The Bluebird. A Bird. A Totem. A Spirit Animal.
In an ancient tale, the bluebird is described as having been an ugly color, but then one day it found a sacred lake where no water ever flowed in or out. The bird bathed in it four times every morning for four mornings, singing a sacred song. On that fourth morning, it came out of the river with no feathers at all. When it bathed itself again on the fifth morning, it came out of the sacred lake with its blue feathers. The bluebird became a symbol of transformation through sacred song and sacred acts.In the Pueblo tradition, great importance is placed upon rituals and ceremonies honoring the six directions. In the Niman Kachina ceremony, the bluebird represented the southwest direction. The southeast and southwest directions represented the rising and setting of the shortest day; thus the bluebird was a symbol of the setting on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. Hence the bluebird is considered a winter bird, but it often indicates that each day that follows will have greater sunshine.
The bluebird is also often considered a spring bird, representing the movement out of winter into spring. It is a bird of transition, of passage–from winter to summer, from child to adult, night to day.
In the north the appearance of the bluebird heralds the coming of spring. Its habitat is one of open fields with scattered trees and is one of the few birds that has benefited by the spread of agriculture, and thus it is often a sign that we will also benefit from the agriculture within our own life. The things we have planted and the seeds we have sown will come to fruition.
Among the Pueblo, bluebird feathers were used to promote snow and ice, moisture that will bring new growth. Because of this and other similar associations, the bluebird is also related to fertility on all levels.
The bluebird is a guardian of all passages and transitions that we make or are about to make. We speak often of the bluebird of happiness, and this is rightly so. It makes our movements richer, more productive, and protected so that we are able to attain the happiness we need in life.
When the bluebirds show up, we are about to see a change in the climate. Darkness will soon fade and more sunshine will arrive. Fulfillment in our endeavors will increase, and our passages and movement in all endeavors will be protected. Those things or people who had hindered our endeavors will find themselves bogged down in their own “ice and snow.”
Bluebirds are part of the thrush family, and you may wish to read about thrushes to learn more of the bluebird. The males are entirely blue, while the females are blue only in the wings. Occasionally there will be some warm reddish tones on the chest as well. Pay attention to the colors and where they are located. This will provide some insight.
To the Cherokees, blue is the color of the North, while in many magical traditions, it is the color of the East. The edges of many Jewish prayer shawls were often the color of blue. Blue is associated with the throat chakra and creative expression. Blue is symbolic, so ask yourself what blue means to you personally.
The idea of the bluebird being symbolic of happiness is fairly recent. The concept has developed more within this century than any other time.
The bluebird always has a plaintive song and modest, unassuming appearance. Its shoulders are hunched up when perched, giving an impression as if ready to dive. This can be symbolic of a need to work hard and play hard. Are you trying to shoulder too much responsibility?
To the Pueblo, bluebirds are considered winter birds because they descend to the lowlands with the snow and cold during that season. This transition from winter to summer is dramatic in the area of the western home of the Pueblo. It is a transition from great coldness to summer heat.
This is symbolic of a passage, a time of movement into another level of being. Specifically, it is connected to the transfomation of a gir into a woman, and thus the bluebird is also sometimes connected to puberty rites. This, of course, has connection to human fertility and a new confidence and happiness in coming into your own.
Other Pueblo rites revolved around the use of bluebird feathers as prayer sticks. They were considered beneficial for snow and ice, and for bringing the summer rainy season. There are also rites in the Pueblo tradition that tie them to the fertility of the land.
Bluebirds are gentle and unaggressive. They do not push or bully other birds, but they are very scrappy when threatened. They have been known to put to flight jays and even larger birds. Their homes usually have an entrance facing South, the direction for awakening the inner child. If a bluebird has come into your life, look for opportunities to touch the joyful and intrinsically native aspects of yourself that you may have lost touch with.
Composed with inspiration from Ted Andrews.
My Recent Fascination… The Bluebird. A Bird. A Totem. A Spirit Animal.
Ponder > My Recent Fascination… The Bluebird. A Bird. A Totem. A Spirit Animal.