What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?
March 26, 2024 11 min read

What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

By Lady Saoirse

TL;DR- Find out the symbolic meaning of the insect praying mantis, the meaning of dreams about them, and what it means when they are your spirit animal.

Praying mantises will appear by surprise and it will seem like they are looking deep into your soul with their eyes. Do they have a deep spiritual meaning, and what do they symbolize? Join Spiritual Blossom to explore the spiritual meaning of praying mantises.  Find out the meaning of dreaming about them and discover what you can learn from them when they are your spirit animal.


What’s a Praying Mantis?

What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

Praying mantises are insects that some people think of as being related to grasshoppers, but they are more closely related to cockroaches and termites. There are about 2400 species of praying mantises and they are all over the world from tropical regions to temperate regions. They are characterized by having elongated bodies, triangular heads, and large eyes on flexible necks. All of them have elongated forelegs that are perfectly adapted for gripping and catching prey. Their arms fold in making them look like they are praying which has earned them the name “praying mantis”. The first fossil known to us of a praying mantis was found in Siberia 140 million years ago. Mantises are a species that are known for being unusual because the females will eat the males after they mate!

Praying mantises are most active at night, hunting and searching for mates under the cover of darkness. They eat other insects, and some mantises even eat their own kind. Mantises will disguise themselves by blending into their environment  as they are hunting, pouncing by surprise. Birds, frogs, and larger insects and wasps will eat mantises when they can.  However, they camouflage themselves so well they blend into the foliage and are difficult to prey upon. They can mimic leaves, or sticks and to defend themselves, they spread their arms, legs, and wings and sway back and forth to make themselves look too big to fight. Females lay between 400 or as few as 10 eggs and will build a protective capsule around the eggs. Some mantis females reproduce by parthenogenesis, needing no male to impregnate them.


Praying Mantis Symbolism

So, what does the praying mantis symbolize? They symbolize the power of women, good luck, fearlessness, and wisdom.

Women’s Power

Female praying mantises will eat the male praying mantises. Sometimes they will wait until after they mate, but sometimes they go right ahead and eat a male praying mantis before they've mated with him. Therefore, praying mantises symbolize feminine autonomy, women's power, and feminism. In some areas there are two and a half times more male praying mantises than females, and the females take full advantage of this to feast on the males. This doesn't do much for romance, but hey a girl has to eat. Here is what you can do if you discover you are in a one-sided relationship:  What to Do About Relationships That are One-Sided (spiritualblossom.com)


In some parts of Africa, it is believed that praying mantises bring good luck. For the ancient Greeks, it was very lucky to see a praying mantis if you were traveling and got lost because it was believed that a praying mantis would show you the way home. In ancient Egypt, this insect was believed to be a god that led the deceased to the underworld. For gardeners they are also good luck because they will eat other harmful insects that would attack the garden. As a matter of fact, the Chinese and European mantises were introduced in North America as pest control. Another lucky insect is the ladybug and you can read about them here: Ladybug Spiritual Meaning, Lore, and Symbolism (spiritualblossom.com)


What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

Two different forms of Chinese martial arts are modeled after the power of the praying mantis. The Northern Praying Mantis and the Southern Praying Mantis style have been around for a long time. One legend places the Northern Praying Mantis style of martial arts as being created during the Song dynasty by Wang Lang. It features whip-like movements to throw off attacks and then precise attacks to vital parts of the attacker’s body. The Southern Praying Mantis style is very different and focuses on close range fighting. There are five types of this and some of them say that their founders created these styles after seeing a praying mantis defeat a bird in a fight. Another fearsome creature, the bear can be read about here: What Do Bears Mean Spiritually? (spiritualblossom.com)


Praying mantises can remain completely motionless while hiding from prey or while hunting for long periods of time. They are able to motionlessly pay attention to one thing at a time, tuning out everything else. So, they symbolize mental focus. To the Celts, they symbolized patience because they were motionless during hunting. Praying mantises are thought of as being calm and peaceful also, not rashly reacting without thinking things through. When praying mantises do strike out at prey, they strike with such perfect measured precision that they rarely make a mistake. Very wise indeed. Another wise creature is the owl and you can read about them here: What Does it Mean When You See an Owl? (spiritualblossom.com)


The Meaning of Praying Mantis Dreams

Praying mantis dreams can symbolize all of the things that they stand for, however if you will pay extra close attention to details of the dream, you can understand it better. Quite often, the type of praying mantis that you're dreaming about will explain the meaning. And then an extra special dream is a dream about praying mantis eggs.

Dreams About an Orchid Mantis

What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

Also known as the flower mantis, there are several different kinds of orchid mantises. Their colorful appearance means that they look like a flower, and they disguise themselves among plants like orchids, camouflaging perfectly. The beautiful orchid mantises actually attract more pollinators than flowers do. Dreams about the orchid mantis represent creating your own opportunities and seizing them. If an insect could evolve to be so much more tantalizing than a flower, then you can use your skills and abilities to draw the correct opportunities to yourself. One lovely flower that many consider irresistible is the lotus flower and you can read about it here: Lotus Flower Meaning and Symbolism (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About Praying Mantis Eggs

