The Spiritual Meaning And Symbolism Of A Dove

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white dove flying with clouds and stars in the background.

An open-winged dove carrying an olive branch is a symbol that is widely recognized in political spheres, religious traditions, and historical context as a message of peace. But, outside of generic symbolic meaning, what does a dove represent spiritually in our current daily lives? What does it mean to have a spiritual encounter with a dove? 

Doves that appear to you in synchronistic ways represent hope, faith, renewed purpose, compassion, purity, and intuitive communication. They may show up when hard times are ending, and a new understanding of one’s self is emerging. The presence of a dove brings energy back into balance, harmony, and invokes an internal sense of peace. 

These gentle creatures have a magnificently spiritual depth to them, so when they show up in your life be prepared to venture into the spiritual depths of your own existence. They tend to stir up the deeper meanings of life, making their interpretation unique to the individual. 

This article goes over the most common encounters with a dove, the most common spiritual inquiries about a dove, and a general interpretation of various dove messages. Please use your own intuition to determine what resonates with your unique situation. 


What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of A Dove? 

There is a reason why doves have been used throughout history in the context of Divine visitation. Doves are strongly connected to the spirit realm and are often sent as messengers between the spirit and physical worlds. They are strongly influenced by the flow of spiritual guidance and comfort that we need in times of trials and tribulations. 

Doves represent communication with one’s own intuition and the emotional language of others to find inner balance, healing, peace, and joy. They are associated with the third chakra, linked to creativity, verbal and emotional expression, and discerning the truth. Doves are a symbol of Divine love flowing into your life which is reflected in how you express your highest truth and sense of self. 

The presence of doves may make you feel as if compassion is overtaking you. They can awaken the empathic nature in you, which allows you to deeply connect with the spiritual flow that weaves us into the energetic fabric of reality. Doves can open your heart, allowing you to receive love, give love, and recognize that you are love. 

If a dove appears to you in synchronistic ways, now is the best time to tap into the rich emotional bank account that is being filled right now. You may be more receptive to creative ideas, new relationships, spiritual insights, and a desire to connect more intensely with your experiences in life. Something is waking up inside you that is wanting to love life more deeply and with more passion. 

You may be in a season where you are searching for more spiritual and emotional fulfillment, and are ready to plant the seeds of a new life in a field that has been barren for many years. Doves give you the confidence that emerges from complete peace and acceptance of self. 

This is a good time to tune into your intuition to hear what messages are being sent to you from the spirit realm. Creative activities that open your intuition include making art, writing, spending time in nature, meditating, and solo traveling. 

Pay attention to other synchronicities that appear in your life right now, especially if they show up in threes. Doves are linked to the number three, and will often bring you messages in threes. 


What Does It Mean If You Have An Encounter With A Dove? 

dove flying to someone's hands with colorful clouds in the background

Humans don’t often get approached by wild birds, so when someone has a close encounter with a dove it is a special experience. If you have been visited by a dove, you may be wondering what the deeper spiritual meaning is behind this encounter. Below are the most common dove encounters and their general interpretations. 

What Is The Meaning Of A Dove Visiting You? 

A dove visiting you brings the energy of balance, patience, and highlights the importance of living your life with intention. If you have been feeling off-kilter lately, a dove may visit you to stabilize your unsettled energy and bring your life back into harmony. 

Dove visitations are often about releasing resistance and surrendering to where the spiritual flow is guiding you. This is a time to simply “allow” events to happen without trying to exert control or force things to go in a specific way according to your old expectations. This is a period of rebirth and renewal. 

A dove may also visit you after a period of grief or trauma. This is a message that you are surrounded and protected by unconditional love from the spirit realm, and your spiritual guides are all around you right now. The period of hardship you are experiencing will soon be over. 

What Is The Meaning Of A Dove Crossing Your Path? 

A dove that crosses your path, either by flying or walking, is the sign of a peacekeeper. You are invited to see a conflict from all sides from a place of neutrality and acceptance. This is a great time to set your normal beliefs aside and view the situation without being swayed by emotion or overly-charged feelings. 

