What The Vulture Symbolizes: Spiritual Meaning, In Dreams & More

Vultures are imposing and impressive birds that have received a lot of bad press. Their distinctive bald necks and large hooked beaks make them easily recognizable and referring to another person as a ‘vulture’ has an extremely negative connotation. But as you will see, this negative association is not usually justified as vultures deliver a valuable spiritual message.

Spiritually, vultures speak of transformation. These birds survive by transforming death into life. They take no heed of negativity and continue to harness their keen senses and resourcefulness to adapt and cope no matter what life brings them. Vultures symbolize the power inherent in silence.

Their distinctive appearance has made vultures a highly symbolic bird featured in books from the Bible to Disney. In most cases, they are portrayed as opportunistically waiting for something to die so they can swoop down and begin dismantling the corpse. Literature needed some villains, and vultures seemed to fit the profile. Unfortunately, the stereotype has persisted. Let’s open our minds and move beyond the negative to see what spiritual message vulture has for us.

The Spiritual Meaning Of A Vulture

Instead of fearing death like most creatures, vultures welcome it as it means nutrition and continued life. They actively seek it out. Any death brings new meaning and becomes a source of continued life for those left behind. Vulture is the catalyst of the process of turning useless, decaying flesh into energy to thrive in the world.

Spiritually, a vulture tells us that the death of any of our dreams or pursuits is not the end. With some patience and a little determination, we can transform and renew the symbolic corpse of our plans into something vibrant and full of life.

Vulture reminds us of the continual cycle of death and rebirth. When one ends, another begins. No energy is ever wasted. Like a vulture that can transform even the most disgusting remains into nourishment, we must remember that life isn’t always easy, and some situations feel overwhelming and complicated.

But no matter what unhealthy situation we find ourselves in, things can change, and we can take good learnings from even the most unpleasant circumstances.

It is relatively common to spot vultures, so don’t let the sight of them unsettle you. They can frequently be seen along roadsides where roadkill is plentiful. Vulture is cleaning up something that will soon otherwise be a rotting mess and a health hazard.

Vulture reminds us that we are not alone in this world. These birds are often seen in small groups, called committees, and work cooperatively to devour remains. Although it is essential to use your own intuition and senses, it is okay to ask for help.

When life gets tough, and there are messy situations that need to be taken care of, being with other like-minded friends will make it easier to get through challenging situations in our lives. Vulture is not too proud to gather in groups to feed, and one chunk at a time, rot and decay is removed and cleaned.

Vultures are often incorrectly associated with death because they are frequently observed in the vicinity of dead animals. They do not kill anything themselves and are quite harmless birds that are often misunderstood. They are not bloodthirsty killers but rather helpful cleaners who spend their days transforming death into new life.

Vultures have for centuries been linked to death and negativity when, in fact, they are simply cleaning a mess that would otherwise cause disease. If you find yourself frequently misunderstood or unfairly labeled by others, seeing a vulture should be a sign of confirmation to stay on your path.

The truth of your situation will eventually emerge for everyone to see, but until it does, continue to quietly go about your business and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged with how others perceive you.  

Unlike the common stereotypes of negativity and decay that surround vultures, the spiritual meaning of a vulture is quite different. Seeing a vulture in reality or becoming aware of them in imagery is the universe communicating with you.

A vulture brings several spiritual messages and wants to remind you of the following:

  • Be resourceful
  • Remain open to new opportunities
  • Use all your senses
  • Death is a transformation and a rebirth in another form
  • Balance in life is vital

Vulture Invites Us To Be Resourceful

Many other creatures avoid scenes of death. The lack of life and the rapid onset of decomposition can be a sharp reminder that all life is temporary. However, the vulture knows that death is only a part of a much longer journey.

Vulture reminds us to stay focused, be flexible and be resourceful to cope. Vultures have learned to use something that no other creature can to survive and thrive. It has adapted to feed on dead remains specifically. Often, the vulture needs to sit patiently and wait for another animal to make a kill and finish eating before it can feast.

It is not always necessary to the person in front of every situation. Sometimes we need to sit patiently, watch and wait to decide how to proceed. We can’t control everything around us, so remaining flexible and resourceful are skills that will enable us to adapt and make the best of every situation as it presents.

Like A Vulture, Remain Open To New Opportunities

Vulture doesn’t know where or when it will find its next meal. It circles high above on warm air currents in the sky and uses its keen senses to scan the environment for new opportunities continually. If you are stuck in a rut, and things are not happening for you, vulture invites you to step back.

Look objectively at your life from a distance. Enjoy some time of stillness to reflect while continuously looking for opportunities that may be presenting themselves. Often, we don’t see the bigger picture by staying at ground level and remaining emotionally tied to a situation. There might be a new opportunity waiting for you over the next bend.

Vulture asks you to gain a new perspective on things. Soar above what is holding you back and remain open to

A Vulture Uses All Its Senses To Obtain Nourishment

Vulture doesn’t call or sing loudly like many other birds. It usually sounds to communicate to those in the same group but isn’t a noisy creature. Another important spiritual message from vulture is to remain silent and use all your other senses while navigating your path in the world.

