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Shark Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)

shark in water

Shark symbolism has come to teach you about finding your opportunities. Explore sharks sign and discover your inner resources and your ability to create new paths for yourself by applying this animal’s teachings. Abundance is right ahead, so use this energy to put things in motion.

Table of contents

Shark Symbolism and Meaning

Shark symbolism is not about the fierce creature that movies depict, of a horrible predator that hunts people to kill randomly. These creatures are actually pretty peaceful if they travel alone. 

But still beware of the group mind, as they might get hostile when they travel together with other species members. This applies to the symbolism of the spirit world and their meaning in the unseen realm.

The shark enters your life to predict and guard you against a harmful person or situation you might find yourself in. The one that means you harm will be scared away by the new confidence this shark energy gives you.

shark in water

Or maybe “give” is not the correct word, but rather it reminds you of the strength you have within yourself and the capacity to drive away negativity.

These creatures have a keen sense of smell, and thus they teach you how to sniff the things you desire in your life. This energy is also about moving, in associating to the fact that they cannot stop swimming.

Shark symbolizes authority, curiosity, efficiency, connection, guardianship, innovation, knowledge, mystery, observation, power, perception, protection, superiority, movement, and self-defense.

Shark Native American Symbolism

The word shark was born in this region from the Mayan word xooc; it’s the last name of “sea-dog.” The Native American shark is not very present in their folklore because it is viewed just like a fish.

In some Indian tribes from California, the meaning of sharks is as the contemporary one, of a dangerous man-eating monster, even though this animal avoids eating humans.

As an omen, shark symbols are of a storm, hurricane, or another catastrophic weather event, when seen near shore.

shark in water

The Hawaiian animal meanings, on the other hand, are very much present in mythology. There is a belief that after death, the body would transform into a shark, and it would protect and steer fish towards their family.

The Hawaiian spirit animals are seven shark gods that protect the ocean. Kamohoali’i is the chief shark god. He could transform into other types of fish and was a very good navigator. 

It is said that he is the one to discover Hawaii. He was also a sailor friend, helping them find their way home in exchange for a drink. For this reason, sharks were admired, respected, and would never represent a source of food. (1)

Shark Eastern Symbolism

The shark meaning in the Chinese culture was of a delicacy during the Ming dynasty when it was very hard to catch this animal and was served only on special occasions. 

As time passed, more and more people started to eat this delicacy, thus bringing them to the risk of extinction.

Shark medicine was born in Chinese folklore, claiming that consuming shark fin would benefit sexual potency and give an immunity boost to diseases.

In Chinese folklore, there exist a type of snake tailed fish creatures that make duck sounds.

shark in water

It is a combination of a dragon and a shark being. Ebisu is the Japanese shark god worshiped by the fisherman and a bearer of good luck, prosperity, and wealth. 

He was born without bones and was cast to the sea by his parents before the age of three years, becoming a god of the fisherman that brings them masses of fish.

It is said that Japan also has a storm god of fierceness and strength, with the name of a shark, a symbol that was used by the Chinese on their airplanes as a lucky charm of protection against disasters. (2)

Shark Christianity symbolism

What does a shark symbolize in the Bible? The shark symbol in Christianity is associated with the devil. The Bible is illustrated as a demon of the waters and an unclean animal, not destined for eating.

In other passages, the shark’s spiritual meaning is used as an analogy to the sinner that can still receive grace from God if he repents.

During times of persecution, the “Jesus fish” was born as a symbol used to identify Christian believers, meeting places, and tombs. From this was born the “Jesus shark” as an emblem of Christ’s perfection. 

shark in water

It symbolizes boldness in faith and is often used in our times. In Christian belief, the shark dream interpretation is about vulnerability and sensing danger. 

It is a feeling of helplessness, of having no power over the events that are destroying you. On the other hand, the great white shark dream meaning is betrayal from friends and close ones.

The spiritual meaning of shark in dream attacking you, according to the Christian religion, indicates a need for caution when it comes to who you put your trust in. (3)

Shark Celtic Symbolism

What does the shark symbolize in Irish culture? The Gaelic name Shark in Ireland is translated as “loving.”

