Stingray Symbolism & Meaning

Trying to be more assertive when getting your point across? Need help with defining your direction? Stingray, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Stingray teaches you to be direct and how to find your focus. Delve deeply in Stingray symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can guide, motivate, and direct you.

Stingray Table of Contents

Stingray Symbolism & Meaning

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau

Some call the Stingray a Water Eagle. With wing-like fins, Stingrays move gracefully through the ocean. Mind you, size-wise they are much different. Their span reaches up to 22 feet, and they can weigh as much as three tons.

Stingrays are often mixed up with the Manta Ray. They do, indeed, look much like twins. The key difference is that Mantas do not have a barbed tail. Stingrays prefer being near the ocean’s bottom while the Manta Ray explores open waters. Nonetheless, these two beautiful creatures have very similar meanings and symbolism.

The ocean is an environment that ceaselessly changes. It means Stingray has to adapt quickly. It is no wonder that Stingray Spirit has associations with acclimation and movement. Additionally, Stingray moves into deep waters where people rarely go; this represents our subconscious and inner workings. In order to move easily within our world, we have to honor our journey and abide by the Witches’ rule: “Know Thyself.”

If you observe Stingrays when they are looking for food, it’s very telling that they do not use their energy unwisely. Rather they direct plankton by circling groups who then end up near Stingray’s mouth. So here, Stingray not only teaches us about the effective use of our efforts but also attracting things to us by word and deed (think the Law of Attraction). In their environment, you will rarely catch a Ray that appears ruffled. They remain calm and focused on their goal.

Spiritually speaking it is very telling that folklore tells us that Manta Rays mate during the full moon; this makes for very powerful symbolism in that both the Full Moon and the Ocean have ties (and tides) with the Water Element. There is no question that those working with the Ray will have to face and work with their emotional nature.

It takes a year or more for Stingray babies to appear. Talk about patience! When we want our proverbial babies to manifest, we must remember that some things simply take time. Slow and steady still often win the race.

All Rays have an Achilles’ Heel. Parasites often latch on to their exterior. To allay this problem, they go to the areas where fish clean their skin; this is a symbol of cooperation. We often need the help of others, but sometimes feel too proud to ask. Assistance is not a sign of weakness but rather a strong, cooperative Tribe or community.

Some of the keywords and attributes associated with Stingray Spirit include acceptance, alertness, attunement, calibration, circumspection, dignity, discretion, emotions, forethought, movement, opportunity, protection, purification, refinement, self-trust, and water element.

Among Hawaiians, Rays are actually Spirit Guardians who offer wisdom and strength. The native word for Manta means two breaths, inspired by watching these creatures fly out of the water and return with ease into mysteries that we have yet to uncover.

Stingray Superstitions: Among Filipinos, the tail of a stingray acts as a magical deterrent for ghosts, vampires, witches, or any other spiritual entity trying to harm the bearer. In Thailand, it was believed that handling a Stingray brought strength and power. The backbone brought good luck to the bearer. Caribbean beliefs tell us that kissing a Stingray ensures you of many years of luck. Chinese medicine advocates Stingray gills for boosting the immune system. The ancient Chinese trusted in Stingray leather for attracting wealth and protecting personal property.

Stingray Spirit Animal

Those who have been graced with the Stingray Spirit Animal’s presence should get excited. Whatever you have been working toward is reaching culmination. Stick with it. Use your skills and trust yourself to see this through. If possible, avoid drama along the way.

Another reason Stingray may have visited you is due to a highly complicated emotional issue. The Stingray Spirit comes, showing you how to navigate this difficult situation without emotional harm on either side. You can win here, but it requires some diplomacy and tact.

Have you felt confined, trapped, or off track lately? Stingray appears so you can redirect yourself to a healthier situation. Everyone has moments where they simply lose their way. Let this Spirit Animal be your guide. Just be prepared. The Ray teaches flexibility in your movements along the way. You cannot be rigid when working with this animal teacher.

Finally, at moments when you are over-exposed, Stingray Animal Spirit settles you under the sand. Stay there for a while. Be at peace. Right now, it is not the time for overt involvement.

Stingray Totem Animal

Those born with a Stingray Totem animal seem to know exactly when a predator of any nature is about. In those moments, they move into a safe place, neatly camouflaged until they decide what to do. They also have a knack for moving into a space with very little notice, often startling friends, coworkers, and family.

If Stingray is your birth totem, you are a person of action. You can be aggressive at the wrong times, so definitely watch that tendency. Patient restraint lies within you. Some battles can wait, some cannot. Wisdom comes in knowing the difference.

Walking with Stingray Spirit means feeling things very deeply, particularly love. You may fall in love very quickly. If this happens, don’t jump into huge commitments until you have had time to settle your mind and spirit. When you are out of balance, you cannot always see through murky waters and find the truth.

Stingray people are inventive adventurers. You love trying new things, especially anything that has to do with water. For hobbies and careers, think things like underwater diving and Water Resource Scientist. Positions like the latter your humanitarian nature. You want to help and will find a way to do so with grace and charm. You also have a great sense of humor that lifts everyone’s spirits.

There are two defined sides to the Stingray Totem. When you are truly in your element, you become the center of attention without trying. When out of your element, you still yourself and stay on the sidelines. The only thing that nudges you out of that reserved choice is when something you believe in is being maligned. That is something that brings out the “sting” in Stingray.

