Birds



Blue Jay

From up close, the blue is a gorgeous bird. Beautiful shades of blue, catching the sun. However, blue jaythe blue jay can be seen as having bad power. The blue jay warns us about the kind of people we might run across. In native medicine, blue jays are challengers, negative energy and associated with arrogance, too much pride and selfishness. Blue jays are lazy, steal, take from others for their own good. If you see a blue jay around your house it could be a sign that evil and/or jealous people are praying against you in a bad manner.

However, there is another side to the story of the blue jay. Indeed, in certain cultures, like the Cherokee, the Blue Jay medicine is not all negative. If we think of blue jays, they seem full of pride, colorful, almost flamboyant with their feathers. Energy, royalty, stardom they project. In a way, the blue jay is a reminder to embrace what we have, our assets. It is a reminder that all attention does not need to be on you because you already have the world’s attention. That sometimes, it is your turn to respond to the world rather than have the world respond to you. A good lesson we can all use at times.Β 

blue jay

Eaglebald eagle

The Eagle, the connection to the spiritual world, or the Creator seemed like a good way to begin this page. Its message of strength, wisdom, courage and spirituality is one to carry. The Eagle rises above the Earth and provides spiritual strength and protection. Its power is great and it connects us to the great spirits and higher power and truths. The Eagle carries our prayers to the Creator, the Native Higher Power. If you see an Eagle, talk to the Eagle, ask the Eagle to carry your prayers to the Creator. Yes I might look crazy at times :), but I do talk to animals and birds I see. I ask them how they are, ask them what message they carry and I listen. If you listen, you will hear. If you are praying or at a ceremony and an Eagle is flying above you or is close to you, it is good news. Thank the Eagle for its presence and know that your prayers will be heard and the ceremony will go well.

Talk to nature people! Reconnect with Mother Earth, where we all come from. If we all do it, I might look less crazy doing so….Talk to all living things, the trees, the birds, talk to the insects or mice. Nature is there to listen, to calm, and to nurture. Nature is where our cousins live and where we can feel at peace. It is meant to be treated with respect. The Native culture teaches us to respect all living things, to take only what we need and to give back if we take.

I know this is a bit off topic but it is still related….I was faced with that lesson of respecting all living things recently. I was in a healing circle (I will elaborate on the topic a bit later) recently and a mouse decided to join us. As a white woman, my first instinct was to jump on a chair (ok that might be an over-exaggeration but still…). However, the leaders of the circle welcomed the creature to join us. As all living creatures are related and belong together. We are all related!

For eagle related art, gifts and products, click here

eagle flying

Β Hummingbird

The hummingbird, such a pretty little bird, dainty and colorful. hummingbirdAnd hummingbirds are a very good sign. They bring messages of good luck. They take our prayers to the Creator. In the native culture, the hummingbird is often referred to as being female. So she is a healer and a doctor. The hummingbird has the ability to travel long distances in less than ideal conditions (and to fly backward!). She is a very spiritual bird who can teach us to develop powers of the mind and to be graceful.

Moreover, the hummingbird symbolizes life, the joy and lightness of life. The hummingbird encourages us to push negativity away and to express love more often in our life. Her resilience is high and she teaches us that we can overcome obstacles (even those of small sizes) and that we have the ability to adapt and be resilient. female hummingbird

I end my discussion on the hummingbird with some West coast style native art. A West coast native hummingbird. πŸ™‚ And for some hummingbird inspired art click here.

 

west coast style hummingbird

Owl

owl

I see everything…

owl

The majestic owl! What could be the spiritual meaning of owls?? Well, the native american owl symbol is quite different than the owl symbol in the “white culture”. You might know the mainstream meaning of owls: owls represent wisdom and the ability to see in darkness or past the obvious or mask that others put on. The ability to see past deceit. Therefore, it is a good omen, a good sign. I won’t elaborate more on that symbolism but it is what is communicated within the “white culture”.

Native spiritual meaning of owls

What about the native spiritual meaning of owls? Well to be blunt, it’s pretty much the opposite. Owls are considered a bad sign and a bad power within most of native nations or tribes. They are a messenger of evil, sickness, death. Therefore, hearing an owl near your place is considered a bad sign. Be careful if you hear one near your house but don’t fear it. If you see one hollering at you in broad daylight, beware. Some would say it is basically death looking at you….

owl

what are you looking at?

However, owls do see everything, in darkness and even into the future. They are seers, seers into the future and into what others cannot see. This might be what the meaning of the “white culture” is based on. But let’s remember, the concept of balance. There are two sides to everything in life. So owls might be able to warn you of upcoming dangers as well.

As I have discussed in the Ceremonies section, smudging for protection and cleansing is an important part of native practices. So when seeing or encountering a bad sign, burn a smudge stick, and pray to the Creator for protection.

smudgeMy own personal owl story….

