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Eagle Meaning and Symbolism: A Comprehensive Guide

Eagle Meaning and Symbolism: A Comprehensive GuideUpdated on July 6, 2021 | Published on March 5, 2021
Reviewed by Christine Lord, MSW, LICSW, Spiritual Healer and Holistic Psychotherapist

Eagle Meaning

For many of us, the eagle is just a wild bird that preys on fishes, birds, and small mammals. Little do we know that it is a bird several traditions revere as a messenger of the creator. It has the unique ability to soar through high places unattainable by other winged creatures.

Because of this, Jung appropriately defined it as heights. Let’s find out the eagle meaning, symbolism, and how it attained its place as the supreme creature of the sky.

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Eagle Meaning and Symbolism
Eagle Meaning and Symbolism

Eagle Meaning


Eagle meaning symbolizes man’s connection with the divine spirit. The bird may signify a metamorphosis of the internal or the external according to the eagle species. It is the creature closest to the divine maker. If you find yourself drawn to an eagle in any way, there must be a reason behind it. Let’s dig deeper and find out!

Eagle Characteristics


Like other birds of prey, eagles have large hooked beaks and strong, powerful talons. They prey on birds and animals that are nearly the same size as themselves. In some cases, a few species have also attacked creatures larger than themselves. They have excellent eyesight, which helps them spot potential prey though they fly sky high. 

Eagles build their nests on high cliffs or the tops of tall trees and they lay as few as two or three eggs at a time. Female eagles are almost three times the size of their male counterparts. Since there is a massive difference in their size, the females often kill the smaller male eagles after hatching. A remarkable fact of this endangered species is that they prey while in flight, without even landing.

What does the Eagle Represent?


The mighty bird represents foresight, vision, manifestation, a higher perspective, strength, leadership, power, victory, and loyalty. They represent the connection between the physical and the spiritual to evolve the spiritual aspirations into reality. It is for this reason that eagles tend to appear in your dreams or reality when you have your eyes on a goal, vision, or challenge.

Eagle Symbolism and Eagle Spiritual Meaning


The eagle is associated with air and fire since it flies amidst the clouds and the sunlight. Psychological symbology defines it as “a mightily winged creature in the heavens of the mind”.

The eagle was a sacred bird for Zeus, the Greek god, who often transformed into an eagle to control the thunder and lightning. Because of this, it is used in connection with thunder and solar energy.

The number Four signifies a solid foundation in numerology. Since eagles have feet comprising four toes, they are known for their groundedness.

Since the eagle is the sole creature with the capability to reach great heights, it symbolizes man’s connection with the divine and is the carrier of the spirit’s messages.

The majestic creature and their loyalty to their mate is the epitome of commitment. In terms of love, relationships, and sacrifice, it is the creature we must learn from because they mate for life.  

Eagle also stands for renewal and rebirth. It symbolizes persistence, resilience, victory, and triumph for those going through a rough patch. The bird also represents opportunities, often the ones you have missed out on or ignored as impracticable.

Many traditions draw a connection between the eagle and Phoenix, the bird of the shining star. Sometimes, eagles are also said to represent the Persian sun god. Various tales of creation also have the eagle in close association with water. Because of its affinity with air, fire, water, and the spirit, the eagle is the epitome of balance.

As it soars high, in places attainable by none, the bird symbolizes an awareness of mysteries. These are the mysteries of life that are not seen except from a high point. Unlike the eagle, humans are unable to perceive life from a high vantage point. Therefore, the bird serves as a guide to direct people to the right path.

Eagle Meaning in Early Christianity

In early Christianity, the eagle represents hope and salvation. In the book of revelation, the mighty winged bird appears twice, and in both instances, it stood by God. The broad wings of the bird are a representation of the trust man has in God. Strangely, eagles can look steadfastly at the luminous sun while in flight, and this stands for the unfaltering faith of Christ. 

“You have seen yourselves what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to me.”

In the medieval days, the eagle was an emblem of salvation and expansion of the Christian faith.

