Dolphin Symbolism & The Spiritual Meaning Of Dolphins

Dolphins are symbols of transformation, freedom, and joy.

dolphins New Africa, Anton Mezinov / Shutterstock, Pexels

Dolphins are majestic mammals of the ocean. They have fascinating personalities and can live up to 90 years, making over 1,000 clicking sounds in under 1 second despite having no vocal cords.

These beautiful creatures are intelligent, agile, joyful, and playful animals that share many emotional similarities with humans. But what do dolphins symbolize?

Dolphin Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of Dolphins

Dolphins are often seen as saviors and protectors of life and harmony. They represent pureness and play, as well as honor and protection.


Known for their playful personalities, dolphins are all about having fun and doing what sparks joy. Due to this duality of dolphins (their playful side and their protective side), the dolphin represents us living our true purpose and reaching fulfillment.

At their core, dolphins symbolize help, guidance, messages, intelligence, fun, joyfulness, freedom, teamwork, transformation, and psychic abilities.

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Dolphin Encounters and Omens

Dolphins are often considered good omens, especially to sailors. Plenty of sailor tales involve being saved by the beautiful sea creatures, protecting the sailors after being swept away at sea.

If you encounter or even see a dolphin in person, it is a sign of good fortune coming your way in the near future.

What Different Color Dolphins Symbolize

White or Albino Dolphin Symbolism

According to Chinese folklore, a white dolphin is a positive omen. They symbolize following one's intuition and staying on the right path.

Black Dolphin Symbolism

A black dolphin symbolizes transformation as well as new beginnings. These dolphins represent the cycle of life and death along with how we all go through both.


Pink Dolphin Symbolism

A pink dolphin is actually a mythical creature among Indigenous people. The pink dolphin is a talisman of good luck, and killing one will bring you death or bad luck depending on which folktale you are reading.

Blue Dolphin Symbolism

Blue dolphins are also known as good omens, symbolizing hope and a new life.

Dolphin Symbolism in Dreams

Dreaming of a dolphin in the water

Dreaming of a dolphin in the water is a good omen. It means that your communication with people is excellent, and it is an encouraging sign to meet new people.

Dreaming of a pod of dolphins

This dream signals harmony and balance. A dream about a pod of dolphins also symbolizes that a content life is ahead, as well as an omen meant for you to trust others.


Dreaming of riding a dolphin

A dream of riding this creature is one of the highest spiritual dreams of dolphins. It means that you wish to gain higher spiritual knowledge and bring your mind to its greatest ability.

Dreaming of feeding a dolphin

Drea​ming of feeding a dolphin symbolizes that you have gained great experiences you will find incredibly useful in the future. It signifies good luck, great news, and stupendous happiness.

Dreaming of a talking dolphin

This dream encourages you to take on more values and fight for your passions. Dreaming of a talking dolphin suggests you should get involved with global awareness and strengthen your worldly knowledge.

Dreaming of eating a dolphin

A dream of this type symbolizes wholeness and the want for control. If you dream of eating a dolphin, you crave control and power in your life. You want to be at the head of where your life is going but, unfortunately, you may be putting up walls that are impeding this control.


Dreaming of dolphins chasing you

Dreaming of dolphins chasing you indicates that you are closed off to life and need to be more open. If a dolphin is chasing you, you need to start taking chances in life and live to your full potential.

Dreaming of killing a dolphin

There are two popular interpretations of a dream about killing a dolphin. The first is that your relationship will be happy and harmonious. The other is that you will undergo a very bitter fight with a friend, family member or loved one.

Dreaming of a flying dolphin

Dreaming of a flying dolphin symbolizes youth and happiness. It is a child's dream at best since dolphins cannot fly, signaling that your inner child wants to come out and play. So, it would be wise of you to let it.

Dreaming of swimming with dolphins

This dream is a good sign. Swimming with dolphins in a dream symbolizes harmony and excitement, and that your days are happy due to your natural optimism.


Dolphin Spirit or Totem Animal

Spirit animals are guides who help us stay on the right path in life, also teaching us lessons as we go on. Similarly, though very different, totem animals are guides, but they only assist us when we invoke them during difficult times.

While you cannot choose your spirit animal, you'll know if you have a dolphin as a spirit animal if you resonate with them in some way or have had a profound experience with one in the past.

Those with a dolphin spirit animal are known to be incredibly playful, happy, intelligent, and carefree. They are often seen surrounded by people because they are well-liked and their positive energy is contagious. They are light-hearted but have a strong sense of intuition.

People who have a dolphin as a spirit animal also have a protective side to them. They go to bat for their loved ones in a heartbeat and defend their friends and family. They are drawn to bodies of water and usually try to work on themselves to become better in any way they can.


A dolphin spirit animal needs to learn that it's okay to want to venture out on its own and doesn't always need to be connected to a place or people. Though dolphins swim in pods, they also value freedom and have an adventurous spirit.

