Cardinal Symbolism And Meaning (Totem, Spirit and Omens)

Cardinal Symbolism And Spiritual Meaning

Cardinals can be considered the most-loved birds in the United States since they are the state bird of not one or two but seven different states! These birds are small and melodious, with the brightly colored male winning all hearts. Many people fondly call them “Redbirds”. They are social and jolly birds, mostly seen in large flocks, and have well adapted to inhabitant places where humans dwell. While they are a welcome sight for people, is there a deeper meaning to these birds?

Known to bring good fortune to people for many centuries, Cardinals are blessed creatures that symbolize love, passion, and affection. These love-birds are ruled by their emotions and love fearlessly. They are also symbolic of faith and teach us to endure in the hope of all the good that is about to come. From many cultures, they are believed to be a link between the living and the dead, for they are free to travel between Earth and Heaven.

Do you think that the Cardinals could be your spirit animals? Can you find a resemblance with the traits of their spirit? If you do, you might be guided by their spirits.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the symbolism of these birds: from their dream interpretation to their significance in different cultures around the world.


What do the Cardinals symbolize?

Cardinal Symbolism

The Latin name of the Cardinals is “Cardinalis”, which translates to a chief or pivotal point in English. These birds indeed represent all the significant emotions of our life. How? Let’s find out.

Passion and elegance

Just like their fiery red plumage, the Cardinals are a symbol of boldness and passion. Red is universally acknowledged as the color of blood and fire, both of which are invaluable to all life on Earth. It makes red a powerful color and the creature that is colored in it a powerful being.

In ancient times, the red pigment was as rare as the royal purple, which made it difficult to get ahold of. Only the royals and most elite could afford it. The color red, therefore, is symbolic of an elegance that is not easy to come by.

Love and devotion

Cardinals are passionate lovers and are known to mate for life. They are monogamous and stick to each other through thick and thin and are perfect examples of what true love should be like.

Moreover, these birds also display excellent family values. Unlike the Cuckoos that want to have nothing to do with their younger ones, the Cardinals are loving and dedicated parents and find pleasure in bringing up their younger ones.

You will never see a Cardinal abandoning its nest full of eggs. They symbolize love, devotion, family values, responsibility, and balance.

Good fortune

In all the cultures around the world, the Cardinals are believed to be the harbingers of good fortune. Being portrayed as the messengers of God in the Bible, these birds are a symbol of vitality, energy, faith, and positivity. Encountering them is a sign that your life will soon be filled with joy and harmony.

Hope and spiritual guidance

Cardinals are non-migratory birds that live in the same habitat throughout the year. They bear with the harsh climate of the winters in the hope that it will soon be spring, giving us a lesson that good things come to those who are willing to wait. If you have enough hope and faith in the powers above, the Almighty will certainly deliver what you seek.


What does it mean to see the Cardinals in your dreams?

Cardinals in dream meaning

Although Cardinals prefer to inhabit densely wooded areas, they have adapted surprisingly well to the growing urbanization and can now also be found in urban areas. However, what does it mean to see them in your dreams? It highly depends on the details of their action or stance in the dream. Check out the interpretations of Cardinal dreams that are common to people:

A female Cardinal

The female Cardinal in your dream is symbolic of a new arrival in your life. This arrival could either be a new birth in your family or a marriage, maybe your own. In case you are about to have a baby, seeing them in your dreams is a good sign and indicates that you are now ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood.

An odd-colored Cardinal

The Cardinals usually have a red body, which is why it is highly unusual to see one that is blue or yellow in color. However, if you see them in your dream, it means that you are about to experience something extraordinary soon, something that you’re not expecting or looking forward to. But when the experience reveals itself, you will be ecstatic.

A pair of Cardinals

Dreaming of the Cardinals in pair is indicative of teamwork. If you see such a dream, it means that you are soon about to receive a project where your ability to function in a team is about to be tested. In your family life, it could also imply the efforts and cooperation between you and your partner as parents.

A red-feathered Cardinal

Red is the color of passion. If you see a red-feathered Cardinal in your dream, it indicates that you are going to have a passionate time with your partner very soon. It could also mean that despite the challenges you’re facing at work, your passion for it keeps you going.

A brown Cardinal

Brown Cardinals are symbolic of preparation. If you have been waiting to begin something new, dreaming of them is an indication that you’re fully prepared for it, and now is the best time to start.

A Cardinal hitting a window

Dreaming of a Cardinal hitting at your window is considered to be an ill omen. Such a dream could mean that someone close to you will suffer from a serious accident or sickness in the near future, which could possibly lead to their death. Take a hint and be extra careful about the well-being of your loved ones.

A dead Cardinal

A dead Cardinal is certainly not a pleasant sight. However, to see one in your dream is a good sign. It signifies the end of one phase of your life and the beginning of the other.


What does it mean to encounter a Cardinal?

Have you been followed by a certain Cardinal lately? Or do you see one at your window routinely every morning? Seeing these birds is no coincidence.

The frequent sightings of Cardinals right after someone in your family has died is a sign that their spirits have not yet moved on to the afterlife and are, thus, trying to say a final goodbye. If you see these birds on the birthday or death anniversary of a loved one who has passed away, it means that their souls are there with you on that day.

You shouldn’t be nervous or scared of it, since their presence indicates that you miss them terribly on such occasions.

Encounters with Cardinals can have another meaning as well. Since they have been associated with good fortune for centuries, seeing them could mean that your fortune is soon going to change for the better.



