Hummingbird Meaning & Spiritual Symbolism

Hummingbirds represent vitality, affection, good luck, and positive energy. But there is a lot more to hummingbird meaning and symbolism. So let’s discover more about this wonderful bird.

A hummingbird is a small tropical American bird that can fly backward and has the ability to hover. Hummingbirds belong to the Trochilidae family and get their name due to the humming sound it produces while flying and interacting with other hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are the smallest migratory birds. They don’t migrate in flocks and can travel up to 500 miles at a time.

While the hummingbirds have no sense of smell, they do have a good sense of color which allows them to identify their food. There are several hundred species of hummingbirds and the average weight of a hummingbird is less than 5 grams. At a time, the average number of eggs laid down by a female hummingbird is two. A flock of hummingbirds is referred to as a shimmer or a bouquet. Other than drinking nectar, hummingbirds also consume small insects like mosquitos, aphids, and beetles.

In this article, we will discuss the symbolism of hummingbirds in different legends and folklore, along with discussing Native American hummingbird meaning, Biblical meaning of hummingbird, and the meaning of hummingbird spirit animal, totem animal, and power animal.

Hummingbird Meaning & Spiritual Symbolism
Hummingbird Meaning & Spiritual Symbolism

Hummingbird Meaning in Mayan Mythology

According to Mayan legends, the very first wedding that took place on this planet was between the first two hummingbirds which existed. This legend speaks of the creation of the hummingbirds as well. The Mayans believed that with the leftover pieces remaining after he had created all the birds, the Great God proceeded to create a hummingbird with the leftovers.

Since the Great God had created the hummingbirds so small he ensured that he gifted them with extraordinary flight. That is why the hummingbirds possess the ability to fly forward, backward, upside-down, and hover. Because the Great God liked the hummingbird so much, he created a mate for it.

Mayans called the hummingbird ‘Dzunuume’ or ‘The Hummer.’ They also believed that when the Sun wished to court the moon it transformed itself into a hummingbird. When the Sun officiated the marriage of the hummingbirds, it promised that the hummingbirds’ feathers would gleam with magic as long as they would look towards the sun.

Hummingbird Symbolism in Pilgrim Folklore

Pilgrims who arrived in the New World were gifted Hummingbird earrings. After their arrival, the Pilgrims soon started to develop their legends about the hummingbirds. The Pilgrims believed that the hummingbirds were magical because they couldn’t understand how a bird, which seems like a cross between an insect and bird, would glisten only in sunlight.

According to one Pilgrim legend, every winter, the hummingbirds would stick their pointy beaks into the trunks of trees and die only to be resurrected during the spring. It was also the Pilgrims who started the myth that hummingbirds migrated on top of the backs of geese.

Hummingbird Meaning in Native American Cultures

Many Native American tribes view the hummingbirds very positively because in the Native American culture hummingbirds symbolize integrity, harmony, industriousness, and beauty. Native American tribes from the Northwest Coast believe that seeing a hummingbird brings them good luck.

In Native American art and legends, the hummingbird is portrayed as either a healer or as the mythological fire-bringer, or as a spirit being that helps lost souls in need. The hummingbird is used in the heraldry of several clans in many Native American tribes. The Pueblo tribes have a hummingbird clan amongst many other tribes.

Spiritual meaning of hummingbird in Pueblo legends

In one of the Pueblo legends, the hummingbird acquires smoke from Caterpillar, the guardian of the tobacco plant. The Hummingbird then brings that smoke to the shamans for the purification of the land. Therefore, according to the Pueblo, the hummingbird is a tobacco bird. In another Pueblo story, the hummingbird saves the land and the people and animals who live on it from a deadly fire which is caused by a demon who spews hot lava after it loses a bet with the sun.

Hummingbird meaning Navajo legends

According to a Navajo legend, there was once a hummingbird who was sent up in the sky to see what was above. The hummingbird didn’t find anything above the blue sky.

