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

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

Pelican is one of the air and water birds with a powerful spiritual message.

When this bird crosses your path, pause what you are doing and consider the message it is trying to pass to you.

The pelican spirit guide wants you to get clarity concerning your life. To do so, you must first get in touch with your soul mission and Divine life purpose.

The pelican wants you to realize that your life is not an accident. You have a mandate to spread joy, peace, and light wherever you go.

This resonates very well with what your pelican spirit guide stands for. This bird is consistently associated with happy times and good tidings.

What’s the Pelican Meaning and Symbolism?


Symbol of Strength

With their large beaks and natural confidence, pelicans can hold a lot of things.

This spirit animal teaches you to be enduring, especially when everything you have been holding on to seems to fall apart.

Symbol of Generosity

The pelican spirit animal awakens the spirit of kindness, compassion, and generosity in you.

Although you naturally have these qualities, years of living in a toxic environment may have clouded your judgment, and you no longer practice them.

Symbol of Calmness and Meditation

The pelican bird makes its presence known to you as a sign that you need to slow down. Likely, you have been moving too fast for your own good.

It could be that you have been working around the clock most of the days, with hardly any time to yourself or your family.

Symbol of Balance

The pelican spirit animal encourages you to create the right balance between the various aspects of your life.

For example, your thoughts and your feelings need to work in tandem. You may be unable to achieve much if you suffer any form of internal conflict.

Symbol of Forgiveness and Healing

The pelican makes its presence known to urge you to forgive so that you can heal. The most obvious place to start is by forgiving yourself.

Get rid of all the negative feelings and notions you have about yourself and your past. Once this is done, you can reach out to those who wronged you and forgive them, as well.

Symbol of Teamwork

Pelicans are very good at working together, particularly when looking for food.

When this bird makes its way into your life, it wants you to create partnerships with people who value your interests.

Symbolic Meaning of Pelican Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Pelican Symbolism in Christian Culture

In Christianity, the pelican symbolizes the kind of self-sacrifice made by Christ.

According to the Bible, Christ’s crucifixion at the cross was to save humanity from the sin of Adam and Eve, the first ancestors of humanity.

The physical look of the pelican – the beak curled back to its breast – draws an image of a bird waiting to make the ultimate sacrifice.

This image encourages adherents to sacrifice for themselves and other faithful.

The humble image of the pelican is used as a decorative symbol of Christian architecture. You’ll find this image on worship halls, doorways, and walls.

Pelican Symbolism in African Culture

In many African cultures, the pelican was looked at favorably. Many associated this bird with healing and recovery, especially after going through a traumatizing experience.

In ancient Egypt, the pelican was worshiped as a physical representation of the goddess Hemet. Hemet was no ordinary goddess – she was said to be the Mother of the Pharaohs.

There is also a close association between the pelican and Horus, the god of the birds.

This means that the pelican was held in high regard as it occupied a special place in the myths and traditions of the ancient Egyptians.

An Egyptian myth indicates that pelicans would sacrifice their lives to save sailors in a storm. This bird would dive into the eye of the storm thus calming it, and paying for this with his life.

Other myths indicate that pelicans would use their powerful beaks to save sailors and fishermen from drowning.

Pelican Symbolism in Native American Culture

In Native American culture, the symbolism and meaning of pelicans can be looked at from two angles.

The first is a positive symbol, and it indicates that people looked up to this bird to intercede for them to the gods.

In some Native American lore, families that desperately wanted a baby would request the pelican to talk to the gods of fertility and childbirth.

The Natives also believed that pelicans would guard the soul of the dead on the perilous journey to the other side.

The second meaning of the pelican in Native American culture portrayed this bird as an agent of death.

It was believed that since he had the ability to shuttle between the worlds of the living and the dead, he was often sent to bring death from the other side.

He would be tasked to escort death through the passage and deliver him to a home where someone was marked to die.

It is hard to tell which of the two symbolisms was popular among the Native Americans. This is the more reason both are considered equally important.

Pelican Symbolism in Aboriginal Culture

The aborigines of Australia have an interesting narrative to explain the symbolism and relationship between humans and the pelican.

According to the folktale, the pelican was born with black plumage. One day, he heard the cries for help from humans who were trying to escape the great flood.

Among the humans was a beautiful damsel that the pelican fell in love with. Seizing the opportunity, this woman asked the pelican to build them an escape canoe.

The pelican was so moved by this woman’s beauty that there’s no way he could say no. The woman asked the pelican to ferry her and her friends in the canoe to safety.

Unbeknownst to the pelican, this woman has no intention of returning his love. It’s only when they got to safety that her treachery and betrayal was revealed.

In anger, the pelican vowed to annihilate the humans in an act of war. He painted some areas of his body white, making him look black and white.

He then flew high to attack the humans. Unfortunately for him, he was spotted by another pelican who attacked him without knowing that they were related.

Since that day, humans and pelicans look at each other with suspicion.

Pelican Symbolism in Ancient Alchemy

In many instances, the symbol and meaning of the pelican had a direct link to the Philosopher’s stone in the World of Alchemy.

This put the pelican on a pedestal considering that the Philosopher’s stone is one of the finest specimens of Ancient Alchemy.

Anyone who possessed the philosopher’s stone would grow rich beyond measure because it could turn any metal into gold on contact.

Although the existence of this stone today is in doubt, its association with the pelican goes to show that this bird has earned a lot of respect over the ages.

Indeed, the pelican’s personality is larger than what most people think.

