The Dove has seemingly inexhaustible sources of symbolic flavor throughout most histories, cultures and myth.
Doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood because of their unique ability to produce their own milk. Another confirmation about maternal attributes, as well as self-sacrifice for the sake of their offspring, is that they cease foraging for food just before their babies are born. This temporary starvation ensures a purer milk formulation for their offspring.
Historically, dove symbolism is associated with several mother figures:
- The Mother Mary in Christian legend (care, devotion, purity and peace)
- Ishtar in Assyrian culture (promise of hope and salvation)
- Aphrodite and Venus (viewing the soul or a sense of higher love)
The softly lulling coos of the dove are testimony to a divinely calming presence among us. In fact, their soft vocalizations and docile appearance enhances their interpretation as celestial messengers – or the symbolic link between earth and air. The dove is a symbol of the soul’s release from its earth-bound duty.
On earth, they are intimately aware of their environment and demonstrate a highly developed sense of presence. As creatures of both the earth and the air, doves serve as liaisons between intuitive thought and common reality. This ability to move between two worlds (sky and earth), bird totems are uniquely posed to funnel higher knowledge down to our human conscious awareness. They link intangible knowing (thought, dreams, intuition) with physical practicality (hearth, home, security). Doves represent the balance between thought (air) and matter (earth).
Bridging this link between the higher mind and the more practical level in which we live makes the dove a perfect guide for dream interpretation as well. Bird totems offer inspiration combined with a grounding element to make new ideas implementable.
The dove represents peace of the deepest kind. It soothes and quiets our worried or troubled thoughts, enabling us to find renewal in the silence of the mind. The dove’s singing is most prevalent when the veils between the physical and spiritual worlds are thought to be at their thinnest – first thing in the morning and last thing at night – again representing a link between two divergent domains.
Doves teach us that, regardless of external circumstances, peace is always a touch a way – within us – and always available. It is said that if a dove flies into your life, you are being asked to go within and release your emotional disharmony. The dove helps us to rid the trauma stored deep within our cellular memory. Doves carry the energy of promise. When inner conflicts are banished from our thoughts, words and feelings, goodness awaits.
The dove’s roles as spirit messenger, maternal symbol and liaison impart an inner peace that helps us to go about our lives calmly and with purpose.