Turkey Symbolism and Meaning (Totem, Spirit, and Omens)

Turkey Symbolism and Meaning

Endemic to the Americas, Turkeys are large wildfowl birds that are often hunted for their meat. There are two species of these birds in the world: Wild Turkey and Ocellated Turkey. Most of us associate these birds with the Thanksgiving dinner. However, have you ever wondered what these birds might symbolize in the spiritual sense?

Turkeys are symbolic of gratitude and appreciation for everything we have been blessed with, while at the same time, they also represent vanity. In most cultures, these birds are considered a symbol of harvest, abundance, pride, honor, and charity.

This article will talk about what the turkeys symbolize to us, the meaning and interpretation of their dreams, and their significance to the Native Americans. Moreover, we will also discuss what it means to have them as your totems and spirit animals.


What do Turkeys symbolize?

Turkey symbolism

Although most of us associate turkeys with a delicious meal, these birds have a powerful spirit as well. Being the largest and heaviest members of the Galliformes family, they have a lot to teach us:


There’s a reason why Turkeys are the centerpiece in the traditional Thanksgiving dinners. These wild fowls are symbolic of gratitude and appreciation for our life and everything good in it. In the current fast-moving world, all of us are busy setting new goals for ourselves, striving to become better each day. But amidst all this, we have somehow lost the contentment with what we have, what we’ve earned and achieved. If all we care about is achieving the next best thing, we might never find true happiness.


Vanity and self-adulation are the two dominant traits of these birds, especially the males. In order to impress and attract females, these birds show off their magnificent plumage. We can learn from them that vanity might get us what we want temporarily, but we shouldn’t hope to achieve anything that can last if we are vain.

Lack of endurance

Unlike most birds, the turkeys cannot fly long distances, which is probably what makes them an easy target for us. They represent to us how endurance is a major survival skill. Without it, we don’t stand a chance in this world of cut-throat competition.


What does it mean to dream of Turkeys?

Turkeys in dream meaning

Most people associate the dreams of turkeys with the desire to cook or eat one in real life. However, that’s not what all the turkey dreams stand for. In fact, the dreams that involve turkeys have such varied interpretations that you’d be surprised.

Following are some of the common turkey dreams along with their interpretations:

A flying Turkey

To dream of a flying turkey is a prediction that you are about to experience a sudden rise in your status due to a deal or a project that went surprisingly well. The people around you will be in awe of you and praise you all the time, at least for a small while. However, this will not last too long, so you must try to enjoy it while it lasts.

A sick or dead Turkey

If you dream of a turkey that is either dead or very sick and on the verge of dying, it is a bad sign. It indicates an attack on your pride. Such a dream means that the people around you will criticize you openly, and you will not be able to do anything about it.

Feeding a Turkey

If you see yourself feeding a turkey that is caged, it is a good sign. Such a dream indicates that you are going to come across a huge success in your business. It will bring a lot of joy to your love and family life.

Hunting a Turkey

If you find yourself hunting a turkey in your dream, particularly with a gun, it is not a good sign. Such a dream means that you are using dishonest means to acquire financial gains. It might seem like a great idea today, but such short-cuts will only do you damage in the long run.

Raising a Turkey

Dreaming of raising a turkey in your own backyard has a negative interpretation. Such a dream signifies that you take your relationships too casually and might end up hurting the people you are involved with. If you have no intentions of taking things forward, you should come clean with them now.

Teasing a Turkey

If you find yourself trying to tease, annoy, or irritate a turkey in your dream, you are going to be disliked strongly by someone you like because of your habits. However, the things they don’t like about you are challenging for you to change, so you feel stressed or anxious.

Turkey in a yard

Dreaming of a turkey strutting around in a yard, particularly in your yard, indicates that you are not working hard enough in deals or projects that are about to bring you huge gains. Such a dream is a warning that you might lose a huge opportunity because of your lousiness. You should start putting in more effort if you don’t want that to happen.

Eating a Turkey

If you see yourself eating a turkey in your dream, it a good sign. Such a dream indicates that you are soon about to be invited to a business lunch or meeting where you find some profitable prospects for yourself. Don’t miss out on this one.

Slaughtering a Turkey

Dreaming of slaughtering a turkey has a bad implication. Such dreams signify your lack of self-confidence that is pulling you down in your professional life. You seem to let opportunities pass you by simply because you fear that you won’t be able to handle them. It is about time that you tell yourself that you’re good enough.

Cooking a Turkey

Cooking a turkey in your dream is a good sign and indicates you are soon about to meet someone you haven’t met in a long time.

Someone else eating a Turkey

If in your dream, you see others eating a turkey but can’t find yourself at the party, it is a sign that you have been negligent of the people you love because of your obligations towards work or studies. The people around you have slowly begun to resent you for it. If you continue to do this for longer, you might find them drifting apart.

Turkey in a cage

Dreaming of a turkey trapped in a cage or a similar enclosed space is a bad omen. Such dreams are symbolic of your lack of freedom. It indicates that there are some decisions that you need to make yourself, but the people around you, especially your family, are invading your private space so much that you aren’t able to make them.

Turkey attacking you

If you dream of a turkey attacking you, it is a warning that trusting people too easily is going to be harmful to you. Perhaps there is someone you hang out with who is going to misuse your trust and stab you in the back.

Hearing Turkey’s voice

Hearing a turkey’s voice in your dream is a good sign. Such a dream means that someone with whom you had a falling out a long time ago will realize their mistake and try to approach you in order to make peace.

