When dawn breaks, the rooster crows and his call echoes around the mountains, valleys, and plains.
Roosters, or male chickens, with their impressive plumage, long flowing tails, and red combs, are one of the true rockstars of the avian world.
Throughout history, the cockerel’s warrior-like persona, vigilance, dominance, and swagger, have captured the imagination of all who encounter him, and have become synonymous with masculinity and virility.
But is there more to the rooster than just his flashy exterior?
And are the common cultural associations with sexuality and aggression the same as the spiritual significance of these birds?
Perhaps the rooster has been reduced to a stereotype through pop references like the funky chicken dance, and the Kellogs cornflakes brand?
In this article, we look at the deep spiritual meaning behind these magnificent birds and explain what their appearance of them in your life and dreams could symbolize.
Rooster Spirit Animal
The rooster is typified by its self-confidence. In spoken language, art, and literature, the rooster has been used to describe and symbolize prowess and swagger, particularly in the masculine sphere.
If you are someone who identifies with the rooster as your spirit animal, you no doubt possess an out-going and self-assured personality.
In matters of work and career, you are almost certainly drawn to leadership roles, and have great ambition and drive.
Just like the rooster, you like to make your voice heard in meetings and conferences, and speak in public with confidence.
However, learning to listen could be the key to unlocking your full potential. Your eagerness to succeed and prove your worth must not override your ability to care for and about your flock.
When it comes to relationships, you are a confident lover but will find loyalty and monogamy a challenge.
The world will label you as a ‘player’ and maybe even praise you for your virility in your younger years, but roosters must mature like all creatures.
Learning how to channel all your passion and enthusiasm into a single, meaningful relationship will be the best thing you ever do.
Rooster Totem Animal
As a totem animal, the rooster has a strong connection to the rising sun and the dawning of a new day.
Tribes and communities have called upon the rooster totem to bring health and abundance to their crops, and ensure that they enjoy a happy harvest.
The symbolic leap is not difficult to make when you consider how the rooster heralds the rising of the sun each morning.
Therefore, as well as plentiful crops, the rooster totem brings optimism and hope.
A fresh start is a fresh opportunity to live and thrive.
In actual fact, roosters crow at dawn even if the sun has not yet risen thanks to their internal body clocks.
So reliable and regimented is their crowing, that for many centuries, roosters acted as communal alarm clocks for all those in their vicinity.
Even today, in rural villages and tribes around the world, the rooster’s morning crow is a shared wake-up call.
Farmers and workers know that the day must begin their daily chores when they hear the rooster, and as such, its cry has come to symbolize hard work and diligence.
Many communities place the image of a rooster on their weathervanes in order to invoke its qualities of responsibility and reliability, as well as to protect and look out for the townsfolk.
Rooster Power Animal
As a power animal, the rooster can be called upon to bolster vigilance and alertness when those qualities are needed most.
You see, the rooster crows in order to assert territorial dominance and ward off any imposters, and also to warn the rest of the flock of danger.
As there is only ever one rooster per flock of chickens, he must stay sharp and shrewd in order to adequately protect them.
As such, roosters have more developed eyesight than human beings and are capable of seeing colors that we have no concept of.
They can see UV rays and have three eyelids that can be closed separately in order to filter the light appropriately.
The placement of their eyes on the side of their heads means that they enjoy a 310-degree field of vision.
And their sense of hearing is just as well adapted. They can hear low-frequency sounds extremely well, but don’t hear high-frequency sounds at all.
This means they are able to hear the flapping of a hawk’s wings on the wind but do not deafen themselves with their own crowing.
It is no wonder that they can bring heightened vigilance, alertness, and powers of protection to all who call upon their powers.
Native American Symbolism
In Native American tradition, the rooster has been seen as a powerful symbol of protection and diligence.
Medicines have been made from the rooster to aid healing with battle wounds, and also to help in matters of sexual performance and virility.
The rooster enters into a fascinating courtship with a hen in order to mate with her, and Native American men saw the bird as a symbol of sexual confidence and prowess as a result.
The rooster is actually said to ‘waltz’ before a hen in order to hypnotize her, calm her, and seduce her. The rooster totem was therefore often used as a lucky charm for courtships and matchmakers.
In ancient times, roosters were used as a target in local games and celebrations.
They were sometimes strapped to stakes or buried up to their heads in the ground so that local men could race and fight to retrieve them.
In this way, the rooster became synonymous with masculine competitiveness and playfulness.
Speaking of competitiveness, in Celtic tradition the rooster was seen as a symbol of war and aggression. This is because roosters were bred as fighting animals for many, many centuries.
Long before bears or dogs were sent to fight in a ring, roosters were being pitted against each other. Indeed, the word ‘cockpit’ comes from this very tradition.
Roosters are naturally aggressive towards each other as they live in flocks of one male and many females.
Therefore, other males are regarded as competitors and rivals, rather than as companions or buddies.
