Vulture Spiritual Meaning and Omens

Have you recently seen a vulture? Not always a pretty sight for most of us! What does it mean when you encounter a vulture? Should you be worried? Is someone going to die?! Well, settle in for a while, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite carrion bird, the vulture!

The first thing to remember is that seeing a vulture is a somewhat common sight. We’ve all been there! You’re enjoying a nice, idyllic drive on a beautiful day through the country side. When suddenly, you come around a bend to find a dead animal in the road and vultures surrounding it. Yuck! Often vultures are rather large with strange, bald heads. They can be quite intimidating and definitely ruin your vibe!

But, encountering a vulture isn’t always a bad thing. Although people often consider them harbingers of death and disease considering they feed mostly on dead creatures, they are an incredibly important part of the cycle of life and the ecosystem. They help to clean up the environment and keep the rest of us safe in doing so. Scavengers like vultures are incredibly resilient and remind us that nothing is wasted in life. Remember, every experience in life, even the bad ones where we feel we might not recover, teaches us something. Even death is just another transformation from a broader perspective.

Positive Omens of Vultures

In many pop culture references, a vulture is often shown as a large, ominous bird that sits in a dead tree waiting for a meal when you meet your untimely demise. That’s definitely a bit dreary! And, because of this, you may have only negative associations with the vulture. However, the vulture can be an incredibly positive omen to receive. Spiritually, death is never the end. Instead, it can represent necessary transformation for growth and rebirth in life. When the vulture appears, rest assured that you will be protected during any upcoming change in life.

The vulture wastes no resources, so you can expect an efficient, regenerative transformation. Another incredible trait of the vulture is the ability to turn a negative situation (death) into a positive one (food and life). When you embody this characteristic, you can expect to overcome any negative situation or obstacle in your path with extreme ease.

Also, it’s important to note some of the amazing evolutionary traits of the vulture. For example, it’s believed that their featherless head helps keep their feathers clean in rather nasty environments. They also are known to urinate on their feet often to kill bacteria and cool themselves off. Also, vultures have a rather unique digestion system to keep themselves safe from parasites, bacteria, and viruses. So, you can definitely say they are very resourceful. When a vulture crosses your path, remember to stay adaptable and resourceful, even if the situation appears bleak! You can overcome it with a little ingenuity.

Negative Omens of Vultures

Is seeing a vulture a negative omen? Well, in some cultures it is considered to be bad luck since death and the vulture go hand in hand. Overall, vultures have an association with rebirth and change which is pretty positive. However, some cultures believe the vulture is a filthy bird of death and disease. In the bible, vultures are said to be unclean and are associated with a dishonorable death and improper burial. Therefore, vultures have an association with spiritual uncleanliness. For example, David and Goliath both threatened one another with having their corpse exposed to the elements allowing vultures to feed upon them after dead. That’s definitely not a good look!

vulture omens

If you have a negative encounter with a vulture, your guides may be asking you to pay more attention to your spiritual practice. Are there areas in your life where you are spiritually negligent or careless? You may want to consider seeking guidance in how to keep your sacred practices and spaces clear and clean. Listen to your intuition! For instance, you may want to research how to sage your living areas or research protective stones and crystals.

What Does It Mean If Vultures Circle Over Your Head? Am I Going To Die?!

So, it’s a hot summer day and you’re out on a hike enjoying nature. Suddenly, you look up and see vultures circling over your head. And, you recall that old superstition that vultures circle around dying animals. Oh no! Are you done for? Is death inevitable at this point?? Well, first relax! Take it easy. Vultures can’t actually smell dying animals, it’s a longstanding myth. They can smell gasses only from decomposing bodies and prefer that.

Usually, vultures circle because they have found a nice warm updraft of air and are simply enjoying the flow. Or, they are looking out for possible food sources or waiting for a predator to leave the area. They don’t often wait for their meals to die, despite the patient stereotype they have. There’s usually plenty of already dead things to eat. Vultures have been known to prey on extremely sick or weak animals, but this is rare and only found when food is scarce. Generally, they prefer their meals already dead, to them it is a delicacy and much less risk!

But, what does this encounter mean spiritually? Since vultures have an association with death and transformation, you might expect some changes in your life soon. Still, remember that vultures circling above are usually just going with the flow of air or keeping an eye out on their environment. So, despite whatever changes are coming up soon, stay vigilant and go with the flow. You can handle this transformation. You can turn the negative into the positive, just like the vulture!

What Do Black Vultures Mean Spiritually?

If you’ve seen a black vulture recently, then you’ll know how powerful of an impression they can make! Should you be worried when you see a black vulture? Believe it or not, seeing a black vulture is pretty positive! In many cultures, black vulture are actually seen as guardians. The color black represents protection, absorption of negative energy, and renewal. So, a black vulture is a pretty good omen that you are being protected during a time of change. Allow this new energy to flow into your life!

black vulture spiritual meaning

In North America, the two most common vultures you will see are the turkey vulture, which we’ll discuss next in this article, and the black vulture. Although the black vulture is smaller, it is much more aggressive and is more likely to travel in a group, known as a committee or a kettle if in flight. Therefore, we should remember to pay more attention to those we travel together with on the journey of life. Is there some social elements you should pay more attention to right now? Are you congregating with others who have similar ideals? Remember, there is strength in numbers! But, only if you have the same common goal.