Doves invite you to take a contrarian viewpoint by stepping outside of popular belief. If you are feeling emotionally upset about political or social issues, this may be a good time to take a break from the mainstream media or go on a meditation retreat. You may be surprised by what is revealed to you when all the noise is gone. 

A dove crossing your path is also a message about compassion, cooperation, and acceptance of all people regardless of how diverse the beliefs are. You may be in a position soon where you will be challenged to help others accept what is different, and to love their neighbors. 

What Does A Dove Landing Near or On You Mean? 

Doves are not as frightened by people as most other birds, so it is surprisingly not uncommon for a dove to land near you or even on you. It is very special when a dove chooses to land near you, so take a moment and listen with your full presence of self to what is happening in your internal and external environment. 

A dove landing near you is a message to stay calm, even when it feels as though your life is out of control. When you are feeling stressed or anxious, a dove may land on you to offer comfort and peace of mind. 

If you notice that doves land near you often it is a sign that you are someone with a naturally even temperament and someone who is a master over your own emotions. You do not let the temporary sways of your mood distract you from living life to its fullness. While you may not be the most optimistic or joyous person at all times, you are true, genuine, and authentic. You know that life is not always good or bad, and you stay even throughout the ups and downs. 

When something is making you feel very frustrated in life, a dove may land on you to invite you to be patient. The more frustration you feel, the longer it will take you to achieve your goal. Spiritual energy moves under the surface of your reality, and a dove is telling you to trust that things are happening exactly in the way they are meant to unfold. 

What Does It Mean If A Dove Follows You? 

When a dove follows you, this can be a message that you are in a period of rediscovery about your life. You may be feeling more introspective than normal, asking big questions about your greater purpose on this planet. A dove follows you as you are following the deeper yearnings of your soul. 

A dove lets you know that right now is the time to follow your soul’s desires to discover new layers of your spiritual existence. This is a good time to be brutally honest with yourself and to be bold with making drastic life changes to follow your dreams. 


What Does A Dove Near Or In Your Home Represent? 

A dove near your home is a positive omen that represents peace after a period of stress and hardship. It is a peace offering from the universe, signaling that you are entering into a time of rest. This time of rest should give you space to evaluate how you have grown from the recent challenges that you have faced. It is a time for reflection on what life lessons you are ready to move past in this lifetime. 

If a dove takes up residence near your home, such as makes a nest or visits often, this is a sign that you are open and receptive to the Divine love and dynamic creative energy. The space that surrounds you is sacred. If you feel restless or physically ill, setting time aside each day to meditate in the home or out in your garden can be deeply healing. 

A dove visiting your home is also a sign of renewed hope and undiscovered potential as your gratitude for life increases. You are realizing how blessed you are. This is a peaceful time in your life where others can benefit from your love and care. It can be fulfilling to invite people to your home, and spiritually uplifting for others. 

What Is The Meaning Of A Dove At Your Window? 

A dove at your window is all about letting the magic flow back into your life. This is the time to open the blinds and let the golden sun of your highest vibrations pour back into your energetic space. Imagine that your highest vibrational energy is being called back from everywhere it has been left behind and filling up your auric field. A dove at your window is a period of energetic healing. 

A dove at the window also lets you know that your dreams can come true if you just believe. Right now is a perfect time to dream as big as you can, and quite literally see into the window of new possibilities. 

What Does It Mean If A Dove Hits Your Window? 

While a dove visiting your window represents new possibilities and energetic healing, a dove hitting the window carries a different message entirely. This may represent that you are living too much inside your dream world instead of in your present reality. You may be abandoning your sense of self while you are busy daydreaming about unrealized possibilities. This may be a warning signal to remind you to live fully in the present moment, which is where new opportunities get their creative lifeforce to manifest. 

If you have been putting off a project, avoiding a difficult task, or feeling overly restless when a dove suddenly hits your window, this is a sign that your energy is too much in the future. There are so many new possibilities that await you, but they will never come if you don’t spend time in the present moment to begin to create them. 

