Interpreting Dreams: Symbolic Meaning of the Blue Jay and Cardinal

I received a question about dreaming of blue jays and cardinals from a gentleman who left a comment on my Meaning of Feathers post here.

To re-cap the dream:

“My friend had a dream about a blue jay flying in his kitchen window and landing on his head. The bird calmly allowed him to carry it in his hands to be released out the door. Upon re-entering the kitchen, a cardinal flew in the window and landed on his shoulder. It seemed to want to stay there and resisted somewhat to being released outside. At that point, he woke up. Can you help interpret this dream?”

Dear Feathered Friend (I couldn’t resist the pun):

I’ll begin as I usually do – by saying mine is only one perspective.  Ultimately your friend will have to take the time to interpret his dream (if he hasn’t already) for himself.  Symbols in dreams (or otherwise) are intensely personal, and their meanings are like chameleons – changing according to the backdrop they’re nestled upon. 

Simply put, symbolic meanings are tailored to their master. 

That said…what a great dream!  Let’s take it step by step:

1) Symbolic Meaning of  the Blue jay deals with:

  • Clarity
  • Voice
  • Assertion
  • Curiosity

I go into the origin of these symbolic attributes in much greater detail in my page on the symbolic meaning of the blue jay here.   When we dream of blue jay’s it may be a message that it’s time to vocalize more clearly.  Does your friend need to speak out in his own defense?  Is it time he asserts himself, and speaks his mind?  Or, perhaps he’s curious about a something…a different vocation, relationship, location…the blue jay will come to us when we need a nudge of confidence in order to peek behind those curtains in order to satisfy our curiosity.

2) Symbolic Meaning of Kitchens:

Part of the wonderful crazy world of dream interpretation is that no stone is left unturned.  Every detail of the dream has unique symbolism – kitchens included.  Symbolic meaning of kitchens deal with:

  • Preparation
  • Creativity
  • Sharing
  • Nourishment

Kitchens are where we prepare nourishment for ourselves, as well as friends and family.  They are often social gathering places too where long intimate talks are held over a good plate of pasta or a cup of joe.  When we dream of kitchens it may be a message to spend more quality timewith those who are close to us.  Or, it may indicate we need to take the time to feed ourselves better (physically AND philosophically).  Is your friend getting the proper kind of nourishment (socially? physically?)?

3) Symbolic Meaning of Windows and Doors:

As we would imagine, the symbolic meaning of windows and doors in our dreams speak of openings, entryways, and portals.  They also speak of two-way directions (letting in, and letting out).  Windows in our dreams ask us what kind of opportunities are we facing right now?  Are we shutting out our highest good, or opening the shades and letting in the light?  Interestingly, windows are like eyes to houses.  Houses are symbolic of solid foundations, with windows looking out…is your friend seeking out other structures?  In need of a new foundation? It’s a stretch…but something to consider.  Also, if they are clear glass windows, it is often a message of clarity of thought (this ties in with the blue jay too).

4) Symbolism of the Head:

Here again, no dream-point is moot.  The blue jay landed on your friend’s head.  This is symbolic of thoughts, contemplation, sorting out a problem.  The blue jay confirms this symbolism as it is symbolic of clarity.  This imagery speaks of a need to get clarity of thought – or better yet – get focused and assertive with some thoughts or ideas.

5) Symbolic Meaning of the Cardinal Deals with:

  • Passion
  • Boldness
  • Nobility

I’ve written more about the origins of these meanings on my Symbolic Meaning of Cardinal page here.  The cardinal flying into the window of your friend’s dream may indicate a returning of a love that was once lost, forgotten or buried in the past.  I’m not necessarily referring to a romantic love – but something your friend was passionate about yet had to give up for one reason or another.  Perhaps your friend might want to re-visit some passions that were left behind.  By doing so, his sense of confidence may be boosted.

6) Symbolism of the Shoulder:

Shoulders in dreams may indicate a burden is being carried by your friend – the cardinal landing on his shoulder may be a message that your friend has or is grappling with the loss of this love I mentioned in the above paragraph.  Shoulders are also our starting point of strength.  Consider, from our shoulders span our arms which are symbolic of strength and power. 

I’d like your friend to consider the occurrence of air totems in his dream.  Creatures of the sky speak to us of thoughts, higher ideals, spiritual enhancement, even enlightenment.  They are creatures closest to the heavens, and so they are the messengers of the gods (your Native American blood knows this, no?).

I love the implications of color in this dream: one red bird, one blue.  Red and blue are vibrant power colors by themselves, to be true – but if we put them together, we get violet.  Here again we see a symbolic undertone of richness, high-mindedness and devotion in the color of violet. I’ve written a bit about symbolism of colors here (it’s my Tarot site, but the core insights are consistent).

We can even investigate your dream from a numerological perspective.  Two birds – the meaning of two  deals with choice, balance, opportunity, and so much more as indicated on my study of the number two here.

It should be clear the symbolic possibilities of this dream (any dream for that matter) are endless.

When your friend has meditated and contemplated all these beautiful symbols in his dream, it’s time for him to begin putting the puzzle pieces together.  When he relaxes with all the symbolism, they will begin to morph into a template he can lay on top of his life situation.  This will provide amazing clarity as to the true meaning of his dream.

Just keep in mind this is only one perspective (and a brief one at that – years could be devoted to the many nuances this dream presents).  Please tell your friend it’s his responsibility to charm the meanings out of this dream.

I hope this dream interpretation of the blue jay, cardinal and other dream symbols is helpful to your friend.  

Granted, it’s rather lengthy – but I couldn’t help it – so many neat and subtle meanings peering out – just had to let loose.  Thanks for indulging in my verbosity!