The significance of Cardinals in different cultures

With their brightly colored plumage and melodious voice, Cardinals are adored in every part of the world. Let us find out how different ancient cultures depict these birds:

In Christianity and the Bible

Cardinals are believed to have a strong symbolism in the Bible. In the Catholic Churches, the priests of the highest order wear bright red robes that are symbolic of these birds. Some believers also believe them to be a representation of Christ’s blood that was spilled on the Earth for the sake of humans.

Cardinals are also said to be the messengers of the Almighty, flying between Heaven and Earth, working as a link between the world of the dead and that of the living. There are also people who think of them as a token sent to them by their loved ones who are no longer with them.

Moreover, the Cardinals are associated with faith and true love. The biblical meaning of a red Cardinal is that the Almighty is aware of all our wants and needs and would provide it to us at the right time if we have faith.

In Native American culture

The Native Americans believe the Cardinals to be a symbol of true love as well as good fortune. They believe that if a red Cardinal crosses your path, you are going to have a lucky day. Seeing them before a trip or meeting is a sign that it would go well for you.

The association of these birds with true love finds its root in the love story of the maiden. Once upon a time, a Red Cardinal was flying in the woods when it saw a young, beautiful, and virtuous maiden who was rather lonely, with no family or friends to care about her. This stuck the cardinal, and it went on a mission to find her a suitor.

Along its way, it met a Brave Indian boy who was full of wit and good humor. In no time, the cardinal made friends with the boy and once, while playing, tricked him into following it.

It led him all the way to the doorstep of the lonely maiden. As the boy saw her, he was smitten and determined to spend the rest of their lives together. The lovely maiden had now found herself the perfect partner, all thanks to the Red Cardinal.

In Greek mythology

The Ancient Greeks considered both Cardinals as well as Phoenix to be the birds of the Sun. According to them, the cardinal’s voice was so melodious that even the Sun would stop in its tracks to enjoy it. The music that came out of their throat had a magical effect on its listeners and uplifted their spirits.


What does it mean to get Cardinal tattoos?

Getting a tattoo is subjective to people based on their personality and choices. But what could cardinals symbolize to them? Let’s find out:

Most people who get Cardinals tattooed on their skin are hopeless romantics. Even though they live in a world of deception and skepticism, they haven’t lost their ability to believe in true love, and the cardinal tattoo is symbolic of it.

Due to the religious association of these birds with the Almighty, their tattoos are commonly seen on devout Christians as well. To these people, the tattoo is a symbol of Christ’s blood, i.e., a symbol of all the sacrifices he made for humanity.

Cardinals are also believed to be graceful birds. Thus, people who are in awe of nature wear their tattoos as a symbol of the natural world.


Cardinal totem

People with Cardinal totems are absolutely in love with their life. They are charming and embrace every experience fully, be it good or bad.

These totems are symbolic of patience and hope, and people can call upon them when they are about to lose hope and give up. In the darkest times, they remind us of all the blessings, including the ones to come.

Cardinal totems have a unique personality, and so the people who are guided by them. This is why they would never fit in with the crowd.

Instead of feeling out of place, they should embrace their true essence. Once they do, they will see the real magic. All the people around them will begin to recognize their true worth and start to love and respect them.


Cardinal spirit animal

If the Cardinals are your spirit animals, it means that you are a bright, energetic, and optimistic person who always believes in the glass half full. Such people are kind, compassionate, and go out of their way to spread warmth and joy in the life of everybody they know. Although they might seem ordinary on the surface, it’s their undying hope that makes them extraordinary.

These people are also very brave and never hesitate to stand for what they believe. You will always find them leading movements, not simply being a part of it. The faith they harbor in their cause is so infectious that others can’t help being drawn to it. They don’t believe in passivity and would rather go out there and make things happen. Such people rarely face difficulty in handling power; they are natural leaders and pioneers.

Along with a natural affinity for leadership, they also have great organization skills and are more like a one-man-army. To be around them means to be awed by them. To watch them in action is a spectacle in itself.

These people are instinctively self-important, a trait that is born out of their self-respect and self-manifestation. Such self-importance can possibly get out of hand in some cases, where they need to be reminded of what it is to be grounded. Having two of these people on a team is ideal, for each one keeps the other in check.

Guided by the spirit of the Cardinals, these people are perfect in their personal life as well. They fiercely believe in a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love and are willing to settle for nothing less.

As lovers, they are passionate, devoted, and caring. They will always love you for what you are, accompanying you in your darkest moments and doubling all your happy moments. They also make great parents, putting their children first in everything.


When should you call upon your Cardinal spirit animal?

The spirit of the cardinal will hold your hand in your darkest times. You can call upon their spirit when:

  • You have lost all hope in life and cannot pull yourself up no matter how hard you try. What you need right is a hope that can bring you back on the path of your life, and the spirit of the cardinal will provide you with just that.
  • You are lovelorn. Love is the central emotion of life; without it, the true essence of people starts to wither away. In such moments, the Cardinal spirits will re-introduce love and passion in your life. These little birds are known to bring together destined lovers.
  • You are facing difficulties in your family life. The spirit of the Cardinals understands family values like none of the other birds. They cherish their family and always put their needs first. If you show the same passion for your family, it will not take them long to recognize and appreciate it.


Cardinal symbolism and meaning (bottom line)

While Doves and Hawks are all remarkable birds, the unique personality of the little Cardinals is unparalleled by any other. These birds lead a life much like our own, surrounded by people they love, holding on to hope. They are symbolic of faith and determination, devotion and family values, leadership, and uniqueness. To see them is widely considered to be a lucky chance. As your spirit animals, they will always bring you from darkness towards the light, opening your eyes to your blessings.