Vultures are much-maligned creatures, but in the spiritual world, they often carry much more positive symbolism – so if vultures appear in your life, either for real or perhaps in other ways like on television or on your social media feeds, the message can sometimes be good.
However, interpreting what vultures mean is not always easy, so in this post, we discuss the spiritual meaning of vultures to help you make sense of what you saw.
The symbolism of vultures
Before we look at the spiritual meaning of vultures, let’s think about some of their characteristics to see what associations we have with these birds.
Probably the first thing that comes to mind when we think of vultures is the fact that they are scavengers that feed on the carcasses of dead animals.
This means we associate them with death, and vultures circling in the sky often tell you that an animal on the ground is in trouble and possibly dying.
Most species of vultures can hardly be called handsome birds, but they soar high in the sky with undeniable grace as they scour the ground for food.
Like most birds of prey, vultures have keen eyesight, but in addition, several species of vulture also have a powerful sense of smell, so vultures can be seen to represent perception.
Since vultures don’t kill their own prey but rather wait until an animal dies or is killed by other predators, they often need to wait a long time for a meal, so they represent patience.
Finally, since they eat whatever they can find, they can’t be fussy, and their habit of eating rotting, putrid flesh represents an ability to make do with what life throws their way.
Vulture spiritual meaning
Having looked at the main traits of vultures, now we can move on to talking about their spiritual meaning.
We’ve already noted that vultures often need to be patient if they want a meal, and because of this, one of the strongest spiritual meanings of this bird is patience.
If you see vultures in the sky or they start to appear in other ways in your life, the message it brings could be that you need to be more patient.
If you are currently involved in a project that seems to be taking longer than you’d expected, the vulture may appear to remind you that sometimes things take time. As a result, you should continue to work hard and persevere because your project will come to fruition in the end.
This message could also relate to many other things, and in the modern world where the focus is always on immediate gratification, doing things quickly and taking shortcuts, the vulture can also remind you that important things can’t be rushed.
For example, if you want to learn to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language, there are no shortcuts – you need to put in the time and dedication, and eventually, you will reap the rewards.
Death and rebirth
As an animal that feeds on carrion, vultures can represent death. However, in the spiritual world, the symbolism of death is also closely related to rebirth, so the connotations are not always negative.
If you see vultures, it could tell you that one part of your life is about to end but that a new one is about to begin.
Perhaps you are changing jobs, or maybe you are moving to a new area.
When we go through major changes like these, it’s natural to feel afraid or anxious, but if the vulture appears, it’s telling you to be ready for the change and to embrace it.
Change is universal, and we can’t fight it. However, it usually brings with it new opportunities, so you should be ready to grab them with both hands when they appear.
Transformation, renewal and revitalization
To the Maya, the vulture’s ability to eat what other animals couldn’t, essentially changing death into life, meant the bird symbolized transformation, renewal and revitalization.
Similarly, in a Zoroastrian practice, the bodies of the dead were left for vultures to pick clean, which represented the cleansing, renewal and revitalization of the soul.
This means if the vulture appears in your life, the message could be that you also need to undergo transformation and renewal in your life.
Sometimes, our lives can stagnate as we lose ourselves in the daily grind – and before we know it, our whole existence seems to consist of nothing more than getting up, going to work, coming home and going to bed – and then repeating over and over ad infinitum.
However, we also need to have something in our lives to look forward to, and it’s important for your mental and spiritual state to shake up the routine a little from time to time.
To do this, try to take yourself out of your comfort zone and do things differently.
Perhaps it might be time to change jobs, or perhaps you should think about taking up a new hobby.
When you decide to make changes in your life, it will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized while also pushing you to grow spiritually and intellectually.
Making do with whatever life gives you
Vultures can’t afford to be fussy when it comes to food, and they can’t turn up their noses when a meal presents itself just because they’d rather eat something else.
For this reason, the vulture can remind us that sometimes we have to make do with what we have instead of complaining that what we have isn’t perfect.
We might not always get everything we want, but we should be grateful for what we do have while always striving to be better in ourselves.
This also reminds us that we should do what we can with the opportunities that come our way rather than waiting for better opportunities in the future – because if we let a half-chance pass us by, there’s no guarantee we will get a second chance.
Don’t worry about the opinions of others
We’ve mentioned already that few people count vultures among the most attractive of birds, but vultures don’t let that bother them. This means the vulture can also teach us not to care about the opinions of others but instead to do what makes us happy.
If you’re always worried about what other people think of you, it may hold you back from doing the things you really want to do, so forget about the opinions of people who don’t matter and go out and chase your dreams.
Due to their powerful eyesight and strong sense of smell, vultures represent the idea of spiritual perception.
Not only can these birds spot a dying or dead animal from high in the sky, but some species can also smell a rotting carcass from up to a mile away.
This means when vultures appear, you should remember to pay attention to the spiritual side of your life, and particularly, you should make time for deep thought, meditation and self-exploration.
Perhaps the message the vulture is bringing to you is that there is something you are currently not seeing, and by spending time in reflection, you may come to realize what it is you are missing.
Vultures circling in the sky has long been seen as a symbol that represents danger and foreboding, so if you see vultures in the sky – or perhaps in a dream – it could be telling you that bad news or danger is on the way.
For example, there could be somebody in your orbit who is waiting for you to make a mistake or show weakness before they move in to take advantage of you.
Perhaps one of your friends is about to betray you or somebody is scheming against you and plans to trick you.
As a result, you should be on your guard and keep an eye on those around you since there’s a chance that not everybody has your best intentions at heart.
To some cultures, the wings of the vulture have represented protection – and for example, in Ancient Egypt, many Great Royal Wives wore vulture crowns to represent the protection of the goddess Nekhbet. Female vultures are also known to be highly protective of their young.
For this reason, the vulture symbolizes protection, and if vultures appear in your life, it could be telling you that you are being watched over and protected, either by a person in the living world or by a guardian angel or departed loved one from the spirit realm.
Ancient Hebrews noted that vultures often appeared in pairs, so to them, these birds represented love.
This means if vultures appear, especially two vultures together, the message could be related to romance. If you are single, it could mean that you are about to meet your soulmate, so you should be open to starting new relationships.
However, if you are already in a relationship, the message could be an affirmation of the strength of the bond between you and your partner.
An important spiritual message
If vultures begin appearing in your life, there’s a good chance they bring an important spiritual message.
When this happens, try to apply what you saw to the challenges and difficulties you are currently experiencing in your life. Then, through deep thought and meditation, your intuition will guide you to the correct interpretation of what you saw.