Belonging to the same family as the herons and bitterns, the egrets are medium-sized birds that dwell near all kinds of water bodies, including saltwater and freshwater. There are about nine egret species in the world, which can easily be distinguished from other members of Ardeidae due to their white plumage.
In addition to their plumage, they also grow fine plumes on their necks in the breeding season, for which they were hunted extensively, driving their population into an endangered state. Have you ever wondered what they represent in the world of symbolism?
Egrets are symbolic of purity, strength, balance, concentration, longevity, and piety. Because they tend to enjoy solitude, their spirit also represents freedom and independence. In some cultures and mythologies, these birds are known to act as messengers of various gods and goddesses, elevating their divine status even further.
Today, we are here to learn about the significance of egrets in the world of spiritualism and explore what their spirit can symbolize. In this article, we will explore the meanings of their dreams, their totem, and spirit animals.
Egrets are birds that like to keep to themselves mostly and are least concerned about what goes on around them. What could they possibly teach you? Well, you’d be surprised to know the answer. Keep reading to explore the symbolism of these waterbirds:
The symbolism of freedom and independence
If you know anything about egrets, you will know that they prefer solitude. They will always hunt for food alone and find a solitary place to rest at night.
This solitary lifestyle has made their spirit so self-reliant that while they can adjust to large groups, they’re also capable of caring for themselves on their own.
The spirit of the egret can teach us a valuable lesson of how true freedom comes from knowing that you’ve got your back and need nobody else for your happiness and contentment.
The symbolism of purity
In the world of spiritualism, white is regarded as the color of purity, sanctity, and sacrifice. Because it is the color of the light itself, white receives a divine status in most cultures. And because all egret species possess a white plumage, they represent the same purity.
The symbolism of patience
Have you ever seen an egret hunt for fish or other aquatic creatures? These birds will stand as still as a statue in the middle of the water, at times even on a single leg.
They can do it for hours so that the fish don’t consider them a threat and start moving about freely, giving them an opportunity to seize and gobble them up. What do you learn from this behavior?
It indicates the resilience of their spirit and depicts how fiercely determined these birds are to get what they want. With such motivation, one could even move mountains.
Dreaming of egrets: meanings and interpretations
While some egret species enjoy mingling with other animals and birds, these birds are highly wary of humans and usually avoid human settlements. Therefore, it is not every day that you dream of these birds.
Have you recently dreamt of an egret and are wondering if it could be a message for you? Well, if you can remember the details of your dream correctly, you can take a look at all these common egret dreams and figure out what they could mean.
If you saw a flying egret in your dream, it has a negative interpretation in your waking life. Such a dream could be symbolic of impending troubles within your family, which are most likely to take place due to a betrayal of someone you trusted.
It is true that such betrayals can scar you for life, but the best choice for you under these circumstances is to learn a lesson from it and move on.
But if the egret was flying over your home in your dream, it has a positive interpretation. Such a dream foretells good fortune and prosperity arriving in your family.
If the egret in your dream was standing on one leg, it signifies that in the near future, you will have to work hard for a long time before you have any chance at achieving your goal.
While your path might be long and difficult, don’t be disheartened. Your patience and consistency will lead you to everything you’ve dreamt of in the long run.
Did you dream of an egret walking in the swamp? It has a negative interpretation in your waking life. Such a dream indicates that in the near future, you might become part of a controversy without any fault of your own.
And if the word of it gets out, it could have a monumental impact on your career. Therefore, it’s best to be cautious about participating in any dicey conversation.
And if you dream of an egret trapping a frog in its beak, it means you will become the center of gossips and petty squabbles. It is inevitable, so instead of worrying about preventing it, you should try to move on from it.
Was the egret in your dream swallowing food? Such a dream has come to you as a warning. It foretells that in the near future, you will come face-to-face with your new competitors.
These people will be just as smart, hard-working, and intelligent as you are, or perhaps even more. But instead of being insecure about your competition, you should focus on doing your own work to the best of your abilities.
Did you dream of an egret watching a sunset? Such a dream is a sign that you’re about to meet someone who could potentially be a perfect life partner for you. They’re most likely to see you at a public place, such as a mall or a garden, so keep an eye out for them.
If an egret was swaying from side to side in your dream, it is symbolic of your uncertainty about something important in your waking life. You’re required to take a life-altering decision but are nervous about getting it wrong.
Your dream is trying to tell you to trust your gut instinct and take a leap of faith.
If the egret in your dream was waiting to catch a fish for a long time, it signifies that you keep waiting for things to happen to you in the waking world. If you continue doing that, you will achieve nothing in life.
Instead of doing that, you should be willing to take charge and get things done by yourself.
If in your dream, you spot an egret crossing your path or walking by you, it’s a sign that very soon, you will be approached by a secret admirer who will sweep you off your feet. But before you get all smitten, make sure there’s nothing fishy or peculiar about this person.
Dreaming of yourself catching an egret is symbolic of a big win in your waking life while dreaming of feeding the bird tells you that now is time for you to undergo a major change.
It could be switching jobs, relocating to a new city, or pursuing a different degree. If any of these things have been on your mind for a while, you must seize this opportunity to go through with it.
Significance of egrets in different cultures and mythologies
As you already know, herons, egrets, and bitterns are all closely-related water birds belonging to the same family, Ardeidae. These birds also feature a number of similarities in their appearance, with subtle differences that can only be noticed upon close examination.
