Eel Symbolism & Meaning
Want to expand your awareness? Need help navigating a sensitive situation? Eel as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Eel teaches how to harness Kundalini energy and to protect yourself from negativity! Delve deeply into Eel symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit can enlighten, animate, and electrify you!
Eel Table of Contents
- Eel Symbolism & Meaning
- Spirit Animal
- Totem Animal
- Power Animal
- Native American Symbolism
- Celtic Symbolism
- Samoan Symbolism
- Melanesian Symbolism
- Greek & Roman Symbolism
- Eel Dreams
- Far East & Polynesian Symbolism
- Back to all Fish & Crustaceans
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Eel Symbolism & Meaning
Because of their appearance, Eel meaning and symbolism often coincides with that of snakes; these are elusive little fellows who can teach humans a thing or two about camouflage; that ability also makes them mysterious and enigmatic. It’s as if there is something you will never truly know about Eel Spirit unless he chooses to reveal it.
Eels prefer the night, which only adds to our curiosity about them. They traverse the darkness for food, then burrow by day in the mud; this combination means that Eel hides very well. Their skin tone is close to the bottom sediments in their natural environment, often dark brown. Magically, brown is an Earth tone. So even though we are dealing with a Water creature, there are other Elemental associations for our consideration. For example, Electric Eels might be Fire and Water working together!
Their knife-edged teeth mean that Eels can take a pretty ferocious bite out of anything if they so choose. They also swim remarkably briskly. Their prey find themselves caught wholly unaware but for a sudden flash of movement in the water. Speed and stealth combine with deadly accuracy for Eel, which may have had some role to play in stories of them being shapeshifters. Their ability to twist and turn in the water, back and forth, keep them in a phantom-like form thanks to over 100 vertebrae in its spine.
Even as young Eels start out nearly invisible; the babies are transparent larvae that drift in the sea moving with the waves; the tiny particles floating nearby sustain life; this gives going with the flow a whole new dimension!
Members of the Eel family range from a tiny two-inch fellow to the 13 feet giant Moray Eel and the European Conger; this behemoth comes in weighing as much as 250 pounds! Even so, there is some-thing graceful about Eel swimming using body wave energy. Think of this like the way in which magic moves out in waves only on a physical level, moving the Eel where it needs to go.
Eel Pearls: Eel Pearls are a type of secretion that hardens from the stomach of the Eel. They are considered very magical, bearing all the attributes of the Eel spirit itself. Carrying one brings luck, the ability to adapt, remain elusive and shape-shift and also inspires fertility.
Keywords and characteristics associated with Eel Animal Spirit include adaptability, camouflage, chakras, disguise, emotions, endurance, evasion, fertility, inspiration, kundalini energy, masculinity, movement, observation, overcoming, scanning (psychic), shape-shifting, stamina, tracking, transformation, travel, stealth, and wisdom.
The Electric Eel is perhaps the most famous of our Eel family. And while we know about their shocking abilities, there is something very special to this gift. Electric Eels are fairly blind. Those very same pulses become a navigation system for this fish.
Eel Spirit Animal
Hawaiians tell us that Eel represents our emotional nature. So, if Eel has come to you as a Spirit Guide and helpmate, it’s time to take stock of your feelings. Are you sure you are interpreting things clearly? If not, send out your psychic feelers. Something is muddy here, and you’ll need clarification before moving further.
Another symbolism for Eel Spirit Animal is that of being slippery. We can interpret that in a couple of ways. Perhaps personally we have been a tad duplicitous. There are certainly moments when craft and cunning go a long way, but in other situations, our intention may be called into question. Figuring out which applies n this moment is a personal matter but keep it real. Everyone messes up, and if that’s the case right your wrong.
Eel energy teaches us the lessons of camouflage and disguise when under distress or in danger. Not everyone walks away from situations in which they have little chance of coming out unscathed. Eel reminds you that sometimes hiding is fantastic, and necessary, strategy. Stay where you are or float unnoticed on the currents that exist. It will become apparent when the coast is truly clear.
The snake-like body of Eel gives it associations with Kundalini power. In Hindu beliefs, Kundalini ties to a spiritual awakening that initiates with our most basic self. In terms of Chakras, the Kundalini begins at the bottom and spirals to the top. Roughly paraphrased, Kundalini is coiled power that each individual has within and can learn to use. People describe it like electricity (thus our Eel Spirit). So, Eel is a teacher about stimulating our mystical experience through which we strive for the highest of ourselves, leading to bliss, release, energy, visions and so much more. So, having Eel as a Spirit Ani-mal is no small matter; this is a WOW moment for your spirit and soul.
In nature Eel rises out of the water approximately every 10 minutes, gathering life-sustaining oxygen. Do you feel like you have been holding your breath lately? If so, it’s time to come up for air. You may still feel suspicious or uncertain, but Eel swims with you. It’s time for overcoming any self-inflicted imprisonment (particularly one based on false assumptions). Sometimes there is a fine line between protection and self-destruction.
Finally, if your Spirit Animal is the Electric Eel, you may be in for a shock of some kind. It may be a pleasant surprise or awakening. It may be a little spark to get you moving. No matter the situation improved positive attitudes and cooperation results.
Eel Totem Animal
Those born with an Eel Totem Animal are very sensual beings. They nearly ooze sexuality; this can become a sticky wicket because other people interpret what is natural to the Eel person as a “come on.” Meanwhile, Eel is just being himself and trying to figure out what the fuss is about. Nonetheless, Eel is most certainly a creative and attentive lover.
If this Eel is your Birth Totem much of your life seems focused on your spiritual journey. For as long as you can remember you felt the ebb and flow of the Universe’s waters and could predict fairly accurately how those movements would manifest real-life situations. Your uncanny accuracy sometimes makes people feel a little anxious (you can see right through veneers). However, those that stick with you even with discomfort will find a true, sensitive friend.