If doves hitting your window becomes a persistent issue, you can read about how to prevent this from happening by visiting this article here

What Is The Meaning Of A Dove In Your Yard? 

Doves in your yard represent a generous and compassionate spirit. You may have acquired wealth and want to share it with others right now. This doesn’t have to be material wealth, it could be emotional, creative, or spiritual health. Find something you have to offer to others, and share it with the world. 


What Do Two/Pair Of Doves Represent? 

Doves are monogamous animals, meaning that they stick with one mate for as long as they both live. Because of this, it is common to find a pair of doves hanging out together. A pair of doves together is a wonderful blend of water and air elements, combining the emotional and spiritual into one experience. This is the perfect recipe for unconditional love and total self-acceptance. 

Two doves together can be healing for the heart center, allowing space for new relationships to take root. This could be new business partnerships, new friendships, or a new adventurous romance. You may feel a fluttery sensation in your belly, like the wings of a dove flying towards its mate. 

This does not mean forming new unhealthy emotional attachments. This is about forming new relationships that don’t put expectations or limitations on love. A pair of doves may send you a message that true love should not be put in a cage. It is time to release past attachments or current unhealthy attachments and let love be a wild force in your life, without expectation. 

If you are struggling to find a relationship and see a pair of doves may show up to offer guidance on how to find a true partnership. In order to receive love, you have to give love. If you have been stingy with the love you give in your life, the flow of love will be blocked. Find ways to care for and love others, and you will be surprised at how it will return to you tenfold. 


What Does A Dove Cooing Represent? 

Doves are fascinating creatures for a number of reasons, but their most interesting attribute is how they “coo.” They do not make any audible sounds by opening their beaks to make bursts of sound. Instead, they fill their throat with air and let it slowly escape. The gentle release of air makes the “cooing” that you hear.

A dove cooing is all about letting your inner voice be heard without using words. This is through your thoughts, actions, and imaginations which all combine to form your inner radiance. The way your inner radiance is expressed in life says way more than words can ever speak. 

This is a time to reflect on how you are truly communicating with the world around you. What is the energy you are sending to your throat to softly “coo” into the world? What actions are you taking that are sending high vibrations through this physical dimension? What thoughts are being manifested into your reality? 

This could be a powerful time for meditation to gain control over your “monkey-mind” so that you know how your inner voice is being heard by the world. 


What Does A Dove Feather Represent? 

Feathers are often messages sent from the spirit realm, either from angels or loved ones who have passed on. They are reactive to higher vibrations so they are easily guided and strategically placed by spiritual energies. 

The message from a dove feather is all about truth. Dove feathers bring your awareness to the truth of a situation. If you have been feeling lost, confused, or in search of the true meaning of something in your life, a dove feather can guide you to the answers you are looking for. 

Dove feathers are all about moving past the “fluff” and distractions cluttering your life that leave you feeling lost in a haze. They get to the heart of the matter and remind you of what is true. If you find a dove feather, this is a great time to sit in meditation and listen to what inner truths are being revealed to you. 

You are able to see people and situations as they truly are, as dove feathers heighten your intuitive senses about discerning the truth. There may be people in your life that you start to feel wary of. A spirit guide might be using a dove feather to help you see past deception. 

A dove feather may also be a message to release a “made-up” story that you keep telling yourself that is limiting you from making progress in your life. The lightness of a dove feather is telling you to lighten up and stop creating problems that really aren’t there! 

But overall, finding a dove feather is a positive omen that you are moving towards truth, honesty, and are seeing things more clearly now. 

If you are finding white dove feathers everywhere, you can read more in-depth about what this represents in an article I wrote here: The Spiritual Meaning of White Feathers Appearing All Around You.


What Does a Dead Dove Represent? 

In spiritual language, the concept of death represents new beginnings and change. The message of a dead dove contains a similar message, related to transition, introspection, and deep internal change. 

If you find a dead dove and wonder what the deeper spiritual meaning is, this can be a time to do some deep soul searching and ask dynamic questions to your inner critic. 

