Swallows are easily recognizable, with their blue-black wings, red face, and distinctively forked tail. And they live all around the world. But what do they represent in the spiritual realm? Whether you spot one in your front yard or have one tattooed on your body, swallow symbolism is powerful and significant. So let’s look at the spiritual meanings of swallows in life.
Spiritual Meanings of Swallow
1. Be Versatile in Your Approach to Life
Humans are creatures of habit. Even the most free-spirited among us will fall into some kind of routine. It keeps us productive and sane. But these rituals can sometimes sink us into ruts of boredom, complacency, and burnout. We submit to patterns that restrict spiritual growth.
In such circumstances, you might see swallows as a signal to break the habit. Swallows can survive anywhere by bending to surroundings conditions. No water? Eat berries. Too much salt? Adjust to marine conditions. Seeing swallows means you should adapt or you’ll falter.
2. Open Yourself To Travel and Experience
Ask the average person on the street what they would do with a million dollars. Lots will respond, ‘Travel and see the world!’ But when the opportunity arises, those same people will find a billion excuses to dodge the trip. They’ll cite work, family, responsibilities, or expenses.
But in the physical world – just like the spiritual one – meeting new people and engaging in fresh experiences is the catalyst to growth. Sailors got swallow tattoos for every 5,000 miles they covered. So seeing swallows means you should try stuff that’s outside your comfort zone.
3. Your Relationship May Need Redefining
Why do swallows represent distance? Well, they can fly 200 miles every day in migration. And they often go without stopping because they can eat in the air. Swallows stay close to where they were born, and they remain monogamous, with males taking an active role.
After singing to attract a mate, the guys will often defend the nest. And while the female may sometimes stray, play, and even breed with other birds, she stays loyal and monogamous. So seeing pairs of swallows everywhere may show a mutual need to explore ethical monogamy…
4. Be Strategic in Your Actions
We’ve established swallows as loyal and flexible, with remarkable stamina. But just because swallows can do amazing things doesn’t mean they always choose to. For example, swallows can thrive in dry deserts or buoyant beaches, and they can fly hundreds of miles every day.
But they also spend much of their time gliding to save energy. While we love their gorgeous colors, they’ve evolved streamlined bodies to become better hunters and fliers. Some even have specialized beaks to eat while flying. So swallows can symbolize strategy and logistics.
5. Don’t Underestimate Yourself
In a sense, a swallow is the ultimate underdog. They have tiny bodies, they’re pretty common, and their colorful appearance might make you dismiss their strength and agility. But because they need to eat on the fly – literally – they’ve evolved special characteristics.
The shape and angle of their tails and wings allow maddening aerial acrobatics. They can detect subtle shifts in humidity, and their eyes are designed to see forward and sideways. So if you’re seeing lots of swallows, it’s a reminder that you’re more capable than others think.
6. Accept your Visitation
Swallows are remarkably beautiful birds, and this alone makes some spiritual communities associate them with gods. Other cultures have a more specific interpretation, believing certain gods and goddesses could camouflage themselves by taking on the body of a swallow.
But it’s more common to see swallows as a sign of the dearly departed. If your loved one died recently, you might start seeing a solo swallow all over the place. The bird could be the soul of the deceased letting you know they’re close to you, bringing you comfort and reassurance.
7. Comfort and Company from Beyond
You may know about the purple butterfly, an icon used in hospitals to show that a baby’s twin or triplet died during birth. You might also know that in Ancient Rome, swallows symbolized infants who crossed the veil before they could make it into this material plane.
These could be stillbirths, miscarriages, or premature babies that never made it home. It can also refer to young babies born with ailments like heart murmurs, so they died shortly after they were born. Seeing a lone swallow could mean your lost baby’s spirit watching over you.
8. Happiness and Health in Your Home
We’ve mentioned that swallows are family-oriented birds. Male swallows will usually mate for life, and even if his lady sniffs around on occasion, she always comes back home. Also, swallows can live in a wide variety of houses, from barns to burrows. They imply true love.
Swallows can live in your rafters. The pair builds a house of mud and grass lined with fur and feathers. And when this swallow family chooses your home as their base, they bring you luck and good vibes. Your family life will be happy and blessed by the warm spirit of the swallow.
9. Put Your Focus on Your Partnerships
We’ve just talked about swallows working as a couple, so if you start seeing pairs of swallows everywhere, it could mean your partner needs attention. Remember, getting a tattoo that has two swallows is a sign of true love, but it also commemorates undying friendship and loyalty.
So if you start seeing these birds flying two by two, it could mean you’re ready to settle down and find a life partner. But if you have a close business partner, a best friend that’s more like a sibling, or you’ve already found your soul mate, that relationship may need attention…
10. Hope and Freedom for The Condemned
Traditionally, sailors had their swallow tattoos on their chests or arms. Contemporary sailors had these tattoos on their wrists instead, particularly if they were members of The Royal Navy. These tattoos marked successful tours of duty. But criminals could use swallows too.
In such cases, the swallow signified freedom. A convict got the tattoo upon release to show s/he had ‘done their bird’, spiritual meaning they had done their time and completed their sentence. It was a sign of remorse and rehabilitation, so they could start a new life as reformed beings.
11. Violence, Confidence, and Control
Swallows are on the smaller side, so you’d assume they’re easy prey. But they’re such skilled hunters that, unlike many other birds, they can catch a bug mid-flight, eat the insect, and keep moving without even pausing for breath. Their skills can put any trapeze act to shame!
