Symbolism is for the Birds: Symbolic Bird Meanings, an Overview
From the Q & A Files
The following is a question about symbolic bird meanings in general. I hope this question and answer sheds light on your curiosity about bird symbolism and bird encounters!
“Avia…Birds keep coming to me. There are specific types, but birds in general always get my attention. What does that mean? What does it mean when birds keep coming into my awareness? What lessons do birds (in general) have for me?”
Avia’s Response to General Symbolic Bird Meaning
Hi Lex, thank you for your question about symbolic bird meanings and I hope the following highlights might offer clarity and assistance in your interpretation about birds surrounding you in the moment.
My entire life is pretty much ruled by this idea that there are no accidents. So, when a lovely soul comes to me and mentions a specific element (like bird meaning) that catches the attention…I start to pull on that thread. In short, I don’t believe it is an accident or coincidence that birds continually grab your awareness.
Throughout all time, and through all cultures birds have been hailed as spiritual communicators. They have been compared to angels. They have been worshiped as guardians of the skies and the universe. They have been considered to be communicators of spiritual information…like liaisons between humans and spirits.
“Birds teach us about freedom and flight. For that, we owe them deep respect.“
When interpreting signs and meanings, I find it best to revert back to the Indigenous mind…Meaning, to observe how our ancient ancestors (like Native American, Celtic, Aborigine) perceived the world and all within it.
So, how would the Indigenous mind perceive birds? Consider: Birds are creatures of the skies…they are air-affiliated, which implies wonder, limitlessness, freedom, spirit, perception.
Birds go where ancient man could not…they see things in ways ancient man could not. Birds speak in a language far different (and often far more complex) than humans too.
Having observed all that, Now we have some core symbolism when we think about the meaning of all birds. This core symbolism can offer revolutionary answers to our most perplexing questions, like:
- Perspective: Is it time to change my view on the situation? Should I, and how can I get a ‘birds-eye view’ of this situation?
- Freedom: Am I limiting myself? What is holding me back? How can I facilitate a more liberating approach to the situation?
- Communication: Am I making my point clear about this situation? Am I listening to the feedback I am getting? What is my response?
- Spirit: Am I paying attention to my intuition? Am I listening to the voice of spirit…that voice that speaks from the soul, or speaks from my ancestors? Am I heeding the advice that comes from spirit? What is Spirit trying to tell me?
These are questions all birds ask us. When birds fly into our awareness, it is a good idea to pay attention to these key points.
Once we work with these overarching concepts of bird-symbolism, we can begin to narrow down by types of birds. Why? Because different kinds of birds carry different meanings – makes sense, right? For example:
- Songbirds: What am I communicating? What is my song? Am I being heard? Who is singing back to me? What are they singing? How do I more clearly understand the calling’s coming my way? How can I more creatively sing my best song to the world?
- Birds of prey: What is my level of focus? Are my priorities clear, and am I keenly focused on my goal? Is it time to reconsider what I am hunting for? How I am hunting for it? Is it time to reconsider my hunting strategies in order to get the objects of my needs and desires?
- Nesting birds: What must I pay attention to when it comes to my home life? How can I ‘feather my nest’? How can I utilize resources in order to provide for myself, my family, my community? How can I better prepare a safe space for myself and those I love?
- Scavenging birds: What am I leaving on the table? What is going to waste? Are there resources I am overlooking? Perhaps what others see as waste is actually a new opportunity. How can I utilize everything more effectively to bring about better results? Am I recycling my energy in the right way…so that others and myself can benefit? How am I spending my time and energy that best serves my purpose?
I hope these ideas about the core symbolic meanings of birds offer some insights. I also hope these concepts help you on your path!
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