Snail Symbolism and Meaning (Totem, Spirit and Omens)

Snail Symbolism

This article will help you gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual meaning and symbolism behind snails. As we explore the deeper meanings of a “snail,” we encounter many interesting ideas. If you are here to learn what it means to have a snail appear in your dreams, scroll down to the “What do snails mean in my dreams?”. So pop some corn, grab a glass of juice and let’s get started! What does a snail symbolize?

Snail is associated with wisdom, slow progress, persistence, patience, peace, self-care, and harmony. It’s a gentle creature that carries its home wherever it goes. They also symbolize self-love and self-care above everything else, retreating into their shell at the first sign of danger. The softness of the snail’s body represents transience, while its spiral shell can be seen as a symbol for reincarnation.

Let’s understand in detail the snail symbolism, their significance in different cultures, and the importance of their spirit animals and totems.


Snail Symbolism

While it might seem like snails have little to teach us, it is far from the truth. On the contrary, these slimy little worms are symbolic of some of the most valuable traits and qualities that we can learn:


A snail’s lack of speed is perhaps its most defining feature. But in a world that’s bent on moving faster every day, what do we need to maintain our own pace? Patience.

Patience is the only virtue that can help us in staying calm amidst all the chaos. Only if we’re patient can we resist the temptation of giving in to the pressure and participating in the rat race.

Patience is a gift you can not only use for yourself but also with the people around you; the ones you love and care about. When your loved ones are going through a bad phase, you must lend them your support without criticism or judgment, and for that, you need to be patient.


Whenever a snail senses any danger in their surroundings, they retract inside the safety of their shell. These little mollusks have learned that depending on others for their needs can be dangerous and, therefore, they only count on themselves.

They stand for putting ourselves first and taking our needs seriously. In your world, there might be many people out there who might want to hurt you physically or emotionally.

Thus, you must take care of your physical, mental, and psychological well-being.


Most people seem to think that speed is the most important parameter of success. But they’re wrong. If the age-old saying “Slow and steady wins the race” teaches us anything, it is that speed cannot always guarantee success.

Just as the snails are not bothered by any sense of pressure and move at their own pace, so should you. This will not only lead you to your success in the end but will also give you plenty of time to enjoy the journey.


Snail symbolism in the Aztec culture

In ancient Aztec culture, the snails were considered to be sacred animals by people due to their spiral shell, which was symbolic of the cycle of life and death. Snails are also mentioned in their mythologies of their Gods and deities.

The story of Tecciztecatl

One such Aztec tale is about Tecciztecatl. Tecciztecatl was the Aztec God of worms and snails. As such, he had a very low status among all the Gods and was looked down on by them.

There was nothing Tecciztecatl wanted more than to elevate his status. One day, he found the perfect opportunity to do so. The sacrificial flames were burned to form the Sun. If Tecciztecalt jumped in the fires, he would forever be praised as the Sun.

He volunteered, much to the other gods’ surprise, and was presented as a candidate in the ceremony. However, just as he was about to jump, the ravishing flames of the fire scared him, and he backed off. Nanahuatzin, one of the humblest Aztec Gods, took up the charge and bravely jumped into the fire.

Tecciztecalt was embarrassed and couldn’t help jumping right after him, but most of the fire had turned into ash by then.

A mighty eagle flew to them, carrying both of them to the sky. But while Nanahuatzin shone resplendently in the sky, the glow of Tecciztecalt was relatively feeble, and, thus, he came to be known as the Moon. Even as the Moon God, he was still jeered at by the others. Therefore, he changed his name to Meztli.


Dreaming of Snails

Just like in your waking life, the snails in your dreams can also have many positive messages and lessons for you. Once you delve deeper into the details of your dream, you’d be able to analyze it more accurately. Today, we will talk about some common snail dreams and their interpretation.

A snail without a shell

Dreaming of a snail without its shell is not a good sign. The shell-less snail in your dream is symbolic of your vulnerability or insecurity in your life. This dream could suggest that you’re currently going through a difficult phase and have an extremely fragile state of mind. You need the support and comfort of your loved ones now more than ever.

Eating a snail

If you see yourself eating a snail in your dream, it has a positive interpretation. Such a dream indicates that you will soon have a great time with your friends and loved ones. Moreover, a great piece of news might be in the cards for you.

Collecting snails

Dreaming of collecting snails has two interpretations. The first one is positive and could mean that you might get pregnant soon.

The second negative one suggests that some kind of danger is lurking in your future, and if you are unable to avert it in time, it can wreak havoc in your life.

Killing a snail

Did you dream of stepping on a snail by mistake and killing it? Such a dream indicates that if you’re about to start a new business venture, try to make informed decisions to not leave any room for mistakes.

However, if you killed the snail intentionally in your dream, it is a bad sign and suggests that your business will suffer because of a wrong decision you have made in the past.

A giant snail

Dreaming of a giant snail is symbolic of some kind of confusion in your sex life. We all know how snails do not reveal their sex easily. Perhaps this dream is a sign that you’re not satisfied with your current partner and seek someone else.

A snail crawling all over you

Dreaming of a snail crawling all over you can have two different interpretations. The first interpretation is symbolic of your desire to procreate. Perhaps you have been trying to have a baby for a while, with no success.

The other interpretation of this dream suggests the presence of an oppressive figure in your life who suffocates you or creeps you out. This person is making you feel restless, and your dream is a sign that you must distance yourself from them.

A dead snail

If you see a dead snail in your dream, it is a bad sign. Such a dream indicates that you have recently had an experience that has drained out all your energy and made you exhausted. Your dream is a sign that you need to take a break from your routine life in order to pull yourself together and heal from that experience.


