The dove as a symbol dates all the way back to ancient times. Learning about the spiritual meaning of doves and what pigeons symbolize can help you understand the significance of a dove appearing in your life or your dreams.
Doves are birds of the Columbidae family, closely related to pigeons. While the turtle dove is the species of bird which we most commonly identify as a dove, there are actually many different species with several variations.
Because doves and pigeons are so closely related, we decided to cover the meaning of pigeons and doves together in this post.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of Doves and Pigeons?
When a dove or pigeon appears in our life as a symbol, whether in a dream or otherwise, it is a sign for us to pay attention to!
Doves have long been a symbol for the holy spirit in Roman Catholic and Christian religions. It is commonly believed to see a dove is to be aware of the holy spirit within us and to be open to receiving divine wisdom and guidance.
In the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark, Noah sends a dove to see if the flood has passed. The dove coming back with an olive branch is a symbol of the flood being over and is still used to symbolize peace today.
When we see a dove in our dreams or perhaps even out in nature, it is a reminder to us there is something much greater at work than ourselves. It can be a call for us to further explore our own spirituality.
Messenger pigeons have been used throughout history as a way to send important information to others. They were used by the military in World War I and World War II. Many pigeons have been awarded medals of honor for conveying important messages that saved the lives of many during times of war.
When we see a dove or messenger pigeon, we can certainly be sure it is sign to pay attention to the messages we may be receiving from spirit!
While the white turtle dove is most commonly associated with the Holy Spirit in Roman Catholic religions, it is important to remember that even a common gray city pigeon can be a sign to serve as a reminder that we can find the grace of God in even the lowliest of places.
Peace and Freedom From Worry
Have you been feeling worried about something a lot lately? The dove as a symbol for peace can remind you that we can’t control everything and sometimes we have to trust in something greater than ourselves.
If you find yourself worried about something, a dove can be a sign from the Holy Spirit and the universe to tell you that while the final outcome may not be exactly as you want, it will all be okay in the end.
In times of conflict and distress, it symbolizes there will be peaceful resolution. Perhaps you had an argument with someone, or perhaps you are going through a particularly difficult period in life.
The dove can be a sign to look to your higher power for peace and serenity through the struggles. It can be a sign that peace is possible when you surrender the need for control and domination.
Nurturing and Creation
Doves and pigeons are unique birds in the way that both males and females produce crop milk to feed their young. Many cultures around the world see the dove as a symbol for nurturing, caring and creation.
In ancient Mediterranean times, the dove was often considered to be an icon for the Mother Goddess Asherah. In ancient Greek mythology, the dove was often associated with the Goddess Aphrodite, who was a symbol for beauty, love, passion, and pleasure. The ancient Romans associated the dove with the Goddess Venus.
Since ancient times, many different cultures associated the dove as a symbol for fertility and procreation. Many people see the dove as a sign of prosperity and good fortune ahead.
A dove can sometimes appear as a symbol in our life when we are ready to create a new life. This can mean literally to conceive a child, or it can be a metaphoric symbol to rebirth ourselves into a new way of living.
Commitment and Loyalty
Pigeons and doves typically mate for life, and it can be a symbol for commitment, loyalty, and faithfulness. Many wedding ceremonies often feature a symbolic release of doves as a symbol of commitment and marriage.
When we see the dove, it is good for us to ask what we are committed to doing and being in our own lives. Occasionally this symbol can appear when we have a fear of commitment.
Innocence, Purity and Truth
Doves are often seen as a symbol for innocence, purity and truth. As they are associated with the Holy Spirit, they are sometimes regarded as a symbol for all things pure, innocent, and true.
Many saints are commonly shown being surrounded by doves in artwork. Doves are often considered to be a symbol of innocence, as their peaceful nature is often taken advantage of by predators.
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.Matthew 10:16
Common Dreams About Doves and Pigeons
The sign of a dove in our dreams can appear in many different ways. Pigeons are common city-dwelling birds, so it’s not uncommon for us to also see pigeons in dreams.
Below we will go over some common dreams of doves and pigeon dream examples and what they mean.
Pigeons and Doves Flying Meaning
To see doves flying is a symbol of freedom and truth. It can be a sign that peace and divine guidance are with you.
To dream of doves being released can be an indicator of good fortune, love, and peacefulness.
Dreaming of doves flying together denotes a happy relationship with a partner that is free of grief, worry, strife, and conflict.
