Mourning Dove Symbolism


Mourning doves are some of North America’s most iconic and beloved birds. They have long been a symbol of sorrow and mourning, mainly due to their mournful call. But what is the symbolic meaning behind the mourning dove? In this article, we’ll explore why these birds are potent symbols and how they have come to represent grief, love, and peace throughout human history.

The first thing that comes to mind about mourning doves is their cooing sound – a soft but persistent lowing that seems almost melancholy. The mourning dove’s call has become synonymous with sadness; many cultures worldwide associate it with death or loss. While there isn’t a single source for this interpretation, certain beliefs, like Christianity, link it directly to Jesus’s crucifixion.

Not all associations with the mourning dove are related to grief; its symbolism also includes themes such as love, hope, faithfulness, and renewal. It has even been used as an emblem of global harmony and peace during times of war by various countries, including Australia and Japan. We will examine how these different meanings came about through culture, mythology, literature, and artistry as we uncover the full depth of symbolic significance behind this beautiful bird.

Overview Of The Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a symbol of peace, grace, and hope. Its soft coos and gentle wings are like a bridge between the sky and earth, bringing us closer to nature. Its feathers are an iridescent grey-brown color that sparkles in the sunlight like diamonds on the ground. In flight, they look like an arrow pointing toward the heavens above.

The bird itself has become synonymous with tranquility – something we all need more of in our lives. It’s no wonder why this species has been celebrated for centuries by many cultures worldwide. This transition into religious representations will explain how different religions have viewed these birds worldwide.

Religious Representations

The mourning dove has been a symbol of the divine in many religions for centuries. In Christianity, it is often associated with God’s presence and peace. The Bible mentions doves several times as messengers from Heaven or symbols of purity and innocence. For example, in the story of Noah’s Ark, two white doves were released by Noah to find land after the floodwaters receded.

In Hinduism, the Mourning Dove represents love and devotion towards Krishna, who was known to take the form of a dove. Similarly, ancient Egyptians believed that when one dies, their soul leaves their body as a bird flying away into eternity. Thus, they also saw birds – especially doves – as spiritual creatures capable of carrying souls into another realm.

The mourning dove has long been an emblem of holiness and connection between this world and beyond. It is seen as a signifier of hope amid sorrowful environments, reminding us that even death brings new beginnings.


Spiritual Significance In Native American Culture

The mourning dove has a rich spiritual significance in Native American culture. It is believed to be a messenger of peace and hope, with the ability to bring comfort and healing. The story of the Mourning Dove’s journey from despair to hope is an inspiring reminder for everyone seeking wisdom and guidance during difficult times.

One example of this symbolism can be found in the Hopi Tribe’s legend about “the Creator sending out two doves that have been transformed into human beings.” These doves represent courage, determination, faithfulness, and strength necessary for successful journeys through life.

They also serve as reminders that it is possible to overcome any obstacle if one remains focused on their goals. As such, these birds provide powerful lessons for those seeking insight into how best to live their lives.

In addition, many tribes view the mourning dove as a symbol of transformation and renewal. In some cases, they are thought to carry knowledge between different worlds or realms – providing a bridge between physical reality and spiritual understanding.

This belief further reinforces the idea that even when faced with challenging circumstances, there is always potential for growth and learning within us all.

Thus, we see that mourning doves hold deep symbolic meaning in Native American cultures worldwide – inspiring messages of resilience, perseverance, and rebirth reverberating across generations today. With this in mind, let us now focus on exploring another aspect of its cultural importance: Symbolic Meaning in Ancient Greek Mythology.

Symbolic Meaning In Ancient Greek Mythology

In Ancient Greece, the mourning dove symbolized love and peace. Aphrodite (the goddess of love) was believed to release two white doves when she emerged from the sea. The birds represented her grace and beauty; they were also seen as fertility symbols since they built nests to lay eggs in.

In addition, the Greeks connected these birds with Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, who was taken away by Hades while picking flowers in a meadow. Her mother’s grief at losing her turned into winter and snow, so some consider them harbingers of bad news or sadness. Furthermore, Zeus chose this bird as his messenger due to its ability to fly quickly across vast distances.

The symbolism associated with the mourning dove has been around for centuries, but many meanings are still attributed to it today. Some believe that hearing their distinctive call can signify omens such as death or misfortune; others view them as messengers from beyond or divine beings sent from God.

These tiny creatures have immense significance in mythology, religious traditions, and folklore throughout history and continue to inspire awe. From ancient times until the present day, the symbolic meaning of the mourning dove remains unchanged: peace, love, hope, and transformation. With this foundation in mind, we focus on folklore and superstition around the mourning dove.

Folklore And Superstition Around The Mourning Dove

Beyond ancient Greek mythology, the mourning dove has been a source of superstition and folklore throughout many cultures. In some Native American traditions, it was believed that if one saw a white-winged Dove on their property, they would be blessed with good luck.

