Cardinal symbolism is an amazing mystery for many people – evoking a variety of emotions. Different cultures and religions have various ideas when it comes to the symbol of a cardinal.
The thought that seeing a cardinal and having it mean something personal to you is a welcomed ideology for many. With all their intrigue, cardinals have a beautiful presence throughout the world.
What is a Cardinal?
Cardinals, also known to be songbirds, have strong beaks and are mainly found all along North, Central, and South America. are rich in a variety of vibrant colors. These birds have a bold reputation and are known to be monogamous with their mates and very territorial.
They range from red or the rare yellow, or even a paler pink or green. No wonder various sports teams use the cardinal as a mascot to signify this strong, protective bird
The red birds were given the name cardinal because of their bright coloring that matches the red robes of the cardinal priests in the Roman Catholic church.
What Does a Red Cardinal Symbolize?
- Good luck – many believe just seeing a red cardinal will bring good fortune or that something good is about to happen.
- Spiritual – many religions associate the red cardinal as a sign from God, whether it be a gentle reminder to be bold, courageous, and to show love, or as a comfort in times of doubt.
- Angel – some people go even further than the red cardinal is a sign from God to let you know that your loved ones are with you from heaven.
- Love – a red cardinal is also a symbol of love. The color red symbolizes love worldwide, and because of the positive meanings that are associated with a cardinal, many people think of love with red cardinals.
What Does a Yellow Cardinal Symbolize?
- Hope – the yellow cardinal is extremely rare and so the symbolism that comes with it can be powerful. For some, hope, new beginnings, or renewal is celebrated with a yellow cardinal.
- Joy – Yellow is a positive color and when a yellow cardinal is present, there is a sense of happiness or joy.
- Healing – for a more spiritual emotion, some consider a yellow cardinal to mean healing or change is coming.
Cardinal Totem Animal
Having the cardinal as your totem animal means you will be able to attract a healthy relationship in your life. If you are already in a relationship, then you and your partner have a healthy bond.
A cardinal totem animal evokes compassion, loyalty, a fiery personality, and more. The red color signifies wanting to be seen and heard and shows a passion for life, but the hope of the cardinal.
Cardinal Spirit Animal
When a cardinal is your chosen spirit animal it means that you enjoy your home life but are also willing to go on an adventure when the situation calls for it.
Since a spirit animal has long been known to be an animal that represents the person you are on the inside, those with the cardinal spirit animal enjoy music and gathering with friends and family with some frequency.
Most people with the cardinal spirit animal are more tuned to the spirit world than others and may be able to communicate with those on the other side.
Pros of a Cardinal Spirit Animal
- Determination – having the drive and determination to complete tasks is a great character trait. Going above that even, setting goals, and seeing them through is even better.
- Endurance – when the going gets tough, people with a cardinal for a spirit animal keep pushing through. Their stamina and endurance push them through even the toughest of times.
- Strong relationships – the cardinal is well known to be territorial, a protector, and monogamous with its mate. These all make for loyal bonds whether with family or friends.
- Honor – the determination you have as a cardinal, also gives you the honor you need to stick to your guns or stand up for yourself.
- Self-confidence – pride, courage, faith, and hope are all qualities of someone with high self-confidence and are all qualities of what a cardinal represents.
Cons of a Cardinal Spirit Animal
- Grandiose – sometimes being too proud can be off-putting to some people. Because the cardinal has such strong character traits, people that possess these qualities should remember to stay humble.
- Lack of empathy – having the powerful character traits of a cardinal can sometimes seem that you may have a lack of empathy for others. Showing a balance of love for those around you is important to remember.
Cardinal Symbolism and Death
Many people, whether spiritual or religious, associate a visit from a cardinal as a link between you and a deceased loved one. Native Americans believe there is a direct link between you and the dearly departed.
Even some Christian faiths think that cardinals are sent by God to show that your loved one is watching over you from heaven.
What Does a Red Cardinal Symbolize in the Bible?
In the Bible, theologians and other religions link the cardinal to the blood of Christ, saying that the hope from His blood is the same hope that the cardinal brings. Some other passages in the Bible show that the cardinal symbolizes the Holy Spirit, bringing a renewal or newness of life, just as in baptism.
Why Are Cardinals a Symbol of Christmas?
Cardinals are a symbol of Christmas because the vibrant red hue of the cardinal symbolizes hope, joy, and love – all things that connect us to the spiritual holiday. The joy of the Christmas spirit is seen with a red cardinal.
For others that may not be so religious, a cardinal at Christmas time can mean hope and new life amidst a harsh winter.
What Does Seeing a Cardinal in Your Dreams Mean?
Seeing a cardinal in your dreams can be a good sign. Just as seeing a cardinal in person can symbolize joy, hope, or healing, seeing the bird in your dreams can signify the same thing.
Perhaps even, having a cardinal in your dream can mean good fortune is coming your way. No matter the interpretation, a dream with a cardinal in it is a positive thing.
How to Interpret a Cardinal Encounter
To interpret a cardinal encounter, first acknowledge that the birds are a symbol of joy, happiness, and luck for many decades. So, their stark beauty can be seen in the coldest of winter serving as a gentle reminder that brighter days are ahead.
Because the cardinal is a strong and loyal bird, it is often considered a great omen to see one. When trying to decipher your special encounter with one of these beautiful birds, consider what’s going on in your life.
As with most interpretations, they can be tailored to your truth and your life. For those that recently lost a loved one, seeing a cardinal can bring peace and comfort in a time of sadness and grief.
6 Cardinal Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning
1. Cardinal Symbolism in Christianity
Christian religions can have a biblical meaning with cardinals, such as the blood of Christ and the promise of forgiveness. Some Christian faiths see the cardinal as linked to the Holy Spirit, as in baptism, offering a renewal or rebirth.
2. Cardinal Symbols in Native American Mythology and Folklore
Cardinals are native to North America, so there is no surprise that they appear frequently in Native American folklore. Different tribes view cardinals as different signs from the gods in the universe.
In the Pueblo tribe, Cardinals were seen as a guardian of sorts. The guardian would appear to let you know which direction to go when you were lost or questioning your destiny.
The Pima People once roamed around the south of the United States and thought that seeing a cardinal meant rain would come. The sighting didn’t just indicate rain was coming though, but also lightning.
The Cherokee tribe, which was more north than the Pima, also thought Cardinals brought messages about the weather. They didn’t think they just indicated rain, however, and that Cardinals could also warn of cold conditions to come.
The Choctaw were much different than other tribes, as they believed that Cardinals were a sign of love. If a cardinal appeared near a couple, it meant they were a good match and would have luck in their married life.
3. Ancient Greece Cardinal Symbolism
Cardinals were common in ancient Europe and represented the Greek god of the sun, Helios. Seeing a cardinal meant that this god was watching over you. Thus, you would be successful in the task you were headed to complete.
4. Cardinal Symbols in Ancient Rome
Ancient Romans thought that cardinals were holy messengers sent from the god Jupiter who is also the king of the gods. If you came across a Cardinal, you needed to listen closely as it was trying to tell you something important.
5. Cardinals in Celtic Mythology
Cardinals aren’t as common in Ireland as they are in other places in Europe. As a result, seeing a cardinal was thought to be a sign of good luck in Celtic mythology. The bird was also thought to symbolize extra good luck for a woman who was trying to conceive.
6. Cardinal Symbolism in Ancient China
Throughout Asian countries, red has long been a color meaning good luck and wealth. So, it’s natural that they would think of the cardinal in the same way. If you saw a red bird, it meant you were being given luck by your ancestors. Therefore, you would go on to have a wealthy life.