Hummingbird significance Cherokee legends

In a Cherokee story, a medicine man once turned himself into a hummingbird in order to retrieve lost tobacco plants. And in another Cherokee story, a Native American woman is pursued romantically by a hummingbird and a crane.

To fight for her hand, the crane convinces the woman that she must give her hand in marriage to the person who can fly around the world faster. The woman agrees to the contest because she believes that the hummingbird, who is good-looking, will win. After all, he is faster. However, the crane ends up winning the contest because she fails to take into account the fact that the crane can fly all night but the hummingbird can only fly during the day.

Hummingbird meaning Zuni and Hopi legends

The Zuni and Hopi Native American tribes also tell a legend where the hummingbirds convince the gods to bring rain on behalf of the humans. That is why the Zuni and Hopi tribes are known for painting hummingbirds on their water jars. According to one Hopi story, there was once a young boy and girl, whose parents had left them alone in the house while they searched for food during a famine.

The boy makes a toy hummingbird from wood for his sister. While playing with the hummingbird, the sister throws the toy in the air and before she could catch it, the hummingbird comes to life and brings them an ear of corn. Eventually, the hummingbird flies to the center of the earth and pleads with the god of fertility to restore balance to the land.

Hummingbird spiritual meaning according to Apache legends

The Apache Nation has a very popular legend about hummingbirds. According to this legend, there once lived a young warrior called Wind Dancer who despite being deaf would sing songs that would bring healing and good weather. Wind Dancer falls in love with Bright Rain, however, he is killed in an errand of mercy. His death leads to a long winter. However, it is believed that the winter ceased as soon as Wind Dancer visited Bright Rain as a hummingbird. Good weather would grace everyone after the two lovers take a walk.

Hummingbird Meaning & Spiritual Symbolism
Hummingbird spiritual meaning

Read more: White Feather Meaning: Spiritual & Symbolic

Symbolism of Hummingbirds in Aztec Culture

Huitzilopochtli, also known as Xiuhpilli, was the Aztec god of sun and war. Huitzilopochtli is represented in art and literature as a hummingbird and as an eagle. He is one of the two principal deities of the Aztec religion. According to the Aztec beliefs, the dead warriors were reincarnated as hummingbirds.

The Aztecs also believed that the left side of the world was the south. Therefore, Huitzilopochtli is also known as the hummingbird of the south.

The carvings and statues of Huitzilopochtli along with paintings and drawings depict him as a mighty warrior who is wearing a helmet made from hummingbird feathers. In the depiction in which he is shown as a hummingbird, Huitzilopochtli‘s legs, arms, and lower part of the face are painted one color, while the upper half of his face is painted black.

The Aztecs considered themselves as the people of the sun. Therefore, they felt that they must offer the sun god, Huitzilopochtli, daily nourishment which would be provided in the form of human hearts and blood.

The Aztecs would offer Huitzilopochtli the sacrificial hearts on a ceremonial vase called the ‘quauhxicalli.’ People who would offer themselves as sacrifice and the warriors who would die fighting in battle were known as the eagle’s people or ‘quauhteca.’

The Aztecs believed that the warriors would become part of the sun’s amazing retinue and that after four years the souls of the warriors would live in the bodies of the hummingbirds forever.

While many people might be confused as to why the Aztecs portrayed their mightiest god as a hummingbird, however, don’t let the hummingbird’s size fool you. Hummingbirds are known for being very ferocious and aggressive. Observers have noticed that the birds fight over territory, food sources, and potential mating partners. Female hummingbirds are known for being fierce protectors of their nests and will go as far as stabbing their opponents with their dagger-like beak and razor-sharp talons.

Biblical Meaning of hummingbird  

There are no Bible verses that directly make a reference to hummingbirds. However, some believe that from a historical context, the Bible has accorded the bird with the power of spreading peace, joy, happiness, and support. Many Christians associate hummingbirds with resurrection. After all, it is easy to mistake the bird for being dead when the bird is asleep because it appears lifeless.

