What does a hummingbird symbolize?” That’s what someone asked me after doing the animal symbolism exercise in my creative journal, The Book of Dreams Come True.
One of the journal exercises helps you discover the animals that symbolize your own best qualities and encourages you to think about your personal animal meanings and associations. I asked the person, “What do you think is the a hummingbird’s spiritual meaning?” and we had a great conversation.
But I realize that it’s also fun to learn about traditional animal symbolism and facts about animals that suggest spiritual meanings. While “spirit animals” are specific to certain original American cultures and shouldn’t be appropriated by anyone else, all cultures ponder the symbolic meanings of animals, plants, and other natural phenomena. Animal symbolism been used for medieval coats of arms, Christianity and other faith traditions, sports teams, tattoos with personal meanings…and even the stock market, in the case of “bull” and “bear” markets.
As some of you know, I love investigating symbolism like this, and I think it can be interesting research for writers and artists. So I’ll start with hummingbird symbolism, both because I got a question about it and because we often have hummingbird visits on our patio.