In this post, I’ll explore feather symbolism, including feather lore, associations with different deities, and different ways you can use them in your spiritual practice.
So, you guys: Some people pick flowers when they take a walk, I usually wind up finding feathers.
Pretty magical (and also a little gross), right?
Feather finding is a strange superpower, I know. I usually only stumble on them when I am thinking about a new project—or when I need hit-me-over-the-head signs from my spirit guides.
I take them as a sign that I’m on the right path with whatever is currently occupying my mind.
Feather symbolism and lore
Birds have always been regarded as messengers from the gods.
The Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth, was associated with the Ibis.
Seagulls are linked to the Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir.
Two crows served the Norse god Odin as messengers: Huginn (“thought”) and Muninn (“memory”).
In Roman myth, crows were pure white. It wasn’t until the crow brought Apollo bad news that it turned black.
Crows are also connected to the Morrigan, an Irish Triple Goddess.
The vulture is associated to the Egyptian Goddess Nekhbet.
And of course, many associate feathers with angels of all kinds.
How to explore feather symbolism when you find one
If you’re looking for higher spritual guidance, here are some questions to meditate on when you find a feather.
What kind of bird shed the feather?
Read about that type of bird and its particular medicine and properties in different indigenous and spiritual traditions.
There are countless books and websites about this. To get started, try searching for “spiritual meaning of [insert your bird here]”.
The Audobon Society has a great online bird identification info, as well.
What’s preoccupying your mind right now?
That can give you insight into the message you’re receiving.
When you find a feather, stop for a moment, quiet your mind, and ask what it means for you right at this moment.
Where did the feather come from on the bird?
Was it a tail feather (they help a bird steer when flying…so they can indicate direction)?
A wing feather (stiffer than other feathers, they provide power and thrust)?
A wispy down feather (these help insulate birds, and can signify warmth, security and protection)?
How to use feathers in your spiritual practice
Feathers make excellent tools and are used in many different spiritual practices. For example:
In Native American traditions, a large feather is often used to fan incense or sage smoke to bless and cleanse a space or person. Often, multiple feathers are bound together into “smudge wands.”
Feathers can often serve as a magical aid to enhance lucid dreaming and dream recall in general.
Place one by your bedside. Before you go to sleep, quiet your mind as you look at the feather. Affirm that that night, when you dream, you will be lucid and awake.
If you’re working with animal medicine in a shamanic sense, feathers can help you embody the qualities of bird spirits.
Tuck a feather in a medicine pouch or wear them in jewelry to keep their energy flowing around you during the day.
Do you find feathers often?
Let’s talk about feather symbolism in YOUR life.
Have you found a feather in your path when you’re trying to make a decision? Or when you’ve asked for a sign about what you should do?
Do you use feathers in your spiritual practice or rituals?
Please share your stories and tips below in comments!
Explore other magical correspondences
Check out the magical meaning of pumpkins.