Pelican Symbolism & That means (+ Spirit Animal, Totem & Omens)

Pelicans are distinctive and interesting birds that symbolize the sweetness and majesty of the ocean. Whether or not you’re researching the pelican spirit animal or on the lookout for assist understanding pelican symbolism in artwork or literature, I’ll stroll you thru my analysis so you may take advantage of the knowledge that pelican’s need to share.

Once you consider the seaside, what pictures come to thoughts? The sand? The spray of the ocean? For many people, a visit to the ocean is synonymous with the persistent mewing of seagulls. However there’s one other fowl that I affiliate with the seaside. Pelicans won’t be so loud as seagulls, however their presence continues to be felt deeply alongside the coasts of the earth’s oceans.

They’re ubiquitous, discovered on each continent besides Antarctica. However there was a time when some of the recognizable pelican species virtually disappeared from solely. Extra on that later. That close to miss makes it all of the extra apparent how stunning and actually irreplaceable pelicans are.

As we discover pelican symbolism, pelican mythology, and lots of different sources of meanings for the pelican, I hope you’ll have in mind how shut we got here to shedding one thing treasured. In case you have a specific query you’d prefer to reply, you may try the desk of contents under for fast summaries of every part and click on the hyperlink to leap to the part to be taught extra.

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What do pelicans symbolize? Pelicans symbolize conservation, tenacity, good luck, and braveness.

What do pelicans symbolize in Native American cultures? In Native American symbolism, pelicans are linked to drugs and the climate.

What do pelicans symbolize in Celtic cultures? Celtic pelican symbolism connects them with the Irish god of the ocean.

What do pelicans symbolize in Christianity? Christian pelican symbolism, particularly in artwork, depicts them as a logo of sacrifice and nurturing.

What do pelicans characterize in goals? A pelican dream’s which means would possibly vary from going through your fears to embracing a interval of relaxation.

What does a pelican encounter imply? A pelican encounter can characterize the significance of not judging a guide by its cowl.

What do pelicans symbolize in mythology? Pelicans are usually not widespread mythological symbols, however they do seem in just a few world myths.

What do pelicans symbolize in Native American mythology? In Native American mythology, the pelican is a superb fisherman who guides the seagull to the ocean.

What do pelicans symbolize in Greek mythology? Pelicans in Greek mythology hook up with the parable of Alcyone and the thought of “Halcyon Days.”

What does the pelican spirit animal imply? The pelican spirit animal symbolizes braveness and initiative.

What’s the pelican totem animal’s which means? The pelican totem animal symbolizes navigation and secure passage.

What does the pelican energy animal imply? The pelican energy animal represents attraction and belief.

What does a pelican tattoo symbolize? A pelican tattoo means love, tenacity, rejuvenation, selflessness and a lot extra!

If there’s a facet of pelican symbolism that hasn’t been explored right here, be at liberty to remark with questions or ideas. Try my different articles for assist discovering your spirit animal and to be taught extra about fowl and wildlife symbolism.

Pelican Symbolism and That means

Pelican symbolism is endlessly attention-grabbing. However after I consider pelicans, one of many first issues I consider is conservation. In 1972, the utilization of a dangerous pesticide generally known as DDT was banned in america. This might not have come too quickly for most of the animals effected by DDT, however particularly for a number of giant fowl species. The California Condor, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon are a few of the most noteworthy birds affected.

DDT moved up the meals chain by way of a course of generally known as biomagnification, which means that animals that ate numerous smaller prey collected toxins shortly. This affected each birds of prey and seabirds that eat a number of fish. The principle consequence of DDT was weakened eggshells, which means that the load of the growing chick was an excessive amount of for the egg.

This made DDT particularly problematic for the Brown Pelican. Not solely are Brown Pelican chicks giant, however their dad and mom really stand on prime of eggs to incubate them. This concentrates their weight and places an enormous quantity of pressure on DDT-weakened eggs. The outcomes have been catastrophic and the Brown Pelican was very practically pushed to extinction. It was thanks, largely, to devoted conservation efforts that the Brown Pelican was in a position to stage an unimaginable come again and was even faraway from the endangered species record in 2009.

Decorative image of a brown pelican

So, to me, the Brown Pelican is a logo of triumph. It symbolizes tenacity, the significance of not counting your self out simply since you’re down, and the true advantages you may reap by placing in some exhausting work. Pelicans characterize revitalization, regrowth, and studying from errors.

Pelicans can also characterize navigation and secure travels. They’re sea birds mostly seen close to coastlines, so for sailors a pelican would possibly characterize homecoming. They could additionally characterize anglers. Pelicans are sometimes seen with fish of their giant payments, so that they characterize an plentiful catch or a stroke of fine luck.

