Vulture Symbolism and Meaning

Vulture symbolism is vast and varied – it can be seen everywhere from spiritual rituals to literature to popular culture. It’s no wonder then that they still fascinate us today with their power to evoke strong emotional responses!

The symbolism of vultures is often associated with bad luck, renewal, and death. They signify a powerful shift in our lives – one that refreshes us and enables us to become something new.

As we look upon the vulture soaring through the sky, it reminds us that life is an ever-evolving journey and that no matter how dark it may seem, there will always be moments of light ahead.

So prepare yourself for an exploration into one of nature’s most remarkable species – its rich symbolism is sure to leave you spellbound!

Also Read: Vulture as a Spirit Animal

vulture symbolism

What is the Symbolism of a Vulture?

Symbolically speaking, vultures represent a desire for independence and liberation from oppressive forces.

By simply observing them in their natural environment, we can understand that they embody an inner strength and resilience far beyond what we could ever imagine.

As they travel through space with such grace and ease, it’s easy to see why they’ve become associated with courage and boldness – traits all humans should strive for if they wish to break free from their own limitations.

With this knowledge in mind, let us now explore how vulture symbolism is used in literature.

In Literature

Vultures have long been seen as powerful symbols in literature, often representing death and decay.

In Homer’s Odyssey, vultures are used to depict the gods’ wrath, while William Shakespeare famously wrote of a “vulture eye” that sits atop Caesar’s throne.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story ‘The Birth-Mark’, they represent evil forces trying to take over the protagonist’s life.

By understanding these ancient meanings behind this mysterious creature, we gain insight into our own lives – its complexities and mysteries – giving us direction on how best to navigate them.

In Bible

In Genesis, vultures were seen as messengers of God, sent to protect humanity from danger or punishment.

They are also associated with cleansing and purification, symbolizing death and resurrection when they circle above those who are dead.

Later on in the Old Testament, these birds become symbols of judgment for sin, representing divine retribution against evil-doers.

It is clear that vultures in the bible can carry an important message – one which speaks of justice, mercy, and protection.

In Buddhism

In Buddhism, vulture symbolism is closely associated with liberation from our own suffering – to break free from all that holds us back in life and reach enlightenment.

Whenever we see one gliding across the horizon, it serves as an important reminder for Buddhists to continue on their journey toward spiritual transformation.

The majestic sight of these birds encourages us to look beyond the mundane world and instead seek out higher truths that will lead us closer to inner peace.

9 Interpretations of Vultures in History

vulture turkey - Bad Luck and Danger

The symbolism of the vulture can be traced back even further in history, to ancient cultures and religious traditions.

In many cases, the vulture was seen as a harbinger of death or judgment; a sign that one should prepare for an inevitable destiny.

This fear of the unknown can manifest itself in different ways, from feelings of dread to a deep sense of guilt.

By recognizing our vulnerability, we are able to confront our inner demons and move towards a more peaceful existence.

Here are the 9 interpretations:

1. Bad Luck and Danger:

Vultures have long been seen as a sign of impending doom, as they often appear just before or during a time of great misfortune.

In some cultures, they’re even seen as harbingers of death, bringing messages to the living from those who have passed away.

For many, the sight of a vulture is an ominous one – a warning that dark times are on their way.

This fear has been passed down through generations and lingers in our minds, reminding us all to be prepared for the worst.

The idea of danger lurking just around the corner can be frightening, but it also serves as a reminder that life is precious and unpredictable.

We must make the most of every moment we have and never take freedom or safety for granted.

2. Guilt and Judgment:

The image of the vulture has also been used throughout history to illustrate guilt and judgment.

They are associated with the idea that the vulture is always watching, waiting for someone to make a mistake or become vulnerable.

This can lead to feelings of anxiety in those who view them.

Their presence can be overwhelming, leaving one to feel like they are being weighed down by the expectations of others.

It can create a sense of unease and fear, as though you must always be on guard against making a mistake or failing in some way.

3. Patience and Perseverance:

The vulture is known for its patience and perseverance, which represents an important lesson for anyone trying to achieve their goals.

This symbolizes the need to stay focused and remain patient when faced with challenges or obstacles in life.

No matter what life throws at us, we must have faith that patience will eventually bring us success.

4. Death and Mortality:

Vultures can be seen as symbols of death and mortality due to their connection with carrion and scavenging.

For many cultures, the presence of vultures around dead bodies was seen as a reminder of our own mortality and the importance of accepting death as part of life’s cycle.

They are a potent symbol of our mortality, reminding us that death is an inevitable part of life’s journey.

By witnessing the bird’s carefree scavenging, we can find solace in knowing that accepting death and living life to its fullest brings peace and freedom from fear.

5. Contacting the Deceased:

Because of the association between vultures and death, some cultures believed that these birds could help contact the deceased.

People would sometimes leave offerings out for the vultures, believing that they could pass along messages to loved ones who had died.

It was thought that by leaving offerings out, people could form a spiritual connection with those who had passed away.

This ancient ritual showed respect to those who have gone before us in hopes of maintaining a special bond even after death.

6. Glimpses into the Afterlife:

Believing that they were messengers between the living and the dead, some people sought out their assistance to get glimpses into what may lie beyond this life.

