Monkey Symbolism & Meaning (+ Spirit, Totem & Omens)

Are you interested in the Monkey Spirit Animal? Then this guide is for you!

In many cultures, monkeys are regarded as masters of trickery and liveliness. They are also known for their friendliness, devotion, and cunningness.

When the monkey comes into your life as your spirit animal, it means you more or less radiate these qualities.

What’s the Monkey Meaning and Symbolism?

Family Life

Monkeys place their families above everything else. They are fiercely protective of their young ones.

You’ll often spot monkeys preening and grooming each other to maintain the required hygiene standards in the community.


People with the monkey spirit animal are intelligent and highly creative. They use their cognitive skills to solve the challenges in their lives.

These people are also witty and very good at problem-solving.

Innocence and Inner Child

Monkeys spend a considerable time of their lives playing. When they are not looking for food, they are probably spending their time having fun.

This spirit animal arouses your inner child and innocence.

Faithfulness and Devotion

According to Hindu culture, the ape Lord Hanuman was fiercely loyal to Lord Rama. This reflects the character traits of all monkeys.

As your spirit animal, the monkey urges you to uphold virtues like commitment, devotion, and faithfulness.

Symbolic Meaning of Monkey Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Monkey Symbolism in Christian Culture

Although monkeys are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, Christian iconographies depict these animals in a negative light.

Monkeys are thought to symbolize gluttony, covetousness, and greed. Christians regard these qualities as not only despicable, but also something they should avoid at all costs.

To Christians, the monkey represents some of the 7 cardinal sins.

It is also thought to trick people into breaking some of the ten commands – such as thou shalt not steal, or thou shalt not covet their neighbor’s wife.

In some works of art, the monkey is seen subdued at the feet of the Virgin Mary. This illustrates that the Blessed Virgin has the power to subdue all evils and vices.

It could also mean that the Virgin has been given power over all animals of the land, sea, and air.

In a nutshell, Christians are associated with sin because they act on the spur of the moment to pursue base pleasures.

Monkey Symbolism in African Culture

In the African culture, most of the primates were thought to be custodians of knowledge and wisdom.

A popular legend among the Dinka of Sudan illustrates how the monkey applied wisdom to separate warring tribes.

The legend has it that the Dinka went to war with a neighboring tribe over stolen cattle. With little recourse to recover their stolen animals, they turned to the monkey for help.

In those days, the monkey was known the world over for his Solomonic wisdom.

True to his reputation, the monkey asked the two tribes to bring together all the disputed cattle and slaughter them.

The Dinka were very much attached to their livestock because it was their measure of wealth.

While the other tribe gleefully wanted all the cattle slaughtered, the Dinka opted to have the other community keep all the cows.

In his wisdom, the monkey ruled in the Dinka’s favor and had all the cattle returned to them.

In many parts of Africa, the people worshiped monkey gods. A good example of this is the monkey god Mbotumbo or Gbekre who was idolized by the Baule people of Ivory Coast.

Monkey Symbolism in Native American Culture

Monkeys are featured prominently in Native American mythologies and folklore. Here, they are regarded as creatures capable of making smart decisions.

They are also depicted as cunning strategists, who often took advantage of the other animals’ folly to swindle them.

Many Native American tribes also regarded monkeys as special spiritual beings that were constantly in contact with certain deities.

For example, the Creek, Navajo, and the Hopi thought the monkey was a constant companion of the gods of music, dance, love, and mischief.

Among Central American tribes, the monkey was given respect for his display of brilliance.

In Nahuatl, it was believed that the monkey Ozomatli proved his loyalty by never leaving the side of the god Xochipilli.

For this, the Aztecs honored this devoted monkey by naming the 11th day of their ancient calendar after him.

In some communities, however, the monkey was not so exalted. For example, the tribes around Tenochtitlan regarded the monkey as an evil trickster out to spoil humans’ relationship with the gods.

Monkey Symbolism in Celtic Culture

The ancient Celtic did not get an opportunity to interact with monkeys per se, but evidence shows that one species may have crossed Celtic lands at some point.

The fossil remains of monkeys believed to be the Barbary Macaque were uncovered in Ireland. It is very unlikely that these monkeys went to this island nation by themselves.

If indeed the ancient Irish did interact with the Barbary Macaque, these monkeys are likely to have been kept as pets by Lords and members of the nobility.

It’s also likely that these monkeys came to Ireland by way of the trade from the Atlas Mountains in Africa, which is its original home.

