Ibis Symbolism & Meaning (+ Spirit, Totem & Omens)

Are you interested in the Ibis Spirit Animal? Then this guide is for you!

Ibises are known for their friendly nature. They get along with just about any bird they encounter in their neighborhood.

These birds with long bills and long legs are common in plains, forests, and wetlands.

The ibis spirit animal comes into our lives to communicate the power of unity, balance, mastery, and concentration.

They also teach important lessons on adaptability and purity.

The ibis spirit has a lot to offer those it guides. It teaches you to play your part in your community by cooperating with others.

This animal spirit reminds you that in everything you do, you are part of something bigger.


What’s the Ibis meaning and Symbolism?

Symbol of Mystery and Purity

The Ibis has mastered the art of thriving in its environment. It moves gracefully through marshes and bogs looking for food.

The silence of this bird is magical, they only croak or grunt when breeding. This silence signals to us the importance of prayer, meditation, and introspection.

Symbol of Adaptability

The ibis uses its long legs to create stability as it forages for food in the marshes. From a distance, this bird’s gait and poise look graceful and well-balanced.

Ibis is equipped with an elongated, curved bill that enables this bird to sift through the mud and grass in search of fish, crabs, snakes, insects, and other food.

The ibis’ anatomical structure enables it to flourish in its chosen habitats.

Symbol of Unity and Cooperation

Ibis lives in large flocks. They forage together for food and sleep together in trees during the night.

During a flight, these birds cooperate to form a V-formation that enables them to lessen the wind drag, thus adding more speed and power to their flight.

The ibis also cooperates with other species such as herons and spoonbills.

This is a tacit reminder from this animal that unity is strength.

Symbol of Responsibility

When the ibis has a young one, both parents take up the responsibility of rearing the child.

They jointly feed the fledgling for two months or so, until its feathers develop and it becomes more independent.

Because of their strength of mutual collaboration, an ibis community – usually made of over 300 members – never fails to thrive.

Symbol of Strength and Courage

It is said that ibises are the very last birds to seek shelter in a storm. Also, they are usually the first ones to come out once the storm is over.

This behavior is a rare show of bravery and strength among birds.

Symbolic Meaning of Ibis Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Ibis Symbolism in Christian Culture

In the Bible, the ibis is mentioned in several places. For example, in Leviticus 11:17 it is listed alongside the cormorant and the long-earned owl as an unclean animal.

In Isaiah 34:11, the ibis is lumped together with crows, ravens, and hedgehogs as symbols of desolation, pain, and suffering.

However, not all Biblical outlooks of this bird are negative.

The Bible records that the ibis knows when the Nile will flood, just like the rooster knows when the rain will fall.

This is proof that God takes care of His creation. He has put mechanisms in nature so that every creature can thrive based on the gifts given to it.

Another positive aspect of the bird has to do with the story of the Fall of Man. From the Garden of Eden, humans became sworn enemies with the snake.

As such, any animal that eats or kills snakes gains favor in the eyes of Christians.

The ibis is one such animal. Since this bird feeds on snakes, it is associated with courage, justice, and integrity.

Some Christian myths indicate that Moses used the ibis’ strength and unique abilities to defeat some of his enemies on the journey to Canaan.

Another myth has it that the Northern Bald Ibis was the first bird to be released from Noah’s Ark. This bird was supposed to survey the land and bring back a report on the condition of the receding flood.

Christian myths that feature the ibis bring out the themes of courage, protection, and purity.

Ibis Symbolism in African Culture

Ibis was considered sacred in ancient Egypt. It was closely linked to Thoth, the god of secrets, knowledge, and writing.

Thoth inspired scribes who worked tirelessly to keep a written account of the happenings in Egyptian society.

This bird was so revered in this society that its care could only be entrusted to the priests.

Upon the death of an important person, the ibis would be mummified and buried with that person. Archeologists have uncovered mummified ibis and their eggs on the burial grounds of the nobility.

Also, the ibis was accorded special status because it was believed to be the first line of defense against serpents and plagues.

It was also a valued companion of the farmers as it would help them get rid of unwanted insects, rodents, and pests.