The hummingbird is also Biblically symbolic of the Holy Spirit and is often depicted as hovering above Jesus Christ. In Johannes Vermeer’s painting called “The Madonna and Child with Saint Cecelia,” the bird represents the omnipresence of God. Christians also believe that the hummingbird appears to tell them that they must let go of negativity and past bad experiences because it is stopping them from achieving their truest potential.  

Symbolism of hummingbirds in Hinduism

In Hinduism, the hummingbird is seen as a symbol of high energy. Encounters with hummingbirds during springtime are associated with high energy and productivity because during this time a hummingbirds would work exceedingly hard at gathering food for their soon-to-be hatched children. Since the arrival of hummingbirds is symbolic of the ushering in of springtime, the hummingbird also symbolizes rebirth and hope.

Symbolism of hummingbirds in Celtic mythology and folklore

According to Celtic mythology and folklore, the Celt’s associated hummingbirds with wisdom and courage. They held the birds in high regard because they believed that the hummingbirds were messengers who traveled between the spirit world and the earth. The Celts also believed that the birds represented air and respected it for its endurance, courage, and bravery.

Hummingbird meaning in Taino Indian Culture

For the Taino Indians of the Tribe Jatibonicu, the hummingbird is a sacred symbol. In the Taino tribal lore, the hummingbird is recognized as a sacred pollinator ergo a disseminator of new life. The Taino Indigenous people also associate the bird with the rebirth of the Taino people in the Caribbean islands.

The most sacred species of the hummingbird is the ‘guani’ which used to inhabit the Caribbean Islands 500 years ago but is now only found in Cuba. The ‘guani’ is the smallest of all Caribbean hummingbirds but it is known as the noblest warrior by the mountain people. The guani is the totem of the Jatibonicu tribe and is known as a teacher in the animal spirit world.

According to Taino legend, the hummingbird used to fly who were turned into little birds by the ‘Sun Father’ called Agueybaba. While the hummingbirds are considered peaceful animals by the Taino people, they are also seen as fierce protectors with the heart of an eagle who would drop everything to protect their homeland from threats.

Read more: Finch Feather Meaning: Spiritual & Symbolic

Do Hummingbirds Symbolise Good Luck?

Feng Shui is a Chinese system of laws that governs the spatial orientation and arrangement of objects in relation to the flow of energy. The hummingbird is believed to be a symbol of good luck in Chinese Culture. The hummingbird is used as a Feng Shui symbol of joyous positive energy, universal energy, and good luck. The symbol of the hummingbird also attracts good vibrations.

Other than being a symbol of good luck, hummingbirds are also a symbol of health, vitality, endurance, joy, flirtation, and divine messages. Hummingbirds are also a symbol for continuation and eternity because they move their wings in a figure-eight motion which is a sign of continuity and eternity.

Hummingbird Dream Meaning

Hummingbird Meaning & Spiritual Symbolism
Hummingbird Dream Meaning

Encounters with animals dead or alive in our dreams or reality are often time symbolic of some larger meaning. We all know that researchers and oneirocritics believe that by analyzing our dreams we can learn about our innermost desires, emotions, conflicts, and insecurities.

Dreams can also help us solve problems and retain memories. It can also be observed that our dreams represent our repressed thoughts and have symbolic meaning. Therefore, what does it mean when a hummingbird visits you in your dreams?

Encounters with hummingbirds, or any other animal, in dreams, can be symbolic of many things. Interpretation of symbolism is very unique because it is subjective and deeply personal. And because dreams can have n number of possible interpretations.

Commonly, hummingbird encounters can be a sign of good luck and fortune in your future, it can be a sign that you accept diversity in your life and be more adaptable to situations, and it can mean that you should seek activities and simulation that helps you improve your health and well-being.

Let us look at the interpretation of some common encounters with hummingbirds in our dreams.

Catching a hummingbird meaning

Dreams about catching a hummingbird signify your controlling nature. In the dream, the hummingbird represents the people in your life who feel controlled by you and wish to run away from you in order to become free.

