Meaning, Medicine & Magic

Penguin symbolizes dreams, adaptability, dual-natures, closeness, family, and spirituality.

Penguin is a bird that has adapted to fly through the water instead of the sky – choosing to dive deep into the world of dreams.

Penguin travels easily between realms and recommends that you use your dreaming skills during chaotic times, because a breakthrough IS happening.

Penguin brings confusion, contradictions, and the power to handle opposites with its black and white markings and its ability to live in both Arctic poles and hot climates.

Embrace this dual-natured characteristic by not always having to exclude, choose, or sacrifice.

Instead bring things together with closeness. Just like Penguin does with friends, family, and spirituality – all huddled together.

Lessons In Wild Play


Nature is a master teacher. Research your animal’s habits in the wild and try playing & acting as it. How could this help shift your experiences? 


  • Penguins huddle together to stay warm and are very social. Stay close to people, but be aware of a tendency to smothering, cling, or attach yourself to others. Know that we are all connected even if we are not in close proximity. Closeness can take many forms. We are all family. Let this idea of oneness pull you in closer with your own spirituality.
  • The black and white coloring of Penguins offers it excellent camouflage while swimming. From above they blend into the dark sea, and from below their white bellies matches the bright sky. Know that you are protected from various angles. You can let yourself be more vulnerable than you think you can.

  • Usually, birds only lose a few feathers at a time. Penguins molt all at once during a 3-week process called a catastrophic molt. This can represent the tendency to go through big emotional shifts and changes all at one time. When change, release, or understanding might not appear to be happening for you, know that it’s building up to happen in a monumental way when the timing is right. Embrace this pattern when it shows up and be kind to yourself. This is how you process best.

  • Male emperor penguins take care of the eggs while the female hunts. They are also nostalgic to their nesting site and the rookery in which they were born. Honor your preferred masculine and feminine roles in partnerships and your love of home.

  • Just because you’re a bird does not mean that you act like one. Most birds have hollow bones making it easier for them to fly. Penguins have dense bones which make it easier for them to dive. Don’t assume that you have to do things as others do. You are uniquely equipped to what you do best.

Splash & Dance…

with Water, Color & Spirit

Watch the magic in lightspeed action…

Call on Penguin

Invite Penguin into your life. Surround, inspire, and remind yourself that your spirit animal guide is with you & within you. Embody the skills of your power animal and share your unique gifts with the world.

Totem Card

penguin symbolism

Save the symbolism on Pinterest

Art Print

penguin watercolor art print


Dive in Deeper

Spirit Animal Readings

tanya casteel artist painter spirit animal reading shaman

Discover what messages your spirit animal(s) have for you. Through my visual meditations, I can take you on a journey full of wonder and intuitive guidance.

Custom Totem Animal Painting

custom spirit animal painting

I would love to paint your spirit animal for you. What animal is calling to you?

I want to hear about your Penguin experiences. What stories or dreams have you had? Please share and join in the conversation below!


  1. Tracie

    I love your site and more importantly your art.

    Im new and enthused by you and your work, thank you.

  2. Remi

    I just arose from a dream with a penguin that was dancing he had crazy eyes and I decided to mirror him and dance too, we were moving out shoulders side to side it was great fun we were staring in each other’s eyes and then I realised exactly how free I felt and stopped and so did penguin, he said now his back feels loose and he smiled and so did I. He was a macaroni penguin

    • Tanya Casteel

      I love macaroni penguins! Thanks for sharing your dream. I love how free we can feel when we dance and how intimate connections can become with eye contact.

  3. Jodiy

    The reason I researched the medicine of the Penguin is because I had a dream where there were a whole bunch of miniature penguins gathered on my left thigh, while one stood apart…I just now realized the significance of that…being a loner myself… The dream seemed to be more about my not wanting to disturb them by staying still & not moving. I guess I am still processing it. Thank you for having this information available to me! Love your Penguin portrait also. Coincidentally it matches my glitter nail polish which I never normally wear! No coincidences.


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