Turkey Symbolism And Spiritual Meaning

For many people, a turkey is simply a delicious holiday meal. But this humble bird also has a rich history and spiritual meaning. In many cultures, turkeys are seen as symbols of abundance, fertility, and good fortune. They’re also associated with the autumnal equinox and the changing seasons. So, if you’re looking to add extra meaning to your Thanksgiving feast this year, consider incorporating traditional turkey symbolism into your celebration.

What does a Turkey Symbolize?

Turkeys are a symbol of strength, resilience, and resourcefulness in Native American cultures, featuring prominently in creation stories and folklore. They also represent abundance and good luck, with the feathers being seen as a reminder of protection and spiritual guidance.

In many cultures, turkeys are a symbol of abundance, prosperity, and family gatherings. For example, the tradition of having a turkey feast at Thanksgiving has become an important part of American culture. This is because the bird was once abundant in North America.

In other cultures, such as South America and Mexico, the turkey is seen as a symbol of fertility since it lays many eggs and has lots of young. The feathers of the turkey can also be used to create decorative items for cultural ceremonies or rituals.


In some Native American tribes, a wild turkey is believed to represent strength and courage. Therefore, turkeys have come to represent many different things across different cultures throughout time. Regardless of their symbolism, though, they remain one of nature’s most unique and majestic animals.

Turkey facts

  1. Turkeys are large birds native to North America and parts of South America
  2. They have a distinctive fan-shaped tail and bright, iridescent feathers
  3. Adult males can reach 8–11kg (18–24lb) in weight, while females average 5–6kg (11–13lb)
  4. Wild turkeys live in flocks, roosting overnight on tree branches or in bushes
  5. During the day, they forage for insects, seeds, and berries on the ground
  6. When threatened by a predator or perceived danger, they will take off into flight with powerful wing beats reaching speeds up to 55mph
  7. Male turkeys display courtship behavior during mating season that includes strutting their feathers and producing loud calls known as gobbling
  8. Female turkeys lay clutches of 10-15 eggs which hatch after 28 days incubation period
  9. Young chicks feed mainly on insects until they reach maturity at around six months old While hunted extensively since the arrival of Europeans to North America, turkey populations are now protected by legislation and managed by conservation efforts

What Does It Mean When You See a Turkey?

Seeing a turkey in your everyday life can have several different meanings.

In some cases, it might be a sign of good luck, while in other cases, it could be an indication of bad luck.

It all depends on the context in which you see the turkey and other factors.

In some parts of North America, seeing a wild turkey is considered to be a sign of good luck due to its long association with abundance and prosperity.

The wild turkey was once an important part of the diet of the Native Americans, who viewed it as a reminder of bountiful harvests.

Similarly, the pilgrims held wild turkeys in high regard and celebrated their first Thanksgiving with them. The turkey is thus seen as a symbol of tradition and family unity.

what does it mean when you see a turkey

In other cases, a turkey can be seen as an omen of bad luck. This is especially true if it is encountered in the middle of the night or heard cackling loudly near a home.

Some cultures view seeing a wild turkey as an indication of danger and misfortune. It could also be interpreted as an indication that something bad will happen in the near future.

What Do Turkeys Symbolize in Arts and Literature?

Turkeys have been used in arts and literature for centuries to symbolize many different things. In earlier works, turkeys were often associated with abundance and fertility, as they are found in large flocks and produce a lot of young.

turkey bird with book

They were also seen as symbols of hospitality, generosity, and plenty due to their generous nature when it comes to giving eggs, meat, and feathers. In some cultures, turkeys were also seen as symbols of bravery due to their fierceness and ability to stand up against predators.

Turkeys even feature prominently in the Native American culture, representing wisdom, strength, and prosperity.

In more modern works of art, turkeys can symbolize a variety of things, ranging from home and family to tradition and harvest. They are commonly seen in Thanksgiving-themed pictures and movies, representing the traditional feast of thanksgiving that has become part of American culture.

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Turkeys can also be found in literature as symbols of transformation or opportunity, as well as being used to represent the idea of abundance.

Turkey Spirit Animal

The turkey is the spirit animal of those who are resilient and adaptable. Those with the turkey as their spirit animal have the ability to stay grounded while facing challenging times.

turkey bird

Turkey Power Animal

The turkey is an ancient symbol of abundance. In many traditions, the turkey has been seen as a power animal offering protection from harm and providing luck in hunting, gathering, and harvesting. It also serves as a powerful reminder to appreciate the blessings of nature and be thankful for them.

In Native American lore, the turkey is associated with the colors of the four directions and earth elements. It is an omen of good luck when it appears in a dream, as well as being a sign of abundance.

Turkeys are also believed to be messengers from the spirit world, and their feathers can be used for healing rituals or smudging ceremonies to clear away negative energy.

