I get a lot of questions about finding feathers on our path, and what that means. Here are some ideas about what it means when we encounter feathers, and what we can do when feathers float into our awareness. This article will also kick around a few philosophical ideas about the spiritual meaning of feathers and provide suggestions about the deeper messages finding feathers might imply in our lives.
Table of Contents
- Meaning of Finding Feathers
- Symbolic Keywords for Finding Feathers
- Suggested Messages Linked to Finding Feathers
- Finding Feathers in Dreams
- Finding Feathers in Cultural Myth, Legends, and Lore
- What to Do With a Feather You Found?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Found Feathers
- The Last Word About Finding Feathers
Meaning of Finding Feathers
It is commonly thought in most cultures that feathers are symbols of higher thought and spiritual progression. Birds are divine creatures in primitive/ancient cultures because they are beings of the sky (heaven) and therefore closer to God (or gods or goddesses).
Clues on Your Spiritual Path
When you encounter feathers upon your path it could mean you are on a higher spiritual path (whether you accept it or not). It may be a sign of encouragement as you philosophically travel on this path. Birds and feathers are associated with divinity, higher knowledge, inner wisdom, and spiritual connection. Therefore, if feathers start entering your awareness, it might be time to trust your intuition more deeply or reevaluate your spiritual perception.
A Hint to “Lighten Up”
Feathers in your midst may also be symbolic of having a lighter outlook on life or a particular situation. When we see feathers in our midst it may be a message that we need to lighten up, not take things too seriously, and try to find the joy in our situation.
I’ve gotten endless emails from folks telling me they encounter feathers on their path as a sign from a loved one who has passed away. I myself have experienced this too. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, and start seeing feathers, it may be a sign from him or her saying “It’s okay, I’m okay.” – it is a message of comfort and meant to be uplifting…almost as if the soul has been freed, and this is confirmation of that person moving ‘heavenward’ while letting you know everything is alright.
Very often, finding feathers on our path is a sign that we are getting active communication. This communication can be from the divine. This makes sense because ancient Indigenous / Native wisdom recognizes birds as messengers from the great spiritual realms. Therefore, feathers are like a statement that says: “You’ve got mail!” from the divine.
Symbolic Keywords for Finding Feathers
Suggested Messages Linked to Finding Feathers
If you’re finding feathers on your path, here are a few suggestions as to what that might mean, and the messages feathers may present.
♦ Get Grateful. Feathers are a reminder to count our blessings and be thankful for the good stuff going on in our lives.
♦ Get Listening. Feathers are symbols of communication and from the gods by many cultures. So, their appearance is a reminder to listen to the bigger voice – as in a higher power.
♦ Get Love. Feathers often show up when there is someone or something that wants to reach out to us. Sometimes this might be a loved one who has passed into non-physical. A feather is a reminder that you are loved, someone is thinking of you and/or the presence of someone you love is nearby. It’s a message that although your loved one may not be around physically, he or she is certainly with you energetically.
♦ Get High. No, not like that. Feathers are a symbol of levity. When seen, they remind us to ease up on all the seriousness. Take a breath, relax, enjoy.
Finding Feathers in Dreams
Dreaming of feathers in our midst is typically symbolic of wanting to achieve a higher goal, or overcome a challenge. It is also a reminder from our psyche that we are always connected to our higher source, and that our own divinity is undeniable.
Feathers in dreams are also about receiving messages from our intuition and/or messages from those who have passed into non-physical. Do you sense getting messages or advice from spirits? Your ancestors? Finding feathers in dreams may be a sign of visitation from loved ones who, for whatever reason, are no longer present in your physical life.
Finding Feathers in Cultural Myth, Legends, and Lore
Every culture has a different association about feather meanings as well as finding feathers. Here are a few insights from various belief systems about what it means to find feathers.
Feathers found by medicine men or shamans in tribal communities were considered a connection to omnipresent, divine forces. Feathers were often collected and adorned in headgear or on robes as a sign that a wise man or woman in the clan had a direct link with the divine.
Many tribal leaders believed that accumulating feathers equated to building powerful second-sight, or facilitated strong psychic visions. Furthermore, shamanic feathers were considered a way to go soul-journeying…a sort of “walkabout” in the spiritual realms. In this instance, feathers gave shamanic leaders the ability to transport themselves beyond the realm of mundane or physical existence.