Eagle Meaning in Norse Mythology

Here, an eagle perched atop Yggdrasil, the world tree. Ratatoskr, the squirrel, was the messenger between the eagle and the serpent-dragon, who presides at the foot of Yggdrasil.

Eagle Meaning in Hindu Mythology

In the Rigveda, the eagle is the carrier of the ambrosial plant from heaven to the earth. Garuda, the bird with features like the eagle, was the vahana or the vehicle of Vishnu, the Hindu God. 

Eagle Meaning in Islam

In Islamic beliefs, the bird is a symbol of nobility, dominance, and ferocity.

Eagle Meaning in Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, images and miniatures of the bird adorn the northern and eastern sides of a house. They invite luck and success in business ventures, peace, love, and commitment. However, for maximum impact, the images should be placed to look like they are approaching your abode. They also act as guardian angels that protect the premises against negative energies.

Eagle Meaning in the Celtics

The Celtics considered the eagle as one of the oldest creatures and a symbol of wisdom and age. To them, the bird stands for authority, strength, and focus. They believe that it transmits intelligence and skills to remain focused. It was an emblem of higher thinking due to its sharp appearance and mental abilities. It was even used as a guide while training their tribes to sharpen their minds.

The eagle is also notable for how it seeks its prey and how swift it is in its approach and strategy. The Celtics believe that they can apply the same method in approaching their life, dreams, and challenges. They also noted how fearless the bird is in the face of obstacles and believed humans should learn from them.

Eagle Meaning in Native American Traditions

Native Americans use animals in their tales and storytelling, out of which the eagle is the most revered. Since time immemorial, Native Americans have associated the mighty creature with vision, wisdom, courage, and strength. According to them, the bird is closer to the creator than humans.

The eagle flies above us and has been here longer than we have and knows God better than we do“.

For them, an eagle represents the responsibilities for one’s own actions and healing power. The bald and the golden eagle are sacred in their tradition and revered for their spiritual presence. Since the bird can fly the highest, the Native Americans believe it to be the creature closest to the maker. They believed that it carries their prayers and messages to the Great Spirit of the spiritual world. They even attached spiritual power to the feathers and bones of eagles. Because of this reason, they hold eagle feathers during their prayers, religious rituals, and council meetings.

Eagles have been a symbol of hope and salvation for different cultures and traditions. According to a myth, an eagle brings the sunlight beneath its wings and spreads it to reveal the light.

Some Native American tribes believe the bird to be the ruler of the sky. Like a noble ruler, it creates a path between the sky and the land. In other words, it builds a connection between the physical and the spiritual world.

Eagle Meaning in Native Indian Culture

For the native Indians, the eagle symbolizes leadership, vision, and strength.

Eagle Meaning for Ancient Greeks

Ancient Greeks connected the bird to virility and masculine strength. Sighting a flying eagle was for them a message from the spirit, foreshadowing adversity.

Eagle Meaning for the Egyptians

For the Egyptians, the bird is a symbol of the sun and the spirit. It is a sign of overcoming limitations and restraints to reach spiritual awareness.

Eagle Meaning in Welsh Culture

The country of Wales associates the cry of an eagle with the bird of a hero.

In folklore, Culhwch had to accomplish the task of finding a missing child to win the hand of his beloved in marriage. He came back with the lost child to claim for his beloved. Apparently, it was a wise eagle who helped him accomplish the complicated task.

Eagle Body Parts Symbolism


Eagle Eyes

No animal has its eyesight as keen as the eagle. They represent perspectives from a higher point and intuitive perceptions. The watchful eyes of the eagle also stand for the omnipresent spirit.

Eagle Coat of Arms

Many powerful nations have eagles with wings spread wide as their national emblems. It represents the protection of the people or territory, expansion, and success.

Eagle Claws

The eagle claws on the great seal of the United States stands for war. The presence of the outstretched wings and the claws represent the duality of peace and war. For a nation to prosper, expansion is necessary, and for that to happen, the need to protect and indulge in combat becomes inevitable.

