Vulture Meanings and Nonconformity

Tags: Bird Totems | Nature Symbolism

Vulture Meanings and Nonconformity
Vulture Meanings and Nonconformity

My eyes first opened to various vulture meanings as a kid visiting my Uncle Dan in West Texas. 

He lived on sprawling acres of sun-baked dirt and craggy trees with crooked fingers pointing into the skies. 

Vultures were never far from sight at Uncle Dan’s place.

I learned to love these bizarre creatures for their regal poise and imperial presence.   And isn’t that a paradox.  I mean, sonnets aren’t written about how beautiful and elegant the vulture is.

And that’s my first (maybe most important) symbolic point pertaining to vulture meanings.   The vulture is what it is, and could care less about what you or I think about its appearance.   It moves with grace in the skies.  On land it moves with authority, as if all things are within its rightful ownership.

There’s a lesson here for the image-conscious.  When the vulture flies the skies of our awareness it’s a clear sign to raise our heads with dignity.  Conventionalism be damned along with conformity and status quo.

Vultures will also talk to us about expectancy and being confident in the knowlege our needs are always met.  “Good things come to those who wait.” Very good things if you’re a vulture, and they’re quite content with waiting for hours to get their fair share of resources.  

In fact, I’ve seen the same group of vultures hang in air currents for hours.  Just circling and riding the coursing winds.  Very knowing. Very Zen. As if to say “my freedom is in scaling the skies; all things come to me in good time.”

Actually, vultures say nothing. They have no hoots or hollars.  Only hissing.  Vultures don’t need to announce themselves.  They’re reputation preceeds them.  Their power is in their purpose.  Their silence only enhances their mystery. 

There’s profound wisdom in silence.  When the vulture lurks about in our awareness, it’s often a sign to keep our lips sealed.  Usually in situations where it would behoove us to keep our opponents guessing about our motives.  Build intrigue.  Build suspense.

Quite a manner of living, and the vulture is a great symbolic role model for us to follow. Indeed, the vultures’ way is an art form.  Perhaps they even have a motto that might go something like:

“Rail against the common and customary.  Bliss out whilst hang-gliding in the high, bright skies. Rest in the unquestioning knowledge that all needs are laid at my feet.”

There’s tons more vulture meanings for the picking (pardon the pun).

These and many more questions are answered in my symbolic meaning of vultures page here.

15 Comments on “Vulture Meanings and Nonconformity”

  1. Super blogpost, Avia … “you iz what you iz” is excellent advice for absolutely everyone and anyone, and I bet if put the test, would be an earth shattering statement if truly understood by many. You see, Popeye had it right, didn’t he.

    Cool …


  2. Thank you for your wise words! Vulture has been with me for close to a decade now and is a faithful travel companion. I, too, have had profound experiences with Vulture and here is a post I recently wrote about one such experience:

    I refer to your sight often for insight into animal symbolism and I thank you for your strong and wise voice here.

    Deep Bows!

  3. I just discovered your blog after an experience this morning prompted me to do a bit of research on vultures, and I’m so glad I found it! Walking out of my home this morning, I was shocked to find 6 black vultures in the parking lot of my condos! One was perched regally on my neighbor’s car, was was behind my car, and the others were in pairs at opposite ends of the drive. At first I took this to be a dark omen, but after speaking with my grandmother, she said it was a good sign. After doing a bit more research, I’m amazed at the history and symbolism of the vulture…..and am now a bit more optimistic about what my own future may hold……

  4. Hi Dawn! Fabulous! When I first began hanging out with vultures (energetically speaking) I too was floored by their diverse delights in the realm of meaning and symbolism. So glad this post was helpful!

  5. Thank you so much for your illumination of the meaning of vulture! I was taking a walk today around the Rumsfield (inventor of the steamboat) monument in Shepherdstown, WV, and saw 2 huge black vultures perched on top of the sculpture of the globe which is what crowns the 3-story-high column of the monument. I also saw identical grafiti on both sides of the monument base that said SKR 666. You can imagine what I thought all of this meant :-O! Your insights eliminated the fear and replaced it with hopes for awakening of the world.

  6. Thanks for the insight on the vultures. As i am becoming more aware and waking. I have a mother and baby vulture that are nesting in my barn. I am tariffed of birds (past life) and i am now trying to reconnect as are they. silence is the best advice as i am just awaking.I will rase my head with dignity and push forward with authority also i have decided to add this bird to my medicine deck.

  7. Yesterday as I reached to close the staircase window in my hose, a magnificent vulture flew by unusually close and almost filled the view of the window. I had never seen one so close to the house, let alone right as I aproached the window looking up. As a few people said on this blog, it immediately worried me… but then I found your page to my pleasant surprise and found out many things that make so much sense to me at this point in my awakening process. Thank you.

