Popular in the avian world for being the best mimics, the mockingbirds are the only birds that are capable of learning over 200 songs in their lifetime. Although they’re considerably dull and ordinary in appearance, their traits and qualities set them apart from the others. Have you ever wondered what these birds could symbolize? Well, let’s find out.
Due to their mimicking abilities, the spirit of mockingbirds is symbolic of imitation, lack of originality, and authenticity. At the same time, these birds are also symbolic of innocence, music, loyalty, and protection. Although their cultural depiction is limited within the Americas, the Native Americans have a special place for them in their cultures and practices.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the symbolism of the mockingbirds, learn more about the meanings of their dreams, omens, totem, and spirit animal.
Because mockingbirds have both an average size as well as plumage, most people tend to think that they have nothing remarkable about them. However, that’s not true at all. The truly astonishing qualities of these birds lie in their personality, not their appearance.
Are you curious about what mockingbirds symbolize to us? Keep reading.
As you might already know, one can never talk about mockingbird symbolism without touching Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a literary masterpiece with an important mockingbird symbolism in it.
According to both the book as well as in reality, the mockingbirds are truly innocent souls. They might have the tendency of copying the calls of other birds, but they’re otherwise harmless.
Mockingbirds feed mostly on insects and fruits and raise their own fledglings alongside those of other parasitic birds gladly. They don’t harm others for fun and devote their tiny lives to making music and merriment.
Perhaps it is for this reason that their spirit is considered innocent, and killing them is regarded as a sin.
Imitation (lack of authenticity)
Although mockingbirds are members of the mimid family, they are similar to the corvids in many ways. They share the corvids’ knack for intelligence and are also great mimics, perhaps even better than the crows. However, what’s otherwise considered a skill can work as a disadvantage when it comes to their symbolism.
Because the mockingbirds are one of the best mimics in the avian world, their spirit is said to lack authenticity and originality. In the world of spiritualism, it is believed that because these birds often mimic others’ sounds or vocalizations, they have no voice that’s truly their own.
Protection (defending one’s family)
So far, we’ve only talked about the sweet, innocent side of the mockingbirds’ personalities. But when it comes to defending their family, these little birdies can turn really aggressive very quickly.
You can call them territorial or over-protective, but the truth is, they are one of the fiercest defenders of their nest among all passerines. This violent behavior is a clear indication of how much they love and cherish their family and how far they’re willing to go to keep them safe.
What does it mean to dream of mockingbirds?
Because mockingbirds are a common sight in all of America, it’s not that uncommon to meet these little birdies in your dreams. Did you recently dream of them?
Your dream could mean a number of different things for you, depending upon the exact actions of the bird in your dream. Let’s explore some common mockingbird dreams and their interpretations now.
While mockingbirds are popular for their mimicking abilities, very few people are aware of the fact their own songs are mesmerizing. However, these birds will not sing their song just any time or anywhere. For them to sing their song, they must be in a good mood.
If the mockingbird in your dream was singing to you, it has a special meaning for your waking life. Because these birds bring you their original song, it suggests that if you listen to your gut instincts in the coming weeks, all the decisions you make will turn out brilliantly.
Dreaming of a mockingbird feeding its younger ones can have several interpretations. Firstly, it might be reminding you of the family values you seem to have forgotten. Have you been out of touch with your parents or siblings lately? Perhaps you should try to reconnect with them.
Alternatively, this dream could also mean that you have a skill that has great potential if polished properly. The mockingbird in your dream is trying to tell you to put in efforts to enhance your skills.
Lastly, this dream could also mean that perhaps someone close to you, a younger sibling or friend, might need your help but are too hesitant to ask. You should reach to them yourself and help them out. Trust me; they’ll always remember it.
Did you see yourself as a mockingbird in your dream? Well, this dream could have a deeper meaning in your waking life. It indicates guilt buried deep inside your soul or conscience.
