10 Walrus Symbolism, Myths & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

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

Walrus Symbolism & Meaning

The Walrus, or Odobenus rosmarus, suited to Arctic settings, is a large marine mammal with thick, fat, and prominent tusks. It uses its tusks for social and foraging purposes. Forming big groups, they feed on benthic invertebrates. Climate change and habitat degradation threaten Walrus populations, necessitating conservation measures.

Culturally, the Walrus has many different symbolic connotations. It symbolizes resilience and flexibility—the capacity to withstand adversity and flourish in unforgiving surroundings. Its huge and robust stature represents strength and endurance, as well as the ability to conquer challenges. The gregarious character of Walruses emphasizes the value of camaraderie, collaboration, and support among one another. Its tusks also represent instruments for managing difficult emotions, indicating the capacity to face and efficiently control emotions. According to certain traditions, the Walrus bears spiritual insight because of its time in the sea and ice environments. With themes of power, community, emotional resilience, and spiritual understanding, these symbolic interpretations underscore the Walrus’s value beyond its ecological purpose.

Walrus Spirit Animal

The Walrus, as a spirit animal, may represent mobility and fortitude. The Walrus may inspire people who connect with it to overcome difficult circumstances with fortitude and determination. The Walrus spirit may help people achieve harmony and balance in constantly shifting surroundings.

Walrus Power Animal

As a power animal, the Walrus signifies fortitude, stamina, and the capacity to conquer challenges. By using the Walrus as a power animal, people may draw strength from within and transcend difficulties with resiliency and tenacity. The Walrus power animal motivates humans to tackle challenges head on and negotiate life’s complications.

Walrus Totem Animal

The Walrus is a totemic mammal, depending on cultural interpretations, that embodies a variety of attributes. It inspires people to build close relationships with others which represent community, partnership, and social connection. The Walrus totem may also represent emotional intelligence and the capacity to understand and negotiate difficult emotions, providing insight into how to maintain harmony and balance in interpersonal interactions.

Walrus Native American Symbolism

Since Walruses live mostly in the Arctic and subarctic, they are not native to the traditional lands of most Native American tribes. Therefore, unlike indigenous civilizations of the Arctic, such as those of the Inuit or Yupik peoples, the Walrus does not have a distinct symbolic meaning in Native American traditions.

Walrus Celtic Symbolism

Although the Walrus is a cultural emblem in many Arctic communities of Celtic ancestry, it is not a major character in traditional Celtic symbolism. This is probably because the primary Celtic civilizations of the British Isles and Europe rarely come into contact with Walruses due to their restricted geographic distribution.

  • Norse and Inuit Symbolism: The Vikings, who shared Indo-European ancestry with the Celts, included the Walrus in their mythology, but the Celts had no particular affinity with the animal. The Walrus was revered by the Vikings as an image of the hunt and the ocean, and it also stood for power, fortitude, and skill for handling difficult situations. As a strong provider and protector, the Walrus, on the other hand, was associated with rich symbolism in Inuit societies. They used Walrus tusks as ornaments and as useful tools, as well as performed ceremonies in its honor.
  • Modern Interpretations: Some individuals connect the Walrus with Celtic symbolism in modern interpretations, citing themes of power, adaptability, and nature as points of commonality. They see the Walrus as a symbol of resilience—the capacity to face difficulties, adjust to changing circumstances, and establish relationships with the natural environment.

Walrus Far Eastern Symbolism

Since the Walrus is not indigenous to the areas where Far Eastern or Asian symbolic systems originated, it has no historical or cultural significance in relation to these systems. In Far Eastern civilizations, animals with prominent symbolic significance include dragons, turtles, and phoenixes. Despite the Walrus’s lack of particular conventional symbolism, people may draw personal connections or meanings from its traits. Any such connections would not stem from traditional Asian iconography but rather be modern and personal.

Walrus in Dreams

Dream interpretations of animals like Walruses depend on the context and the dreamer’s background.

  • Adaptability: Walruses are suited to tough Arctic surroundings. Consequently, dreaming about one may indicate a need for flexibility in your everyday life. It might be a sign encouraging you to approach changes and problems with flexibility.
  • Emotional Navigation: A Walrus’s tusks have identifiable traits that may be used as coping mechanisms in sensitive situations. The dream may allude to the need of navigating difficult relationships or sentiments.
  • Spiritual Symbolism: Animals in dreams are seen as emissaries or symbols of greater wisdom in some spiritual situations. Given their associations with water and cold, Walruses may have particular spiritual implications that vary according to one’s beliefs.
  • Social Connections: Dreams concerning Walruses may have to do with social interactions or relationships, as they are sociable creatures. It could serve as a reminder for the value of helping others around you, of community, or of collaboration.
  • Strength and Resilience: Given its strength and adaptability, the Walrus may represent your own fortitude and capacity to face difficulties. The dream could be advising you to draw on your inner fortitude when things get tough.

Walrus Encounters / Walrus Omens

Superstitions and omens pertaining to Walruses may exist in civilizations where it has great cultural significance, especially in the Arctic areas.


  • Mainland Japan: Walruses are portrayed in stories as dangerous animals connected to shipwrecks and storms. A Walrus in a dream might be a warning of approaching danger or a reminder of the sea’s unpredictable character.
  • Ainu people: Unintentional interactions with Walruses are seen as unlucky, while intentionally hunting and treating them well is believed to bring luck and wealth.

Arctic Communities

  • Yup’ik people: Walrus appearances near communities are seen as messages from spirits, appeased with sacrifices or rites. Finding a Walrus tusk symbolizes good fortune and protection.
  • Inuit communities: Hearing a Walrus vocalize is said to be a communication from animal spirits, conveying news about hunting success, danger warnings, or communal direction.
  • Chukchi people: Seeing a Walrus basking in the sun is lucky. Encountering a hostile Walrus signifies danger or bad luck.
  • Siberia: Certain native communities think that Walrus tusks have magical abilities that may fend off bad luck and fight off evil spirits.

Walrus Mythology and Folklore

One particular legend from Inuit culture about Walruses is “Qayaq, the Orphan Boy.”

Qayaq, the orphan in this story, lives with his grandma. When he ventures out to sea on his kayak one day to hunt, he comes across a strong storm. A wise Walrus helps Qayaq, who is lost and terrified, find his way back to his town.

Appreciative of the Walrus’s assistance, Qayaq discovers that it is a shape-shifting ghost that protects the vulnerable and teaches survival and ocean etiquette. As he gets older, Qayaq develops into a well-liked leader who credits the Walrus spirit for helping him succeed. This highlights themes of thankfulness, a connection to the natural world, and the Walrus’s spiritual significance in Inuit culture.

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