In shamanism, pigeons and doves are interchangeable and symbolize home and security. They are considered spirit messengers that carry communication between the worlds of the living and dead. Pigeons and doves are thought to bring love, peace and an understanding of gentleness. Some think they deliver gifts of physical, mental and emotional healing.
Mystical traditions claim that the coos of pigeons and doves sound mournful and possibly reflect hidden emotions, mirroring the energies within situations. The appearance of a pigeon to an individual may indicate that the person should examine his home life and contemplate the reality of his situation, comparing it with his personal expectations.
Spiritualists note that pigeons and doves belong to the same family, but they differ in cultural associations. While doves are considered blessed and pure, pigeons are seen as dirty pests. The pigeon is determined, and a pigeon sighting may encourage an individual to stand firm regardless of formidable challenges. Pigeons are safest in a flock and may also symbolize the strength and support offered within a community. In the Bible, turtledoves and pigeons were interchangeable as sacrificial offerings to god. The Hebrew word "yonah" can be translated as either pigeon or dove, but in situations where one or the other was acceptable, the dove was slightly preferred.