Therefore, in many ancient cultures and mythologies, their significance can be interchanged. Now, let’s take a look at how these birds are perceived in these cultures:
In Christianity, the egrets, just like the herons, are symbolic of longevity. These birds can survive in the wilderness even up to 22 years, which is quite difficult for most waterbirds.
Additionally, these birds are also known to represent good fortune and prosperity. The Christians believe that because of their long-suffering nature, egrets are also symbolic of gratitude and contentment.
Lastly, because all egret species generally have white plumage, they also symbolize piety.
In Celtic culture
The Celts only had limited interaction with the egrets and were, thus, not well-acquainted with them. However, in their belief, these birds symbolize perseverance, independence, and longevity.
Additionally, there’s also a connection between these birds and the Celtic goddess, Rhiannon, the goddess of water bodies, particularly of lakes. Rhiannon was the beloved of all Celts and was also called “the Lady of the lakes.”
The Celts also believed that Rhiannon protected them fiercely and always helped a traveler who had lost their way.
In far-eastern cultures
In Japanese culture, both herons and egrets were symbolic of grace and dignity. In most of their art, you can see these birds, either in flight or standing in water with their necks bent gracefully.
The nest of these birds was also used as a popular present among the Japanese royalty, as the beauty of their nest signified how love could endure all obstacles of life and continue to grow.
On the other hand, the Chinese saw egrets as a symbol of purity, strength, patience, and longevity. It was common Chinese belief that these divine birds were known to guide the souls of the deceased to Heaven, which is why they also represented the path to Heaven.
In Greek mythology
In Greek mythology, egrets and herons are quite popular, as they’re mentioned in several Greek tales and stories.
In one of these stories, it was written that herons and egrets used to act as the intermediaries of God Zeus himself. Zeus used them to send across all messages from Mount Olympus to mankind.
In other stories, these birds are known to carry the messages of Goddess Athena, the deity of wisdom, and Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty and love. In one instance, Athena had sent this bird to Odysseus on his voyage to let him know that she was watching over him.
In the Native American culture
In most of the Native American tribes, egrets had a positive representation and were perceived as the symbol of peace and harmony.
In the Cherokee tribe, the feathers of the egrets were associated with peace and were worn by the ballplayers and diplomats, while the warriors wore eagle feathers.
According to the fishermen tribes of the northwestern coast, the sightings of herons and egrets were considered as a good omen. When a fisherman saw them, he’d naturally assume that he would bag plenty of fish that day.
However, in some folklore, these birds are portrayed as loners and restless creatures because of their solitary nature.
The egret totem will come to you when you depend on others far too much and are incapable of doing things for yourself. Their totem will teach you that independence is the most important virtue one can have; it ensures that you’ll never have to be weak or vulnerable in front of someone else.
When you learn to do everything for yourself, you’ll realize how truly liberating it can feel. When you don’t need anyone, you can see people for who they are more clearly, and choose your friends accordingly.
Alternatively, these totems will also approach you when you’re more invested in other parts of your life than your home. Their totem is deeply concerned about nesting. They will show you how it’s important to invest more time and energy into building a home that reflects your personality. After all, that’s the place you come back to after every difficult, exhausting day.
Egret spirit animal
Are you someone who prefers their own company over the others? Just like the solitary nature of egrets, their solitary spirit is watching over you.
The egret-spirited people might seem most ordinary from their appearance, but from within, they’re one of the strongest people you’d ever know. Wondering why? It’s because these people have mastered the art of solitude.
They’ve learned how to be self-reliant and be content with hanging out with themselves so well that there’s no one else they’d rather spend time with. This is also the reason why these people might be difficult to connect with.
It’s not that they lack social skills or cannot make polite conversations, no. In fact, they can do all these things better than most people. Only they can do it without getting attached or emotionally invest in others. They’ve learned early in life that at the end of the day, only you have got your back and nobody else.
Because these people are more mentally organized than others, they have a surprisingly high attention span and focus and can learn anything in very little time. They’re also very patient; you will never see them lose their temper in public or get irritated at little things.
Because they’re so composed and focused, having them as your enemy is the worst thing in your life. On the other hand, befriending them isn’t an easy task either. These people might appear friendly when you talk to them first. But when you get to know them better, you will learn that they’re very selective about who they let in their inner circle.
In fact, most of the time, their inner circle is almost negligent. If you’ve done something significant for them, they’ll be indebted to you and will make sure to repay you in kind; but that doesn’t mean they’re your friends now.
Most egret-spirited people are content with spending their entire lives alone and do not go out of their way to seek a partner. They know that it’s not easy for anyone to match up to their high standards or win their trust, which is why they’ve learned to appreciate their own company.
Are you planning on getting an egret tattooed on your body? Here are some reasons why it would be a great idea for you:
- The true strength of the egrets lies in their ability to rely on themselves for everything in life. If you wish to achieve that kind of independence and self-reliance in your life, their tattoo can serve as a constant motivation for you.
- These birds also have a highly focused spirit that can help you increase your own concentration in life by helping you cut out unimportant things from your life.
- Because these birds were associated with the Greek gods and goddesses, their tattoos are sacred and can open up the possibility of a divine connection in your life.
With this, we come to the end of our article. Today, we have learned that egrets are peaceful water birds that have beautiful white plumage and solitary nature. These birds play a significant role in various folklore and mythologies and are admired for their virtues of patience, perseverance, independence, purity, and concentration.