Vulture: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

It seems like nowadays vultures get a bad rep. They’re not known for being the nicest bird. Living in hot dry lands means they do what they have to to survive, including picking carcasses clean.

And if they spot an animal dying they’ll wait around until it’s dead to swoop in and feast. But who are we to judge? At least vultures have the decency to wait until the animal is dead instead of killing it.

So, if you want to find out more about vultures, their spiritual significance, symbolism, and much more, you’re in the right place.

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Vulture Symbolism & Meaning

As we touched on briefly before, vultures don’t kill their prey. In fact, they only eat prey that’s already dead or severely dying.

They locate their prey in groups, using sight and smell. Remember this, it’s important for their symbolism.

The key thing a vulture represents is patience. It requires a lot of patience for them to wait for their prey and this is a trait they share with people under their symbolism.

As well as these vultures represent using all of your resources. Their diet might be gross to you, but it’s essential for their survival.

They’re using all of the resources available to them to improve their quality of life. Part of using their resources is making sure they’re in touch with their senses.

Eyesight and smell are a key part of their hunting. In terms of symbolism, this means being in touch with your own senses and aware of your surroundings.

Vulture Spirit Animal

People who have the vulture as a spirit animal are more blessed than they realize. A spirit animal is just an animal that is meant to guide you spiritually and represents who you are as a person.

As a spirit animal, the vulture represents purification, balance, and growth from suffering.

By eating carcasses, what the vulture is actually doing is stopping the corpse from spreading disease i.e. purification. Its grossness serves a higher purpose.

Seeing a vulture can actually mean a person is going through suffering at a time in their life. But seeing the vulture means the pain is worth it and will be over soon, and it serves the purpose of making them a better person.

People with the vulture as a spirit animal tend to be efficient with their energy, work effectively, and are incredibly patient.

This translates into their everyday lives, making them come across as very calm and harmonious people.

Vulture Totem Animal

A totem animal is very close to a spirit animal but is rooted in Native American culture.

A person is usually guided toward their totem animal, rather than picking it, in a traditional Native American ceremony.

Having a vulture as a totem animal is considered a high honor. People with vulture totem animals are actually known for being able to see auras.

An aura is the colorful invisible energy surrounding a person. Each person has a unique color based on what they’re like. People with vulture totems are the most likely to be able to see these auras.

People born with a vulture totem usually have everything they need because of their ability to use all their resources and incredible patience.

And much like the vulture, people with this totem are also a little bit funky in the best way. If you know an individual with the vulture totem, you’re lucky because they make very loyal friends.

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Vulture: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

Vulture Power Animal

Power animals, also known as tutelary spirits, are protectors that a person is born with. You can often see them dipping in and out of your life, and you’ll feel a certain connection to them when they do.

When a vulture appears in your life it will usually be during rough times, or to indicate rough times ahead.

The thing to remember is that they are there to remind you that you will get through those hard times and to keep persevering.

As a power animal, the vulture represents a person having excellent intuition. Because of this, people with a vulture power animal may actually find that they have incredible precognition skills.

Almost as if they can see into the future based entirely on their gut instinct and analyzing the situation around them.

People with a vulture power animal use their gifts to make their problems easier and it’s not uncommon for people to turn to them for help.

They are natural-born leaders, and people are often drawn to them for this fact.

Vulture Native American Symbolism

Though having a vulture as a guide and spirit animal is seen as a positive thing, the vulture has a poor reputation in Native American culture. Because of the vulture’s unique hunting methods, they are obviously drawn to death.

Wherever they go, it’s guaranteed that a creature is either dead or dying. As such, in Native culture, the vulture is a bad omen, representing death.

They symbolize deceit, uncleanliness, and aggression because of their behavior towards other birds. In Native American culture, there’s a very famous story about vultures that actually relates to how the world was created.

In the beginning, there was no earth, only sky. Vultures were a tribe that used to keep the sun and the moon locked up. Then, two jaguar twins created the earth and decided to go to the vulture king.

They tricked the vulture king into eating from a magical carcass. When he stuck his neck in to eat, the carcass closed around him and the twins would not release him until he handed over the sun and the moon.

Thus the sun and moon were released, and vultures now get an eternal bad rep in Native culture.

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Vulture Celtic Symbolism

Vultures weren’t always feared and considered bad luck though. In Celtic culture, vultures were considered sacred because of their ability to sense, and connection, to death. In ancient Ireland, when Celt was the predominant culture, shamans had rituals involving vultures.

This would occur after a person died, it was called a ‘sky burial’, and would involve leaving a corpse in a high place so that it could be picked clean by vultures.

In this way vultures were considered aids in death, guiding a spirit to the afterlife.

