In this article, I am going to discuss the combined symbolism of alligators, crocodiles, gharials, and caiman in regards to animal totems. I will also touch on the spiritual meaning.
Since all of these creatures belong to the same group of family termed as crocodilians, the only thing that's different with them is their colors, the shape and size of their teeth and the places where they are found. The name crocodile has come from the ancient Greek word κροκόδιλος meaning lizard or pebble man in some translations, probably referring to the outer layer skin of the crocodiles. It may also indirectly be associated with the fact that the crocodile dances in water to charm his partner during the mating season. Crocodiles produce a distinct infra sound during the breeding season. Most of the time crocodiles submerged their body while leaving their head and their tails above the water, with half of their body partially submerged underwater they cause the water to literally sprinkle on their back due to their bellowing or popularly known as "water dance". This trait of the crocodile to woo their partners reminds us that we should also do everything to attract the right person in our life.
Crocodiles have an impeccable sense of alertness, Mother Crocodiles can hear their un-hatched young lings cry, and she also carries her new born babies inside her mouth, indicating a strong maternal instinct to protect the babies. Their sense of sight is also commendable. Their eyes resemble a cat's pupil giving them the ability to clearly see during the darkest of night. Their iris and retina increases their ability to see in dim lights.& Observations have been made that crocodile's eyes seem to glow at night especially when a light is pointed at them. Crocodiles are teaching us to have the capability to see the beauty even on the darkest times and places.
The family of Crocodilians also resembles a balance of earth and water. Their association with the power of water resembles the symbolic meaning of being emotional, attach to their innermost self, and realization of one’s dreams. Crocodiles are good totems for people who are having problems with their dreams. Crocodiles fear nothing and their energy is somehow amaranthine and will rid one of all worries. Its harmony with both water and earth. This advanced us that we can also find our balance in life. Its sense of equity can also be found in its outer covering, Crocodiles have armored skin at their back's are sturdy, while their bellies and sides are soft and smooth. This tells us to find a balance between being tough and being vulnerable.
Alligators have no pores and release the excess amount of heat by opening their jaws. Temperatures are of high importance with this animal, especially during the mating season. But this creature seems to find no problem and can stand the test of time. This serves as a reminder for us to stop fighting the force of nature, and learn to live with it. Alligators remain poised despite of a huge crowd or even on a room full of predators, it waits for the perfect time and once you move within its range, death is inevitable. This teaches us to be patient until the fruit is ripe. Remain calm amidst all of these temptations.
Crocodile or Makara is of great importance in Hinduism and is a part of events stated on Hindu scripts. Most of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses use a Makara as their vehicle. They are also a symbol of high status and power to the native Americans. Due to its capability to both survive in water and land, some tribes believed that crocodiles are tied to creation. The Mayans also have a concept about the crocodile representing our galaxy famously known as the Mayan tree. In addition, the Egyptians are so fascinated with crocodiles; they even named a God after the image of a crocodile. Sobek, half man with the face of a crocodile was deeply associated with the God of Sun Ra. Travelers and workers around the Nile River pray to Sobek to protect them from crocodiles' attack.
An alligator is in the class of genus Alligator of the family of Alligatoridae. It is similar to a crocodile, but with shorter and broader head. It is a native of China and Americas. They are normally confused with the crocodiles, but the two reptiles are very different from each other. The alligator is distinguished from the crocodile by its black color and wide, round snout. All of its upper teeth can still be seen even when it closes its mouth.
What does the alligator mean in ancient symbolism?
We might think that the alligator holds a special association with many cultures across the world and this is correct. I feel this is quite important in understanding what the alligator means to you. In the Hindu tradition, the sacral chakra is supposed to be represented by the alligator. It is due to the fact that the chakra is believed to be a developmental energy. This important chakra is the power center of creation, it feeds it with that power. The alligator encourages us to try to "focus" on our emotions and creativity. All of this is found in the chakra. The interesting thing about the alligator as a symbol is that it holds emotion at its core and resurfaces our innovative creative power. I like to think that the alligator rules silent, strong, fearless and cunning and has a highly effective skin and perpetually regenerate their teeth. Going back to history it is thought that the alligator evolved over 50 million years ago. So, due to this the alligator represents a deep, abiding connection with mother nature and that is the wisdom they share with mother nature.
