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What Does It Mean When You See a Praying Mantis?

By Saoirse
July 18, 2021
What Does It Mean When You See a Praying Mantis?
TL;DRWhat does a praying mantis mean to us spiritually? Like all animals, the praying mantis is significant beyond mundane things, is a personal spirit animal to many, and like with any creature, praying mantis myths abound. To begin with, what’s a mantis, does a praying mantis bring good luck or bad luck, and what does a praying mantis sign mean? Looking at the praying mantis up close will answer all these questions and more.

What is a Praying Mantis?

Although there are few fossils of them we know of, the oldest known fossil of a praying mantis was found in Siberia and it is close to 140 million years old! There are more than 2,400 different species of the praying mantis bug, or insect and while they resemble grasshoppers, they are more closely related to the lowly cockroach. They have elongated bodies, triangular heads, and their front arms are structured in such a way, they fold to make them resemble somebody “praying- thus the name “praying mantis.” They are found in both tropical and temperate regions all over the world, and on every continent but Antarctica. Some look plain, some are colorful, some look like flowers, and people all over the world believe praying mantises have supernatural gifts and powers. So, if we had to define praying mantises, a simple way to do so would be to say there are thousands of species of them, they are very important to us spiritually, and they have been around for a very long time, to say the least!

Praying Mantis Mythology


Praying mantises are good luck to the Chinese and are even kept as pets by some people there!


Praying mantis symbolism in Japan is that of bravery, but that bravery can unbalance and become unkind mercilessness. Praying mantis sighting meaning in Japan can also portend a death. So, while the mantis can be reminding people to be brave, it can also be an omen for bad things to the Japanese.

Praying Mantis Meaning in the Bible

In the Bible, the praying mantis meaning when you see one is that angels are watching over you. Nice!


African people see a praying mantis as a sign of good luck, most especially if the animal lands on your body and some see them as a natural pregnancy test.

Guiding the Lost

In ancient Greece and France, people believed praying mantises could point the way with those long arms for lost people to find their way home, most especially lost children!

Different Kinds of Praying Mantises and their Meanings

With there being over 4,200 different kinds of praying mantises, the humble green praying mantis isn’t the only type there is.

Albino Mantises

The white praying mantis, also called albino praying mantis is no unique creature. The white mantis is just one who has molted its skin and will soon change back to its normal color! This can symbolize casting off old ways to renew ourselves. During this time the color can make it appear as a beige mantis or a tan praying mantis, but don’t be fooled, its colors are coming back in no time at all.

Grey Mantises

If you see a grey praying mantis and live in North America, chances are it is a native Carolina mantis, as opposed to one that has found its way to the States from overseas. If you see this, the meaning could be that you are being told you are safe on your home turf where you naturally belong, and all is well. This is most especially auspicious if you had been worried you may not be on the right path or doing what you need to do in life at the current time. This sighting can be telling you that you can put that worry to rest and be assured you are right where you are meant to be.

The Golden Praying Mantis

The Golden Mantis is also known as the Golden Giant Praying Mantis, and is a popular mantis indeed. It is a big crowd pleaser at zoos, as it can grow to be up to three and a half inches. This mantis is special because it is an aggressive hunter, sometimes attacking prey as large as it is. The meaning of the Golden Giant Praying Mantis is to be fearless in your pursuits, not being scared to “bite off more than you can chew.” This is most especially good news if you have been contemplating something but were worried you did not have what it takes to succeed. Seeing this praying mantis tells you that you do, too have what it takes, and you should go for it!

Flying Praying Mantis

When you see a flying mantis, that’s not unusual because most mantises can fly- sort of. Many species of mantises have wings but can’t fly like bees and birds can. They mostly jump and glide. So, when you see a mantis doing just that, the meaning can be to do the best you can with the tools given to you and take “flight”, thriving in the best way you know possible.

Praying Mantis Symbolism

Mantis symbolism is typically based on the creature’s characteristics. The praying mantis eats other creatures, sometimes their own mates, have powerful arms, large, soulful looking eyes, and are also masters of disguise, camouflaging themselves well.


The praying mantis has slow deliberate body movements, and large, serious eyes. They are seen by people in China as wise, sophisticated, and patient.


A mighty predator, the mantis decapitates prey swiftly, and some martial arts movements are based on the deliberate, disciplined, graceful movements of the praying mantis.


Even when eating other creatures, the mantis never seems to have lost it’s cool. Peace and emotional balance is symbolized by the calm mantis.

Mental Focus and Stillness

A perfect example of focusing for as long as necessary on the task at hand, the mantis also remains completely motionless for as long as it needs to. It takes all the time it needs to reach its goal, and never falters or rushes itself.

Religious Mantises

Due to the way their arms fold, many see mantises as religious, or meditative spiritual creatures, thus the name “praying” mantis. Because the mantis can move it’s head all the way around, ancient Celts considered them to be able to see the supernatural, and hidden forces, and these great psychic creatures gifts were those that they sought to emulate.


The praying mantis is considered by some to have a connection to the spirit world, and it is believed mantises act as messengers, allowing people to communicate with spirits and gods and goddesses.

