The meaning of the dream symbol: Bat

The bat as winged creature, refers to ones erratic state of mind and the distinct danger associated with that kind of unsteady ‘focus in ones everyday consciousness. The Bat (as baseball stick) symbolizes hitting for glory, and otherwise, attempting to ‘score’ or ‘win’ some critical game. The ‘game’ itself is symbolic of life. Therefore, naturally, the hit or miss of the bat, singular in the game process, is significantly expressing a determining event in ones own life. Some crucial event which may effect our social standing has already transpired, or will take place in the very near future.

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In this sense, the bat is the archetype of promise, potency and potential. Moreover, as phallus, the bat can ‘score (sexual fulfillment), be broken (castration or impotence), or strike out (a general lack of self-confidence). As such, we need to wholly understand the significance of whatever occurs while we are ‘up at bat’.


1. As a creature of the night and - for many people - frightening, a bat may symbolize something in your unconscious, possibly some part of you that has been repressed because of its association with an early traumatic experience.

2. Alternatively, it might symbolize intuitive wisdom. (The bat seems to navigate without the aid of ordinary vision.)


A cricket or baseball bat may symbolize either male sexuality or aggressiveness.

Under Mosaic Law, the bat was an unclean beast and became the symbol of idolatry and fear.

In the Far East, the bat is a symbol of good luck because the character which designates it, fu, is homophonous with the character which means ‘good luck’. In messages of good wishes, a bat is sometimes depicted alongside the character meaning ‘longevity’. In Chinese prints, bat and stag are frequently associated and bats are embroidered on the robe worn by the god of good luck. Five bats depicted quincuncially symbolize the Five Happinesses (wu fu).

Again, in some works of art under Germanic influence, the bat symbolizes envy, for just as it ‘only flies by night or at dusk, so envy works in the shadows and does not expose itself to the light of day’. Similarly ‘the bat is naturally blinded by daylight, just as envious and malevolent persons cannot bear the sight of other people’.

The bat is a bird manque and, as Buffon remarked, ‘a monstrous creature’, quite unlike the blue bird, which remains a creature of the heavens, even at night. ‘Something dark and threatening’, Bachelard observes, seems to gather round these night-fliers. Thus many imagine the bat as the incarnation of the clumsy flier, with what Buffon calls ‘its uncertain flutterings’, silent flight, dark flight, ground-clinging flight, the very antithesis of the Shelleyan trilogy of music, light and space. Doomed forever to beat its wings, the bat can never enjoy the dynamic ease of gliding flight. In fact, as Jules Michelet observes it is apparent that Nature tried for a wing and only succeeded in producing a hideous, hairy membrane, which nonetheless performs the office of one... However, the wing does not make the bird. In Victor Hugo’s cosmology of winged creatures, the bat is that accursed being which personifies atheism.