Seagull Spiritual Meaning: A Symbol of the Sea and a Totem Animal for Change

Seagulls are one of the most common birds found on beaches, seashores, and bodies of water. Much like angels, birds are known to represent freedom, divinity, and divine communication.

Believed to have been gifted with otherworldly powers, they are often seen as creatures of wisdom that bear messages directly from the gods. These magnificent birds of white and gray feathers remain hedged in mysticism, giving great importance to understanding the various seagull spiritual meaning.

“Eagles are seagulls with a good hairdo.”

– Douglas Coupland

What Do Seagulls Symbolize?

Seagulls soar in the infinite blue skies as they remind us of their existence’s powerful seagull spiritual meaning and symbolism. These intelligent birds have an affinity to coastlines, making it seem that they are unrestrained and unrestricted; they symbolize protection, commitment, freedom, and hope.

Protection

Bird watchers who flock near oceans, lakes, and rivers are familiar with the sight of these resourceful birds. Their taste for fish, squid and shellfish prompts them to build their nests on the softest spot on the sand, using grass, logs, and rocks to fortify and protect themselves.

A seagull’s ability to build nests reminds us of the need for self-preservation. Make time to protect your energy, mind, and emotions, and let go of anything infringing upon your safety. 

seagull on post

Commitment

Seagulls are known to stay loyal to a single mate for life, which makes them an ideal symbol of bonds, warmth, and devotion. 

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These creatures of excellence are a representation of true love, soulmates, and the power of opening up your heart to your loved ones. 

Freedom

This bird of flight is often seen hovering together over the coastline, soaring through the Indio skies, and searching for their next meal.

The seagull spiritual meaning us of our own freedom and urge us to tap into our own “flight,” which can be represented by spending fun times with loved ones in a state of joy; or any activity that allows us to try to let go

seagull spiritual meaning

“When you are alone, bless the solitude; when you are with someone, bless the togetherness! Think of the seagull: It flies alone happily; it flies with another happily too! Solitude is a food; togetherness is a food; man needs both and he must be happy with both!”

– Mehmet Murat Ildan

Hope

A seagull sighting is an exhilarating experience. As they spread their wings, their white feathers resembled those of an angel. 

The seagull’s angelic presence is a sign of hope and a reminder to continue forward regardless of the challenges or setbacks you’ve experienced. 

Luck

The bird of luck (also check birds of bad luck) refers to seeing a seagull, which means you are about to receive favorable news. If you happen to see seagulls recently, it’s a great time to go after your desires!

seagull closeup

The seagull as a spirit animal

A spirit animal is a guide that helps teach you different life lessons, and a totem animal is animalistic energy assigned to a person. 

Spirit animal

Seagulls are very clever birds when it comes to their food supply. They’ve learned to stomp their feet to mimic the sound of rain, tricking the earthworms into squirming out of the ground for them to eat.

The seagull spiritual meaning is a powerful symbol that reminds you of your own intelligence. If you’re currently going through an experience that seems too challenging to overcome, the seagull asks you to try looking at it from a different angle. 

In ancient times, many believed that a seagull spirit symbolized the transition between life and death. If someone was ill or in old age, they believed their spirit would manifest into the body of a seagull.

This was to help guide them and help them feel at ease during the transitional period for them. A seagull would have begun to fly around the house, signifying that someone’s time to transition was near.

seagul in fligth

 Totem animal

Seagulls have the divine ability to drink both saltwater and fresh water. Their eye glands allow them to filter the salt through their beak and can enjoy a fresh drink wherever their wings take them. 

If you have a seagull totem animal, you are a highly adaptable individual. You’re naturally talented and seem to be able to do things others cannot. 

A seagull totem animal also gives you the ability to go outside of your comfort zone and cultivate new experiences. As your totem, you may have a taste of new experiences, traveling, and learning about new cultures. You may also be a fearless person that seeks out adrenaline-fueled experiences. 

seagull screaming

The symbolic meaning of the seagull in different cultures

The seagull soars from one end of the earth to the other. This awesome bird has spread its wing’s over the skies of many areas and cultures all over the world. Follow along to hear about the seagull symbolism in Celtic, Roman, Christian, and American cultures.

Celtic culture

An Irish tale based in ancient times follows a young boy who was without a family. He became jealous of a father and his daughters and called to the sea to steal the daughters from the land. 

Because of these difficult times, the dad became distraught, causing the boy to realize the harm that he had caused. He turned the girls into seagulls so they could live on both water and land. 

Irish folklore is also known for having a large variety of deities. There’s a god associated with the sea who’s said to be able to transform between the ocean and a seagull. 

The God, Aengus, was a God of love and seduction. Seagulls are often depicted as flying around his being continuous, symbolizing his connection and the everlasting love that he has to give.


Seeing a seagull fly overhead was considered lucky because it meant they would soon come into money. There have been stories of people who suddenly came into an inheritance after seeing a gull on their property or while out walking in search of food or while fishing on the sea.

Another wise old tale in Irish tradition was that if you see two seagulls together, then your wishes would be granted by God!

“You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that’s all.”

– Bernard Moitessier

Roman culture

In recent years, seagulls have made their mark on the city of Rome. These coastal birds have become a nuisance, searching for food and disrupting the city.

Their population hadn’t always been as big as it is today, and the Romans were unsuccessful in finding a solution. Seagulls are protected under Italian Law, making it illegal for common people to exterminate the birds.

There are even reports of these birds attacking the Pope’s doves (however, the seagull is notoriously attacking humans as well). A specific crow is the only known threat to the Rome seagulls, but even so, their population is more abundant than ever.

