Spiritual Meaning And Symbolism Of A Black Panther

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black panther on black background

Black panthers are beautiful animals that include leopards, jaguars, and pumas. One look at a black panther, and it's apparent that this totem animal is spiritual.

The blackness of their coat and the stealthiness of their movement feels like they hold all the secrets of the world. But there is much more to this majestic feline spiritually and symbolically.

Why are Black Panthers so special? Black Panthers are a spirit animal to call on when you need help.

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Black panthers lead a solitary life and are a symbol of harnessing your inner power. Panthers are incredibly intelligent, strong, stealthy, and aggressive. Panthers live a solitary life except when mating, and even hunt alone. These gorgeous big cats are able to climb trees to reach their prey.

Black Panther Meaning And Symbolism

A black panther can represent and mean a lot of different things, including courage, beauty, grace, protection, femininity, death, rebirth, cunningness, viciousness, reclamation of power, and ability to know the dark.

Black panthers are symbols of mystical endurance, the power of the night or the dark moon, and the mother. A black panther will show up when you're seeking knowledge from something hidden, such as religion or the truth of another’s heart; you notice subtle changes around you but can’t pinpoint the reason; you want psychic powers or abilities.

This animal can also show up when you need to be more flexible but are having a hard time doing so, or when you're seeking answers to questions about life.

When should I call on a black panther to appear?

Call upon a black panther for help when you need to learn grace in silence, hold back when you feel the need to speak your mind, and when you seek mystical powers. You can also call upon this animal when you need focus or concentration, want confidence, or when others look to you for skill and you need to teach them.

If you see a panther in a dream or represented somewhere frequently, that means you will be strong, proud, fierce, and independent in the future. You will successfully reclaim your power after a period of pain or death, and be able to release your passions.

Black Panther Spirit Animal

A spirit animal is meant to deliver messages while teaching you lessons along the way. Having a black panther as a spirit animal means you are psychic, intuitive, and artistically inclined. You prefer to remain with yourself and connect with others who are happier being solitary.

You're an attentive listener but you don't like sharing what you take in. Being able to perceive things clearly comes easily to you, and you don't fear the dark in any way.

Black Panther Totem Animal

Similar to a spirit animal, a totem animal is a spirit guide that follows you throughout the entirety of your life. Their purpose is to help you discover your true self and come in the form of emblems, totem poles, or even jewelry.

A black panther totem helps us understand our inner powers often hidden within us in the dark, and encourages us to use that power to remove any fears we have of the unknown. This totem also signifies beauty, femininity, independence, courage, and relying on oneself.

Black Panther Power Animal

A power animal is a term that comes from shamanism. Shamans work with the spirit world and help heal the spirit, soul, or the physical, mental or emotional self. Power animals are available to everyone and are invaluable guides in a person's life. They also give certain gifts to people.

The black panther power animal gives you courage when you need to stand alone, or whenever you feel alone. It helps you discover your personal truth and develop sensitivity. 

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Native American Black Panther Symbolism

Because black panthers are native to Southeast Asia, there aren't any tales about this animal; however, there is one tale about a mystical sea panther. 

The story follows this beast and a woman from Coosa, who secretly gets married to the sea panther and births a child with spots on its skin. The villagers were afraid and debated if they should kill it.

The mother of the child sought protection from the sea panther, who punished the villagers wanting to kill the child. The mother warned the villagers to leave, and the sea panther's magical powers flooded the village. The mother and sea panther then lived their lives underwater with their child.

Native American tribes believed in the spirit of the panther called Mishipeshu. It had a man’s face but a panther's body, and could be seen near spring-fed rivers and the ocean. Ojibwa fishermen tossed tobacco into the water as an offering to Mishipeshu.

Black Panther in Mythology and Folklore

Big cats and leopards in mythology and folklore often represent a sign of warning.

The black panther helps the hero or protagonist realize any weaknesses they might have, and helps them learn to control their desires, as the panther is a symbol of the hidden pleasures in everyone.

In "Dante’s Inferno," the leopard represents fraud, but it's also a symbol of rebirth, trials, and tribulations.

In African mythology, if someone kills a panther accidentally, they must follow the panther's body around, cover their body in ash, and act like a leopard to honor its spirit.

In Iroquois mythology, the black panther is named Dajoji, the god of the west wind. 

Biblical Black Panther Symbolism

What does a black panther symbolize in the Bible? According to the Bible, the black panther isn't directly mentioned but is indirectly mentioned by quoting the leopard.

The black panther represents swiftness and fierceness, but also represents an unforgiving enemy that waits to attack those who think they can escape — for some stories, it's the wrath of God.

According to the book of Hosea 13:7, the Bible represents a black panther as a strong and stealthy opponent: “So I will be to them like a lion; Like a leopard by the road I will lurk."

Christian Black Panther Symbolism

In Christianity, the black panther is an animal symbol of Christ himself.

Christ is said to be the savior of mankind, which is much like the black panther who is seen to be the savior of all animals. The panther's only enemy is the dragon, much like Christ's enemy is the devil. 

