This morning after returning home from my early morning walk with my photography assistants, I pulled the curtains aside and found a fledgling dove sitting on the window sill. Not unusual for this city known for its wind, it was a very blustery morning (and night!), and this wise baby bird, knowing it did not yet have the wing strength to battle this strong wind, was sitting out the storm. Or was she bringing me a message?
Birds in general are considered messengers from God, the Divine, and the spirit realm. Doves, specifically the ones called pigeons, can be domesticated and trained to carry messages for man, such as the Carrier Pigeon. As messengers of Spirit, doves and the wings of the doves as angel wings, reinforce their messenger attribute. The word Angel itself (Ancient Greek: ἄγγελος) means messenger.
As a communicator between the two worlds of the physical and spirit realms, doves symbolize higher love, purification of the soul, ascension, grace, divinity, and the soul leaving the body upon death. Mourning Doves are so called because, according to Celtic tradition, their call signaled the passing of a soul in peace. And according to Slavic tradition, doves carried the souls of the dead to heaven.
Doves also represent motherhood. Along with the dove’s ability to be domesticated, doves are depicted with Mother Goddesses, such as the Assyrian goddess Ishtar and the Christian Virgin Mary.
But most commonly doves represent wisdom and peace, both inner peace and world peace. The dove is often depicted with the Greek goddess Sophia (σοφία), which means wisdom. She is Divine Wisdom, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. As praised by the Christian mystic, herbalist, and medicine woman Hildegard von Bingen:
You of the whirling wings,
circling, encompassing energy of God:
you quicken the world in your clasp.
One wing soars in heaven,
one wing sweeps the earth,
and the third flies all around us.
Praise to Sophia!
Let all the earth praise her!
May the Divine Grace, Love, Spiritual Wisdom, and Inner Peace of the Dove inspire us all to spread Grace, Love, Wisdom, and Peace to all others across this world and into the next. Peace be with you!
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