Monkey Symbolism in Eastern Culture

As mentioned earlier, the Hindu culture reveres the monkey god Hanuman for his devotion to Lord Rama.

This monkey is featured prominently in the Ramayana mythical saga.

Many Hindus consider the Hanuman an exceptional monkey, who displayed selflessness and intelligence in the service of his master.

Myths from China, Japan, and Korea also prominently feature monkeys. In Japan, monkeys are thought to teach people how to live in harmony with each other.

They taught people to mind their own business and to avoid meddling in the affairs of others. In this case, the monkey’s lessons can be summed as hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.

In Buddhism, monkeys stand for intelligence, bravery, safety, and generosity.

Legend had it that Buddha, while on a retreat deep into the forest, was once given honeycomb by a monkey.

In gratitude, Buddha brought back the monkey to life after the monkey had succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident.

When the Monkey is Your Spirit Animal

People with the monkey spirit animal are kind-hearted and humorous. Although they are fond of playing friendly pranks, they never really intend to harm anyone.

The monkey spirit animal swings into your life so that you can take it easy. This spirit guide wants you to understand that life cannot be all about work and nothing else.

You need to spend more quality time with your family and friends. Learn to unwind around people that love you, those with your best interests at heart.

The monkey spirit animal encourages you to live your life to the fullest. Since your life in this world is not an accident, you have no apologies to make for being alive.

The Monkey Power Animal

Call on the monkey power animal when you want to experience life in its fullness. This power guide intends to save you from being an outcast.

It gently reminds you of your role in your family and the community. The monkey power animal wants you to understand you are surrounded by warm people that care for you.

It would be, therefore, in your interest to create time from your busy schedule to be with these people. Demonstrate that you care for them as much as they care for you.

You may also call on the monkey power guide when you desire to take some time off yourself to reflect and meditate.

The Monkey Totem Animal

If you were born with the monkey totem animal, it means you are sociable and enthusiastic. You go through life with unique zeal.

People with the monkey totem are as optimistic as they are full of vigor. They enjoy playing good-hearted jokes about the world around them.

Other people enjoy being around you because they consider you fun and lively. You have an easy way with people because you make them love.

The monkey totem encourages you to live life to the fullest, with no regrets about your past.

Monkey Encounters and Omens

Meeting with a monkey reminds you there is a time for jokes and a time to get down to serious business.

This means you should not overdo either. Refrain from doing pranks when you should be pursuing serious endeavors.

In the same way, this encounter reminds you to take a break from your work every now and then to recoup lost energy.

Seeing a monkey indicates your growing demand in the community. People need you around them because you make them feel relaxed.

You show them that life is not all that serious, that one can have fun even in the midst of challenges.

A monkey encounter encourages you to take up your responsibilities with a smile.

This should not be too hard for you when you bear in mind that whatever you do is likely to invite smiles of happiness from those around you.

Monkey Tattoo Meaning

The monkey tattoo is an indicator that you take life easy. You understand that a good-hearted prank every now and then is not a bad idea.

Wearing this tattoo also means you are determined to create the right balance.

Although you don’t take life too seriously, you appreciate that a level of seriousness is important when dealing with certain things.

Having a monkey tattoo is also a sign that you are in touch with your family. You are loyal and devoted, and you’d do anything to keep your loved ones safe.

People who wear this tattoo are keen to reclaim lost innocence. They wouldn’t want negative energies from the past to dictate every stage of their lives.

What’s the Meaning of Monkey Dreams?

  • To dream of playing with monkeys shows a promotion or a positive change in your relationship will happen soon.
  • Dreaming of a baby monkey reminds you of your responsibilities to your loved ones. It could also mean an increase in your family.
  • To dream of being chased by monkeys means that someone is planning your downfall. Work fast to scuttle their plans before they ruin your prospects.
  • Dreaming of feeding monkeys means you have seen the need to be guided by a positive attitude and the right mindset.
  • Dream of being bit by a monkey means you feel insecure about your professional standing.
  • To see a caged monkey in your dream is a sign that you should express your thoughts and opinions fearlessly.
  • To dream of dead monkeys is a sign of trouble in your love life. Reach out to your partner and work things out before they become unmanageable.

Final Thoughts…

Monkeys are some of the most creative and resourceful primates. As your spirit guide, this animal wants you to reflect on some of its stellar qualities.

It will guide you to uphold such virtues as good communication, generosity, collaboration, and socialization.

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