Goldfinch Symbolism and Meaning (Totem, Spirits, and Omens)

Goldfinch symbolism and meaning

The goldfinches are the most striking members of the finch family, a family of medium-sized passerine birds. These little birds have an attractive coloration on their body. But what about their symbolism?

The goldfinches are symbolic of joy, enthusiasm, positivity, and persistence. In Christianity, these birds have a strong symbolism and are considered to be sacred. In the ancient Egyptian culture, they’re personified as the souls of dead human beings. The Native Americans consider them to be symbolic of prosperity and abundance.

In this article, we will read all about the symbolism of goldfinches, including the interpretation of their dreams and the significance of their totem and spirit.


Goldfinch symbolism

When you saw a goldfinch for the first time in your life, what was your first thought? “What a beautiful bird!”, we’re guessing that’s what most of you would’ve thought.

These birds are indeed symbolic of beauty and art. They have various colors present in their plumage, with a vibrant red face, black eyes, and a spray of gold on their flight feathers.

But that’s not all these birds represent. They also symbolize enthusiasm and liveliness. Although they don’t live as long as the larger birds, they live as fully as them, if not more. These birds are bursting with energy all the time, as long as they live.

The spirit of the goldfinches also symbolizes optimism. These birds believe in always looking at the bright side of things. If you ever see their flock at dusk, instead of appearing dull and tired, you’ll find them to be chattering excitedly, as if sharing funny stories of the day.


What does it mean to dream of Goldfinches?

Goldfinches are vibrant birds that do not have a single dull moment in their lives. You’ll always find them flying around, chirping and chattering among themselves or with friends.

If these birds come to your dream, they could be symbolic of the activity and hustle in your waking life in the near future. However, to interpret the complete meaning of a dream, you must take all its subtle details into account as well.

For instance, what was the goldfinch in your dream doing? Where was it located? What were you doing there? Were you a silent spectator or an active participant in the dream? The answer to these questions could bring a vast difference in your dream’s interpretation.

For instance, if you dreamt of a goldfinch crossing your path, it is a sign that soon you’re going to have an opportunity of meeting many new people. Some of these people will become your acquaintances for life. You must prepare yourself to indulge with them.

Did you see the nest of goldfinches in your dream? Much like a nightingale’s nest dream, the goldfinch’s nest in your dream world is also symbolic of bliss and peace in your family life.

Dreaming of a goldfinch perched on your shoulders also has a positive interpretation. It signifies that something, a conflict or dilemma that has been troubling you for a long time, will soon sort itself out.

If you see a goldfinch staring back at you in your dream, it is a sign that you’re soon going to be a part of an event where people are going to judge you by your appearance and dressing style.

If this event is important to your career or your loved ones, you should do your best to make a good impression. And if that requires you to put more effort into planning your outfit for the day, so be it.

Did you see a goldfinch biting you in your dream? Such a dream is quite unusual because while goldfinches are not fans of being manhandled, they’re not the kind of birds that can act out.

Unfortunately, the interpretation of this dream is not a positive one. The dream indicates that someone in your close circle is envious of your happiness and possessions.

This person might try to get closer to identify your weakness and use them against you. If you meet with anyone who could potentially be this person, treat them with caution.

A goldfinch flying in the sky is symbolic of hope and change. Much like the symbolism of a flying dove dream, this dream is also indicative of growth and development in your future, both personally and professionally.

To dream of two goldfinches fighting one another is not a good sign for your love/married life. It suggests that the conflicts between you and your better half will increase considerably in the near future.

Since fighting between yourselves is only going to make both your lives harder, it would be best if you could handle the whole thing with patience.

Why don’t you sit down with your partner and calmly ask them about what’s bothering them? It might help more than you think.

Did you dream of a bleeding goldfinch? That can’t mean anything good; your dream signifies that either you or someone close to you will find themselves in an accident soon and will end up having a critical health condition for months afterward.

No one would want such a tragedy to befall their loved ones. Therefore, to be extra careful, you should check up on them frequently in the coming weeks.

Similarly, to dream of a dying or a dead goldfinch also has a negative indication. Such a dream can only mean two things: failure and disappointment.

If you’re a part of a team or a project that’s worth a huge amount of money or has a lot at stake, this dream is a sign of bad news for you. It looks like you are not going to succeed at it.

During these trying times, your best course of action would be not to lose hope and wait for things to blow over before you start working on them again.


Goldfinch symbolism in different cultures and mythologies

Despite their tiny size and lifespan, the goldfinches have a lot to offer us. Since these birds have been around for a long time, it’s only reasonable for them to be a part of the myths, legends, and superstitions of different cultures.
If you’re curious about what they symbolize in various religions and myths, keep reading:

In Christianity

A popular Christian legend associates the goldfinches with Christ and explains the supposed reason behind the red spots on their plumage.

In the legend, when Christ was crucified, with a crown of thorns atop his head, a goldfinch flying by felt deeply moved by his sight. The grace of Christ was so infectious that the foolish bird tried to lessen his pain by removing the thorns from the crown.

As the goldfinch went ahead to do it, the thorn that came out splattered Christ’s blood all over the bird’s plumage. And as holy as Christ’s blood was, instead of coming off, it became a part of all the goldfinches thereafter, staying with as Christ’s blessing.

In some versions of this tale, the robins were believed to be the birds that tried helping Christ; hence, their redbreast. However, the version with goldfinches in it is equally popular.

Due to the goldfinch’s association with the legend, the Christians came to think of the goldfinches as sympathetic birds with big, generous hearts. Moreover, some devout Christians believe that the blood of Christ made these birds pious and sacred.

In ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, one of the major religious views was that after the death of a human being, their soul would take the form of a small bird.

