Dove Tattoos Symbolism

  Dove Symbolism  

Dove symbolic meanings: - Love - Grace - Promise - Devotion - Divinity - Holiness - Sacrifice - Maternal - Ascension - Purification - Messenger - Hopefulness

The dove has seemingly inexhaustible sources of symbolic flavor throughout most histories, cultures and myth.

Doves produce their own milk, called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." An oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. Doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.

Doves often cease their foraging for food just before their babies are born. This temporary starvation insures a pure formulation of milk (otherwise their offspring could not digest bits of solid food in the milk). That's another confirmation about maternal attributes as well as self-sacrifice for the sake of their progeny.

The dove is even associated with several mother figures in historical dove symbolism. The dove is commonly seen in Christian art with Mary as a symbol of care, devotion, purity and peace. 

The dove is a companion of Ishtar too, the Great Mother of Assyrian culture. In this motherly light, the dove elicits a promise of hope and salvation.

Aphrodite (Venus in Roman myth), the voluptuous goddess-mother of love, is often featured with a dove nearby in artistic portrait. Here we get the sense of higher love; a love that is as large as the goddess herself. A kind of love that turns a blind eye to the typical foibles and downfalls of mankind - and sees right into the heart of pure potential that is revealed only by viewing the soul through the lenses of love. 

As a love symbol, the dove conveys a kind of soulful ascension - a higher admiration for the true value of unconditional love.

Dove symbolism is often equated to heavenly visitations. John the Baptist even remarked (Matthew 3:16) how the "Spirit of God descended like a dove upon us." Methinks this is more than poetic license. Why? Because, almost unanimously birds (of all kinds) have been viewed as celestial messengers. Doves in particular - with their docile appearance and soft ministrations - can easily be angelic doppelgängers:

Doves are kind of fussy. Observe them in groups, and you'll note they can be twitchy and nervous, a sign of their highly developed sense of presence. They are intimately aware of their environment.

Hachiman, a Japanese god of war claims the dove as a sacred symbol. Amidst clamor, battle and jarring conflict, the dove of Hachiman is a symbol of the peace that will ensue after war has ended.

The dove is a symbol of the souls sojourn after physical life has retired. Slavic legend claims the dove is a symbol of the souls release from earth-bound duty. In fact, when a dove is seen, it is a clear sign of the soul's return to celestial realms

The dove's most popular appearance in spiritual consciousness is that of the Holy Spirit in Christian wisdom.