Messages from God’s and Angels can appear in many different forms. Some are clearer than others while certain methods will require some interpretation on your part. You could receive a message through angel numbers or perhaps through visions but one other common mode of communication is through signs and symbols. This can take many forms which include the appearance of certain creatures within nature. In this article, we are going to answer the question: what do doves symbolize? We’ll explore some of the different types of dove meaning including what a flock of doves may represent in comparison to a dove feather. So let’s dive right into looking at some dove symbolism.
Dove symbolism in the Bible
Dove symbolism dates back as far as Genesis in the Bible. After God flooded the Earth to cleanse it of the sins of man, Noah, and his family drifted across the flooded planet in search of signs of land.
After all, the waters had risen so high that even Everest was buried by water. Noah sent birds out one at a time in the hopes that one would return with evidence of dry land.
In Genesis 8:11 we find that :
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
The New Testament Dove Meaning
The rise of dove symbolism was largely due to comparisons made within the New Testament between a dove and the Holy Spirit.
There are two primary comparisons made that suggest a certain white dove meaning.
Matthew 3:16 it states:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove…
Luke 3:22 paints a similar picture surrounding dove symbolism:
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove.
It wasn’t until Christianity became a mainstream religion within the Roman Empire that the dove came to symbolize peace. The Romans and the Ancient Greeks prior to Christianity used the olive branch as a depiction of peace.
Early Roman Christians began to incorporate this sort of artwork into their funerary. The similar symbolism of the olive branch allowed a connection between Christians and non-Christians at a time where Christianity was persecuted.
At this time, the dove symbolism was related to the soul but that would change as time went on.
Hundreds, if not thousands of years later the dove symbolism incorporated a new idea: not just peace of the soul but a general peace, perhaps even peace in all areas of life.
Nowadays, what does a dove symbolize if not peace, particularly in protest of war? The emblem of the World Peace Council of 1949 was a version of a white dove holding an olive branch as depicted by Picasso.
This supported Picasso’s own pacifism as he had stated on several occasions that he was always an advocate of peace over war. Of course, the world of spirituality offers up entirely different meanings in terms of the white dove meaning.
Doves and Motherhood
Doves are also a symbol of motherhood. The reasoning for this may not be immediately apparent but doves can produce a “milk” (of sorts) to feed their young.
The problem is that if the mothers eat during and after the time of their offspring’s birth, they produce a less pure form of the milk and the young are unable to digest it.
Doves are therefore required to starve themselves during this time in order to allow all solid pieces of food to be thoroughly dissolved and digested, in turn producing a purer form of milk for their young.
It is this self-sacrifice that causes them to be a symbol of motherhood.
What Does a White Dove Represent?
A white dove is, in essence, a pure dove. It is said that this creature is so pure, noble and gentle that it is the only form that the devil is unable to take.
Sadly, it is also because of this purity that doves were one of only two types of bird suitable for sacrifice. Seeing a white dove can have varying meanings.
For example, finding the feather of a white dove can be a symbol of the presence of an angel. This may be of particular importance to you if you’ve been struggling with your faith recently. Sometimes all we need is a small sign to get us back on track.
Alternatively, seeing a single white dove carries a different meaning. This tends to be related to a relationship (which could be with a partner, a friend or a family member) that has become stuck in a rut.
Seeing this white dove works to remind us that there is always hope and that through peaceful discussions, a solution can be discovered.
Dove symbolism changes again if we’re looking at a flock of doves. This sign is associated with new beginnings as often a flock of doves will force us to look to the sky which is an act associated with optimism.
What does it Mean When a Dove Visit You?
If a dove visits you either by landing on or near you or by entering your home, then it carries a more individual message.
This sort of dove symbolism tends to relate to your own spirituality. After all, the dove is known to be a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
In this situation, perhaps take a moment to ponder what was on your mind or what you were doing when the dove appeared. Where you asking for guidance or perhaps a sign?
Were you performing an act which you know is dampening your spiritual journey? If you’re in any doubt, you can always reach out to your angels and ask for clarification on a matter…but there is every chance you may just see another dove!