Feathers symbolize ascension to the spiritual plane. In most cultures, feathers represented higher thought and spiritual progression. Birds were considered divine creatures because they are of the sky and therefore closer to God.
Feathers were worn by the Native Americans to symbolize their communication with the Great Spirit and to convey their celestial wisdom. Feathers also represented the thunder gods and the power of the air and wind. For the Native American tribes, the gifting of feathers is a high honor and they are seen as a sign of trust, strength, wisdom, honor, and freedom.
The ancient Celts and Egyptians believed the feather represented the sky gods. Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of Justice, would weigh the hearts of the newly dead on the Scales of Justice against the weight of her ostrich feather to determine the soul’s worth. Souls not worthy were eaten by Ammit, an Egyptian demon.
In Christianity, feathers represent the virtues of charity, hope, and faith.
Feathers are used in sacred ceremonies for many purposes, but different types and colors of feathers have differing meanings. When I was little, my neighbors had a muster of peacocks and I’d always hear their calls. To me their calls sounded like laughter, but my brother believed they were calling his name, which I found hysterical. My mother had a big vase of these iridescence and colorful feathers in our house. The beautiful peacock feather is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve if we show our true colors. I’ve always admired the colors on the peacock feather. The “eye” that adorns some of these feathers is considered to promote luck, protection, and awareness. Many ancient cultures saw the peacock as an enchanted beast since it discarded such beautiful feathers during its annual molt. Some see the peacock as a manifestation of the Phoenix and believe the feathers hold power. The peacock was coveted by royalty in ancient Egypt, the penalty for a lessor individual having a peacock feather in their possession was death.
For Christians, the peacock represents the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a symbol of renewal and immortality within their spiritual teachings. The peacock often appears with the other animals in the stables of Christ’s nativity.
When you find feathers on your path, this may be a sign of encouragement for you to continue a higher spiritual direction. Feathers are also believed to be sent from the angels as a sign to show that they are near and that you are not alone. Oft times, they are shown to you as a message to lighten your outlook on things currently happening in your life. Finding bird feathers is a reflection of change and reaching new levels of consciousness. Remember that feathers appear when angels are near.
An old Scottish saying: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”
A special thank you to www.whats-your-sign.com and Ted Andrews, Animal Speak.