Eagle Symbolism – Meaning and Totem
Eagle Meaning and Medicine: If the Eagle totem has entered your life recently take a moment to stop and reflect on some of the following messages and symbolism:
- Loyalty, Balance: Do you feel cast about on turbulent winds, are you shouldering too much responsibility? To many Native American tribes, the wings of Eagle Spirit are symbolism for balance, both male and female. Eagles are monogamous and share the responsibility of raising their young equally. If the Eagle totem has shown itself to you, consider that your responsibilities may be out of balance. Stop and take some time with your significant other, loved ones, or even coworkers and make sure that everyone is doing their part. This may be a good opportunity for you to renegotiate and balance your obligations.
- Healing, Faith: Are you or a loved one ill, do you feel lost or alone? The feathers of an Eagle guide are viewed as powerful medicine, and carry symbolic meaning, they were used in many healing rituals. The appearance of eagle symbolism may be a portent of healing that is to come. Look to the sky above and know that the Eagle totem carries your prayer for recovery, whether emotional or physical, to the heavens. Stay strong and courageous and trust that the message of your intent will take wing.
- Meditation, Perspective: Have your life purpose or goals become clouded, do you feel bound to the earth and unable to see over the horizon? Eagles can be seen at perch for hours at a time, deep in contemplative meditation. The Eagle Totem teaches how to master the art of patience and how to move through life without material attachments, they symbolize perspective with clarity. From their high perches and from soaring in the sky the Eagle totem can see life in its entirety, both the good and the bad. This clarity means we should regard both positive and negative events as experiences that can serve a higher purpose and help to develop the self. The perspective that the Eagle symbolism brings allows us to see through situations and see the true meaning that is beneath.
- Spirit, Connection: Do you feel disconnected from your spiritual self, do you feel as if a higher power or guide is trying to speak to you? Many cultures, including Greco/Roman, and Native American, viewed the Eagle as the messenger of the heavens. This majestic totem touches the heavens with its wings and speaks directly to the powers that be. If the Eagle totem has flown into your life it may be to impart the courage to strive for greater heights of spirituality. The power of the eagle, requires trust in divine leadership and only by examining this power animal’s strength of soul can a person acquire the meaning and symbolism of the eagle.
- Freedom: Do you feel stifled and suppressed, do you feel a call or itch to be unburdened and free? Eagles often have home territories that can range in the thousands of acres. In most acts of life Eagle spirits are solitary and independent creatures, and bring with them this symbolsim. Freedom is vital to the survival of eagle symbolism and this teaches us that all people must be free to choose their own paths and to respect the freedom of others. Remember that inside of you is a unique and independent spirit, allow yourself to be guided and reclaim this strength and shrug off the everyday burdens that keep you from flying free.
People with Eagle Totem are…
- Free Spirited
The symbolism of the eagle is air, but it has strong legs to walk on the earth and often lives near the water for food. Through these qualities, people with this totem can be guided to balance in all dimensions and achieve inner-growth. As they soar to spiritual awareness, they remain well grounded in reality and can purify themselves with cleansing waters.
In Native American culture the feather of Eagle was powerful medicine and symbolized courage and strength, they were given as great prizes. Great leaders often wore headdresses that stretched all the way to the ground with these powerful symbols, and Eagles were seen as King of the Birds. Don’t let this symbolism of leadership go to your head however, as chieftains were always first concerned with the welfare of their tribes.
As messengers of the heavens, or spirits that are connected with higher powers, people with Eagle medicine are often very wise. This quality is a gift of vision and clarity that should be used to help others through dark and troubling times. One who seeks the meaning of the eagle spirit views situations and other people from a broad perspective for better understanding just as the eagle guide sees the world from a its great height.
With wisdom comes responsibility. Eagles have sharp beaks and strong jaws that can slice through prey and crack bones, this is symbolism that people with this power animal need to mind their words and how they affect others; to speak kindly without sharp rancor.
People with this medicine also need to take care and not become aloof, don’t stay too long in the clouds, or sit always perched above those around you. Instead, remember the message of balance and be aware that food and water is upon the ground.
Eagle’s Message: Defeat your fears and see beyond the horizon. Have faith in your purpose and see how all things, good and bad, fit into the picture of your life.
If the Eagle is perched and looking at you it brings a message of self-examination and introspection. Meditate and look within.
If Eagle takes to flight it may symbolize your ability to rise, or be lifted out of a situation or depression.
If the Eagle soars above it can be symbolism of your higher consciousness, or higher powers communicating to you, listen carefully to your intuition.
Lastly, if the Eagle is diving in, or consuming a kill, it may be symbolism of a portent of danger or ruthlessness. Do not step on others to achieve your goals, and be warned that someone in your life may be willing to step on you to achieve theirs.
Cultural Eagle Symbolism:
- Native American: In Native American lore eagles are represented in numerous artifacts and legends. It is sometimes referred to as the Thunderbird and is present throughout North American Indian legends. Its feathers were given as great prizes, and some tribes considered it to be the Great Spirit itself. It was said that if you saw an eagle while you were praying or participating in a ceremony, your prayers would be answered. Some tribes believed that the eagle carried prayers directly to the great creator and so used their feathers in a great number of healing ceremonies.
- Celtic: In Celtic and Gaelic cultures Eagles were often depicted as protectors, symbolized courage, and were revered for their powers of sight. Two Eagles are said to protect the tomb of King Arthur, and Eagles are sometimes associated with the Death God Beli.
- Greek: The Eagle is often depicted as Zeus’s carrier of thunder and was thought to be the only bird that lived on Mt. Olympus. It is depicted as a symbol of leadership, and fertility. In one myth Zeus is said to have transformed into an Eagle and swooped down to Earth to catch the subject of his desire.
- Chinese: Symbolism of strength, an eagle shown perched in a pine-tree is a suitable gift for an older man, wishing him strength of an Eagle and longevity of a pine-tree. An eagle on a rock in the sea symbolizes a Hero who fights a lone battle.
- Christian: There is great number of references, both positive and negative, to Eagles in Christian literature. Eagles have been associated directly with Christ and his ascension, contemplation and prayer, exceeding ones bounds or flying too high, with rejuvenation, and with Satan. Because of the swiftness of the eagle’s flight, both the eagle and its wings have been used to emphasize the speed of attacking armies and of God (Deu 28:49; Dan 4:19-37; Jer 49:22; Ezek 17:3-7; Hosea 8:1; Hab 1:8; Jer 4:13; Lam 4:19). During the Exodus, God bore Israel safely away from the Egyptians upon eagle’s wings (Exo 19:4). The early Judean church was granted the “wings of a great eagle” to flee from the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Rev 12:14; Mt 24:15-28; Dan 9:27). Saul and Jonathan were “swifter than eagles” (2 Sam 1:23). Job’s days passed so swiftly and brought such terrors, they were “like an eagle swooping on its prey” (Job 9:26). Riches, too, made themselves wings with which they were wont to “fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Prov 23:5).