Meerkat Symbolism & Meaning
Are you feeling stuck in an emotional rut? Are you looking to make a few new, sincere friends? Meerkat, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Meerkat teaches you how to break free from your emotional chains and connect with genuine people. Delve into Meerkat symbolism and meaning to find out how your Animal Spirit Guide can support, educate, and guide you.
Meerkat Table of Contents
- Meerkat Symbolism & Meaning
- Spirit Animal
- Totem Animal
- Power Animal
- African Symbolism
- Meerkat Dreams
- Back to all Mammals
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Meerkat Symbolism & Meaning
“Matilda: ‘There once was a meerkat who lived in the jungle. He was hungry, but he was small: So small. And the other big animals had all the food because they could reach the fruits. So, he made friends with a hippopotamus to…’
Max: [interrupting her] ‘Okay, stop. It doesn’t end well for the meerkat.’
Matilda: ‘Yes, it does, because he can stand on the hippopotamus’s back to get all the fruits he wants.’
Max: ‘What’s in it for the hippo?’
Matilda: [precociously] ‘The hippo wants a friend.’”
Meerkats are members of the Mongoose family found in the South African Kalahari Desert. They aren’t hefty creatures, weighing just over two pounds at adulthood, yet even for their small, seemingly vulnerable size, they are well-adapted to the harsh environments they inhabit. So, Meerkats are immediate symbols for survival and adaptability.
Just like the Mongoose, Meerkats have slender bodies and measure about eleven inches. They have tiny ears and adorable faces, but it’s the black areas around their eyes that’s most striking, akin to the black coloring of a Raccoon’s mask. Reviewing the symbolism and meaning of both Mongoose and Raccoon may offer additional insight into the emergence of Meerkat as a Spirit Animal Guide.
Some symbolism and meaning for Meerkat stem from their group mentality. They are pack Animals, with one female Meerkat being a leader. Here, Meerkats allude to respecting authority, especially the matriarch of any family. They move in packs of up to about 25 Meerkats, but all members of the packs still have home regions, each of which they mark with glandular secretions. Packs don’t always interact well with other groups, however. So, the energy is group-oriented, but with distinct limits. Here, the creature symbolizes close familial bonds, introversion, and collaborative effort with select individuals.
For home sweet home, Meerkats burrow up to five feet into the ground; there they clear out a space of about sixteen feet wide. The burrow has several entrances and may connect to other similar structures by tunnels; it’s where Meerkats spend the night and birth pups. Their underground homes give the creatures connections to the Earth Element and the Feminine aspect of the Divine. The multiple connecting tunnels and entryways also represent the notion of always having a Plan B.
Sometimes Meerkats use the tunneled out structures for protection from the Noon-day Sun when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The den is a cool seventy-or-so degrees. So, their behavior reflects taking cues from the environment for adaptive living.
There is some intense competition within the Meerkat group. There is one male who is the leader when it comes to breeding. The male Meerkat does its best to deter any other male in the pack from mating; in so doing, the lead male Meerkat makes for a good representation of the Sacred Masculine regarding power and authority. With a Matriarch female Meerkat and a single Male Meerkat in the leadership positions of the pack, the creatures demonstrate the balance between Yin and Yang Energies.
A unique feature of Meerkat community living has to do with pup rearing. The adults in the group take part in caring for the pups. While the pups wean off their mother around eight weeks, they require help for quite a while afterward, not leaving the den until about ten weeks. During the in-between time, one member stays in the hole, without food, to protect the pups. They seem to comprehend the concept of “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Once they go out with the pack hunting, they watch and beg for bits of food as it’s dug up. A helper feeds bits to the cubs until they’re ready to fend for themselves at six months. The cubs that aren’t ready yet continue receiving attention from helpers. Meanwhile, the dominant female doesn’t give warm-fuzzies to helper females while carrying. Close to birth, subordinate females get the boot from the mom-to-be, knowing the dangers of potential usurpers with grand aspirations.
In larger packs, more birth mothers and family units work together. The units rarely leave the group because of safety. Meerkats in larger clusters exhibit longer lives. In both instances, Meerkat signifies ways in which a group can provide support to children, families, and the community while ensuring survival.
The black coloring around a Meerkat’s eyes protects from solar glare. The creature’s eyes can zoom in on an object. They stand on their hind legs and look around, while their belly hair gathers what heat they need. Perception and awareness are part of the Meerkat Spirit’s energy signature. Alongside insight, the Meerkat’s classic stance symbolizes standing tall or taking a stand for one’s convictions.
Meerkats seem just as curious about humans as they are about their surroundings. Watching them peer from a hidden location often leads to a giggle or two. It’s like children playing hide-n-seek. In Africa, Meerkat represents diligence.
Meerkat Spirit Animal
When Meerkat shows up as a Spirit Animal, it may be a signal to make your social circle tighter. Meerkat socializes with other Meerkats but also puts a limit on the members allowed within its pack. So, as a Spirit Animal Guide, Meerkat teaches you the importance of considering the quality of relationships over the number of connections you have in your life.
Individuals struggling with authority, be it Masculine or Feminine, may find Meerkat coming to help sort things out. Knowing who lays down the rules and oversees specific tasks is vital, but so is respecting who is in charge. Meerkat guides you in the best ways of coping while working within the confines of a group structure.
Along the same lines, when working as an Animal Ally, Meerkat may encourage you to ask yourself about your vision of the Sacred Masculine or Feminine and how it manifests in your life. Do you need to strengthen your connections? Are you aware of surrounding influences? Time to put things in perspective and find the harmony you crave.
