The hippopotamus is often associated with strength, power, and assertiveness due to its large size and territorial nature. It spends much of its time in the water, which symbolizes emotional depths, intuition, and the subconscious. Despite its bulk, the hippopotamus is surprisingly agile and graceful in the water, symbolizing the ability to navigate emotional depths with ease. It is also associated with motherhood and protection, as female hippos are known to be fiercely protective of their young.

Hippopotamus in Dreams

In dreams, the hippopotamus can symbolize hidden strength or submerged emotions. It may indicate a need to assert oneself or establish boundaries. Alternatively, it can represent feelings of clumsiness or being out of place, especially if the dreamer is on land rather than in water.

Hippopotamus in Myths and Folklore

In ancient Egypt, the hippopotamus was associated with both creation and destruction. The goddess Taweret, depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus, was revered as a deity of childbirth and fertility. However, the hippopotamus was also feared for its destructive power, and was associated with the god Set, the deity of chaos and disorder. This dual symbolism reflects the hippopotamus’ nature as a creature that is both nurturing and fiercely protective.

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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