In Rome, the seagull spiritual meaning was a sign that someone or something would return to you. This belief likely stems from how gulls and other sea birds fly high up into the sky and then suddenly dive back down to catch their prey. 

romantic seagull

Christian culture

The seagull meaning in the Bible is one of abomination. In Deuteronomy 14:11-18, the Lord told Moses to educate the Israeli people on many rules.
One rule was that seagulls, along with a wide variety of other animals, should not be eaten. Seagulls were considered one of the dirtiest birds in nature and were not to be consumed under any circumstances. 
Because seagulls are able to soar through the heights of the sky, while swooping quickly down to the earth, Christian’s believed that they were sent to watch over and protect God’s people. 

Spirit Animal Seagull

American culture

In 1846, in Salt Lake City, the people of Utah’s crops were threatened by an extreme infestation of crickets. Thousands of these insects ate away at their crops for two consecutive years. 

The Mormons were at a loss, not knowing how they could combat the bugs and save their crop. Luckily, a swam of seagulls flew into the city two years later and saved the day. 

The seagulls ate all of the crickets and saved the rest of the crops for the Mormon people. In modern times, this event is referred to as the ‘Miracle of the Gulls‘; the day seagulls saved the early Utah pioneers. 

interacting seagulls

“When it blows here, even the seagulls walk.”

– Nick Faldo

Christian culture

The seagull meaning in the Bible is one of abomination. In Deuteronomy 14:11-18, the Lord told Moses to educate the Israeli people on many rules.

One rule was that seagulls, along with a wide variety of other animals, should not be eaten. Seagulls were considered one of the dirtiest birds in nature and were not to be consumed under any circumstances. 

Because seagulls are able to soar through the heights of the sky, while swooping quickly down to the earth, Christian’s believed that they were sent to watch over and protect God’s people. 

seagulls at the beach

American culture

In 1846, in Salt Lake City, the people of Utah’s crops were threatened by an extreme infestation of crickets. Thousands of these insects ate away at their crops for two consecutive years. 

The Mormons were at a loss, not knowing how they could combat the bugs and save their crop. Luckily, a swam of seagulls flew into the city two years later and saved the day. 

The seagulls ate all of the crickets and saved the rest of the crops for the Mormon people. In modern times, this event is referred to as the ‘Miracle of the Gulls‘; the day seagulls saved the early Utah pioneers. 

Native American culture

In certain Native American cultures, the seagull was a symbol of power and messengers of the spirit realm. Northwest Coast tribes believed that the seagulls held tremendous power. These tribes considered the bird a conductor of storms, being able to create and control the weather at their will.

Many Native American tribes used the seagull symbolism as a symbol on their totem poles. This bird’s energy was likely very well respected and honored by these tribes.

native american seagull

The meaning of dreaming of seagulls

The seagull spiritual meaning in dreams often represents swiftness, change, and separation. 

Fast changes

Seagulls can fly up to 30MPH. A seagull spirit animal may appear in your dream when you’re on the brink of life-changing very quickly. The spirit guide comes to help give you a head start. 

Separation and heartbreak

Seagulls are known to mate with only one partner in their lifetime. A dead gull may appear in your dream when you feel a sense of separation from someone or when you’re going through a heartbreak

Seagull spiritual meaning in literature

Johnathan Livingston Seagull is a book, originally published in 1970, about the extraordinary journey of an ordinary seagull. The story has themes of passion, going after your dream, and illustrates the meaning of life.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull 18th (eightteenth)...
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull 18th (eightteenth)…
  • Hardcover Book
  • Richard Bach (Author)
  • 12/08/1970 (Publication Date)

Johnathan Livingston Seagull had difficulties flying, and would often leave his flock while they circle fishing boats in hopes of finding scraps of food for them to eat. Alone, Jonathan would practice his flying skills hoping to become a magnificent seagull who could soar the heights of the sky. 

This unique and heart-warming story tells us about the importance of exploring one’s passion, embarking on a personal journey, and cultivating a spiritual path. The tale of Jonathan Livingston Seagull holds many similarities to the story of Jesus Christ, where someone who many seem ordinary discovered their exceptional abilities and amasses a following who learn from him and pass on his knowledge.

richard bach seagull

At the end of the seagull’s journey, his wondrous deed provides him with incredible abilities that turn him into a divine spirit. Although there are many interpretations of this story, most people would agree that exploring our passions and goals drive us to strive harder and encourage us to achieve them.

The message that Jonathan Livingston Seagull aims to inspire hope in everyone who is willing to push hard enough to earn their wings. While the story of this amazing bird is not entirely about self-sacrifice and being selfless, it brings about messages that aim to uplift and encourage you to overcome challenging situations and embrace your own individuality. 

dreaming of seagulls

A flock of seagulls symbolism

No doubt, seeing a flock of birds is always nice and quite a sight. Known to be socially adept, they are often seen hunting in unison, which represents a flock of seagulls’ ability to adapt to a range of situations. Their capacity to fair well on both land and water enables these wondrous birds to enjoy the best of both worlds.

A seagull’s courage and cunningness may act as a strong motivation for you to drift away from your comfort zone. However, they also remind us that if you decide to leave the flock, you should do so in a controlled manner in order not to jeopardize the safety and productivity of the group.

Flock Of Seagulls Symbolism

Conclusion

Seagulls are special birds, often associated with the heavens, the divine, and embracing your personal freedom. Flying in many parts of the world, the seagull symbolism has been considered a powerful symbol throughout many different cultures and folklore throughout time.

The next time you see one of these ivory birds flying overhead, try to figure out why they’ve made an appearance in your life. Notorious for their loud and rowdy nature, seagulls are a representation of our ability to go further and see what lies beyond the horizon, giving us the confidence to squawk and swoop into life’s struggles and complications.

In case you’re interested, we also compared the Seagull vs. Albatross in a post.

Sources

[Video] Meaning of the Bird – A Seagull Documentary

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