Praying Mantis Animal Totems or Praying Mantis Spirit Animals

Like with any animal, human beings have sought to benefit and learn from the praying mantises strengths and supernatural powers. Praying mantis spirit guides share all their attributes with those who have a mantis spirit animal. This means their fearlessness, ability to take flight in life despite the fact they can’t fly long distance, their supernatural gifts, their focus, serenity, and wisdom are skills they teach as praying mantis totems.

 In regards to animal totems, praying mantises are animals who make an appearance at the window, or in the garden and it will surprise you. If you see them, most especially if you see them often without looking for them or trying to attract them, considering their powerful ability to camouflage, likely they are your your spirit animal, praying mantises!

Praying mantises animal totem meanings are that this is the creature who has a personal connection to you, and whose wisdom and magic, or what some would call praying mantis “medicine” you can learn from. You will have a connection and relationship with your spirit or totem animal for life. To learn about spirit animals, read more:

A Guide To Spirit Animals

Praying Mantis Dreams

The meaning of praying mantises in dreams vary depending on what is going on in the dream. Dream interpretation of the praying mantis eating a living creature depends on whether the tone is scary, or nurturing. It could mean you feel you are being eaten alive, or you feel you are ingesting praying mantis good luck blessings. A dead praying mantis meaning in a dream varies as well. If the mantis is being eaten by another one, it can portend pregnancy, as some female praying mantises eat the male after mating with him. If it is a single dead praying mantis, it can symbolize there is some decay somewhere in your life, and you are being put on notice to clear that decay out of the way to make room for new things.

Praying Mantises and Pregnancy

What does a praying mantis mean in regards to pregnancy for women? It is believed that praying mantises are natural indicators that a woman is pregnant. It is said that the woman’s body produces different hormones, and praying mantises are attracted to her aroma during this time. That is why it is believed a praying mantis is an omen for pregnancy.

Is a Praying Mantis Good Luck?

A praying mantis is considered good luck by many different peoples. Is a praying mantis lucky for everybody? Not everybody, unfortunately. The praying mantis meaning is always lucky , most especially if they land on you unless you kill or harm then, and if that’s the case, it is said bad luck will befall you. One of the myths about praying mantises is they will bite you if they land on you, but they rarely bite and only if provoked. If one lands on you and you’d like to remove it, how to pick up a praying mantis is gently and you could also gently brush at it to get the praying mantis flying on its way.

How To Find a Praying Mantis

If you want the luck and blessings of the mantis, how to find a praying mantis in your yard isn’t as easy as one would hope. Experts at camouflage, a praying mantis standing up can be right before your eyes, and you will never see it! Your best bet is to set the yard up as the perfect environment so that you can attract praying mantises. Various nature experts recommend doing the following to draw these supernatural praying mantis creatures home to you:

1. Remove all insecticides permanently- Praying mantises might show up in your yard, but if you have poisons there, a praying mantis dying there from said poisons won’t benefit you at all. Mantises also get gobbled up by birds, so remove bird feeders, suet blocks, and anything else that would draw birds.

2. Add a water feature- If mantises don’t have the water they need, they will leave in favor of a sport that provides plenty of it.

3. Leave out sugar water- They love to eat it! Mix ten tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of sugar and place it in a dish for them. Change it with fresh sugar water often.

4. Plant things for them to build homes- Not only do praying mantises like to camouflage, staying safe from birds and other creatures that eat them, but they build nests in plants. They are especially drawn to herbs, marigolds, cosmos, roses, and raspberry plants. Make sure to leave the plants behind in winter, not clipping dead plants back until Spring, when mantis eggs from their homemade “praying mantis house” hatch. Then you can enjoy a huge praying mantis family that stay with you for life.

What Does a Praying Mantis Represent to the Gardener?

Are praying mantises good for the garden? Mantises eat pests ranging from aphids, flies, and mice, so they more than earn their keep. It’s good luck for the gardener to have that dedicated help from the praying mantis. You want to provide the most praying mantis friendly environment possible to help bring them in, and keep them there, especially because they will have babies if they feel at home, and you will always have plenty of praying mantises to help out!

Now you have them home with you, but how do you know if a praying mantis is dying? Well, they only live for about a year, but if the garden provides all they need, they will have a good life there, and the babies they have will live out their days there also. To know if you have babies on the way, what does a pregnant praying mantis look like? There is not necessarily a way to tell, but if you see one praying mantis eating another one, that’s probably a female eating the male she just mated with! Baby praying mantis symbolism in your garden is telling you new beginnings are around, and you will receive abundance and benefit from hard work.

The mantis might be small compared to humans, but it’s power is mighty, and seeing a praying mantis means we are about to be blessed with that strength. Whether the mantis is eating the aphids to save our roses or bestowing us with wisdom and serenity, and we are fortunate they are our friends both in the garden and in our spiritual lives. May you fly like the mantis and may your focus be as strong as theirs is.

About the Author: Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life, but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Mysticsense and she writes for Pagan Pages emag.

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