Many people believe that encounters with different animals can carry deeper meanings, but among the most powerfully spiritual animals is the red cardinal, a bird that has caused many people to report strong spiritual sensations after seeing one.
If you spot a red cardinal, it’s highly likely that it is there to bring you a message from the other side – and to help you understand what the visit signified to you, in this post, we discuss 11 spiritual meanings of red cardinals.
The Spiritual Meaning of Red Cardinals
1. Hope and joy
Red cardinals are attractive little birds that are a welcome sight at any time of year.
However, since they stay in one place year-round and don’t migrate, with their striking plumage and their chirpy song, they can be an especially cheering visitor during the dark and cold months of winter.
For this reason, many people see red cardinals as a symbol of hope and joy, reminding us that the winter will eventually end, that spring is on the way and that happy times will return once again.
2. Groundedness and the home
Since red cardinals don’t migrate, they are a symbol of the home – and with this, they also represent staying grounded and never forgetting one’s roots.
If you see a red cardinal, it could be a message to tell you that you should always cherish those who are closest to you, and this could be especially true if you haven’t spoken to some of your family members for some time.
Perhaps now would be a good time to pick up the phone and give them a call!
Alternatively, seeing a red cardinal may be a reminder that you should always remember where you came from, however successful you become and however far away you travel.
3. Loyalty to one’s partner
Red cardinals mate for life, and this makes them a symbol of fidelity and staying loyal to your partner – something that’s only reinforced by their red plumage, which represents love, romance and passion.
If a red cardinal comes to visit you, it could be a sign that your relationship with your partner is strong and healthy and that you both love each other very much.
Another possibility is that if you are in danger of being led astray, a red cardinal may visit you to remind you to stay true to your partner – because some mistakes can never be undone.
After red cardinals build their nests, they then defend their territory fiercely, and this makes them a symbol of personal boundaries.
For this reason, one message a red cardinal can bring is that somebody is not respecting your boundaries, perhaps physically, emotionally or spiritually, so you need to be firmer about enforcing your limits.
For example, it could be that your boss or other coworker is not behaving appropriately at work and is making unwanted advances. The red cardinal may then arrive to tell you to make your position clear and let the person know that their behavior is unacceptable.
Another possibility could be that somebody is invading your spiritual space with negative energy – in which case, you need to establish your spiritual boundaries to prevent the negativity from affecting you.
5. Personal growth or transformation
For many people, the red cardinal is a symbol of personal growth or transformation, and seeing one may bring you a message related to this.
Perhaps you have recently been dedicating lots of time to spiritual pursuits, and the red cardinal may then appear as a sign of encouragement, telling you that you are on the right path and that you will soon reach a higher level of spiritual awareness.
Another way to interpret a visit from a red cardinal is that you are about to undergo a period of growth, change or transformation in your life.
Perhaps you are about to be offered a new job, you might be thinking of moving to a new area or it could be that you are about to meet somebody who is destined to have a significant impact on the course your life takes.
In any case, the message should always be taken as a reminder that you should embrace change or transformation because when you step outside of your comfort zone and face the unknown, this is when you have the opportunity to grow and evolve as a person.
6. Renewal and rebirth
Because of its connection with the end of winter and the start of spring, the red cardinal is associated with the idea of renewal and rebirth.
Due to the bird’s red plumage, it is also a symbol of the sun, fire and the phoenix, which all also represent renewal and rebirth.
When the sun rises, it marks the end of the night and the start of a new day, reminding us that new beginnings always follow every ending and that rebirth always follows death.
Similarly, while fire destroys, it also clears the way for regeneration, and of course, the phoenix is the mythical bird said to rise from its own ashes after being consumed by flames.
For these reasons, the red cardinal may appear to us when we need to be reminded that rather than mourn for things we have lost, we should look forward to whatever the future holds.
Few things happen for no reason, and when one thing is destroyed, it makes space for something new to take its place, so even when something comes to an end, we should face the future with optimism and hope.
7. Take time to express your creativity
Cardinals are symbols of creativity, so seeing one could be a message that you need to take the time to express yourself in creative ways.
Perhaps you play an instrument or maybe you enjoy creative writing, but recently, you haven’t been spending any time playing or writing because you’ve been too busy with other more pressing concerns.
At such a time, a red cardinal may visit you to tell you that however, busy you are, you should still make time for creative endeavors because it can be extremely important for mental health and is also a great way to ensure you remain spiritually balanced.
8. Messengers from the other side
According to many cultures and traditions, birds are seen as messengers from the gods or the spirit realm, and due to their unmistakable red plumage, cardinals may bring important messages that are almost impossible to miss.
Guardian angels and spirits from the other side may try to contact us in many ways – and they constantly do.
However, sometimes it is easy to become so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we miss the subtler messages that they send.
If this happens, angels or spirits will then attempt to catch your attention in less subtle ways – and sending a red cardinal to make you look up and notice may be an example of this.
As a result, if you see a red cardinal – and especially if you have the feeling that it isn’t just a chance meeting – you should make more effort to look out for other messages such as angel numbers that you may have been missing.
9. Guidance and direction
Red cardinals are named for their striking red feathers, and the name recalls the color worn by Catholic cardinals, senior members of the clergy who provide advice to the pope.
By association, when a red cardinal bird comes to visit you, it may be there to help provide guidance or direction for you in terms of a particular challenge or difficulty you have recently been facing.
To understand what the message might be and what guidance is being offered, consider how it might be related to your current life situation – and then by following your intuition, you will be able to work out what the bird is telling you to do.
10. Good luck or a blessing
One of the peculiarities of red cardinals is that they always lay 12 eggs, and this fact was not lost on certain Native American tribes.
The number 12 is considered an auspicious number, and to some Native Americans, seeing a red cardinal foretells good luck or represents some kind of blessing – so if you see a red cardinal, it’s possible that you are about to experience some kind of unexpected good fortune.
11. A visit from a departed loved one
Finally, one of the best-known spiritual interpretations of red cardinals is that when you see one, it means a recently departed loved one is visiting you.
Indeed, there is a well-known saying that goes “when cardinals appear, angels are near”, and many people, especially the recently bereaved, report an especially strong sense of spirituality in the presence of red cardinals.
If you experience something like this just after someone close to you has departed, it may be a message from your loved one telling you that they have safely arrived on the other side, that they are thinking of you and that you don’t need to worry about them.
A spiritual creature that usually brings a positive message
As we have seen, red cardinals are highly spiritual animals, and the messages they bring are usually positive.
If you catch sight of one, you should spend time in deep reflection to try to understand what it meant – and then, by following your intuition, you will be led to the correct interpretation of what you saw.