It isn’t uncommon to have dreams about doves and pigeons, especially because they have been prominent symbols dating back to the beginnings of our recorded history. We humans have a longstanding relationship with doves. They have come to symbolize certain aspects of human life that can be decoded if we pay close attention to the details in our dreams.
Dove & Pigeon Dream Summary
Dove & Pigeon Symbolism
Doves and pigeons belong to the same family and have very similar symbolism. That’s why we are discussing them together as one topic even though, as you will see, there are some differences between them.
Doves first make an appearance in the Biblical story of Noah, who sends out a dove to find dry land. It returns with an olive branch in its mouth – an act that has come to symbolize the fidelity of God’s divine love and by extension marital love. This same flood myth was shared by other cultures around the same time as well, with the dove being a common symbol in many of the stories. That’s why the dove is known around the world as a divine messenger and symbol of faith right up to this day.
Pigeons have been long used by humans to communicate across vast distances. The divine messenger role played by doves has taken on a less ethereal connotation in dreams about pigeons. In fact, pigeons can represent any kind of message or communication network and could even symbolize staying true to one’s course over long distances or periods of time.
Common Dove & Pigeon Dreams
Dreams about doves and pigeons may be easier to interpret than dreams about many other animals because they have very specific meanings and only a few of them. Perhaps it’s due to the prominence of doves as religious symbols of love, purity, and fidelity that other mental associations never managed to attach themselves in our collective unconscious. In any case, this article covers several different kinds of dove and pigeon dreams, including:
- Dreams about doves or pigeons flying
- Dreams about doves or pigeons standing still
- Dreams about doves or pigeons searching for food
- Dreams about aggressive doves or pigeons
- Dreams about doves or pigeons with their young
- Dreams about doves or pigeons being released into the air
- Dreams about being a dove or pigeon yourself
- Dreams about a dove or pigeon icon/image
What Do Doves & Pigeons Symbolize?
As the bearer of the olive branch, which itself has come to symbolize peace, the dove represents the calm after the storm and the return to harmony after a difficult time. The deluge, as it is known throughout the world, was a time of unparalleled turmoil and strife for humankind. Birds in general were always thought of as being closer to heaven because they possess the secret of flight. Perhaps that’s why the image of a bird returning with long-awaited evidence of dry land after the deluge is one of hope and promise that peace can once again prevail, and one of faith that God did not forsake us after all.
Because of its symbol as a divine messenger, the dove has also come to be associated with marital love and with keeping one’s promise. It reflects how God kept His promise never again to destroy the earth in a flood. White doves, in particular, are thought of as signs of purity and heavenly communication, which makes them ideal symbols for romantic love and marriage. Many marriage ceremonies or similar rites of passage are marked by the release of doves because they symbolize purity and marital fidelity.
White is considered a sign of purity in many cultures around the world and is the color chosen for brides in the Western world today for that very reason. Christian babies and children are also typically presented in white garments for most religious ceremonies. White doves, in particular, have come to be thought of as symbols of purity and innocence because of both their color, coupled with their association as heavenly messengers.
Doves and pigeons have been used by humans as messengers from time immemorial. In fact, messenger pigeons were used to carry news about the winner of the original Olympics. So, it’s clear they were useful in the earliest stages of human civilization because of their role as messengers. What’s also understood from the deluge story is that doves are thought of as being capable of sending and receiving not just human messages but also messages from the other side, from the gods and spirits of many cultures and religions around the world.
Marriage is a sacrosanct rite of passage in most cultures around the world. The covenant sworn between two willing adults, witnessed under the gaze of a divine being, is frequently symbolized by a white dove. The connection goes all the way back to the story of Noah’s covenant with God. Because the dove symbolizes that commitment between humanity and God, and because marriage is a sacred rite that is ordained by God, the dove also carries an association with marital fidelity.
Navigation & Communication Networks
Pigeons, although they do not have the same direct association with the divine, are symbolic as messengers because of their role as messengers between human beings. They have held that position for thousands of years at least, due to their uncanny ability to navigate using the earth’s magnetic field, a scientific finding only recently discovered. However, even though we didn’t know how they were doing it, we’ve always known that pigeons had an excellent sense of direction and seemed to literally never get lost. That’s why they’ve earned a place in the human subconscious as navigators of complex networks.