What you won’t know is that pelicans are additionally death-defying daredevils. They typically fish by diving into the ocean at break-neck speeds and from dizzying heights. Pelicans survive these loopy crash dives by twisting their neck and esophagus to the aspect to defend it from hurt and inflating little sacs of air beneath their pores and skin to behave as air luggage and cushion their important organs. So, pelican symbolism could be linked to braveness, recklessness, survival, and the power to bounce again.

Lastly, I’ve to level out that the pelican isn’t a fowl with a squeaky clear rap sheet. Pelicans are recognized thieves. Simply ask any fisherman who has fished off of a coastal dock. They aren’t above begging for handouts, they’ll readily steal from different birds, and their brazenness and obvious urge for food have made them the topic of many viral movies, together with that well-known one the place a pelican tries in useless to eat a capybara that’s a lot to giant to slot in its mouth. So, pelicans can symbolize gluttony, urge for food, brazenness, thievery, dishonesty, or foolishness.

Pelican Native American Symbolism

Native American pelican symbolism connects pelicans with drugs. Some tribes could have additionally linked pelicans with the climate. Sadly, there isn’t loads of literature on Native American pelican symbolism, however, like many seabirds, it’s potential that some tribes could have linked them with coastal storms.

Pelican Celtic Symbolism

the Irish sea god, Mannanan Mac Lir, is commonly linked with seagulls and seabirds. Pelicans is likely to be seen as linked with him and with the broader energy and thriller of the ocean. Mannanan Mac Lir is a god linked with safety for sailor, so Celtic pelican symbolism could be considered representing secure passage.

Pelicans additionally seem typically in heraldry as symbols of self-sacrifice, motherhood, and love. We’ll dig into that extra within the subsequent part, however the pelican’s heraldic which means is essential to understanding it as a Celtic image.

Pelican Christian Symbolism

It won’t appear to be probably the most spiritual fowl, however the theology of the pelican is definitely a captivating subject. In Christian symbolism, the pelican represents self-sacrifice, selflessness, love, and nurturing. This symbolism comes from an concept that’s thought up to now again to earlier than Christianity. Maybe as a result of pelicans have vivid orange payments, or maybe as a result of they generally relaxation the tip of their invoice in opposition to their chests, it was as soon as thought {that a} mom pelican would nurture her younger by piercing her personal chest along with her invoice and feeding her younger along with her personal blood.

Decorative image of pelicans in flight
Picture by Gareth Davies on Unsplash

Though this isn’t precisely true, it got here to be related to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for humankind in addition to Mary’s exemplary holy motherhood. As such, symbols of pelicans feeding their younger on this means are discovered all through Medieval spiritual artwork.

Pelicans in Goals

Dreaming of a pelican would possibly imply that bountiful alternatives are headed your means. The pelican is a wonderful angler who is aware of learn how to fill its stomach. However pelicans additionally need to carry out fairly horrifying dives to drag off the fishing feats essential to earn their dinner.

A pelican dream would possibly imply that it is advisable belief the method, face your fears, and make the leap so as to reap your well-deserved reward.

Dreaming of a pelican on land would possibly characterize a interval of relaxation in your future. Don’t be concerned if life calms down for some time. Benefit from the inactivity and be able to leap again into the motion when the time comes.

Dreaming of a pelican at sea could imply that you’re heading into unsure waters. Be vigilant and focus your power on navigating the unknown safely.

Pelican Encounters and Omens

A pelican encounter generally is a actually enjoyable expertise. Encountering a pelican in flight, it’s possible you’ll be struck by how elegant and easy they appear, whereas on land, pelicans are typically a bit ungainly and awkward. So, a pelican encounter may also help you keep in mind to not choose a guide by its cowl. All of us have strengths and weaknesses and all of us shine after we’re in our component.

Encountering a brazen pelican; one which tries to steal your lunch or your catch, can characterize the power sinks in your life. If you happen to’re placing a lot effort into your work and getting nothing in return, keep in mind that feeding an power drain is barely going to make it come again for extra. Set boundaries and focus your efforts on areas the place they’re appreciated.

Pelicans in Mythology & Folklore

There may be shockingly little pelican mythology to be discovered, however I’ve compiled what I may discover in any case. Listed here are just some items of pelican folklore.

I might additionally like to notice that apparently pelicans are a outstanding and sacred determine in Aboriginal folklore. I couldn’t discover a good supply for any particular tales, so I’d be pleased to learn one in case you occur to have it.