Because doves are monogamous and mate for life, finding one dead dove may represent a permanent separation from someone or a certain lifestyle. It may be a time to move away from where you currently live and travel overseas to set up a completely new life. Or it might be time to get that divorce that you have been avoiding for years. 

When a dove’s mate dies, it does find a new mate. The love story of the surviving dove is not over, but it is having to start again. While these changes are full of grief and devastation, often a more realized version of yourself rises from the ashes. 

It is like that quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “Only when it’s dark enough can you see the stars.” This represents the message from a dead dove. Our highest versions of ourselves are often found amongst the darkest moments. 

Ultimately, doves represent peace and new beginnings, so a dead dove may represent that a big change must happen in order to achieve the peace you have been searching for. 


Different Types Of Doves And Their Meanings

Grey dove with stars and shimmers in the background

The interpretations provided so far haven’t focused on a particular type or kind of dove. Below are interpretations of specific types of doves and what a synchronistic encounter with them may represent. 

What Does A White Dove Represent Symbolically And Spiritually? 

The most widely recognized image of a dove is the white dove because of its similarity to an angelic being. White doves are more commonly referenced when associating spiritual messages and these birds, for good reason. They are highly spiritual creatures, making you feel that you’ve been visited by an angel. 

White doves represent purity, spiritual awakening, hope, new beginnings, and the ending of suffering. They often show up to give you a feeling of protection and comfort, especially in times of grief and sorrow. White doves can activate your heart center giving, activating a sense of unconditional love and compassion for all beings. 

If a white dove shows up in your life, this is a time for looking at the world through a new vision of love and light. This is a great time to find ways to send compassion to anyone suffering on the planet right now. Also, just as a white flag represents surrender, a white dove is an invitation to surrender to the universal flow and allow magic to unfold into your life. 

What does a white dove appearing after death represent? 

Many people have reported a white dove appearing after the death of a loved one, or experienced a great tragedy involving loss. You may require spiritual intervention to help you process your grief, and a white dove is a messenger from the great beyond. 

White doves represent peace, so your loved one may be sending you a message that they are at peace and there is nothing to worry about. This can be a great relief if you are in a season of grieving. 

Do white doves represent angels are nearby?

The high spiritual energy of a white dove links the physical realm to the heavenly realm, opening a gateway for our soul and spirit connections to live in the same moment. This may manifest as angelic visitations or messages from the heavenly realm. 

If you see a white dove and feel as though it is an angelic being, you may also notice that you find white feathers all around your home. This is a confirmation that your angels are surrounding you right now. The message they often bring in the form of a dove is that of love, light, and a promise of peace after war. If you have gone through a period of fighting or hardship, your angels are stepping in to bring a period of calmness and tranquility. 

To learn more about what white feathers represent, you can check out an article I wrote about it here: The Spiritual Meaning of a White Feather.

What Does It Mean To See a White Dove at Night? 

White doves at night symbolize a balance of yin and yang energy, or masculine and feminine energy. They can symbolize a great change is about to happen in your life, and you will be reborn into a new higher being. 

Seeing a white dove in the dark of the night can also mean that your greatest potential is found in the darkest parts of yourself. Some deep soul searching may be necessary to discover your true calling. 

What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of A Mourning Dove

The most common dove found in North America is the mourning dove, so many people living in this region will have encounters with this type of dove. Mourning doves are unique birds and have a special connection to humans. They are more trusting of humans than most other birds and have been known to make nests close to people’s homes. 

Mourning doves represent your inner self in perfect balance with your outer natural environment, and as a result, they represent completion, spiritual well-being, and a sense of being grounded in your present reality. 

If you have synchronistic sightings for visitations from a mourning dove, this is a great time to focus on self-care and find ways to nourish your body, soul, and spirit. Setting time aside in your week to meditate, get acupuncture, go to a yoga class, or plan out a new healthy routine are great ways to show up for the entirety of your being. 

