Wind Symbolism (7 Meanings in Religion)

wind symbolismWind symbolizes:

  • Change. The ‘winds of change’ carry with them a change in your life.
  • The flow of life and how life continues no matter what.
  • Spirits, which are invisible, but we can still see the effects of wind that it causes on the buildings and on nature.
  • It’s also symbolic of direction.

The symbolic meanings of the wind can also change and alter depending on the strength of the wind:

  • If it’s a breeze, then it can be a pleasant symbol.
  • If the winds are strong and powerful, it can be symbolic of destruction and the sheer force of nature.

The wind is also a highly spiritual symbol for religious people. It is also commonly present in the Bible, where it’s portrayed as God’s breath, which moves across the water.

> This article is from our series on weather symbolism

Wind Symbolism and Meanings

Wind symbolism is a varying symbolism that has several different meanings, depending on the type of wind we’re experiencing.

1. Flow of Life

The wind is this invisible force that represents the flow of life. Just like the flow of life, we cannot oppose the strength of the wind – we can either oppose it, which won’t go too well if the wind is strong. Or we can decide to go with the flow and let ourselves go.

It’s the same with the flow of life. This flow can be observed on a daily basis, with each passing second that goes by us without us even realizing that it has done so. 

2. Direction

Winds always blow from specific directions, which means there are many different types of wind. Some will be cold, especially if they come from north and east. Others will be warm and pleasant, but almost always they bring with them a specific weather change.

For centuries, people have been trying to determine the direction of the wind in order to predict what the weather will be like. Today, we use advanced technology to recognize the wind directions. But in the past, farmers had to rely on their own intuition and their own geographical knowledge in order to know the direction of the wind.

3. Change

As new winds sweep in, they bring change. This change is either symbolic or very prominent – normally, this change shows itself in the change of weather, where northern winds normally bring cold and snowy weather, while southern and western winds bring wet and warm weather (although wind direction effects will vary around the world).

That’s why we also perceive the wind to be a symbol of change. Almost always as the wind direction changes, it will mean some specific changes will happen in the area, especially in terms of short-term weather.

> See Also: Change Metaphors

4. Spirit

The wind is invisible and we can’t touch it. It’s this elusive force that makes it hard for us to recognize it and acknowledge it, especially if the winds are feeble. That’s why we also sometimes tie the wind with our spirits.

Our spirits are also perceived to be invisible and untouchable entities. They leave us as we die, and we don’t have the ability to capture them. It’s this elusive quality that we cannot put a finger on, but something we know what it is when we talk about it.

5. Destruction

When winds get too strong, they can cause a great deal of damage to the surrounding areas. They either happen on their own, or they are accompanied by other weather effects, such as rain, snow, hail, sleet, cold, and other effects that might cause destruction. That’s why we sometimes perceive the wind to be a destructive force, especially in its stronger variation.

> Read Also: Tsunami and Earthquake Symbolism

6. Vital Breath

According to ancient symbolism, there are four main elements that control the world around us: air (wind – spiritual), fire, water, and earth. Out of these, the air element represents the vital breath of the world, this invisible force that shapes everything it touches.

It’s an immaterial force that has some effects on the material world around us. In this sense, it’s the vital breath that can be symbolized as the spirit of the world. The wind is represented by three air signs, which are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

Aquarius is perhaps the more well-known air sign in ancient symbolism. It represents friendship and humanity, while other air signs represent our consciousness and love. 

7. Relaxation

If the winds are smoother and a bit more pleasant, they can be quite nice to experience. This is especially true in the summer when we’re cooled down by the fresh breeze which seems to take the burden off of our shoulders.

Wind Symbolism in Religion

Because of its spiritual nature, the wind has become a highly important symbol in various religions. Many religions believe that a specific deity was controlling the winds because it was an invisible entity. Some even thought that the wind is symbolic of the god itself, as it passes the Earth and leaves its message to human beings. 

On the other hand, some religions believed the wind to be the messenger of the Gods. In any case, the wind has always been closely linked to deities and has undertaken an important role in many mythologies.

For instance, in Ancient Egyptian mythology, each wind direction had its own god, which just goes to show how important the wind was in this culture. Amun was the god of wind and of creation of the wind, Henkhisesui was the god of the east wind, Hutchai of the west wind, Qebui the god of the north wind, and Shehbui was the god of the southern wind.

Even the early Mesopotamian cultures featured the imagery of wind heavily when linked to their Gods. Enlil, Ninlil, and Pazuzu were all gods connected to the wind in one way or another.

Greek and Roman mythologies featured wind symbolism heavily. For the Greeks, Aeolus was the main god of wind. They too had gods for each of the wind directions – 12 of them, where Zephyrus is perhaps the most well-known one. In Roman mythology, Aura is seen as wind personified, and she was a minor deity in this religion.

In Asia, the wind symbolism is also present in religions. In Hindu mythology, both Rudra and Vayu were considered to be gods of wind. Fei Lan was the Chinese wind god, while Fujin was the Japanese wind god.

It’s interesting to observe how important the wind symbolism is in various cultures and religions, and it’s clear that it’s a universal power that’s present all around the world.

Wind Symbolism in the Bible

The Bible is no exception to the wind symbolism, as it features it heavily. It’s seen in many instances in the Bible, and it can undertake two different meanings: as a positive symbol, and as a negative symbol.

As a negative symbol, the wind is featured in the Bible quite heavily. In this sense, the wind is seen as a symbol of destruction and temporality, as well as uncertainty. As a sign of destruction, the wind is portrayed throughout the Old Testament, where it’s described as the “scorching wind” that will destroy everything in front of it as a symbol of God’s judgment.

As a positive symbol, the wind is seen as God’s breath and his power that he has in the world. It is said that God created the world with his breath, which is described by the Hebrew word “ruah”. The wind also represents the Holy Spirit and it often undertakes a more spiritual meaning in the Bible.

It’s commonly seen in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The wind is a widespread symbol in the Bible, which goes to show how important this symbol can be, especially in the spiritual sense.

What does it mean when you Dream of the Wind?

Have you recently dreamt about the wind? It can symbolize change, but also your internal strength and the power of the flow.

  • Dreaming about the wind means that there might be large-scale changes coming to your life soon. This is especially typical if you experience a dream where you find yourself in a combination of strong winds.
  • At the same time, dreaming about strong winds means that you’re being overwhelmed in your life and that you’re not ready for the huge changes and demands that are coming at you at a fast pace.
  • If you’re being pushed by the wind in your dreams, it means that you’re going in the right direction and that you should continue going in this direction in your life.

Conclusion

Wind symbolism is highly spiritual and thus, heavily featured in various religions. Historically, it was seen as a symbol of God, and it’s closely connected to some gods of wind in various religions. It can have both physical and spiritual meanings, depending on how the wind affects your current life situation – which can also be observed in wind dreams.

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