Bat Symbolism & Meaning
Bat symbolism and meaning can both fascinate and frighten. Yet when you get to know this amazing creature, you may discover a powerful ally!
Do you feel misunderstood by society or are you fearful of transitions? Do you want to be more sensitive to your surroundings? Bat, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Bat teaches you how to sense your environment while embracing all life has to offer. Delve deeply in Bat symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can illuminate, support, and guide you.
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Bat Table of Contents
- Bat Symbolism & Meaning
- Bat Spirit Animal
- Bat Totem Animal
- Bat Power Animal
- Native American Bat Symbolic Meanings
- Bat Christianity Symbolism
- Bat Celtic Animal Symbolism
- Bat Dreams
- Far Eastern Bat Symbolic Meanings
- Bat Tattoo Meaning
- Bat Spiritual Meaning
- Back to all Mammals
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Bat Symbolism and Meaning
If you’re seeking the wisdom of Bat Energy it’s a sign your higher-self is helping you sharpen your sense of true seeing.
To quote the very-dearly-missed Ted Andrews (author of “Animal Speak” and many other wonderful books); “The bat is one of the most misunderstood animals.”
Because Bats come out at night, they have long had emblematic ties to death and the underworld. When we look closer, however, we see that Bat (like all Mammals) lives inside the Mother’s womb from which it emerges, a symbolic renewal and new beginning. So much is the case that folk wisdom calls these creatures “Night’s Guardian”.
In nature, Bat is very nurturing; this shows it is socialized in its group. They have unique communication skills and stay close to family and young. While they might avoid humans, there is no lack of interaction among their own.
In fact, Bats are so “touchy-feely” with their own family, it could be said, that these creatures of the night are actually “cuddly.”
Because of their warm, sweet nature, Bat symbolism is a deeply soulful reminder that we should never judge a book by its cover.
To hunt, many species of Bat require echolocation; this is a very precise ability, giving Bat the meanings of uncovering the hidden and attunement to vibrational frequencies. Adding to their ability to find prey, Bat wings are well suited to simple movements – they are, in fact, structured a bit like our fingers spreading out to discover what’s hiding in the darkness of our lives.
In Shamanism, Bat Medicine ties directly with the Shaman’s ability to walk between the worlds. Bat represents both death and life, endings and beginnings. Flying with the Bat means trusting your psychic gifts and having confidence in yourself.
European stories associate Bat Spirit with magical creatures like witches and vampires; at that time, it wasn’t a positive status. However, the Bat as a familiar in modern times is far more positive, even representing good luck.
Bat Spirit Animal
What do Bats symbolize as a Spirit Animal?
If Bat has made its presence known as your Spirit Animal be ready for major transitions.
Bats are highly sensitive animals. Bat will urge you to keep all your senses on alert so that you gather the signs and omens the Universe is giving you.
As your Spirit Animal, Bat will help you strengthen your natural capacity to “see” with all six senses. If Bat keeps showing up in your awareness, take some time to clean and refine your taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing, and, of course, your clairvoyant or psychic abilities.
Note that while Bat can symbolize death, as a Spirit Animal, it does not have to be a literal death. Instead, something may end – a job, a living space, a relationship, or even outmoded thoughts about yourself and your role in the greater scheme of things. Bat is here to make this change as smooth as possible and ease you through any associated pain.
One of the most powerful aspects of Bat Spirit Animal and Bat Totem are these connotations with death. When Bat works with you, he is helping you to face the inner darkness and loss you most fear. By embracing and facing your own mortality and transcending fears of loss and change, you can find greater power and spiritual connection.
Bat Spirit Animal can help you develop your intuition and has long been associated with psychic senses and the ability to perceive more than what the naked eye can see. Bat can help you navigate through darkness in your life or through uncharted territory.
Bat Totem Animal
Those born with a Bat Totem have uncanny perceptions. Don’t try to fool them with disguises – it won’t work. In fact, it will usually blow up in your face because Bat has no time for such deception.
Bats are super social animals. People who identify with Bat as their Totem Animal want to always be surrounded by family and friends with whom they can communicate honestly and openly – especially without others fearing their psychic sensitivities.
If you have a Bat Totem, you are an excellent communicator who knows how to change the direction of a conversation when necessary and adapt on a dime.
When in a group you know how to be an active listener, giving everyone a voice. Because of this, you’ll likely have very few (if any) “emotional collisions” with others.
Your perceptions make you wise and diligent, often being the initiator of new things or the one who cleans up afterward.
Working with Bat Totem energy can help you become a facilitator and initiator, helping others face major spiritual transformations and facing your own subconscious fears so that you can work with sacred mysteries rather than running from them.