To appease the gods in case of a calamity, hundreds upon hundreds of ibises were sacrificed. The ibises used in these sacrifices were tamed and reared for this purpose.

The ibis features prominently in Egyptian art. It is usually present whenever Thoth appears.

Indeed, this bird stands for all the qualities associated with this god – such as understanding the hidden mysteries of nature.

Ibis Symbolism in Native American Culture

The Native Americans believed that the ibis brought balancing energies into their lives. According to some Native American beliefs, everyone has two sides: male and female.

These sides can be either opposing or complementary, depending on one’s circumstances. If they are opposing forces, the individual knows pretty much nothing else but pain, suffering, and chaos.

The Native Americans believed that the ibis spirit creates harmony between these two sides.

Additionally, this bird symbolizes courage. It was said that the white ibis could bear strong storms and hurricanes.

It would only seek shelter if the forces of nature became too strong – long after most other animals had taken cover.

After the storm, the ibis would be the first to come out, to assure the other animals that things were okay and they too could come out.

The white ibis was also taken as a symbol of wealth and good fortune. If a flock of these birds made their way into the neighborhood, the clan knew that good things would follow.

This bird encourages the Natives to look at their lives from a strong positive perspective.

Ibis Symbolism in Greek Culture

The ibis was taken as a sacred animal by the ancient Greeks. This came about because of the interaction between the Egyptian and Greek cultures.

This bird was closely associated with the god Hermes.

There are lots of similarities between the Greek pantheon gods and the Egyptian deities. For example, the Egyptian god Thoth is the equivalent of the pantheon messenger god Hermes.

This similarity was very much evident during the Hellenistic period, when there was a fusion of Greek, Egyptian, Indian, and Persian cultures.

Ibis Symbolism in Eastern Culture

In ancient Japan, the land was so over-populated with the Crested Ibis that they were considered a nuisance.

The ubiquitous ibis was disliked because it invaded fields and destroyed rice crops, Japan’s staple food.

Hordes of children would be tasked with chasing these birds away from the rice field. People were encouraged to hunt and kill these birds in an attempt to decimate their population.

Their efforts went overboard, and by the early 2000s, the Crested Ibis had become extinct in Japan.

However, recent attempts to repopulate this species using specimens from China are working out well.

Even though it was hated in earlier years, the Crested Ibis played a significant spiritual and cultural role in Japan.

From ancient times, Crested Ibis feathers were wrapped around the legendary Sugari no Ontachi sword used in special ceremonies for the Ise shrine.

When the Ibis is Your Spirit Animal

People governed by the ibis spirit animal love being surrounded by other people. They enjoy working in teams, where they get a chance to mentor their less endowed colleagues.

If you love living in peace and harmony with your family, friends, and neighbors, you are under the guidance of the ibis spirit animal.

It doesn’t take long for you to make new friends.

You may not be the wealthiest, brightest, or prettiest person around; but you are the most friendly, helpful, and approachable.

This definitely sets you a step ahead of the pack. People enjoy being around you, they consider you ‘relatable’.

What most people may not realize is that you work very hard to be who you are. All the achievements attributable to you do not just come your way on a silver platter.

Those who know you well can attest that you are hardworking, committed, and self-driven. You deliberately put in some effort to be sociable and friendly because you don’t like working alone.

The Ibis Power Animal

Like the African Sacred Ibis, you have a sharp memory that enables you to keep a neat record of the happenings in your life.

This animal power influences you to love and follow the truth. You are motivated by the desire to see justice dispensed in all situations.

Guided by the ibis power animal, you’ll always want to set the record straight. This means you cannot sit at the same table with liars, cons, and fraudsters.

You believe in upholding your honor and dignity by putting on integrity, especially when you find yourself in a corrupt environment where falsehoods are being perpetuated.

People with the ibis power animal never forget a good deed done to them. They are quick to reciprocate with kind gestures of their own.

This is more so because they are highly interested in creating a well-balanced society, where everyone collaborates with everyone else.

The Ibis Totem Animal

The ibis totem will alert you when you seem to be deviating from your goals.