Another reason Meerkat may appear in your life as a Spirit Animal is when your social connections become questionable entanglements. You move in and out of many situations each day and sometimes come in contact with unsavory figures. Part of Meerkat Medicine involves knowing when to remain visible and when to seek haven.
One key message from Meerkat Spirit Animal is that of vigilant awareness. You need to stand up and see true. Things look much different when you elevate your perspective. Use your new point of observation for measuring and metering your actions. Meerkat also reminds you to remain ever watchful. Standing guard is an honor in the Animal Kingdom and among humans.
There is no question Meerkat brings lessons about family support, both what they give and receive. Your inner circle should nurture and inspire. If someone gives too much and never receives, they burn out. If a person gets too much and never gives, they become vain while losing a sense of their core values. Meerkat instructs you on the vital roles each member of the family plays and how even give and take ensures the happiness of the entire group.
Meerkat Spirit standing on two legs warns you of impending danger. Something is up, or on the horizon. The creature appears to give you the message it’s time to awaken your awareness and attune to your surroundings.
Meerkat Totem Animal
When you meet a person with a Meerkat Birth Totem, don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes. Being on the lookout and aware comes without a second thought to them. Avoiding danger is a priority. Nothing slips by someone with an ever-watchful Meerkat Totem Animal.
People born with a Meerkat Totem Animal have a bit of the Trickster in their soul. They enjoy a merry laugh. They also have smart minds and lightning speed response times.
The Meerkat Person can survive many crazy things, but they are not afraid to seek others’ help when push comes to shove. If Meerkat is your Birth Totem, you like being around people and have a well-developed social circle that reflects your tastes and ideals. You’re rarely alone while finding comfort in a small group. The people you keep close are the ones in whom you invest your energy.
Walking with Meerkat as your Totem throughout your life means you notice opportunity is your friend. Doors seem to open with ease. You adapt well to new situations and always have a well-prepared plan to put into play when pursuing your dreams.
People with a Meerkat Totem have strong ties to family and home. While some travel is okay with you, it’s not an enormous part of your dance card. Once you have your hideaway, there is genuine comfort there with people you love. You are not one who enjoys a ton of company either unless they are people close to you.
The man with a Meerkat Totem is a “manly man,” and the woman is the balance point, having intense feminine energies. There is very little in-between for a Meerkat Person who sees no reason to change. Meerkat People of both genders understand their roles within a group, family, or social circle, but also in the larger universal tapestry of life.
Meerkat Power Animal
Seek Meerkat as a Power Animal when you want to clear away obstacles preventing you from enjoying your playtime. You know you need to loosen up, get out of a rut, and give yourself the freedom to be authentic. Liberating your inner child leads to unique ways of thinking or living. Meerkat supports you in balancing responsibilities and the pursuit of pleasure.
Your Meerkat Power Animal makes a powerful Animal Ally when you feel threatened. When your senses indicate that there’s danger on the horizon, Meerkat helps you to zoom in on the threat. Meerkat Spirit also builds your courage to face off any invaders of your territory.
To create a healthy work environment, Meerkat is your go-to Power Animal. Meerkat Energy supports you in communicating with others. The creature’s energetic influence also helps you ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities and works harmoniously together when working within a group.
African Meerkat Symbolic Meanings
Since Meerkat lives in South Africa, most of the meanings and symbolism of Meerkats originate from the area they inhabit. The term “Meerkat“ came from a Dutch word meaning “Lake Cat,” or perhaps a Dutch adaptation of a Sanskrit word for “Ape.” The Africans may have adopted the designation when hearing “Meerkat” or “Markata” from sailors.
Meerkats images adorn many artifacts, religious items, and artwork in Africa. The rest of the world knew nothing of these strange little creatures for hundreds of years. Africans found Meerkats’ antics endearing and smart in the way they handle human encounters.
Some tribes recognize Meerkat as an emblem of kinship and social bonds. People also acknowledged Meerkat’s strength, which is likely why they represent invincibility in the face of predators. As the saying goes, “there is safety in numbers.”
South African people are very aware of the environment, and the role Meerkats play within it. Thus, in 1993, the Kalahari Meerkat Project began with a group of Meerkats and data specifications. They weighed and monitored the Meerkats, observing their eating habits. The scientists studying them tried to handle the Meerkats as little as possible, using egg bits as a temptation for getting them on the scale. In true Meerkat fashion, they all wanted to do it together!
The project gathered an impressive amount of information. For example, female Meerkats increase their eating to become bigger than siblings. The female’s eating patterns gave them a far better chance to breed due to dominance.
The Kalahari Project serves as an educational platform, too. It has hosted hundreds of interns, along with Masters, Ph.D. students, and post-doctoral students in field studies who continued their learning with hands-on experience. The Kalahari Project boasts an extensive outreach system for schools. They provide safe space for film crews wishing to document the Meerkat (like National Geographic).
One of Meerkat’s most common interpretations in your dreams is a warning. When the Meerkat stands, danger approaches. You should be on the lookout to avoid problems.
If the Meerkat is with a group, it portends social occasions for you soon. When a Meerkat disappears into a pack in your dream, you feel you lost your individuality to a job or a group.
If it seems you are looking through the Meerkat’s eyes in your dream, you can feel comforted by knowing you remain aware of your surroundings. You have no trouble weeding out problematic conditions or people in your waking life. When it comes to those you care about, you’re ever-watchful, nurturing, and protective.
Meerkat Symbolic Meanings Key
- Child Rearing
- Group Dynamics