Ostrich symbolism – What Does the Ostrich Represent Spiritually?

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Ostrich symbolism

Holy Ground: Digging Deep Into The Ostrich Symbolism

Whether the ostrich’s habit of burying their heads in the sand is a fact or a myth, these towering birds can dash towards us at 70 km/h rife with amazing symbolism.

A colossal figure that can grow up to more than nine feet tall and weigh over 300 pounds, this highly territorial and aggressive animal can provide powerful spiritual guidance that can help us realize our strengths and true potential.

Shy yet assertive and famous for their legs that seem to have no end, let’s burrow our heads deep into what the presence of these flightless birds actually means.

“Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.”

― Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist
Ostrich spiritual symbolism

Ostrich symbolism

The ostrich is one of the largest birds a large bird that is native to Africa. It has gained a lot of attention over the years because of its unique characteristics and symbolism. Ostrich symbolism, the ostrich spirit animal, and the ostrich animal totem vary depending on the culture, but there are some common themes that emerge.

The ostrich is often seen as a symbol of strength, power, and determination. It is also associated with grounding and stability. Those who have the ostrich spirit animal or ostrich animal totem can learn from its attributes and apply them in their lives.

Because this bird is so different from other types of birds, ostrich animal symbolism varies from other winged creatures. There are countless myths and legends about this bird that make the creature seem almost magical. 

While they are respected as the largest birds on earth, the ostrich lacks the proper sternum structure that allows most fowls to fly. Extremely handy and functional to almost every other bird, these flightless feathered creatures tell us to figure out the physical and spiritual aspects that we no longer find useful and simply let them go.

Not only will this offer an emotional release from the pains and heartaches of the past, but it will also allow us to travel light and feel as if we were actually in flight.

Here are a few of the things we should consider the next time we experience an ostrich spirit animal encounter:

From the ground up

Unfortunately for the ostrich, their genetic make-up won’t ever allow them to take flight. Fortunately for us, it only means that we won’t soon be seeing any gigantic birds landing in our yards.

However, this bird’s inability to soar high in the sky reminds us of our need to stay humble and keep our feet on the ground regardless of how big and powerful we have become.

Can’t take my eyes off you

A huge bird like an ostrich should own a large set of eyes to match, right? Measuring about 2 inches across, which is about the size of a billiard ball, an ostrich eye is believed to be the biggest among land animals.

While such sheer eye size shows how big this bird really is, the ostrich’s enormous eyes indicate our need to be watchful and to stay aware of the potential dangers that may come at the most unexpected times.

Need for speed

Covering about 10-16 feet in a single stride, these amazingly quick birds use their legs that stretch up to 4 feet in length and their wings as rudders to reach top speeds of more than 40 miles per hour.

While the ostrich’s closeness to the ground signifies our love for the environment, its ability to run at breakneck speed signifies our capacity to move away from threats with haste as well as our competence to run towards and achieve success if we remain focused and completely put our hearts and minds to it.

Impressive lifespans

Living an average of 30 to 40 years in the wild and about 70 years in captivity, the ostrich can easily outlive most birds and even rival the life expectancy of humans. Being able to breed well into old age, they have long been considered a symbol of longevity and endurance.

Not only will this provide you with ample time to cleanse yourself and let go of what slows your progress, but it also allows you to run and go after your life’s dreams.

Ostrich spirit animal

Ostrich spirit animal

While many of us question the intellect and skill of this headstrong animal, the ostrich spirit guides us to tap into our spiritual awareness and intuition and learn how to harmoniously use them in our everyday lives. Highly revered for their speed and strength, they carry deep spiritual symbolism that can help us develop lasting relationships with others.

Gifted with a brain that is much smaller than its eyes, these birds would typically trust their instincts to survive. When faced with tremendous stress, the ostrich’s presence reminds us to remain calm and do what we deem is best to keep ourselves safe.

They teach us that while we possess features that are stronger and more proficient than others, there is nothing wrong with staying away and avoiding a fight.

Impulsive yet confident and driven, the ostrich spirit animal curiosity motivates you to learn new things to positively influence your personal, professional and spiritual life.

Typically sociable when not being threatened, it is common for us to see a group of ostriches living and thriving well together which signifies the value that we give to our relationships.

Known for their instinctive nature, this remarkable spirit guide helps us develop the ability to be both gentle and protective. Showing us that there is nothing wrong with avoiding confrontations, it grants us the wisdom to use our skills and talents to do what we think is right, whether it is fight or flight.

Ostrich totem

If you are drawn to the ostrich, consider what qualities it represents for you. Do you need to tap into your own strength and power? Are you looking for more stability in your life? The ostrich totem animal can help guide you on your journey.

