Ostrich Symbolism and Meaning (+ Spirit, Dream, Totem, Omen)

The ostrich stands as a symbol of swift action and resilience.

Renowned for its remarkable terrestrial speed and enduring nature in the face of obstacles, this stately bird exemplifies alertness and engagement with the world, its sharp vision a metaphor for perception and facing truths.

As a flightless bird, it signifies a deep connection with the earth, highlighting the virtues of being well-grounded and having a reliable base.

Let’s discuss what an ostrich means across different cultures as well as the symbolism of an ostrich spirit animal, totem, dream, and tattoo.

Read on!

Ostrich Symbolism and Meaning

Strength and Wisdom

The ostrich, the world’s largest and heaviest bird, is flightless. Despite this, the ostrich has come to symbolize speed and endurance.

It can run at remarkable speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour) across the savannah. This characteristic lends the bird an association with the ability to outrun a dangerous situation.

But an ostrich will not shy away from a fight. A single ostrich kick is hard enough to kill an adult lion. With this kind of power, both in stride and strength, the ostrich represents having the wisdom to know when to fight and when to walk away.

This cultivates one’s overall ability to persist through difficulties with grace and stamina.

Read Next: Redstart Bird Spiritual Meaning


Did you know it’s a myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger?

In fact, the ostrich symbolizes clear vision and facing reality. With its large eyes and excellent eyesight, it can spot potential threats from afar, representing foresight and awareness.


The ostrich is also often seen as a symbol of grounding and stability, given its strong legs and connection to the earth. Its large size and inability to fly can represent staying grounded while also reminding us of the importance of having a strong foundation.

An incredibly talented runner, the ostrich can stop short and change direction quickly. This kind of stability symbolizes someone’s own ability to change course and adapt at a moment’s notice.


In another sense, the ostrich symbolizes protection and guardianship. It fiercely defends its eggs and young with robust kicks capable of deterring predators, representing a strong self-defense.

While you may be very protective of your own family, the ostrich doesn’t necessarily represent this strictly. Your “eggs” may be aspects of your personality that need protection.

The ostrich spirit is thought to help you guard what’s precious to you. 


The ostrich has communal nesting habits, where females lay their eggs in a shared nest. This can symbolize community and cooperation.

There’s strength in numbers, as ostriches seem to know when it comes to their young. Working together and setting aside personal differences within a group can provide huge benefits to all, especially younger generations who are watching.


With such an impressive physique, an ostrich can nurture a sense of confidence. Whatever your unique strengths are, the ostrich encourages you to embrace them.

It’s too easy to underestimate yourself. The ostrich represents your sense of personal power, of stepping into this power and using it to fulfill your destiny.

Ostrich Symbolism in Different Cultures

Ostrich Symbolism in African Cultures

In many African societies, the ostrich embodies wisdom, intuition, and freedom. This majestic bird teaches you important lessons, urging you to remain grounded and stable in your pursuits, as it does with its strong legs and powerful build.

By embracing its attributes, you can enhance your own confidence and determination in the face of challenges.

Egyptian Interpretations of Ostrich Symbolism

To the ancient Egyptian civilization, the ostrich plays significant roles as well. As a symbol of strength, transformation, and spiritual growth, the ostrich feather was used in their traditional rituals. It even served as an emblem of the goddess Ma’at, signifying truth and balance.

Learning from the ostrich’s symbolism in this context, you can develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of maintaining an internal balance in your life.

Ostrich Symbolism in Ancient Rome

Pliny the Elder once said that the ostrich could eat such hard substances as iron and glass, showcasing the bird’s incredible hardiness.

Symbolically, this amounts to the strength we can gain through adversity, no matter how hard a pill to swallow.

Ostrich Symbolism in Christianity

In Christian symbolism, the ostrich is significant. Medieval Europeans drew an association between an ostrich egg and the immaculate conception that was Jesus’s birth.

According to Christian interpretations, the ostrich represents faith, resilience, and relying on divine strength to overcome obstacles. As a reminder of the importance of faith, it can inspire you to persevere despite trials and tribulations, helping you overcome challenges with grace and determination.

Is an Ostrich a Good Omen?

The ostrich is often connected to protection and abundance, and people who identify with the ostrich spirit animal are thought to be able to utilize its strengths in their personal lives.

Its extraordinary ability to run at high speeds is often viewed as a sign of swift success or the rapid approach of positive change. And, as with other bird feathers, ostrich feathers have been associated with luck and blessings in many cultures.

Ostrich Spiritual Meaning

The ostrich holds great significance for your spiritual journey, offering valuable insights and guidance. Known for its impressive strength, power, and determination, this bird encourages you to tap into your own inner resilience and persevere through any challenges you may encounter on your path.

As you go on your spiritual journey, embracing the ostrich spirit can help you find grounding and stability in your life. By developing a strong connection to the earth and your surroundings, you’ll be more in tune with your instincts, allowing you to make more informed decisions as you progress.

The ostrich also reminds you of the importance of adaptability. Living in various habitats, this bird has learned to thrive in diverse environments. When you face changes and uncertainties on your spiritual path, the ostrich’s adaptability can inspire you to adjust and grow, ensuring continued progress towards your goals.

Additionally, the ostrich offers you a lesson in accepting and dealing with energies, both positive and negative. The ostrich symbolism emphasizes the need to protect your energy from the negative influences of others and to ground yourself emotionally. By doing so, you can better navigate your spiritual journey while maintaining a sense of balance and harmony.

