If you live in an area where pelicans are prominent then crossing paths with one can be quite a regular occurrence. It can be easy to take these encounters for granted, but we’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t because there are spiritual meanings behind them.
For those who don’t live in close proximity to pelicans, one crossing your path may stop you in your tracks. You may get your phone out to take a picture or move away because you’re scared. You should consider doing neither because, again, these encounters may symbolize something that you can resonate with.
Today, we are going to be examining just what it means when a pelican crosses your path, as well as looking at some general symbolism surrounding these magnificent birds.
Pelicans are symbolized in various ways by different cultures depending on whereabouts you are in the world. However, they are probably most commonly seen as symbols of selflessness and sacrifice. This stems from an old myth that said a female pelican cut herself to allow her blood to resurrect her dead chicks.
Those who follow Christianity see pelicans as sacred birds and point to the story of the mother pelican who sacrificed her life to save her chicks as a reason to believe that pelicans possess similar qualities to Jesus Christ. This is because they believe that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to save the world.
For ancient Egyptians, the pelican is a symbol of death and the afterlife and as such is often seen drawn on the sides of ancient Egyptian tombs. In Ancient Egypt, pelicans were also sometimes believed to be spiritual birds that could send messages to and from the afterlife.
In addition to these cultural beliefs, there are some more general symbolic beliefs when it comes to pelicans. These include:
For those who believe in spirituality and the spirit realm, there are many people out there with either a pelican spirit animal, a pelican totem animal or a pelican power animal. These spirit guides are there to help guide the individual through life and to help them overcome certain obstacles.
What Does It Mean When A Pelican Crosses Your Path?
Now that we understand the symbolism surrounding pelicans, it will be easier to come to terms with what it could mean to cross paths with one. Here are six possible symbolic meanings for a pelican crossing your path.
1. A sign to be more selfless
If you see one pelican, or a flock of them, crossing your path then you could take it as a sign to be more selfless. As we’ve seen one of the most popular ways in which people view pelicans is all to do with selflessness and helping others, both due to how they act in the present day and tales from ancient folklore.
Perhaps you have been focussing too much on yourself in your personal life and neglecting those around you. It’s easily done with the pressures that come with living in modern life but use this pelican encounter as motivation to start doing things for other people as well as yourself, particularly those closest to you.
This doesn’t have to be grand gestures such as donating thousands of pounds to charity but it can be small things such as helping your partner out more with certain jobs around the house or helping your children with their homework. The small things go a long way.
2. A reassuring sign of safety
When a pelican goes hunting in water, it will catch the fish in its beak and then drain the excess water using its pouch before swallowing the fish whole. This pouch is essentially used as a secure storage box while the water is drained before they can enjoy the fish the way they want to. An encounter with a pelican, and its fascinating beak and pouch, can be a sign of the importance of safety.
Maybe you are considering a new job offer in your career that provides you with more money but less job stability. If you have a family to provide for then the value of this stability can not be understated. Perhaps this is a sign to stick with the safer job.
Alternatively, maybe it’s a sign that you need to keep a closer eye on your loved ones and offer them more protection.
3. A reminder of the importance of teamwork
Pelicans are often seen traveling together in flocks, and this is because they are animals that like to work together. Whether they are migrating to a different area or simply going on a hunt, you will rarely see a pelican on their own. Even when they breed, they do it in large groups called colonies!
A pelican’s spirit understands the importance of teamwork and, therefore, if a flock of them cross your path then your spirit should also begin to place important value on the idea of teamwork and unity. You may isolate yourself from others for a variety of reasons but you will find that reaching out and asking others for help on certain tasks is more rewarding.
Maybe you already are someone who enjoys working in teams. If so, use this encounter as a sign to consider whether all members of the team are functioning as they should be. Pelicans need every member of the colony to do their bit and so will you.
4. A sign of a loved one visiting you
In Ancient Egypt, as we’ve already learned, pelicans were seen as symbols of death and drawings of them were featured on the walls of tombs. They believed that pelicans would provide safe passage through the underworld to those who died in order to get through to the afterlife. On top of this, birds in general are often thought to possess the souls of those who have died.
With that in mind, consider the possibility that when a pelican crosses your path it could be a deceased loved one coming to send you a message. If someone close to you has recently died then this could provide you with a great degree of comfort while you grieve the loss.
If you haven’t lost anyone recently then it could just be that a deceased loved one is coming to send you a message of support. Perhaps you’re going through a tough time in your life and a pick-me-up from someone who always used to be there for you while they were alive is just what you need.
5. A sign that you’re heading in the right direction
One of the reasons why pelicans travel in flocks is so that if one of them gets lost from the group they can easily find their way back to the right course by locating the large flock. Therefore, if you see a flock of pelicans on your path then it should be seen as a sign that you are heading in the right direction.
This can be taken literally or metaphorically. Literally, it could mean that you are on the right path to the sun. Pelicans prefer warmer climates so if they are all traveling in a certain direction then it is likely because they are migrating from a cold place to a hot place.
Metaphorically, you could take this as a sign that you are making the right decisions in your life. Perhaps you’ve recently made a big decision that has set your life on a completely different course. It’s only natural to second guess big decisions like these but if you have crossed paths with a group of pelicans then it should be used as reassurance that you have done the right thing.
6. A sign to stop being greedy
Finally, it’s important to recognize the importance of humility if you ever cross paths with a pelican. Emotions such as greed and lust are only going to bring you negative feelings in the long run so it’s important to erase them from your brain. Instead, focus on being humble and modest like these spectacular birds.
If you have been guilty of being selfish and greedy in your personal life then it’s never too late to seek forgiveness from anyone you have hurt. The key though is to work on yourself and to become a better version so that these people know that your words aren’t just empty promises.
We hope that you now have a deeper understanding of the symbolism surrounding pelicans and what it could mean if you cross paths with one. One of the most important points to remember when it comes to pelican encounters is the importance of teamwork and selflessness since it will likely be a flock that you encounter.
Aside from that, enjoy the beauty of these birds and take something positive away from seeing them.