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What is the symbolic meaning of hummingbirds?

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Quick Answer

In Native American culture, hummingbirds symbolize the bringing of fire, healing and helping others. In other cultures, such as shamanism, they carry similar symbolism, but may also represent the need for someone to let go of their past.

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Full Answer

Hummingbirds hold positive symbolism in Native American cultures. They associate with healing, beauty, integrity and the need to help others. In traditional stories, they often represent healers, and may also bring fire. In Native American tribes, seeing a hummingbird has an association with good luck.

In shamanic culture, hummingbirds associate with love, joy and the ability to heal following negative experiences. In addition, they represent the ability to make it through tough journeys. As the creature is able to fly in a figure of eight, it also associates with infinity. Shamanism believes that the hummingbird represents the need to accept that hurtful experiences occur, and that people need to learn from them and let go of the past.

The ancient Mexicans associated hummingbirds with tribal warriors and royalty. The patron God of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan used the bird as his divine animal and it was not unusual for Aztec art to represent him as one. Some Mexican communities still see them as messengers from the afterworld or a representative of a dead person's spirit.

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