Since ages, the habitual patterns of animals and birds have been linked to natural elements, making them harbingers. They symbolize the advent of something unseen. Mourning doves especially, have captivated man’s imagination.
Did You Know?
Mourning doves hold a special place in folklore and mythology. Noah released a dove from his ark, and when the bird returned with an olive branch, he knew land was near.
The mourning dove is also known as the turtle dove, American mourning dove, Carolina pigeon, Carolina turtle dove, and rain dove. They are usually around a foot in length, and weigh somewhere between 4 to 6 pounds. These birds are monogamous in nature. They are primarily seed eaters, rather than insect eaters.
Mourning doves have a peculiar characteristic; they store the seeds that they pick off and store them for digesting later. The seeds collect in an enlarged part of their esophagus, called the ‘crop’. Their odd, yet interesting ways like these have captivated the imagination and interest of many.
Mourning doves have a melancholic, low, and mournful call (cooOOoo-woo-o) gives them their befitting name. Their symbolism stands contrary to their name, and different cultures have given them varied symbolic significance.
Mourning Dove Symbolism
To the Native Americans, the mourning dove represents spirit and communication with the spirit. They believe that when the mourning dove appears, there will be opportunities and messages for growth. They were also believed to be harbingers of death, but only if seen under extremely unusual circumstances.
Some Native Americans believe that the cooing of the dove could coax rainfall. In fact, they believe that the mere appearance of a dove was a sign of rain. A few cults believed that it was the cry that was heard, indicating a soul passing peacefully from earth. Others believed the dove carried the souls to the heavens.
Gypsy folklore believe that doves are messengers of love, linking our hearts to the spirit world.
Mourning doves represent peace and safety. However, a pair of these doves, in literature, presents a picture of devotion, love, and friendship.
The mourning doves are said to encourage healing, after one lets go of emotional baggage. They represent forgiveness, release, peace, and finally moving on, or forward.
Other Symbolism of the Mourning Dove
~ Ascension ~ Brings peace and love ~ Communicates bet. two worlds
~ Devotion ~ Divinity ~ Grace ~ Holiness ~ Hopefulness ~ Love
~ Maternal ~ Messenger ~ Peace ~ Promise ~ Prophecy ~ Purification
~ Sacrifice ~ Spirit messenger ~ Transition period ~ Understanding of gentleness
Symbolism is mere interpretation. You get to choose what they mean to you. As such, you can consider the dove to be a beloved deceased coming to check on you, or to bring you the message of hope, grace, strength, peace, love, kindness, rejuvenation, etc.