Coincidentally (or not), the description of this bird matches that of a goldfinch in many folklores, with their remarkable throat crescent. Therefore, the sighting of these birds would remind the Egyptians that their souls were in God’s hands.

Additionally, these little birdies were also seen as a symbol of joy, prosperity, and abundance.

In Native American culture

Much like most of the other cultures, the Native Americans also perceive goldfinches in a positive light.
The bird symbolizes self-expression and liberation for these people; you can learn from their spirits how to live your life authentically and independently.

Some tribes even associate them with attributes of joy, inspiration, and positivity.


Goldfinch symbolism in Art and Literature

Did you know that religious stories and folklore are not the only places the goldfinches can be found in history?
Well, these birds have ample representation in the fields of art and literature as well. Let’s get you acquainted with how artists and authors perceived these little birdies:

“The Goldfinch,” a painting by Carel Fabritius

“The Goldfinch” is an exquisite oil painting made by Care Fabritius in the 17th century. The painting belongs to the Dutch Golden Age and is considered to be a masterpiece. It is now homed in the famous art museum of The Hague, Netherlands, called “Mauritshuis.”

The 13*9 inches painting has been done on a wooden panel. It displays the life-sized portrait of a European Goldfinch perched on a blue container hanging on the wall. Around the container, two wooden half rings are also fixated to the wall.

The Dutch title of this painting is “Puttertje.”

“The Goldfinch,” a novel by Donna Tartt

It might surprise some, but the novel written by the American author Donna Tartt is actually based on the popular Dutch painting we just talked about.

The novel was published in 2013 and tells the story of a young boy named Theodore (Theo), whose mother is killed in an explosion in the museum, where the two had gone to see this very painting.

The blast at the museum turns Theo’s life upside down. His father abandons him, and after that, he travels from one foster home to another, craving his mother’s presence all the while.

As a token of her love, Theo grabs the painting of The Goldfinch from the museum and keeps it hidden with him for a long time. However, he has no idea how this painting would ultimately lead him to the dangerous underworld.

The novel was so well-received in the literary community that in 2014, it received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Later, in 2019, it was also adapted into a movie, in which Ansel Elgort played the character of Theodore.


Goldfinch totem

The goldfinch totem will enter your life when you’ve been in a passive phase for too long. Their totem is here to remind you that if you give up control of your life, you’ve given up on everything.

Goldfinch totem realizes that life is too short, and it is upon us to seize every moment and make the best of it while we can. Under their watch, you will eventually get over your passive block and take active measures to better your life.

You will go to that job interview, give your relationship another chance, start working on the pending project. Everything that you’ve been dreading to do, you will move ahead with now.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen? In life, even failure is better than stagnancy.

The goldfinch totem will also approach you when you keep every negative feeling and emotion pent up inside you. These totems understand too well how something can eat you up from inside.

Therefore, they always believe in being upfront and expressive. No matter how bad or hurtful it might seem, suppressing anything is never worth the torture it would inflict on you. Listen to the goldfinch totem and let it all out.

Lastly, the goldfinch totem can also teach you how to derive pleasure from the little things in life. As we’ve already discussed, their totems are well-aware of the volatility of life; One day you’re here, the next day you might not be.

Therefore, instead of asking you to focus on your big goals, they instruct you to build small, everyday goals. These little achievable goals can have a magical effect on your life.

Each time you fulfill one of them (and you mostly will), it will fill you with joy and satisfaction, not to forget how it can inspire you for your next goal.


Goldfinch spirit animal

Are you someone who has an enthusiasm for life that can be contagious? The goldfinch spirits are certainly watching over you.

When you meet these people for the first time, you will find them ridiculously, almost unnaturally, buoyant all the time. However, once you get to know them, you will learn how they’re just inherently happy people.

They have a surprisingly high optimism and can find something good in even the worst circumstances. For this rare quality, everyone likes having them around. After all, who wouldn’t like a person that can cheer everybody up?

The goldfinch-spirited people are well-liked in both their personal as well as professional life. They’re bright, friendly, and high-spirited. While these people might not be overly ambitious, they’re certainly good at their jobs.

They’re not afraid of hard work and admire qualities like punctuality and discipline. In fact, these are the principles they aim to live by, particularly in their workplace. If such a person is your colleague, you’ll be surprised by how no one has a single bad thing to say about them.

When it comes to socializing, these people are the life of their circle. You might’ve seen how it is difficult to be equally close to everyone in a large group. Well, such problems are never a concern for the goldfinch-spirited people.

They have this innate quality of relating to people on a deeper level. In fact, truth be told, it’s more the other way around. The others are so drawn to their joyous, positive personalities that they can’t help opening up to them.

The time-management skills of the goldfinch-spirited people are another feat. Despite their hectic work life, they somehow always find time to interact with their friends, family, and colleagues. They’ve never gotten out of touch with someone unintentionally.

To be in a relationship with a goldfinch-spirited person can be more difficult than it appears. The qualities that initially attracted you toward them would in no time seem annoying to you. They’re so socially active that you’ll have to struggle for some private time with them.

But if you truly love them, you must give them time. These people need to spend a considerable amount of time with someone before learning to prioritize them above all.

Besides, as life partners, these people will be caring, loyal, devoted, and endlessly patient with you. They will love and support you unconditionally and always put in as much work in the relationship as you do (if not more).



Goldfinches are small, chirpy little birds that can brighten up anybody’s day. These birds might not have a long time to spend on Earth, but they’re certainly determined to make the most of it.

Goldfinches are symbolic of joy, hopefulness, and positivity. Their totem guides us to live our lives vicariously and enjoy all the little gifts of life that we usually seem to ignore. Amid our problems, we often forget to count our blessings.

But if the spirit of these birds is guiding you, you have nothing to worry about. They will show what it means to live graciously and gratefully.