For as long as there have been birds, humans have always found beauty in their feathers. Worn as jewelry and on costumes, feathers have captivated with their colors and ethereal softness. But feathers are more than pretty; they contain a whole host of spiritual and cultural meanings. Read on to learn the significance of this unique symbol.
Courage and Strength
Among certain Native American tribes, such as the Sioux, eagle feathers are traditionally given as a symbol of honor. A sacred bird, the eagle’s feathers represent courage, strength and prestige. If a person is seen wearing eagle feathers on a headdress, it means they’ve accomplished great tasks throughout their life.
Truth and Order
In ancient Egypt, the goddess Ma’at personified truth, morality, order and justice. She represented the guiding principles that every Egyptian was expected to abide by throughout their lives. As a symbol of her higher principles, Ma’at wore a single ostrich feather in her hair, known as the Feather of Truth.
Feathers represent sacred power and the heavenly realms. Ancient druid priests were said to don bird feathers on their robes during special ceremonies to connect to the sky gods and obtain spiritual knowledge, while in Christianity, feathers are reminiscent of angels.
In early Christianity, peacock feathers represented renewal and Christ’s resurrection, as the peacock regrows its feathers every year. Byzantine tombs often featured peacock feathers as a reminder of the soul’s everlasting life.
Freedom Reminiscent of flight, travel and migration, feathers remind us that we have the ability to take ourselves to wherever we need. We are never stuck as long as we are willing to flap our wings, face the wind, and keep an eye on the road that lies ahead.