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

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

Ever heard of the saying that the vulture is a patient bird? Well, this bird is not only patient, but also optimistic, determined, resourceful, and opportunistic.

Unfortunately, not many people see this bird in a positive light. Many cultures hold that the vultures are unclean and evil.

Vultures have been associated with all kinds of evil machinations since time immemorial. This is more so because this bird is a scavenger – it feeds almost exclusively on carrion.

It cleans up the leftovers of predators. But then, in doing so, the vulture comes across as a protective bird that ensures the environment is clean.

This bird uses all its senses, might, and power to accomplish what few other birds do. When it comes into your life as your spirit animal, you should get ready to exude the positive attributes of this bird.

What’s the Vulture Meaning and Symbolism?


Symbol of Cleanliness

Vultures are usually the dominant scavengers in any ecological setup. They feed almost exclusively on the carcasses of animals.

Some of these carcasses may be so rotten that they would be toxic to the other animals and the environment if not removed.

By cleaning the environment in this way, the vulture spirit animal asks you to keep yourself and your world clean of all forms of negativity.

Symbol of Patience and Opportunity

As they spread their mighty wings or sit eagerly on a tree perch waiting for some ailing animal to die, vultures paint the picture of patient opportunists.

This spirit guide teaches you to patiently wait for the opportunities you desire to see in your life. Soon enough, something good is bound to happen, and you wouldn’t want to miss the moment.

Symbol of New Beginnings

The vulture has a strong connection with death.

This is partly because it survives mostly on rotten carrion, and partly because myths and fables have painted it as such.

Its association with death reminds you not to stick to old things. Rather, you should allow yourself to move with the flow of life.

Welcome change into your life whenever it happens, and allow the opportunities that come with change to wash over you.

Symbol of Stability and Security

Although at first glance the vulture looks ominous – evil, even – a closer look tells a different story.

This spirit guide is the right partner to have on your side if you have been feeling unsafe, insecure, and financially inadequate.

Symbol of Protection

Many cultures across the world regard vultures – especially the black variety – as powerful symbols of protection.

These powerful birds indicate the absorption of toxic energy, protection, and renewal. The vulture spirit animal comes into your life to give you an infusion of new energy.

Symbolic Meaning of Vulture Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Vulture Symbolism in Christian Culture

Since the vulture feeds on carrion, it is considered an unclean animal in the Bible.

The bodies of sinners and outcasts would be left out in the open to be fed on by vultures.

Leaving a dead body out in the open was taken to mean that one would be excluded from God’s kingdom.

For example, people that suffered from ‘unclean’ diseases such as leprosy would be cast out of the city walls, where they’d be at the mercy of the vultures and other scavengers.

At the same time, Christian literature describes the vulture as a symbol of death, shame, judgment, and hell fire.

Anyone that associated with this bird was believed to be either mentally or spiritually unwell.

The vulture is also linked to the great nations that tormented God’s children. One such nation is Babylon, which the Bible describes as a place of demons, evil, and vultures.

It was believed that this nation – alongside others that enslaved God’s people – was doing the work of the Devil himself.

The vulture also symbolizes the Devil’s tempting ways. As it circles above, the vulture paints an image of the Devil waiting for a Christian to backslide so that he can pounce on them.

Christians believe that committing evil deeds repeatedly brings one closer to the vulture’s grip – from which it is hard to break free.

Vulture Symbolism in African Culture

In ancient Egypt, vultures were held in high esteem because they were the Pharaoh’s sacred birds. Indeed, it was illegal to kill a vulture either willingly or inadvertently.

The punishment for such a crime depended on one’s rank and status. Servants or commoners would be punished more severely than a member of the nobility.

These birds were also closely associated with other deities such as Nekhbet, the healer; and Isis.

Vultures are not sexually dimorphic (hard to tell the sexual difference between males and females). Because of this, the ancient Egyptians believed that vultures were all females.

The vultures thus symbolized purity, chastity, and motherhood.

The fact that vultures feed on carrion was taken in a positive light by the Egyptians. They believed that this was a reminder that everyone must die to be reborn.

Most Egyptian princesses were adorned in clothes covered in white vultures’ features. This not only announced their purity, but also indicated their loyalty to the First Mother.

In most other parts of Africa, it was believed that vultures were sent from the spirit world to help the living ward off evil.

Vulture Symbolism in Native American Culture

Among the Native Americans, the vulture has a negative reputation. Some tribes believed that this bird symbolized uncleanliness and betrayal.

Others regarded it as a sign of shame, pain, suffering, and death.

The Native Americans believed that a flying vulture was an agent sent by their enemies to spy on them.

According to mythology, vultures could not be trusted to keep their word. They are depicted as vile creatures that survive through deceit, aggressiveness, and disloyalty.

Although this bird was so reviled, it was not proper to kill it as this would invite untold suffering to the community.

The best that one was allowed was to chase the bird away in the hope it would not return.

The services of a powerful shaman would be sought if a flock of vultures was spotted close to the community.

It was believed that such vultures had congregated to plot the death of important people in the community.

The shaman would cleanse the community and scatter any evil forces that had been dispatched by the vultures.

It was quite common for some tribes to blame the vulture for deaths in the community – including the death of animals.

Vulture Symbolism in Celtic Culture

Irish mythology talks of an evil monster called Ellen Trechend, who has three vulture heads.

Myth has it that this monster wreaked havoc in the whole of Ireland until he was slain by the hero Amergin Mc Eccit, and the three vulture heads severed.

This fable sums up how vultures were regarded by most Celtic tribes.

People that went against the norms of society were punished by being fed to vultures.

They would be tied to trees or rocks at high altitudes, where they would eventually be eaten up by the vultures.

