What Does a Praying Mantis mean Spiritually


It is said that the praying mantis never makes a move without knowing the move to come after that. Quite cool for an insect, isn’t it? Remember the praying mantis from the famous ‘Kung Fu Panda’ series?

But what exactly is a praying mantis? And what is a mantis anyway?

What is a Praying Mantis? And why is it called so?

A praying mantis, also called a praying mantid, is an insect of the order Mantodea. While their name suggests a serene and docile animal, in reality, they are quite the opposite. Known for their sharp predatory skills, they are one of the most precise and nimble animals you can imagine.

So why exactly are they called praying mantis then? The reason is their long forelegs, which hold them in an almost upright posture while remaining folded. The folded forelegs, in combination, with their stationary posture, makes it look like the mantis are praying. This is the reason for the name ‘Praying Mantis’.

Importance of Praying Mantis across Cultures

Now that we know the reason for its name, and the contrast with its actual nature, let us explore how different cultures perceive the praying mantis. Do they consider it serene, or do they recognize its predatory nature.

San people

The San People, residing in Southern Africa, believe that their supreme deity Kaggen most often manifests himself as a praying mantis.

Ancient Greeks

The word ‘mantis’ means ‘prophet’ or ‘seer’ in Greek language. The Greeks endowed mantis with supernatural powers.

Ancient Egyptians

People in Ancient Egypt used to believe that praying mantis would be their guide after death into eternal life.

Ancient Chinese

Chinese dictionaries of the old describe praying mantis as a symbol of courage and fearlessness. Praying Mantis style is a well-known style in Chinese martial arts, where the precise movements of praying mantis are brought into martial arts.

Islamic Culture

It is believed that a praying mantis will direct lost pilgrims to Mecca in Islamic philosophy.

Praying Mantis Symbolism

So what is the symbolism of a praying mantis? What does a praying mantis mean spiritually?


At any given point of time, the praying mantis is self-assured and not hurried. It takes each step in a well-thought-out manner, thus achieving its goal without any hiccups. A mantis symbol indicates peace and calm in and around you. But this contemplative nature does not indicate procrastination. Instead, stillness here simply means the stillness of mind, even when the body is vigorously engaged in an activity.

The mantis indicates inner calm even in the most testing situation, in order to make the best decision under the prevailing conditions.


Good things in life take their sweet time. Nothing illustrates this better than the praying mantis, which has through the ages, been represented as a symbol of patience. In this modern hectic life, patience can be hard to attain. But praying mantis tells us that waiting for the precise moment, and acting quickly when it arrives, is the only way to achieve our aspirations.


The praying mantis is fully aware of its purpose while hunting, and does not deviate from its course. It symbolizes the recognition of our common goal beyond our physical desires. It represents our quest for spirituality and becoming more aware of our purpose and our true goals.


The bent legs of the praying mantis, long yet graceful, are its chief asset during its hunt. These slender legs of it allow it to strike the right balance to catch the prey. They symbolize the perpetual give-and-take going on in our lives. They symbolize the balance between this world and the divine world one has to maintain.


What if the Praying Mantis is your Spirit Animal?

If the praying mantis is your spirit animal, the following attributes apply to you:

1- You make every move of yours with utmost thought and contemplation, and almost of your tasks are fulfilled without hassles. You remain calm and have a plan for every situation the life throws at you.

2- You live life at your own pace, and do not let other people and situations dictate terms to you. You have your own way of dealing with things, and your organizational ability is unmatched.

3- You balance your inner world with you outer world, your desires with your duties, your attachments with your divine connections. You display a sense of poise and balance in everything you do.

4- Even though you might be perceived to be calm and even inactive by others, you are more than capable of taking the right action at the right time. Once you decide on something, you take quick and effective measures to accomplish it.

5- You are willing to share your knowledge with those who are worthy enough to receive it. You are able to convey complex concepts easily to others.

What does it mean if you see a Praying Mantis in your Dreams?

If you see the praying mantis in a dream, it indicates that the time is ripe for you to follow your intuition. Also, it indicates that a perfect balance of planning and intuition, along with right action, will help you realize all your goals. Depending on the color of the praying mantis you see, there can be 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1: You see a colorful mantis.

If the mantis you see is colorful, it is time for you to express yourself fully without hesitation.

Scenario 1: You see a green mantis camouflaged by its background.

If the mantis you see is camouflaged, it means that it is okay for you to cooperate with people, and not be in the limelight always.


Now we are fully aware what does a praying mantis mean spiritually. The praying mantis is a valuable guide for all of us on how to be still within, even when we appear to be mobile outwards. Finding the right place and right time to express ourselves is most important for us. Praying mantis is thus our guide, our teacher, our friend, and our fellow explorer.