Swift Symbolism & Meaning
As the name implies, the Swift is… well, swift! In times past, people associated Swifts with Swallows and Martins. Surprisingly, their closest relative is the Hummingbird! And like the Hummingbird, you can count on the Swift for weather forecasts. If they feed high in the air, the weather is fair. When flying low, rain is soon to follow.
Where Swallow arrives early in the warm season, Swift is among the last. Perhaps the arrival timing has to do with the Swift’s preference in open areas where they can hunt. So, when they move into a region, they can assess the terrain and find a suitable spot. Swift is a discriminating bird.
Swift Table of Contents
- Swift Symbolism & Meaning
- Swift Spirit Animal
- Swift Totem Animal
- Swift Power Animal
- Folkloric Swift Symbolic Meanings
- Swift Dreams
- Far Eastern Swift Symbolic Meanings
- Back to all Birds
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Swift Symbolism & Meaning
Some Swifts are communal. These birds will roost with hundreds of both “cousins”, all returning to the same spot every night with a fanfare. Can you imagine the sight at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall where Swifts come to lay eggs as they have for centuries? The cleft in the wall where the egg hatch is the same as where the devout place their prayer notes. Here we see the spirit of community and an innate understanding of the sacred with the Swift.
Of all birds, Swift has the most substantial relationship with the Air Element. They spend the vast majority of their lives flying. They mate, feed, drink, and even sleep on the wing. A Swift can remain in the air for up to 10 months, only coming down to nest.
Swifts have some commonalities with Bats. They don’t really roost but cling to cave or rock walls, and similar surfaces like chimneys. Wherever they are, they use sound for navigation. Echolocation helps them make their way through dark passages. So, the Swift “sees” with different eyes, using senses like humans might Clairvoyance.
There is no question Swifts are adaptable. They live in areas as far separated as Africa and North America. As they travel, their reputation precedes them. They can fly up to 100 miles an hour. When they’re just out for a cruise, it’s more like 70 miles per hour. In one lifetime Swift, as a seasoned traveler, clocks 125,000 miles, 31 times across Earth’s radius. Talk about having a global perspective!
For nesting, Swifts create their homes using saliva to glue them together. Their building process works effectively for the birds using vertical surfaces. After about three weeks, chicks hatch, and the Swifts work in tandem, raising the children, bring balls of insects back to the nest. The chicks leave the nest two months later. Like mom and dad, the young Swift has a fantastic adaptation-movable bristles above their eyes, keeping sunlight out. Who needs sunglasses?
Swift Spirit Animal
When the Swift Spirit Animal speeds into your life, get ready to move! You cannot drag your feet or dawdle any longer. Something needs your attention right away. If you don’t act, you can lose a significant opportunity with a person or a situation. Timing is everything. Swift comes as a reminder that you cannot wait forever if you hope to accomplish your goals.
The Swift Spirit Animal teaches how to mobilize your thoughts and feelings effectively. The two work together in a communal effort, offering balance along the way. There are always certain situations in which you may feel uncertain. Swift illustrates when to act and when to wait, using intuition as a guide.
Swift Medicine collaborates with the Air Element. You can learn to master exactness in your communications, for example. Or learn something new. You are about to become an acrobat, avoiding storms, swooping in on what you most need, and using all the resources available to you. Swift Spirit Animal provides endurance, no matter how long your flight.
Swift Totem Animal
People born with the Swift Totem Animal never stop moving. Even when they sit down, it feels like the air around them spins at full speed. Your Swift friend gets up early, exercises, stays active, and looks sharp even when dressed down.
If Swift is your Birth Totem, you might move around a lot by day, but still like a roost or two where you can put your feet up. You are dependable but somewhat predictable in your behaviors. If people in your circle want spontaneity, it’s not your forte.
Throughout your life, you enjoyed living in shared spaces. You like having a group around. They provide even more liveliness in your environment. Where some folks would find all the hustle and bustle annoying, you thrive in it.
Walking with the Swift means you like to show off a little here and there. Your approach focuses on your talents. Maybe you know some sleight of hand, for example. Such outlets are fun, but they don’t require a lot of brainpower. While you are smart, focusing on books and learning comes second to living every day fully.
Swift Power Animal
When you lag on a project, seek your inner Swift Power Animal. It will give your “get up and go” a much-needed boost. Perhaps more importantly, the Swift stays in your awareness until completion. Its energies won’t just disappear midway.
If your communication skills seem scattered or unclear, your Swift Power Animal becomes an excellent ally. Invoke it, fly into your next conversation under the Swift’s wings. Listen carefully, then reply and see how your words change. You are learning a new language of sorts, one suited to your audience.
Folkloric Swift Symbolic Meanings
In lore, legend, myth, and superstition, Swift embodied different meanings. Once identified as the Devil’s Bird, which had no legs and lived in mud, Swifts’ cry was the souls in hell mourning. The thought Swifts have no lower appendages comes from the shortness of their legs. Meanwhile, in heraldry, the Swift represented the fourth son in a family, being “footless” and unable to inherit ancestral property.
In Macbeth, King Duncan greeted the Swift as a welcome guest of summer, thinking it a splendid omen. Shortly thereafter, he met his demise. The Moray feel Swifts bring awful luck to people who fish in rivers, so some nearby farmers shot the birds on sight. It seems fate taught a karmic lesson when the farmer had the same number of cattle die as the birds he shot. On a happier note, contemporary writers spoke of the Swift as being knowledgeable and always up for an adventure.
When the Swift in your dreams flies high in the sky above you, it’s a pleasant sign. Things are clearing up in your life. Lady Fate is on your side. Keep gliding and watching. See what door opens. Be ready to go the distance here. Endure.
If the Swift in your dream lands at your feet, it implies you feel exhausted and don’t want to continue with your quest. Something sucked the motivation right out of you. It’s OK to take a moment and catch your breath. Use the time to make a better strategy.
Should several Swifts be dancing in the air, they’re telling you to show off your abilities. SHINE! You can entertain family and friends alike and build even stronger relationships where people see all your aptitudes.
A nested group of Swifts is an omen. You should direct your attention to a group with whom you have close ties. Someone needs help.
Dreams of a storm brewing with the Swift moving away portend a similar storm on the horizon. You need to engage in this fight. Find a haven until trouble passes.
Far Eastern Swift Symbolic Meanings
The words in Japanese, Chinese, and Mongolian for Swift all translate as Rain Swallow. Swifts symbolize grace, beauty, and matrimonial gentleness.
Swift Symbolic Meanings Key
- Element of Air
- Global Thinking
- Weather Working