Some Celtic communities referred to this mode of punishment as ‘sky burial’.

In some Celtic communities, vultures were thought to have the power to transcend to the world of the dead.

It was believed that these birds would carry the souls of evildoers to the Otherworld. The righteous dead would be carried by other more agreeable birds.

Celtic shamans could receive messages from vultures when they returned from their forays in the world of the dead.

These birds often gave the shamans the name of unwanted characters in the community. The shamans wielded this kind of power to keep everyone in check.

It also helped them create a clear separation and a bridge between the physical realm and the world of the spirits.

However, in some Celtic communities, the vulture was looked at more favorably.

These communities appreciated the role this bird played in ridding the community of rodents and other pests that were a threat to people and their animals.

People in these communities believed that the vulture was an intelligent bird that used its energy to protect the world.

Vulture Symbolism in Eastern Culture

In Tibet, the vulture is considered a useful divine being who helps in cleaning the environment. This culture regarded the vulture in a positive light because it fed on carrion and not living beings.

It was believed that the vultures were a physical manifestation of the Tibetan angel Dakini, and were therefore treated reverentially.

Tibetans regard the vulture as a sign of rebirth. It helped them affirm that life does not end with death.

In honor of the role this bird plays, Tibetans had a festival dedicated to the vulture.

In this ritual, vultures would be fed corpses of dead people.

This served two roles: it would be a gesture of gratitude to the vultures, and it would offer the dead a chance of reincarnation.

If the vultures did not finish eating the sacrifices, the remnants of the dead would be served to other scavengers.

It is believed that Buddha offered his flesh to a vulture to save a dove that was under attack.

Thus the ritual of feeding dead people to vultures served another purpose: it saved the more vulnerable creatures from being devoured.

When the Vulture is Your Spirit Animal

Are you about to head in a whole new direction? This could be the reason the vulture spirit animal has decided to camp in your life.

This spirit guide stands for new beginnings. It knows what you are aiming for, and it has a clear understanding of the hurdles on your path.

By flying into your life, this spirit animal wants you to know that help is at hand. The vulture spirit will help you clear all the negative energies in your life.

This will give you the chance to see your goals and dreams with unequaled clarity. The vulture spirit guide will give you the motivation to clear the challenges on your path.

Since this bird soars high in the air, it wants you to have a different perspective of things. For example, did you know you have the power to change your destiny?

The vulture spirit animal encourages you to take charge of your life. No one is better placed than you to make decisions about your future.

Additionally, the vulture spirit animal teaches you to let bygones be bygones. Avoid clinging to past relationships and energies.

It’s time to look forward to new, better things ahead.

The Vulture Power Animal

The vulture is a powerful companion when you want to get things done. You can look to this power guide when you want to assert your independence.

The vulture power animal encourages you to craft your own path. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing – that would be going too low for your kind of resourcefulness.

The vulture power guide is an ideal partner if you desire to be more patient. Perhaps, you have been making decisions too hurriedly, with hardly enough facts to work with.

The vulture is a very patient bird. It will teach you to use your intelligence to get the best personal and professional deals.

When the vulture power animal makes its way into your life, it wants you to understand that real success takes time.

This spirit guide also comes in handy if you are battling a toxic situation or person. Trust the vulture to help you clear all negativities from your life.

The Vulture Totem Animal

Is your birth totem a vulture? This means you have a powerful ally on your side. You’ll always get the support you need to fulfill your needs.

People with the vulture totem animal are as intelligent as they are creative. They know how to deploy their skills and abilities at the right time for maximum effect.

If this is your totem animal, don’t allow anything to force you into giving up on your goals and dreams. It goes without saying that vultures are some of the toughest animals in the jungle.

If you were born with the vulture as your totem, you are supremely patient. You know how to linger long enough to capture the desires of your heart.

The vulture totem animal warns you against being too optimistic. Learn to listen to all your senses before making important decisions.

Sometimes, you need to pause and evaluate an issue from multiple angles.

Vulture Tattoo Meaning

A vulture tattoo indicates you are patient, intelligent, and adaptable. You know exactly what you want in this life, and you know how to get it.

A tattoo of a hovering vulture indicates you are ready for all opportunities that come your way. Ordinarily, vultures hover in the air waiting for prey to fall dead.

A tattoo of a vulture’s eye indicates you don’t leave anything to chance. You are vigilant, and you have a keen eye for details.

A black vulture feathers tattoo indicates your determination. You are ready to use every resource at your disposal to achieve your goals and dreams.

Indeed, nothing should stop you from going after what your heart desires.

What’s the Meaning of Vulture Dreams?

To dream of a baby vulture means that a project you have been pursuing will come to fruition. This dream could also mean that someone close to you will give birth to a son.

Dreaming of being attacked by a vulture means that someone at your workplace is working against your interests.

Seeing flocks of vultures in your dream is a warning that someone close to you is plotting a hostile takeover against you.

Dreaming of a vulture landing on your car is a warning that you need to use your resources prudently. Perhaps, you have been on a spending spree with little care for the future.

To dream of turning into a vulture means that you will overcome your challenges. The good work you have been doing is about to pay off handsomely.

To dream of a vulture circling overhead means that someone is setting you up for failure. They likely want you to take the fall for something they have done.

Dreaming of holding a handful of feathers indicates success. The blessings you have been praying or hoping for will soon locate you.

Final Thoughts…

Once you have a good understanding of the vulture symbolism, you will realize that it can provide you with unlimited mental resources.

This spirit guide inspires you to open your eyes to your true potential. You get to benefit from the vulture’s patience, intelligence, and knack for the right opportunities.

The presence of the vulture spirit guide encourages you to take advantage of the blessings and resources in your life.

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