Turkey Totem Animal

The Turkey totem animal plays a major role in many Native American cultures. Known for its bravery, intelligence, and tenacity, the turkey is seen as a symbol of strength and courage. It also represents abundance, good fortune, and prosperity.

Turkey Dream Meanings

Dreaming of a turkey can symbolize abundance and good fortune. It may also be telling you to take stock of the bounty in your life that may have been overlooked. The presence of a turkey in your dream could also mean that you should be grateful for all the things that you have achieved.

sleeping woman dreaming about turkey bird

If the turkey is talking or chasing after you, it can mean that you are feeling overwhelmed by certain responsibilities or expectations. Alternatively, the turkey could be a representation of your own self-expression and need for attention.

Whatever feelings come up when you dream of a turkey, make sure to pay close attention to them, as they may offer insight into areas in your life where you need to practice more gratitude and appreciation.

Dreaming of a cooked turkey can symbolize celebration and festivity in your life. It could also mean that you are feeling content and satisfied with where you are in your life.

Alternatively, it could also represent a feeling of being “stuffed” or exhausted due to the many obligations and commitments in your life.

If the cooked turkey is being served, it can mean that you are feeling appreciated by those around you.

Turkey Meaning in Tarot and Oracle Cards

In tarot and oracle cards, Turkey is a symbol of abundance, good luck, and prosperity. It can also signify nourishment in all forms, both physical and emotional.

Turkey can also represent a time of harvesting the fruits of your labor and being rewarded for your efforts. It is often seen as a sign to take time for yourself to rest and regroup before continuing with your plans.

The turkey can be seen as an encouraging reminder that you have been working hard, and it’s time for you to enjoy the rewards of your labor. It is also a reminder that it’s okay to take a break now and then, as it can help you make better decisions in the long run.

Turkey Mythology, Folklore, and Symbolism in Native American Cultures

Turkey symbolism is often associated with strength and perseverance. This is likely due to the fact that turkeys are resilient birds, able to withstand cold temperatures and harsh environments in order to survive.

turkey thanksgiving decoration

Turkeys also have a long history of being hunted for food by Native American cultures, making them an important source of sustenance.

In terms of mythology, turkeys feature prominently in many Native American creation stories. For example, the Cherokee believe that after their first mother created the Earth and its inhabitants, she transformed into a wild turkey and flew up toward the sun.

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In other myths, turkeys symbolize abundance and generosity as they were shared amongst tribes during celebrations or gatherings.

turkey thanksgiving decoration

In folklore, turkeys represent resourcefulness and intelligence. It was believed that turkeys could outwit predators, making them a symbol of cleverness and survival. On the other hand, some cultures considered turkeys to be bad omens; they were sometimes linked with death or ill fortune.

Overall, turkey symbolism is multifaceted and varies greatly between different Native American cultures. To some, it can represent strength and perseverance, while to others, it might signify abundance and generosity. Regardless, the turkey remains an important part of Native American culture with deep roots in mythology and folklore.


What does it mean when a turkey crosses your path?

When a turkey crosses your path, it can be interpreted as a sign of good luck. The turkey is also sometimes seen as a reminder to be grateful for the abundance in your life and to practice generosity towards others. It could also represent resourcefulness and intelligence, reminding you to stay alert and use your own wits in order to survive any challenges that come your way.

What does it mean when you see a turkey feather?

When you see a turkey feather, it can be interpreted as a sign of protection and spiritual guidance. It could also symbolize abundance and generosity, reminding you to share your blessings with those around you. Additionally, turkey feathers can also be a reminder of strength and resilience, encouraging you to stay brave and never give up in times of hardship.

What is the symbolism of a cooked turkey?

The symbolism of a cooked turkey can vary depending on the context. Generally speaking, it can be seen as a sign of appreciation and being rewarded for your hard work and dedication.

Final Words – Scorpion Symbolism 

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In conclusion, turkey symbolism is diverse and complex. It can represent abundance, good luck, strength, resilience, resourcefulness, and intelligence.

These characteristics are often seen in Native American creation stories as well as folklore and animal mythology across various cultures. As such, the turkey remains an important part of many cultural traditions today – a symbol of generosity and perseverance that we should all strive to embody in our everyday lives.

No matter what path you take or challenges come your way, remember the symbolic power of the turkey—it will always be there to guide you!

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Christina Johnson

About the Author

My name is Christina, and I am the founder of centerspirited. Being a physiotherapist for several years I have found that many people, including myself, don’t achieve well-being only from a physical point of view. I’ve always viewed a person’s body, soul, and emotions as a whole construct of beauty. Always being a yoga enthusiast, I finally became an instructor myself. On a secret mission to capture spirituality in all of her beautiful shapes, I found myself being guided on a way through ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. Through this platform, I will hopefully be able to help other beautiful souls out there find their inner peace and bond with their spiritual selves.

Discover simple steps to unlock inner peace and live a life aligned with your true self.
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