The vast avian world consists of countless winged creatures, all of whom have their own spirit and symbolism. However, some birds have such a strong and dominant symbolism that they can easily overshadow the other birds. The eagle is one such bird. Eagles are one of the most popular birds of prey, and they have a long history as figures in mythology, legends, and literature.
Do eagles represent something to you? Do you feel drawn to them or have a mystical connection with them? If yes, this post is for you. There are several interpretations of what the eagle represents to someone. Here we’ll discuss the symbolism and spiritual meaning of eagles in detail.
With their unmatched strength and ferocity, eagles represent symbols like power, leadership, strength, freedom, and independence. These birds have a representation in all the major cultures and mythologies of the world and are often regarded as divine creatures that can travel between Heaven and Earth. Just like their personalities, their dreams also contain powerful messages.
Large and vicious, the eagles are true kings of the winged world. These birds are not only deadly strong but also wise and intelligent, making them superior to most of the other birds. Their representation in the spiritual world matches that of the physical world.
Have you been dreaming of the eagles lately? Or are you curious about their characters in different mythologies? Whatever you’re seeking, you will find in this article.
Before we dive headfirst into the vast symbolism of the eagles, let’s first talk a little about the background of these birds. Belonging to the family of the birds of prey, the eagles are large birds that possess a heavy head and are sturdily built. There are about sixty different eagle species in the world that are evenly distributed and found on every continent, except for Antarctica.
Eagles are apex predators and thus reside at the top of the food chain. In the avian world, these birds have unparalleled strength and ferocity, which makes them symbolic of power and domination. And with ultimate power comes ultimate freedom; eagles are fearless and, therefore, free in the true sense of the word. These birds have everything they need to spend their lives in whichever way they desire.
Despite their strength and free spirit, the eagles are loyal and devoted to the ones they love. These birds are monogamous and spend their entire lives with a single partner; although they are solitary birds and prefer to hunt and migrate alone each year, they return to the same partner and same nest. If this isn’t the true symbol of devotion and faithfulness, nothing else could possibly be.
What does it mean to dream of Eagles?
All of us can agree that different people have different opinions on dreams. Some consider them to be meaningless, while others believe that they have something to offer us; a deeper meaning or a hidden warning. Which group of people do you belong to?
If you have faith in dreams, there are many things these dreams could tell you. Take the dream of an eagle, for instance; these birds are the embodiment of strength and power. Therefore, if you see an eagle in your sleep, it indicates that you have a strong spirit and a respectable personality.
However, not all eagle dreams have the same interpretation; their meanings could vary according to the action taking place in your dream. Today, we’re going to look at some of the common eagle dreams that people have claimed to have and explore what messages could be hidden within them.
Let’s begin with the most common dream: a flying eagle. Looking at a flying eagle can be a little overwhelming. These raptors rarely fly at low altitudes; you’ll often find them soaring quite high in the sky, well above all the smaller or medium-sized birds. If you’ve dreamt of a flying eagle, it indicates that you’re soon going to acquire new heights in your life, just like the eagles.
Such a dream often refers to your professional career; you’re going to see growth (a promotion, an increment, or new responsibilities) that might overwhelm you initially. However, you mustn’t let it overwhelm you; have faith in your capabilities, and you’ll be worthy of the opportunity you’ve received in no time.
However, if the eagle in your dream is flying in circles over you, it has an entirely different meaning. This dream is symbolic of your passive attitude towards people who manipulate you or boss you around. The eagle is telling you that it is time for you to seize control of your life and make your own decisions instead of letting others make them for you.
Then, there are dreams where you see an eagle struggling to fly. What could these dreams mean? Well, such dreams are symbolic of struggle, which could be in your own life or the lives of your loved ones. If you can identify such a thing in one of your friends and family, you must spend time with them and make them feel that they’re not alone in it. And, if you dream of an eagle unable to fly, it is a warning of the difficult times that lie ahead. Listen to your well-wishers and avoid doing anything rash for the next couple of weeks.
