Kraken Symbolism & Meaning
The name of this mythical creature derives from the old Norse term “Kraki.” The term “Kraken” is a derivative of the Germanic term “Krake” found both in Norwegian Swedish languages, and referring to an aberration or extreme distortion of an animal. The connotation of the original term, Krake, is that an animal has been deformed or twisted into something grotesque. Kraken also translates to “Octopus” in old Norwegian language.
Kraken Table of Contents
- Kraken Symbolism & Meaning
- Spirit Animal
- Totem Animal
- Power Animal
- Kraken Dreams
- Back to all Fantasy & Mythical Creatures and Animals
Kraken Symbolism & Meaning
Long before this creature was featured in modern day pirate movies, the Kraken was the subject of lore and fish tales among the people in Norway. The Kraken is a giant Squid-like creature that some now believe may have originated from actual sightings of large Squid, who can grow to an amazing fifty feet in length.
It’s easy to picture Norse sailors becoming fascinated by the glimpse of such actual monstrously large Squid. And with their survival at sea at stake, it is also easy to imagine the mythical status these creatures gained. Some early naturalists, such as Carl Linneaus, believed the Kraken to be real. As recently as the 18th century, Linnaeus included the Kraken in his catalog.
Older reports of sightings of the Kraken were made by sailors returning from the Greenland in the mid 13th century. One account presumed only two such creatures existed. The Kraken was presumed to be incapable of reproduction, and it was noted that the gigantic creature would regurgitate its food into the ocean to attract fish, which it would then consume. Early Norse hero Orvan Ordr was said to encounter the Kraken and depicted this creature’s habits in the Konungs Skuggsja thus relegating the Kraken to the realm of actual animals rather than considering it a myth.
Variations on this report include the Kraken’s ability to lure potential prey either through the act of “belching” up food or even through it’s excrement. Early accounts also describe the Kraken as appearing like land at first. This is a recurring theme. Some describe the Kraken as appearing like an island, upon which sailors would try to dock their boats. When the sailors left their boats for what they believed was land, the Kraken would then pull them down to the bottom of the sea.
It was also believed that when a large number of fish suddenly rise to the surface of the sea, it is an omen that the Kraken is around and has scared the fish away.
The sight of this mighty Squid-like beast grasping for fish, boats and sailors with it’s many arms conjures connotations of deep hunger or even greed. In later literary references, the Kraken came to be an important symbol of class struggle. As a symbol for the underclasses, the Kraken was seen as emerging from invisible depths to take hold of the affluent aristocracy, represented by the ships.
While the Kraken has largely become synonymous with a giant Squid, some early accounts describe this beast as having legs that appeared closer to that of a giant Crab. It was believed that even if the Kraken didn’t consume an entire ship, the churning waters left in the wake of a visit from the Kraken could also drag a ship beneath the surface of the sea.
Thus, Kraken is a symbol of the mysteries of the depths. Since the ocean, and Water in general, is associated with intuition, the subconscious and emotion, references to the Kraken also speak to your deepest subconscious desires. Sometimes emotions can loom large and feel monstrous. The Kraken is emblematic of such emotions that seem large enough to become all consuming. In addition, our longings and desires can feel like a hunger we must satisfy. Kraken represents that part of our subconscious which propels us through the waves of emotion, as we grasp for what we desire.
The Kraken presents an illusion to sailors at first, as the sight of it’s back may seem to be an island. Sailors eager to reach shore may dismiss their intuition- and their maps- and make the mistake of landing on the Kraken’s back. Kraken as a symbol, then, also represents the potential for desires and fantasies to test your intuition and lead you to see what you want to see rather than seeing what is truly there.
Some accounts describe the Kraken as having the ability to change colors to match their surroundings. This adds symbolic meaning as you may be called to be conscious of how to fade into your surroundings and wait for the strategic time to make your presence known.
Kraken Spirit Animal
It was believed that people could summon the Kraken by speaking the creature’s name. Some sailors would go so far as to create euphemisms to avoid even using the term for this reason. But if Kraken Spirit Animal has emerged from the depths to work with you, it’s far better to embrace the important teachings this Spirit Animal can bring into your life.
Just as the Kraken is said to regurgitate its food to attract prey, something may be repeating on you now, emotionally. Kraken Spirit Animal may arrive in your life at a time when you may need to let go of the urge to stifle your emotions and instead let yourself sit with emotional turmoil that ultimately leads to healing.
You may be reminded that emotions you suppress may seem threatening, but facing them head on is better than trying to push them away. The Kraken may also bear messages about your need to be creative in your process of attracting what you need.
Kraken Totem Animal
Those born with Kraken Totem Animal energy can be stealthy. They may easily blend in with their environment and may appear placid and calm on the outside. Yet Kraken Totem can create deep churning emotional waters that those carrying this energy must contend with.
A Kraken Totem Animal can give you the personality you need in order to ride the rocky waves of emotional turbulence and therefore you may feel compelled to serve others as a healer. In particular, you may be drawn to people whose emotional and subconscious issues present as hunger, addictions, and unsatiated desires.
Kraken Totem Animal can give you a gift of disarming others and helping them to face their emotional wounds and subconscious fears. Yet first, you’ll have to face your own unresolved emotional issues. If Kraken is your Totem Animal, you won’t be able to escape from the intuitive urging of your subconscious mind.
Kraken Power Animal
The old legend goes that speaking the Kraken’s name summons this creature. If you want to work with Kraken as a Power Animal, you can also commune with the energy of this being through meditation and ritual. Delving into the depths of the Water Element can help you connect with Kraken energy. Notorious for their size and voracious appetite, leaving offerings to be consumed by this giant of the depths can also help you relate to Kraken Power Animal.
Kraken Power Animal can help you to find the courage and strength to face your emotion rather than pushing them deep into your subconscious. You may also be able to work with Kraken Power Animal to learn important lessons about the need to moderate your own powerful appetites. Have you been going to extremes or becoming obsessed or addicted to chasing your desires?
Kraken Power Animal can help you balance your deeper emotions and not lose your sense of solid ground. Kraken Power Animal can help you harness emotions as a source of intuitive power rather than viewing them with fear of being overwhelmed.
Dreams of the Kraken can be symbolic of a great summoning toward healing. You may be called to face subconscious fears when Kraken comes to you in a dream. You may also have to reckon with that which you fear will consume or overpower you. Are you losing yourself in a relationship or passion?
Kraken can help remind you of the need to be strategic and pace yourself.
Kraken Symbolic Meanings Key