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Cardinal Meaning and Symbolism

What Does a Cardinal Symbolize

A cardinal symbolizes wisdom, passion, good luck, boldness, love, devotion, wealth, power, virtue, and responsibility.  Because of their luxurious look, they even stand for majesty and royalty, with their feathers representing vigor, power, vitality, and life. They also represent loyalty, harmony, and romanticism due to their strong bond with their mates.

The cardinal bird that we see around us is the northern cardinal, whose symbolism and significance as a spirit animal is being discussed here. The red bird is the male cardinal, while the females have a brown body.

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Symbolism of a Female (Brown) Cardinal

They symbolize affection, sound health and parental love.

Having a Cardinal as Your Spirit Animal (Totem Animal)

When the cardinal is your spirit animal, it means that you are highly energetic, passionate, and enthusiastic about aspects related to your personal life and love. You are also helpful, going out of your way to be there for others though you may have a lot of things to do in your own life.

Creativity, innovation, self-assurance, and persistence are some of your prominent traits when you have a cardinal as your spirit guide.

Just like the bird itself, you too are graceful, and soft-natured, noted for your unique and distinct personality, standing out in the crowd.  You are friendly and gregarious, loving to be surrounded by everyone always.  

You possess strong leadership skills, and a fiery mind, loving to take challenges in life and doing things strategically to achieve success.

Cardinals withstand changing seasons with dedication and zeal, and you would also display strong determination and a fighting spirit, braving adversities, battling it out till the end.

If you have kids, then you are a responsible, devoted, and caring parent, just like these birds.

Similar to the cardinal who displays aggression while protecting their territory, you would show a defensive attitude in safeguarding all that you call your own.

You have an intuitive notion, which urges you to listen to your inner voice intently.

Since the bird is associated with the number 12 as they thrive all year round, they represent good luck. The cardinal as your spirit guide means that events or opportunities in your life come in a 12-hour-day-month-year cycle.  

The red bird as your totem animal reveals that in your previous life, you had an association with churches, possessing an immense reverence towards religious beliefs.

Cardinal Symbolism Spirit Animal Dream

What Does it Spiritually Mean When You See A Red Cardinal

These birds represent the souls of your near and dear ones, often sent by God to convey a message from your beloved in heaven.  A  northern cardinal appearing at or outside your window may mean that you have your dear ones around, especially during any occasion or when you remember them.

A cardinal’s visit may even indicate that your fortunes would change for the better.  It could remind you of balancing different aspects of your life well, be it your family or career.

A cardinal sighting also stands for spiritual connection, perhaps urging you to think beyond worldly or materialistic elements.

The bird pecking at your window could mean some bad or unfortunate news is in store for you.

What Does It Mean to Dream of a Cardinal

Seeing a cardinal in your dreams stand for a positive omen or good luck. It also means the ushering of love or romance in one’s life, mainly if that person is single, alongside chances of a family reunion. The bird could visit your dream, as a messenger, indicating that your deceased loved one is around, watching over you.

The appearance of the female cardinal could mean the possibility of the arrival of a new member in your family. It could even indicate that you possess the right parenting skills in handling certain situations that your children may be in.

The vision of a cardinal pair (particularly red and brown) is a hint of teamwork needed in performing parenting duties or any other responsibilities as such.

Seeing their red feathers symbolize the fiery passion deep down your mind urging you to be strong amidst the difficulties you may be facing.

An odd colored cardinal, like yellow or blue, hints at an unusual experience or situation that you are soon to be in.

Seeing a cardinal hitting a window is considered an ill omen, perhaps a premonition of a dear one’s death.

Dreaming of a dead cardinal could mean the end of a certain aspect of your life and the beginning of a new phase.

Cardinal Symbolism in Different Religions and Cultures

In the Bible and Christianity

Biblically, the red cardinal is perceived as the Almighty’s messenger, flying between heaven and earth, connecting the worlds of the dead and living. It is associated with faith, belief, and true love too. In Christian culture, the cardinal because of its vibrant red hue is considered symbolic, representing the vitality of Christ’s blood. The Cardinal angels are also a part of the seven archangels controlling earth, water, air, and fire.

In Native American culture Native Americans strongly believe in their association with the number 12, regarding them as lucky as well as messengers of love. They even thought the cardinal to be the sun’s descendant that comes to earth to enlighten humankind. The Choctaw people regarded cardinal sighting as an omen pertaining to relationships, warning one of any trouble or change. They were even said to help to predict weather changes, serving as a guide, and helping one follow the right direction.

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