggressive
- Sometimes too trusting of others
Are Dolphins a Good Omen?
Dolphins have been considered good omens for centuries. Known to save sailors during storms and usually a sign that there are fish around, you should always rejoice when you come across a dolphin.
Spotting a duck is known to be a sign of luck, a second chance, or prosperity to come.
Dead Dolphin Symbolism
You rarely come across a dead dolphin, but it can happen, or you may come across a dead dolphin in a dream. A dead dolphin is a sign of unhealthy attachment and may mean that one of your relationships has ended (usually due to death), and you need to let that person go.
Whether you saw a dead dolphin in your dreams or real life, take a moment to analyze your life, considering if there is someone you need to let go of to move toward your destiny.
Dolphin Tattoo Meaning
The meaning of a dolphin tattoo can vary from individual to individual, but traditionally, in Celtic culture, getting a dolphin tattoo was a sign of rebirth or starting a new life.
In recent years, dolphin tattoos have become a sign of freedom or kinship with the ocean. The dolphin tattoo helps the bearer feel more connected to the water and the creatures that live in it.
Some people get a dolphin tattoo because the dolphin is their spirit animal, and they want to show this fact to others. Others may have a dolphin tattoo because they aspire to be more like a dolphin and want a tattoo to remind them to be happier, humorous, and a team player.
What Does Seeing a Dolphin in Your Dreams Mean?
Dreaming about large dolphins is a sign of happiness and can indicate that the dreamer is in positive spirits. If the dolphins that appear in your dreams are colorful, then what the color symbolizes is usually the meaning of the dolphins. For example, red dolphins in your dreams could mean a romance is coming your way.
If you have dreamed about saving dolphins or becoming friends with them, this is a sign you will soon meet a new friend. Dreaming about a large group of dolphins means you are on the right path in life and have a team ready to help you get there.
How to Interpret a Dolphin Encounter
Swimming With a Dolphin
If you have been lucky enough to swim with dolphins, then know that you will have good relationships with other people. These relationships won’t just be romantic, but friendships as well.
Playing With a Dolphin
When you are in the water with a dolphin, and it starts playing with you, this is a sign that the universe approves of your relationship with nature. You are kind and courteous, always putting the oceans and creatures first before your own pleasure.
Traveling on a Dolphin
Some dolphins will let you hold onto their fin and come along for the ride. When this happens, know that a big change will come in your life. The big change could be a move, a new relationship, or a new job.
Seeing a Baby Dolphin
Those who get to swim with a baby dolphin should know that pregnancy, or caring for a child, will soon be coming into your life. The change may not be in your life exactly but in the life of a close friend or family member.
Feeding a Dolphin
Feeding a dolphin is another unique experience that signifies you will soon be solving a problem in your life. Since the feeding of a dolphin is complex, you should know that the universe has allowed you to do so in order to encourage you to solve the issue you are currently facing or will face soon.
Injured or Dead Dolphin
It is always sad to come across an injured or dead dolphin, which is a sign that your emotional stability is in turmoil. Take the time to discover what is harming you internally to purge the negative feelings before they affect you physically.
Seeing a Trapped Dolphin
If your dolphin encounter occurs while the dolphin is in a cage, this is a sign that you are also caging yourself somewhere you don’t belong. Evaluate your life, removing people and things that are holding you back from your full potential.
What Should You Do When You See a Dolphin?
Encountering a dolphin can be an uplifting experience, but it’s important not to get carried away. When you see a dolphin, take a step back and observe. If the dolphin approaches you, allow it to do so, but don’t touch it unless it touches you first. Never grab onto or restrain a dolphin.
As you observe the dolphin and its actions, take a few deep breaths, and commit what is going on to memory. Later, at home, you can dive into the meaning of the encounter. If you see a dead or injured dolphin, don’t approach or touch it and instead call for help.
Spiritual Meanings of Dolphin Symbolism in Different Cultures
Dolphin Symbolism in Native American Cultures
The spiritual meaning of dolphins in Native American culture varied on the location of the tribe. Tribes in the center of the US didn’t often encounter dolphins, nor have they in their folklore. Tribes on the East and West Coast both had spiritual meanings for dolphins, but they varied widely.
West Coast Native Americans
West Coast tribes believed that dolphins were once human beings who had passed on and chosen to become a dolphin to continue to help lead their tribe even in death. Some stories claim that warriors who chose to become dolphins willingly gave up their lives to do so.
East Coast Native American Culture
Tribes on the East Coast saw dolphins as a sign of reincarnation and rebirth. It was considered bad luck to eat a dolphin, as they were the guardians of the sea.
The Inuit tribes in Alaska were more familiar with porpoises than dolphins but used the same name for them interchangeably. In their stories, dolphins were playful protectors of the oceans.
One tribe, specifically the Chumash, believed eating dolphins was okay because the dolphins willingly gave their lives to feed people when it was necessary. It was also believed that dolphins carried the souls of those who didn’t make it to the next life.
South American Tribes
The natives in South America, unlike their northern neighbors, feared dolphins as they believed them to be tricksters and gods who could change shape. They still revered the dolphin for its intelligence, but they didn’t get too close either.
In the Amazon region in South America, the tribes believed in pink dolphins, which could turn into humans for the purpose of joining human parties and seducing women. These shapeshifters were known as the Boto and were thought to be the fathers of all the children born out of wedlock.
Celtic Culture and Dolphin Symbolism
In Celtic culture, the dolphin was known as the guardian of the sea, and spotting one meant a new beginning or healing was right around the corner. It could also be a sign of good luck in the years to come.
Dolphin Symbolism in African Culture
In Africa, the tribe that spoke the most of dolphins was the Zulu, and they believed the dolphins were a race of humans that had started humankind before returning to their dolphin forms and returning to the sea. As a result, they viewed them as spiritual guides.
Ancient Egypt Dolphin Symbolism
Dolphins appear in ancient Egyptian arts and texts and are thought to have represented freedom. While gods in Egypt typically had animal heads, there isn’t one with a dolphin therefore, it is assumed that while Egyptians appreciated dolphins, they didn’t see them as gods.
Dolphin Symbolism in Ancient China
In China, dolphins were known to save humans and represented fair weather and safe sailing conditions. Ancient Chinese people also saw dolphins as a positive message from their ancestors, and it was considered bad luck to harm a dolphin.