Dream of holding a hummingbird in your hand

If you dream about holding a hummingbird in your hand, then that dream suggests that you should manifest your creativity. In the dream, your hand represents the tool with which you can manifest your creativity. The hummingbird, on the other hand, represents that it is the right time for you to create and build something new.

Dream of hummingbird in the house

A dream about a hummingbird inside your house represents your inactivity. The house in this dream represents a mental prison that you have created for yourself which has stopped you from not just exploring new things but also exploring new thoughts and emotions. This dream is suggesting you seek newer experiences and not spend your time hanging out with familiar people in familiar places.

Hummingbird attacking you in a dream

Hummingbirds are very territorial birds that can become extremely aggressive against intruders and enemies who try to threaten their family and the sanctity of their safe place. Therefore, the hummingbird represents you in the dream where it is attacking someone.

The dream suggests that you must fight for your dream and can mean completing your projects and seeing them through towards the end. This dream can also indicate that there will be upcoming emotional and financial struggles but you should not let that dampen your focus and determination.

Dream about a wounded hummingbird

A dream in which you have an encounter with a wounded hummingbird indicates missed opportunities. This dream suggests that you have missed out on several opportunities recently because of not being focused and not having resources. This dream also suggests that you should try to motivate and inspire yourself before it is too late and you start to feel stagnant.

Dead hummingbird in dream symbolism

Encounters with a dead hummingbird in your dreams are considered by many cultures a sign of your ancestors or loved ones trying to establish contact with you. Many cultures believe that hummingbirds are a link between the spirit realm and us.

Therefore, hummingbirds in your dreams are seen as messengers sent by our ancestors to let us know that they are always there with us and are guiding us. The hummingbirds in this scenario act as our spiritual guides and as messengers who bring us messages from our ancestors.

Dreaming of a talking hummingbird

Dreams about talking hummingbirds indicates your eagerness to develop your personality, explore your creativity and talents, and the need for you to be more expressive. This dream also symbolizes your drive and determination towards self-improvement.

The color of the hummingbird in your dream also adds to the symbolism.

Blue hummingbird in dream

If you dream about a blue hummingbird then that dream indicates that you are a self-aware individual who believes in self-introspection. You are also very intuitive and have a constant inner monologue which means that you are in sync with your feelings, emotions, and thoughts.

Green hummingbird in dream

Dreams in which you have an encounter with a green hummingbird are indicative that you are in a period of growth. Green hummingbirds signify that you are ready to turn a new leaf in your life and are ready to explore new prospects and even a new side of your personality.

Dream of a Red hummingbird

We all know that the color red is associated with creativity and that hummingbirds are associated with spiritual energy. Therefore, seeing a red hummingbird in your dreams is considered an indication from the universe to take the first step and start a project.

Dream of a White hummingbird

The white hummingbird in a dream symbolizes naivety, purity of spirit, birth, and new adventures and beginnings.

Seeing a Black hummingbird in a dream

Encounters with black hummingbirds in dreams are suggestive of transformation, change, and rebirth. It also suggests that you are in a period of change and that you’ll face several challenges along your journey but those challenges should be seen as hidden opportunities and not just as setbacks.

Read more: Owl meaning & Spirit Meaning

Dead Hummingbird Symbolism

You might be surprised to know that an encounter with a dead hummingbird isn’t always a bad thing. The dead hummingbird has powerful symbolism that can either indicate change and renewal, mistakes and regrets, love, commitment, or rest. Let us explore each of these tenets in more detail.

1) Change and renewal

This tenet of dead hummingbird symbolism symbolizes that the discomfort and displeasure we feel when we have an encounter with a dead hummingbird is similar to the discomfort and emotions we feel while we go through the process of change and renewal.

Encounter with a dead hummingbird indicates that change and transformation aren’t very easy. Death in this situation represents metaphorical death and not physical death. It indicates the death or end of a relationship, state of mind, or phase of life. This encounter is seen as a sign that you should try to evolve from your past mistakes and change your lifestyle or way of thinking. This tenet signifies that life is short and we must part ways with thoughts, emotions, and feelings that are keeping us from living to our truest potential.