Are you allowing fears and phobias to blind you to your options? Bat Totem can bring you the lessons of healing and developing courage by facing your fears and not allowing yourself to be swayed by society’s limitations.
A change in consciousness or major steps in your personal or spiritual evolution are likely when Bat Totem is guiding you forward. Bat knows that sometimes the only way to get through an obstacle is to go through it. You may let their sense of direction lead you to the depths you need to go.
Bat Power Animal
What does Bat symbolize as a Power Animal?
There are many reasons to seek out Bat as your Power Animal, not the least of which is helping you with spiritual transitions and past life exploration.
Bat helps us uncover secrets, even those we hide from ourselves. Remember, it is a myth that Bats have poor vision. They have excellent vision in the light. But when the shadows fall, Bat must use its echolocation ability to avoid disaster.
Are you a secret keeper? Do you tuck fears away in dark places? Bat can help you face these things and put an end to the emotional burdens weighing you down.
Bat as a Power Animal can also teach us when a hasty retreat is in order – it is OK to return to the safety of a cave periodically. There you can rest and rejuvenate in a place where you’re less visible.
Call on Bat Medicine whenever you want to release old, outmoded ways of thinking and behaving.
Get rid of fear and embrace a new way of living!
Remember that facing the dark need not be scary, and it just might help you seek out the Light as a place where you can live, always.
Native American Bat Symbolic Meanings
As a Native American animal symbol, Bat is a guide through the darkness. Bat medicine releases us from our old self and opens the doors for something new and healing.
As in other settings, Bat can be a trickster akin to Coyote. Blind man’s bluff is a favorite game. Let Bat teach you to “see” by HEARING.
But, also, let Bat energy teach you that things are not always as YOU “see” them.
In some Native Shamanic practices, Bat Totem can teach us to go into the “dark” inner world and attune ourselves to our higher perceptions. Bat Totem is also associated with the Trickster archetype, and so brings a message to expect the unexpected, not all is as it seems.
To the Zuni people, Bat symbolism is associated with rain and cleansing. A far cry from the association in other cultures with impurity and evil. One thing the Zuni have in common with other cultures when it comes to Bat symbolism and meaning, is the association with night time. To the Zuni, Bats are the guardians of night.
Bats are also typically connected to the power of life, death and rebirth.
Bat Christianity Symbolism
What does a bat symbolize in Christian mythos?
In early Christian Europe, Bat symbolism was not so flattering. Perhaps for practical reasons, or born of fear of these nocturnal creatures, Bats were given the same consideration as Rats. That is, they were seen as vermin, being unclean and omens of bad luck. Bats are also associated with darkness and night.
In the Bible, Bats are considered unsuitable for consumption. This is not a proclamation made to protect Bats, but rather to protect people from ingesting an animal considered unsavory, no pun intended.
In addition to being associated with darkness, night and thereby demons, evil and Satan, Bats in Christian lore are also associated with lust and sexuality.
Though not an aspect of Christian doctrine per se, the fascination with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the vampire myths relating Bat to evil spirits and vampires is born of the association in traditional Christian communities in Eastern Europe. Also, the connotation of Bats representing seduction and lust play into the archetype of the Vampire/Dracula mythology in which temptation, pleasure, sexuality and all things hedonistic are associated with these supernatural beings.
In this way, Bats can further symbolize the “dark side” of your inner desires. Just as Dracula (or Demons/Satan) can lure others to follow their command through their mesmerizing powers, perhaps Bats can then be seen as our ability to be seduced by our inner, subconscious or even unconscious longings.
Bats have been long considered by Christian cultures to be associated with the Devil, even seen as the form Satan can take when interacting with humans on Earth. In vampire lore, the association with consuming blood lead people to fear that Bat, like this mythical creature, would also try to suck their blood. This adds to the fear and misunderstanding associated with Bat.
What do Bats symbolize in the Bible?
In addition to being considered unclean, references in Isaiah also point to Bats as associated with the downfall of pre-Christian traditions since Bats reside in old temples and abandoned structures.
Thus, Bat is sometimes associated with desolate places. When you work with Bat, you may be called to go farther into the isolated, abandoned places in your life or in your psyche in order to clear out the dust and create deeper understanding or healing by facing what has been buried or neglected.
While modern and eclectic followers of the Christian faith may see the Bat as a messenger and symbol of mysteries and rebirth, the imprint of Medieval Christian lore in which Bat symbolism was closely tied in with vampires and evil spirits remains.
