Centipedes, with their many legs, are often associated with progress, adaptation, and flexibility. They’re symbols of constant movement and exemplification of the phrase ‘keep moving forward’. In a broader context, they represent achievement and the power to overcome obstacles. These creatures are relentless, thus symbolizing consistency and tenacity.

  • Symbolism: Progress, Adaptation, Flexibility, Achievement, Overcoming Obstacles, Consistency, Tenacity.

Centipede in Dreams

Dreaming about centipedes usually means you’re dealing with certain obstacles or problems in your waking life. Their many legs symbolize the complexities or challenges you’re facing. If the centipede in your dream is moving fast, it might indicate the quick pace at which these problems are piling up. Conversely, a slow-moving centipede can symbolize a period of slow progress or stagnation.

  • Symbolism: Complexities, Challenges, Fast-paced Problems, Slow Progress, Stagnation.

See also our Free Dream Interpretation Tool

Centipede in Myths and Folklore

In many cultures, the centipede is seen as a guardian creature. In Chinese folklore, it’s considered a powerful warrior, a symbol of resilience, and an enemy of the snake, representing evil forces. Thus, a centipede is often associated with protection against bad luck and evil in Chinese culture. In Japanese folklore, the centipede, called ‘mukade’, is feared and respected. It’s usually associated with evil and considered a harbinger of bad luck. However, the image of a giant, mythical centipede beast, known as ‘Ōmukade’, is portrayed as a guardian creature, much like in Chinese folklore.

  • Symbolism: Guardian, Resilience, Protection, Evil Forces, Bad Luck.

Centipede Spiritual Meanings

In a spiritual context, centipedes are believed to symbolize the balance between the conscious and unconscious, the physical and the spiritual, mirroring the creature’s ability to move smoothly between rocks and soil. They are also seen as symbols of transformation due to their molting process, symbolizing personal growth and evolution.

  • Symbolism: Balance, Conscious, Unconscious, Transformation, Personal Growth, Evolution.

Centipede Tattoo Meaning

Getting a centipede tattoo often symbolizes resilience and tenacity, much like the creature itself. It’s a visible testament to the wearer’s determination to keep moving forward, regardless of the odds. It may also represent protection, drawing on the creature’s association as a guardian in certain cultures’ folklore. Some people get centipede tattoos as a mark of personal transformation or growth, echoing the creature’s molting process.

  • Symbolism: Resilience, Tenacity, Determination, Protection, Transformation, Personal Growth.


What does a centipede symbolize?
Centipedes symbolize progress, adaptation, flexibility, achievement, overcoming obstacles, consistency, tenacity, balance, transformation, and personal growth.

What does dreaming about a centipede mean?
Dreaming about centipedes often symbolizes dealing with obstacles or challenges. The pace of the centipede can indicate how fast these problems are emerging or the progress you’re making.

What does a centipede tattoo represent?
A centipede tattoo can symbolize resilience, tenacity, determination, protection, and personal transformation or growth.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

About the Author

Symbolopedia is a comprehensive guide to the meanings of symbols. Our content is crafted by professionals in psychology and symbolism, striving to maintain a balance between scientifically proven data and insights derived from myths, legends, and folklore. While our approach leans towards scientific interpretations of symbols, we acknowledge the significant role of the subconscious in their understanding, allowing for a blend of rationality and creativity.

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