Turkey Symbolism: The Significance of a Turkey Sighting

Turkey Symbolism: The Significance of a Turkey Sighting
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A Turkey Sighting

If there’s one bird that perfectly represents fall, it would be the turkey! But what does a turkey sighting mean? Well, there’s a lot more to turkey symbolism than its association with Thanksgiving. Often taken as a good omen, the sight of a turkey can mean many great things – almost all of which are worth giving thanks for.

What is a turkey?

The turkey’s dark plumage and fan-shaped tail contrast with the bright red snood hanging under its beak. They have large bodies, often weighing between 15 and 20 pounds, and small bald heads. Domestic turkeys are flightless. Even though they have wings, they remain grounded. Their cousins, the wild turkeys, can fly – albeit over short distances. Seeing a turkey in flight is a rare sight and can suggest a desire for adventure and escape.

Turkeys are native to North America and were domesticated in pre-Columbian Mexico over 2,000 years ago. With a special connection to the priests and aristocrats of the time, turkeys appear frequently in ancient Mayan manuscripts. The Spanish brought turkeys to Europe from Mexico, and the English later brought turkeys back to New England.

While many predators (including humans) prey on the turkey, turkeys themselves subsist on an omnivorous diet of snails, insects, nuts and berries. If you see a large group of turkeys, keep your distance. Like many other birds, turkeys have a social hierarchy or “pecking order”. This can lead to aggressive outbursts and sometimes even cannibalism. Because of their headstrong temperament, turkeys are often viewed as male symbols.

More than a food source

Despite being the shining star of “Turkey Day,” turkeys are much more than a Thanksgiving entrée. Even without the sides and dressing, turkey symbolism is commonly used to indicate prosperity and harvest. As such, the turkey encourages people to count their blessings and to respect the nourishment that the earth offers. A turkey often brings loved ones together and can symbolize the importance of family and platonic relationships.

Turkish symbolism is not just about a holiday; it also represents a unique work ethic. Eager to care for their flock and maintain a safe roost, turkeys are hard workers and proud members of their social order. A turkey sighting may indicate that your efforts at home or at work are greatly appreciated.

While the term “turkey” is sometimes used as an insult meaning “unwise,” turkeys themselves are actually incredibly intelligent. Among many Native American tribes, turkeys are believed to have strong intuitions about the future, particularly weather-related events.

The Pima people consider the turkey to be a rain spirit. While rain can sometimes put a damper on your plans, it is essential to life. Seeing a turkey can be a sign that you too are going through a storm that you must weather before you can grow. As a symbol of sacrifice, the turkey is a reminder that letting go of something is often the key to making room for something new.

Dream about a turkey

No, to dream of a turkey doesn’t just mean that you’re craving a late-night snack. Turkeys stay in large groups – they are not very solitary animals. To dream of a turkey can mean that you long for relatives or the protection of your loved ones. If you’ve been isolating yourself, your dreams may be telling you that it’s time to reach out for some comfort and warmth. There’s strength in numbers!

To dream of a turkey as food can indicate an upcoming bounty. Open yourself to new possibilities. Eating turkey in a dream could also be a reminder that you will reap what you sow. If you’ve worked hard at something, your Dream Self may be asking you to take the time to enjoy the rewards of what you’ve earned.

The turkey as a totem and power animal

As a totem, the turkey brings strong spiritual connections to its wearer. Some Native American tribes have revered the turkey as a guide to the dead. Turkey feathers are also used in funeral ceremonies, clothing and dances.

Anyone who feels connected to the power animal turkey loves productivity. Outgoing and sociable, the turkey spirit is very confident. As early risers, turkeys like to contribute to the lives of their fellow human beings. Like the ox, the spirit of the turkey sometimes puts others first because they recognize that what benefits one life benefits all.

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