Animal Symbolism

Spiritual Meanings of Rats

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Rats are rodents that have often been viewed as frightening pests that spread disease. However, across various cultures and spiritual traditions, rats have accumulated many symbolic meanings related to adaptability, survival, fertility, and more. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the varied spiritual interpretations and dream symbolism of rats.

Spiritual Meanings of Rats


The rat spirit animal represents adaptability and the ability to survive and thrive in any environment or circumstance. Rats can live anywhere from city sewers to remote wilderness, adapting quickly to find food, shelter, and avoid danger. Their flexible nature teaches us resourcefulness and how to navigate challenging times.


For the rat spirit, stealth brings strength. Rats move through the world unseen, gathering information and observing everything while remaining undetected. Calling on the rat allows us to uncover secrets, find hidden truths, and develop razor-sharp observational skills. The rat reminds us of the power that comes from operating subtly versus forcefully.


Though small, the fearless rat boldly explores the unknown. Its ability to overcome anxiety and venture into shadowy places signifies facing inner fears and insecurities. The rat encourages the courage to push past limiting beliefs and steadily move forward, even in darkness. It lends emotional bravery to see truths without avoidance or illusion.


Due to their rapid reproduction, rats represent fertility and abundance in many cultures. Their segmented rice-shaped droppings symbolically brought wealth in ancient China. The mystical rat multiplies prosperity and good fortune. Its spirit brings the power to manifest our dreams and cultivate the riches of health, wealth, love, and success.


The determined rat never gives up. It persists through challenges that deter others with stubborn optimism. As a spirit guide, the hardy rat pushes us to keep striving toward goals despite obstacles. With grit and stamina, the rat models the attitude needed to overcome setbacks and approach hardships as opportunities. Its energy inspires stubborn resilience on the path toward achievement.

Spiritual Meaning of Rats in the House

Rats in the house often symbolize change and renewal. The rat is able to squeeze into small spaces, showing an ability to access parts of yourself or your life you have neglected.

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A rat sighting tells you to pay attention to aspects of your life you may have overlooked before. The presence of rats can also signify a need for spring cleaning, clearing out old habits or beliefs that no longer serve you to make room for new growth.

Their ability to find what they need reminds you that you have the tools within yourself to overcome any challenges you currently face.

Seeing a Rat at Night Spiritual Meaning

The rat is most active at night, so a nighttime sighting can suggest it’s time to let your intuition guide you even in dark times. The rat’s ability to navigate at night reminds you that even when you can’t see the path ahead, you have inner resources to rely on.

A rat sighting at night can also mean the light will soon return – as the night always fades to day, your current struggles will pass.

The nocturnal rat arrives in the dark to tell you this too shall pass – take heart knowing dawn comes.

Cultural History and Symbolism of Rats

Throughout history, rats have been viewed differently across cultures. In Western societies, rats are generally seen as dirty, disease-carrying vermin. However, in many Eastern cultures, rat symbolism is much more positive.

In Asian cultures, rats represent wealth and abundance because of their ability to reproduce rapidly. In Native American cultures, rats exemplified resourcefulness and survival skills. In African cultures, rats were believed to have great generative powers and fertility.

So while rats evoke fear and loathing in some societies, their ability to adapt, survive, and thrive has earned them more revered symbolic meaning in other traditions.

Rats in Dream Symbolism and Folklore

Rats appear frequently in dream symbolism and folklore, often representing our subconscious thoughts and emotions.

Dreaming about rats can symbolize anxiety, worries, or fears that gnaw away at us. It can also represent feelings of disloyalty, betrayal, and lack of trust in waking life.

But some dreams present rats in a more positive light – as tenacious survivors who are street smart and resourceful. Rat dreams sometimes encourage us to let go of fears and have the courage to face life’s challenges.

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Across world folklore, rats appear in varied stories – as wily tricksters, guides to the underworld, or helpers who save the day unexpectedly. Their sneakiness and ability to hide in plain sight have inspired many mythical rat characters.

Rats Totem, Spirit, and Power Animal


As someone with the Rat totem, you are adaptable, resourceful, and instinctual. You are able to adjust quickly to new situations and make the most of whatever resources are available. Your instincts guide you well.


The spirit of the Rat makes you curious, observant, and stealthy. You enjoy exploring new places and learning new things. You also have a knack for moving about undetected and finding out information without drawing attention to yourself.

Power Animal

With the Rat as your power animal, you are intelligent and creative in finding solutions to problems. You come up with inventive ideas and can navigate complex situations. You are also sociable, friendly, and get along well with others. The Rat gives you the power to overcome any obstacles in your way.

Rats in Religion and Spiritual Practices

In many faiths and spiritual traditions, rats play an interesting ceremonial role.

In Hinduism, the rat is vehicle of the elephant-headed deity Ganesh, Bringer of Success. Temples offer bananas and sweets to the rats of Ganesh.

Ancient Egyptians believed rats carried the soul of the sun god Ra. Thus, killing rats was forbidden.

Some pagan and Wiccan rituals use rats to represent fertility and abundance. Ritual offerings of grain and fruit symbolically feed and honor the spirit of the rat.

Contemplating Rat Symbolism in Your Own Life

If you feel drawn to rat symbolism or if rats appear repeatedly in your dreams, it’s worth spending time thinking about the deeper meaning being revealed.

What traits of the rat resonate with you? Are you being called to adapt more skillfully, observe things from a new perspective, or uncover what’s working against you? Can the rat help reframe your fears and anxieties into motivations?

Rats have much to teach us about resilience, determination, instincts, and the hidden power of the mind. Their spirit energies can guide us to live more fully in alignment with our truths.

The next time you encounter rats, whether in dreams or daily life, consider what message their spirit may be sending you.


In the end, rats carry varied symbolic meanings in cultures worldwide – as both harbingers of disease and as bringers of wisdom. By exploring rat symbolism, we uncover deeper lessons about adaptability, survival, perceptions, and overcoming fear. Their spirit reminds us to move forward with purpose while remaining observant, resourceful, and willing to evolve.

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