A dolphin totem is called upon when you need guidance in a decision or require help in a difficult position. The dolphin totem should give you wisdom and clarity and spiritually guide you in the right direction.

dolphin symbolismPhoto: New Africa, Anton Mezinov / Shutterstock, Pexels


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Spiritual Meaning of Dolphins in Christianity and the Bible

In Christianity and the Bible, dolphins are seen as symbols of divine guidance, protection, direction, and even Jesus himself. Unlike many animals in scripture that represent negative aspects or doing against God, the dolphin symbolizes God's mercy and grace, and is associated with the Holy Spirit.

Dolphins have been a positive aspect of Christianity since its inception, with these beautiful mammals representing hope, purity, care, innocence, and harmony.

Spiritual Meaning of Dolphins in Hinduism

The dolphin is a sacred creature in India due to the river dolphins' habitat in the Ganges River. This river was said to bless those who bathed or washed their clothing in it, so now, the inhabitants of the river (dolphins) are sacred creatures that must be protected.


In India, they even deemed the river dolphin the goddess of the holy river, and in Hindu mythology the dolphin was deemed to be Goddess Ganga’s vahana, the Makara, a creature with the head of a crocodile and tail of a dolphin.

Spiritual Meaning of Dolphins in Islam

In Islam, dolphins represent honest and genuine friendship. Muslims believe that seeing or dreaming of a dolphin means you will gain great friendships as well as excel in your career.

Dolphin Symbolism in Mythology and Folklore

South American Dolphin Symbolism

South America, where the Amazon River is located, has many legends surrounding a pink dolphin who swims up and down the entirety of the river. The dolphin brings with it good harvest and great luck. Dolphins are sacred creatures and killing one brings bad luck for the rest of your life.

Polynesian Dolphin Symbolism

In Hawaii, dolphins (locally known as Nai'a) are seen as “Angels of the Sea.” These creatures are adored by the Polynesian culture, and are major symbols of joy and playfulness that thousands of Polynesian people connect with.


A dolphin is said to have divine auras that delight the people of the islands by radiating healing energy to the peoples' minds, bodies, and spirits.

Māori Dolphin Symbolism

The Māori people had what they called Koru Aihe, which closely resemble dolphins. These creatures were revered widely just as whales were, and dolphins were thought to be water spirits.

There were legendary tales of sailors being guided through treacherous waterways by gods who had taken the form of dolphins. In general, dolphins represented playfulness, harmony, and friendship to the Māori people.

Greek Mythology Dolphin Symbolism

Dolphins were loved by the ancient Greeks and are present in several myths, saving both sailors and gods alike. One of the most popular Greek myths is where dolphins saved a talented poet, Arion, from being killed while he was on board a ship returning from a poetry contest.


Native American Dolphin Symbolism

Dolphins appear in several stories of Native American tribes that lived near the ocean. Native Americans who lived on the west coast had a legend that dolphins used to be people and were protectors of the tribe. According to legend, dolphins would gladly give their lives to save the tribes of the West.

Celtic Dolphin Symbolism

In Celtic culture, dolphins were the protectors of the sacred well and waters of the land. They call dolphins the "watchers of the waters," as these creatures were the guardians of all things water-related.

Celtic pirates also had lore of protective dolphins who would save their crewmates who fell overboard.

African Dolphin Symbolism

Much like the Native Americans, in African culture, especially those of the Zulu nation, there was a mystic race of creatures who helped humans populate the world before they retreated back into the ocean and were transformed into dolphins. They believed dolphins symbolized rebirth and new beginnings.


Far Eastern Dolphin Symbolism

In Far Eastern Asian cultures, dolphins are commonly seen as good omens who bring good luck. Chinese folklore says that dolphins represent messages sent from deceased loved ones, as well as peace and prosperity as one popular Chinese folklore tale states.

The story is about a young girl who lived by the banks of the river Yangtze with her evil stepfather. One day, the stepfather took the young girl on a boat with the intention of selling her, but on their way to the market, the stepfather became infatuated with the girl and attempted to take advantage of her.

Fortunately, the girl escaped by diving into the river. Suddenly, a storm appeared and the stepfather plunged into the furious waters, drowning. Once the storm passed, a dolphin was seen swimming in the river, implying the young girl was transformed into a beautiful creature. The dolphin was known as the "Goddess of the Yangtze."

Dolphin Tattoo Meaning

Everyone gets tattoos for different reasons. A person could get a dolphin tattoo because they like the animal, because it's their spirit animal, or because they genuinely adore these creatures.


Dolphins represent guidance, intelligence, playfulness, freedom, and transformation. So, someone may want to express those traits with their tattoo. However, the best way is to ask what it means to them personally.

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Deauna Roane is an associate editor for YourTango who covers pop culture, lifestyle, astrology, and relationship topics. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic and MSN.