Wednesday, 30 January 2008

My white pigeon

A white pigeon lives in my local park and seeing him always brightens my day, even if it is cold and I am on my way to work.

The current resident is probably one of a long line of white-plumed rock doves - rock dove being another name for pigeon - because I have seen him, or his ancestors, there for several years.

I have often meant to investigate the symbolism associated with white pigeons. When I finally got around to doing a bit of web searching on the subject I found the information was quite sparse.

Some sites say that white pigeons are, in fact, doves. Other sites say that pigeons, although related to doves, are a bit larger and are feral, so not the same thing even when they are white.

Doves are most famous for being the bird that, in Christian legends, Noah released from his ark. It returned bearing an olive branch and now symbolises peace.

In America, doves are sometimes released at weddings as a ritual to ensure the couple will remain true to each other. Pigeons mate for life and are extremely fertile, often raising several broods each year, so they are an appropriate symbol for a marriage ceremony. The dove is also associated with the fertility goddess Astarte.

According to The Mystical World Wide Web: "A lone white pigeon seen sitting on the chimney is not a good sign as it is associated with death." Doves can sometimes represent the soul or spirit and releasing one at a funeral symbolises the deceased flying on swiftly to the next life.

Here is a link to an excellent website with information on folklore surrounding pigeons and other birds: http://tailsofbirding.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_archive.html.

If you know any more mythology associated with white pigeons, I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment on my blog.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw a white pigeon follow me around my son's grandfather's (who has passed)house while I was taking photos of the home in which his grandfather built. Then my ex partner unintentionally drove over it. I was really upset and angered that he didnt even care. I couldnt move the bird but i watched it die and starred into his eyes wondering if it were dead as the eyes were dark. But they have white eye lids and I saw them close. Can you help me understand what this means? There are a few things which I have experienced but just can't explain. Nothing has ever frightened me or anything like that - It makes perfect sense in my head, but I sound crazy when I try and tell others.

Badwitch said...

I can fully understand that the situation must have been very distressing for you - you don't seem at all crazy to me. And it does sound as though your ex-partner was being a bit unsympathetic. I am sure the bird appreciated having you with it as it passed away.

Anonymous said...

On returning home from a friend's funeral in January, there was a lone white pigeon sat on the roof of my house for a while which caught my attention as they aren't common. My house has previously been called The Chimneys. Any thoughts on this?

Badwitch said...

I think seeing a white pigeon is a sign that your friend's spirit is moving on to a happy place in the next life, but wants you to know that all will be well. I don't know much folklore about chimneys, but it sounds as though your house may have had several of them in the past - hence the name.

Unknown said...

Hi I m nt noemally superstitious. .bt on my kitchen window where nornally I see grey pigeons on a daily basis. .today was a surprise a lone white pigeon sat..nd I felt it staring at me.. After sm time the grey pigeon came to sit onn the opp window bt it fled away immediately

Anonymous said...

hello! i am a hedge witch living in toronto ontario, more like an intersection witch lol. I have had white pigeons now for many years, as i am also a pigeon fancier. THey are magickal and beautiful, and the bringers of good news (messenger/homer pigeon). THey ar ea bridge between the night and day. between the waking and dreaming life. THey appear at the funniest of times, like they are wished into being. They are very much like faeries, beings of light. Paloma Blanca, the white dove of legend and lore. the symbol of Isis, Ishtar (venus) and the Virgin Mary. (the blessed maiden/virgin (unmarried woman) of the triple goddess). Blessed Be!!

Anonymous said...

hello! i am a hedge witch living in toronto ontario, more like an intersection witch lol. I have had white pigeons now for many years, as i am also a pigeon fancier. THey are magickal and beautiful, and the bringers of good news (messenger/homer pigeon). THey ar ea bridge between the night and day. between the waking and dreaming life. THey appear at the funniest of times, like they are wished into being. They are very much like faeries, beings of light. Paloma Blanca, the white dove of legend and lore. the symbol of Isis, Ishtar (venus) and the Virgin Mary. (the blessed maiden/virgin (unmarried woman) of the triple goddess). Blessed Be!!

Bhavna_is said...

We were holidaying in the middle of a desert and one day wen me n hubby were having a fun time at the pool.... 2 white pigeons flew from nowhere and sat together on a white pole next to the pool..... They kept sitting there for the whole time while we were at the pool... watching us and mirroring us.... just later in the same day we were more convinced tht I was pregnant.... eerily I have always felt tht those 2 pigeon couple had brought my son.s soul to us and looked for its safety.... it is divine and magical. .. since then I keep wanting to know more abt their significance....

Unknown said...

I need your help please,
Today was an ordinary Friday and around 1 in the afternoon, a white pegion just flew into my house and it is still sitting there after 3 hours even though the window is wide open. It doesn't get scared if I go near it or something. I don't want to harm it so I just kept some grains and water and left it there. My grandmother passed away exactly a year ago from this month. What kind of an omen is this? Please help me? And I can only see the right side of the bird. Thank you!

Badwitch said...

It could possibly be a message from a departed loved one, but really you are the best one to judge what you think it means. How does it seem to you? Traditionally, a pigeon can mean "obedience". Is there something your grandmother wanted you to do, or that you feel you should do, after her death, but you haven't yet done? Perhaps she just wants to be remembered. Here are a couple of links to other blog posts I have written about ornithomancy and bird as spirit messengers: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/01/bird-watching-portents-and-ornithomancy.html and http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/01/birds-divine-messengers-big-garden.html

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! May God bless you.

82nd11B said...

Pigeons are Rock Doves.... "pigeon" is somewhat of a pejorative, not to me, I love the wild ones as much as my gentle racers. They are incredibly intelligent birds, one of only five animals that can recognize their image. They do mate for life, the dads share the eggs & both sexes have "crop milk" very nutritious & full of medicine.

The white dove symbolizes purity & spirit in many cultures & faith, including the Holy Spirit of God in my faith.

"Bad witch" their intelligence & spirit includes the ability to see who is kind & who is cruel. I bet you are gentle to animals!

My pigeons have helped me "un-F" my head from the war. I sit in their loft, their gentle cooing is soothing, their eyes & stillness show their stoic courage, some I raised by hand jump on my head or shoulders, nibble at my ears... make me laugh.

82nd11B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I have been noticing a white pigeon almost follow me for a few days. On Sunday, it was alone and I had noticed it on my windowsill. While waiting for the bus home on Monday I noticed a white pigeon mingling amongst other pigeons. When I was at my boyfriends today (Tues) I could see the same type white pigeon out in his balcony with a grey one. When I came to my house later in the day, i noticed one alone in the driveway walking around. Is this trying to hunt at something?