Pelicans in Native American Mythology:

An Siuslaw fable describes the pelican as a grasp fisherman and sea-dweller. In keeping with this pelican fable, it was really due to the pelican’s recommendation that the seagull got here to stay by the ocean. The seagull used to fish in rivers, however she noticed that the pelican lived off of the ocean. When she requested him about it, he defined to her that the ocean has extra fish and that if she lived at sea then he would be certain that she by no means went hungry. That is how the seagull turned a seabird.

Decorative image of a pelican
Picture by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Pelicans in Greeks Mythology:

Pelicans themselves don’t actually characteristic in Greek fable, however seabirds do play an essential position. In keeping with the parable of Alcyone, an exquisite younger girl named Alcyone and her lover, a person named Ceyx, have been so deeply in love that even the gods admired their romance.

However Alcyone and Ceyx didn’t know that the gods have been watching them. they secretly in contrast themselves to Zeus and Hera, which the gods discovered to be boastful and insulting. So, Ceyx was cursed to die at sea. Alcyone begged him by no means to sail, however he ignored her. He launched into a voyage someday and Zeus fulfilled the prophecy and struck down his ship.

When Ceyx’s physique washed up on shore, Alcyone was so heartbroken that she drowned herself within the sea. the gods felt regret and pity for what they’d carried out, so that they turned the 2 ill-fated lovers into seabirds. From then on, Alcyone was doomed to attempt to construct a nest at sea, however the waves frequently dashed and broke it. The gods took pity on her once more and ordered a particular interval of calm for her to construct her nest. This era of calm is the origin of the expression “Halcyon Days.”

With this fable in thoughts, pelicans could be considered representing a interval of peace or calm in a single’s life in addition to a sense of nostalgia.

Pelican Spirit Animal

The pelican spirit animal is deeply linked with braveness. Individuals with the pelican as their spirit animal are fearless. For some, this would possibly imply adventurous loopy hobbies, however for others it merely signifies that they’ve the braveness to stay authentically as themselves. Pelican spirits are usually not afraid of the social repercussions of being eccentric or going in opposition to the grain.

Individuals with the pelican spirit animal are undeterred by roadblocks. They’re absolute go-getters with the brazenness to pursue their goals and ambitions relentlessly.

Decorative image of pelicans fighting over fish
Picture by Birger Strahl on Unsplash

In case you have the pelican spirit animal, then you definately already know that there’s virtually nothing you may’t accomplish if you’re decided to take action. Simply keep in mind to look earlier than you leap!

Pelican Totem Animal

The pelican totem animal is linked with secure passage. Individuals with this totem animal are glorious navigators with an innate sense of route and a robust connection to the locations that they contemplate secure. Residence is essential to the pelican totem. Even when they’re touring. If the pelican totem doesn’t have a secure residence base they might really feel unstable or insecure.

In case your totem animal is the pelican then you definately’re most likely the particular person in your loved ones or good friend group who makes certain everybody else will get residence secure. Whereas they might not at all times discover it, you do that as an expression of affection for the one’s closest to you.

Pelican Energy Animal

The facility of the pelican is attraction. Name on the pelican energy animal if you’re hoping for good issues to enter your life. The pelican energy animal brings good luck and bounty to those that are assured and relaxed. If you happen to count on good issues, they’re certain to return your means.

The pelican energy animal generally is a potent information for people who find themselves making an attempt to determine whether or not they have chosen the suitable path or not. The pelican energy animal brings pleased returns to those that select their path properly and look to the long run with optimism.

Pelican Tattoo That means

In case you have a pelican tattoo then you definately may need already chosen just a few significant concepts to attach it with. However in case you’re pondering of getting one, studying extra about pelican tattoo symbolism would possibly show you how to determine if that is the suitable ink for you. Doable meanings of a pelican tattoo embody:

  • Tenacity
  • Rejuvenation
  • Sacrifice
  • Love
  • Selflessness
  • Braveness
  • Brazenness
  • Safety
  • Homecoming
  • Good luck
  • Pleased returns


Hopefully this text has taught you one thing about pelicans. Researching its materials has definitely taught me rather a lot. After studying about their death-defying dives and the Brown Pelican’s close to miss with extinction, I’m struck by the seemingly inexhaustible confidence of the pelican. Pelicans are birds that aren’t afraid to take too large of a chew out of life.

They go after what they need and so they bounce again from virtually not possible odds. That’s the pelican knowledge that I hope to take with me. Be at liberty to share within the feedback if there’s one thing concerning the pelican that has spoken to you.

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