This could be why certain street brawlers embrace the swallow tattoo. It sits on the back of their hands and whispers ‘this fist flies’ to prove they’re exceptionally fast boxers. In this context, swallows represent efficiency in hand-to-hand combat, specifically fist fighting.
12. Devotion to Your Loved Ones
Let’s talk a little more about swallow tattoos. We mentioned earlier that they indicated a sailor’s ocean experience. But they could also imply the sailor’s love for his family. Swallows re-use their nests and can recycle the nests of other birds too. They’re also thought to carry souls. So a sailor might get one swallow tattoo when leaving home and a second one later.
The second tattoo meant they had come safely back home. But if they died on the way back, the swallow would take their spirit to heaven then come and visit their family to show they made it to the other side. In this sense, a swallow tattoo, carving, painting, or screensaver can show devotion to your family and invocation for their safety when they’re away at work.
13. Watch the Weather Closely
You may have heard sayings about swallows and weather. Allegedly, if they fly high, it’s going to be dry, but if they swoop low, rain is coming. Of course, there are scientific explanations for this, and they’re linked to the swallow’s ability to track and detect atmospheric moisture.
But from a metaphorical perspective, swallow symbolism could mean the conditions around you are about to change. Water represents emotions, so the position of the swallow can tell you whether to expect emotional intensity or a season of calm, dry, blandness in your soul.
14. Explore All Your Angles
We like to put people into boxes. Even our school systems try to herd kids towards the sciences, the arts, sports, or the gifted track right from childhood. But in the spirit world, nobody is just one thing. We bring our various selves and skills together for the greater good.
Seeing swallows means you should embrace and explore all sides of your nature. Swallows are pretty enough to catch your eye, tough enough to fly hundreds of miles a day, daring enough to outmaneuver ace pilots, and soft enough to raise families. You can try it all too!
15. He’s a Good Father Figure …
We’re often unconsciously attracted to people who remind us of our parents. If you’re straight that’s likely to be the parent of the opposite sex, but for queer folk, it can get more complicated. But we do know that, unlike many animal species, swallows are amazing dads.
They stay loyal to their mates, even when the lady strays. They help her build a nest, take turns sitting on their eggs, feed their babies together, and defend their home from threats. If you start seeing swallows around the (male) object of your affection, they’ll be a good partner.
16. Strife is Coming …
Because swallows are associated with peace, harmony, and loyalty, their absence can be a message too. So what does it mean when you see dead swallows, or maybe you dream about killing one? This is an omen of troubling times ahead. It could be a community-level conflict. Maybe your village or town is arguing about an upcoming project or event that you support.
Or it might just be a disruption of your calm, quiet home life. At the office, this might mean new management will restructure the organization, causing ill feelings and firings. The old folk were careful never to harm or kill a swallow, so seeing a dead one is never a good sign. At the most extreme, you might see 13 swallows at dusk. It generally means someone will die.
17. Clear Your Up Communication Channels
For the most part, swallows get along. We’ve talked severally about their coupling conventions. But they can also live in swarms and protect each other. They’re highly social birds. So if you see swarms of swallows around you, you have a strong human team that loves, supports, and is working together for your benefit. You should also note their noise.
This matters because swallows are talkative birds with a wide variety of chirps and calls. They range from mating songs and aggressive whistles to chirps, gurgles, and whines, each conveying a separate message. If you spot chattering groups of swallows, it could mean you’re having a communication breakdown at work or home. Sit and talk things through.
18. Make a Smart Wish
Aristotle once said one swallow doesn’t make a summer (though his grammar was a lot more convoluted). They say if you spot the first swallow of the summer, you can make a wish and it’ll come true. This is tricky, because how can you tell it’s the first one out? Technically, if you haven’t seen any other swallows that season, then it’s a first for you …? Ask your angels.
They can see all planes, and they probably know Swallow Numero Uno by name. So if you’re in close contact with your higher helpers, you could ask them to guide you towards that first bird. You can also ask them what you should wish for. That way, they can add their energies to your mission and combine all your vibrations, making the outcome stronger and surer.
19. Lean into Your Yin
Regardless of your politics, you’ve probably heard women being described as the weaker sex. But in the spirit world, feminine energy is just as powerful as the masculine. Particularly in Christian spaces, swallows are sometimes seen as the bird that represents the Virgin Mary.
So if you’re suddenly seeing swallow symbols everywhere you look, it could be a call to harness your yin energies. Approach the matter with kindness, softness, empathy, understanding, and conditional love. Focus on reconciliation and balance, not conflict.
20. Let Go of the Past
One of the most enduring spiritual meanings implied in swallow symbolism is release. Remember, they stand for (or fly for) freedom and hope. They’re light on their feet … well, their wings. And they can spin, dive, and twirl with the best of them because they have minimal worries.
So if you start to see swallows all around you, whether they’re in photos, on TVs, in the eaves, or on the trees, it’s a sign that you need to release something from your past. You’re brooding and ruminating, and these burdens are keeping you down. Ask your angels what to let go of.
21. Start Something Beautiful
While swallows can generally survive (and thrive) anywhere, they prefer warm spots. So they often move away in the winter and come back in the spring. Swallows, therefore, symbolize new life and fresh starts. They symbolize renewal, revival, and a return to life after grief.
You might see swallows around you after losing a loved one – we mentioned that before. But in addition to saying hi, your deceased loved one is giving you permission to move on. This could mean getting a new house, new job, or even a new partner and leaving the past behind.
When was the last time you interacted with swallow symbolism? Tell us in the comments!