Because eagles are at the top of the avian food chain, they’re not easy to get hurt or injured. However, if you dream of an injured eagle, it has a deeper message for you. Such a dream usually comes to people who’re ambitious and have larger-than-life dreams. The eagle in your dream is there to tell you that the goals you’ve set for yourself are unattainable for you right now, no matter how much you want to achieve them. This dream is a sign that while thinking big is a healthy mindset; it is equally essential to recognize one’s limitations and work on them instead of denying them.
Did you see an eagle landing on you in your dream? An eagle landing on you, particularly on your shoulders or arms, is a symbol of domination. Such a dream could be indicating your own dominating nature. Although it might seem overbearing to some people, you shouldn’t try to change yourself; you’re already the best version of yourself.
Because of their strength, speed, and capacity to inflict hurt, it is not easy to capture an eagle. If you see a captured, trapped, or caged eagle in your dream, it indicates that there’s something or someone that’s holding you back in life. In order to achieve your full potential, you must discard these hurdles from your life.
If in your dream, you see yourself catching an eagle, it is a sign that you have to start behaving more perceptively towards others. It is because someone in your close circle might be trying to manipulate you for their own benefit. On the other hand, dreaming of feeding an eagle indicates that to move ahead in your career, you need to hone your skills and put in more effort. Otherwise, the growth of your career will come to a standstill.
To dream of an eagle catching its prey has quite an interesting interpretation. These dreams suggest that your morals conflict with your deepest desires. It is common to want something that is not right for you, but whether or not you choose to act on it makes all the difference.
Of all the eagle dreams, the one in which you see an eagle’s nest is most unusual. However, if you’ve had such a dream, there’s no reason for you to worry, for it has a positive interpretation. It is symbolic of a new beginning in your life; it could be a new work opportunity or the arrival of a new member of your family. In fact, if there are eggs inside the nest, it’s even better. These eggs are symbolic of success in any new journey or venture you begin.
Eagle symbolism in the Bible
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the eagle possesses the most significant symbolism in Christianity, far surpassing any other bird’s symbolism. To be precise, these birds are used to symbolize the strength of God himself in the Bible, more specifically in the Old Testament. All of us know that eagles have strong wings, but these wings are not solely used for flight but also to bear the weight of their younger ones.
The image of an eagle carrying its children to the safety of their nest is compared to how God protected the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and carried them out of there to safety.
However, the image of the eagle is not only used to represent God’s protection but also his wrath in the Old Testament. Jeremiah states in the Bible how God will come to destroy the people of Israel should they fail to obey him.
In his imagery, God’s arrival is compared to the clouds, riding whirlwind like a chariot; the horses of His chariot are mentioned to be swifter than the eagles.
To sum it up, the eagles have a powerful and significant symbolism in the Bible, which is why they’re highly respected by Christians.
Eagle symbolism in different cultures and mythologies
The unparalleled strength and bravery of eagles are admired throughout the world. In this section, we will explore how these birds are perceived in different cultures, as well as the tales and legends surrounding them.
In Greek mythology
In Greek mythology, eagles were ferocious creatures that inspired both awe and fear in the people of Greece. In fact, in one of their legends, a giant eagle was also believed to do the bidding of Zeus, the king of all the Greek Gods.
In this legend, Prometheus, the God of Fire, had managed to anger Zeus because of his love for mankind, which was far greater than for the Olympians. It was due to this love that Prometheus went behind Zeus’s back to help men.
To punish Prometheus for his sins, Zeus had him shackled on the Caucasus mountains for all eternity. However, when even this punishment seemed too insignificant, Zeus called upon the Caucasian Eagle, a giant, monstrous creature instructed to feed on Prometheus’s liver every day.
In the end, it was Heracles, the son of Zeus himself, who killed the Caucasian Eagle to free Prometheus from his misery.
