Gremlin Symbolism & Meaning

Want to achieve alternate states of consciousness? Looking to conquer a phobia? Gremlin, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Gremlin teaches you to move through different levels of awareness, all while showing you how to face what you fear! Delve deeply in Gremlin symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can strengthen, awaken, and enlighten you.

Gremlin Table of Contents

Gremlin Symbolism & Meaning

“Gremlin” is a household name; just hearing the word evokes images of the furry, wide-eyed Mogwai appearing in the 1984 blockbuster film of the same name. Mogwai has a child-like voice thanks to Howie Mandel, and its irresistible appearance is an imaginative mix between an animated Teddy Bear and a Pug puppy. But the Gremlin emerging from mythology is a lot more like the monstrous creations bursting forth from Mogwai once the creature gets wet, and someone makes the mistake of feeding it after midnight.

It’s ironic the word ”Mogwai” in no way describes the creature’s sweet appearance in the Warner Brothers’ film. Instead, the word’s meaning hints at the mischievous and destructive creatures whose existence results from a series of events attributable to Murphy’s Law: “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” “Mogwai” in Cantonese and means “demon, devil, evil spirit, or monster.” The word also has roots in the Sanskrit “Mara,” meaning “evil beings” and “death.” Add to this the meaning of “Gremlin,”which stems from the Old English “Gremian,” meaning “to vex,” and you now have a complete picture of the true nature of the mythic Gremlin: A dreadful, troublesome, and impish creature capable of causing considerable injury or even death.

The origins of Gremlins are vague. Some sources suggest the creature has roots in Airmen stories and events happening during World War II. Gremlins are responsible for sabotaging planes, most notably the aircrafts belonging to British pilots in the Royal Air Force in India, the Middle East, and Malta. Some sources argue it’s possible to trace stories of the creature back to World War I, but there is no corroborating evidence to support the idea.

The creatures have big, uncanny eyes, spikes on their back, big, pointed ears, small bodies, and razor-sharp teeth. Alternative descriptions range between appearing elven or goblin-like to hairless, reptilian creatures with bat-like wings. Ronald Dahl, the author of the 1940s story, “The Gremlins,” calls the adult female Gremlins are Fifinellas, male children are Widgets, and female offspring are Flibbertigibbets. The same writer suggests Gremlins have become a symbol of when human affairs go horribly and mysteriously awry.

Gremlins have also been compared to chimerical creatures featuring the attributes of a Bull Terrier and Jackrabbit combined, while other stories stick to the tried-and-true fantastical comparisons by suggesting the creatures are more like Merfolk. There are even size discrepancies in the Gremlin’s description, with some saying the creature is about six inches tall and other accounts claiming Gremlins achieves a height of three feet. Their peculiar appearance makes Gremlin a symbol of what people fear. The creature signifies all things unfathomable, monstrous, awe-inspiring, or visually shocking while the inexplicable differences in appearance link the creature to shapeshifting and the unknown.

According to legend, Gremlins cause machinery and airplanes to malfunction. A reference to Gremlin’s and their troublesome behavior appears in “The ATA: Women with Wings,” a novel by aviator Pauline Gower written in the late 1930s. Gower references Scotland as “Gremlin Country,” and suggests the region is home to Gremlins that use scissors to snip the wires of biplanes without the pilots of the aircrafts realizing what they’ve done until it’s too late. Members of the Royale Air Force made similar complaints when unexplainable accidents happened during a flight. The bad behavior Gremlins exhibit makes the creature an emblem of trickster energies, mischief, and chaos. Since Gremlins cause problems with planes, the beast has ties to the Air Element.

At one time, people thought Gremlins attacked the aircrafts belonging to the enemy less often, and, as a result, demonstrated adversarial sympathies. But it was later found through extensive investigation that enemy aircrafts endured a near equal amount of unexplainable damage. Gremlin doesn’t care about who it’s attacking. It just attacks anything it desires. Of course, with no real evidence Gremlins were ever responsible for the damage of planes such stories serve to point the finger of blame and most likely in the wrong direction.

Attributing aircraft damage to Gremlins ties the creature to scapegoating. There’s a strange irony stemming from the misappropriation of blame. Since pilots could blame Gremlins for the mechanical failure of an aircraft, it allowed them to maintain a higher level of confidence in their competence. A major increase in morale is something some writers attribute to the pilots’ ability to thwart Germany’s planned invasion of the United Kingdom in 1940. As such, Gremlins represent unusual allies and unexpected outcomes.

There have been pilots who have reported really seeing the creatures destroying equipment or bearing witness to the aftermath of their destruction. Such reports are debunked by those who feel sightings are nothing more than a stressed mind exposed to changes in altitude and extreme heights, leading to hallucinatory experiences. Here, Gremlins correspond with elusiveness, intangibility, and the experience of alternate realities.

Gremlin Spirit Animal

When Gremlin enters your life as a Spirit Animal, it’s time to put your observational skills to work and tune into your psychic senses. Gremlin’s presence comes as a signal to expect the unexpected. If you are unprepared or unalert at this time, you may fall victim to Murphy’s Law, where everything and anything goes wrong because you overlooked critical details.

Gremlin is playful, so as a Spirit Animal, the creature’s appearance is a calling for you to bring more joy into your life. If you lack inspiration or you haven’t been laughing a lot, your inner child suffers. Gremlin comes to people who need to find a balance between work and play. As your Animal Ally, Gremlin asks, ”When was the last time you let loose with wild abandon?”

Gremlin Totem Animal

If you have Gremlin as a Totem Animal, you are a true Trickster at heart. April Fools’ is likely your favorite holiday, as there’s nothing more fun than a practical joke pulled off without a hitch. You have a wonderful sense of humor and a playful spirit, but some people may not understand or even like some of the child-like games you play. But those who appreciate your impish nature know the joy you bring into their lives.

People with Gremlin as a Totem Animal are always ready for anything. They plan out projects in advance and are obsessive about double-checking their work. Because of your constant preparedness, you have exceptional organization skills too.

With Gremlin as your Totem Animal, you have an exceptional understanding of technology. You likely own all the latest gadgets, and may even have a career working as a technical writer or in developing computers or other electronics.

Gremlin Power Animal

Invoke Gremlin as a Power Animal when you’re looking for support in fixing situations or problems, especially when such issues have a basis in technology. Gremlin has advanced knowledge of electronics, so it serves to support you when you’re looking to make repairs. If you need help disassembling something, Gremlin’s even better when it comes to deconstructing things.

Call on Gremlin when you need to keep a low profile. If you’re looking to step away from the crowd or you need the element of surprise in a situation, Gremlin knows the tricks that help in establishing invisibility. At the same time, Gremlin’s can be quite quiet, as they do much of the damage they cause before people take note. As a Power Animal, Gremlin assists you in harnessing silence, so you’ll have better observation of a situation, condition, or relationship.

Gremlin Dreams

If Gremlins appear in your dreams, there are others who are in your life who are up to no good. The mischief can range from trickster-like pranks to outright sabotage. If there are one or more Gremlins in your dreams, it can also mean it’s time to prepare for anything and anything to happen. Gremlins are the embodiment of surprise and the unexpected. The appearance of Gremlins may also signify someone is trying to blame you for something they are doing, or you are using another as a scapegoat in a situation.

Gremlin Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Destruction
  • Intangible
  • Intelligence
  • Invisibility
  • Mischief
  • Scapegoating
  • Stealth
  • The Unexpected
  • Trouble
  • Wild Nature

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