9 thoughts on “Interpreting Dreams: Symbolic Meaning of the Blue Jay and Cardinal”

  1. My mom passed away in January. I was out for a walk with my brother and neice and we were singing a song that was sang at her bedside the days before she died and at her funeral reception. I had the photo developed and noticed that there was a bluejay sitting on my brother’s hand appeared in the photo, the bluejay was not there the day we took the photo. In fact, we did not see any birds in sight that day. The bluejay is very clear, it is not in the background. I put the photo under magnifying glass also took it to the photo shop and zoomed in on this part of the photo. It still is a bluejay, it’s not the lighting or the shape of my brother’s hand. Do you have an explanation? After trying endlessly to find out what this is and thinking about giving up….I saw a sign in a store that reads the following: Faith is believing when it is beyond reason to believe.

  2. Hi Doris,

    Thank you for sharing this amazing (and heart-warming) phenomenon.

    Energy manifests itself in some pretty incredible ways, doesn’t it??

    I don’t really have an explanation for you – at least not one that is better than the one you’ve been given:

    “Faith is believing when it is beyond reason to believe.”

    I’m sure you’ve read the symbolic blue jay points on this post, as well as my page on the blue jay’s symbolic meanings here.

    If I may make an additional observation, it would be on the locality of the ethereal blue jay in the photo – the jay is on your brother’s hand.

    Hands are symbolic of activity, honesty, and generosity. They’ve also been attributed to matters of faith (in the realm of supplication, prayer position, and mudras). Left hands are typically symbolic of receiving, right hands are symbolic of giving.

    Is your mother reaching out to you? My personal opinion? Absolutely.

    I’d say you and your family are blessed with a protective presence (furthering this point is the blue jay’s affinity for protection, as I mentioned on this page.)

    You may find more clarification and peace by entering into the energy of the blue jay, as well as your mom’s energy.

    Communicating with animal energy or family energy of those who are no longer physically present is neither difficult, nor is it unusual.

    It’s as simple as closing our eyes, recalling the light-filled moments of smiles, laughter, and beauty shared between souls that are forever connected……as simple as embracing the vibrant blue of the jay, and letting that crystal clear azure wash over us in refreshing waves of clarity.

    With love & blessings,

  3. To a Canadian, the Blue jays are a major league baseball team (based in Toronto). No surprise that players frequently steal bases. The bird itself is a sneaky robber and uses power wisely.

    Surprisingly perhaps, the blue jay is actually a crow relative. Crows are very adept and fearless scavengers. Crows and jay will join together and mob hawks and owls or other birds to drive them off. Jays can assist to you to reconnect with your Higher source on Earth and in heaven.

    it makes sense the word “jay” stems from the Latin “gaia” or “gaea” meaning Mother Earth. In Greek mythology, the union of Mother Earth (Gaea) and Father Heaven (Uranus) led to the first living creatures. This view of history explains the jay’s links to heaven and earth. Like the jay, we can each learn to bridge them to tap into greater power.

    I often think of blue jays as resilient birds that can be seen out in the wild Canadian winter. Being half Estonian, I relate the colors of the jay to those of the Estonian flag which also link Heaven and sky to earthly water. The black and white marks on jay wings are hard to miss. You may interpret it as sky (blue) separating the Heavens (white) and the Earth (black). The blue jay as a totem visits heaven and earth and reveals secrets about energies found in both.

  4. Hi Liara,

    I’m so grateful for your knowledge & insight.

    Your interpretations bring another layer of color to the symbolic canvas.

    It’s beautiful the way this works – a canvas painted by everybody – all contributing to the greater good – the higher beauty.

    Your thoughts are so valuable – thanks again.

    Brightest blessings,

  5. I’ve adopted the Blue Jay as my totem animal. They seem to be where ever i am. Today i was talking about the blue jays then there were at least nine of them that flew over head! It seems that when i am feeling really stressed, i can count on the Blue jays to make their presense known to me, then i am able to let go of whatever was stressing me out.

  6. i have a friend that has had two dreams seemingly unrelated to her but to me I found connection. Please tell me what you think. The first one: she was in a dreary marsh area and was walking then she saw an image in this huge tree that appeared to be jesus as she walked she saw light and was drawn to hit there was a huge golden brick wall as she passed through the wall she was in a large grassy area like a pasture there were lots of people kneeling talking singing then she saw her deseased grandmother only she was alive and there was a radiant light that shined down and covered the whole area…she woke up….the second one she was sitting on sofa talking with her diseaced grandfoather only he was alive and then she felt something on her it was a small worm like a maggot she knocked it off only to find she was covered in them she asked her grandfather to help her only he could not see them she takes all her clothing off in an attempt for him to see them only he still could not and she could not get them off…then she wakes up…..a little back ground on my friend she has a lung condition also has som lesions on her splean and liver..her grandparents in the dream were more like her parents for they raised her…can you help interpret these dreams and do you see a connection.

  7. I had a dream about a blue jay coming in through the bedroom window perching itself on my bedpost and they flying out the window, after that a crow followed. what would that signify if anything?

  8. hi my name is alex and i had a dream about a blue jay last nite. i was walking through the woods and the sun was shining i was in a small opening and seen a down tree and a bluejay had landed on a branch about my chest level and started chirping at me and lookin around.. and i said hi pretty bird and it chirped at me and flew away and landed about 20 feet away and chirped again then flew back to the same spot and kept chirping.. all i could thing was wat are you trying to tell me.. i belive in dreams tellin you something but dont understand wat it was can someone please help me with this

  9. Hello my name is Priscilla and I dreamed of about 7 blue jays on a tree in their nests side by side on a branch. I looked out the window and the branch was close to the window and I saw one sstanding and the others were sitting on their nests. I remember counting them and thinking wow, they are letting me point to them and almost touch them. Very interesting dream…

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