Snail symbolism in Christianity

Unlike most of the cultures in the world, snails have a negative symbolism in Christianity. Out of the seven deadly sins that are condemned in the Bible, they’re considered to be symbolic of sloth, the sin of being excessively lazy. This comparison finds its root in the slow movement of the snails.


Snail totem

The snail totem enters your life when you’re so focused on running after a particular goal or dream that you’ve stopped paying attention to everything else going on around you. The lesson that these totems are here to give you is: slow down!

There’s more to life than that, and you must realize it before it’s too late. When you focus on a singular thing, everything else in the background becomes too blurry, and that’s not a healthy approach to life. While your dreams are important, enjoying the little pleasures of life with your loved ones is equally essential.

Alternatively, their totem could also appear to help you when you’re beating yourself up over your slow progress. They believe that if you trust in the process, you needn’t hurry towards the destination; the pace you’re moving at is just fine.

If you keep comparing your growth with someone else’s, you will never be satisfied. After all, two different people can never walk a path the same way. As long as you’re determined to keep walking, you needn’t worry about anything.


Snails in the myths and legends of the creation of the world

The snails have been mentioned by several tribes in their folktales and myths about the creation of the world. Let’s take a look at some of these stories:

From the Native American tribe of the Navajo Indians

The Navajos are an ethnic group of Native Americans who live in the southwestern region of the United States. In their story of creation, people used to live in the Fourth World.

Then, one day came the mighty flood, and all of them had to migrate to the Fifth World (the world we’re living in now). This world was located on the shore of a great ocean. Soon, all the gathered people began to make homes for themselves. However, before nightfall, all of them returned to the shore; they realized that there was no fresh water to drink in this world.

The First Woman among all of them suggested that someone would have to return to their former, flooded world to bring fresh water here. Some of the strongest people were sent for this task, but none of them were successful.

Then, a frail-looking girl named “snail” volunteered to go. Most people gathered around found it ridiculous; they were sure that the girl couldn’t succeed. But the First Woman was moved by her courage and tied a bottle to her back, in which she would collect the freshwater.

And so, the little girl went off on her mission. It took her a long time to reach the Fourth World, and once she was there, she filled her bottle and started her journey back to the shore. She hadn’t noticed, but the bottle’s cap was not tightly secured, because of which it kept spilling the entire way, leaving a silver trail behind her.

As she reached the Fifth World and turned back, she saw that the spilled water had created a large river. All the people were surprised and grateful to the little girl. The First Woman declared that she would forever wear the water bottle as a symbol of her great journey.

The water bottle is symbolic of a snail’s shell, and the spilled trail she left behind reflects the moisture trail of the snails.

From the island of Nauru

Previously known as “Pleasant Island”, Nauru is an island country in the Central Pacific. In this country, there’s a popular myth about the beginning of the world where only two things existed: the sea and Areop-Enap, a spider.

Once, Areop-Enap was searching for food in the dark when he came across a large clam that swallowed him up. Inside the clam, he found two snails that helped him to open up the clam and climb out.

Once out, Areop-Enap broke the clam into two; the lower part became land while the upper one became the sky. Out of the two snails, he sent the bigger one to the East to become the Sun and the smaller to the West to become the Moon.


Snail spirit animal

If you are someone who tends to analyze every aspect of a situation before making a decision, you are being guided by the spirit of the snails. Such people are more of a thinker than a doer, but they make sure it is well-backed when they act.

While they might not be the boldest person in a room, they could be the wisest, someone who is watching and listening to everything without saying much. It is very easy to underestimate these people; however, they might take you by surprise when the time is right.

Guided by the snail spirit, these people have patience in abundance. They’re great learners, for they pay attention to even the minute details. They’re never in a hurry; you can’t intimidate them into acting impulsively. Their progress might be negligible to you, but as long as they know that they’re moving on the right path, they’re happy.

If you’re ever looking for a friend who could console you, they could be your go-to person. They understand that life is not a race and that comparing your success, growths, or problems with those of someone else is wrong because we’re all living different lives and are entitled to our own pace on its path.

As lovers, such people have a laid-back attitude. While they won’t say “no” to any of your plans, expecting them to actively participate in it would be pointless. While you might get bored with a partner like them in your twenties, meeting them in your thirties is a blessing, for they know how to appreciate the growth of life.


When can you call on the snail spirit animal?

You can call on the spirits of the snail to guide you when:

  • Your fast-paced life is a lot for you to handle. Speed is not the solution to everything, and the snail spirit understands it well. Moreover, we often miss all the important things when we’re moving too fast. It is only when we slow down and take in everything around us that we’re truly able to appreciate our life.
  • You feel intimidated by the growth of others. It’s impossible not to be bothered by the success of others’ when you have nothing to show for yourself. However, the snail spirits ask you this: do you think you’re moving in the right direction? And as long as the answer is yes, it doesn’t matter if you’re going too slow because you will ultimately end up where you wanted to. Trust the process.


Conclusion: Snail Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning

Most people think of snails as lazy creatures that spend their lives doing nothing. However, if you look at these mollusks from a different perspective, you will notice how they’re actually wise and self-aware.

Their spirit understands their true capabilities and acts accordingly. They’re calm and composed, never making hasty decisions that they might regret later.

Under their guidance, you will learn to see yourself differently and appreciate what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t. The snail’s form also serves as a great metaphor for meditation. Just as the snail houses an inner self within its shell, so do you contain the deepest parts of yourself within your consciousness.


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