In Ireland, there’s also the legend of Ellen Trechend- a three-headed vulture. This vulture almost razed Ireland, destroying everything in its path.

It wasn’t until poet and hero Amergin arrived and slew the monster, that the whole of Ireland was saved.

Vulture Christianity Symbolism

Unfortunately, Christianity isn’t any kinder to vultures. While Christianity recognizes the importance that vultures play in the circle of life, getting rid of diseased corpses, having your corpse picked clean by vultures is actually considered massively dishonorable.

In Leviticus 11:13 and Deuteronomy 14:12, God actually forbids the eating of vultures and cites them as unclean creatures. In the Old Testament, it’s mentioned that getting eaten by vultures is very dishonorable.

This is because, in Christianity, a body should ideally be buried. If someone’s corpse was left out for vultures to eat, this meant they were not given a Christian burial.

Most of the time this was done on purpose. In fact in the story of David and Goliath, they both threatened each other with a post-death vulture exposure to really hammer in their hatred for each other.

Vultures are actually seen as a form of judgment for many sins. The bible, Proverbs 30:17, states that the consequence of being disrespectful to your parents is to have your eyes pecked out and eaten by vultures.

So think about that next time you talk back.

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Vulture Dreams

Seeing a vulture in your dream can have several different meanings. The most prominent one is that you’re being warned.

Vultures are considered omens, not necessarily bad ones, but ones that need to be taken note of. If you see a vulture in your dream it could be a warning that you need to rethink some area of your life or be careful about an upcoming decision.

Alternatively, just seeing a vulture can indicate something new happening in your life, maybe even luck turning in your way.

If you dream of a vulture flying, it can indicate that there is bad news or a loss coming towards you in the future.

While there’s nothing you can do about it, the warning is there to help you mentally prepare.

If you dream of a vulture landing then that means there is a very important decision that you need to make a choice about.

You cannot avoid it, and you must be careful in what you pick. Remember, be like the vulture and use ALL the resources you have.

Dreaming of lots of vultures gathered in one place is a lot more fun than the previous interpretation.

In fact, it means that someone close to you will be getting lots of money in the immediate future. It could also mean that you’ll be helping someone financially.

Lastly, if you dream of lots of vultures gathering around you, then it’s not a good omen. Vultures only gather around creatures they think are dying. It’s a warning of bad luck, or a terrible situation to come. But don’t despair.

If you’re seeing vultures, it means you will overcome the bad luck and the terrible situation, but you need to stay strong and be prepared.

Far Eastern Vulture Symbolic Meanings

In many Eastern cultures, vultures are considered sacred birds because of their connection to death. In Tibet, there is a whole festival dedicated to vultures, linked to the concept of reincarnation.

It is believed that any souls that a vulture eats are reincarnated.

One of the festival rituals involves giving vultures a fresh corpse (presumably they died of natural causes) to eat.

This is done so that the offered soul gets another chance at life, being reincarnated, and is considered a high honor. The vulture is considered a sacred bird in Tibet.

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Vulture Tattoo Meaning

Contrary to what you might think, having a vulture tattoo isn’t such a bad omen. While some people believe that vultures represent death, it’s quite the opposite actually.

Vulture tattoos actually represent creation and motherhood in general.

Vulture Spiritual Meaning

As mentioned above, vultures can represent creation and motherhood. This is because spiritually, they are linked to mothers in the way a mother uses all the resources at her disposal and is harmonious and in control of the environment around her.

Spiritually vultures are linked to reincarnation and rebirth. Because of this, vultures are known as the link between life and death. Some cultures even go so far as to dub vultures the spiritual guides to the afterlife.

That link to death is also sometimes seen as a bad omen. Other cultures view vultures as a bad sign, and if you see one you should prepare for terrible luck as they are the harbingers of death and bad news.

However, as spiritual guides, having a vulture means you are always prepared, resourceful, loyal, and a team worker. So it’s not all bad.

Vulture in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

People born under the vulture primal zodiac sign should rejoice. They’re known to be cunning, charming, resourceful, and intelligent at their very core.

They’re romantic and idealists, but aren’t afraid to put in the hard work. The life of a vulture zodiac child is all about looking at the bigger picture, rather than focusing on small details.

Vulture Symbolic Meanings

Vultures have a ton of different symbolic meanings, but here are the main ones:

  • Resourceful
  • Smart
  • Death omen
  • Persevering
  • Idealistic


Poor vultures often get the short end of the stick when it comes to symbolism, hugely because of the way they hunt. But honestly, it’s a lot more humane than the way humans do it.

If you’re lucky enough to have a vulture as a guide then just remember one thing: keep persevering and you’ll be great.

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