In Roman mythology
Just like in Greek mythology, eagles were the messengers of the supreme divinity in Roman mythology as well. Here, Jupiter was the supreme; he was the God of sky and thunder and ruled all the other Roman gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. Eagle was the personal messenger of Jupiter and has also been described as “signa militaria” or “the symbol of war.”
In Nordic mythology
In Nordic mythology, the eagles have been presented a supreme symbolism. It is believed in their culture that Odin, the king of all the Norse gods and goddesses, used to turn into an eagle often to fly to Earth and consume the elixir of life. It was this elixir that kept him young and immortal forever.
It is why, whenever the Nordic people saw an eagle flying in the sky, they tried to be on their best behavior. In other words, you can say that eagle sightings motivated these people to be a better version of themselves.
In Aztec legends
The ethnic group of the Aztecs was a warrior community since the very beginning of their existence. And because eagles represent the war-like qualities of strength, fearlessness, and bravery, the Aztec warriors could closely relate to their spirit.
Moreover, according to their legends, the eagles also played a monumental role in expanding their society. The legend narrated that a long time ago, the ancestral priests of the Aztecs were visited by the gods of Sun and War. These gods had indicated that when their ethnic group would find their true home, they would be able to identify it with a symbol: an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its mouth.
The promise of the Aztec Gods came true when one day, a priest spotted exactly the same sighting at the shore of a lake. Soon, all the Aztecs gathered around and watched in wonder as the cactus upon which the eagle was perched began to grow. It kept growing until it turned into a large island in the middle of the lake.
As directed, the Aztecs settled down on that island and named it Island Tenochtitlan; the island is also referred to as “the place of the prickly pear cactus.” It is this very legend that has inspired the design of the Mexican Coat of Arms.
In Celtic culture
In the Celtic culture, eagles are seen as one of the oldest creatures in the world and are treated with the reverence that they deserve. To the Celts, these birds are symbolic of age-old wisdom and splendor.
The White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) are particularly significant to them. Their remains found in tombs at several locations across Scotland are a clear indication that these birds were important to the religious beliefs of their ancestors.
In Native American culture
The eagles have a special place in Native American symbolism. They’ve different representations in different Native American tribes, but all these symbolisms have a positive interpretation.
The Comanche legend
The people of the Comanche tribe were the most dominant tribesmen on the Southern Great Plains, which is why they were also referred to as the “Lords of the Plains.”
The Comanche has a popular legend about the creation of the first eagle of the world. According to the legend, the chief of their tribe had a young son who passed away, unfortunately.
Shocked and consumed by the misery of his son’s death, the chief prayed desperately to the Great Spirits to return his son’s life. After a long time, the Spirits decided to grant the grieving father another chance to be with his son.
However, instead of returning his soul to his original body, they turned him into a giant, majestic bird who could fly from Heaven to Earth. Thus, the first eagle came into being.
In the Cherokee tribe
For the people of the Cherokee tribe, eagles were a holy bird species as well. These people considered the value of a single eagle’s feather to be as much as a horse!
In fact, in their tribes, they also had a designed eagle killer, who was blessed by the Spirits to kill eagles for their feathers. Other than these killers, no other tribesmen were allowed to kill an eagle.
In the Pueblo tribes
In the Pueblo tribes, the Zunis believed in six different guardians that protected their people from all six directions. Each of these guardians had a spirit animal or a “Prey God.”
From the north, the yellow mountain lion protected them, while from the south, they were protected by the red badger.
Protecting them from the east was a white wolf, while the black bear stood their guard in the west. The black shrew provided them protection from the underground, while in the sky above, a multicolored eagle was their guardian.
Eagles, which were symbolic of vision, balance, and spirituality to the Zuni people, were significant because they protected these terrestrial people from above, the most vulnerable spot for them.
The Navajo tribesmen considered the golden eagles to be “war eagles” and believed their feathers to be sacred. Their feathers were used by these people in every religious as well as auspicious ceremony.
