“People want to draw meaning from manta rays because they symbolize strength, adaptability, and the ability to handle high pressure situations.”
Manta rays are unique in that they can swim comfortably in different depths of water from the shallow surface of the water right down to deep depths where the pressure is intense and temperature changes are sudden and drastic.
Their versatility and adaptability are often admired and one of the main aspects that people draw meaning from is the need to handle the different pressures and intensities of life. People want to draw meaning from manta rays because they symbolize strength, adaptability, and the ability to handle pressure situations.
> This article is from our A-Z series on sea creature symbolism
Manta Ray Symbolism
Below are some of the deeper meanings that we’ve taken from manta rays.
Like sting rays, manta rays are the embodiment of flow as they glide through the water with relative ease, regardless of the depth or conditions. They are symbolic for effortlessly navigating their chosen path and demonstrate how easily you can gather momentum when you move with confidence and self-assurance.
When feeding, the manta ray will circle its prey in a very meticulous and deliberate manner and you’ll find that this sense of navigation of their surrounding area is even controlled when feeding in groups (something we will demonstrate shortly).
Manta rays, therefore, symbolize the need to define a clear direction in life and navigate it with deliberate intent that you master through repeated effort.
Manta rays are symbolic of balance and grace. They move with precision and have a balance both in life and in the water. We mentioned this earlier but there is no other creature on the planet that can move with such balance and precision at such a large body size.
The way the manta ray moves through the water is symbolic of the balance that you should look to utilize in your own life, both mentally and spiritually.
We live in a time when speed and instant gratification are almost considered essential and while we might appear to lead a balanced life, the speed at which we move is not balanced for a lot of people.
The way manta rays eat is by circling their prey (mainly plankton) and creating a current that draws the food towards their mouth rather than chasing after their food. This magnetism carries the meaning that instead of chasing after things in life, you should look to draw the things you desire into your own sphere.
Attracting the things you seek through your own actions and willpower is key to recreating the life that you want and desire. You need to become crystal clear on what you want and then find the best course of action to draw it towards you over time rather than chasing after it.
You might not be aware of this but manta rays are very intelligent creatures. Dolphins seem to take all of the glory when it comes to intellect in the sea but manta rays have the largest brain of any fish and should therefore be held in equally high regard.
Manta rays are one of the few species on our planet that can recognize themselves in a mirror and their ability to recognize their own reflection is a sign of self-awareness and intellectual maturity. Many other animals would act on instinct and attack or flee when faced with their own reflection.
Manta rays are social creatures and the way they eat in groups is mesmerizing. They will circle in what appears to be a synchronized manner and this group eating is thought to be similar to how humans will eat in a group for the social aspect.
This means that manta rays have a strong symbolization for social interaction. Most creatures on planet earth will eat for survival and while manta rays will of course also do this as the primary reason, the fact that they eat in an organized circle demonstrates a social aspect.
Just look at this video below to show how organized manta rays are when eating in groups:
Manta rays are also known to show curiosity around human divers and will circle them with intrigue and calmness. Despite their size, manta rays never attack humans and most interactions will be calm and peaceful for both parties.
6. Reliance on Others
Manta rays are highly susceptible to parasites and therefore utilize smaller fish to keep them clean and healthy. This demonstrates how we need to rely on others in life to give us a form of external protection and keep us safe/happy.
Manta rays have few natural predators but still rely on tiny fish to ensure that they remain healthy throughout their lifecycle. We too, should not be too judgemental as those that can help us in life will oftentimes be the people that we least expect and can come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and forms.
You’ll find that manta rays have an abundance mindset and will swim with their mouths wide open to capture as much food as possible. They will go through any depth of water necessary and simply adapt on the way.
It can often be difficult for people to adopt this mindset as they may know what they want in life but do not commit fully to it. Manta rays are a strong symbol for simply taking action as there is enough out there for everyone, regardless of what it is you desire.
Having an abundance mindset will not make you greedy or self-centered and manta rays display this every time they feed in groups (by sharing the food whilst also consuming as much as each individual needs).
Manta Ray Spirit Animal Meaning
Having the manta ray as your spirit animal can mean that you are a free spirit and at one with nature. It’s very rare to see a manta ray kept in captivity and when witnessing a manta ray in its natural habitat, you can see how comfortable they are navigating the oceans and planet in general.
Manta rays move through life with a balance and flow that carries minimal friction. They consume food in a passive hunting manner, have relatively few predators due to their large size, and move in a direct and purposeful way.
With the manta ray as your spirit animal, you will likely lead a stress-free life and find very little resistance in whatever path you take. This is not because you take the “easy” route but rather know how to navigate it with the least amount of resistance.
Having the manta ray as your spirit animal could also mean that you are sociable and build very close and meaningful relationships with friends and family.
Manta Ray Meaning In Dreams
A manta ray can glide into your dreams just as they glide through the ocean. Dreaming about a manta ray can mean that you need to consider the current direction and path of your life. It can also mean that your life’s direction is about to be tested so you will need to be prepared to navigate it successfully.
Manta Rays are masters of navigation and make movements look natural, flowing, and effortless and their appearance in a dream can indicate that you too have this ability of smooth navigation and should be prepared to use it in the near future.
Manta ray symbolism can have some very surprising meanings. These giant creatures have an imposing presence, however, they are typically gentle, sociable, and interactive. They move through the ocean and life with a balance and control that can only be described as mesmerizing to the human eye.
We can draw meaning from the way they attract what they want towards themselves rather than pursuing something endlessly and this approach can be used to achieve our own personal goals in life similar to the law of attraction.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.