Dreaming of doves flying out of a city building or window can be a symbol that the truth will be revealed. It can mean there is some sort of conflict but peace and truth will prevail.
Dreaming of a Flock of Pigeons Flying Away: This can be a symbol for worry in your everyday life. You may be aware of possible threats, or you can be worried about becoming scattered.
Dreaming of a Messenger Pigeon:
To see a pigeon delivering a message in a dream is a call for you to look for hidden messages in your life. Listen to your heart – what is spirit trying to tell you? Do you have an important message you need to convey to others?
If you are receiving a message via pigeon, this means it is important for you to consider the source. Is the person who sent the message trustworthy? The message in the dream will quite likely relate to important news or information will soon appear in your waking life.
To be sending a message via pigeon can denote that you have important information and insight to relay to someone else. This may reflect your own worries or anxieties about how the message will be received – will the other party want to hear the news?
Dreaming of Mourning Doves Cooing
Mourning doves have a very distinct and well-known call that is used by the male mourning doves to attract a female partner.
To hear the cooing of a mourning dove can be a symbol of courtship and dating. Mourning doves frequently mate for life, so this could mean that you are looking for a long-term and committed relationship. It could also be a sign of your own inner fears of commitment.
Dreaming of Pigeons in the City
Many common pigeons and doves make their homes in the city, living in makeshift nests in various buildings and structures. Seeing these types of birds in our dreams is a sign to look at our environment and consider how it influences us.
Seeing pigeons looking for food can be a sign that you are looking for love and nourishment from others.
Seeing someone feeding pigeons can be a sign of hope. It may be a call for you to care for and provide for those who are less fortunate.
Pigeons roosting above the city can mean to look for higher wisdom and inspiration in a situation. It can be a reminder that there are things we are not always aware of happening.
Dreams of Pigeons and Doves With Food
Seeing a dove or pigeon eating in a dream can be a symbol that you need nourishment and nurturing in your life. It can mean that all of your needs are being provided for. It can be a sign not to worry, that your needs will be taken care of.
Eating a dove or pigeon in a dream can mean that you are seeking nourishment in spirit. You may be experiencing feelings of conflict regarding your own spirituality.
See related dream symbol: Eating in Dreams Meaning.
Dreaming of Pigeons Fighting
If you dream about pigeons or doves fighting one another, this can be a sign of conflict in your life. This conflict may be internal or external. Think about what you are avoiding and what is bothering you. This is a sign to look for a peaceful resolution for all.
Dreaming of hurting or killing a pigeon or dove can mean that you are denying the truth of yourself, or that you are not certain on how to resolve a conflict you are experiencing. This is a sign to look for a way for peace and to trust spirit to take care of things rather than to take matters into your own hands.
Other Meanings of Doves and Pigeons
We often see different types of doves, since there are so many species and varieties of this bird family.
Two Turtle Doves: This is a line from the popular Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. In the song, the two turtle doves symbolize happy courtship.
Hawks and Doves: This is a common phrase used to describe politics or tense situations, where the hawks represent a predatory and malicious party, where the doves symbolize a peaceful and loving party. If you dream of a hawk and dove fighting, see the related dream symbol Birds of Prey.
Cat Among the Pigeons: This is a British expression that is commonly used to mean to disrupt and disturb the peace. In this saying, the cat is a metaphor for something that is causing concern and conflict.
Pigeon-Toed: This is a condition where the feet are turned inwardly, much the way a bird’s feet appear. To dream of being pigeon toed can mean that it is important to do some inner reflection and to look within for the answer to your problems.
Dovetails in Woodworking: Dove Tails are a common method of joining two pieces of wood together in woodworking. To notice dove tail joints in woodworking in a dream can mean that it is important to find a way to come together with others in regards to resolving conflict.
When Doves Cry is a popular Prince song on the album purple rain. The song is about conflict between two partners and the dove crying is a symbol of loneliness.
When interpreting dreams and signs, it is important to think carefully about your own personal experiences and understanding of doves and pigeons. If you frequently notice them, it could be a sign from the universe to look more deeply into your own spiritual path.
Related Dream Symbols You May Want to Explore:
When you dream about a dove or a pigeon, it’s important to consider the context of how they appear along with other symbols in your dream. Here are some related symbols that may also appear with these birds in dreams:
Did you have a dream about a dove or pigeon? What do you think your dream means? Tell us about your dream experiences with doves and pigeons in the comments section below!