In the Pawnee culture
In the Pawnee culture, eagles were admired not just for their strength but also for their virility. The people of this culture were amazed by the enormous size of an eagle’s nest and would praise them for their fertility. In fact, they even devised a dance to honor these mighty birds.
In the African folklore
Even in South Africa, the eagles enjoy a sacred symbol. There’s a particular South African Nguni tribe, the Zulus, who held the Bateleur Eagles (Terathopius ecaudatus) in high regard and considered them to be the holiest of all creatures. In their language, these eagles were referred to as “Ingonghulu,” which can be translated into the alpha and the omega (the beginning and the end).
The Zulus believed that the Tree of Life was the center of the beginning of all Creation. And when the tree started producing living beings, the bateleur eagles were the first creatures to fall off of it. In fact, it was the flapping of their wing beats that announced the beginning of creation to the world.
Because of their holiness, the bateleur eagles enjoyed special privileges in the land of Zulus. They were considered the bird of victory, and injuring or killing them was a grievous crime, punishable by the King himself.
In many other African tribes, dreaming of an eagle had a positive interpretation; the tribesmen believed that such a dream was a sign that the dreamer was now under the protection of the Gods. And if someone found the shell of an eagle’s egg on their path, it was considered to be a good omen and indicated that the person would be blessed with good health and prosperity.
In Hindu mythology, the great Garuda has an appearance of an eagle. He’s also referred to as “Vynateya” and “Tarkshya.” While most devouts know of Garuda as merely the ride and emblem of Lord Vishnu, there is more to these birds than that; they have their own story of origin and how they came to serve Vishnu.
The story of Garuda’s birth can be found in the Mahabharata, the great epic of Hinduism. This story begins with Kashyapa Prajapati and his two wives, Kadru and Vinata, who wanted to have children but were incapable of it. To make his wives happy, Kashyapa granted them both a boon of children. While Kadru wished to have a thousand naga sons, Vinata wanted only two, given her sons were equal in strength to all of Kadru’s sons.
Both women gave birth to eggs soon, and as the eggs hatched, Kadru found her hundred naga sons, and Vinata was blessed with two sons, Aruna and Garuda. Aruna was deformed due to his mother’s impatience and cursed her to be a slave before he went off to be a charioteer to God Surya. However, Garuda freed his mother from slavery under Kadru and her sons. The eternal enmity between the snakes and eagles is believed to have been birthed from here as well.
Because they’re linked with Lord Vishnu, the Garudas (or eagles) are symbolic of royalty, power, and martial prowess in Hinduism.
In Buddhism, the eagles are known as “Garuda” as well. However, a more popular name for them is “Suparna,” a Sanskrit (or Pali) term which translates to a creature with magnificent wings.
And indeed, the Buddhists believe these birds to be enormous in size, with their wingspan extending up to 330 yojanas (1 yojana is roughly 12-15 kilometers long).
Because the Garudas are known to have the combined characteristics of animals and divinity, they’re also worshipped as Gods (although they acquire the lowest ranks among the deities).
In many folktales, these beings also have the ability to take a human form when they need to converse with humans.
In Chinese culture
Although the symbolism of the eagles is scant in the Chinese culture, wherever they’ve been mentioned, they’re praised for their strength. The combination of a bear and an eagle together is used to represent a hero, Ying Xiong.
In traditional Chinese magic, the feather of an eagle’s tail is to be a potent charm. Moreover, Lei Gong, the Daoist God of Thunder, is also known to appear in the form of half-human and half-eagle.
In Taiwan, a country that is still considered to be a part of the Chinese territory, the Mountain Hawk-Eagles (Nisaetus nipalensis) have a separate symbolism as well. The Paiwans, an indigenous tribe of Taiwan, consider these birds to be a symbol of bravery, beauty, and sacredness.