Ok I am guessing you are expecting me to talk about a time when I encounter an owl and something bad happened to me? Wrong! My personal experience involves a tattoo. Yep, a tattoo of an owl on my back. Where am I going with this you ask? Well, I originally “bought” into the “owl is a sign of wisdom” meaning. However, as I did more research, I learned about the native american owl symbol, i.e. symbol of bad news and evil.

Remembering what Native people do in the presence of evil, I came up (with the help of my tattoo artist, as I really really cannot draw….) with an original, unique and meaningful tattoo. As you will see below, I combined the owl with smudging herbs. Therefore, the owl is sitting on braided dry sweetgrass which opens up into fresh sweetgrass and its flowers as well as sage leaves. My personal meaning for that tattoo is that although I might come across the presence of evil (and I have and will as it is part of this world), the medicine will protect me and keep me safe.Β 

owl tattoo

For owl related art, gifts and products, click here




Raven or crow

raven

raven

If you are like me, you had no idea there was a difference between a raven and a crow (I researched the differences a few months back). Generally speaking ravens are bigger than crows and have a deeper voice. Their feathers are also shinier and they typically have a tuft of hair on top of their head like the picture at right. For more information, see this website.

 

However, both crows and ravens are typically a good sign. Both bring good luck, protection and are messengers of wealth. For example, seeing a raven or a crow eating or with food in their mouth, could mean that you are about to receive a gift.Β 

The power of the raven especially can be used to fight or counteract against bad signs or spirits. The raven is one of the very few who can go into the land of the deceased, the spiritual world and bring back a person’s soul to the physical world. In other words, bringing back someone from a coma or back to life. Therefore, it signifies a very high power, often requiring further studying to understand and use it. Ravens and crows can also be useful to hunters. Praying to them before hunting so that the bird can lead to game. However, as we know, we have to be thankful and offer gifts to the powers at be. So leave food in return for the birds.Β 

crow

crow

For those also interested in looking pretty, I think those raven earrings look fab

Β Woodpecker

We have all heard them, hard at work on a tree. The hard working woodpecker. woodpeckerWoodpeckers are a sign of wealth, happiness and healing. The story has it that if you see or hear a woodpecker, clap your hands three times, make a wish and thank him for his message. It is a sign that money or a gift is coming to you.

You think I am kidding? Well listen to this. A friend of mine, was recently taking a walk in nature when he heard a woodpecker. He very quietly and slowly approached the bird to look at him and see the work he was doing. The bird allowed him to get very close.

A few days later, the same friend found a wallet. The wallet contained a cheque for a significant amount, a few credit cards, the owner’s ID and driver’s license. In other words, the entire life of the owner! So my friend, as he is living his life according to the principles of the Red Road, went to the owner’s house to return the wallet. After some phone calls, the owner was found (he was not home), and was so grateful, that he gave my friend 50$ for his troubles! Money that was totally unexpected…..thank you Mr. Woodpecker πŸ™‚

48 thoughts on “Birds

  1. tony

    Traditional native healing is very power, and have seen the Lone Ranger’s son performer the ritual with the smoke. The eagle connection is spiritual and the owl majestic. Recommend you promote your niche a little more with the benefits of traditional healing of the native Indians. Very important you share their story along the way. Keep you the great job, and beautiful site!

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      thanks Tony! and that is the goal, to share the healing process of the people and culture. They have used their own ways for centuries, its about time we listen…any specific ideas or concepts you would like to see or recommend I cover?

      Reply
  2. Ed

    Hi Emily,

    Very interesting how you have shown the ways birds are related to the spiritual side of life and what each type of bird represents. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Shaun

    Wow, this is really cool! First website I have seen dedicated to native american traditions and meanings. I like this page on what different animals symbolize. I am gonna continue exploring after I finish this comment. I’ll be sure to be back πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      I am glad you liked my site Shaun! Do keep coming back! Animals and nature are a big part of the Native culture, as they are also part of our relations.

      Reply
  4. Lin

    What a wonderful site. I absolutely love reading about native history.

    I never realized that there was a “white” way and a “native” way to interpret the signs of certain birds, but I was completely enthralled with the information you provided.

    I also try to do natural healing whenever possible. God put us on this earth with everything we need to survive, including ways to keep ourselves healthy like native plants. Native people are well versed in their use. If we would only listen.

    Reply
  5. Alexus

    I have always love Native American culture. The connection they had with the earth and animals. I love reading about stuff like this. To them every part of life was important, and in this shitty society, it’s simply not like that. I really dislike people who feel life besides humans simply aren’t important. It angers me so much.