First People – Native American Feathers
Many Native American tribal beliefs associate found feathers with sky gods or sun gods. For example, the Pueblo found feathers and adhered them to ceremonial sticks that would be used in special solstice dances. Ceremonies with feather sticks took place as devotion and sending prayers to sky gods. The feathers served as a sort of communication aid, and the dance was a plea for good weather to ensure bountiful food crops.
Druids frequently found feathers and attached them to their robes. This was yet another act to allure or appease great spirits among their pantheon. Feathered cloaks were statements of considerable power in terms of spiritual communication to the divine. Donning the feathered cloaks assisted Druids to break away from the bondage of gravity and lift them closer to celestial energies where they could tap into sacred wisdom.
In countless cultures, finding feathers and using them in feathered headdresses, feathered cloaks – these are all symbolic of status and power. Feathers indicate the spiritual strength or mastery of the knowledge that comes from the soul and from divine sources.
What to Do With a Feather You Found?
If you’re anything like me, you might want to keep the feathers you find on your path. If so, you might wonder what creative things you can do with feathers you find. Here are some things I’ve done with feathers I’ve found over the years that might inspire you too.
- Make a pretty pair of feather earrings or other jewelry from found feathers.
- Use a large found feather as a way to disburse sacred smoke while smudging.
- Press them into a passage in your favorite book, or use as a place-marker in your journal.
- Fashion a feather in a hair clip for a neat coiffure feature.
- Give it as a present to a loved one.
- Make decorative feather bundles and hang them in the home for a nice accent feature.
- Place on your altar to enhance devotionals, prayer, or meditation.
Note! Some feathers, such as eagle feathers, are illegal to own, wear, use or give away in the United States without special permissions. See our FAQ section for more details.
Frequently Asked Questions About Found Feathers
In general, it is a good omen or a sign of good luck. In many cultures finding feathers means that you are visited from a loved one who has departed the earth. Others believe finding feathers is a message from angels, spirit guides or non-physical beings.
Feathers are symbolic of the spirit and the soul. They also represent concepts such as: Freedom, spirituality, inspiration, liberation, and intuition.
Technically, keeping found feathers is against the law in the United States if it comes from a native bird from the country. So, if you have a seemingly innocent collection of blue jay feathers, that’s technically illegal unless you have a permit. This is according to the US Migratory Birds Treaty Act. While this may sound drastic, the Act was established as a way to thwart the excessive killing of US birds for their feathers in clothing, decorations, etc. Off the record? If you find a feather in your backyard & keep it…I won’t tell if you don’t tell *wink, wink*
As mentioned, all feathers belonging to roughly 1,000+ species of native United States birds are illegal to keep (unless you have a permit) according to the US Migratory Birds Treaty Act. If you find a random feather, it’s sort of an unspoken understanding that it’s okay to keep it for yourself (the bird police aren’t likely to haul you away to bird prison). However, certain feathers that are sacred to US Native Americans are absolutely illegal to own, possess, use or give away to a non-Native. Case in point, it’s illegal to own eagle feathers in the US if you are a non-Native.
In general, bird feathers you find on the ground are pretty safe. However, I don’t recommend you put them in your mouth (duh), and it’s best to wash your hands after touching feathers. Why? Because feathers can carry pests, bacteria, or parasites. Also, don’t pick up any feathers from a dead bird – you just don’t know what kind of stuff is growing on it. Your best bet is to wash the feathers you find with warm water and mild dishwashing soap (like Dawn). Gently rub the feather in the direction of the grain. Leave out to air dry, or gently blow dry with a hair dryer.
The Last Word About Finding Feathers
When you find a feather, is it a message from someone you love? One who has passed into non-physical? Or is it a sign of spiritual connection with divine energy? Perhaps finding feathers indicates it’s time to sit, contemplate, relax, get present or give thanks.
However you choose to interpret feathers on your path, the common consensus is that these fluffy features are a good omen, a sign of home, or a message from the divine or loved ones who have passed.
The answers to what finding feathers mean to you are contingent upon what is going on in your life. Contemplate what’s happening in your world and apply it to some of these suggestions. If you take time to really understand the potential messages of feathers, odds are answers will unfold, revealing grand insights. I hope you enjoyed this article.
As always, thanks for reading. And, if you enjoyed this – I’d be delighted if you shared on your social media!
Bright feathery blessings to you!
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