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Exploring the Symbolism of Mushrooms (Top 10 Meanings)

Exploring the Symbolism of Mushrooms (Top 10 Meanings)

Did you see a mushroom in your dream or out in the wild? You might be wondering whether or not this means something! 

Mushrooms are associated with positive aspects of life, such as good relationships, healing, nourishment, resurrection, wisdom, longevity, immortality, magic, mysticism, prosperity, abundance and resilience in many cultures all over the world. (1)

They have a unique place in the spiritual world and are more than just delicacies that we like to munch on! 

In this article, we will explore the symbolism and meaning of mushrooms across various traditions and examine their significance in different aspects of the human experience.

Spiritual Meaning

Owing to the everlasting life cycle of a mushroom, they are often regarded as a symbol of spiritual awakening and growth. They act as a bridge between the spiritual realm and the material world and have been closely associated with the concept of rebirth and renewal for ages. 

This is because mushrooms are born from death, growing on compost that is decaying/dead. (2)

Let us now look at what mushrooms signify in different religions. 

Pink mushrooms on mossy ground.
Photo by Presetbase Lightroom Presets on Unsplash

Mushroom Symbolism in Different Religions & Cultures 

Here is what a mushroom symbolizes in different religions and cultures all over the world: 

Native Americans 

In Native American culture, mushrooms are often used in spiritual ceremonies and are seen as a source of healing and connection to the natural world. Many tribes believe that mushrooms have the ability to communicate with the spirit world and are used in rituals to gain insight and guidance from the ancestors. 

The mushroom H. Odorus was also considered sacred and was used for healing and curing diseases like diarrhea, dysentery and coughs. 


In Christian tradition, mushrooms are often associated with the concept of resurrection and the afterlife. This is due to their ability to grow rapidly from seemingly dead or decaying matter, which is seen as a metaphor for the resurrection of Christ. 

Brown mushrooms on green grass during daytime.
Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

In some ancient lores, mushrooms have also been linked to the story of Adam and Eve, where the forbidden fruit is depicted as a mushroom. 


The belief in enlightenment sits at the very core of Buddhism, which is why mushrooms also hold a very special place in this religion. Some old scriptures also state that monks used to consume psychedelic mushrooms like ‘Amanita muscaria’ to reach enlightenment. (3)

They also represent wisdom, since they grow in dark, damp places and are often associated with the idea of emerging from darkness into light. In addition, the shape of the mushroom cap is reminiscent of the traditional Buddhist symbol of the stupa, which represents the enlightened mind. 


In Japan, mushrooms are a popular subject of art and literature and are often used as a symbol of longevity and immortality. This is because many types of mushrooms are believed to have medicinal properties and are associated with the idea of eternal youth

Pink and white wall with graffiti of mushroom.
Photo by Ower Yonder on Unsplash

Since mushrooms have properties like low calories, high nutrient concentration and plenty of antioxidants, they also go quite well with the traditional Japanese diet. 

Ancient European 

In ancient European cultures, mushrooms were often associated with magic and mysticism. They were used in rituals to induce altered states of consciousness and were believed to have the ability to transport individuals to other realms of existence. 

Did you know? Mushrooms could also mean that a loved one who died is wishing you luck, given how they are connected with death in many religions. (4)

Mushroom Symbolism in Dreams

Seeing mushrooms in your dreams can have many different interpretations based on how you interact with them. For instance, if you see yourself cleaning a mushroom, it means that you are gaining self-discipline and are moving towards a life of resilience

If you see someone else picking your mushrooms, this could mean that there are people who are lurking behind your back to take your money. Lastly, if you see yourself holding mushrooms in your dreams, it means that a positive event is about to come into your life. 

Brown mushroom on green grass during daytime.
Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Do Mushrooms Bring Good or Bad Luck?

There are many superstitions surrounding mushrooms, and their association with luck is no exception. In some cultures, mushrooms are believed to bring good luck and are seen as a symbol of prosperity and abundance. (5) In others, they are considered to be bad luck and are associated with misfortune and illness. However, these beliefs are largely based on superstition and do not have any scientific basis. 

Some people also use mushrooms as a totem to represent that they value relationships and do not like something superficial. In most cases, however, mushrooms are a good omen. 

Common Superstitions About Mushrooms

  • Stepping on a mushroom is said to bring bad luck or cause rain to fall.
  • Eating a mushroom that has been touched by a toad or frog is believed to be poisonous.
  • Finding a ring of mushrooms (also known as a fairy ring) is said to be a sign of good luck and may indicate the presence of fairies. (6)
  • Placing a mushroom on a windowsill is said to ward off evil spirits and protect the home.

What Does It Mean If You Keep Seeing Mushrooms?

If you see these little organisms popping up in your yard, or you keep seeing mushrooms wherever you go, chances are that something good is about to happen. Seeing mushrooms constantly could also mean that you need to work on your communication skills and keep focusing on a healthy lifestyle as you are doing currently. 

Mushrooms on tree slab.
Photo by Mauro Baldin on Unsplash

Another key meaning of seeing mushrooms is that you should tread lightly on whatever path you are taking in your life. Explore all the options, and then do what is best for you. 


There you have it, all the possible hidden meanings spinning around a mushroom. They have played a crucial role for both food and medicinal purposes for decades, and have often been associated with new hopes and self-confidence

Seeing mushrooms is definitely a good sign for anyone starting a new day and can fill them with positive energy. On the flipside, some religions also associate a mushroom with death and decay, because of how they grow.