Perhaps you have taken credit for someone else’s effort or achieved success by copying someone’s work. If such guilt has been eating at you, it’s time for you to make amends and take responsibility for your wrongdoings.
One of the most dreadful mockingbird dreams is to dream of yourself killing them. As you might’ve heard from Harper Lee’s novel, killing a mockingbird is a metaphor used for killing someone who was innocent.
If such a dream is bothering you, think back to the last few weeks. Did you hurt somebody mistakenly? Or wrongly accuse someone who was innocent? If such an incident comes to mind, you’d better apologize and right your wrong immediately if you don’t want to be burdened by its guilt all your life.
Did you dream of a mockingbird hatching from its egg? All births, be it a human’s, an animal’s, or a bird’s, is nothing short of a miracle. And if such a miraculous event has taken place in your dreams, it’s a clear indication that something equally astonishing is about to happen in your waking life as well.
Dreaming of a mockingbird shouting at you angrily has a negative interpretation in your waking life. Such a dream might be suggesting that you’re misusing the power and authority you’ve achieved in life to undermine others. And in that case, you must keep in mind that this misuse will certainly have dire consequences for you in the future.
Lastly, if you can hear a mockingbird’s tweets in your dream but can’t see them, it depicts how any social interaction, particularly with people you don’t know that well, can make you nervous or anxious. You need to get over your social anxiety in order to grow in life.
Mockingbird symbolism in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”
How many of you have read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”? For those who haven’t, you’re truly missing out. While the title of Lee’s book has little relevance with the plot, it does present a powerful symbolism that is central to the story.
In the book, mockingbirds are presented as a symbol of beauty and innocence, which is true outside of the story as well. All these merry creatures do in their lives is sing beautiful songs to entertain themselves as well as humans. They never harm others and are content with spending their lives indulged in music.
For all these reasons, Miss Maudie, in the book, explains to Scout how killing such beautiful, harmless creatures is nothing short of a sin.
Significance of mockingbirds in different cultures
Because the geographical range of all members in the mockingbird family is limited to the Americas, their mention in the other cultures of the world is understandably scarce. Let’s dive into their cultural significance without much ado:
In the Native American culture
While the mockingbirds might not have a presence in many cultures or mythology, for the Native Americans, these little birdies are quite important.
All of their interpretations and symbols in this culture are positive. Collectively, all Native American tribes value the spirit of mockingbirds for their intelligence.
In the Shasta India mythology, mockingbirds are believed to be the guardians of the deceased, while the Hopi tribesmen believed that these birds taught humans how to speak. This view is also shared in all the other Pueblo tribes.
The Cherokee people of the Southeastern woodlands believe that eating a mockingbird’s head would make you cleverer, while the Maricopa tribe regarded them as a medicine bird.
These tribesmen also believed that the appearance of a mockingbird in one’s dream indicated that he/she had been blessed with special powers.
The Mayan legend about the mockingbirds
In the Mayan culture, there’s a popular legend about how mockingbirds became the best singer in the world. The legend tells the story of X-Chol-Col-Chek, a little mockingbird who belonged to a poor family.
Due to the lack of resources, X-col could only afford old, dingy feathers to dress with. But the Almighty had blessed that little girl with something no money could buy: a rich, soft voice filled with melody.
It was X-col’s dream to take music lessons and polish her skill, but instead of pursuing music, she had to take the job of a maid at a noble cardinal family.
As she worked at the cardinals’ place, summer passed on, and winter arrived, bringing into town Dr. Xcau, a blackbird who was well-train in music and could sing melodiously. The arrival of Dr. Xcau made the father cardinal hopeful about his daughter’s music career. While his little girl, Col-Pol-Che, was no singer, he was fully determined to make her one.
Once Dr. Xcau agreed to teach Col-Pol-Che music lessons, he started taking the lazy little cardinal to the woods every day for her lessons. Excited at the very idea of it, X-col couldn’t help herself and followed the two secretly, listening in on all their music lessons.
