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Waxwing Symbolism & Meaning

The Waxwing bird owes its name to the old practice of sealing important letters with red wax. The documents often came from someone of power and influence, with a courier instructed only to show it to the recipient. Waxwings have a similar color spotting their wingtips. The connection between history and the Waxwing’s hue makes it a symbol for secrecy and trust.

Other feathers on the Waxwing are smooth and silky. The dominant color is brown with a black chin, beak, back legs, and border running through its eyes. If you consider color symbolism, red is passion and energy, brown balances the heat with grounding, and black brings sophistication into the equation.

Waxwing Table of Contents

Waxwing Symbolism & Meaning

When you look at the Waxwing’s head, it appears as if masked, another allusion to confidentiality with some mystery and the art of disguise thrown in for good measure. In Europe, Waxwings winter in Britain throughout forests. In North America, they dot the land in spring wherever they can find berries. The focus for Waxwing is simple: move to where the food is available for survival. When you consider they eat upward of 1,000 berries daily, it’s easy to see why.

For nesting, Waxwings prefer the Rowan (Mountain Ash). The Rowan Tree represents courage, wisdom, and protection. A hardy Apple tree is the Waxwing’s alternative settling spot, indicative of health, happiness, and love.

When the trees are close to water, it’s even better. They need plenty of water for processing the sugars in their diet. Sometimes the Waxwings gather overripe berries, becoming intoxicated and unable to fly. Thankfully, they do not appear to suffer hangovers, much to the envy of many Fraternity houses.

In their courtship habits, Waxwings show an air of selflessness or sharing. The Male searches for a mate, carrying a berry as he travels. Once He finds a desired female, he passes her the kernel, hoping to impress her. After she accepts the treat, she returns it to the male. Their ritual goes back and forth several times before mating. In lieu of berries, flower petals may substitute.

The giving behavior of the Waxwing goes beyond courtship. Waxwings will often gather on a tree branch, lined up like schoolchildren. One bird at the end of a line passes the berry to the next. The one receiving the berry continues the gifting down the line. Community interaction is integral in the Waxwing social structure.

In terms of human interaction, Waxwing does not fear human proximity. If you respectfully approach them, they continue with their tasks, including the care and feeding of offspring. Should a person return a fallen one to the family, they welcome it with open arms.

Waxwing Spirit Animal

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A central message from the Waxwing Spirit Animal focuses on generosity. Ask yourself if someone in your life is genuinely in need. Alternatively, consider a charitable cause you can get behind in the way of support. Remember, giving is not always a matter of money. Time helps, extra hands help, your skills can help. The rewards from such efforts don’t have a price tag; they are priceless.

Speaking of gifting, Waxwing Spirit Animal instructs taking an inventory of items you have but no longer need or use. If it’s sat on a shelf for six months without a thought, find a new home graciously. An extra benefit here is removing clutter and opening your space to the flow of positive energies.

Third, Waxwing Spirit Animal reminds you to give means receiving as well. Many people find it hard to accept help. Pride or embarrassment gets in the way. However, the Universe values YOU too. Be thankful no matter how small or large the gesture.

Finally, the Waxwing Spirit Animal challenges you to take time in introspection. What masks do you wear in your life, and why? In Shamanic traditions, costumes transform. In other settings, they can deceive or protect. You should remain aware of the masks you don, checking for good intentions.

Waxwing Totem Animal

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People born with a Waxwing Totem Animal always show courtesy. They have respectful manners in their back pocket. Anything or anyone these individuals hold dear will always be in their focus, specifically how to make things better.

If Waxwing is your Birth Totem, you are selfless to a fault. You always see the benefit of helping, even when it means putting your own needs aside. You don’t seek after rewards, but sometimes karma brings them your way. It is the law of attraction in action.

The magnanimous nature of your Waxwing Totem expresses itself in various ways in your life. You have already experienced what it’s like to have little food, meager means, and uncertain housing personally or through a friend’s life. Spiritually their experience vibrates with moving beyond the ordinary, mundane idea of wealth. You are rich in friends, for example. You prepare for troublesome times mindfully, never letting “wants” impede your “needs.”

Walking with the Waxwing Totem means you prefer sharing your time with a few close people. If you are going somewhere, you want another individual as your proverbial wingman. Together, you celebrate life’s sweetness and experience emotions fully.

Waxwing Power Animal

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If you’ve lost your way to self-gratification, Waxwing Power Animal has the wisdom you need. Dig deep and connect with its vibrations. Overindulgence and selfishness rarely turn out well. The key here is WHY this happened. Once Waxwing helps you find the answer, you can then address it effectively.

Another reason for invoking your inner Waxwing Power Animal is when you are trying to make gentle changes to your environment, supporting greater understanding. Even within a family, you sometimes need a shift for fostering solutions.
Waxwing as a Historical Animal Symbol

For two thousand years, people believed Waxwings could (and did) glow in the dark. Pliny the Elder wrote about the Waxwing’s bright, fiery flames glowing in Europe’s eventide forests. Another Latin scholar, Solinus, upped the ante on the idea, reporting Germans used captive Waxwings as a lantern. Placed in small cages, the Waxwing provided light for safe travel.

Based on the myths, some felt Waxwings acted as torches for the Banshees. In any case, the imagery is lovely. You have a glowing Animal Helper in the darkness leading you down your path. It wasn’t until the 16th century when the idea waned. A bird watcher by the name of Ulysses Aldrovandi studied Waxwings for three months, by day and night. He observed no emanation of light.

Waxwing Dreams

When a Waxwing appears in your dream, you must listen carefully to the bird’s song. An ancestor or Spirit is sending you an important message. Make notes of anything else in the dream for greater clarity on the subject.

A Waxwing carrying a berry is an emblem of sharing. Someone may gift you with a lovely surprise, or you may reach out to someone offering a boon (spread the wealth!). Alternatively, the dream may portend a gathering with people at a long table with food being passed from one to another in kinship.

Two or more Waxwings on a branch shuffling to accommodate each other suggest courtesy is necessary for resolving a current, troublesome situation. A single bird on the wing portends a trip or moving to a new place (often far away).

Should two Waxwings pass a berry back and forth several times in your dream, you will soon meet a lover or find your current relationship more giving and reciprocal emotionally.

Far Eastern Waxwing Symbolic Meanings

Waxwings live in Asia, but they do not have the typical markings of their cousins overseas. Like a Bohemian Waxwing, it has bright, bold wing patterns but no red! The symbolism of giving and sharing remains, however.

Waxwing Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Accepting Assistance
  • Clarity
  • Community
  • Courtesy (Manners)
  • Giving
  • Illusion (Masks)
  • Partnering
  • Secrecy
  • Thankfulness
  • Transformation

One thought on “Waxwing Symbolism & Meaning

  1. Berty says:

    I got home from work today and shortly after arriving a little waxwing flew into my window and passed..

    I cried a bit — I picked them up as they were taking their finals breaths and covered them up in a sweater I just washed. Trying to keep them as comfy as possible.. but pretty sure the little bird is gone

    I’m engaged but lately.. an old lover has been coming into my thoughts more often. They’ve even reached out to me and we’ll sometimes talk, but then they disappear for a bit? I’m wondering if this his related — I’m pretty superstitious

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