Camels have been used as beasts of burden and as pack animals for thousands of years. They are mentioned in both the Bible and the Qu’ran as the first domesticated animal. However, there is much more to camels than their use as beasts of burden. Camels were also considered sacred by many ancient cultures such as the Ancient Egyptians.
A camel is an unexpected symbol to write about on this blog but it has been a great source of reflection for me and will hopefully help you increase your intuition (the power of the second half of your brain) and give you some interesting ideas to contemplate. Let’s find out the symbolism and spiritual significance of a camel.
So, what does camel symbolize? The noble, mystical creature of Arabia, Camel is a symbol of journey, wealth, persistence, hope, abundance, and pilgrimage. The camel is a compassionate animal that always loves its offspring. Used as a sacred animal for centuries, it can carry any load because of its strong back and patient disposition. In India Camel was used in the army for his power and endurance.
Do you want to learn about different kinds of camels and their meaning? Or are you curious about their spirit animals and totems? Whatever you are looking for, you will find it all in this article.
- Different types of camels and their spiritual meaning
- Camel symbolism
- The camel pose in yoga
- Camel spirit animal
- Camel totem
- Dreaming of camels
- Camel symbolism in the Arabian culture
- The story of camels and the Bedouin tribe
Different types of camels and their spiritual meaning
Although the family of the camels is not too large or extensive, you can categorize them into two different groups based on the number of humps on their back. Let’s take a look at the following species and their spiritual meaning:
The Dromedary camels are a single-humped camel species that are endemic to the Arabian Peninsula. Due to their nativity, they are also known as “Arabian Camel”.
The Dromedary is symbolic of your one true path in life. Their spirit believes in consistency and needs a peaceful, stable environment to flourish. They symbolize self-nourishment and commitment.
To them, society’s growth as a whole is much more important than the growth of an individual, and that’s what they stand for: moving forward together.
The Bactrian Camel
Also referred to as the “Mongolian Camel”, the Bactrian Camels are a large camel species with two humps on their back instead of one. They receive their names from the historical place of their origin, Bactria, in Central Asia.
In contrast to the Dromedary, the Bactrian Camels are a symbol of change and adaptability. Their spirit believes in exploring the world of choices before settling for one.
For them, the true essence of life is in seeing everything there is to see out there. Once they’ve exhausted all paths available to them, they will settle on the one path that they’ve tried-and-tested and found to be the best.
Now that we’ve learned about the spiritual meaning of the single and double-humped camels, let’s look at what these animals can symbolize for you:
The journey seems to be the most appropriate symbolism for camels, considering that they are preferred for long-distance travel. These animals have been used as a means of transport by humans ever since they were domesticated.
They’re robust, can endure harsh climates, can carry heavy cargos across great distances, and can survive days without water: what else do you need on your travels?
The journey of camels is symbolic of our lives in many ways. Just like their journey, our lives can be harsh on us at times, taking away all our hopes until we find it impossible to finish the journey. But if the camels don’t give up until they reach the final destination, why should we? They teach us to keep moving ahead despite all the odds.
If you want to learn about modesty from animals, no one can do it better than the camels. Let’s talk about the life of these animals in the wild. They’re ruminants that can both graze and browse and feed on whatever grass or plants they can find.
They fill up their hump with water at once so that they can survive without it for long. Their lips are thick to help them eat even thorny plants. When it comes to food, camels are the least picky animals you will meet.
Their spirit teaches us that to stay happy and satisfied, we must limit our desires and appreciate what we have instead of cribbing about what we do not.
Did you know that a camel can survive without water for about 10 days and without food for over a month? These animals travel across the desert carrying people or heavy cargo all day with the hope that they will ultimately find a river or an oasis. This hope can keep them going for days, even months at times.
Their spirit teaches us to move forward in our difficult times with the hope that there’s a light at the end of the dark tunnel we are passing through, and we cannot give up before we reach it.
Whenever you begin walking on a path, at first, your motivation keeps you active and focused. But soon, as the path turns rocky, all that motivation drifts away, and you need the persistence to keep you moving.
Camels are symbolic of this persistence; these animals have not learned to give up. They might not be the fastest, but they can keep walking for the longest, and in our life, that’s all that counts in the end.
The camel pose in yoga
There is a pose in Modern Yoga that is commonly referred to as the “camel pose”. In Sanskrit, this pose is called “Ustrasana” and can be broken down to “Ustra” which means “camel”, and “asana”, which means “posture”.
Ustrasana is a back-bending posture, where at first you need to get into a kneeling position. From this position, you start bending backward towards your legs that are lying flat on the ground. In the final posture, your hands should be resting on your ankles.
Moreover, there are two other postures, both of which are given the name of “Ardhustrasana” or the Half-camel pose. In one of them, you can place your hands on your hips instead of your ankles; and in the other, one hand is touching the ankle while the other goes straight, pointing sky-ward.
The Ustrasana massages your internal organs gently and reduces the risks of indigestion. It is also a great stretching exercise for your back and shoulder muscles and expands your abdominal region. If you suffer from back pain, this asana is very beneficial for you, for it loosens up your vertebrae.
Camel spirit animal
Do you know that one person who is extraordinarily calm in the face of problems and tackles them in the best possible manner? These are the ones who are being guided by the spirit of the camels. Such people are self-sufficient to their core and are, therefore, always confident.
