Being the world’s smallest bird measuring only a few inches, the hummingbird definitely punches above its weight as it made its way into several cultures as a symbol throughout history. In this post, we will be examining the hummingbird in detail discussing spiritual meaning and symbolism associated with it around the world.
With a thin and narrow beak to extract nectar from tubular flowers, this brightly colored bird gets its name from the fast-paced beat of its wings flapping, producing a distinct humming sound.
This small yet powerful bird is incredibly enchanting with its iridescent feathers, and they have different interpretations and symbols associated with various cultures, religions, and spiritualistic tendencies. The bird is associated with numerous qualities that can be applied to humans as some common symbolisms include:
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Healing and Vitality
- Good luck
- Energy and speed
Cultural Symbolism of Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds have existed for millions of years, with their origin being traced back to the American continents; however, the oldest hummingbird fossil was recovered from Germany and is dated to be 30 million years old.
Hummingbirds have a rich history rooted in South America as Native American tribes held specific beliefs regarding this small yet majestic creature that have been passed down generations.
The hummingbird was considered the Sun’s disguise when courting the moon, and the Mayans also believed the first marriage on Earth was between two hummingbirds.
The Mayans called the hummingbird “hummer” because of its distinct sound, and it was such a beloved bird of their Creator-God that he created a mate so they could wed.
They believed that other birds gave their feathers to the relatively dull hummingbirds on the wedding day, which gave them their shine. The Great Creator created the hummingbirds from leftover pieces of larger bird species once He had finished creating them.
The Creator gave them the ability of high-speed flight, which allows the bird to fly backward, up, or down.
The God of the Sun and War was named Huitzilopochtli, roughly translated to the Hummingbird, and he embodied the bird with a bracelet of hummingbird feathers that he wore on his wrist.
Therefore, the hummingbirds were sacred symbols in Aztec culture, and they were so highly regarded that only shamans and leaders could wear their feathers as a symbol of respect.
As a symbol of rebirth, hummingbirds were also thought to be reincarnated Aztec warriors who had died in battle.
The Taino civilization originated in the Greater Antilles region near the Caribbean Sea, and they were an Arawak subgroup that had roots in South America. The hummingbird lore in this civilization notes their evolution from a fly to a bird by the Sun God, Agueybaba.
Hummingbirds are considered symbols of rebirth, peace, and protection because of their strong heart, which led the warriors of the Taino people to become known as Calibri Warriors, which translates to Hummingbird Warriors.
The birds also have a spiritual connotation for the tribe as they are believed to be spirit messengers of departed souls.
The Inca civilization believed the hummingbird to be a messenger bird from heaven and that it was the designated primary spiritual messenger from the upper world.
Previously the condor was the bird that held the title of “king of the skies” and a flight contest was held between the two birds to determine who was worthy to be the messenger from the upper world.
The hummingbird was not present when the competition began. So, the condor flew to the Edge of the Sky at which point the hummingbird emerged from the condor’s feathers where he was hiding and flew to the Center of the Sky, where he made Wiraqocha, the King of Heaven also known as the Divine Gardener.
Their strength and speed made hummingbirds ideal messengers between the gods and humans.
Religious Symbolism of Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds also have religious significance in addition to their cultural contributions and mystical traditions.
In Christianity, the hummingbird is a biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit as there are depictions of the bird floating above the head of Jesus to emulate divinity.
The hummingbird is not directly mentioned in the Bible, but it is associated with resurrection as the bird appears so lifeless when it sleeps that it is often assumed to be dead, but it becomes highly energetic once it awakens.
They are also a symbol of hope and comfort as their presence is believed to spread joy and happiness by removing negativity associated with past experiences. The bird’s flight path is also linked with eternity and continuity of life as it can move in various directions.
The joy and infinity symbolism is also applicable to the deceased as the hummingbird acts as a messenger. It is also considered a symbol of true happiness in the hereafter as it is linked to the loved ones that passed away – resting in peace.
Spiritual Symbolism of Hummingbirds
In terms of spirituality, the hummingbird spreads positivity and encourages people to see the joy in their life by finding happiness in small doses.
It is also a symbol of adaptability as it has evolved over millions of years to adjust to changing environments for survival while living its life to the fullest by cherishing every moment.
The presence of a hummingbird is supposed to bring good energy and luck to individuals, similar to the beliefs held by various Native American civilizations. They are also associated with love and signal that there are brighter times ahead.
By encouraging others to keep moving forward with their lives after challenging experiences, the hummingbird can also bring good news in death as it symbolizes that the departed has reached their final destination, and they have achieved peace, so the healing process can begin.
Their presence is also assumed to be a sign from the angels for some individuals as a reminder to enjoy their transient lives.
Even in dreams, hummingbirds appear as signs of hope and inspiration, urging the dreamer to focus on the small joys and giving them the strength to soldier through any hardships as they bring a promise of resolution and greener pastures once the issue is resolved.
It is a symbol that encourages individuals to embrace happiness in change and the personal growth that comes with any hardship.
Hummingbirds As Spirit Animals
As spirit animals, hummingbirds are a constant reminder not to let life slip by as there is so much to enjoy and be grateful for.
They can be a source of positivity and encourage people to be open to experiences and good energies which can bring positive changes in their lives that can make them feel love and joy.
As individuals, we can often get bogged down by our problems and internal dialogue. Still, the hummingbird encourages us to be more open while taking in all the world has to offer, which will inevitably bring happiness and joy.
This ends our post on humming bird symbolism and spiritual meaning. If you liked it, you should definitely check out our articles on ladybug meaning and symbolism here, butterfly symbolism here and praying mantis symbolism here. Thanks for reading with us!