It didn’t take Dr. Xcau long to realize that Col-Pol-Che would never be a singer. And since he had already taken a hefty amount from her father, he deemed it fit to skip town and put it all behind him.
Meanwhile, one day, Col-Pol-Che overhead X-col practicing music and was shocked to hear her soft voice. That very day, she was summoned by her father to give a musical performance for some of his friends.
Desperate for help, Col-Pol-Che approached X-col, who agreed almost instantly. At the time of the performance, X-col hid in a tree hole right behind where Col-Pol-Che would perform. Their arrangement was such that Col-Pol-Che would only move her beak, while X-col would sing on her behalf secretly.
While everybody enjoyed the performance immensely, Col-Pol-Che’s father eventually picked up that this wasn’t her daughter’s voice. The man was awestruck and brought X-col out in front of the crowd, praising her voice and music.
From that time to this, all the mockingbirds have inherited X-col’s lovely voice.
What could a mockingbird encounter mean? (mockingbird omen)
For most of you, the sight of mockingbirds would probably be quite common. However, if you’ve noticed a pattern about encountering these birds on a daily basis, there could be a deeper meaning behind this.
For instance, does the mockingbird follow you to work every morning? Or are they perched on a tree in your backyard, looking right at you every time you look out the window? If you feel like the presence of these birds in your life could be a sign for you, here’s what it could mean.
The most common interpretation of a mockingbird omen is self-expression. If you’ve been encountering these birds too often lately, it means that perhaps you don’t express yourself enough.
And you’re not alone; many people go about their daily routines, postponing meaningful conversations with friends and families for the sake of work or something more pressing.
However, we shouldn’t be so busy in the mundanities of life that we forget to make space for things and people who truly make us feel alive.
Therefore, the mockingbird omen might be trying to tell you to call your old friends and plan a get-together with them on the coming weekend, visit your parents and show them how much they mean to you. You don’t know how long you’re going to live, so you must make sure that your loved ones know how important they are in your life.
The mockingbird totem will come into your life when you have lost your path in life and have done things that no innocent human being would do. Their totem is here to remind you that while innocence might seem like an unimportant virtue, it is what will help you lead a life without guilt in the end.
It is true that at times, your circumstances might tempt you to participate in some wrongdoing, but you must not give in to such temptations. Because no amount of wealth or luxury can earn you peace; only your innocence can do that.
Mockingbird spirit animal
Are you someone who tends to live in their own world, not caring about the rat race that everyone else is indulged in? Then you’re guided by the spirits of mockingbirds.
The mockingbird-spirited people are those who are still very old-school in this post-modern era. They’re so simple yet so different from the others that you can easily spot them even in a crowd. These people are not concerned about appearances or luxuries; all they seek in life is peace and the company of their loved ones.
You will also notice how the mockingbird-spirited people are often pursuing a career in any form of art. They could be painters, musicians, theatre artists, dancers, sculptors, and so on.
This is because the spirit of musical mockingbirds lends them an artistic bend of mind. So, if one of them isn’t pursuing what they are passionate about and doing a job just to earn a lot of money instead, they will never be truly happy.
Although these people are the least aggressive in general, when it comes to their family, they can be fiercely protective. For their sake, they’re willing to go to unusual lengths. Therefore, if you’re someone they love deeply, you should count yourself lucky.
If you reside anywhere in the Americas and have spotted a medium-sized passerine with a tail that points towards their back, the bird you’ve just seen is a mockingbird. However, don’t dismiss them for their drab appearance just yet. Wait till you hear their songs, and you will be mesmerized.
The spirit of the mockingbirds, just like their songs, is pure and melodious. On the other hand, their mimicking abilities often taint their reputation in the world of symbolism, presenting them as imitators or trickers.
These birds have both positive and negative symbolism, and it’s up to you to pick the one you’d like to believe.