Animals have always carried with them certain mysticisms. Their characteristics and wild nature have always intrigued humans, with many ancient cultures regarding them as sacred, and even godly.
One of these animals is the bird, regarded as omens by many different ancient cultures across the world. Their ability to fly and seemingly reaching for the heavens is a quality that humans aspire but can’t achieve, which is something that man has always been fascinated with.
So it comes as no surprise that different cultures and people have attached symbols and spiritual meaning to see them or when they fly around you, especially in significant times of your life.
What do birds represent? And what symbols do they hold? And when you see them, especially when they fly near you, is there a hidden meaning to it?
In this article, we will discuss the roles of birds in different ancient cultures and what specific birds symbolize and bring to our lives.
Bird Symbolism and Ancient Cultures
Ancient civilizations regard the bird as sacred and spiritual. Because they travel across the sky and to different, unreachable places, they have always been regarded as messengers and even forecasters of future events.
Their attached symbolisms have always accompanied man, as proven by drawings and paintings found on many cave walls located in different parts of the world. The cave was the oldest human accommodation, and on cave murals found in Egypt and Greece, the bird is always depicted as having certain symbolisms, as well as of spiritual awakening.
In Egypt, when a bird is seen after someone’s death, they believed that this bird was sent to escort the soul of the dead into its new incarnation to be born again.
In China, when a person died, they believed his soul took the form of a bird to fly away into the heavens.
Among Native Americans, birds play a variety of roles in their mythology. One of these roles includes being messengers form the Creator, as well as being the bridge between man and the spiritual life.
In ancient Greece, they developed Ornithomancy, which is the practice of reading omens through the behavior of birds, such as their flights and cries. The word Ornithomancy is taken from two Greek words, “Ornis,” which means bird; and “Manteia,” which means divination.
Using birds as a form of divination was not only limited to the Greeks but also practiced by the Romans. An example of reading would be when you see a bird flying from right to left, it meant success was to arrive in your personal or professional life.
General Bird Symbolism
The general characteristics of birds provide their symbolism. Their capacity to roam the earth and soar up in the sky has always represented freedom and independence. And their proximity to the heavens has regarded them as being messengers of the gods.
And even when spirituality is not attached to them, birds represent symbolisms that can be applied to human life in modern times. Their capacity to fly high can be taken as inspiration for man to aim higher when reaching for their goals, despite the many obstacles that are happening in their lives.
Their capacity to roam the earth can also inspire a man to get up and search for their own meaning in life, wherever their search may take them.
Birds and Their Symbols
You may have experienced birds flying around you, a bird suddenly appearing on your window, or maybe even seeing a flock of birds dance near you. Whenever you see them, consider their sight and proximity to you as having a significant meaning.
Here is a list of certain birds and their attached symbolisms:
1. Blackbird Symbolism
Because of their color, Blackbirds are sometimes regarded as being messengers of death. They also represent clarification and communication, as well as a sign of an upcoming transformation in your life.
2. Bluebird Symbolism
Bluebirds represent creativity as they awaken your inner child. They also represent happiness, simplicity, and to inspire you to delight at the moment.
3. Crane Symbolism
Cranes represent renewal, resurrection, healing, and peacefulness. And since they are masters at killing snakes, they are also considered as natural enemies of Satan, according to Christian symbolism.
And due to their long migration season, Cranes also represent endurance.
4. Dove Symbolism
The dove is said to symbolize heavenly visitations, as well as peace, hope, grace, promise, purification, and sacrifice.
The symbol for survival and the human soul, Doves are considered to bring good omen and good luck when they suddenly appear out of nowhere.
5. Eagle Symbolism
The eagle represents strength, courage, determination, authority, control, focus, skill, and opportunity. They also represent power and freedom.
6. Falcon Symbolism
The falcon is considered elusive and rare and considered to be a good omen. They represent endurance and survival, victory, nobility, and success.
7. Nightingale Symbolism
The nightingale represents love, longing, and mystery. Their song is said to inspire creatives, and considered to be a good omen. However, in Christianity symbolism, their cries are said to be the cries of souls trapped in purgatory, who are longing to escape to heaven.
8. Owl Symbolism
Because the owl is a nocturnal animal, many believe this bird represents death and darkness. It also represents wisdom, inquisitiveness, and contemplation.
9. Peacock Symbolism
The peacock represents beauty, integrity, nobility, and protection. Due to their beautiful and colorful feathers, they can also represent rejuvenation of one’s self-esteem. They inspire you to show your true colors, as beauty can arise when you reveal your true self.
10. Raven Symbolism
The Raven is considered to be the smartest bird in nature, and thus, it represents improved transformation in your life, in the form of communication and intelligence. But because of its dark color, it has also been considered as a bad omen, representing loss and illnesses. However, this can also mean a great transformation is about to come, as all transformations can be dramatic in nature.
Ravens are also known to consume the remains of dead creatures and using this characteristic, it can be taken as a symbol of cleansing.
11. Sparrow Symbolism
The sparrow represents rebirth and simplicity. Despite being small, sparrows work hard to build a nest and be productive throughout the day. Therefore, they represent hard work and the rewards that come with it.
If a sparrow builds a nest in your home, it is considered good luck.
The sighting of birds around you, especially when they come close and fly around you, bring with them a set of signs and symbols that you can use to apply to your own life and circumstances. Though these birds do bring certain spiritual messages, your own will still hold the biggest bearing on your path in life.