As well, remember that the ostrich represents wisdom and intuition in various cultures, such as Native American traditions. As you move forward in your spiritual journey, consider tapping into your own inner wisdom and trusting your instincts. This will help you make the best choices and find the most fulfilling path for you.

Embrace these qualities of the ostrich on your spiritual journey, and you’ll be well-equipped to navigate your path with confidence, determination, and a sense of connection to your surroundings.

Ostrich Spirit Animal or Totem

When the ostrich is your spirit animal, it signifies the importance of grounding yourself to face life’s challenges. This bird reminds you to maintain stability and determination while navigating through different situations, as it is a symbol of strength and power. You can draw from the ostrich’s energy to tackle any obstacles that come your way.

This fascinating bird also represents trust and fate, teaching you to have faith in your journey, even when you cannot see the path clearly. With the ostrich as your guide, you can learn to embrace the unknown and move forward with courage and optimism.

As an ostrich totem, you might find that you possess an innate ability to handle diverse situations with grace and resilience. This unique energy brings a sense of abundance and prosperity in your life, allowing you to thrive and grow using the resources available to you. Connecting with your ostrich totem helps you realize your true potential to achieve your goals.

Dreaming of an Ostrich Meaning

When you dream of an ostrich, it can carry various symbolic meanings. One common interpretation is the fear of facing the truth. Though this isn’t a real behavior, ostriches are thought to hide their heads in the sand to avoid danger.

Similarly, dreaming of this bird may suggest that you are evading challenging issues or not acknowledging reality. It’s essential to confront these issues in your life with courage and determination.

In addition to fear of facing the truth, dreaming of an ostrich can signify self-belief and the pursuit of your goals. An ostrich symbolizes strength, power, and determination, reminding you not to doubt your abilities.

When you believe in yourself and strive for the best, positive outcomes will manifest in your life. Surround yourself with positive energy, and rely more on yourself when achieving your heart’s desires or pursuing your dreams.

Another important lesson from an ostrich dream is the message of truth and justice. It serves as a reminder that it isn’t your responsibility to judge others or bring them down.

Understand that karma plays an essential role in life, and what goes around indeed comes back around. Your focus should be on your truth and understanding that it may differ from someone else’s reality.

Ostrich Tattoo Meaning

An ostrich tattoo can hold various meanings and symbolisms, depending on your perspective and cultural background. In general, this captivating bird is a symbol of strength, power, and determination. By getting an ostrich tattoo, you could be showcasing your courage and resilience to overcome challenges in life.

Moreover, an ostrich tattoo can also represent love and happiness, as it exudes positive energy and embodies the qualities of grace and beauty. With its long legs and impressive speed, it signifies the ability to move forward in life with confidence. This could be a reminder for you to pursue your goals and dreams regardless of the obstacles you may face.

In addition, ostriches are often associated with grounding and stability. Having an ostrich tattoo could serve as a reminder to stay connected to your roots and remain balanced throughout life’s ups and downs. It encourages you to maintain harmony in relationships, be it with friends, family, or romantic partners.

Some people may connect an ostrich tattoo with new beginnings. Since these birds lay large eggs, they symbolize fertility, renewal, and abundance. This could translate into the desire for personal growth, change, and prosperity in various aspects of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do ostriches represent in dreams?

In dreams, ostriches often signify wisdom, intuition, and freedom. Seeing an ostrich in your dream may be a reflection of your Native American cultural beliefs or a representation of your desire for personal growth. The powerful legs and the ability to run at incredibly fast speeds are symbolic of strength, making the ostrich a symbol of overcoming obstacles with determination and resilience.

How is ostrich symbolism used in literature?

Writers often use ostrich symbolism in literature to convey themes of strength, transformation, and spiritual growth. For example, in Egyptian symbolism, the ostrich feather is a symbol of truth and justice, as it was used in the weighing of the heart ceremony in ancient Egyptian mythology. Additionally, the ostrich can symbolize faith and reliance on a higher power to overcome challenges, as seen in some Christian-based stories.

What is the spiritual meaning of ostrich eggs?

Ostrich eggs have a unique spiritual significance in various cultures. In some African traditions, the egg is a symbol of creation and new beginnings. The large size and tough shell of the ostrich egg represent protection and nurturing, providing the perfect environment for growth and development. In religious contexts, such as Christianity, the ostrich egg is sometimes viewed as a symbol of resurrection and the promise of eternal life.

What do ostrich feathers symbolize?

Ostrich feathers carry multiple symbolic meanings depending on the context. In ancient Egypt, the feather of Ma’at, an ostrich plume, was seen as a symbol of truth and balance. It was used in judging the deceased’s heart against the feather during the weighing of the heart ceremony. In Christianity, the ostrich feather may symbolize purity and innocence. Additionally, its use in fashion and luxury items denotes extravagance and indulgence.

Are there any myths about ostriches?

Yes, there are several myths and misconceptions related to ostriches. One common myth is that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to hide from danger. This misconception likely stemmed from the bird’s unique feeding behavior and defensive strategies. When they feel threatened, ostriches also tend to lie flat on the ground, making it appear as though their head is buried in the sand when, in reality, they are trying to blend in with their surroundings.

What does a dead ostrich symbolize in dreams?

A dead ostrich appearing in your dreams may symbolize a missed opportunity, a lost chance, or a failure to take full advantage of your strengths. The powerful image of the ostrich, typically representing strength and resilience, can become a stark contrast when lifeless, reminding you to believe in yourself and make the most of every opportunity to grow and succeed.

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