Their confidence is, in fact, their most attractive feature. They will never say “no” to any challenge thrown their way, no matter how difficult. This is why they always do well in life. But if you think the reason behind their success is their sharp mind, you’re probably wrong.
It’s not that they aren’t smart, but they firmly believe in hard work and persistence. They are strong both physically and mentally and invest all their strength into the task they have at hand. They’re committed to their work and determined not to let themselves, or anyone else, down. If you’re their co-worker, you will notice how they’re everybody’s go-to in your workplace.
These people are just as reliable in their personal life. Both their elders and younger feel at ease in their presence and look to them for advice. They are also very helpful; they won’t ever let you carry your burden alone. They tend to be there for the people they love without asking anything in return.
These people have a tendency to be too selfless at home, a drawback that can sometimes cause them pain and discomfort. But it’s nothing they can’t get over in a couple of days.
The camel totem enters your life when your head is full of ideas but you lack the patience and persistence to see them through. Their totems have mastered the art of persistence and are here to teach you the same. The camels firmly believe that discipline and consistency can get you anything you desire.
The camel totems might also come to you to teach you the lesson of modesty. In the world we live in, it is difficult not to get carried away by your greed. However, no matter how much you achieve, there will always be someone who has achieved more.
This vicious cycle will rob you of all your happiness. Therefore, while their totem will not discourage you from anything, they will teach you where to draw the line.
Dreaming of camels
Have you been dreaming of the camels lately? Let’s find out what their dreams could mean for you. Following are some of the common camel dreams, along with their interpretations. Check them out:
Riding a camel
Riding a camel in your dream has a positive interpretation. Such a dream indicates that you will soon be traveling to a place that you hadn’t planned on, but the trip will give you the time of your life.
Buying a camel
Dreaming of buying a camel has a positive implication in your waking life. Such a dream is symbolic of progress in your professional life. Perhaps you will get a huge bonus for a project that you completed successfully, or maybe there’s a promotion waiting for you just around the corner.
Drinking camel’s milk
The milk of a camel is highly nutritious for us. However, dreaming of drinking has a negative interpretation. Such a dream suggests that someone else is controlling your life, and it makes you feel suffocated. If you don’t like the taste of the milk in the dream, it implies that you will soon stand up to them and take charge of your life.
A sick camel
If you see a sick camel in your dream, it is not a good sign. Such a dream indicates that you have been acting rather irresponsibly or inappropriately in the past. Your dream is a message urging you to mend your ways before it’s too late for you.
Feeding a camel
Dreaming of feeding a camel has a positive interpretation. Such a dream indicates that one of your innermost desires will be fulfilled very soon, which will make you happy. Such a dream is often related to your love life.
Selling a camel
If you dream of selling a camel you possess, it is not a good sign. Such a dream is symbolic of your insecurities and inferiority complex, getting the best of you. It is a warning for you not to give in to self-doubt and keep moving ahead.
A camel’s hump
A camel’s hump is their storehouse of water that they have saved to stay hydrated for longer periods. Dreaming of their hump is a warning that you might go through a financial crunch soon. Therefore, just like the camels, you must start saving money, too, if you hope to remain unaffected by the crisis.
Camel symbolism in the Arabian culture
All of us know that a large portion of the Arabian Peninsula is covered with desert, and since camels are the most resourceful animals that can survive in desert regions, their significance to Arabians is apparent.
To the Arabic people, camels are a symbol of wealth and abundance, both literal as well as spiritual. Camels are also kept as pets in many Arab households.
There is an interesting myth behind how camels came into the possession of the Arabs. The first Arabic tribe to get acquainted with the camels were the Bedouins, a tribe of desert-wandering nomads.
The story of camels and the Bedouin tribe
Before camels were brought to the deserts of Arabia, they were companions to the Jews. While the Jews lived with their camels on the mountain plains of Hijaz, the Bedouin tribe lived in the desert that bordered the mountains on one side. To the Bedouins, the mountains seemed fascinating but scary at the same time; they didn’t dare try to explore them.
Then one day, a guide came to the Bedouins and promised them a safe passage across the mountains. The innocent Bedouins found this offer too tempting and couldn’t resist saying yes to it, and so began their journey to the mountains.
However, after a couple of days into the mountains, the guide to the Bedouins mysteriously disappeared. Some of the tribesmen were enraged at being cheated, while the others simply thought that the guide had lost his way around. The people of the tribe wandered for days to find a way out of the mountains but failed. They were lost and famished and began eating their own horses in despair.
Soon afterward, the Bedouins came across the settlement of the Jews. They were awed to see their colorful tents, abundant lifestyle, and the majestic animals standing next to each tent. This was the first time they saw camels.
They waited until dark, cleverly swooped any treasure they could find in the tents along with all the camels, and left. The camels guided the Bedouins back to the desert and began to live alongside them from that point onwards.
To sum it up, camels are majestic animals that make the lives of the desert-dwellers much easier. They are affectionate towards humans and are also kept as pets in many regions. The traits that you can associate with them are patience, persistence, simplicity and modesty, endurance, adaptability, resilience, and survival. As your spirit animals, they will make you independent and self-reliant and never let you give up on anything.