animal symbolism turkey meanings

Animal Symbolism Turkey

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Avia

When you think about animal symbolism, turkey might not be the first creature to cross your mind. Furthermore, the turkey isn’t always considered to be a powerful totem (unless you were Ben Franklin, who wanted to make the turkey the national bird of America). The thing is, turkeys tend to be an undervalued totem and their symbolism is often overlooked. Here are a few insights into animal symbolism, turkey meaning, and more.

Turkey Meaning in Legend and Lore

Turkeys have been a symbol of thanksgiving and abundance long before the Pilgrim’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: Turkey Meaning Keywords

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

“Let nature be your teacher.”

~ Wordsworth
symbolic turkey meaning
Symbolic turkey meaning

Turkeys, Seasons, and Foretelling

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.

The turkey is at its 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.

  • Cycles
  • Harvest
  • Endings
  • Beginnings
  • Preparation
animal symbolism and turkey meanings
Turkey Meanings

Turkey as a Symbol for Strength

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 they 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. As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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