Seagull: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

Perched across the coasts of almost every country on earth, there are few birds quite so common as the gull. Despite their wide range, the characteristics of the gull can be surprisingly distinct. With heavy bodies, large wings, and minimal coloring, the gull has become an icon of the sea.

Known for their freedom and adaptability, the seagull is a symbol of hope for many. Sailors have often turned to the seagull for guidance, while Celtic people recognized their ability to sense a storm. The seagull symbolizes an ability to recognize opportunity, and to run with it.

Seagull is a term typically used for the herring gull, but applied generally to all types of gull. To learn more about the seagull, and what it may symbolize for you, read this guide. 

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Seagull Symbolism & Meaning

The seagull bridges the gap between ocean and land. Many frequently used it as a symbol of freedom. With their ability to fly on air currents high above the ground, the gull combines the elements as a sign of exploration.

But the seagull also symbolize resourcefulness, adaptability, and persistence. The gull will happily step outside its comfort zone to survive, and will grab onto opportunity wherever found. 

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Seagull Spirit Animal

You will probably know immediately when a gull spirit animal has come into your life. They aren’t shy creatures, and come with a loud call that immediately announces their presence. But still, you might not have noticed the gull circling overhead on the wind.

Those with the gull spirit animal are happy to let their opinions be known. Like the gull, you aren’t afraid to use your voice, and will speak up when necessary. Instead of just being loud, the gull can help you consider your approach. Are you arguing just for the sake of argument? Do you talk over others?

The gull represents freedom, and is a symbol of independence. The gull spirit animal can help you find your passion, and use it to drive yourself forward. Like the gull, you must look for the smallest of openings, and grab your opportunity.

Gulls circle high in the air, and the gull spirit animal can help you find a new perspective. Look for the gull circling, and consider the wider picture.

Seagull Totem Animal

We’re often so used to seeing the gull that we rarely stop to appreciate the bird. Gulls have a clean and simple beauty to them, from their powerful bodies to their pared back coloring. Those with the gull totem animal will enjoy simplicity and beauty in the everyday.

The gull is often in crowds, but prefers to fend for itself. Those with the gull totem are typically adept at socializing, but enjoy the opportunity to spend time alone. The gull is happy to debate and discuss, while still liking their own company best.

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Gulls are smart and wily, a characteristic you’ll notice if you’ve ever seen one snatch your lunch. In relationships and business, people with the gull totem are incredibly perceptive. You need to find people who can match your energy.

A gull totem animal is creative and free thinking, and despite seeming loud, prefers the quieter moments. 

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Seagull Power Animal

Call on the seagull power animal when you’re looking for an opportunity. The seagull searches from above, and feeds opportunistically. With the gull power animal, you can seek out openings and grab them. A gull power animal can guide you towards your passion.

Circling high above on the air current, the gull has a unique perspective. Look to the gull power animal when you’re going through a rough time, and you need a new approach. The resourceful gull is good in a crisis, and can quickly and efficiently get out of trouble.

We can all recognize the sound of gulls calling, but it’s important for us to use our voices effectively. Use the gull power animal to guide you when you need to speak up, and show you when to hold your tongue.

Gulls thrive in difficult conditions, and bridge the gap between land and sea. Look to the gull power animal when you need efficiency in troubled times. These adaptable and resourceful birds can bring the new perspective you’ve been missing. 

Seagull Native American Symbolism

The seagull plays some contradictory roles across the cultures of the Native Americans. To some, the seagull represented endless endurance, and a willingness for hard work. To others, the seagull was noisy and aggressive.

For the Chapleau Cree people, the seagull was a menace. In the story of the Seagull and the Whiskey Jacks, the two groups of birds lived close to people. They considered seagulls beautiful, but they screamed and shouted at anyone who came close.

The Whiskey Jacks were polite, and engaged in conversation with the people. The people tried sharing their fish, but while the Whiskey Jacks were thankful, the seagulls yelled at them. In time, the people learned to leave the gulls alone.

But an Innu legend describes the seagull as resourceful and protective. It tells the tale of two bear cubs, whose mother was eaten by a monster. The monster chased after the cubs, who were taken to an island in the boat of a seagull.

Image by Ramiro Calace Montu from Pixabay

The seagull then filled the boat with rotting fish, and agreed to take the monster to the island. The monster couldn’t stand the smell of the boat, so stuck its head over the side. The seagull then took out a knife, and killed the monster.

Seagull clans existed within the Ahtna tribe and the Chippewa tribe. The seagull can also be found on the totem poles of some Northwest Coast tribes. 

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Seagull Celtic Symbolism

The gull and its association with the sea can be seen in Celtic folklore. The Irish warrior and king Manannán mac Lir was a sea god and ruler from the otherworld. He was said to protect sailors and ruled over an island paradise. He could, at times, appear in the form of a seagull.

Seagulls were also said to be able to predict storms. When gulls moved to sit on the sand, it was a sign that bad weather was coming. 