Spiritual Meaning of a Turkey Vulture

Have you seen a large vulture with an unusual red head? At first glance, they might even appear to be a wild turkey! But, these birds are turkey vultures and they’re the most common vulture in North America. So, you might be asking yourself what’s the spiritual meaning of a turkey vulture? Since turkeys are associated with abundance and vultures are linked to transformation, this could mean that changes are coming soon dealing with your finances or career. So, pay extra close attention to this area of your life! Are there steps you can take to allow more abundance in your life? Remember that the vulture is very resourceful, where can you be the same in matters of abundance?

turkey vulture spiritual meaning
Lesser yellow-headed vulture (left) and turkey vulture (right)

It is also important to remember that the turkey vulture has a red head, which is associated with the root chakra. Check out our free comprehensive chakra guide here for more details on the root chakra. The root chakra is linked to physical stability and safety in life. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of your safety and security when you see a turkey vulture. If you have been feeling insecure, unsafe, or unstable financially, know that change is soon on the way. Don’t forget, the turkey vulture is almost always a positive sign, despite it’s somewhat ominous appearance.

Spiritual Advice When Seeing a Vulture

So, what advice should we take when we encounter a vulture? First, it’s important to remember a few key attributes of the vulture apart from the obvious choice of food source. For example, vultures lack proper vocal organs so can’t make noises or calls like most birds do. Because of this, they usually communicate through grunting or hissing. Therefore, the vulture might be a sign that you might want to pay attention to listening more closely in your life. Stop talking and listen more in your day to day experience. You might find you are overlooking a vital key to improve the quality of your life!

The vulture’s spiritual advice is to listen more.

Speaking of overlooking, the vulture also has incredible eyesight. They can spot a decaying carcass miles away. That’s pretty impressive! So, the vulture reminds us to clearly focus on the important things in life. In some cultures the vulture is very valuable as they increase foresight and bring about lucky circumstances. In fact, their use in spiritual practices have actually caused the white vulture to be endangered.

Also, it’s important to remember vultures have a very accurate and strong sense of smell. Spiritually, smell can be linked with following your senses, intuition, and discernment. So, you may want to take some time to make sure you are discerning what’s the best choice to make if you are facing a decision. Make sure to follow your intuition. Especially since the vulture has a link with rebirth and death, it might be necessary to allow things no longer serving you to leave your life or restructure them. Remember, clearing out the old allows for new things to enter and flourish!

What Does It Mean Spiritually When A Vulture Spreads Its Wings?

If you’ve come across a vulture spreading its wings, you know how memorable it can be! It’s especially eye catching because they have a wingspan of around five feet. So, maybe you’re wondering what it means spiritually. Generally, whenever a bird spreads their wings, it is a reminder from the divine to remain open to new opportunity. This is an especially potent message when it is a vulture because of their connection with the death cycle. Remember not to get too attached to old, decaying things in your life. Let things go naturally and new abundance will flow into your life.

spread wings vulture meaning
By Bernard Dupont – Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) in the morning sun.
CC BY-SA 2.0,

Also, vultures spread their wings to cool off for the most part. So, you may need a reminder to stay cool while transformation happens in your life. New things are coming, so take it easy. Relax and let things unfold in divine timing. When the vulture comes along as a messenger, know that you are being watched and protected. Stay cool, just like the vulture!

What Does It Mean To See a Dead Vulture?

Seeing a dead vulture can be an extremely confusing sight to interpret spiritually. Since vultures have an association with death, the death of death is certainly a good thing, right? Well, remember that death (and rebirth) isn’t actually a bad thing. Transformation is a necessary part of growth and life. But, seeing a dead vulture can mean the end of the transformation is near. So, if you’ve been struggling with a period of rapid or uncomfortable change, know that it will soon be over. The light at the end of the tunnel is very close! Also, remember that the vulture is linked with rebirth after death, not death itself. The cardinal actually has a stronger connection with death.

Dream Meanings Of Vultures

Having dreams about vultures? They can definitely be frightening! It’s important to note how you feel during your dream to fully interpret the message. Dreaming of a vulture usually references transformations going on in your current waking life. So, if you are undergoing a career change, relationship status updates, or a move, it’s very common to dream of one. The vulture reminds us to allow the old and dead to leave our life so new opportunities can flourish. The vulture purifies the decaying and stagnant, so allow for fresh new energy to enter your life. Don’t cling to what isn’t meant for you.

Who would want to dream of this fearsome looking character?

You might also want to pay attention to what the vulture is doing in your dream. For example, having multiple vultures swarming over your head might be a warning that change is inevitable. If you dream of a vulture eating you while you are still alive, you might feel overwhelmed by changes and must allow yourself to let go of negativity. Don’t worry, you will be successful! If the vulture is consuming an enemy or competitor, know that you will overcome any obstacle that stands before you.

Further Reading