    Reply
  6. emily

    I’ve found this article really fascinating. It’s so interesting how different symbols can mean totally different things to different cultures.
    We have a lot of special native birds here in New Zealand too, with lots of Maori spiritual meanings attached to them.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Emily
      oh for sure, lots and lots of culture with the Maori people! You also have numerous Indigenous people to the land in NZ, with a history similar to Canada. Happy you dropped by πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Esteban

    Hey,

    I’ve always admired birds especially rare and beautiful ones like the Eagle or Owls.
    They have something majestic about them and they have this natural beauty which is hard to explain. Although they have this fierce and strong look in their face, they somehow seem to be wise and peaceful.
    Love how the native americans and other cultures got such a deep meaning behind each creature.
    Very nice article!

    Esteban

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Esteban
      I personally love owls for sure, even have one tattooed on my back! The fierceness of some of the birds is extraordinary. And they each have their own message they are trying to convey

      Reply
  8. Gino

    I kindof like the Blue Jay (looks like a beautiful bird) bit disappointed that it associated with bad power πŸ™ but i also like the hummingbird and glad to know it is a good sigh πŸ™‚ very interesting

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Gino
      glad you found some positive in this page πŸ™‚ Some meanings are not to be taken literally. And there is often some personal meaning to each relation we have in nature

      Reply
  9. Bruce

    Hi Emily,
    I loved your site when I first saw it a while back. I find it really interesting. I live in New Zealand, we have a native parrot called the kaka .We have three living near our house. They make at racket at daybreak but hey I love it.
    Cheers,
    Bruce

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Bruce!
      Seems like you have wonderful birds living near you :)You also have a lot of Indigenous people of the land, who have wonderful traditions

      Reply
  10. George

    Ah the ever proud Eagle. Such a beautiful and powerful creature to roam the skies! Only fitting to be part of the amazing symbolism and culture you provide us here.

    Thank you for helping us reconnect with nature through your site. It is the “original” wisdom coming from Mother Earth that we need to reacquaint ourselves with, in order to find meaning, peace and prosperity in our lives.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Thanks for visiting George! The eagle is for sure very significant and sacred. Our connection to the Creator. And I absolutely agree. We need to reconnect with Mother Earth, the mother of all.

      Reply
  11. Ruth Maisey

    Hi Emily. This is a truly fascinating article. I am from the UK and as such we never covered US history much in our classes, touched on int a little but European history was more the focus. Makes sense I guess. So this is fascinating to me. I love to learn about different cultures and I find the purity and simplicity in this one so intriguing. Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  12. Dulcie

    Really enjoy learning about our natives and other cultures..The bird articles were great.thanks..i found out myself about the Blue Jay being a greedy one lol…love all of this beautiful earth…keep up the good work..

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Dulcie!
      I am glad you enjoyed the stories of the different birds. it does seem like you had your own experience with the blue jay πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Hindy Pearson

    Hi Emily, another fascinating lesson in native culture. I knew about the importance of animals, but had not heard or read any reference to birds being included. How interesting it was to read the representations of each you listed. There was a woodpecker would we hear in our backyard, only ever got to see him from a distance. Now had I known about the rituals to perform in order to get some of that good luck coming my way, who knows where I would be???

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Hindy
      that is wonderful! Your very own woodpecker! I am sure there will be more to come. Sometimes it is about paying attention and listening. I was taking a walk in the woods a week ago with a friend and we stopped to look at a broken tree. And just like that an owl flew by. If we had not stopped to look at that tree, we would have missed the owl.

      Reply
  14. Clark

    Hi there Emily, I love your suggestion to talk to nature. Not many people believe in such things, I know, but I certainly do.

    Also, these are beautiful pictures of birds that you have on this page. They will surely help me identify the different kind of birds the next time I see one!

    Reply
  15. Uwais

    Hi

    Interesting to learn about native American culture and the symbolism of birds. Very interesting that some birds have different meanings to different people living in the same region. It great to learn more about the culture of others.

    Reply
  16. Nate

    Hi Emily,

    This is fascinating stuff, I live in the UK so we really don’t hear much about Native American culture (other than what is on TV)

    I never realised all these different birds had different meanings in their culture!

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Hi Nate1
      thanks for stopping by to learn more! All our relations including the birds and animals have a meaning and wisdom to share.

      Reply
  17. Deidre

    For me, a non Native American, owls are very important. They symbolize being able to communicate with the Dead. Which can be startling or an unwelcome idea for some people ( hence the negative feeling some folks may ascribe to them?) For us, when we are ready, the Silver Owl appears as a sign you will be instructed. You are not to fear this..and if you reject your path That will bring you some difficulty. As it Always does, when we are not listening, or not being true inside. An owl to us is a reminder Spirit is watching you Very Very closely..so you must be ready. As Spirit can come Good, Bad and indifferent. Birds are always messengers. Angel means messenger.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Deidre
      I understand what you mean. The owl can be a message from the dead, from the spirit world. One must be careful when they see an owl. The raven also communicates with the land of the dead.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*