What is the symbolic meaning of birds?


Quick Answer

Birds symbolize transcendence and freedom. In Native American culture, birds are believed to be physical manifestations of spirit guides and otherworldly helpers. In ancient times, it was a common belief that birds were messengers from a heavenly plane, and they soared down to earth with important messages.

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Full Answer

There are over 1,000 known bird species in the world, and different birds take on distinctive symbolic meanings. Blackbirds represent Mother Nature while bluebirds symbolize modesty and transformation. Crows signify natural law and order, hummingbirds stand for the joy of life, and swans represent pure beauty. The wren denotes responsibility, and the stork is a sign of new life.

Ancient Egyptians believed that birds represented the soul at death as it left the body and transcended toward the heavens. In African culture, ravens are believed to guide the souls of the dead into the afterlife. In Scandinavian culture, it is believed that ravens house the souls of individuals who have been murdered. Ancient Romans believed that the owl was a sign of impending death and, because of this, despised these birds.

In many cultures, however, the owl symbolizes deep wisdom. Peacocks represent freedom, beauty and inner confidence. In psychic studies, when a peacock appears in a dream, it is considered a good omen that symbolizes renewal, birth and personal growth.

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