The chimpanzee is one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet. Genetically, it isn’t easy to distinguish a chimpanzee from a human, because of how close we are to them in the evolutionary chain! Because of their intellect, they are one of the few creatures on the planet capable of communicating through hand signals (not very different from the sign language of us humans). They also possess an awareness of the “self”, a concept that escapes most other members of the animal kingdom.
This distinction makes the chimpanzee a very potent spirit animal. They speak to us more about being human than we humans can!
Chimpanzee Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
Chimpanzee Symbolism & Meaning
While monkeys in general are seen as symbols of happiness and cheer, chimpanzees are seen as symbols of communication and understanding. They are also models of the complexities of society, from the way we communicate to the way we form social hierarchies.
One other thing the chimpanzee symbolizes is the simplicity of human life. Chimps live very much like us, but they are infinitely closer to nature. Observing them will help us realize once more how the simpler things help create happiness in our hearts. While most people believe that having intellectual pursuits will require one to sacrifice some pleasures in life, the chimps prove that one can have both the smarts and a good life.
Chimpanzee Spirit Animal
When the chimp climbs its way up into your life, it is time to look around you and consider the tools that you may be able to craft from your surroundings. One of the chimp’s strengths is that they are able to craft usable things that they could use to manipulate the things around them. Unlike many other creatures, chimps don’t have any special abilities that will help them evade predators. They cannot run very fast, nor do they have any physical features with which to fight. But they do have the smarts, and they are telling us that just like them we could use our intellect to get past any obstacles we have in life.
Chimpanzee Power Animal
When you’re looking for an inspiration of humility, look no further than the chimpanzee. The chimp gives us a different kind of power, that of not being drunk on whatever else we have! We humans tend to think that because we rule the planet as a species, we are at the very top of thing. But this is wrong — ultimately, Nature wins. The chimpanzees show us this. Despite having one of the highest forms of intellect in the animal kingdom, they strive to live harmoniously with their own and with other creatures under the auspices of their environment. Despite having a sense of self, they are not full of their egos. The don’t develop self-importance in the way we do, and because of this they are more able to appreciate the things that they have. When we are given the power of the chimp, we too are able to appreciate our gifts and use them better.
Chimpanzee Totem Animal
People born under the chimpanzee totem are very curious, and are also very creative. They are natural MacGyvers, and they can make something out of nothing with only very simple tools.
They are also natural people persons, jumping into the social groove almost immediately. They usually make very close family ties, and they make very close friends. However, they can be vulnerable when the social and familial institutions they rely on get attacked.
Chimpanzees may have the natural tendency to live simply. They have immense talent, but they don’t show it off when not needed. They simply do what they have to when they need to, and sometimes they leave people wondering if they’re under-utilizing their talents. They’re not — they just know how to live in harmony, and they know that going in over their heads in anything won’t help this.
Chimpanzee Native American Symbolism
The chimpanzee is native to Africa, and hence they did not appear in the Native American pantheon. The Native Americans also did not have a single animal symbol for what the chimpanzee symbolizes.
Chimpanzee Celtic Symbolism
The Celts, as a culture, are already very close to nature and have a solid hierarchy. Thus, even though they do not have the chimp as one of their animal symbols, they are already living its lessons.
Chimpanzee Far Eastern Symbolism
The Far East likewise does not have chimpanzees, so they have cut up its different facets and attributed them to the different animals that they are more familiar with. For example, the simplicity of the chimpanzee is attributed to the gentleness of the goat (or ram). Its intelligence is attributed to the snake and the dragon, and its dependability when it comes to social situations is given to the ox.
Chimpanzee in Dreams
When the chimpanzee appears in your dreams, it might be telling you that you need to work on your immediate environment. You have the tools, but you might have lacked the initiative in using them. There is something in your life, something close to you, that could really use your attention and efforts right now.
Chimpanzee Encounters / Chimpanzee Omens
When the chimpanzee appears in your life, you might have to look at your family unit and check for any cracks, or anything tearing at the seams. The chimpanzee is a stickler for hierarchy and family values, as can be seen in the way they organize themselves as a society. You’d want to make sure that these same values and organization isn’t being strained in your home.
Chimpanzee Mythology and Folklore
In Africa, where they are native, the people have recognized the capability of the chimp so much that they have been featured in folklore. The most prominent one puts the chimp in a cautionary tale, when it went up against a gorilla as the latter was eating its fruit. The chimp unwisely picked a fight with the gorilla, and ended up dead. This tale shows us a chimp which did not use its gifts — of intelligence and reasoning — and played the gorilla’s game instead. As humans, we should learn to use our talents to preserve us and those we love, and not to pick a fight with those we have no business going up against!