Dove & Pigeon Dream Interpretations
Dreams about doves or pigeons flying
Dreams about pigeons flying should be interpreted based on the contextual factors in the dream. For example, was the bird flying toward you, away from you, or neutral relative to your position? The meaning could change drastically depending on this detail. For instance, if you’ve been waiting for an answer to your prayer, your dream could be telling you your answer is on its way. Conversely, if the bird is flying through terrible weather it could indicate a message that’s gone astray. In any case, the bird represents a message, perhaps even a divine one, and it is en route to its destination.
Dreams about doves or pigeons standing still
If you dream about a pigeon or dove standing still, observe what else it might be doing. Does the bird seem to notice you, or is it merely going about its business? Is it in distress? The dove or pigeon in this case, assuming it’s the main subject of your dream, is indicative of a love relationship. Perhaps the bird is saying everything is healthy and good, or maybe you need to pay greater attention to something. What kind of feeling do you get from the pigeon when you reflect on your dream? This will be your biggest clue to decoding which love relationship it represents and what it’s trying to tell you about it.
Dreams about doves or pigeons searching for food
If you are dreaming about a hungry dove or pigeon, the bird once again probably represents a love relationship in your life, whether that’s a religious commitment or a marital relationship. The fact that it’s hungry is indicative that you need to give that relationship some love and attention. Does the bird seem to be well-fed and happy, or is it frantic in its search for food? It may be starving. These factors should be used in determining what meaning the dream wants you to understand.
Dreams about aggressive doves or pigeons
If a dove or pigeon is getting aggressive with you in your dream, that’s a good indication that something is in need of your attention. The thing in question is probably a loving or spiritual relationship you care deeply about and would regret losing. On the other hand, depending on your specific situation and how exactly the pigeon becomes aggressive, it could be a warning that you’re in an abusive or toxic relationship with a loved one or with someone who symbolizes a spiritual connection for you, and it’s time to sit up and take note.
Dreams about doves or pigeons with their young
Pigeons are known to be very good parents and equally share the burden of raising their young. Therefore, dreaming about dove or pigeons with their young indicates an egalitarian parental relationship and a strong bond with their young. Depending on how the bird in your dream behaves, the meaning may change. For instance, if you are quietly observing a happy family of pigeons, then it’s your emotional reaction that should guide your interpretation. However, if there is discord in the family or they are dealing with an outside threat, that could be an indication that your family is somehow at risk of suffering through a similar situation.
Dreams about doves or pigeons being released into the air
Doves are often released into the air during wedding ceremonies and other matrimonial affairs, such as engagement parties, etc. Therefore, if you’re dreaming about doves or pigeons that are released into the air, it could be symbolic of a romantic relationship in your life. However, because of their role as divine messengers, a dream about doves being released into the air could also represent your own spiritual connection or even a specific prayer request. The dream could be confirmation your message was sent. Pay attention to your inner feelings for a better understanding of its meaning.
Dreams about being a dove or pigeon yourself
If you are the dove or pigeon in your dream, then the interpretation will be all about the context. Are you a flying dove or nesting pigeon? You may be able to use the examples explored above to help find the dream’s meaning. Another thing to consider is that being a dove or pigeon could mean you are the messenger in a situation between two other parties. In that case, your emotional response in the dream may be telling you something about how you feel about your role as a messenger.
Dreams about a dove or pigeon icon/image
Dove imagery is so commonplace in our world that it sometimes seems to mean everything and nothing all at once. Therefore, if you’re dreaming about a dove tattoo or a corporate logo that includes a pigeon image, you should start by examining the direct relationship you have with the icon or image itself. Consider if the dove image you saw in your dream relates directly to a corporate brand or maybe a tattoo you’ve seen on someone you know. In those cases, you should identify its meaning as being related to those more direct connections rather than the universal dove or pigeon symbology.
Doves and pigeons have been mankind’s friends and loyal partners for thousands of years. They have appeared in some of our most indelible stories and myths, and their symbolic meaning has been reinforced over the generations. Perhaps that’s why doves and pigeons appear so often in our dreams, because they are the universal symbols of peace, love, purity, and divine messengers.