Animal Symbolism:
Meaning of the Turkey

Symbolic Turkey Meanings


Symbolic Turkey Meanings

Turkeys have been a symbol of thanksgiving and abundance long before the Piligrim's "first meal" in 1621 with the Northern Native Americans.

Certain Native American tribes view the turkey as both a symbol of abundance and fertility. Indeed, the turkey was the guest of honor (sacrificial, that is) in various fertility and gratitude ceremonies.

The Creek tribes still practice the turkey dance during its annual fire festivals. The feathers of turkeys are also used in ritual (see my Native American Feather Symbolism post )

The turkey was thought to be sacred to ancient Mexican cultures. The Aztecs, Mayans and Toltecs viewed the turkey as a "jeweled bird" and also referred to it as the "Great Xolotl." Male turkeys were honored for their beauty and essence of cocky pride.

Animal Symbolism of the Turkey - A Quick-List

  • Pride
  • Abundance
  • Generosity
  • Awareness
  • Virility
  • Fertility
  • Sacrifice

Turkeys (like the peacock) give clear signs of agitation prior to poor weather conditions This is often seen by primitive cultures as a symbol of foretelling.

Turkeys are at their peak of power in the autumn months. As we explore the realm of animal symbolism, it's important to take note of a creature's peak season, whether they are diurnal or nocturnal, what their environment is, their favorite foods, etc. As they are highly active in autumn, the turkey has meanings that differ from creatures who are more active in, let's say, the springtime. Here are some fall-time attributes to consider in connection with turkey meanings.

Autumnal Symbolic Meanings

  • Cycles
  • Harvest
  • Endings
  • Beginnings
  • Preparation

Animal symbolism of the turkey also deals with male virility and pride. This isn't surprising when we observe male turkeys in the wild. They are quite noble looking as the strut and fan their impressive plumage for all to see.

When the turkey visits us it is a sign that we must be mindful of the blessings bestowed upon us each day. Further, it is a message to express our strength and brilliance - it's time to show our own plumage and reveal true selves.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief page on the animal symbolism of the turkey. Take the time to communicate with this noble creature and find out what revelations and symbolic meanings come to you! Be sure to check out other articles on animal symbolism via the links listed at the end of this page.

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An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happing to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive it! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!



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