Cardinal Symbolism

Make sure that you balance your Spiritual Ideals along with your physical pleasures - this is the only way to achieve balance and harmony in your life.

If Cardinal has flown across your path;

This bird is asking you to be more clear as to what your intentions are. Setting a clear and insightful goal for yourself will accomplish everything you are asking for and more. Focus and set your intentions clearly in order to expedite matters. Alternatively, Cardinal may be signaling you to be wary of what you are creating with your thoughts. Is this really what you want? Make sure that you are aware of exactly what you are manifesting and then make any corrections that are necessary.

Cardinal can also be letting you know that you should be your own first priority. Taking good care of yourself first will make it much easier for you to help others. Cardinal can also be letting you know that now is the time to start those new projects you’ve been contemplating.

If Cardinal is your Animal Totem;

If Cardinal is your animal totem you know how to listen to your inner voice and intuition very well. You are in touch with your feminine side and are also capable of great sensitivity. Cardinal people tend to be initiators and are always the pioneer or first in line. With this bird as your totem you are able to get out there and make things happen. You also have a gift for self-promotion and enjoy taking a leadership role with most projects. People with this totem also know where to start things as well as where to end them. They have excellent strategy skills and, handle power well. You like new challenges in your life and are constantly starting up new things.

People with the Cardinal as their totem often have a healthy dose of “self-importance”. Their personal vitality comes from self-respect and self-manifestation

You are inevitably the one to notice what needs to be handled, and what needs to be done. This bird as your animal totem may also reflect past-life connections with the church and a reverence for more traditional religious beliefs regardless of denomination.

If Cardinal has come into your Dream;

To see a Cardinal in your dreams symbolizes the need for you to be true to yourself. Stop trying to be something that you are not, let go and find joy in who you really are. This bird can also be a signal that a period of many activities in your waking life is at hand. There are many projects that currently have your attention and you need to prioritize your focus on them so that they can be completed.

To see a brownish bird of this species in your dream is a message that you have all of the tools necessary in parenting a current situation with your children. To see a pair of Cardinals symbolizes the need for teamwork – especially when it comes to parenting.

An odd colored Cardinal (other than red or brown) is a clear message that you are about to experience something unusual and magical. There are changes afoot and what you thought was clear will now become something completely different in a good way.


Additional Associations for Cardinal:


  • Today I found a dead male cardinal under my lavender bush in my herb garden. Perfectly intact. No injuries. Any insight in to this symbolism?

  • My Mom has had a red cardinal visit her every day for a month. He looks in the window like he wants inside. What is he doing? Is this sent from someone that has passed on?

  • In the recent months I see a lot of Red Cardinals on the trail my daughter and I ride and play on. I first believed it was my mother who passed in 1994 but I now I believe it is my Father who passed in 1989. I am now on vacation in another state and I had 2 red birds and a yellow bird in my presence. What could all of this mean?

    I did read some of the comments so please note that I have two men in my life for parenting purposes. I try to co parent well with both my ex husband and ex boyfriend.

  • I have a huge crepe myrtle growing rightttt in front of my Living room window and a female cardinal ( male sits in the tree) is persistently trying to come/fly into my ( closed ) window. I sense there is a Message there, but I have no clue what it could be. I did read up on the cardinal totem and I just do not feel that ‘That is it”. do you have other feedback?
    Thank you soo much
    sincerely Birgit

  • My mother died a few days ago. My father and I were with her at the end. After she died, a cardinal came to me in my dreams. But he was different. Every brilliant red feather was tipped in black. In the dream I was cleaning my mother’s garage with the doors open. I was afraid he would fly away. But he didn’t–he flew in the garage, hopped to me and let me scratch his head. Then he flew away. What does it mean?

    • My deepest condolences to you, Kathy, your father, and all of your family. A garage in a dream represents attitudes, skill sets, the tools you use to deal with Life. You are sifting through your mother’s old ways of dealing with life . You are tossing away what does not work or no longer makes sense. The doors are wide open for a new strategy, a new skill set. The cardinal represents the old way of doing things, a traditional viewpoint, he could be your father

      Please remember that older people have a much harder time adjusting to changes than younger ones. Be gentle with yourself, especially be gentle with your father at this difficult time. When my mother died, my father shooed away my brothers from the telephone drawer. No one should touch anything in it because my mother was so well organized. She had set it up perfectly with all the address books, scheduling, notepads, etc. This certainly was illogical, unreasonable, but grieving people are not reasonable. They are in shock. They need some time and distance before they are ready for major changes and decisions.

  • Is there possible meaning to seeing these gorgeous birds in threes in my yard (always 2 males and 1 female) but everywhere else I go I just see the 1 male?

    • Caitlyn, are you sure they are not baby cardinals? The adults have orange beaks. I have never seen two adult males at one time except when there was an aerial fight. It looked like a pillar of fire, unforgettable sight! They are very territorial and superb at aerial combat, the original Red Baron. The website photo of two adult male cardinals on a frozen branch is unique.

  • Early this morning when I set the sprinklers up, the cardinals did not even wait for me to leave the yard! I saw a somewhat reddish feathered body (Mrs. Cardinal) go zooming by at face level right in front of me (like a baseball zooming across the plate). Then they both started flitting around in the sprinkler like kids. Talk about crossing and recrossing paths! I guess they are expecting a fine day.

    • The cardinals were right, it was a fine day, sunny, clear blue skies with moderate temperatures. You can add a new tag for this bird, “rejuvenate”.

    • You won’t believe this! Three days after the birds bathed in the sprinklers with such jubilation, I found a SpeedQueen washer. My laundry woes have come to an end.

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