Dove Symbolism & Meaning
Dove as a spirit, totem, & power animal is the perfect guide if you seek peace, divine inspiration, or a closer connection with your family. Dove teaches you how to still your restless spirit and compassionately embrace those you love. Delve deeply into Dove symbolism and meaning to discover how this animal spirit guide can illuminate, calm, and soothe you.
Dove Table of Contents
- Dove Symbolism & Meaning
- Dove Spirit Animal
- Dove Totem Animal
- Dove Power Animal
- Spiritual Meaning of the Dove
- Types of Doves and What They Mean
- Dove in the Bible
- Native American Dove Symbolic Meanings
- Dove Symbolism in Ancient Greece
- Dove as a Celtic Animal Symbol
- Japanese Dove Meanings
- Chinese Dove Symbolism
- Dove in Feng Shui
- Islamic Meaning and Symbolism for Doves
- Seeing a Dead Dove
- Dove Superstitions
- Dove Sayings & Quotes
- Dove Tattoo Meanings
- Dove Dreams
- Picasso, Matisse and Doves
- Dove Protection
Dove Symbolism & Meaning
Dove symbolism and meaning works hand in hand with their natural aptitudes and human mythology. The sweet purity of a white Dove has become a symbol of God, Spirit, and hope worldwide. But did you know that not all doves are white? They come in a lovely array of colors, each with a different meaning. A red Dove represents redemption, and speckled Doves symbolize variety and diversity.
Dainty Doves have been used as message carriers because they seem to always find their way home. So if Dove shows up in your life, perhaps it is time to consider a quest to the place you call home and pay close attention to any harbingers you encounter on the way.
Among the ancient Greeks Dove was sacred to both Zeus and Aphrodite, the God of the sky and ruler of Olympus and the Goddess of love and passion. This combination is one of the reasons humans favored Doves as an emblem of family unity on occasions such as marriage. Their wings bear wisdom, good counsel, and acceptance. In nature, doves are monogamous.
In Babylonian society, Dove is a fierce spirit who taught honor in all things, particularly battle. Somewhat contrariwise, the Bible says a Dove brought Noah a sign that the Lord’s wrath had ended, and there would be peace again. The New Testament uses Dove as the vessel for the Holy Spirit, a sweet symbol of affection, and a person’s true piety. It is interesting to note that the words used for Holy Spirit in the New Testament have feminine implications, which may be why Dove also connects with the Mother Mary (and, by extension, the Goddess). Legend claims that our lovely Animal Ally, Dove, is so pure that no evil can take its form.
A mother Goddess, Ishtar, also held the Dove sacred, perhaps being calmed and encouraged by the bird’s sweet song. Some cultures claim Dove gently guides the souls of the dead to their final resting place. Gypsy tradition says when Dove appears, it brings healing messages from parted loved ones to our ears.
Before going further into Dove symbolism and meaning, it’s important to define a pigeon and a dove. Guess what? They are really the same but for size. The smaller of the species is colloquially known as a Dove.
Dove Spirit Animal
A Dove is very aware in the wild and often uneasy as a result. When Dove Spirit Animal enters your life, Lightworkers ask, are you feeling out of your comfort zone? If so, determine the source of your uneasiness and seek sacred peace. Dove calls you toward centeredness – away from the stress of daily noise and movement.
Another message from the Dove Spirit Animal is focused on your close relationships. Where do problems lie, and how can you smooth out ruffled feathers? Dove does not tolerate cynicism, chaos, or disparagement. Instead, Dove radiates through your inner child with simplicity and pure intent. If someone is robbing you of that innocent joy, it may be time to cut those cords and reclaim your sense of self. While you’re at it, let the Dove Animal Ally guide you in strengthening your ties to Spirit.
Dove Spirit Animal is opening opportunity’s door. If you heed its message, your dreams may manifest far more quickly than anticipated.
Dove Totem Animal
Those born with the Dove Totem Animal are among the most compassionate in the world. It’s as if Dove’s gentle voice is your own, and your youthful outlook on life makes you very easy to be around. Dove people dislike caustic environments, chaos, and ill will. They avoid these, seeking out serenity and opportunity to nurture others instead.
If Dove is your Birth Totem, you have natural parenting skills be it for a child or a project that needs some coaxing. Diplomacy and wisdom, thy name is Dove. There is a feminine power about you, and many dove people find they have natural prophetic abilities. You can soar between this world and other realms as easily as a 747 jetliner, guided by the ever-sure and honest Dove’s wings.
Dove people are lovers, not fighters. They must take care, however, that others do not use that love as a means of manipulation. Because you love purely and sincerely, you hurt likewise so. People will come into your circle and purposefully try and profit from your love. Some folk may not consciously be aware of how their actions impact your reality. While confrontation is definitely not the Dove-born’s gig, this is one instance where you must stand in your truth.
In relationships, you are a one-partner person who builds a nest with great diligence, wishing nothing but warmth, comfort, and safety within. The person you treasure will always know how you feel.
Dove Power Animal
Seek out Dove Power Animal when you wish to renew peace and love in a situation. Your inner Dove will help your communications and keep them pure – free from anger that wounds rather than heals. Dove energy is very soothing. It reminds us to keep the simple and sublime at the foremost of our relationships.
As a Power Animal, Dove is a uniquely well-suited partner for people starting on the path of parenthood. Home and family mean everything to Dove, and its energy supports fertility, loving emotions, and nurturing. Call up those energies from within when you want to sort things out in the family unit.
When working with Dove energy, consider carrying an amethyst, which has a cooperative energy matrix with Dove spirit, giving you greater insight, hopefulness, and a sense of calm so you can attune to that small voice within.
Many healers communicate constantly with the Dove Power Animal within to renew their souls. The vibrations are like the little light of a firefly, seen clearly on the darkest of days.
Spiritual Meaning of the Dove
With the exception of the Sahara, Antarctica, and the high Arctic, Doves are world citizens. It’s not surprising, therefore, to discover stories about Dove sprinkled around globally. The spiritual meaning of the Dove connects with the era and culture of the historical records examined.
When delving into the spiritual meaning of the Dove, it’s a good practice to think about what it means to you first. Those connections and associations can guide you in using Dove symbolism. For example, say you’ve been blue and perceive Dove as an emblem of hope; you could use the visualization of a Dove in flight during your meditations.
The appearance of Dove is meaningful and often situational. If you have been pondering your path and whether you’re headed the right way, Dove may well be a guardian angel arriving with assurance. Dove Spirit does not lose its way, and when you keep the faith, you too will never wander far from your North Star.
While it may not be something you commonly think of as associated with Dove, the spiritual meaning of the Dove can definitely tell you something about your romantic relationship(s). A single person can keep hope in their heart as a soulmate is approaching. Those already in a relationship will find it deepens.
Leaders and teachers often experience the arrival of Dove during important junctures in their lives. The Dove Animal Ally acts as a not-so-subtle reminder to keep one’s words and actions pure and ethical. People are looking to you as a role model. Respect their trust.
Something is itching at your awareness. Your gut feels it but can’t quite refine the sensation. In this case, the spiritual meaning of the dove is mystical awakening. Get ready! The Master Teachers and Guides offer wisdom to those willing to listen.
Doves are often messengers from the other side. Someone is reaching out to you and watching over you. If you’ve had a departed loved one on your mind, all is well.
Types of Doves and What They Mean
There are approximately fifteen types of Doves in North America, each with a lesson to impart. Let’s take a closer look at the types of Doves and their meanings:
Brown Cuckoo Dove
As an adult, the Brown Cuckoo Dove measures upward of 17 inches long. Their physical configuration is a little odd, with a long tail but small wings. The Bird exhibits a golden brown color, with males sometimes having “crowns” at the nape of their neck in green or red. The Brown Cuckoo Dove often moves in a low-flying pattern with a flock, going as long as it takes to find food supplies.
Symbolism: Tenacity, strength, and reliability.
You will find the Common Ground Dove all over the United States. Its numbers total more than two million birds strong. They look a bit like sparrows, compact and brown. They rank among the smallest Doves in North America.
Symbolism: What you may lack in size, you gain in trusted friends.
Among the most beautiful of Doves, the Emerald Dove lives in the Indian subcontinent. Their bright red beaks highlight the scintillating green wings. They are not overly shy, often making homes in farmlands and near human houses.
Symbolism: This Dove obtains its meaning from its coloration. Emerald represents refinement, renewal, prosperity, and fertility.
As the name implies, these Doves live in Inca, Peru. It’s a hardy bird, surviving in temperatures of -20F. When they want warmth, they create a pyramid shape while huddling over each other.
Symbolism: Group cooperation; endurance
Found in the Indian Subcontinent, near humans and farmlands, these little birds have impressive markings. Visualize a head, chest, and upper belly in deep pink hues. The chest has splashes of black. The grey-blue wings look nearly iridescent. Laughing does will sing for hours where it knows it will be heard. This Dove’s vocalization sounds somewhat like human laughter.
Symbolism: Laugh long and hard, and help others to do likewise.
You will discover Morning Doves in highly visible locations like electric or telephone wires. Their vocalization sounds sad and wanting. It is not loud or presumptuous. When they take to flight, they have the speed of a bullet, moving precisely, straight, and surely.
Symbolism: Even when you’re struggling, keep your eyes on where you wish to go for success.
A dove who became famous thanks to the Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Turtle Dove thrives in temperate and tropical environments. Their name derives from the odd sounds they make. It is said that the two birds were used musically as part of a progression following the Advent Calendar representing the Old and New Testaments.
Symbolism: The number two reflects partnership and balance (old with new). The “Turtle” part of their name may represent wisdom and ancient knowledge.
Dove in the Bible
We see Dove in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. One might say Dove is the hero in the story of Noah and the Great Flood (Genesis 8). Dove goes out twice seeking land, returning with an olive branch the second time. The Earth was reborn. When you combine the hopeful nature of the Dove, with the peace of Olive trees, it’s easy to see how the Dove’s symbolism and meaning translated easily out of the Bible and into many aspects of society.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all speak of the Dove as not simply epitomizing the Holy Spirit but AS the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God. Matthew 3:16-17.
Native American Dove Symbolic Meanings
Native American Dove symbolic meanings include the Dove representing the meeting grounds between the Earth realm and spiritual worlds. The Dove’s call is a message, often one of possible futures. It is said when Dove comes into your life, you should release things from your past that hold you down. Once you let go, the Dove’s peacefulness settles in your heart, and you can move forward.
Among the Blackfoot people, Dove is a harbinger of safety in battle. Mexican tribes regard the Dove as a symbol of love and use depictions of Doves in wedding rituals. And among the Pueblo, Dove is a rain bringer.
Dove Symbolism in Ancient Greece
Dove symbolism in ancient Greece begins with the Goddess of love and renewal, Aphrodite. Period artists often showed her in the company of Doves. Dove had a sacred task to perform, bringing Ambrosia to the Gods and Goddesses (their favorite beverage).
As an interesting aside, the Greek term for Dove (peristera) potentially came from a Semitic phrase, (perah Istar), which translates as “bird of Ishtar.” There was a defined connection between Aphrodite and Ishtar worth exploring, there’s simply no space in this article.
Illustrations of Aphrodite’s relationship with Doves include marble doves left as votive offerings in the Temple of Aphrodite. Romans took a note out of the Grecian book, attributing the presence of Doves to both Venus and Fortuna.
Dove as a Celtic Animal Symbol
The Dove, as a Celtic Animal Symbol, was fairly forthright. Deities with healing powers had Images of Doves in their Sacred space. The Celtic people felt that hearing a Dove’s cry meant someone had peacefully transitioned from life to death. This animal spirit also had strong ties with prophetic arts.
Dove Symbolism in Japan
Dove Symbolism in Japan begins with a story. In the 3rd century, the Emperor (Ojin) was transformed into a God named Hachiman, the God of war, agriculture, archery, and fishing. It’s said Hachiman used Doves as messengers, and they were his familiar spirits.
In art, when you see a Dove carrying a sword, it means the end of conflict and the return of peace.
Dove Meanings in China
Dove meaning in China, as with other countries, is as a bird of peace. Dove is the diplomat of harmony between humans and nature and humans with each other. They also had ties to communication in that people used Doves to stay connected to friends and family.
Two Doves together are “love birds,” not simply romantic love but fidelity. It is not surprising to find Dove decorations at weddings and formal engagements.
Dove in Feng Shui
The Dove in Feng Shui appears in several different applications. Using white Doves specifically opened the path for positive Chi directed at creating new opportunities. Adversity will not overcome their presence.
In a home, the Dove might be placed center-left, promoting love, an enduring marriage, fidelity, and peace. One Chinese story says that the cooing of the Dove soothed the Emperor and his court. And artists often depicted the Goddess of Fertility Sung Tzu Niang Niang, with a Dove on her headdress. If you wish to conceive, Feng Shui suggests putting an image of the Goddess or the Dove in the southwest area of your bed.
Islamic Meaning and Symbolism for Doves
Islamic meaning and symbolism for Doves have a strong relationship with religion. It is thought that Muhammad was saved by a pair of Doves and a creative Spider. When hiding in a cave from pursuers, the Spider created a web over the opening, and the Doves made nests on both sides. Those chasing Muhammed would never think he could be in the cave since the web and nests were untouched.
Seeing a Dead Dove
Seeing a dead Dove or any creature is disconcerting. Throughout history, however, the experience of seeing a dead dove had various meanings. Many of the interpretations are contextual. An illustration would be seeing a dead dove just before an interview. It’s highly unlikely that the job will come through (and you wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway).
As an overall omen, Dove is a symbol of caution. Where there once was peace, the potential for proverbial war is growing. Chose your battles wisely.
Various cultures determined that a dead Dove portended loss and failure, including the possibility of death. Take care and keep your psychic senses tuned to high. Be aware that you may have communicated in such a way that another misunderstands you, leading to a massive conflict.
If you are traveling and see a dead Dove in the street, the situation down the road has conflicts involved. The good news is problems pass quickly, with little in the way of harmer. Keep it cool!
If someone you know recently passed and you encounter a dead Dove, it represents that ending and loss. Nonetheless, it also predicts your peace and harmony returning.
Seeing a dead Dove may reflect a Karmic rebound. Something from your past has returned to the forefront of your figurative closet. Now is the time for resolution so you can move forward without tethers.
When the dead Dove is lying with its feet pointing upward, prepare yourself for a life-altering event. It might be the end of innocence when the rose-colored glasses come off, for example.
When a Dove sings, the veil between worlds opens.
Two Doves flying together represents joy and friendship.
Three doves flying together portends goodwill.
If you are in a relationship, seeing a Dove means good news for the two of you.
Identifying a Mourning Dove is an omen of liberation and hope.
Should a woman see a white Dove shortly after the birth of a child, it’s a prophecy for great things in the child’s future.
White doves nesting on the roof of a home protects the dwelling and all who live there.
When you see a Dove with something in its beak, prepare for a gift.
Dove proverbs from around the world include:
- “A dove has no place amongst the crows.” – Greece
- “A secret is like a dove: when it leaves my hand it takes wing.” – Arabia
- Be ye, therefore, wise as serpents but gentle as Doves – Romania
- “Dread the anger of the dove.” – France
- “Eagles do not breed Doves” – Dutch
- Even a blind Dove will find a grain of wheat at times” – Swedish
- “If a man is wise as a serpent, he can afford to be gentle as a Dove” -Chyenne
- “It is not honor for an eagle to vanquish a Dove” – Italy
- “ When a dove begins to associate with crows its feathers remain white, but its heart grows black.” – Germany
Dove Tattoo Meanings
Dove tattoo meanings are highly personal. For some, they represent coming to peace with a situation or with self. It’s the perfect tattoo for a pacifist or someone who strives for diplomacy. A white Dove speaks of a person’s devotion and connection to Higher Powers
Dove dreams typically mean a time of harmony and peace. They also represent loving, loyal relationships and divine Blessings.
The Dove in your dream is a good omen letting you serenity and good health are on the horizon, along with the end to chaos.
If you see a Dove with you in a dream it suggests you have faithful friends.
A lone Dove in your dream may mean you’re lonely or feel disappointed in your partner.
Many Doves together stress making stronger bonds in groups, your community, etc.
Should the Dove be flying toward your home in the dream, guests are coming.
When Dove walks on the ground, prepare yourself for unpleasantries.
You can learn more about Dove’s dream symbolism HERE.
Picasso, Matisse and Doves
Picasso, Matisse, and Doves ending up having an odd relationship. The two began as rivals in love. Over time, the ire waned and they grew closer. Come WWII, they were fast friends. Matisse was unwell, with no wife or children to assist him. So he remained in his Venice apartment surrounded by birds and plants for inspiration and comfort.
Picasso visited from time to time, and the two exchanged paintings. One of Picasso’s most famous and popular images is his lithograph of a Dove as a symbol of peace gifted to Matisse. It was apt, but not the last time Dove appeared in Picasso’s work.
If you’d like to participate in Dove protective efforts there are several organizations you can consider:
The Fish and Wildlife Service has a bird banding initiative the data from which develops a picture of environmental factors affecting migratory birds.
Palomacy Pigeon and Dove Adoptions: Started in 2007, this agency saves unreleasable Doves and Pigeons through vet treatments, foster care, and adoption services.
BirdLife International: A global partnership for conservation. It consists of scientists and volunteers who track and analyze bird movement for greater understanding. From this data, they strive to support and protect birds’ nesting, feeding, and flying spaces.
Dove Symbolic Meanings Key
- Spirit Communication
- Divine Grace
- Maternal Instinct