Pay attention to the signs and messages it sends your way. By doing so, you can unlock the power of the ostrich symbol and use it to create positive change in your life.

Ostrich totem

Ostrich power animal

The ostrich power animal is constantly cleansing her mind of any negativity to allow only positive thoughts to thrive. When she buries her head in the sand it reminds her of what it felt like in the womb of her mother. Her mother, the Earth, provides her with the nurturing she needs to perpetuate positive energy in her life.

The ostrich also represents strength and new beginnings, as she is constantly starting anew. If the ostrich power animal has entered your life, it may be time for you to let go of the past and start fresh. This is a powerful creature that can teach you how to live in the present moment and create a positive future for yourself.

The ostrich can be as well dangerous and he made it on our list of the top 10 birds that attack humans.

What do ostrich feathers symbolize?

Once admired for their long and gorgeous feathers, it was held in high regard in ancient Egypt as it was believed to represent purity and divine truth. Used to adorn hats, fans, and capes, several cultures believed that the ostrich’s feathers signify the divine protection that our guardian angels provide us.

While it can also be a reminder of a complicated and confusing situation in your life, finding the presence of an ostrich feather in your path is an assurance that your spirit guides are keeping their eyes on us as you move to this transformative phase in your life.

As their fluff is known to shield them from both the searing heat and the extreme cold, this massive creature’s plumage symbolizes protection from the things that bring us fear and anxiety.

While some would say that the ostrich feather is a possible indication of impending death, it could only mean that a much-needed spiritual awakening and healing will soon take place and that everything is about to change for the better.

Ostrich egg symbolism

Measuring about 6 inches in diameter and weighing up to 3 pounds, it is only fitting that the world’s largest birds produce the planet’s biggest eggs. Considered a delicacy by many, these large eggs are widely seen as a symbol of fertility, renewal, and abundance.

Often settled by the female in a communal pit that was scraped in the ground by the male, a handful of cultures thought that the ostrich could hatch its eggs by simply staring at them. Such a belief made its eggs a significant image of not just a delectable food with overwhelming caloric content, but of concentration, single-mindedness, and dedication.


Perhaps because of the symbolic meaning that an ostrich sticks its head in the sand at times of hardships and difficulties, many of us view this relatively large bird to represent deception, secrecy, and denial.

Although the ostrich symbol and animal totem can be quite complex and contradict the bird’s traits and nature, this often misunderstood creature would rush into our presence to make it known that there is no way for things to ever go bad if you quit hiding your face in the ground.

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Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, richardalois.com. With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

6 thoughts on “Ostrich symbolism – What Does the Ostrich Represent Spiritually?”

  1. Very Amazing. I like this article and it is all very true. I am experiencing all of what the ostrich represents and didn’t even know it as I was drawn to the googlepicture that I chose for my contact photo. Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you connected with the article about ostrich symbolism! It’s fascinating how sometimes we’re drawn to symbols that reflect our own experiences, even when we don’t fully understand why at first. The ostrich, with its strength and grounding nature, seems to be a perfect match for you right now. Keep trusting your intuition—it’s clearly guiding you well. Can’t wait to hear what you discover next on your journey!

  2. Interesting ! What a way to pass time on a friday night…

    I feel more annoied by rats lately, so I wonder how the ostrich could be with them peacefully.

    Hopefully the ostrich can laugh about it.

  3. On my way to the Drakensberg, South Africa, next to a long road was two ostrich in the field behind a fence, ask my friend to stop i want to great them, as i walk to the ostrich he flapping his feathers and from a standing position he sits flat and flapping his feathers and his head go from side to side, i great him and talk to the ostrich , as i walking away the ostrich stand up flapping his feathers till i am in the car and drive off…. was so strange , what does is mean??

    • Dear Annemarie! Thanks for your comment!
      The behavior you observed with the ostrich flapping its feathers and moving its head from side to side could have various interpretations. In general, ostriches are known for their territorial nature and display certain behaviors to establish dominance or assert their territory.

      In this specific situation, it’s possible that the ostrich perceived you as a potential threat or intruder, prompting its defensive display. The flapping of feathers and head movements may have been a warning sign to deter you from approaching further. Once you greeted the ostrich and walked away without any aggressive actions, it likely perceived that you were not a threat anymore, leading it to cease its defensive behavior.

      It’s important to remember that animal behavior can be influenced by various factors, including their natural instincts, environment, and previous experiences. Interactions with wildlife should always be approached with caution and respect for the animal’s boundaries.

      In summary, the ostrich’s behavior was likely a response to feeling threatened or territorial. By greeting the ostrich calmly and then leaving without causing harm, you showed that you meant no harm, and the ostrich responded accordingly. I think you became friends with that ostrich!


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