Centipedes are multi-legged, creepy, and nocturnal insects that you can only see at night. So, it makes sense if you feel shocked after seeing a centipede. The intense emotion that you may feel when you encounter a centipede lends itself to a sense of spiritual importance.
This article discusses what centipedes symbolize along with their spiritual meaning in life. I’ll also explain the centipede symbolism in different cultures and the possible meanings of different centipede dreams.
What Does the Centipede Symbolize?
Centipedes are predatory arthropods and they’re found in almost all parts of the world. These insects usually live in hidden places such as inside logs, under rocks, and in soil. That’s why they’re sometimes linked with death and decay in the context of centipede symbolism.
Sometimes, these insects are also found in homes and the house centipedes are associated with wealth and prosperity. Additionally, people believe that these insects symbolize protection, especially for travelers. That’s why many people choose a centipede tattoo while traveling.
Centipedes have unusual anatomy and a fully equipped adult can have up to 177 pairs of legs. It allows these creatures to be extremely agile, which also symbolizes dexterity and speed.
In some cultures, these insects are also used for medicinal purposes, making them a symbol of healing, energy, and good luck. According to the Japanese myth, centipedes are among a very few living beings that dragons fear. It represents that even a small body can possess great ferocity and power.
Centipede Symbolism in Different Cultures
Centipedes symbolize different things in different cultures. The following is the list of popular world cultures with centipede symbolism.
Native American Culture
Many stories in Native American folklore involve centipedes. For example, a story of Navajo elders represents centipedes as creatures possessing ancient evil power. The story explains that the blood of primordial monsters gave birth to centipedes.
Most native American myths represent centipedes as monstrous and fearsome. However, there are stories that associate these insects with foresight, longevity, and wisdom.
Centipedes have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for hundreds of years. It’s believed that these insects have the ability and potency to treat convulsions, lockjaw, and seizures.
In Feng Shui, martial arts, and traditional Chinese medicine, centipedes are also a part of a group consisting of five poisonous creatures. The role of this insect is to clear body toxicity and regulate liver function.
The Japanese myth has a supernatural monster, called Ōmukade. It was a giant centipede who worked as the messenger of the god. It was believed that Ōmukade used to eat humans and had the power to infect the ears of dragon gods.
Different African tribes represent centipedes and millipedes differently and their representation contains both negative and positive traits.
One story explains that God sent a millipede or centipede to tell humans that they have become immortal. The millipede started its journey but stopped along the way to eat. Then the god sent a chameleon to deliver the message to humanity that they’ll remain immortals.
While the centipede/millipede was slower than the chameleon and couldn’t give humans the good news, the millipede spiritual meaning was still linked with good luck and longevity.
The ancient Egyptian myth represents centipedes as the protectors of the dead. That’s because the ancient Egyptians noticed that centipedes eat the insects that feed on the human corpses.
There was also a centipede god, called Sepa, and he was thought to protect people from venomous creatures.
Centipede Spirit Animal
Although these animals look dangerous, the centipede’s spiritual meaning includes faith, courage, agility, and wisdom. It’s a great spirit animal for all those people who have an inferiority complex, especially about their appearance.
As per the centipede spiritual meaning, there is always inner beauty in everyone. Each person is unique and has a purpose in this world. The centipede spirit animal guides a person to become self-aware and find the true meaning of life.
Sometimes, the centipede spirit animal can also urge people to consider a time of solitude. If you’re experiencing hardships and can’t think straight, you should spend some time alone to find solutions.
Another aspect of the spiritual meaning of centipede is that it guides you to be virtuous and patient. It reminds you not to waste your resources such as energy, health, and money on things that you’ll never use. It helps you believe in yourself and move forward in your life by making the most informed decisions.
Centipede Totem Animal
People who are born with the centipede totem animal are kind-hearted, brave, and lucky. They don’t like materialism and don’t value money too much but always have it when needed. They happily spend their resources on helping others and follow an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
People with the centipede totem animal want to make the world a better place to live. They always have so many ideas running in their mind all the time and it can become distracting sometimes. They also love to help their friends and family members so that they can become self-reliant.
Centipede Power Animal
The centipede power animal helps people when they feel defeated, broken-hearted, or tired. It allows them to embrace reality quickly and take appropriate actions to solve problems and heal themselves.
People who are guided by centipede power animals don’t have any room in their minds or hearts for guilt. They believe that everything happens for a reason and that moving forward is the only way to survive and succeed in life.
The centipede power animal also helps people when they are involved in any environmental cause. They can also become great gardeners because understanding the behavior of plants is a piece of cake for them.
Dreams About Centipedes
The following are the common centipede dreams a person can have, along with their possible meanings.
If you see a big centipede in your dream, it typically means that you’ll soon face a problem. It can be related to your personal or professional life and you won’t be able to avoid it. You’ll need to deal with that problem using your intelligence, not emotions.
If you see such a centipede dream, make sure that you maintain calm at all times and don’t let your emotions drive you. It’ll help you control your emotions and get through the problem without hurting yourself or anyone else.
If a dead centipede appears in your dream, it means that you’re facing challenges to let a new person enter your life. Dead centipedes usually symbolize a fear of rejection, passivity, and reservation.
It can also mean that you have become distant from your loved ones and the sadness is eating you.
Killing a Centipede
If you see yourself killing one or more centipedes in a dream, it indicates that you’ll outperform your competitors. It’s typically a positive sign and it can also mean that you’ll get promoted or close a big business deal.
Centipede Crawling on Your Body
If you see one or multiple centipedes crawling on your body, it shows that you’re surrounded by one or more enemies. You’ll need to figure out those people using your senses and try to stay away from them.
If you also see that you get rid of those centipedes in your dream, then your enemies won’t be able to cause any harm.
Centipedes are not beautiful creatures but they teach you that even the ugliest things can have a positive side. These many-legged creatures symbolize good luck, longevity, wealth, and prosperity.
They can guide you to come out of the inferiority complex if you have any, and embrace yourself the way you are. Now, if you encounter a centipede, think about the positive spiritual meaning behind that.