An interesting story of the Mayan legend states that four alligators are in charge of the world. This "allows" the world to keep balance. Why? Because of there strong backs and fierce determination. According to the Mayan people born under the alligator as their day sign, are sensitive and superior to criticism. If you are lucky enough to have the alligator as an animal totem normally examine fears both in their subconscious and conscious. The people born under the alligator zodiac sign have to access to primordial, incredible power. They normally see opportunities where others see none because they are open to new beginnings. Looking back, native American tribes, the alligators are thought to be a symbol of power and status in society. This is due to the fact the alligator feels comfortable on both in water and on land, they are thought to be creatures responsible for creation. In many native legends, they are used as mediators because they emerge from primordial waters in creation myths and brought the existence of the earth and water. In ancient Egypt, they worshipped the alligators and crocodiles and to show their passion for these reptiles - they named a town Crocodilopolis. In this town, they worshiped the crocodiles with jewels and gold. Sobek, the crocodile god symbolized to them fertility and ultimate power protection. Sobek was among the many Egyptian gods who weighed the souls of the dead. They symbolized guidance, discernment, authority, and judgment.
How does alligator mate and what does this mean for your love life?
Here I am going to discuss your love life in connection with alligators. Alligators generally mate in the month of June. The mating is quite interesting. In one mating season, males are capable of making up to six females pregnant. This is interesting because, for the females, they only have one mating partner per each season. What can we learn from this spiritually? Maybe that we need to commit to a partner. So, when do they mate? During July, the female alligator creates a nest. Normally she gains sticks or plants from the ground and gathers this up with mud. In the books I have read, the American alligator lays between fifty to ten eggs at a time. After the eggs are laid, which are hard-shelled, the female alligator then covers them up. I do like facts, so bear with me! The sex of the offspring's will be determined by the heat in the nest of the alligator. If the heat is below around eighty degrees Fahrenheit, then females will be produced. When the temperatures are above ninety degrees Fahrenheit, then male alligators will be produced. How amazing that you can control the sex of the alligator by heat!
All the time the egg is incubating in the nest, the female alligator will be watching the nest of course. So, this leads to the babies which are normally produced in September and the mother will be there, helping them by removing the debris that is covering the nest. This mother alligator uses her mouth to help in breaking the shell so that they come out easily. The hatchlings, (which is the name given to baby alligators) go straight in search of their own food immediately they are born. They last in the nest / with the mother for two years, then they leave and become independent.
What are the main traits of an alligator in terms of an animal totem?
In terms of the animal totem, the alligator symbolic meaning includes:
- Prime or ancient power
- Emotional depth
- Creation or birth
- Solar power
Crocodile represents the following behavior spiritually
- New Life.
- Solar Power.
What are the key characteristics of alligator animal?
The alligator has what is known as a palatal valve which prevents water from going into their lungs and removing it when they open their mouth. The lungs are inflated through muscles which pulls the liver backward, which works the way a diaphragm works in humans. Interestingly they have four-chambered hearts. The texture of their skin is quite significant - and allows them to stay submerged underwater for up to an hour. While they are submerged they slowly pump blood through their bodies.
What I found really interesting was to learn that they have valves which separated oxygenated and de oxygenated blood from mixing up. During the cold season, the alligator can stay in water for 24 hours without breathing. This is a long time! Their immune system is more powerful than that of human beings. In my research, I learned that when they were injected with HIV virus, it is able to kill the virus and prevent other infections. They can suffer severe wounds without dying. Because the skin is so strong that it is impossible for bullets to go through. Beneath the skin, there is another layer of armor made of bony overlapping shingles which are both flexible and strong. And beneath it, they hold a strong immune system.
What does the alligator mean when they appear to be your spirit guide or animal?
The alligators are animals which have the most amazing senses. It will amaze you to know that, mother alligators are able to hear their babies while inside their shells. If you have an alligator as an animal totem, they represent fierce protection this is due to what I mentioned earlier - the bullets not able to penetrate the skin, the fact they can remove HIV. Female alligators are able to carry their young to water in pouches in her mouth and guide them, you will be guided. An alligator as an animal totem will talk to you about a keen vision. At night their pupils widen, allowing them to have a better vision and that is what makes them see clearly while in water. Because of their ability to see underwater, it makes them one of the best totem animals. Just like it, you will be able to see clearly through all sorts of dreams and perplexing emotions. It encourages us to look but not be seen. I think it is great to call on the alligator when you need help with competition to protect a business.
