Zebra – Spirit Animal, Symbolism and Meaning

Zebras are definitely interesting animals. We can conclude this only by looking at them. They resemble a strange mixture of a horse, donkey and their black and white stripes only add up to their stunning appearance.

People found zebras to be interesting for centuries and many tribes in Africa even worshiped this animal and considered it to be special. Black and white stripes on a zebra definitely stand out from the desert sand. Zebras only inhabit the continent of Africa, so most of the symbolism comes from the tribes that live there.

In popular cultures, zebra’s symbols are being used in advertising different areas of human production, and in literature we find zebras in many books, stories and myths. If you were ever interested in the secret and symbolic meaning of this beautiful animal then this is the time to find out more.

Zebra traits and characteristics

Fast – Zebra’s only defensive mechanism in vicious desert fields is her seed. She relies on her speed to get her out of the trouble and help her escape desert predators. In order to be fast, zebra needs to be strong as well, or at least needs to have strong legs. This allows her to run as fast as possible when she spots a predator.

Family oriented – Zebras always move in herds and you will rarely see an alone zebra somewhere in the desert. They keep their young ones close to them and don’t allow them to stray away from the herd. They are aware of the fact that they are strongest when they are in the herd, and that this is the only way for them to survive in the desert.

Instinctive – Zebras, similar to horses, can sense that something is going to happen. They can spot a predator or sense his presence, even when he is not that close to them. This instinct helps them survive in the desert and stay away from danger.

Zebra as a totem

Now, zebra as a totem is an extremely interesting one. Zebra represents a person that is definitely different in every sense of this word.

They don’t follow anyone’s rules and you won’t find them doing meaningless jobs with no space for freedom. They are usually artists, inventors, entrepreneurs and people who embrace their individuality ad nourish it.

People born under the zebra totem are also free in all areas of life. They respect other people’s privacy and in most cases, they are not really interested in anyone’s lives except in their own. They won’t stick on one place for a long time and you won’t find them very often, in long and steady relationships until they explore everything that was there to explore. Just like horses, zebras like their freedom as well and nothing and no one will stand on their way to obtain it.

You will also be able to spot this person right away, because it will be either dressed differently than most people or because they are going to be the loudest or the most interesting people in a party. They are crowd pleasers, with a lot of interesting stories and tales you will lining up to hear about.

People born under this totem are also family oriented, which might come as a bit strange if we consider that they don’t like sticking to ne place for a long time. Even though they are going to visit as many places as they can and meet as many people as possible, zebra people will always return back to their family unit and settle there.

Their restless spirit needs to be fed by adventure, but their heart is always where their family is. People born under this sign are also the ones who help others and enjoy being of service. Their nature is almost childishly naïve and they will go great lengths for people, if they need their help.

People born under this totem are also always on the opposite side. They love to confront people if something is not the way they see it, and they will say their opinions no matter what. This opinion is usually different than most people, because zebra people simply have another way of seeing things.

Zebra people are also resistant to all of the troubles life throws at them, just like a real life zebra overcomes its challenges in the desert and avoids getting caught even though everything seems to be against her.

All in all, zebra people are eccentric people who enjoy being free and different than others. They won’t be afraid to express their individuality in every form, so you are up for a treat when you meet these people.

Zebra as a symbol in a dream

Zebras in dreams can be symbols of a desire for freedom and expression. These meanings also depend on the situation you had a dream about and other symbols in your dream that were present.

If you had a dream about zebra in general, then this dream is a representation of your desire to break out of your shell and try something new. You have a big need to express your individualism, but you somehow feel trapped and unable to do it.

Dream about a dirty zebra is a representation of a relationship that is important to you. This person could be your parent or romantic partner, and something this person is going to do or has done, is going to make you feel very disappointed.

Dream about zebra returning to the herd is a symbol of family and your hidden desire to mend the relationships with your family members. Perhaps you had an argument or a fight with someone close to you, and this is now troubling you deep inside and your subconscious mind is warning you that you should make this relationship better.

If you had a dream about an alone zebra, then this dream represents your loneliness. Somehow you strayed away from everyone and everything and even you don’t know why. This dream isa  warning sign that you should get back to doing what you love or what makes you happy, and also a warning sign that you should pay more attention to the people who were once your dear friends but they now feel like strangers.

Dream about a dead zebra is a representation of bad news you are going to receive. News will be related to your career or personal life, so anything can happen. Be prepared to take action if necessary and avoid spreading this news to other people, because you could get in more trouble.

Zebra as a symbol in different cultures

Like I mentioned earlier zebras are only a part of African culture. They only inhabit the African continent, so other cultures of the world got a glimpse of this magnificent animal, only after people started traveling more and visiting other countries.

African continent is specific, because there are still many cultures and tribes that aren’t discovered because many of them don’t allow access to strangers and visitors.

African tribes like Mistigo, Wabele and many more used zebra stripes and masks that had shape of a zebra in their rituals. Zebras represent freedom, individuality and overcoming challenges in life, for the African people. They were extremely interesting to people throughout history, because they definitely stood up from all the other animals in the desert.

There is no way a zebra could have camouflaged itself to avoid a predator, so this was a great representation of how a zebra overcame and survived in the desert, even though everything was against her.

Masks that shamans use in sacred rituals represented the power and spiritual symbolism, so the zebra mask for them was a symbol of free spirit and the divine world.

Another interesting fact about zebras that can paint their character and the character of this symbol, is the fact that zebras were never domesticated by the African people because of their wild nature. Unlike horses, zebras have an even worse nature and domesticating them was literally impossible. So, even though zebras would be extremely helpful to people of Africa, there were never able to break this animal’s resistance and calm its wild spirit.

In popular culture, zebras are mostly used as a representative symbols of the African continent and people associate this animal with the desert instantly. Zebra’s limitation to one continent only, made it impossible for other cultures to explore and experience more beauty that this animal has to offer.

Probably a first encounter to children, with zebras, was in the cartoon “The Lion King”. Children that never saw a zebra before, were able to see it for the first time on their screens. Since then, zebras have been a part of usually children’s movies and cartoons.

However, there is still a lot to learn and know about this magnificent and resistant animal that will remain hidden until people come closer to the African tribes, who hide their secret rituals and beliefs far away from our reach.


More interesting articles: