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Roadrunner Symbolism & Meaning

Want to be more optimistic? Are you stalling when pursuing your dreams? Roadrunner as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Roadrunner teaches how to find the hidden humor in situations all while showing you the path to greater productivity and efficiency. Delve deeply into Roadrunner symbolism and meaning to find out how this Spirit Animal Guide can excite, inspire, and motivate you!

Roadrunner Table of Contents

Roadrunner Symbolism & Meaning

Beloved of children, thanks to Warner Brothers cartoons, we think of the Roadrunner as clever, humorous, and a trickster. Much of this characterization is true, as you will see; this little creature measures only 20 inches long, but have strides stretching over 18 inches of its length allowing them to run 16 miles per hour; this gives Roadrunner associations with swiftness, momentum, and movement.

For such a diminutive bird, Roadrunner shows great strength, courage, and stamina. They show moxie in hunting. Roadrunner illustrates wisdom in the hunt too, never trying to go after a creature too large. No matter the size, Roadrunner uses a clever strategy by jumping over its prey back and forth, exhausting it, which aids in the Roadrunner’s victory.

The face of the Roadrunner is fetching with black, burnished, and tawny feathers with a splash of orange just near the eye. The tail feather hues include blue-green, black, white, and bronze; this bird looks iridescent in the sun. Spiritually this represents luminosity: A glorious state of the soul in which the inner light grows and shines outward as a beacon of hope and love.

Another of Roadrunner’s interesting physical features are his feet. They have two toes pointing backward and two toes pointing forward. Anyone looking at the resulting prints has a very difficult time figuring out exactly which way Roadrunner is heading: Such wonderful camouflage. Folklore tells us these tracks confuse evil spirits and offer protection; this is the trickster spirit which confounds without harm.

The skill of communication is well within Roadrunner’s talents. While it’s not the televised “beep, beep” we think of from cartoons, Roadrunners have over 16 different calls. Some coos court a mate. Other songs accompany nest building. A hum goes out before entering a Roadrunner’s home to feed the fledglings as we might knock on a door. When foraging together, they have a quiet growl and clack for locating each other or by warning each other of danger nearby.

Roadrunner Spirit encompasses the Elements of Fire, Earth, and Air in different ways; the creature lives in the fierce heat of the Southwestern United States (Fire Element). It scurries across the land and stretches its wings on severe summer days: Welcoming any slight breeze for cooling down (Air Element).

Returning to the Earth Element for a moment, where some animals might delight in ponds or mud puddles, the Roadrunner takes to soft dust piles. They are nimble when they bathe here, scratching in the dirt, rolling, rocking, and flapping just as other birds might do in a birdbath.

These motions fluff the feathers, so dust covers the skin. Finally, the Roadrunner shakes off any excess; this cleansing process keeps its wings from getting greasy, while the dust provides insulation and minimizes lice and mites. Plus, it just looks like fun! Self-care can be enjoyable if we give it half a chance.

Bits of superstition attribute luck to the Roadrunner. A Roadrunner living near your home attracted improved fortunes. Seeing one cross the road from left to right was likewise a positive omen (right to left, a bad omen). If you got lost traveling and found Roadrunner tracks, following them would lead you to a safe trail or road.

Roadrunner Spirit Animal

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When Roadrunner Spirit Animal sprints into your life, it’s time to think on your feet. There’s something which needs doing in haste. Apply your wits and wisdom for getting to the coveted finish line. Now, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the magnitude of this situation, but you can take small steps and still move quick. The key is keeping everything in motion. Multitask or delegate so you can focus on your best words and actions leading to success.

Motivation is a keyword for the Roadrunner Spirit Animal. Get off your tush, stand up, and put a fire under yourself. You’ve been stagnating for whatever reason. For some it’s fear. For some, it’s being comfortable even in a bad situation. Roadrunner warns us: Staying this way for too long snuffs out our spiritual candle, making re-kindling hard. You still have an open window right now. Use it!

The Roadrunner Spirit Animal is witty and smart. It suggests using your clever sense of humor to de-escalate a touchy situation where people feel uncomfortable. When we laugh together it brings people into an even-keel and releases nervousness. Once you get past those fidgets, presenting solutions becomes far more viable; this approach often works with toxic people too. These individuals find it hard to laugh, particularly at themselves. A little good-hearted joshing might just do the trick for a change in attitude.

Luck and protection follow Roadrunner Spirit Animal. Upon entering your awareness, you may find your fortune improves, or your ability to see opportunities expands. In terms of protection, Roadrunner Spirit warns of negativity nearby: Potentially evil intent. Keep your instincts on the alert and watch over the children in your life (if you have them) diligently. Now is not the time to hire a caregiver without background checks.

If you have been feeling weak or weary, Roadrunner Spirit comes with aid. It carries strength and stamina on its wings, particularly if caused by an illness. Here, Roadrunner acts as a partnering energy for your wellness.

Roadrunner Totem Animal

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Those with a Roadrunner Totem Animal are active people with great intellect. They always stay active, focused, and engage in social events happily. There is no such thing as being “average” in a Roadrunner person’s life. One word characterizing Roadrunner: Outstanding.

If you have a Roadrunner Birth Totem, you know how to talk to just about anyone. You have charisma, good manners, poise, and savoir-faire just oozing out of you. The wonderful part of this is applying those aptitudes in positive ways every day. Where a struggle exists, you step in as a mediator, offer public relations, navigate legal issues, facilitate organizers, and end up with solid relations all around. Planning is your middle name.

The Roadrunner Totem Animal has a whimsical side. You know how to get the job done, but also recognize your craving for adventure and exploration, making time for balance in your life. Juggling several things isn’t hard for you, and you enjoy having a sense of freedom too. The less supervision and micro-managing the better for anything!

Just because your fast doesn’t mean carelessness. You have a lot of passion and pride. You take real joy in a job well done, and the successes of people around you. When you see something which deserves appreciation, you say so with thoughtfulness; this is but one reason people enjoy your presence. You live and breathe positivism.

The attributes of a Roadrunner Totem Animal do not end there. They adapt in even the harshest environments. They make great partners, team members and parents. Courage runs in your soul.

Roadrunner Power Animal

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Look to your inner Roadrunner Power Animal when you need to think clear and quick, matching the momentum of the moment with all due expediency; this attribute is helpful when making a career move or when the opportunity for the heart-felt project appears.

Alongside quick action the Roadrunner power animal offers flexibility. It allows you to move energy from one task to another or share it effectively; this is important, so you don’t burn out. Learn the Roadrunner’s lesson of allocation.

Then there’s the Roadrunner Power Animal’s focus, long-term thinking, strategizing, and excellent execution; this combination is a powerhouse bundled for better living, not just today but for years into the future.

When relationships seem distant, look to your Roadrunner Power Animal for insights on bridging those gaps. Help people within your circle and tribe. Gather loved ones together. Don’t be a stranger. Share, but also listen a lot.

Native American Roadrunner Symbolic Meanings

The Roadrunner lives in the Southwestern US and Mexico, so this is where we find the richest symbolism and meaning for this creature. Many tribes admire the Roadrunner including the Hopi, Pueblo, and Anasazi. The Pueblo felt Roadrunners chase away malevolent spirit or confuse these entities with their footprints. They also felt any found Roadrunner feathers acted as a good luck charm like a four-leaf clover. Those feathers would go on babies’ beds for protection.

The Hopi regard Roadrunner as a Medicine Bird, with similar guardian traits. There is a Roadrunner Kachina among the Hopi who appears in the Kiva Dance; this Kachina, Hospoa, solicits rain, safeguards against malicious magic, and attracts more Roadrunners to the tribe.

Using the shape of Roadrunner footprints became a magical ward against evil. Images of these tracks still exist in rock art including those created by the Mogollon culture. Mexican tribes regarded the sight of a Roadrunner as a fantastic fortune. It was taboo to kill this sacred bird.

How Roadrunner got Red Spots Beside its Eyes (Yokut): There was a time when Bird people shared the entire world with the first man. It was winter and the Coyote and Prairie Falcon were cold. There was no fire. The Coyote found his teeth chattering so much he could not eat. Meanwhile, Roadrunner kept himself warm by constantly chasing after lizards.

At one point, Coyote got angry and told the Prairie Falcon and Roadrunner he would steal man’s fire. Coyote really didn’t have a plan to make this possible, so the three huddled together and tried to think of a sound strategy.

Prairie Falcon unfolded an idea. It began with Coyote going upstream to fetch a stick. He did so immediately. Prairie Falcon explained to Coyote it must be a long willow branch, so Coyote sought one out. It was too short, and Prairie Falcon sent Coyote for yet another, longer branch. Finally, Coyote got it right, and they were ready.

They quietly snuck toward the human fire. The Coyote ran up and pushed the branch into the fire, the human immediately seeing him. Coyote forgot about the branch and ran away from the man. While the human had his sights on Coyote, Roadrunner pulled the branch from the fire and sped along the pathway home.

The first man knew he could not catch such a fast animal, so he called down rain from the heavens hoping to quench the fire. Roadrunner had to think of how best to keep the fire dry and safe. He tucked it under his feathers behind his eyes and ran home gifting the fire to the Bird and Animal people. The red flicker remains near Roadrunner’s eyes to this day.

Roadrunner: Leader of the Birds (Apache): Long ago there was a time when Birds were like humans. They held regular meetings, talking to each other with ease. The Birds realized they had no leader who could speak for them with the Animal Clans. So, they set about choosing a leader.

They considered the Oriole first for its beautiful feathers but then dropped because Oriole doesn’t say much. Next was Mockingbird, but this creature was too talkative and might make matters worse. They considered Roadrunner. He could get to meetings quick and speak, with clarity, to everyone assembled. So, Roadrunner became the Leader of the Birds until the end of days.

Roadrunner’s Feathers (Mayan): The Mayans have a similar story to the Apache about the King of the Birds that begins in ancient times when the Great Spirit watched over the entire world. It was up to him to make and administer all laws. After many years, however, he tired of the fighting and chatter between the birds. So, he announced the birds would have to choose a King for greater peace.

Each bird thought itself best. Cardinal sang about its glorious red feathers, mockingbird boasted of his lovely voice and turkey boasted of its strength and size. Throughout the day the birds showed off their qualities. Roadrunner remained silent.

The Quetzal remained quiet thinking his plumage too dull, even though he had excellent manners. Then he had an idea. Quetzal propositioned the Roadrunner. He asked to borrow Roadrunner’s feathers this once and reward him with great honor if he became king. The Quetzal assured Roadrunner of his good intentions and all the wealth to come. Eventually, Roadrunner agreed.

When Quetzal paraded in front of the other birds, the view amazed everyone. The change in this bird into a radiant creature was nothing less than miraculous. The Great Spirit named Quetzal King of the Birds, and everyone celebrated.

Well, being King isn’t an easy job. Quetzal was so busy he forgot all about returning Roadrunner’s feathers, let alone providing any of the other promised benefits. So, poor Roadrunner hid behind a bush naked, cold, and starving. All the other Birds are quick to dress Roadrunner in feathers they donate. That is why Roadrunner’s plumage has odd and varied colors and patches. To this day, Roadrunner runs along the Mayan roads searching for Quetzal hoping to get its feathers back.

Roadrunner Dreams

When Roadrunner appears in a dream, it means you will finish your beloved project if you keep your eye on the prize. Don’t stop moving or get distracted.

If you have been pondering a change, seeing the Roadrunner sprinting in your dream is a positive omen. Go for it! You may feel a little awkward at first but, eventually, you’ll fit right in and do great. If there are two Roadrunners together in this dream, it means you need the help of a wise colleague before making your final decision.

Dreaming of baby Roadrunners presages a period of plenty where your hard work manifests in concrete ways that change your life for the better.

Roadrunner Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Action
  • Adaptation
  • Alacrity
  • Awareness
  • Beginnings
  • Change
  • Determination
  • Flexibility
  • Gratitude
  • Humor
  • Instinct
  • Intuitiveness
  • Keen-Mindedness
  • Luck
  • Omens & Signs
  • Planning
  • Pluck
  • Protection
  • Quickness
  • Reliance
  • Sensitivity
  • Speed
  • Strategy

3 thoughts on “Roadrunner Symbolism & Meaning

  1. Les says:

    Fantastic my wife’s totem the roadrunner came to her I believe we are blessed now with this knowledge

  2. michelle mcclure says:

    I have a carved hand made roadrunner signed by vince. I appreciate the craftsmanship. i found this roadrunner at a yard sale. I didn’t know it is a totem, I recently saw another that looked the same probably made by the same person.

  3. Stephen R Stanfield says:

    I have A deer lease and am in the process of building a two and a half story Lodge. The first deck is on and I wahaving my morning coffee and noticed something moving on top of 11’ tall deck. The bird flew down and walked into the woods. I have never seen one here before this. Not long after first sighting he walked across the yard. Now I see Him everywhere. He got up on my backhoe yesterday. I would Like for him/her to hang around and nest here. I have Read that they will eat sunflower seeds. Any ideas on how to keep them around? He doesn’t seem to be afraid of me or my equipment when I crank it and will sometimes stop and look at me curiously. Kewl birds.

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