Animal Symbolism: Meaning of the Bat

Symbolic Bat Meanings (Image by David Crotty)

Let's face it, the bat isn't the most popular of animal totems. In fact, it's largely misunderstood and so therefore many of its symbolic meanings are inappropriately fear-based.

However, the very savvy Native Americans approached the realm of animals from a position of honor - knowing that all things are connected. They understood that seeing the bat with fear in the heart would be the same as being terrified of their own children. Ridiculous.

The Native American animal symbolism of the bat comes from a keen observation of this magnificent animal. These people recognized that the bat was highly sensitive to their surroundings and so therefore was considered a symbol of intuition, dreaming and vision. This made the bat a powerful symbol for Native American shamans and medicine people. Often the spirit of the bat would be invoked when special energy was needed, like "night-sight" which is the ability to see through illusion or ambiguity and dive straight to the truth of matters.

It is a symbol of communication because the Native Americans observed the bat to be a highly social creature. Indeed, the bat has strong family ties. They are very nurturing, exhibiting verbal communication, touching, and sensitivity to members of their group.

A quick-list of Bat Animal Symbolism

  • Illusion
  • Rebirth
  • Dreams
  • Intuition
  • Initiation
  • Journeying
  • Inner Depth
  • Communication

The bat is a symbol of rebirth and depth because it is a creature that lives in the belly of the Mother (Earth). From the womb-like caves it emerges every evening at dusk. And so - from the womb it is reborn every evening.

If you have the bat as your totem you are extremely aware of your surroundings. Sometimes you can be overly sensitive to the feelings of others. Additionally, you are quite perceptive on a psychic level, and are prone to have prophetic dreams.

If you work with the bat as your totem, you will be put to the test, because it is demands only 100% commitment to spiritual growth. The bat will never accept half-hearted or lukewarm attempts at self-improvement. Indeed, if the bat senses that you are slacking in your psychic/spiritual training it will likely move on to someone else who is more willing to learn the lessons the bat has to offer.

As with most of our hardest challenges, working with the demanding bat will reap some of the most profound rewards you could ever dream of. But be warned, the bat asks a lot of us, like:

Bat Meanings for Us Personally

  • Dying to our ego
  • Loving our enemies as ourselves
  • Going within to touch our inner demons
  • Exploring the underworlds of reality (which can be scary)
  • Renewing our thoughts and beliefs on a moment-to-moment basis

All of these tasks can be harrowing experiences. This is why the Native American symbolism of the bat deals with initiation; because this creature takes us to outlandish extremes. But rest assured, the bat is never leaves our side while we are journeying.

Furthermore, once we are tested to satisfaction, the devotion of the bat will never fade. It will eternally support us on our spiritual path - ever faithful and forever loving us on our journey to maintain our highest potential.

You can begin your journey with the bat by viewing the excellent 4.11 minute video from the Cave Biota evolving "webumentary." Narrated by Dr. John O. Whitaker, video by Ravenswood Media. Informative and enriching for anyone marveled by the bat:

I hope you've enjoyed this page on the animal symbolism of the bat.

Check out the links at the end of this page for more relevant articles.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


Animal Symbols
Astrology Signs
Celtic Symbols
Chinese Symbols
Dream Symbols
Lucky Symbols
Love Signs
Native American Symbols
Nature Symbols
Number Meanings
Tattoo Meanings

click links below for symbolic meanings.