10 Shark Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

Even before Jaws bit its way into human consciousness, Sharks have always been an object of fear for man. These cunning hunters can follow the scent of blood from hundreds of miles away, homing in with uncanny accuracy. Their sharp teeth guarantee a painful time for the unfortunate prey. Their well-formed muscles make fighting off nearly impossible. In short, when a Shark decides to make you its meal, there are just so many things you can do to survive.

But despite this, Sharks can give humans very valuable lessons not just on survival but on life in general. Their cool, calculating demeanor juxtaposed with a surging ferocity can tell us more about what it means to set your goals and to achieve them.

Shark Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

Shark Symbolism & Meaning

Let us get one thing out of the way — home in the ocean, Sharks are generally peaceful. The ferocious image we have of them is mostly limited to select situations, such as when they are very hungry (or when they swim in groups, where collectively they become very dangerous).

What does this say about them? Sharks are all about impressions. The impressions other people form about us can be very powerful, and they can be used for either good or bad. Sharks are telling us to manage the expectations we project wisely. For them, human impression is a positive thing — we have learned to steer clear from them and not interfere with their daily lives. This leaves them free to go about their business peacefully. While not everyone is keen to project such a dangerous image, we should also check if our own impressions work for us.

Shark Spirit Animal

As a spirit animal, the Shark is a benevolent creature. When it swims into your life, it is extending its bubble of peace to you and asking you to share in it. Sharks are at the top of the oceanic food chain, and they have little to fear from those around them. Hence, it is telling us to be secure in our place in life, knowing that most of our fears are unfounded paranoia.

The Shark is a powerful symbol of inner strength matching outside traits. After all, what use would a Shark’s physical prowess be if it does not have the discipline to use it properly?

Shark Power Animal

If you need outstanding focus, specifically one that does not get distracted by outside factors, then look no further than the Shark. These creatures are in perpetual motion, sometimes zooming in, sometimes going slow and steady. But what never changes is the fact that they have a goal, one that cannot be swayed until it is achieved. This may be anything from food to warmer waters.

The Shark is also a good symbol of smashing effortlessly against obstacles. Whether it is unfriendly tides or competition, a Shark knows how to navigate its way through (and sometimes around) problems!

Shark Totem Animal

People born under the Shark totem are known for their unstoppable energies. Just like Sharks, they are always in some kind of motion. They are also particularly deep people, and it is hard to figure out what they are thinking especially when they are projecting that calm and calculating persona.

Shark people are also very keen on sensing the vulnerabilities of other people. This may be used for both offense and defense. Hence, it is great to have a Shark person with you when you are tackling an issue.

Shark Native American Symbolism

Native Americans haven’t had much exposure to Sharks, but they are familiar enough with these wandering creatures to figure them in their superstition. To them, a storm can be foretold by the sight of Sharks on the beach. There are a few tribes, however, that use the Shark as their totem, especially on the northwestern regions of the US.

Shark Celtic Symbolism

The Celts of old recognize the hunting prowess of Sharks. The sickle-shaped fins of Sharks, reaping through water, appear to them to symbolize a bountiful hunt. Since the sickle is both a tool and a weapon, Sharks are also thought to be symbols of survival.

Shark Far Eastern Symbolism

Some Far Eastern cultures look at Sharks as symbols of calmness and wisdom, seeing as how they are able to deftly navigate the treacherous currents of their home.

Shark in Dreams

When you dream of Sharks, it is often a warning about unhealthy competition. When baby Sharks are still gestating in their mother’s womb, a survival-of-the-fittest type of competition ensues where some infants die and become eaten. This makes sure that only those most likely to survive are born.

For us humans, this is not a healthy practice. Watch out for dog-eat-dog competition, which might result in you losing all you have worked hard for. When worst comes to worst, however, call on the Shark to help you arise victorious in this ordeal!

Shark Encounters / Shark Omens

When you see Sharks around you, it is important to look at your own emotions. Are you experiencing too much aggression? Is it distracting you from your goals? Extreme emotions can cause you to lose sight of what is important, as you act on them and end up short-sighted.

When this happens, the Shark is inviting you to remain self-aware, and to not let your bad thoughts interfere with your life. Meditate, reflect, relax, and re-focus. Instead of feeling the anger, just feel the adrenaline rush as you near your goal!

Shark Mythology and Folklore

The Polynesians may have the most encounters with Sharks during their time, because of their seafaring habits. There is a Hawaiian legend that describes Shark teeth as a means of physical and spiritual safety. This is why we see many of their warriors wear necklaces of Shark teeth.

There is also the story of the Shark being a deity named ‘Aumakua‘, whose spirit resides in the waters. Sharks may be perpetually feared, but they are not to be avoided. Instead, we should have the courage to approach them ideologically, for it is in having that courage that we discover more not just about them but also about ourselves.

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