The octopus is universally associated with complexity, versatility, and intelligence due to its unique biological features and behaviors. The eight tentacles represent multiplicity and adaptability, as the octopus uses them with great dexterity for a variety of tasks, from locomotion to hunting. Their ability to camouflage symbolizes flexibility, adaptability, and the power of illusion. The octopus is also considered a symbol of mystery and the unknown, due to its deep sea habitat, which remains largely unexplored by humans.

Octopus in Dreams

In the realm of dream interpretation, the octopus often embodies a connection with our subconscious mind, representing deep and hidden emotions, or complexities in one’s personal life. It may symbolize a situation that is entangled or has many aspects to consider. Its presence can also suggest the dreamer’s desire for control or domination, given the octopus’s potent hunting skills and ability to manipulate its environment with its multiple limbs.

Octopus in Myths and Folklore

The octopus has featured in various mythologies and folklores. For example, in some Pacific Northwest indigenous traditions, the octopus is seen as a powerful entity capable of creating whirlpools and dangerous underwater currents. In ancient Mediterranean cultures, the octopus was sometimes associated with the sea deities, embodying chaos and danger due to its association with the unpredictable depths of the sea. In modern popular culture, the octopus is often depicted as a symbol of monstrous otherness or alien intelligence, embodying the fearsome unknown.

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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