  8. Hi Donna – I found this blog very interesting – thank you for writing it! Interesting things happening around me here recently that I will share – and any insights you may have are very appreciated! Last week, my daughter found a dead rat in our back garden (this is not common) which I promptly covered up and asked my husband to dispose of when he got home. Then a few days later, I was sitting in the backyard enjoying a cool drink with my father — a black grackle bird flew directly toward me, low in a straight line buy arcing down and then up on to a branch right above my head – he was cawing – and I thought, “this bird is going to poo on me!” So I hopped out of my chair to the side just as he DID try to poo on me! My dad and I had a good laugh – but, I couldn’t help but thinking…what does this mean? I shooed the bird away. Today, I’m working from home and sitting at the table with my laptop facing the front living room window. As I glance up toward the window – a huge vulture flies across the front of the big living room window, from left to right as I’m facing it – about 3 feet away from the window – so not in the street – right in front of the window. Great, I thought, another bird omen – dare I look out the window? So, I go and look and open the side door – no black vulture. But, in the street to the left front of the house – I see a deceased squirrel. OK – so, that’s a relief – the vulture is probably coming in for the squirrel. A few minutes later, the bird was with the squirrel, very happy looking healthy vulture. He’s still out there now enjoying his meal. So, I can’t help but think that there are meanings in this…but, I’m not sure what to think!!! Any insight you can give would be very helpful. Thank you!

  9. My wife recently passed, and I want to put a Celtic cross on the headstone. We bought a cross on our honeymoon in Ireland. It appears to be a vulture symbol on the cross we bought. I don’t know if I like that. Is anybody available to interpret the cross I have specifically?

  10. I’m in my mid-60’s and my mother died recently. She was terribly abusive, (probably untreated mentally ill), all my life. About 60% of the time, she made our lives a living hell. 40% of the time she was sweet and loving. She especially hated daddy and me. I lived near and stayed with her, was her caregiver her last 7 years. She died almost age 92. She was healthy and well basically until the afternoon she died…but the morning of her death day, buzzards came and roosted on the house, dozens and dozens of them, for hours. Maybe 75-100 vultures. We live in a remote rural area, but I’ve never seen more than a dozen vultures at one time in my life. I’ve never seen them roost on a house. When she died in her sleep at 2:30 that afternoon, they left. Not sure exactly when they left, but they were on the house and immediate adjoining tv antenna, trees, etc., all morning. This was very disturbing to me, it frightened me, and I am looking for meaning. I loved my mother dearly, and forgave her, in spite of her on-going abuse, and I don’t want anything bad to have happened to her eternal spirit. Why do you think the buzzards were there?

  11. (A message for Avia below as well)
    Sarah, please, have no worries! It was a sign to prepare you. The buzzards where on Earth, our spirits are the souls of our Devine Being. Your heart wanting your mother in eternal peace is prayer you are sending her, as is your forgiveness. She may not have been a happy person (you and your father were the unfortunate victims) and your care surely has lifted her soul. Vultures have a very keen sense of smell and you do live in a rural area! Nothing negative. Let the fact that it’s given you concern also give you a feeling of peace by knowing you care so much.

    My experience I now choose to view as if a warning to me.
    It was very scary, however! The following happened : I had what at first thought was a humorous experience with a humongous turkey vulture. While sitting comfortably in front of a bay picture window with a view of my tree-filled green back yard (kind of rural), I saw a huge turkey vulture sitting on a branch very near my window and very me! It was staring right at me and did not look at all elegant! I sent my son a text and we both had a laugh. My health seemed fine but straight away after that vulture’s appearance, I was was taken to a hospital, then rushed to another hospital as needed a specialist. I spent 1 month between ICU and Trauma, had several surgeries and procedures (even sliced open once without anesthesia or would have died within 1 hour. As I immediately found myself reliving my 3 year old self, I remember no pain, a blessing!), followed by months as an invalid at home. My sons came immediately and other family was called to come to the hospital as it was uncertain I’d survive. While in and out of consciousness, the image of that ugly (it may be beautiful while in flight!) bird was frighteningly impressed on my mind. Although I still tire easily (1 year + later) I am making a full recovery. That animal knew how very ill I was before I did. Should this happen again, rather than raise my head in dignity, I will go – in dignity – to a doctor’s office! That creature warned me; I no longer want to give that experience a negative thought.

  12. Thank you so much for the information. I just looked out my front door and there was a wing feather from a vulture right in front of my house. Some people might say this is bad luck, but your blog tells me a lot more. I am of Mohawk blood and chose to accept the gift to remind me that good things are coming… am I right?

  13. My husband and I had a hard discussion with our grown son about how distant our grandchildren were getting from us as they grow. We have sat and cried about it many times. He did not take the discussion well and he left without any bad words, but we just feel so bad. We went to Walmart and upon our return there were three huge vultures sitting on our love seat, under an old oak tree, just staring at us as we got out of the car. We stood there for several minutes just eyeing them. Finally my husband walked toward them and shooed them away. Any thoughts???????

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