Secrets Of The Sloth Spirit Animal – Traits, Symbolism & More

by Alan Young
sloth spirit animal

This fascinating creature with its funny little face is found lounging in the tree-top canopies of the rain forests of Central and South America. 

It is the slowest moving mammal on earth traveling around 40 yards per day.  Although known for sleeping hours on end and having an incredibly slow metabolism, the sloth spirit animal figure is certainly not lazy as a spirit guide.

Take a look below to find out all you ever wanted to know about this wonderfully chilled-out spiritual symbol:

Is The Sloth Your Spirit Animal?

OK, so we have all heard the negative connotations about the sloth being lazy.  Sloth is also a word in its own right with the dictionary definition of “reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness”.

Sloth’ is indeed listed as one of the seven deadly sins in the Bible!

But worry not dear sloths, everything has its place in the natural and spiritual world, and like all spirit animals, the sloth has its own valuable collection of virtues to help guide us through life. 

Rather than seeing the sloth as lazy, let’s look at this little wonder as a creature that needs to conserve energy and one that requires more relaxation than most.

Not all of us have the speed of the cheetah, the energy of the dragon, or the immense power of the bear, but it doesn’t make us lesser creatures. 

So, if you are happy spending most of your time just relaxing, and thinking, are not particularly ambitious but have a kind, caring, diplomatic, rather shy, and non-confrontational character, you could well have the sloth as your spirit animal. 

Sloth Spirit Animal Traits & Characteristics (Positive & Negative)

positive and negative sloth traits

The sloth loves nothing more than to relax and can often be mistaken as being a very lazy creature.

This is a rather unfair assumption as we all need relaxation in varying degrees, and who are we humans to sit in judgment of one of nature’s wonderful creatures? 

Energy Conservation

As we know the sloth moves extremely slowly – so slowly in fact that this helps him remain undetected by would-be predators.

The harpy eagle flying overhead, for example, with his vicious claws and incredibly sharp eyesight, will quite often not even see the sloth because of how slow he is.  

So it is easy to see how the sloth spirit animal is extremely helpful in teaching us to conserve our energy and avoid detrimental or dangerous situations. In our human world where everything is fast-paced and results are expected instantly, we often experience feelings of complete exhaustion and wipe-out.  

Enter the sloth spirit animal who can warn us it is time to slow down and take time out; to look after ourselves and give both our body and mind a rest.

The sloth spirit animal can help us to avoid ill-health by teaching us to just slow down and take more time to recharge.

Diplomacy 

One of the sloth’s greatest assets is its ability to teach us diplomacy. 

With so many stressful situations arising in our everyday lives, quite often we can easily get irritated and react in ways we later regret.  With the sloth’s character being that of a super-chilled out creature, it will approach things in a far more balanced way and manage to resolve them without stress or conflict. 

Seeking a peaceful and tranquil outcome is the sloth’s way of managing potential problematic scenarios. 

Patience

sloths are patient

The sloth spirit animal can also teach us to be patient. 

All of that lounging around, basking in the sun-drenched tree-tops makes our furry little friend the master of patience.  He’s in a hurry for no one and nothing.  Whilst we humans are always in such a rush, chasing the next deadline, he can help us to slow down, observe, and think about things before charging headlong into situations that could backfire on us.

The well-known saying that must have been coined with this wonderfully patient creature in mind is “all good things come to he who waits”!  

Adaptability

The sloth is a very adaptable creature. 

He has even learned to invite a whole host of creatures to live in his fur, not least the moth!

This allows him to grow algae on his fur which provides him with extra blue/green camouflage.  This is perfect for helping to conceal him in the rainforest environment.  

As much as the sloth loves nothing more than lounging around all day, he can also be quick to act should a predator come his way, by swiping his long claws to fend off adversaries.

During floods, he can drop down from the treetops into the water below and not just survive, but most surprising of all, he makes an excellent swimmer!

This adaptability allows the sloth spirit animal to show us how to deal with changes in our lives, teaching us how to adapt to different situations. When to keep our heads down and when to act, but making sure we do so calmly and diplomatically.  

Creativity

Those who identify with the sloth spirit animal will often be shy characters but also possess an extremely creative side. 