Eagle Wings

Though most cultural beliefs associate the bird with masculine energy, some cultures relate the eagle with female power. The wings of eagles symbolize the balance between the male and the female. It can also mean the need to rely on the strength of one another.

Eagle Feathers

Interestingly, eagle feathers are as sacred and honored as the bird itself in many cultures. In Native American traditions, feathers represent the bird. Eagle feathers are used to make majestic headdresses. They were used by chiefs of tribes and warriors before going into battles. Each feather represents an incident of valor and the more feathers a headdress has, the more revered he is. Shamans also used eagle feathers to imbibe the astounding characteristics of the supreme bird.

Eagle feathers are to the Native Americans what wedding rings are to us in the present times. Since the feathers symbolize life-long union, Native American grooms give feathers to their brides. No two eagle feathers can be similar, except for the twin feathers on the same bird. In the past, a man heads off to the battlefield with one of the twin feathers while his bride holds on to the other.

Eagle feathers are also used for the purification purposes of the Cherokee natives. Though it comes from the same wings, a single eagle feather has two colors. The duality of two colors in the same feather represents the light and dark, male and female, life and death, etc. The feather itself is a symbol of balance. 

Baby Eagle Symbolism


They stand for new ideas, opportunities, and inspiration. Baby eagles and eagle eggs also mean the new ventures you have taken up will be successful.

Adult Eagle Symbolism


Adult eagles symbolize confidence, strength, courage, and manifestation. It can also mean the power and determination to tap into unexplored realms. It also means victory, expansion, dominance, and leadership.

Eagle Spirit Animal


The spirit animal is a messenger from your higher consciousness. Having this mighty bird as your spirit guide means you must look into the inner you. It also indicates that you must reconnect with the spiritual aspect of your life. Very often, the eagle shows up as your spirit guide when you are in the face of challenges. Look into your life and how you want it to be. Trust your instinct and let it be the guiding force. When you do so, life will present to you opportunities that you thought were not realistic.

Despite being a creature that soars high through the thick clouds, the eagle has a strong bond with the earth. Its exceptionally accurate eyesight helps in spotting prey while in flight. It may also mean taking a broader viewpoint of your life or situation while keeping your eyes keen on opportunities.

Those who have eagles as their spirit animal are grounded and resilient. They are undaunted by the challenges life throws at them and marches forward with confidence and determination. 

Eagles are the chief of all winged creatures. With their powerful hooked beaks and keen eyes, they give an air of importance, authority, leadership, and dominance. People with eagle spirit animals will be achievers and successful leaders. For them, the sky is the limit, and nothing will stop them from moving towards unbounded success. The eagle is a bird that takes on challenges courageously. Similarly, those with eagle animal spirits will not give up until they have tackled the complexities of life.

If your animal spirit is the eagle, it is an indication of a significant turn of events. You may need to take a step back to implore your mind and consciousness for the changes that are to happen.

The appearance of the bird in reality or dream is a clear indication of inspiration. Sometimes, we are our own stumbling blocks. With the eagle as your guide, you will be able to push yourself and reach heights that you once thought were unattainable. The mighty bird is a herald for new beginnings.

You are a healer if the eagle is your spirit animal because it is associated with healing power.

How to Know your Animal Spirit is the Eagle


If the frequency of you encountering this bird is a little above usual, the bird is likely to be your spirit guide. Sometimes our mind and body get spiritually activated after coming in contact with a person, place, or object. If you feel the same while watching an eagle, it is another sign that the eagle maybe your spirit guide.

Eagle Power Animal


The eagle represents wisdom, vision, freedom, intuition, creativity, and strength. If you are in the face of conflicts of the mind or body, you may want to call upon the eagle as your power animal. When you are unsure of your decision, you can seek the eagle as a guide to overcome tough times.

