Animal Symbolism Turkey

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Animal Symbolism: Turkey Meanings

Symbolic Turkey Meanings and Animal Symbolism

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

“Let nature be your teacher.”

~ Wordsworth

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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