Being very creative thinkers, they spend much of their time conjuring up ideas, often using so much energy thinking about them that they never actually get any further than their thoughts!  

In this way, they can be seen as dreamers but to them, it doesn’t actually matter whether their ideas become more than that – they are just happy to lay around thinking, relaxing, and avoiding anyone or anything that may ruin their peace.

Strength & Endurance

Sloths are strong creatures and certainly know all about endurance. 

Often seen hanging onto branches way up high in the trees for hours on end is a testament to this.  Their long arms and sharp claws gripping for that amount of time, quite often upside down, clearly demonstrates the level of their strength and endurance.

This is another great example of how the sloth spirit animal can help us find the strength to cope with certain situations in life and to find the inner strength and endurance to deal with others during the most testing of times without irritability or giving up.

The sloth is all about just taking a moment to stop, think, and deal with life in a calm way – and that certainly does require a lot of mental and spiritual strength and endurance.

Sloth Symbolism

symbolism of sloth

The sloth symbolizes relaxation and peace, always reminding us not to fret and worry about things in life, especially those things we cannot change. 

They show us how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life by being in harmony with their environment and avoiding conflict with other creatures. They don’t even emit the usual odors that most creatures generally do, so they can go undetected by wild cats such as the mighty jaguar, further demonstrating their impressive ability to avoid and evade conflict and danger. 

The sloth also has the ability to rotate its head 270 degrees thereby symbolizing incredible psychic vision.

They also symbolize introspection and meditation by spending a lot of their time without moving at all. Just “being” and living life in their own sloth-like way, being at peace with themselves and the world around them.

Having a kind heart and harmonious spirit, the sloth can teach us to appreciate a simplistic way of living, without complication or stress.

The Meaning Of Sloths In Mythology, Folklore, & Native Cultures

Once upon a time, there was a ground sloth. 

This creature existed as far back as 40 million years ago!

It was known as a “mapinguary” and mythology has it that it was a fearless beast and able to hypnotize its victims!

This is totally mind-blowing – the cute little funny-faced tree dweller that we all know and love is related to a creature that existed way back then, albeit in a slightly different form! 

Well, a lot of Amazonian tribes have had very little, if any, contact with the modern, outside world or indeed each other, yet this myth about the ground sloth still stands strong and has been passed down through millennia!

The folklore of the 7ft tall beast with the mouth-like slit in its belly still endures today – could this be another example of the sloth spirit’s endurance!?

The Meaning Of Sloths In Dreams

dreaming of a sloth

If a sloth appears in your dreams it can be a very strong indication that you need to take more time to relax and recharge your batteries.

This creature symbolizes relaxation, peace, and harmony.

But a sloth in your dreams can also mean you need to look at things from a different perspective.  With its ability to turn its head 270 degrees and to hang upside down on a branch high up in the treetops for hours on end, it can be showing you that you need to view a situation differently and maybe from a loftier perspective

Other Potential Hidden Messages Associated With The Sloth

There are a few other hidden meanings behind sloths appearing in your dreams:

  • Maybe you are rushing into something too quickly and the sloth appears to remind you to cool it a bit, slow down and take things at a more measured pace.
  • Conversely, you may be lacking motivation in life, and seeing the sloth in your dreams can send you a subtle message that you need to get your butt into gear! As much as you love this cute, smiley forest-dweller, you don’t actually want to become one!
  • Dreaming of a sloth can sometimes mean you need to be more assertive in a situation. The sloth after all is a very chilled-out, laid-back creature, and although this can be a good thing, you know what they say – “too much of a good thing…..” – hey, I can’t remember the rest but you get the drift!
  • If you’re feeling stressed-out and overwhelmed the sloth can appear to send you a message to just stop! Try to relax a little more and find the positive things in your life and focus on them. Think of this smiley species as the bringer of simple pleasures, appreciation, and ultimate peace and harmony.

So whether you are a sloth, or whether you need a bit more of the wonderfully chilled sloth nature in your life, be sure to have an open mind and heart, and let your spirit guide enter and steer you through life’s pitfalls to a happier and more fulfilled existence.

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