Seagull Christianity Symbolism

The high-flying seagull has some positive connotations in Christianity. Birds were often seen as messengers of God, because they could soar so close to heaven.

Seagulls play a prominent role in the story of Saint Cenydd, a Welsh saint. Cenydd was born crippled, and his cradle was cast into the river. Seagulls and angels rescued the baby Cenydd, and raised him as a Christian. 

To the Latter-day Saints, the seagull played an important role in the survival of the church. In 1848, the crops were being destroyed by thousands of insects. The people prayed, and groups of seagulls came and ate the insects, saving the crops. This is known as the Miracle of the Gulls.

Seagull Dreams

Seagull dreams can be an indication of a need for freedom, or a sign of good news. If you dream of the seagull, try to remember what the bird was doing, and how you felt. This can help you to interpret your dream. 

A single gull appearing in your dream is a sign of good news. The mature gull symbolizes a coming epiphany, or that your hard work is about to pay off. A baby gull symbolizes the arrival of good news.

When groups of gulls appear in your dreams, it’s a sign that you are desiring freedom. Groups of gulls can be loud and nagging, and this represents the people in your life who are holding you back.

Dreaming you are the gull? You might wake up feeling as though you’ve been soaring through the air in the shape of a seagull. Hold on to this feeling of freedom, and use it to help you declutter your life.

When you dream you’re in the air with the birds, it means you need a new perspective, and that it’s time to remove the excess from your life.

Image by Alexander Gresbek from Pixabay

Far Eastern Seagull Symbolic Meanings

The Japanese Buddhist goddess Benzaiten is associated with the gull. Benzaiten is worshiped in both Buddhism and Shinto, and has been seen to represent wisdom.

The Kabushima Shrine on Kabushima island in Japan was built by fishermen as a place to pray for luck and safety at sea.

The shrine is linked with both Benzaiten and the black-tailed gull, which nests on the island. The droppings of the gull are said to bring luck

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Seagull Tattoo Meaning

A gull can be the basis of a bold tattoo design, with the simple shapes and colors creating an instantly recognizable image. If the seagull is your power or spirit animal, you may want to honor this connection with a tattoo.

A seagull tattoo is often chosen by people who want to symbolize freedom. Travelers, and those who feel a special connection to the sea, may select a seagull tattoo.

Gulls are also symbols of resourcefulness, and individuality. A gull tattoo can be a way to indicate your belief in yourself, and how your unique perspective has gotten you through tough times.

But a seagull tattoo can, conversely, be a way to show your love for your family. For sailors, the seagull was a symbol of joy. At the end of a perilous journey, sailors would rejoice to see the seagull. This was a sign that they were close to land, and almost back with their families.

If you live near the sea, the gull tattoo might be representative of your hometown.

Like the gull itself, a seagull tattoo is adaptable. Find your own special connection to the gull, and use this to guide your design.

Seagull Spiritual Meaning

The seagull is representative of freedom, and of finding new paths. When a seagull appears to you in dreams or meditation, it’s often a sign that you need to seek a new direction.

It might be that someone is holding you back, or that you’re holding yourself back. Follow the advice of  the seagull, and let your spirit soar. 

A seagull can act as both a good and bad omen. When a seagull heads to the sand, it means that a storm is on its way. But seeing a seagull soar through the sky would delight sailors — it meant their journey was nearly at an end, and they were close to land.

Seagull In Astrology & Zodiac Signs

Seagulls are resourceful and loyal, which makes them a good animal to have by your side. The seagull spirit animal can bring out all the best aspects of your sign, and help you discover your true potential.

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Hawaiian, African & Greek Myth & Symbolic Meaning

In Greek mythology, the sea goddess Leucothea was associated with seagulls. She was transformed into a goddess after leaping into the sea, and answered questions relating to dreams. 

Seagull in Cuban & African Folklore

A Nigerian legend called “The Squirrel Mocks the Gull” shows the seagull as a smart and wily creature. In the legend, the grinding stone of the chief’s councilor was broken. The squirrel (who was drunk) told the councilor the gull could fix the stone, to embarrass the gull.

The councilor called for the gull, who said he could fix the stone but only with the ligaments of a squirrel. The councilor then left the gull and killed the squirrel for his ligaments. When he came back, the gull had flown away. The lesson was not to mock, as it will come back to you. 

Seagull Symbolic Meaning

  • Freedom
  • Resourcefulness
  • Adaptability
  • Endurance
  • Discussion
  • Family
  • Individuality
  • Loyalty
  • Perspective

Final Thoughts

Many of us are used to seeing seagulls every day, but the gull typically has deeper meaning for those who live away from the sea. For those, the gull is an unusual sight, and it’s worth paying attention to what they’re trying to tell you.

The gull is a resourceful bird, with an ability to adapt to even the toughest of circumstances. Let the gull guide you when you’re struggling to find a path. Anyone who has seen the gull search for food will know that they can find hope where others see nothing but waste!

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