Vulture reminds us that to find fulfillment, we must balance all our senses and use speech sparingly. Sight and sound are a vultures two keenest senses. It circles silently over the ground watching for movement and listening for distress calls which may indicate that death is on the way for another creature.

It is because vultures are often seen among the dead that has resulted in them being viewed with suspicion and apprehension. However, remember by the time vultures arrive at a scene, the victim is very close to or already dead. There is nothing they could do to heal or revive their prey. We need to recognize when a situation has gone too far and then work resourcefully to make the best of what we are being presented with.

Vultures Symbolize Rebirth And New Life

You might be wondering how birds that are most often found around scenes of death can symbolize new life. Vulture quite literally consumes death and transforms it into new life. They use the life-sustaining meals to build their enormous bodies and nourish their young. They do so enthusiastically, and these large birds are not apologetic regarding their awkward appearance or stature.

Encountering a vulture can mean that you will soon experience a rebirth. Your life might be in a turbulent phase, but soon things are about to change. Vulture can consume and digest rancid meat that would be toxic to most other animals and use it for purposes of good.

So too, you should understand that your current challenges will not always be with you, and you will take off to ride the warm sky currents once more.

A Vulture Encounter Is A Reminder To Seek Balance

A vulture does not only soar high in the sky before scavenging on dead carcasses; they also spend time on grooming. Despite their gory menu, they take care to maintain their own hygiene. This reminds us to always keep a balance in our lives. When things get challenging and chaotic around us, take time out to recharge and reset.

One of the vulture’s most characteristic stances is opening up its wings to bask in the sun’s rays. This action not only cleanses the feathers that might have become soiled while feeding, but it is a way of warming up and enjoying what the earth has to offer. No matter your challenges, vulture reminds you to look after yourself and place value on your own existence. Spread your wings and enjoy small moments that will feed your soul.

Balance also means holding on to important things in your life and letting go of situations that you have spiritually outgrown. Despite its formidable sharp beak, a vulture does not aggressively go into any feeding setting.

Although it is physically equipped to be a fierce opponent, it instead uses its innate wisdom and patience to get its meal but rarely conflicts with other animals. The lesson for us is to remain calm and allow things to happen in its own time.

What Is The Meaning Of Dreaming About A Vulture?

Encountering a vulture in the wild can be a profoundly meaningful experience that speaks of spiritual rebirth and resourcefulness. However, when a vulture appears as a vivid symbol in a dream, it can have several meanings. A bird that is flying high overhead has a very different interpretation to one that is attacking you. Take note of the role of the vulture in the dream.

Because of their unique and distinctive appearance, dreams that include vultures can leave you feeling a little unsettled. That is because of their close association and relaxed attitude when dealing with death – something most humans are not entirely comfortable with.

However, although the presence of a vulture in a dream could be a warning that something negative is might lie ahead, remember that a vulture quickly turns a toxic situation into one that provides sustenance and life.

Some of the most symbolic ways that a vulture might appear to you in a dream are the following:

  • The general presence of a vulture – New and exciting things are about to happen. You might be going through a difficult time. Vulture appears to reassure you that you will get through the tough times and change just ahead.
  • Vultures circling overhead – You need to start preparing for a difficult time that may lie ahead. Remember that any change in life is difficult and can feel like a loss. Awaken with the reassurance that although vulture may be sending a message warning you of bad news ahead, you cannot control every situation. You need to maintain balance in your life and not get too wrapped up in life’s challenges.
  • Vultures circling around you – This is probably one of the most frightening dreams that include vultures. Remember, though, a vulture will never harm a healthy creature, so they appear to you to warn you that a path you are on is unhealthy and needs to end. Take careful stock of all your relationships, business dealings, and finances to unravel what vulture has come to feed on so that you can quickly change course.
  • Vulture attack – In reality, vultures never attack any creature that isn’t already close to death. So dreaming of a vulture attacking would be unnatural behavior and be a warning that you may soon be betrayed by someone close to you. If a vulture has attacked you in a dream, it is a clear message to be on your guard and be less trusting of those around you. Be careful about who you talk to and take stock of situations.
  • Dreaming of a black vulture – If you know in your heart that you are behaving incorrectly, vulture might be the personification of your conscience. A black vulture appears as a warning to put situations right or face the consequences.
  • Dreaming of a white vulture – In dreams, a white vulture would be bringing you tremendous luck. A vulture might feed on carcasses, but a white bird can be the sign of renewal. It is there in its purest form to consume an unhealthy situation and put you on the path of happiness and fulfillment.


A vulture may not be the most attractive bird, but any encounter with one carries significant spiritual meaning. With their distinctive hunched appearance, these highly specialized birds consume death even in its most putrid form and use the energy to nourish themselves. Although they have carried negative associations of death for many centuries and have been an omen of bad luck, they are spiritual symbols of rebirth and extreme resourcefulness. They are reminders that death is not a finale but merely a place in a much longer journey.

Other Popular Spirit Animals

See if you relate to any of these popular spirit animals.