In Scotland, the basking shark is shrouded in mystery and myth. Anglers believe that this animal drags their boats underwater to drown and kill them. 

There are stories about the shark that illustrates it as a huge monster surrounded by enormous snakes. 

One of these sharks was shot dead in the Loch Broom because these scary tales continue even after disproving.

shark in water

The oil from the shark’s liver is used as medicine in these parts of the world, mostly for rheumatism. Today, sharks are protected by the United Kingdom’s law because of the massive drop between them.

The Stronsay Beast is a shark that was first considered a monster of enormous proportions washed to shore dead. 

Only the carcass remained, and people could not identify the animal at first, thinking it was some new type of species. It has three pairs of wings and paws, and its bristles had a glowing aspect in the dark.

Shark African Symbolism

There is a very popular African legend that depicts a shark and a monkey being friends. The latter brought the shark food daily, throwing it in the water from the tree it stood in. 

Grateful, the shark asks the monkey one day to come along with him at his home, promising that no harm would come to him.

The gullible monkey went along with his friend until the shark told him that he actually wants to take his heart to his sultan as a medicine for his illness. 

shark in water

Scared, the monkey tricks the shark into believing that his heart remained in the tree and that they have to go back and recover it.

After the monkey finds himself back in his secure tree, he tells a tale of a washerman’s donkey, in which a hare tricks a fat donkey to come wed a lion two times in a row, the second time being fatal for the donkey. 

The monkey’s story concludes that he would not return to the shark and lose his life because of its naivety. (4)

Shark in Dreams

What does it mean to dream about sharks? Shark dreams suggest a trauma that you may have gone through. You feel insecure, even around friends and family. 

A dream of swimming with sharks is a positive sign, illustrating your ability to overcome struggles and problems. The dream of sharks in water implies an unstable emotional state that you are experiencing, a lack of control over your aggressiveness.

What do sharks mean in a dream in which they are dead? In this case, the dream meaning sharks is of a calmer period approaching for you, without any threats. If you have dreams of sharks or a shark attack dream, then you are about to be betrayed by a close friend.

sharks in water

A dream about a shark attacking someone is a fear that someone you care about might suffer.

Shark symbolism in dreams is of vulnerability. The shark dream meaning in which you are bitten by this animal images your fear that those around you might attack at any moment.

The dream interpretation of sharks killing them are you’re rising above the problems. The shark in the dream appears to remind you of your power.

A dream of sharks caught by you is a good sign as well. Dreams about sharks is a sign that opportunities will come along.

Dreams of a shark baby is a signal that something small might get proportions in time. The dream shark is harmless just for now.

Shark Encounters and Omens

What is the meaning of shark when encountered in daily life? If the pool shark meaning is what you are looking for, then find out that it is about a person whose mind is on the money. 

And not any money, but other’s savings, that he intends to put his hands on by deception in a billiards game.

It is said that a shark in the water, meaning when it’s following a ship, is one of death amongst the crew members. 

shark in water

This is explained by the idea that the shark can sense the scent of death, and not necessarily that the shark itself would kill the person. It might just mean that the shark is hopping from some free meal from the crew’s leftovers.

Swimming with the sharks meaning is of good luck and fortune, and we would think so if you manage to do so. 

In Bahamian lands, encountering the half-shark, also known as the Kraken, is a sure sign of death. It is believed to be a creature with tentacles that drags humans into the sea. (5)

Shark Mythology and Folklore

The shark tooth symbolism in mythology speaks of strength and potency. It is a masculine symbol worn by warriors. In Hawaiian culture, sharks are associated with the gods, and the shark tooth meaning is of a charm used for protection. 

Besides this meaning, it can also be an emblem used to honor their ancestors, gods, and creatures living in the sea. But if it’s romance you need, then you can also use it to attract the ladies.

Dakuwaqa is a Fijian shark God in their folklore that protected those who ventured the seas searching for fish. He was planning to attack and conquer Kadavu Island, but the octopus goddess battled him and won. 

shark in water

She pulled out his teeth and forced him never to be a threat to her island again. He became a protector of this land.