Perhaps, something has distracted you from your responsibilities, and certain aspects of your life are beginning to lag behind.

The ibis totem encourages you to take life more seriously. Although you can have many interests and hobbies, don’t forget your core goals and purpose in this journey.

The ibis totem, as a record keeper, asks you to take stock of your progress. How stable are you spiritually?

Are there things you should do to make your spiritual growth more fulfilling?

Your ibis totem encourages you to take good care of your finances and other material resources, as well.

Take measures to safeguard and protect the achievements you have made over time.

People with the ibis totem are good at collaborating with like-minded individuals. They know that the best way to achieve their goals is by pooling resources.

They also like to mentor the less experienced in their field.

Ibis Encounters and Omens

When the ibis announces its presence to you, it means something big is about to happen. This encounter could be a warning to be ready for a storm.

This does not mean, however, that you should run away from the challenges coming your way.

Rather, this encounter gives you a heads-up to identify the opportunities being sent your way.

You see; what most people fail to understand is that challenges and opportunities are but two sides of the same coin.

This encounter asks you to be courageous in hard times. If you are brave enough, you’ll realize that challenges help you grow in wisdom and maturity.

Seeing an ibis is also a sign that you need to work with someone else on an important project you are pursuing.

This is your cue to go back to the drawing board and identify whom you need to bring on board. Do you need to consult your mentors?

Or, are you being guided to delegate some aspects of your project so that you can focus on the most critical areas?

Either way, this encounter indicates you stand to gain a lot by being part of a team.

Ibis Tattoo Meaning

An ibis tattoo has diverse meanings, and just about everyone can have their skin inked with this image.

All the same, it is important to understand what your ibis tattoo stands for before you permanently have it on your skin.

At its most basic level, an ibis tattoo stands for wisdom, knowledge, and sanctity.

This is because of this bird’s close association with the Egyptian god Thoth, the god of knowledge, writings, and science.

If you are into Egyptian mythology, this tattoo makes a lot of sense to you.

A Crested Ibis tattoo signifies your love for the natural world. This follows the conservation efforts to repopulate this bird in Japan and other parts of the world.

Many cultures, including Christianity, consider the Ibis a symbol of justice and integrity. If cons, liars, thieves, pillagers, and fraudsters disgust you, an ibis tattoo is a good way of expressing your stand.

In some parts of the world, such as Australia, the ibis is considered a nuisance.

You can wear a ‘bin chicken’ tattoo to indicate that these birds have their place in the order of things despite how they are regarded by people.

What’s the Meaning of Ibis Dreams?

Dreaming of an ibis and a book draws attention to your love for learning. You are constantly searching for new knowledge to help you better understand your world.

To dream of an ibis flying on a sunny day indicates good times ahead. Things are going well for you and your loved ones, and they are about to get better.

Dreaming of a flock of ibis flying on a rainy or cloudy day signifies coming challenges. These hardships are likely to affect your family or a group of people close to you.

Seeing an ibis fly into your house or compound indicates a change of fortunes in your favor. Your health, family, and career will be positively affected by an upcoming event.

To dream of an ibis flying towards the moon means you are indecisive about an important project. Likely, you don’t have enough information to decide the best way to proceed.

Pause and get the necessary information before you implement your plans.

To dream of feeding an ibis signifies that you should open your mind and heart to new ideas. You can gain much by studying and learning how other people handle their challenges.

Seeing a flock of ibises flying towards you indicates unprecedented level of support. Soon, you’ll get all the resources you need to achieve your goals and objectives.

To see a flock of ibises flying away from you tells you to make an effort to build partnerships with others.

This dream discourages you from being a loner.

To dream of turning into an ibis shows that the good work you have been doing will be paid back generously.

In the coming days, you’ll encounter unexpected blessings as you go about your endeavors.

Final Thoughts…

The ibis knows it is well equipped to deal with the demands of its environment. In the same way, get in touch with your strengths and weaknesses.

Learn to allocate your resources based on your needs.

Do not pursue agendas that lead nowhere. Your focus should be on making your life and the lives of those around your better.

People with the ibis spirit are keen to support others in difficult times. You can do this because you always have an advantage in every situation.

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