The vision of the eagle is eight times more accurate than those of humans. And this will help you see the past, present, and future and talk and act accordingly. The bald eagle energy gives you the medicine to help you speak and communicate effectively at the right time.

Eagle Totem Animal


If you are born with the eagle totem, you have the element of air in you. Especially those with the bald eagle totem yearn to experience and be a part of everything phenomenal. They spread out their wings in every challenge and adventure life place before them. Since an eagle flies higher than any other bird, people with the eagle totem can reach higher successes than others.

The eagle flies high up in the heavens. Yet, it stays so close and grounded to the earth. This is a unique quality of the bird, and people with eagle animal totems have leadership characteristics and make great teachers.

After ruling the sky with wings spread out wide, the eagle comes back and gracefully lands on the earth. Likewise, people with eagle totem will never forget their roots, however high their achievements are. Though they soar high and implore into their spiritual awareness, they never denounce reality. They are extremely good at maintaining balance in all dimensions of life.

They are also people with creative power and are insightful. They tend to see more than others and offer solutions to problems overlooked by others. Their perspectives and thought processes may sometimes appear daunting to others.

When they have their eyes set on a goal, they approach it with a strong will. They are high-functioning because of their determination to accomplish their goals.

The Symbolism of Various Eagles Species


There are over 60 different types of eagle species scattered across the globe. According to their kinds, you will find variations in their color, size, strength, and feeding habits. Interestingly, the messages that they bring you will also differ from species to species.

1. Bald Eagle Symbolism

With its white head and dark brown body, the bald eagle represents manifestation, strength, action, and victory. This particular species often show up when you need courage, strength, and a drive to march ahead. 

It is an eagle species that is native only to the country of North America. No wonder the bald eagle is America’s national bird and its most iconic bird species. It is actually a sea eagle and is often sighted along with large water bodies.

2. Gray Eagle Symbolism

It stands for dreams, imagination, intuition, lucid dreaming, and emotional connections.

3. White Eagle Symbolism

White eagles are a symbol of purity, truth, and connection with the Great Spirit.

4. Fish Eagle Symbolism

Fish Eagle is a sign of spiritual prosperity, inspiration, intuition, and luck.

5. Snake Eagle Symbolism

The snake eagle is a carrier of the energy of Mars, such as conflicts for dominance and supremacy. It may also be a representation of political tensions and triumph in war.

6. Giant Forest Eagle Symbolism

They symbolize financial success and domestic security.

7. Black Eagle Symbolism

Black eagles represent metamorphosis, new beginnings, and evolution.

8. Booted Eagle Symbolism

Booted eagle has to do with overcoming a struggle that has been dragging on for a long time.

9. Golden Eagle Symbolism

This type represents inspiration, optimism, and communication. Instead of the external, it is symbolic of internal expansion. Golden eagles mostly show up when you need clarification and guidance on which path to take in life.

Eagle Medicine


To this day, some Native American traditions use eagle feathers for purification and healing purposes. The objective of these purposes is to achieve a mindset perceived through personal visions, understanding, and awareness. For the said purposes, they adopt a practice called Eagle Medicine, which is the power of the Divine Spirit.

Eagle Encounters


If you encounter an eagle, your higher consciousness may be indicating something. Let’s find out the interpretations of the different types of encounters.

1. What does it mean when an eagle visits?

When this happens, pay heed to your goals and aspirations. We have dreams and achievements that we want to accomplish, but we often get overwhelmed by the big picture. The bird shows up when you have the gift of manifestation but lacks the courage to cater to your higher calling.

If an eagle visits you at this point, it is to encourage and strengthen you to go forward. Its presence energizes confidence, thoughts, ideas and inspires you to move ahead towards your vision. So the next time you get a visit from an eagle, you know what to do. Their appearance is the spark to your flame.

2. What does it mean when an eagle crosses your path?

An eagle crossing your path is an indication of overthinking and overstressing. If you are at a crossroads about a situation, have faith in your heart.