Celtic Black Panther Symbolism

Celtic warriors believed in the idea that a man could shapeshift into animals. The Celts were transfixed on the black panther, but were also terrified of it.

They liked the symbolism of a panther as a warrior because they were strong warriors as well. Panthers never existed in Europe; however, panther-like animals like wild cats were known to live in the British Isles, Wales, and Cornwall. 

African Black Panther Symbolism

The black panther and other big leopards can be found in large groups in Africa. Images of the black panther have been found in tombs of Tutankhamen, shown in pharaohs tombs; in art and design, the leopard or black jaguar is valued more than the lion because it’s a symbol of African royal power. 

When you come across a black panther in the form of a symbol, an image, or in real life, it's a good omen in African jungles. African tribes believed that the black panther was a powerful and protective symbol, and they worshipped them by wearing masks and making statues.

'Black Panther' Movie Symbolism

In the Marvel comics, Black Panther was the first Black superhero; though there were Black characters in the comics, none possessed superpowers. In a 1998 interview, co-creator Stan Lee revealed his motivation behind creating more Black and African-American characters in the comics, saying, "I wasn't thinking of civil rights. I had a lot of friends who were Black and we had artists who were Black. So it occurred to me... why aren't there any Black heroes?"

In the comics, Black Panther is a title given to the chief of the Panther Tribe in Wakanda. Black Panther is to consume an herb that gives superhuman acute senses, enhanced speed, healing, agility, and strength. Panther's other powers include expertise at hand-to-hand combat, genius intellect, and the ability to draw upon the knowledge and power of previous Black Panthers.

In the Marvel universe, both the Cinematic Universe and the comics, Black Panther represents strength and knowledge. To be named Black Panther is an honor because it means you're the one and only true warrior. 

Black Panther Occult Symbolism

The occult meaning of a black panther is all about pleasure.

The black panther represents the hidden pleasures that are within us but that we are too afraid to share with the world. Black panthers in this sense also represent hidden resources that are possible within you, but that you haven't tried to find.

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Black Panther Tattoo Meaning

A black panther tattoo can symbolize a black panther totem. This tattoo is a symbol of black panther "medicine," and by getting it tattooed, you're bringing it with you everywhere; the black panther will assist you whenever you seek guidance. 

The tattoo makes your beauty, grace, skills, independence, feminine power, intuition, and even mysticism even more powerful. You can also get a black panther tattoo to represent your spiritual strength if you made it through a rough time, or to show that you live your dreams.  

Black Panther Symbolism in Dreams

What does it mean when a black panther appears in your dream? If a panther shows up in your dreams, it means you hold a deep fear that needs to emerge to be overcome or transformed. Black panthers in dreams come with a message that you're ready to face the darkness that has been holding you back.

It's a way to show you aren't alone and will always have someone by your side, or you now hold yourself to a bigger standard and won’t allow more hurt to reach your heart.

Here are 6 things a black panther might be doing in your dreams, and what each means:

1. A black panther attacks you

When a black panther shows up in a dream, it's a sign you're sacrificing your spirit. If a panther attacks you, it implies you would easily be slandered by others.

It could also mean that someone is trying to defame your character. That person could be criticizing your integrity by spreading lies about you, and you could feel helpless and stuck when thinking about what to do.

The black panther is reminding you to stand up for yourself and confront your enemies. However, you should be aware that this enemy may be closer than you think.

2. A black panther kills you

If you kill a black panther, it shows you will experience joy in any of your future undertakings. This is much like the interpretation of the panther attacking you; however, if the panther kills you, that means you have let this enemy of yours win.

To defeat your enemies, you have to kill the black panther. In other words, kill your enemies and overcome challenges in your life. 

3. Seeing a calm black panther

Calm panthers appearing in your dreams implies a resolution of conflicts with a past enemy. This could also be a sign that you will have a new friend or acquaintance soon.

Seeing a calm panther is rare and shows that you have grown more confident and stronger in your life. Use this newfound freedom from enemies of your past and move on.

4. Seeing a sad black panther

A panther that appears sad reflects the sadness deep within your heart. If you see a sad panther, you could feel overwhelmed or tired out because of the sacrifices you have made.

If the panther is sad but also angry, it could mean these negative feelings are eating at you, and you find it more difficult to focus on the positive. Let this be a sign for you that it's okay to seek out help to grow and get back on the positive side of life. 

5. Chasing a black panther

If you chase a panther in your dream, it's a response to your attempts at coping with challenges involving your adversary. This dream means you're scared and fearful of the people around you in life. You feel as if there is no one you can trust.

You're also being chased because you're trying to run away from this problem, and maybe other problems as well. This is a reminder that you must relax and not overindulge in negative thinking, especially overthinking; the best way to do so is to talk to someone about your problems.

6. Seeing a dead black panther

A dead black panther suggests you will soon or have already met your enemy. This is surprisingly a good sign, as the black panther doesn't represent you but your enemies. No matter how strong and powerful they were, you were able to rise up to the challenge and fight.

This also means you can overcome any and all challenges you have in your life from this point on. 

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Isabell Tenorio is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, love and relationship topics.