By observing vultures, one could gain insight into the afterlife and come closer to understanding the mysteries of death.

Through careful observation, they could gain insight into what lies beyond and come closer to understanding the great mysteries of the afterlife.

7. Breaking Free From Restrictions:

This can serve as inspiration to break free from any restrictions we may face in our lives and reach new heights of success.

Despite the obstacles we may face, there is no limit to what we can achieve if we are willing to take risks and push ourselves out of our comfort zone!

8. Gaining insight and knowledge

They can signify that something greater is at work; one has the capacity to gain insight and knowledge from life experiences.

Additionally, they point to the importance of paying attention to subtle signs and signals which may indicate an upcoming change or transformation.

These coincidences can also be indicative of one’s ability to tap into their intuition and draw on the power of the universe – allowing them to make decisions that will bring about positive transformation in their life.

9. Achieving Spiritual Freedom:

Through the symbolism of the vulture, we can develop a sense of clarity about our purpose in life and strive to achieve spiritual freedom.

These majestic creatures remind us to never settle and to keep striving toward greatness.

We can use the lessons of these birds to help us push past our comfort zones and reach for a higher level of consciousness.

They remind us that we should never stop chasing our dreams and follow the path that leads to true freedom.

Turkey Vulture Symbolism

The turkey vulture is a particularly interesting example.

This species of vulture has long been associated with mortality and rebirth; often seen as an omen that can portend events to come.

Its scavenging habits further add to this association, making them symbols of transformation and renewal.

They are able to survive by devouring carrion – dead animals which would otherwise remain uneaten – thus allowing for a new life, in some sense, to be born out of something else’s passing.

This idea resonates deeply with people who have a subconscious desire for freedom and inner strength that enables us to overcome obstacles and hardships in our lives.

They represent a powerful lesson about how even tragedy can become an opportunity when we approach it with the right mindset.

In this way, the turkey symbolism resilience and faith in the face of uncertainty.

They remind us that no matter what life brings our way, we can find a way to turn it into something positive. With this symbolism in mind, let us look for strength and growth during times of difficulty, trusting that better days are ahead.

Black Vulture Symbolism

Black Vulture Symbolism

Despite the negative connotations associated with black vultures, their symbolism is both powerful and unique.

They represent a kind of strength in life that can only come from having to go through adversity—a message of resilience and fortitude even when faced with death.

Black vulture’s are often seen as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and courage while they also remind us that life will always bring challenges our way; yet we must maintain inner strength in order to survive them.

In this sense, they serve as strong reminders that no matter how dire the situation may be, hope never truly dies.

The indomitable spirit within all of us has what it takes to overcome any obstacle put before us; so too does the power of this black bird speak volumes about persevering against all odds.

As we transition into exploring the symbolism related to death and mortality, let’s remember that every challenge is an opportunity for growth if met with enough determination and faith.

Vulture Symbolism Death

Vulture Symbolism Death

The black vulture has long been associated with death, due to its ability to scavenge on decaying corpses.

It even brings knowledge of the afterlife in some cultures—the belief that it contains a soul as it moves between this world and the next.

This connection makes the bird an important symbol for those seeking insight into their own mortality or contemplating life beyond physical form.

As creatures who live off what others have discarded, vultures are masters at repurposing waste into something new and meaningful.

They remind us that we too have the power to make something from nothing – to take our experiences and create something better from them.

In doing so, we come closer to freedom from our pasts and open up possibilities for a brighter future.

Vulture Mythology

Vultures are powerful symbols in many cultures.

In Greek mythology, the vulture was a messenger of death who served Zeus and Hades; it symbolized power and domination over life and death.

The Egyptians believed that the bird brought them good luck, so they often used its image on their jewelry.

Norse culture considered them to be wise creatures, with the ability to foresee future events.

In Hinduism, they represent purity and liberation from attachment to material objects and desires.

Each of these traditions shares an understanding that the vulture is more than just another bird: it carries a message of both danger and opportunity for those willing to listen.

With this in mind, we can now turn our attention to what a vulture may signify in Native American symbolism.

What Does A Vulture Symbolize In Native American?

In Native American cultures, they represent a variety of spiritual and metaphysical meanings, such as a connection with our ancestors, reminding us that we all share similar roots and experiences.

What Does Vulture Eye Symbolize?

Vulture Eye symbolizes the freedom to soar above and gain a different perspective on life. It is a reminder to take a step back, survey our surroundings, and make decisions that will bring us closer to the life we truly desire.

What Do Vulture Feathers Symbolize?

Vulture feathers signify protection from evil forces and prosperity in many cultures.


Vultures have a dark, sinister symbolism that is seen in many cultures throughout the world.

They can represent death, destruction, and even foreshadowing of bad news.

Vulture symbolism has been used to create powerful stories, and it can be found in literature, the Bible, Buddhism, Native American culture, and more.

Understanding this bird’s symbolic meaning helps us gain a better appreciation for its power as an iconic figure.

In addition to representing death or destruction, vultures also represent higher spiritual wisdom due to their keen eyesight; they are often associated with intuition or clairvoyance.

As you can see, there is much more than meets the eye when interpreting the symbolism of a vulture.