In Greek mythology, Zeus’s mistress was turned into a shark after his wife found out about her and killed Lamia’s children. This transformation had the purpose of making her a child killer as well.

Akheilos, the son of the two lovers previously mentioned, was a sea god turned into a shark as revenge because he liked to boast about being more beautiful than Aphrodite, the God of beauty. (6)

Shark Spirit Animal

The shark spirit animal appears when you need to face your own fears and the people who usually bring you down. The shark spirit animal is the one that won’t let you undermine yourself and won’t let criticism and judgments lower your self-esteem. 

This spirit gives you the strength you need to overcome any evil and a harmful person that won’t let you expand to your full potential.

The spirit of the shark is an independent being that won’t take orders from anyone. He acts when he desires and how he pleases. This spirit guide has come to teach you how to manifest that which is within all of us, the divine energy of God.

shark in water

The shark spirit gives you the ability to come out head up from any situation, no matter how hard it may seem. 

The spirit animal shark is here to show you that you don’t need to evolve. You are perfect just the way you are and should not let anyone tell you otherwise.

The shark spirit animal has made its presence known to you to let you know that it is time to move ahead and leave those useless fears and troublesome thoughts behind. (7)

Shark Totem Animal

Those governed by the shark animal totem feel life at a very intimate level, dwelling deep into their emotions and emanating great energy around. 

Sharks may not seem at first so cuddly and emotional, but because their primal element is water, they are highly connected to their inner self and the psychic world.

Shark totem people are masters of emotions, and even though they might not let anyone see what they are feeling, shark persons live and feel life to the fullest.

The shark totem pole reveals an enthusiastic person who has the talent to find opportunities and enjoys a taste of adventure. 

These people are fearless and will stop at nothing until they have reached their goal. Nobody can drag them down; they are fierce and have the spirit of the winner inside them.

The shark tooth totem is useful for those with calcium deficiency, for it is believed that it will heal them.

It is a sacred object that will protect those wearing it. It is also useful when you need an immunity boost or wants to get over alcoholism dependency.

Shark Power Animal

The shark power animal is to be invoked in crisis times when you can’t envision a way out of the situation you find yourself in. This energy gives you high intuitive senses to help you find the path you want to take. 

The fact that sharks circle that which they intend to hunt in order rather than sense it then see it, due to their poor eyesight, is an analogy to the intuition that this spirit holds and offers you when called.

The power of the shark shaman gives you the ability to stop at nothing when you have put your eye on something you desire. 

shark in water

You are almost scrupulous; hesitation is out of the question, as this energy gives you the feeling of being sure of your success. 

Apologizing is not your style, as you believe that you deserve that you struggle to obtain. The shark medicine card speaks of survival, independence, and adaptability. 

Even though they are viewed as dangerous beasts, it describes a peaceful person when single but unpredictable when facing groups. The shark medicine offers you protection and brings beneficial people into your life to help you.

Shark Tattoo Meaning

The hammerhead shark symbolism in tattoos is about the Hawaiian belief that this animal is an honorable guardian. The hammerhead shark meaning is of a protector of people, especially swimmers and fishermen, from the Great White Shark. 

This tattoo symbolizes the divine watching from above you and is believed to grant you strong children, born to be warriors and leaders. It is also a sign that shows your devotion to those you love and the extent to which you would go for them.

What does a shark tooth symbolize in a tattoo? The shark teeth tattoo meaning is of an embodiment of life and divine protection. 

It is considered to bring positiveness into your life and gives emotional support to its bearer. People also use it as a reminder to control their aggressiveness and emotional reactions.

The tiger shark tattoo meaning is about the most dangerous creature of the seas, having the number one fatal bite between this type of animal. It is a symbol of strength, ferocity, stamina, dominance, and power. It is a common tattoo through imprisoned people.

The Great White Shark tattoos meaning is about being clever, aggressive, and efficient. The Cartoon shark tattoo’s meaning depicts a fearful person that can also have a fun side.


The shark spirit has entered your life to remind you of your authority and strength in front of others. You have the potential to be great as long as you do not let anyone bring you down. Shark gives you the power to make it and get things done, no matter what.


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