Eel Medicine works most cooperatively with the Water Element, and that is where you find a source of peace, centering and renewal. Any living body of water (be it a little creek or a vast ocean) heals you when you can spend time there. If you don’t have access to these areas, try a long soak in warm water.
From an early age Eel people know how to avoid capture. Do not ask an Eel child to play hide and seek. You will be seeking until they grow tired of watching you flounder. Remember that disguise and concealment come with the Eel nature without them really having to try.
The Eel is hermaphroditic during its early life, so some Eel people feel no need for gender identification. In fact, some may sway between male/female, gay/bisexual easily. In the mind of the Eel, the body is simply a physical shell. It’s what’s inside (and how that responds to an external stimulus) that really seals a deal.
Eel Power Animal
Call on Eel Power Animal when:
- Cleansing yourself of addictive behaviors, particularly alcohol consumption.
- Expanding your awareness of Kundalini energy.
- Learning how to open, close and cleanse your Chakras.
- Moving into a time of sequestering where you need privacy.
- Secluding yourself for protective purposes.
- Navigating a sensitive situation where stealth proves wise.
- Adapting to intense personal transformation.
- Practicing shape-shifting.
- Embracing the masculine nature (Yang) .
- Working fertility magic.
Native American Eel Symbolic Meanings
Eels are not a big part of Native American mythology. There are some Tribes who have Eel as a clan animal including among the Onondaga and Cayuga. The one exception to the lack of Eel presences is among the Mi’kmaq, living in the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec and some northernmost regions of Maine.
Throughout the Mi’kmaq history, Eel served as a component to important Shamanic medicines as well as an overall tonic. When a person was close to death, they were given Eel to help them relax for the transition into the next world. Eel oil treated earaches, headaches and Eel skin was applied to sprains somewhat like a cast. The skin was never wasted as a sign of respect and gratitude to the Eel’s gift. It was used over and over until it could not be reused again.
Leaving an Eel on a hunter’s doorstep brings them good fortune. During the hardest part of the Winter, Eel became a sacred offering to the Spirits or the Creator for survival.
Celtic Eel Symbolic Meanings
The Book of Kells mentions Eels regularly. They were depicted as being able to change their form, growing legs and walking quite aptly on land. When they ran into another sea, they returned to their natural form.
The Irish felt that Eels grew from horsehairs shed in water. Eels could reincarnate, and sometimes carried the souls of deceased family members. There is also the Great Goddess Morrigan who watched over rivers and lakes. She could appear as a fearsome Eel, a form she used for prophecy (perhaps to really get people’s attention!).
Overall the Celts associated Eel with wisdom, creativity, adaptation, inspiration, and protection (defense).
Samoan Eel Symbolic Meanings
The following is the story of “Sina and the Eel.”
Different versions of this legend exist, but explain the presence of the Coconut tree, which is an important part of Samoan culture being used for everything from food to house building.
It begins with a beautiful woman called Sina (whose name means silver-haired). Everyone who is anyone knew of her beauty. One man, the King of Fiji, was intrigued by these bits of gossip. He used magic, turning himself into an Eel in order to reach Sina’s village. He reached it without difficulty. Unfortunately, when Sina looked into the water that day, all she saw was an Eel.
Sina thought him some type of demon at first, but then she warmed to the creature making him a pet. Eventually, the King grew too weak to keep up his magical form. Years had passed, and the King was now old, too old for such a beautiful young woman. So, he asked Sina to plant his head in the ground. In that spot the first coconut tree grew, bearing fruit with two eyes and a mouth. When one takes a drink from the coconut, they are kissing an Eel.
Melanesian Symbolic Meanings
The following is the story of “The Magic Eel of Melanesia.” There is a creature called Abaia in Melanesian myths. It is a huge Eel that dwells in freshwater lakes protecting all the creatures therein. If someone tried to harm what she considered her children, she would thrash her tail, making mud to hide them.
Greek & Roman Symbolic Meanings
While we don’t see Eels given sacred status in Greece and Rome, the poet Mataro wrote of the Eel lying in the arms of Zeus. To understand this, remember that Zeus created rainwater, which the people of this time felt essential for Eel reproduction. And, of course, Eel was under the protection of the God of the Seas, Poseidon.
Aristotle felt that Eels had no real gender. Instead, he wrote of them emerging from earthworms or decaying matter by spontaneous generation. Other theorists thought that a snake and a fish mated near river banks, which is understandable considering the Eel’s appearance.
What is most interesting about the Roman and Greek treatment of Eels is the fact that they became household pets. The daughter of Mark Anthony had some on whom she fastened silver and gold ear-rings. Athenaeus recorded that she gleefully fed them by hand.
When you see an Eel in your dreams, it may represent fertility, particularly for men. Alternatively, it’s a manifestation of the Masculine energies in and around you that are ready for your exploration.
An Eel many symbolize a person in your life with strong masculine energies; this person can help you even if you feel a little uneasy around them.
If the Eel in your dream is moving, prepare for a time in which you need flexibility. Opportunity is coming, but you’ll need to adapt and remain open for change.
Two Eels in a dream portend romance (or on a lesser scale, a new friendship).
If you try to catch the Eel in your dream and cannot, an opportunity slipped out of your hands. There is still a chance to recoup here but move quickly.
Far Eastern & Polynesian Symbolic Meanings
The Unagi Eel in Japan is one that local custom believes brings endurance, especially in hot summer months when consumed. In French Polynesian lore, on the Island of Huahine, there is a bridge that crosses a stream. Below it lives three to six-foot-long eels that are a tourist attraction. For locals, however, these creatures are sacred.
Eel Symbolic Meanings Key
- Kundalini Energy