A mourning dove can often show up when you feel completely exhausted or depleted and you need to refill your gas tank. A mourning dove can bring your attention to what is out of balance in your life. Pay attention to what comes to mind when a mourning dove visits you. It may be a person, place, past event, or future dream that consumes your attention. This may be a sign that you are giving too much of your attention to this and not enough attention to yourself. 

Related to this, mourning doves represent empathy and are often attracted to people who have a high level of empathic connections to the world around them. If you feel empathically exhausted, a mourning dove can show up in your life to remind you to pull away from the world and recollect your energetic self away from social drainers. This may be a great time for a solo trip, meditation retreat, or to practice saying “no” to others. 

Mourning doves are linked to the element of water, so spending time in water can be very healing. Take a long warm bath, dip your toes into some river water, or remind yourself to stay hydrated. 

Mourning doves are also linked to the herb of lavender. Surrounding yourself with lavender flowers, essential oils, or the color purple right now can be surprisingly uplifting. 

Other Types Of Doves

Besides white doves and mourning doves, there are other types of doves that can carry with them unique spiritual messages. If you are visited by another dove other than the ones mentioned so far, please reference this list for other spiritual and symbolic meanings. 

Meaning of a Grey Dove Grey doves represent dormant intuition that is just waking up, psychic awakening, empathy, compassion, humility, and a gentleness of spirit. They can also represent rebirth after a period of transition. 

The mourning dove is often referred to as a grey dove, but another type of grey dove can be found here

Meaning of a Black Dove Black doves represent change, transition, overseas travel, acquiring a new skill, and facing one’s fears. They can show up during a period of depression or anxiety, signaling you are pushing past a limiting belief. 
Meaning of a Brown Dove Brown doves represent a nurturing spirit, femininity, pregnancy, motherhood, and family transition. One of your family members may be moving away or going through a big life change such as marriage or starting a family. They are attracted to “giving” energy. 

Brown doves show up in all types of species, specifically the Laughing Dove or the female blue dove. 

Meaning of a Blue Dove Blue doves represent strong communication with a partner or loved one, intuition, creativity, emotional balance, and telepathic communication. Blue doves can show up after you have gone on a long trip to help ground your energy back to your home center and recover from jet lag. 
Meaning of a Red Dove A red dove represents stability, security, protection, homelife, new romance, and peace in the home

Placing decorations of red doves in your home can bring a strong sense of peace and harmony. 

Meaning of a Spotted Dove Spotted doves are more melancholy birds, and represent controlling your emotional ups and downs. Spotted doves can bring out your creative and artistic side

If you feel depressed and a spotted dove visits you, the message is that spending time creating something or doing something productive can often lift your mood. 

Meaning of a Turtle Dove Turtle doves are often referencing mourning doves. Please see the mourning dove section to learn more. 
Meaning of a Baby Dove Baby doves represent new avenues of emotional flow that are opening up. You are discovering a new part of yourself that is opening your heart center. A new relationship may be forming, or you might be discovering a new passion. You may suddenly have an urge to travel overseas or join a new community of people. This is a period of discovering new parts of yourself. It is a great time to take risks and stretch outside your comfort zone. 

If you find a dead baby dove, this is a period of time to start from the beginning. You may be needing to go back to basics and relearn something again. It may be a time to start a new job, a new relationship, or move to a new city. 


What Does It Mean To Dream Of A Dove? 

Doves appearing to you in dreams is a sign that spiritual energies are contacting you to send a message. This is a highly spiritual dream and one that you should write down in a journal and meditate on the images that appeared in your dreams. 

If doves show up in your dreams, this is a sign that right now you have a strong connection to your subconscious energies and are in sync with your intuition. You are in a season of separation from the mainstream way of thinking and going on a solo journey to discover how you can strengthen your intuition. You want your intuition to play a bigger role in your waking life. 

Doves in dreams also represent a strong Divine presence that is playing a vital role in your life right now. Your reality may be shifting drastically to make room for this Divine love to flow where it needs to go. A dove appearing in your dream is an invitation to surrender and allow this new inflow of love to go where it wants without resistance. 