People who reared cocks for fighting capitalized on this natural instinct and exploited it for cheap entertainment.
Razors were strapped to the rooster’s feet and a baying crowd roared as they kicked and slashed at each other.
This bloody sport is now illegal in most places, but in Celtic communities, the association lives on.
Roosters are thought to herald violence and aggression rather than optimism and light.
In all four books of the new testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, roosters are mentioned in reference to the passing of time.
Inevitability and mortality are tied up in their symbolism, and they are seen as extremely ‘earthy’ creatures, as opposed to creatures of the divine.
In the bible, the gospels say how Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him by the time the cock had crowed three times.
As such, the image of the cockerel became associated with the denial of Christ and with man’s fallibility.
Rooster In African Folklore
In African folklore, roosters were seen as highly sexed animals who were adept at mating, asserting dominance, and reproducing.
Their feathers, combs, and feet were all kept as lucky charms and powerful indicators of masculine prowess.
Just as the rooster was the leader of the flock, the leaders of the community would wear headdresses and neck chains decorated with their plumage.
Their blood was thought to assist fertility and virility, and to extend the lineage of a family or tribe through reproduction.
Therefore, roosters were often sacrificed at ceremonies and rituals, and their blood was drunk as medicine.
Far Eastern Rooster Symbolic Meanings
In Chinese tradition and the zodiac, the year of the rooster comes round once every 12 years.
Those born in the year of the rooster have the lucky numbers 5, 7, and 8, and the lucky colors gold, brown, and yellow.
They should avoid the numbers 1, 3, and 9, and the colors greens and white.
In Chinese symbolism, the rooster represents good luck and financial success.
It is associated with qualities of bravery, violence, and confidence, and those who identify with the rooster are thought to be great strategists.
Being visited by a rooster in your dreams could indicate a number of things depending on the situation and behavior of the rooster.
Seeing a rooster strutting around the peripheries of your dream could mean that a competitor is threatening you.
Perhaps there is a colleague or rival who is closing in on something that you want to protect?
Since roosters are highly defensive and territorial, their image in your subconscious could mean your own hackles are up.
A rooster running in your dreams could symbolize lust and desire, and an excitement for future relationships.
If you are feeling particularly passionate or lusty you should not be surprised to see the rooster make an appearance in your subconscious. He is telling you to have fun and make love.
A rooster crowing in the darkness could indicate that you are feeling anxious in your day-to-day life.
Whether you are anxious about those you love, or about your own personal journey, the heightened alertness of the midnight crowing shows that you need to destress.
If you dream of a cockerel landing on your garden fence or doorstep, it is thought to indicate that you will soon receive an unexpected visitor.
Dreaming of a rooster crowing at sunrise is generally thought to be indicative of a happy and positive mental state.
You are feeling passionate and hopeful for the future, and your prospects are looking good.
Dreaming of a rooster who doesn’t crow, or who tries to fly without success could indicate that you are feeling overworked.
Roosters are constantly on guard and with that comes a level of exhaustion. If you are feeling burdened by responsibility for others you may well spy a flying rooster in your dreams.
Rooster Tattoo Meaning
It is mainly men who tend to opt for rooster tattoos, although some women choose to have them as well.
An individual’s reasons for getting a rooster tattoo will differ from person to person, but here are some common reasons why they are popular.
Guidance – travelers and even sailors sometimes get roosters tattooed on their forearms to offer guidance on the road.
Though roosters are birds that stay close to home, they are seen by many as good luck charms and protection from harm.
Their grounding qualities and sense of duty to the flock, make the rooster a moral guide rather than a geographical one.
Vigilance – getting a rooster tattooed on your chest or shoulder is often seen as a symbol of vigilance and alertness.
Having their keen eyes tattooed on your body, close to your own head, acts as a reminder to be cautious and shrewd.
Protection – a tattoo of a crowing cockerel is thought to bring protection, not only to the person whose body it is on but to all whom they love and cherish.
Confidence – of course, many men choose a rooster tattoo as a sign of confidence, leadership, and self-assurance.
The image is highly masculine and is often placed in a part of the body that is visible to everyone like the forearm or neck.
Sexual Prowess – a tattoo of a rooster’s head and comb are often indicative of sexual confidence and a certain level of ‘playboy’ charm.
Those who choose it know all too well what message they are hoping to subtly convey… their expertise in the bedroom!
Aggression – the image of two fighting roosters, or indeed one rooster in an attacking stance, is often chosen as a symbol of dominance and even aggression.
Men who want to assert their own dominance and warn others of their violent nature sometimes get this tattoo to appear tough.
Rooster Symbolic Meaning
- Sexual prowess
- New dawn / fresh start
And there you have it. The rock n’ roll rooster is not just a symbol of sexual prowess and masculine confidence, it also symbolizes responsibility, protection, optimism, and duty.
These beautiful birds have hidden depths that we do not give them enough credit for, and those who are lucky enough to connect spiritually with them can benefit hugely from the example they set.
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