However, the bird crossing your way has another interpretation. It may be warning you not to avoid challenges by taking the easy route. Probably, it is reminding you that it is only through challenges that growth takes place. And as Albert Einstein quoted, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity”.

3. What does it mean if you come across a dead eagle?

A dead eagle is symbolic of growth and evolution. If you encounter one, you may need to let go of a few situations, people, or places. Though they might have served you in the past, the dead eagle may be an indication that you should set yourself free from them.

Death, which means a transformation here, has to occur at some point in your life to find yourself. And as the saying goes, “Endings are the beginning of something new”.

4. What does it mean if an eagle flies overhead?

When this happens, take a step back and look at your situation from a broader perspective. It may be an indication to step beyond the boundaries and attachments that holds you close to the circumstance. A broader perspective may provide you with the solutions and possibilities that you had overlooked.

An eagle overhead may also indicate that spiritual shifts are happening, though you feel stuck and defeated in life. It is showing up before you to strengthen your mind and to be courageous. The universe is telling you that there are bigger plans you are unaware of.

5. Hear the Call/Cry of an Eagle Meaning

If you have been pushing off major life-changing decisions to the back seat, now is the time to take action. The call or cry of an eagle is symbolic of a call to action. Just as a fight begins after a blow of the whistle, the eagle sound indicates that you must brace yourself and take charge of what you have been planning to do.

6. Find the feather(s) of an Eagle Meaning

Feathers are messages of encouragement, resilience, persistence, and faith. Beginnings are never easy. Lack of confidence, self-doubts, and self-imposed limitations often pull you down. If you have begun working towards a goal, the feathers of an eagle are what you need to move ahead towards victory.

7. An Eagle in Combat with a Bull/Lion

If you find an eagle combating a bull or a lion, it signifies a conflict between your spiritual and physical aspects.

8. An Eagle with a Snake in its Talons

Eagles and snakes often co-existed in different myths and folklore. An eagle, with a snake clench in its talons, means the duality of the two extremes.  It symbolizes the coexistence of light and the dark, good and its counterpart, evil. Here, the eagle symbolizes light and goodness, while the serpent stands for darkness and evil.

9. Landing of a Bald Eagle Meaning

If you encounter a bald eagle landing, it means you will most probably receive an important message from someone. 

Eagle Meaning in Dreams


If you see an eagle in your dream, it represents freedom, courage, and power. Just as encountering the bird, in reality, has different interpretations, dreaming of it also has. It may be an indication of negative energy or vice-versa, depending on the emotion of your dream. 

If you are anxious while dreaming of the bird, it represents poor decision-making, submission, and suppression. On the flip side, if you find yourself joyful while dreaming of an eagle, it means you have the potential to conquer the challenges life throws at you.

Some of the most common eagle dreams are:

  1. In your dream, if you catch an eagle, you should be observant and cautious of others around you. Someone may be trying to harm you. Not everyone is your well-wisher. The bird is warning you to stay on your toes.
  2. Dreaming of having the bird in your bedroom or workspace may mean you should reflect on your present predicament. It could mean a lack of productivity that is stopping you from exploring your full potential.
  3. You turning into an eagle in your dream could be a foreshadowing of the awakening of your untapped strengths. It may mean a renewal of yourself and your spiritual connection.
  4. If you dream of eating an eagle in your dream, it reflects your unwavering will and the determination to succeed in life. With willpower as strong as yours, nothing can stand between you and your life goals. 
  5. When you dream of someone else killing an eagle, it is a sign that you have to turn over a new leaf. Most likely, you will find yourself in a situation that necessitates you to drop everything. You might have to leave all and move on to something good.
  6. Feeding an eagle could mean honing your skills to excel, expand and reach higher realms in terms of your career.
  7. If you dream of an eagle soaring high in the sky, it means you need to pay heed to your intuition or your inner voice.
  8. When you watch an eagle flying high gracefully, the dream symbolizes peace and happiness. During this time, you will succeed in whatever you do. Do you have goals that you have been putting off for another time? If yes, this phase of life may be what you have been yearning for.
  9. Have you seen two eagles mate in your dream? If the answer is yes, you have or are about to reap the benefits of your hard work. You have attained the spiritual goal for which you have been struggling to accomplish.
  10. Have you been longing to tick a few destinations off your bucket list? If you had soared through the clouds, sitting on an eagle’s back, it symbolizes a trip that you will undertake soon.