Pelican Symbolism in Modern Culture

In the modern world, pelicans are still regarded highly across many cultures and nationalities.

For example, it is used to promote ecotourism in many countries including Mexico and the United States.

Many countries and regions have aligned themselves with the pelican because of the stellar qualities associated with this bird.

Here’s a look at some of them:

  • Pelican is the national bird of Romania
  • This bird is the official symbol of Louisiana, also known as the Pelican State
  • It is the national bird of select Caribbean countries such as St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Maarten, and Barbados
  • Pelicans are the mascot of a number of sports teams across the world

When the Pelican is Your Spirit Animal

The pelican spirit animal will attract your attention to give you its wise counsel. When this spirit guide steps into your consciousness, sit up and pay attention.

The pelican spirit animal asks you not to rush things. Take the time to enjoy every moment of your life.

Why are you moving so fast? Where are you heading or what are you running away from? Move at a pace you are comfortable with.

This is not to say, however, that you should wait for too long. Your spirit guide will tell you how to time your movements.

It teaches you to use your skills and talents for maximum effect.

Additionally, the pelican spirit animal flies into your life to teach you the importance of collaborating with like-minded people.

Align yourself with people that want to see you grow and prosper.

The company you keep in your personal and professional life may end up being your most important pillar of support.

The pelican spirit guide asks you to treat yourself kindly. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and misdeeds.

Have faith in your ability to change the story of your life.

The Pelican Power Animal

Invoke the pelican power animal when you need silence and peace. This power guide tells you to listen to your heart when in doubt.

The pelican power animal teaches you to be self-reliant. Although you have friends you can turn to when things are not right, learn to solve your own problems.

The pelican power animal helps you to stifle the noise from outside so that you can listen to the calm messages from within.

Call on this power guide when you feel that your internal conflicts are becoming too much for you. The pelican will help you create the right balance between your intellect and emotions.

The pelican is a powerful power animal considering that it straddles both the worlds of Water and Air. This bird welcomes you to do the same with your life.

Create the right symmetry so that you can handle all the situations in your life with ease.

The pelican is the perfect choice as your power animal if you have a desire to expand your family.

The pelican within you guides you to understand the steps you need to take to experience the growth you desire to see.

The Pelican Totem Animal

If you were born with the pelican totem, it means you are courageous, confident, and peaceful.

This spirit totem encourages you to balance your life to avoid the stress that would rob you of the joy of living.

Just like the pelican bird is good at balancing itself at high altitudes, you need to control all aspects of your life.

In particular, allow your pelican totem to show you how to handle your emotions. Sometimes, your emotions will be at loggerheads with your intellect.

This can end disastrously if it is not put in check.

The pelican totem encourages you to team up with like-minded friends and colleagues to achieve your goals.

Remember, there’s always safety in numbers.

With this bird as your totem, you can be sure you’re safe from all forms of danger – physical or otherwise.

Pelican Encounters and Omens

Meeting a pelican indicates good times ahead. This bird will land on your roof or compound to signal positive changes to your family.

Likely, you will welcome a new member soon – either through birth or marriage.

Pelicans bring purifying energies that enable you to get rid of all negative and toxic influences.

When an older individual sees the pelican, it means they need to trust the care given by their loved ones.

This calls on you to be more open and welcoming to those who want to assist you.

When a younger person sees the pelican, they need to start laying solid plans for their future. This is your cue to get your priorities right.

You may want to rethink your career or business path. If you have not built home, this is a good time to start laying the foundation.

For many people, a pelican encounter means rejuvenation, forgiveness, healing, and recovery.

Pelican Tattoo Meaning

Different people interpret pelican tattoos differently.

This tattoo is ideal for someone attracted to either the Water or Air element – or both. The pelican tattoo reminds you to harmonize the various aspects of your life for added strength.

A pelican tattoo could also remind you of the sacrifices you made to get where you are today. Although people know about your achievements, they don’t know what it took to get here.

Only you know of the failures, pain, and fears you had to contend with before you broke out. Your pelican tattoo reminds you that every dream is achievable.

It assures you that the future is not as daunting as it looks.

Some people wear pelican tattoos a show off their strength and resolve. Being one of the largest birds in nature, a pelican symbolizes strength and determination.

Pelican tattoos also symbolize teamwork and unity.

Ordinarily, pelicans closely look after each other. You may want to identify with this quality by wearing an appropriate tattoo of this bird.

What’s the Meaning of Pelican Dreams?

To see a pelican floating on water in your dream means you’ll soon be ushered into a period of peace and calm.

This means the tough times you have been going through are soon coming to an end.

To dream of killing a pelican is not as bad as it sounds. This dream signals that you will stand by your principles, regardless of what you are offered to change.

To dream of being attacked by a pelican indicates you have inadvertently hurt someone. They make the situation better, apologize and let this person understand how things truly are.

To dream of a flying pelican means that someone will try to steal your accomplishments. This is your cue to remain alert.

No one is more qualified to protect your interests than you.

To dream of catching a pelican indicates you may receive some unpleasant news in the coming days. It could also mean that a project you were hoping to complete will take a little bit longer.

The pelican spirit animal calls on you to be patient.

Final Thoughts…

The pelican is one of the largest birds on the planet. However, despite its massive size and strength, this bird can be gentle depending on the situation.

This bird teaches us to take things easy. When the pelican spirit animal flies into your life, it urges you to relax.

It seems that you have been faced with hectic times lately, and this may have taken its toll on you. Reach out to the pelican spirit animal for support, moving forward.

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