Geckoes are some of the weirdest and most wonderful creatures in the animal world. With death-defying sticky fingers and big, beautiful eyes - they're guaranteed to attract your notice when you find one in the wild, a pet store, or even in just in a dream. But what is the spiritual meaning of a gecko? What does a gecko in your life tell you about where you're headed?
Finding a gecko might mean that it's time for you to find your voice. Tokay geckos (Gekko gekko) are able to vocalize, which is considered weird and wild in the animal kingdom (for lizards). A gecko in your life may also mean that you have good luck headed your way.
Many times when perusing the internet, one will find "The Magic of Animals!" "Find out what your omens mean!" and other websites related to the meanings and energies of animals in the natural and magical world. Hopefully, when I speak of plants or animals, my information will be based on observation as well as the traditional energies. Today, I will be reviewing the general properties of lizards, and with that, more specifically, the beauty of geckos.
Where do lizards - and geckos - fit in the evolutionary tree?
Lizards are members of the phylum Chordata, sub phylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia. In terms of evolution, reptiles were the first to have eggs with an amniote - a protective layer in the egg that provides nourishment. It is said that reptiles and birds are closely related, but most classification systems still place them in separate classes.
Reptiles allow the environment around them to influence them in a direct manner. Because they are ectotherms, reptiles use the world around them to help control their body temperature. When purchasing a desert lizard, you're supposed to offer them a source of heat. If it gets too cold, they will not be as active, or live long, healthy lives.
In addition, reptiles offer the use of a closed circulation system. This means that reptiles' blood remains in veins and arteries. This may seem odd to you if you are not biologically inclined, however, there exists such a thing as an open circulatory system in which blood kind of flows over everything in the body and eventually trickles back to the heart. With the closed circulatory system, reptiles have a three or four chambered heart.
Therefore, within this biological context, we have established several things about the general energy of lizards:
- They are capable of using the environment to improve their quality of life
- They are indicative of improved protection of their young
- With the closed circulatory system, reptiles are representative of homeostasis and balance - they have a steady pulse.
The spiritual meaning of geckos
But this is not a blog about the leopard gecko. Instead, we're going to talk about the Gekko gekko. The Tokay Gecko is a very interesting species. In addition to being just awesome, the lizard symbolism is outstanding. The Tokay Gecko has a special ability: it can speak. Assuming this ability on all lizards, it is easy to conclude that lizards, and gecko symbolism most especially, represent the following:
- The power of the voice
Walking along, seeing a gecko - either on a sign, or a cartoon, or in real life if you live in that sort of area - can be a strong reminder or omen to you to speak up! Have a voice in your community, and do something. Sometimes, we wander through life and all we do is what we're supposed to do. As a pagan, as a witch, as someone who is in love with nature and with the concept of deity, you have extra responsibilities. The gecko may be a sign for you to take action.
Other lizard symbolism
In addition to that, geckos and other small lizards have other energies assigned to them:
- Moving unseen from one world into another. (Do you ever see them waltzing into your house?)
- Determination (Ever been holding a lizard that got so scared that it removed itself from its tail so that it could run away? The tails can twitch for hours)
- Balance - many lizards are omnivores - they eat both living prey such as crickets, and plants or fruit
I believe that the most common spiritual classification for this animal is with the Fire element. This, I agree with, as the energies assigned above lend themselves to emotional and spiritual pursuits. Fire is that passing from one world to another - from the physical, to the spiritual.
What else can a lizard symbolize?
In many traditions, lizard symbols bring good luck and fortune to those who see or wear the talisman. They can represent new beginnings, luck in business, and getting rid of (bad) old habits. Their dream meanings are similar, but can include some of the other lizard symbolism from above: like determination, and balance.
If you're dreaming of geckos, pay attention to how you feel. Dream meanings can vary, but how you feel can be a big indicator of what was meant by the dream. Other creatures may represent a bad omen, but the gecko is generally seen as a positive influence in your dreams.
Is a gecko my spirit animal?
Unless you are indigenous, First Nations, or Native American, a gecko is not your lizard spirit animal. A spirit animal is a reserved term for indigenous peoples, not folks descended from European colonizer descent. It's rude, disrespectful, downright offensive to appropriate the term "spirit animal" from indigenous peoples if you are descended from settlers.
In other words, spirit animals are meant for Native American peoples, not anyone else. Spirit animals are not for white people, simple as that. When in doubt, speak to people who are experts in racial diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. But it's easier to just select a different term and create your own culture.
If you feel a strong connection to lizards, don't call it your lizard animal totem or lizard spirit animal. Instead, focus on using non-reserved words, like focus animal or companion spirit. You can mix and match words and phrases until you find one that's right for you. Similarly, don't use words like "gecko totem" or "lizard totem" - use "power animal" instead. There are plenty of inoffensive ways to connect to animals that speak to you without relying on "lizard spirit animal". Be a leader in the magical world by watching how you speak.
This post was originally written on August 27, 2008 and updated on December 6, 2021.