Praying mantis eggs will have a protective coating or foam around them, but they are still eaten by many predators. Praying mantis eggs represent fragile opportunities that should be protected at all costs. When you dream about praying mantis eggs, you are being told to conserve your resources and protect your assets. Perhaps you are being put on notice that there is danger and perhaps you already knew about the danger, and you are being advised on the best course of action. Any time you dream about praying mantis eggs stop, take a look around, and pay extra close attention to what threats, some of which may be hidden, are surrounding you. Then take every necessary measure to protect yourself. You might decide to use magic for protection, and you can read about witches and their magic here: The Truth About Witches (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About a Newborn Praying Mantis

Praying mantises are not a nurturing species. Females often don't live long enough to see their babies hatch, but even if they do, they might eat some of those babies. Once they're born, praying mantises will eat their brothers or sisters if they get a chance also. So, when you dream about a newborn praying mantis, you are being told that you are in a dangerous situation where your survival depends upon you taking down the competition. This dream also tells you that no one will help you. You are on your own. Don't let this scare you, however, because like a newborn praying mantis, you have everything that you need to survive. One Zodiac sign with a very powerful sense of self-preservation is Virgo and you can read about them here: Virgo Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About a Chinese Mantis

What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

The Chinese mantis is one of the larger species of mantises and while they are native to parts of Asia, they accidentally ended up in the United States in Philadelphia in 1896. They are the mantises that the famous martial arts styles were modeled after. Dreams of the Chinese mantis represent surprise opportunities and making the most of those. When you dream about the Chinese mantis, be prepared for unexpected possibilities and be ready to spring into action the moment they are presented to you. These will be lucky opportunities that you definitely want to act upon and you will be glad you did. To read about dream interpretations see here: Your Guide to Dreams and Interpretation of Them (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About a Carolina Praying Mantis

The Carolina praying mantis is native to the United States and it has a unique ability. It can change its body's color based on its surroundings. It molts, or sheds its skin, and each time it molts it can grow new skin that matches the environment where it is. They can change color each time they molt if they want to. Dreams about the Carolina praying mantis represent being flexible and adapting. When you dream about the Carolina praying mantis, you are being called to change your approach based on your situation, and to change as often as necessary. Change is not easy, but it's called for sometimes. After all, the fittest species don't necessarily survive best. The most adaptable do. To read more about dream interpretations, see here:  Your Guide to Dream Meanings Part 2 (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About a European Mantis

One thing that many species of praying mantises are known for is something called sexual cannibalism. That means that the female will eat the male before, during, or immediately following mating. It would seem pointless for the male to approach the female to mate then, wouldn't it? Praying mantises don't live very long to begin with, so maybe they think that they may as well enjoy themselves and mate. Dreams about the European mantis are about taking a chance that might result in negative consequences. When you dream about this type of praying mantis your dream is telling you that it's worth it. So go for it! Just be prepared for consequences. To read more about dream interpretations, see here: Your Dream Bible and Dream Analysis Guide (spiritualblossom.com)

Dreams About a California Praying Mantis

Some mantises, including the California praying mantis can do something strange. If its head gets bitten off, its body will still function for a few moments! It might sound like something out of a horror film, but it holds a message when you see this in your dreams. When you dream about a California praying mantis, with or without its head, that is, you are being told that nothing is impossible right now. You may have lost a job, your best friend, or even the ability to do things the way that you used to. However, you are not incapable, and you are more powerful than you believe. When you dream about the California praying mantis, have faith in yourself, and there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Another creature that can appear in dreams is the hawk, and you can read about it here: Hawk Spiritual Symbolism, Lore, and Meaning (spiritualblossom.com)


The Praying Mantis Spirit Animal

What is Praying Mantis Spiritual Meaning?

Some people believe in spirit animals, but what is a spirit animal anyways? Spirit animals are creatures that you have a spiritual connection with, and they teach you all of their gifts and abilities. How does something as tiny as a praying mantis communicate with people to teach them things? This happens differently for different people. Some people see something that their spirit animal does, and they will emulate that. For example, you might notice how deliberately a praying mantis will strike out at prey, but this is only after watching and waiting for a very long time. Apply this philosophy to your own life means gathering all of the information that you need before you make a decision. Some people say they have a mental connection with their spirit animal and can tell what it is thinking and trying to tell them.

How can you spend more time with your praying mantis spirit animal? You can order your own praying mantises in the mail and follow the instructions for hatching their eggs.  It’s important to feed and water them properly. They can be fed fruit flies, and other small insects including aphids. Keep the humidity of their enclosure high by spraying it once a day with clean, fresh water. You can also provide them with a bowl of water and hatchlings should have a damp paper towel in the bottom of their cage. Their environment should be between 68 and 77°F although some species like it up to 90°F. You can use a warming lamp if you need to.

Some people keep a praying mantis and a cage for its entire life, however that’s not natural for them. If you want to learn from them as your spirit animals, raise mantises from babies and then release them into your garden. If the praying mantis is truly your spirit animal, they will stay near instead of leaving. For more information see here. The Praying Mantis Shop - Purchase Live Praying Mantid and Supplies – PrayingMantisShop.com


Praying mantises camouflage themselves so well that when you see one it's probably more than just a chance encounter. They represent wisdom, the power of women, good luck, and fearlessness. Dreams about the praying mantis can symbolize all of these things, but they may be telling you to take chances, or to even look for unexpected opportunities. When the praying mantis is your spirit animal, one of the greatest lessons it teaches is to lie in wait, taking as much time as you need before you make the perfect move to achieve your goals. May all of your meetings with the praying mantis be meaningful. So Be It.


About the Author:  Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom, and she writes for The Green Egg. She has written for Mysticsense and PaganPagesOrg emag.