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Whale Symbolism: What Does it Mean to Dream About Whales?

Whales are the kings of the deep; they traverse the world’s oceans and are objects of human fascination and desire. Whales are hunted and just as vigorously protected by environmentalists.

Hazy and dark image of two whales swimming seen from above.

Whales are a part of our lore and literature. What does it mean when these giants of the seas swim into our dreams? Let’s examine the symbolic meaning of the whale and what messages it may have for you when it finds its way into your dream world.

The symbolism of whales

Cultures that live along the sea have believed whales to be magical or spiritual messengers. For example, the Inuit believed the souls of the dead lived on in whales, and members of the Haida tribe believed the killer whale to be the ruler of the sea. Other cultures have found whales to be symbols of our intuition or our deeply hidden emotional life.

The Christian Bible tells the story of Jonah, who is swallowed by a whale and survives the ordeal. In this story, the whale is seen as a symbol of rebirth or resurrection.

a whale's tale sticking out of the ocean with snowy mountains behind.

In literature, whales have been symbolic of the human struggle for survival or the human struggle to find a place in this world. The epic novel Moby Dick is about a man searching for meaning as he hunts a whale.

Whales in our dreams

So if we are dreaming about whales, what does it mean? There are a few interpretations of what a whale in your dream may symbolize.


A whale in your dream may be a sign to examine repressed or unacknowledged emotions. Like the giant blue whale, your emotions may be invisible from the surface but could have the power to rise up and create havoc in your life.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About the Ocean?

Humpback whale seen both above and below the ocean.

Whales move silently through the deep oceans; when you encounter one in your dream, take a moment to plumb the depths of your emotional life.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream of Water?


Whales are the largest creatures found on earth; their size can represent the vastness of the universe. The enormity of the whale may be asking us to consider our place in the universe and seek to transcend the knowledge of this world.

black and white photo of humpback whale underwater.

To dream of whales may mean you wish to find greater meaning and escape the limitations of the known world.

Power and wisdom

Whales have been viewed as powerful and wise rulers of the sea. If they appear in your dreams, they may represent your need for guidance or desire for a higher power.

mother and baby orca whales swimming with mountains in background.

It may be a message to take a deep breath before you make any big decisions, give your internal wisdom time to come to the surface.


A whale in your dream may be telling you not to worry. If you are feeling vulnerable in your waking life, it may be a sign you are protected. Whales may also indicate you are the protector, a powerful force who is able to take care of others when they are feeling afraid or fragile.


When you see or interact with a whale in your dreams, it may symbolize your spirituality or the need for spirituality. Like the whale, our feelings about our spiritual life are often under the surface.

So the whale in your dreams may signal to excavate your spiritual life; do what you can to find what is deep under the surface.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About Dolphins?

Dreaming of specific kinds of whales

Killer whale

To dream of a killer whale may mean wishing to have power over someone or some situation in your life. Take a moment to examine where you might feel you lack power or a voice.

close up of orca whale's head with mouth open.

In addition, the killer whale in your dream may represent intelligence and is encouraging you to use your wisdom to navigate your life.

Beluga whale

Beluga whales are known for their white color, so when they arrive in your dreams, they may signify purity or innocence.

Perhaps you are worried about your own loss of innocence, or maybe you just experienced something that caused you to change your perspective about a situation.

Beluga whales may be a sign you are about to see something for what it really is rather than what you innocently believed it to be.


Narwhals are the unicorns of the sea; they have one long tusk on their head and are very difficult to find. They reside in the Arctic, off the coasts of Canada and Greenland.

If you are dreaming of this fantastical whale, maybe you are seeking more magic in your life. You are looking for an opportunity to indulge your whimsical side. A narwhal in your dream is a sign to go for it.

A whale's tale above the surface of the ocean with blue sky.

Common meanings of whales in dreams

A whale in your dreams should be seen as a welcome visitor. Whales are symbols of power and knowledge. They invite you to examine the depths of your emotional life and desires.

So when you come across a whale in your dream, please take a moment to consider its message for you; you will likely be happy you did.