Stingray Power Animal

Call on Stingray Power Animal when it’s time to stop and plan before making important decisions. Stingray glides through situations with ease and can help you do the same. If you want to improve your social skills, be more assertive, or get your point across, again, Stingray is a potent Animal Ally.

Invoke Stingray as a Power Animal when you lose focus and need help finding your direction. Stingray’s natural navigation abilities can help you work through emotional difficulties and trying situations. At the same time, this fearless Animal Ally can help you deal with a situation that frightens you. Stingray says, “Reclaim your confidence.”

Petition Stingray, as a Power Animal, when you want help moving into a new environment or role, and you want to do so with more poise. If you struggle with trusting your inner voice or if you want to connect with the Water Element, again, Stingray is at the ready to help ensure your success and growth.

Aboriginal Australia Stingray Symbolism

While it may seem inconsistent to see Rays as both a sacred thing and food, it is not so in Aboriginal cultures. To their minds, the Ancestors provided these beautiful creatures as nourishment. One such ancestor is Gawangalkmirri; this Being has a sleek black coloring with dots of white that look like stars; this creature is gentle and enjoys interaction, especially with children of the Tribe. Gawangalkmirri educates young in survival, and the oral traditions so that they continue into the generations to come.

There is one story of Gawangalkmirri fighting with Baru, the Crocodile Ancestor, because Crocodile killed a Stingray clansman. It was very tempting to kill Crocodile, but Gawangalkmirri showed restraint and only speared Baru; this story is the foundation for a peacemaking ritual among the Yolngu tribe.

Gawangalkmirri has additional associations with the land’s sustenance, fertility, harmony, parenting skills, and survival of the Tribe’s traditions.

Maori Folklore Stingray Symbolism

The Following is the Maori Folktale of The Enchanted Stingray. It was a lovely night. A man named Koro Pat watched happily as his children danced the fires. At one point, he stopped them and pointed to the Stingray jumping from the waters. They all ran to watch more closely. One of his children reached for a stone, thinking to throw it at Stingray. Koro Pat stopped her, and then sat all three of them down for a story about the local Stingray Guardian.

Koro began by telling of a Stingray named Whaitere in a small bay. Here she gathered food and played with other fishes among the rocks and weeds. Whaitere’s parents told her to stay away from the people fish who could travel on top of the waves. People fish harvested many of her friends from their little bay, never to be seen again.

Over time, more of her friends disappeared. Food became scarce. Whaitere’s parents were nowhere to be found. She looked everywhere, crying and terribly afraid. She let herself fall to the seafloor where she watched and waited. The fish people came with traps, taking children. She began to think her parents had succumbed to the same fate.

Whaitere refused to move. One of her remaining friends tried to get her out of the sand with food and song; this didn’t work. She simply could not understand why those with good hearts were gone. So, she began to pray. Her thoughts were filled with love for her tribe. These seemed to wash to every corner of the ocean.

Hinemoana, the Ocean Maid, heard Whaitere. She went to her, gathered her up, and took her into the underworld. Hinemoana instructed Whaitere that she could eat of the food here and stay forever with her parents.

It took a while for Whaitere to find her mom and dad. She cried and asked why they left. Her parents remained quiet and instead showed her the wonders of the sea from crystal caves and underwater rainbows to eternal gardens. Their last stop was the eternal spring. The cavern was filled with beautiful green light.

Whaitere’s mother instructed her to rest on the rock. As she did, she transformed, having colors appear on her skin and magic flowing through her body. Her father explained that it was not Whaitere’s fate to remain with them, but rather to become an overworld guardian who teaches respect for the ocean.

When Whaitere returned to her tribe, no one recognized her. She began speaking of her experience and how she gained her magic. It was a wonderful moment until the sounds of people fish approached once more.

Whaitere dove under the shadow of the people fish, turning on her back and flapping her wings. The shadow tilted. She did it again as magic flowed out of her naturally. The people fish were now in the water instead of above it.

All but one of the people fish swam to shore. He began falling into the depths. Whaitere, remembering her charge, told the man to respect this bay and teach others likewise. She then returned him to safety on shore, where he did as instructed.

Over time the people fish watched Whaitere’s tribe with wonder, feeling that the whole place had become magical.

Koro Pat, with his story finished, returned to his children’s attention. He said, “it takes magic to care for a place such as this and respect. Seeing the Stingray reminds us of that. You, too, will tell this story to your children.” All three nodded and turned their attention once more to the water, watching anxiously to see another Ray.

Stingray Dreams

Seeing Stingray in your dreams is a symbol of emotional liberation. In your waking life, you’ll no longer be a slave to your feelings and will soon be ready to leave the past behind. If the Stingray surfaces from the water, it means something sensitive is coming up in your waking life.

Dreaming of a school of Stingrays coming your way means you are avoiding something or responding in a way that reflects old, negative ways of thinking. A Stingray appearing calm in your dream indicates that you need to address current issues in your life with similar serenity.
An aggressive Stingray implies panicking. You need to stop, breathe, and then re-approach things carefully.

Stingray Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Circumspection
  • Cooperation
  • Direction
  • Discretion
  • Dream Realm
  • Hidden Emotions
  • Patience
  • Self-Knowledge
  • Self-Trust
  • Subconscious

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