Frying a Turkey

If you find yourself frying turkeys on a skewer in your dream, it indicates that you will have the opportunity to host a large lunch or party for your friends and family.

Turkey in a nest

If you dream of a turkey in their nest, it indicates that you miss the warmth of your family. Maybe you have moved out of your home simply because of your work or because of a misunderstanding or conflict. But right now, the nostalgia is overwhelming you, and you feel a strong urge to return home, even for a few days.

Buying a Turkey

Dreaming of buying a turkey in your dream is a warning that you should be more careful about how or where you spend your money. This is especially true for a house or a car. You might be seduced by the attractive offers in the market, but remember, the money you have saved is for more important needs in the future.

Selling a Turkey

Selling a turkey in your dream has a positive interpretation. Such a dream predicts the upcoming success in your life. You might soon receive a salary hike, a promotion, or a better job offer.

A white Turkey

If you dream of a white turkey, it is a good sign. Such a dream indicates that you are about to be paid a large amount of money for doing a job that is quite easy.


The significance of Turkeys in the Native American culture

There is interesting lore popular among the Native Americans, which explains the gobbling noise made by turkeys.

Long, long ago, turkeys had the ability to talk just like humans. Then came the great flood, which was a threat to the existence of all life forms. To escape it and save their lives, both humans and animals alike ran for the highest ground they could find.

With them, they also carried things that they thought they would need to start their lives over if and when the flood subsided. Turkeys, being the helpful creatures that they were, helped the others reach safety and were, in turn, the last ones to start their journey to the high ground.

The turkeys noticed that none of the other beings had thought of carrying vegetables or fruits with them, which meant that the flood would wipe off this important food source. Therefore, under their wings, they carried as many seeds as possible to help them regrow plants afterward. But their heavy stack of seeds began to weigh them down, and soon they were drowning in the water.

However, these birds hadn’t learned to give up; they kept on swimming, straining their necks to keep them alive. The people from the top couldn’t see what they were carrying under their wings and condemned them for being selfish. Finally, these exhausted birds reached the top. When they shook their plumage, people saw all the seeds falling out of them and felt guilty of all the accusations they had made.

They realized how turkeys had almost lost their lives trying to save the world’s primary food source and begged them for forgiveness. However, as the turkeys tried to answer, they found that a weird, gobbling noise had replaced their actual voice.

It was then that everybody noticed how prolonged their necks had become in the effort to stay above the water. Their vocals cord had been ripped, and, thus, the gobbling noise became their permanent voice.


What does it mean to have a Turkey tattoo?

Of all the birds you could get tattooed on your skin, turkeys sound like an unlikely option, right? Well, today, we are going to tell you what the tattoos of these fowl birds might symbolize for you:


Are you a believer in abundance, not just for yourself but for all? If you are, turkey tattoos are just perfect for you. Since its inception, turkeys are followed by prosperity wherever they go. However, instead of it keeping it all to themselves, these birds revel in sharing what they have, especially with those who need it the most.


If you seek self-confidence, turkeys are the birds you should look up to. They have attained a level of confidence where they no longer seek the approval of those around them; they know they are worthy, and that’s enough for them. All of us can learn this quality from them.


Turkey totem

The turkey totem enters your life when you seek abundance, not only for yourself but also for your family and community. These people feel truly happy when they help others by sharing what they have; the motto of their lives might as well be “what’s mine is yours”. Their nature of giving is not limited to their own community but extends to anyone who needs it, even if they are strangers.

People who have turkey totems are also great hosts and love to organize events and get-togethers that bring the community together. They are instinctively nurturers and care-takers, which is why everyone loves to have them around.


Turkey spirit animal

If you have learned to have faith in yourself and your capabilities even if no one else does, turkeys are your spirit animal. If there’s one thing that no one can make these people feel, it’s self-doubt.

They don’t seek reassurance in the outer world because they have attained it within themselves. However, there’s a fine line between confidence and over-confidence. Once they cross it, it is very difficult to bring them back.

The people guided by the turkeys’ spirit are strong believers in helping others without expecting anything, even gratitude, in return. They have a huge heart and are eager to help even those who are too proud to ask for it. This is why they are always admired in their community. Even those who don’t praise them openly have only respect for them in their hearts.

These people have learned that you can never be happy by keeping everything for yourself. True happiness lies in sharing and caring. If you ask them for something, they will never turn you down. The downside of their generosity is, they often tend to put others before themselves. This sacrificial nature ends up making their own life difficult, which they don’t seem to mind.

In their love life, these people are just as giving and selfless, if not more so. Therefore, it is easy to take advantage of them. Sometimes, they end up with a broken heart, which takes a long time to recover. But they do always recover; they are, after all, survivors.


When should you call upon your turkey spirit animal?

You can call upon your turkey spirit animal for guidance when you find yourself in the following circumstances:

  • When you want to rise above your personal needs and wants. We all can agree that we live in a selfish world where a large number of people are indulged in greed and over-consumption. However, if having more than what we need is not making us truly happy, what will? The act of rising over greed and learning to give.
  • When you want to build a meaningful relationship with others. Such relationships are only built with mutual respect and affection. The spirit of the turkeys can help you with it.
  • When you want your community to grow. You can achieve great things when you begin to care about the growth of people around you as much as you care about your own.


Turkey symbolism and meaning (summing it up)

To sum it up, the turkeys can be associated with the symbols of abundance and prosperity, helpfulness, and a strong belief in one’s community. These birds are strong believers in the values of sharing and caring for others, which makes the world a better place. If you have them as your spirit animal or totems, you are a boon for society.


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