2) Mistakes and regrets

This tenet of encounters with the dead hummingbird symbolizes regrets and mistakes of the past. Seeing a dead hummingbird signifies regret that you have been holding on to past mistakes and things in the past. Through this encounter, the hummingbird is trying to tell you to accept your mistakes and put an end to the cycle of shame, regret, and self-criticism because it hasn’t allowed you to learn from the situation and make the necessary amends.

The hummingbird conveys the message of righting your wrongs by taking accountability for your actions and not by inactivity and harboring guilt and regret with you at all times. An encounter with a dead hummingbird symbolizes that to move forward in your life and reach your truest and highest potential you should not get caught up in regret and guilt.

3) Rest

In a dream or real life, if you are visited by a dead hummingbird then that is an indication of the worst part of your life being finally over. Through this encounter, the hummingbird is trying to convey to you that if you feel grief-stricken over the death of someone then you should know that your loved ones will always be near you. And that holding onto regret and guilt over your past mistakes isn’t going to make you successful, therefore, you should let it go or make amends.

Through this encounter, the hummingbird is also trying to convey the tenet of actual physical rest and not just emotional rest. The hummingbird is trying to teach you that in order to achieve balance in your life it is important for you to enjoy a little hobby or take comfort in life’s small pleasures.

It teaches you that you are only a human and that it’s ok for you to take your time to rest and come to terms with your grief, regret, sadness, along other emotions.

4) Love

Did you know that hummingbirds symbolize love? However, the love it symbolizes isn’t strictly romantic love. The hummingbird symbolizes love for everyone and everything in your life. From loving your job to loving your parents, family, friends, and even appreciating or loving a hobby or activity, this encompasses everything.

5) Commitment

As the name of this tenet suggests, the hummingbird is trying to symbolize and empower us to take a leap of faith and commit ourselves to a romantic relationship, career, or even a project. If you are on the fence about your contributions to an upcoming project or feel apprehensive about being in a committed relationship and you have an encounter with a dead hummingbird then that symbolizes that you shouldn’t run away from your situation and commit yourself to it.

What does it mean when a hummingbird visits you?

As we all know, dreams about hummingbirds can do many things. However, when a hummingbird visits you in your dreams it is seen as a positive omen. Encounter with a hummingbird in real life and your dream means that you are in sync with your spirit guide. Visitations from hummingbirds are seen as a sign from the universe to be committed to a relation, learn from your past, hold no regrets, and constantly evolve and take lessons from your life.

Meaning of a hummingbird flying in front of you

If your spirit animal is a hummingbird and you have an encounter with a flying hummingbird in real life then that is seen as a sign from the universe to let your creativity blossom. Through this encounter, the universe is telling you to trust your intuitions and to stop stifling your creativity.

Hummingbird Spirit Animal Meaning

The Native Americans believe that you don’t choose your spirit animals but that your spirit animals choose you. Therefore, you should be attentive and receptive to whatever animal interaction you have and not brush it under the table. The hummingbird spirit animal tries to teach you to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

It is believed that the hummingbird spirit animal comes into your life to tell you that you should not give all of your time to work or family and should try to find some time to relax. The hummingbird also guides you on your journey to have a more emotionally fulfilling life. The hummingbird spirit animal is an assuring presence in your life that helps you realize that you shouldn’t be emotionally closed off.

The hummingbird spirit animal teaches you to have individuality and be more unique. This spirit animal ensures that you don’t discard things that make you happy during tough times. The hummingbird spirit animal’s message is clear and that is to always be creative and pursue your dreams. This spirit animal encourages people to be more expressive and loving towards their friends and family. It also teaches you the importance of being more appreciative of the people around you.

Not only does the hummingbird spirit animal teaches people to be individualistic but it also teaches people to constantly improve themselves. Learn from your mistakes and make amends but don’t be regretful. The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backward, therefore, you should look at past mistakes not just as mistakes but as lessons as well.

