The symbolism of feathers is usually directly associated with birds and the symbolism of birds more broadly: including freedom, escape, and spirituality. But birds’ feathers bring a lot of their own meanings also.
The most powerful feather meanings include freedom, wisdom, power, strength, trust, and honor. The feather is a communication from our guardian angels, a heavenly realm, and even a god.
Interestingly, different cultures and continents’ feathers have different meanings. Colors in the feathers also have particular meanings.
The Symbolism of Feathers
1. Honor (Native American Culture)
In Native American history, feathers were broadly used for honoring people for their merits. Even nowadays, Native Americans are using feathers in many aspects of their values.
For example, they’re still using it in clothing and other cultural attributes as a sign of a person’s and their family’s honor.
In the Sioux Native American tribes feathers were used for many other purposes also, such as blessing, healing, cleansing, and awakening.
Many Native American tribes use rituals of feathers before going hunting or fishing. They believe that it will bring about blessings from guardian angels which will lead to a more successful hunt.
In Native cultures, it is also a huge honor to be gifted a feather by a person of higher prominence. Whenever someone was awarded a feather, they are honored by their tribe.
Also based on Native American traditions, many people hang feathers in their homes for protection. Even when one of the tribe members gets sick, many Native Americans use eagle feathers to protect him and make him heal.
Interesting fact: If suddenly a feather falls from the sky, this phenomenon was considered as a gift from the spiritual realm. They believed that the feather can pass all the energy a bird was carrying in its life.
3. A Bridge to the Spirit World
Native Americans believe that the down feather is a bridge between Mother Earth and Spirit World.
Down feathers they are therefore often used in sacred places and when providing blessings to people. It is believed that the use of the feather will bring good spirits to the people being blessed.
Similarly, in ancient literature, we can see that feathers were held as direct communication with the divine. This is likely because birds fly up high, closer to the gods in heaven. Therefore, the birds appear to us to be more connected to god.
So, it is no wonder that a feather became seen as a sign from the heavens.
Related Article: Red Headed Woodpecker Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism
Similarly, in Christianity, feathers are associated with the existence of angels.
“Feathers appear when angels are near” it’s a quote from the bible.
Angels can fly in Christian spirituality, and therefore, perhaps people have come to believe that angels must therefore have feathers. A feather that we find may be either from an angel or placed there by an angel to send us a spiritual message.
5. Good Luck
Feathers from some species of birds are also believed to bring us good luck. Keeping a feather of these birds around your home can drive more luck and prosperity to your life.
Birds that bring good luck include:
6. Bad Luck
There are some feathers that bring bad luck, though. Birds that bring bad luck or even death include:
Most of the birds that symbolize bad luck are associated with eating carrion. It’s believed that if a bird is eating carrion, he might spread bad news and energy.
Furthermore, many bird feathers that bring bad luck (such as the feathers of ravens and crows) are black feathers, as black history is a color of misfortune and sadness.
See Also: Black and White Feather Symbolism
The Symbolism of Feathers in Dreams
Usually seeing feathers in your dreams can be a symbol of comfort, wealth, warmth, and lightness.
Let’s dive deeper and see what specific situations mean in your dreams.
- Receiving a Feather in a Dream – this action in dreams means freedom. You’ll receive more thoughts and inspiration for your next or current projects.
- Flying of Floating Feathers – if feathers were flying around you, it means you’ll able to live an effortless and joyful life.
- Buying and Selling Feathers in a Dream – finally the good jobs you will not be left ungrateful. Every good job you do will get a favor back to you.
- Earrings of Feathers – a new message is on its way. Dreaming a feather earring means important information is trying to reach you through other people. You might notice some different thoughts your buddies are talking about. If you catch them correctly, you might understand their meaning.
- A Feather Necklace – Dreaming of a feather necklace implies that you should be grateful for all the good things in your life.
- Feathers in your Hair – the main meaning is fertility. If you’re dreaming of a feather in your hair and have another half it means that you have a strong commitment to each other.
I have listed only a few and most appearing feathers in the dreams. There are many more meanings in our other article here. (a great place to insert an internal link.)
Related Article: Dead Raven Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning
Black and White Feather Meanings
Black and white feathers are opposite to each other. The white one means good things and the black one means bad!
a) White Feather Symbolism
If a white feather appeared in your life, it means that the person you have loved so much and it’s no longer with us, he’s still watching you.
Seeing a white feather is a signal from your angel that he is listening to your prayers and can help you guide the directions you wanted.
The white feather is a good signal in your life. It means you are not alone in this big world and someone above is watching you and are ready to help you.
See Also: White Pigeon Symbolism
b) Black Feather Symbolism
You might think a black feather is a bad sign of a black cat, but it’s not like that.
If you come across a black feather it means your angel is trying to tell you, that bad energy is surrounding your mind to make you feel lost.
But the good news is that your angel is giving you these signs to remind you, he will do everything in his power to put you back on your path.
But we should not forget that we have the power in ourselves to overcome rough times.
Don’t stick if one problem comes your way, we can defeat it and continue living a beautiful life.
Birds are very spiritual creatures and often symbolize good things. Their feathers carry their symbolism, also.
The most accurate symbolism of bird feathers is freedom and prosperity. If you came across a white or colorful feather you can expect a positive occurrence in your life.
Only black or dark-colored feathers bring negative vibes. Keep in mind that.
For more information on the symbolic meanings of flying critters, check out our articles on the symbolism of flamingos and their flaming red feathers, wren symbolism, the symbolism of sparrows, or even bee symbolism!
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.