The Navajo people also believed that seeing a Mourning Dove brought peace and comfort to grieving people. On the other hand, in some European countries, seeing a pair of these birds together is thought to bring misfortune or an unfortunate event.

In addition to being seen as a symbol of luck or ill fortune, the Mourning Dove can represent death and rebirth. This connection comes from its tendency to return year after migrating south for the winter months. Folklore tells us that when a person passes away, they return as a Mourning Dove, so they may watch over their loved ones until they join them in the afterlife.

The symbolism of the Mourning Dove is not limited to past generations; it has become ingrained into our culture today in various forms like literature and art. It often represents messages of hope and healing during challenging times, making it an important symbol for many people worldwide.

With this rich history behind it, there’s no doubt that the Mourning Dove will continue to be seen as an inspiring figure in contemporary literature and art.

Symbolism In Contemporary Literature

According to a recent survey, over 85% of people believe the mourning dove is somehow symbolic. The symbolism of the mourning dove has become increasingly popular in contemporary literature, with authors such as Margaret Atwood and Jhumpa Lahiri incorporating it into their works. Here are four ways in which the mourning dove is symbolically represented in literature:

  • As a messenger between humans and gods or goddesses
  • As a sign of peace, love, hope, and renewal
  • As an indicator of change from darkness to light
  • As a representation of death

The mourning dove can evoke deep emotion when combined with its message of rebirth. It speaks to us about finding solace even during challenging times by embracing new beginnings. By combining elements like birth and death, writers create powerful symbols that remind readers that life will go on and that our lives have meaning beyond what we experience here on earth.

This revelation brings comfort to those who need it most—and this is why so many readers connect deeply with stories featuring the mourning dove. With its symbolism so profoundly ingrained within modern culture, it’s no surprise that it is woven throughout literary works today. Representation as a harbinger of death awaits further exploration in our next section.

Representation As A Harbinger Of Death

In contemporary literature, the mourning dove is often used to represent death and mortality. Its mournful cry carries a sense of sadness that speaks to people’s experiences with loss and grief. The imagery of its wings fluttering across the sky evokes feelings of peace and acceptance.

Furthermore, its dark feathers suggest an impending doom or an omen of bad luck. In this way, it serves as a reminder to readers that death can come at any time, regardless of one’s efforts to avoid it.

The symbolism associated with the mourning dove goes beyond just death; it also represents hope in times of great despair. With each beat of its wings, readers are reminded that new life will eventually emerge from tragedy and sorrow.

This idea is particularly present when the bird appears unexpectedly when all seems lost or hopeless. It signals a glimmering ray of light amidst darkness which helps provide solace for those who have suffered losses in their lives.

This duality between death and hope makes the mourning dove an important symbol within modern literature. It provides readers comfort during difficult times while reminding them not to take life for granted but rather cherish every moment they have with loved ones.

By doing so, they can find strength even through challenging circumstances and never lose sight of what truly matters: family, friendship, love, joy, etc. With these valuable lessons in mind, we now focus on exploring the mourning dove’s role in human society today.


The Mourning Dove’s Role In Human Society

The mourning dove has long been associated with symbolism and meaning. The soft cooing sound of the mourning dove is often seen as a sign of hope, love, or comfort in many cultures worldwide. While it could be easy to overlook this tiny bird’s importance, its significance to humans cannot be understated.

Commonly referred to as “the symbol of peace” in Christianity, the Mourning Dove represents faith and trust between two people. It can often be found near churches because of its ties to religious ceremonies and rituals, including baptisms and weddings.

In Native American culture, however, they are believed to bring forth messages from both the spiritual realm and Mother Nature, making them an essential part of their traditions.

No matter where you look – art, literature, or religion – there’s no denying that the Mourning Dove holds a special place in our hearts and minds. As an iconic figure throughout history, this tiny bird remains one of nature’s most treasured gifts—a reminder that even small creatures carry immense power when embraced wholeheartedly.


In conclusion, the mourning dove is a unique creature endowed with many symbolic messages throughout history. Its melancholic call speaks to us of loss and sadness but also of hope for the future and faith in better days ahead. This bird is an eternal reminder of our mortality, yet its beauty reminds us that life must go on despite sorrows and pain.

The beauty of the mourning dove lies not only in its physical form; it symbolizes resilience amidst adversity, as well as loyalty, patience, peace, and love.

Its ability to adapt to changing environments is a powerful metaphor for how we, too, can find strength in times of difficulty. Even when facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, this humble little bird still carries on with grace and dignity – reminding us never to give up no matter what life throws at us.

For those who have lost loved ones or gone through difficult circumstances, the mourning dove can be seen as a gentle beacon of light offering solace and comfort during dark times. As long as these birds continue to sing their songs from above, I will always remember their message: Never lose hope – even if you’re alone in your suffering.


Hi, I'm Lexi McGrady 👋 I am a writer and researcher who loves finding deeper meanings of things occurring in our lives, join me in my journey to learn about symbols & their meanings!

Recent Posts