Bat Celtic Animal Symbolism
Celtic symbolism associates Bats with the underworld as well as with being a “spiritual navigator”. Because the Bat hangs upside down, Celts gave this night creature the symbolic value of transposition – akin to being reborn.
The mystical and powerful celebration of Samhain (Halloween) is associated with Bat. Even in modern secular celebrations of Halloween, this association is evident. Like other Fire Festivals, Samhain is celebrated with Bonfires which attract Bats to the festivities.
Celtic folklore warns of the potential for a Bat to cause trouble if he becomes caught in your hair. It is believed if Bat escapes with a strand of your hair, it is bad luck. Hair itself has magical associations and so the deeper meaning can connote the need to keep your own radar clear so as not to distract yourself or lose the focus of your magic.
Lore from the Isle of Mann connotes Bat with being an omen of changes in weather. It is believed that seeing Bats at sunset, flying around, would predict fair weather. Thomas Crofter Croker’s book Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland records the belief that Fairies, Phookas, and disembodied spirits could take the form of Bat.
In this account, Bat symbolism and meaning also describes Bat as a trickster who could take possession of people’s bodies and cause them to create chaos.
Other tales describe a feminine Bat-like being called Cyhiraeth. She is similar to a Banshee, but her call would foretell one’s death. In addition to her cry being a harbinger of death, Cyhiraeth can also flap her wings as a signal that death is imminent.
Celtic lore associating Bat-like creatures with powerful female spirits is also found in a tale from the Isle of Mann. Tehi Tegi is an enchantress and sorceress who seduces men to follow her by appearing to be a beautiful woman riding a white horse.
Once she has lured men into a river, she is said to transform into a Bat while her horse turns into a porpoise. It is then her victims realize they are in deeper water than they realize and plunge to their deaths.
In Scotland, lore tells of a Bat swooping down and flying east, it is considered bad luck. This is considered an omen to remain inside.
Note: Not all dreams about Bats are morbid. Depending on other factors of the dream, your subconscious or higher-self could be sending a gentle and humorous message to let you know that you or someone close to you is acting a little “batty.”
When Bat wings its way into your Dreamtime, it represents a potential that hasn’t been tapped yet. Whatever you were doing in the past is NOT who you are today. If you are considering any contractual negotiations, read carefully between the lines.
If you find it hard to shake the deeply ingrained cultural association between Bat and fearful connotations, Bat Spirit Animal and Bat appearing in dreams may still be helping you in positive ways. As a symbol of your deeper fears, Bat is serving to remind you that you may be running away from what you fear rather than facing and working through your subconscious dilemmas.
You may even use the context with which Bat appears in your dream to derive greater meaning.
What does a Bat symbolize when he flies far above you in a dream? What does it mean when Bat comes up close and looks you in the face?
These nuances can teach you great lessons about how disconnected or aware you are of fears. Are you holding a message or initiation at a distance or facing it head on?
Dream about Bats can be powerful omens of negative energy. But this is ONLY because society has vilified these amazing animals. Bats are associated with tales of vampires and other demonic entities. Because of this, Bats symbolize being internally (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) unclean.
Black Bat Dreams speak of forthcoming personal disasters, so be diligent in discerning if it is time to conduct a spiritual cleanup of yourself and surroundings.
Conversely, seeing a Bat in your dreams could be symbols of individuals in your sphere who are energy vampires. These people will suck you dry of any resource (financial, emotional, and mental) you have.
Blind as a Bat Dreams – This is a literal symbol alerting you to stay alert regarding a situation you might be walking into ‘blind’. Take this an omen to pay close attention and be extremely discerning when investigating and considering all the facts hidden and obvious.
White Bat Dreams – White is the color of purity and ascension, so dreams about a white bat may symbolize the death of a person close to you.
Learn more about Bat Spirit in dreams by reading Bats in Dreams: Their Symbolism, Messages, & Omens on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!
Far Eastern Bat Symbolic Meanings
In the Far East, particularly China, the Bat represents good fortune and longevity. The number of Bats seen also has meaning. Two Bats are greater luck, and five represents the five blessings of long life, wealth, honor, health, and natural death. Feng Shui experts use bat symbols to attract happiness and satisfying dreams.
Bats with gold coins in their mouth are often placed in the West or Northwest of a home to open Chi for a happy family and help from notable people. Hang it from your door to safeguard the house from sickness.
In India it is considered bad luck to talk about Bat at night. Doing so could cause you to lose something of value to you, according to this lore.
In Japan, they are also a good omen. Bat symbols appear on various pieces of art to encourage wish fulfillment. In fact, Bat is often used along with peaches and other symbols to decorate Japanese arts and decorations to amplify the meaning of good luck.