Because they are associated with water, it means that, as a spirit totem, they will enable you to see clearly in the emotional world. I feel that this totem will ask you to dive deep into your emotions and search fluidity, cleansing, and healing in these realms. This will enable you to utilize your dreams for emotional understanding. If you are in an emotional phase of life - or unsure of how to heal yourself or disturbing dreams, just call on alligators. I believe that their energy is extremely forthright and they are fearless creatures. They will definitely strike clarity into your life when you call on them. From my research, they will help you strike a balance between water and earth and thus, through their help, you will be able to be somewhat "emotionally grounded" and have settled emotions.
Just looking at its covering which is rough, it acts as an armor, which will deflect anything fired against it while the belly is soft. What this teaches us is a balance: the vulnerable and rigid, the pull and the push, the meek and mighty, the hidden and the obvious. They are precision in motion and in most cases remain poised, hidden and held to show ultimate control of the situations around them. So how do they eat? Immediately they get hold of their prey, they don’t waste any time; they will immediately dive into the water and make sure that their catch is hidden under water. They are what I call ...always prepared. The alligators are good at timing and as an animal totem, they will make you learn to make wise choices and once you make them, allow them to take their course in your life. The alligator knows how to adjust to hot and cold climates. When the climate is somewhat high, a male offspring is bred and when it is cold, a female one is born. What can this teach us? That as an animal totem, we should learn to adjust to our environment. I believe that you should live in agreement with your surroundings. Don’t try to fight the elements in your life but try to adjust yourself in harmony with conditions.
What does it mean to see an alligator in your dream?
If you had a dream where you saw an alligator, it means that there is someone close to you who is going to betray you I am sorry it is not more positive. The person will most likely be someone you trust and could even be a family member. Why this person is out to betray you could be due to a wide range of reasons which I am sure will result in you soon finding out. I will say, you should prepare yourself for what is coming your way and don’t blame yourself for anything. Alternatively, the dream could imply that there will be more aggressiveness from your enemies to destroy you. They are becoming more apparent with their plans to destroy you which could mean that, if you keep your cool, you might be able to catch them off-guard.
What does it mean to see a dead alligator in your dream?
I have written much about this dream meaning in another post. But, when you dream that you are seeing a dead alligator, it means that you are going to resolve your problems in real life. Just the way the beast in your dream is dead so will be your problem. The problems have been bothering you for quite a while and you were wondering how to go about it. After a long time of waiting or running for them to resolve themselves, you have now caught up with them and now you are watching them as they disappear from your life.
What does it mean to dream of being chased by an alligator?
Seeing yourself being chased by an alligator in your dream could denote that, you will be able to solve all the problems which you are facing at the moment. Even though the dream looks negative, in real life, it denotes something very positive. Everything that has not been working for you for the last few years is going to work and make you find peace.
What is the biblical meaning of alligators?
According to the biblical interpretation, an alligator appearing in your dream could mean that you are a victim of the sin of vanity and arrogance. I know this does not sound positive! It is seen as an agent of theft and destruction. It resembles the work of the enemy and if seen in a dream, Christians normally classify it as a powerful demon. The teeth of an alligator represent a violent and tearing attack and that is why Daniel in Daniel chapter 7 and verses 19 describes it as a creature with many teeth.
Summary of this animal totem and meanings
I am going to conclude now but the alligator is quite strong and as an animal totem, they are often confident, assertive and calm. Even though they are confident, it doesn’t translate into brazen displays, boastfulness, and unnecessary force. It is patient, reserved, and subtle which communicates its strength and knowing. If you are someone who wants this animal to be your totem, then you will need to remain active. You need not lazy about or stagnate for too long after satisfying experiences. You will need to take time to ruminate and consider the implications of your actions and thoughts and extract wisdom from both failures and successes. So, I will say that even if you have this feeling good atmosphere around you, you shouldn’t ignore an opportunity that presents itself to you. Try to always stay focused.The alligator is feared and the reason is that they are the hardest biters in the world, but that is only if you provoke them. If unprovoked, they are indifferent to human beings, even if you are at close range. Even if you provoke them, they take time before they pounce on you and if they do, you will never escape from their jaws.
Alligator shows up as a spirit guide when
- You need to survive.
- You need to revenge through patience.
- You need to understand the weather.
- You need to avoid stealth.
- You need to be aggressive.
Call on Alligator as a spirit guide when
- You need to adapt to some situations.
- You need maternal protection.
- You need to connect to the earth mother.
- You need to protect yourself from manipulation.
- You need to access ancient knowledge.
- You need to understand deceit.
By Flo Saul
Mar 23, 2013