For more types of eagle dreams & to know their meanings, click here.

Eagle Emblems and Tattoos


The mighty bird is symbolic of strength, resilience, power, leadership, and dominance. Throughout history, eagles have had their place in national, governmental, and religious spheres. It symbolizes the expansion of empires, victorious pursuits, and unanticipated heights of successes. The reason why it is associated with the development of territories and governments is remarkable.

If you look at the bald eagle, you will notice its white head and tail and dark brown body, a perfect balance of the two colors. For a nation to prosper, there must be a well-maintained balance. Without this, conflicts and chaos will arise within the country and the people themselves.

Powerful nations, including the United States, have the eagle as a symbol of their national emblem. Since the United States of America has adopted the bald eagle as their national bird, eagle tattoos are popular there. Eagle tattoo designs vary in meanings for different nations and cultures.

While some have it to signify purity and beauty, it symbolizes spiritual awareness for the Native Americans. Since they believe the bird to be the messenger of the creator, they wear eagle tattoos to showcase their interconnection with the Great Spirit. On the other hand, some have it as a driving force to rise to greater heights.

Double-Headed Eagle Symbolism


The double-headed eagle is believed to relay the messages of the Holy creator to the people. Its double-headedness is a representation of duality and the working together of the spiritual and the material. While one head of the eagle stands for the spiritual aspect, the other represents the material. 

Today, several nations have adopted the double-headed eagle as a symbol of dominion and power. Though it has gained widespread popularity, its connection with Russia is the strongest. The first-ever recorded appearance of the sacred sign dates back to the political scenario of 15th century Russia. Ivan III, who reigned during the latter half of the 15th century, introduced the black double-headed eagle as the official emblem of the state until 1917. However, in 1992 the Russian Federation restored the double-headed eagle as the emblem.

Bald Eagle Symbolism


The name Bald Eagle comes from Piebald, which means black and white patches. Contrary to what its name suggests, bald eagles have heads full of hair. This species which stands for liberation, courage, and strength, is the indigenous bird of North America. The bird symbolizes release from the clutches of bondage.

It also stands for victory, inspiration, pride, and royalty. A sighting or an encounter with a bald eagle could mean you should move out of your comfort zones if you yearn for greater things in life.

Golden Eagle Symbolism


Golden eagles stand for freedom and brevity, especially during difficult phases of life. If you encounter this eagle species, it indicates that there is a higher purpose for your existence. Very often, it is a higher calling that is still unaware to you. People often find themselves unable to figure out the purpose of their existence.

At this juncture, meditating on the image of a golden eagle may give you clarity. This particular species is notable for its energy to activate the spirit. It will help you strengthen your potential and rise to your maximum. This powerful bird is the national symbol of several nations, including Mexico.

American Eagle Symbolism


The bald eagle first made its appearance as a symbol of America in 1776. After which, the secretaries of congress got into a bitter feud on what the national emblem should be. On June 20, 1782, the American bald eagle with outspread wings earned a place on the seal of the United States. This day later came to be officially known as American Eagle Day. And since then, it has served the country as its national emblem. It appeared on the flag, currency notes, government institutions, and official documents.

Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States, was against the adoption of the bald eagle. According to him, the turkey is more deserving to be the national emblem.

Closing Thoughts

To sum up, eagle meaning is about power, wisdom, higher consciousness, and man’s association with the spirit. It is one of the endangered species, and coming across one is not a commonplace happening. If you ever have an eagle sighting, you should implore what it may mean. The interpretation may differ according to the species and how you see them. Nonetheless, it is crystal clear that the bird is trying to relay a message from the spiritual world.