If you have been going through a conflict with someone, a dove appearing in a dream can be a sign that this will soon come to an end. You may need to ask for forgiveness from someone, as humility is the strongest feature of a dove. It may be that you have to give in and let the other person win in order for the conflict to end. A dove may let you know that your energy is better spent to love others instead of fighting with others. 


A Dove And Your Spirit Animal, Power Animal, Or Animal Spirit Guide

There are some people who feel a strong connection to a particular animal, or they have many synchronistic encounters with a specific animal over a period of time. This is a sign that this animal may be your spirit guide, spirit animal, or power animal. 

If you feel that a dove is showing up in your life as a spirit guide or spirit animal, you are being invited to expand your compassion and empathy towards others as a way to understand your own emotional landscape. Doves are attracted to people who are caring, kind towards others, and are comfortable expressing their feminine energies. 

When a dove appears as a spiritual guide your manifestation energies are running stronger, and your creative energy is activated. Spending time tapping into your clairvoyant abilities of imagination can yield amazing manifestations into your reality. A dove tries to teach you to put your worries of success aside.

Trust that whatever you create right now will be successful. If you want to be a writer, go all in and write a book. If you want to be an artist, wake up every morning and do it first thing. If you want to start a business, build it in small steps each day until you are making money. A dove encourages you that it WILL be successful if you take the steps to create it. The only way to fail is to do nothing. 

Those with strong dove energy are highly humanitarian, altruistic, creative, imaginative, gentle, nurturing, and intuitive. When out of balance, they can be insecure, self-deprecating, overly empathic, energetically fatigued, and reclusive. They are master manifesters but work very slowly and methodically at the beginning stages of a project. 

It can take them time to believe in themselves enough to start on a project, but once they finish it they are magnificently successful. Many people are jealous of their seemingly effortless success at whatever they do. However, those who have dove energy know that the mental and emotional work to get started is where the hard work is done. 

People who resonate strongly with dove energy require a lifestyle that pays attention to the spiritual energy in everything. They know that nothing is an accident, and we are all interconnected. Having a strong spiritual practice is important to their well-being. 

One important life lesson that doves show up to teach is about decision-making. Because people with dove energy are emotional beings, they tend to make impulsive emotional decisions that they regret later. A dove shows up to teach you the skills of patience, persistence, and unconditional love that is steady through the ups and downs of life. 


Dove In Christianity Meaning

Doves are an important symbol in the Christian faith and are referenced many times throughout the bible. Those with a strong Christian faith may have a special relationship with the dove and are particularly tuned into dove energies when they appear in their lives. 

In Christianity, doves are a sign of peace and represent that a time of hardship is coming to an end. It is a sign of purity of heart, representing that their sins are washed away and they are born again. They can represent angelic beings or the forgiveness of Jesus. 

The most common references to doves in the Bible are the story of Noah’s ark and encounters with the Holy Spirit. The dove is used in the Bible to represent 

What Is The Meaning Of A Dove And An Olive Branch? 

The dramatic story of Noah’s ark ends with a white dove returning to the ark with an olive branch in its mouth. This became a widely adopted symbol of the Holy Spirit, eternal salvation, and peace on earth after a period of widespread suffering. The olive branch has been used as a metaphor in both secular and spiritual spheres to represent a peace offering and end of a conflict. 


Summary

Having a visitation from a dove is a special experience and may open avenues for introspection and spiritual revelations. A dove may appear in your life to help you along your spiritual path, showing you the way of the peaceful warrior as you manifest your destiny. They represent peace, harmony, rebirth, intuitive development, spiritual development, and emotional mastery. 

This is just one interpretation of the spiritual meaning of a dove, however, everyone has their own unique spiritual language. Use your intuition to discern if this information is in alignment with the context of your dove visitation and try to come up with your own interpretations. You may be surprised at what message comes through when you do your own meditations and interpretations. 


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Professional online writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about health, wellness, fitness, parenting conundrums and navigating complex relationships.

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