Bats often accompany the ideograph for Good Luck as well, giving the symbols an almost interchangeable meaning. Though a Bat’s symbolism is associated with luck and happiness, this animal is also symbolic of chaos and unrest, perhaps because of their seemingly frantic or erratic flight patterns.
Bat Tattoo Meaning
What does a Bat symbolize as a tattoo?
When you see a Bat tattoo on someone else, you may not know right away if they are paying homage to Bat Spirit Animal or just really into vampire movies. One thing is clear, unique people with a love of mysteries and a special relationship with the mysteries of life, death and rebirth are drawn to Bat. Even so much so as to adorn their bodies with this powerful creature.
Bat tattoos make a strong statement. Whether you respond by feeling magnetically drawn to a person with this tattoo or feel a cautionary instinct to stand back, Bat’s symbolism and meaning has had an impact on you.
If you work with Bat Spirit Animal or have Bat Totem energy, you may consider using a Bat Tattoo as both a tribute and reminder of the powerful, mystical and spiritual path you are here to walk.
Having a Bat Tattoo can symbolize the power of perception, psychic awareness and reminders of mortality and everlasting life.
While specific Bat tattoo art and designs are plentiful, specific arrangements have their own connotation. In keeping with the Eastern tradition, a Tattoo of five Bats can represent the five virtues of health, wealth, longevity, an easy, natural death and happiness. Two Bats can symbolize Sho-Hsin, the God of Longevity.
Bats depicted on a Tattoo can represent good luck, health and prosperity or invoke the energy of chaos or chaotic magic. In the Japanese tradition, Bat Tattoo can represent luck and is often used in combination with the symbol for “Fuku” or Luck.
Bat Spiritual Meaning
Combined symbolism of a Bird and Mouse or Rat. To some this combines the Messenger archetype of the Bird with the symbolism of evil, demons or negativity, or luck, abundance and cleverness. This depends on your symbolic association of Mouse or Rat.
What does a Bat symbolize in a larger spiritual context?
To some, the combination is also of the Soul (the Bird-like aspect of Bat or the aspect of yourself that can fly and commune with Spirit) and the symbolism of darkness and nocturnal power.
Bat can have many connotations depending on your culture or larger society. Yet if you read between the lines and are careful not to let others’ fears penetrate your own relationship with the natural world, you can pierce through the levels of fear triggered by Bat symbolism and appreciate the spiritual meaning Bat holds on a higher level.
Bats are associated with connection to the Divine and the mysteries of rebirth and initiation. Some spiritual paths are unique. If your calling is not everyone’s cup of tea and your journey takes you into the wild, unpredictable and edgy realms that others try to avoid, you may be able to appreciate the power of Bats.
Bat is found throughout lore and culture as both a symbol invoking power, mysteries, fear and repulsion. Shakespeare Wyrd Sisters mention Bat in their witch’s brew. South and Central American lore associate Bat with death and eternal life, so Bat spiritual symbolism has to do with walking between the worlds. Bat’s Bane, as the herb is called in Guinea, is said to deter Bats, thus showing that cultures can revere this creature but also not want to interact personally with Bat in a literal sense.
Some types of Bats are said to drink blood and this further ties their spiritual meaning with vitality and everlasting life. At the same time, this macabre act can also feed into the fear or avoidance of the Bat.
Spiritual meaning of Bats can include the path of a spiritual seeker, who may feel like an outsider in society or has to remain on the borderline between mainstream and esoteric in order to maintain their psychic connection. As they inhabit graveyards and old buildings and temples, Bats also symbolize the connection to sacred places or places associated with the dead.
In Belgium, having a Bat in your belfry (or chimney) is considered bad luck. This euphemism is also associated with someone who is not mentally grounded. Yet unpacking this figure of speech and applying a spiritual lens, we can see how society has judged those who don’t conform to “normal” standards as being unstable rather than recognizing the ways in which attunement to different planes of existence can effect one’s perception of reality.
Thus, to work with Bat Spirit Animal or Bat as a spiritual symbol means you may need to accept being questioned or misunderstood by the masses in order to courageously follow your own perceptions and instincts, rather than dismissing your insights in order to follow the crowd.
Bats were sacred to Persephone who spent part of each year in the Underworld with Hades. Thus Bats further connect to the mysteries of life after life and even to your own path into the deeper subconscious aspects of yourself.
Bats sleep upside down, and therefore can be associated with the hanged Man card in Tarot. Do you need to let things rest or let something go so you can be liberated?
Bat can also be associated with the Crown Chakra and Third Eye because of their association to greater Spiritual connection and to psychic abilities and vision.
Bat Symbolic Meanings Key
- Good Luck