In Islam, the eagles are seen as a flawless creation of Allah himself. These powerful birds are also symbolic of ferocity and dominion. Their strength and ruthlessness are the qualities that a true Islamic warrior should possess.
In Japanese mythology
In Japanese culture, the sighting of an eagle is considered to be a good omen. There’s a popular Shinto tale behind it as well.
In the story, Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess in Japanese culture, hides inside a cave. Her disappearance takes away all the light in the world, casting dreadful darkness upon it. And in that darkness, the evil spirits run wild on the lands, terrorizing the people.
In order to protect the world and bring backlight, Amenohiwashi-no-kami, another Japanese deity, devises a plan. He plays a stringed musical instrument at the mouth of the cave to lure out Amaterasu by its music.
Just as Amaterasu is about to come out, an eagle flies down and perches on one end of the instrument. When Amaterasu finally comes out, it appears to the world as if the light is returning through the eagle, which is why seeing them is lucky for the Japanese.
Bald Eagle Symbolism in the United States
Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are the national birds of the United States. These birds are found exclusively in North America and populate the United States heavily.
Moreover, their strong and determined personality, as well as stellar survival skills, make them an ideal representative of the nation’s spirit. Not only are they strong, sharp, and far-sighted, but they’re also masters of balance and cannot be overwhelmed.
Bald Eagles were chosen to be the national symbol of the United Nations by the Second Continental Congress in 1782 (June 20th).
Eagle is a majestic and powerful totem. It is a protector, a hunter, and an ascending being. If you feel drawn to the Eagle Totem, you might be suffering from a loss of identity or getting stuck in life situations that leave you feeling unable to fly, unable to express yourself, or unable to enjoy the things you want.
Not everyone can be guided by the eagle totem. Their totem will only approach people who have the potential for greatness because mediocrity is not their thing.
If you have such potential but have been distracted from your path, the eagle totem will come into your life to remind you of it.
They have a keen vision and can figure out what went wrong with you. And once they do, they will waste no time in fixing it. Your downfall might have led to the loss of your confidence, but their totem will replenish it with their own. They’ll keep pushing you unless you’re ready to get over your fears and insecurity and pursue your dreams again.
The eagle totem can also come to you when you’re on the verge of creating something phenomenal but are afraid of failure. If they’ve chosen to help you, it means that they see greatness in you. This power animal can assist you to claim your personal power again and become fearless.
You can draw strength from their totem to build your own, enough to make you take a leap of faith. And once you’ve taken the leap, you’ll realize how it’s going to change your entire life for the better.
Eagle Spirit Animal
Are you someone who believes that you were born to lead others? If you are, you’ve been blessed by the guidance of the eagle’s spirit. Commonly regarded as the chief of the winged world, the eagles are familiar with what it means to lead. The people guided by their spirit are a lot like them; they have a strong physical and mental state and have been in a position of power from an early stage of life.
But merely having power can’t be considered a commendable quality, can it? What’s truly admirable about these people is that they know how to handle power; too much power cannot overwhelm them. Wondering why? Because they’ve mastered the art of balance, just like their guiding spirit.
The eagle-spirited people have an air of authority to them; you can feel it around them all the time. At the workplace, these people are strictly professional and can inspire others to work to their full potential, too.
They won’t be great at menial desk jobs because their talent lies in leadership and management areas. Moreover, you cannot expect them to work for an underqualified or underappreciated job; they know their worth and are not afraid of walking out when they’re not given their due.
As far as their romantic life is concerned, “picky” is the best word to describe these people. They’re not the kind of people who are unaware of what they’re looking for and will settle for anyone, no. These people know perfectly well what they need in their life partner and don’t mind looking for however long it takes to find them. They’re not ones that tend to fool around with random people; they take love and commitment seriously.
However, once they do find their perfect match, they’ll sway the person off their feet. As lovers, the eagle-spirited people are passionate, romantic, caring, devoted, and above all, fiercely loyal. Just like the eagles, they believe in mating for life.