Hummingbird Totem Animal Meaning

In Native American culture, a totem is a naturally occurring object or animal that has spiritual significance and whose symbol is adopted by a particular individual or group. It is believed that the totem holds the protective powers of the animal or object they represent. Therefore, if you reach out to your hummingbird totem animal then you are trying to manifest joy, diversity, good health, variety, and good luck in your life.

This animal totem is helpful while trying to establish with deceased loved ones. The hummingbird totem animal inspires people to be creative, always stick to their aspirations and dreams in life, and have fun along the ride. If your totem animal is a hummingbird, then you are known for being entertaining, joyous, affectionate, determined, courageous, loyal, exuberant, outgoing, and sociable.

However, like every other totem animal, it is not all sunshine and lollipops. If your totem animal is a hummingbird then you are known for being unpredictable and emotionally taxing because of your quickly changing mood.

Hummingbirds are very energetic and active animals but they know that it is important for them to relax and replenish their energy for the next day. Therefore, the hummingbird totem animal also teaches you to be responsible for your body and sanity. Don’t always be on the go and try to relax once in a while.

If your totem animal is a hummingbird then you are an earnest and positive person who sees the glass as half full. You like to live in the moment and be appreciative of what you have and the people who are around you. You are not only individualistic but you are also pragmatic and have the natural aptitude to adapt to new situations.

Hummingbird Power Animal Meaning

A power animal is a neo-shamanic belief that every individual has a spiritual and protective guide. When should you call upon your hummingbird power animal?

Call upon your hummingbird power animal when-

  • You require some diversity and variety in your life.
  • You are afraid of exploring new things and want to be a more flexible individual.
  • You need the strength to see a problem or project through the end.
  • You have lost determination and the focus required to overcome challenges and hurdles.
  • You need to heal your soul and are feeling that your emotions are out of control.

A person whose power animal is a hummingbird might come across as a moody individual. However, this is because you have a keen sense of emotional awareness and adapt to other people’s emotions and moods easily. Due to your perceptive nature, try to be wary of negative individuals who are making you pessimistic. The hummingbird power animal will help you find a resolution in this situation.

Hummingbird Tattoo Meaning

You might have noticed that many people around you have bird tattoos. This is because birds are an incredibly common tattoo design. The imagery of birds holds a lot of significance for people and can symbolize a lot of aspects of the human struggle. So, what is the meaning behind a hummingbird tattoo?

A person who has a hummingbird tattoo is trying to convey that they are a strong individual who has gone through many challenges and hurdles in their lives but have overcome those difficult situations and have remained resilient through it all. It also conveys that this person is a go-getter, who is constantly trying to be active and achieve their goals. Therefore, a hummingbird tattoo can symbolize hard work, determination, vigor, focus, and high energy.

Hummingbirds symbolize different things in different cultures. For example, the hummingbirds were worshipped as the sun god by the Aztecs, the Christians believe that they are a symbol of resurrection and rebirth, and the Chinese believe that the hummingbirds help attract good energy. Therefore, hummingbird tattoos can also symbolize peace, attraction, joy, hope, charm, happiness, attraction, amongst many other things.

Hummingbirds are known for being independent birds that prefer to spend some alone time. Therefore, a hummingbird tattoo can symbolize freedom, individuality, self-love, free thought, and independence.

The likeness of a hummingbird in a tattoo can also symbolize sexual energy, sensuality, tenderness, and passion.

Conclusion

The hummingbird is a magnificent bird and is symbolic of many things such as individuality, freedom, responsiveness, gratitude, fortitude, and joy. It is also a symbol of happiness and its colorful appearance is used to attract good luck and positive energy into our lives. Know that if your spirit animal is a hummingbird then you are very lucky because it is always there to help and guide you.

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About the Author: Naomi Hills

God has given me the gift to read the signs, interpret the dreams, decode the angel numbers since birth. Through rigorous practice and application, my gifts have been fine-tuned. Now, I use my gifts solely to help those distressed souls who have lost all hopes, those who have been left alone to fend for themselves, those whom the system doesn’t care anymore, those whom the mainstream science has ignored.

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