Have you seen small black birds grouped around near you? Such birds are regularly thought to be crows or ravens, but if these birds have shimmering feathers, you might see a grackle.
The common grackle does not mind interacting with humans. That said, the frequent presence of these birds near human civilization and their resemblance to crows may have you wondering if they serve any particular role in society.
To solve this, let’s first understand what grackle symbolism is and how it might affect you in your daily life.
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Grackle Symbolism & Meaning
The grackle is a small beautiful blackbird native to North America. It is a small bird that, compared to other blackbirds, is seen as taller and has a longer tail. It has a narrow beak and yellow eyes, though its most distinguishable trait is its iridescent feathers.
The grackle, like other blackbirds, represents numerous good signs and traits, though this may surprise some who believe that such birds are instead a sign of bad things to come.
This idea that blackbirds represent darkness comes from the dark, black color of the birds’ wings. According to Miller’s Guild, black is seen as the color of mystery and mysticism so that these birds may bring feelings of unfamiliarity, caution, and even restraint.
That said, grackles are beautiful, gleaming birds that, as their feathers may suggest, like to express themselves in numerous ways. One such method may include how male grackles try to catch the attention of potential partners during mating season.
During the early spring, the male grackle will preen itself by straightening and cleaning its feathers to appeal to a female. It will also make itself appear larger by fluffing its feathers while squeaking and strutting around a potential mate.
It is due to these demonstrative behaviors that the grackle is an excellent symbol of self-expression and even flirtation.
The grackle also partakes in an activity called “anting,” which involves allowing ants to climb on its body so that they may cover the grackle’s body in secretions. They do this to eliminate parasites and maintain their cleanliness, another trait the bird is known for.
With its focus on appearance, it is clear that the grackle is a social bird that tends to travel in large flocks, as mentioned by ABCBirds.org, an American Bird Conservancy. It is no surprise that the grackle is also a symbol of communication and family.
The grackle is sociable, whose overtly expressive nature should demonstrate the importance of expressing your feelings and actively communicating with those around you.
The grackle’s dedication to its family makes it a courageous bird, as it will do anything to protect its family, including dive-bombing a potential threat.
Coincidentally, it will also take the same aggressive approach when foraging and stealing food from other animals and humans. Due to these two traits, the grackle is also a symbol of bravery and thievery.
Lastly, like most other blackbirds, the grackle is well known for its intelligence. Similar to crows and ravens, the grackle can solve puzzles and even use problem-solving skills to open particularly tough nuts. One way it does so is by soaking its food in water to soften it.
Grackle Symbolism In Native American Culture
In Native American mythology, according to NativeLanguages.org, blackbirds are seen as servants of the Corn Mother by the Native American tribes in the Plains. Specifically, the Arikara and Mandans tribes believe in this.
While not specific to just grackles, blackbirds in these tribes were used to maintain crops, such as corn, by acting as a sign of the Corn Mother’s overall sentiment toward the tribes. A tribe must perform rituals to satisfy the Corn Mother if the blackbirds attack the crops.
For other tribes, these birds represent a link between your true self and a connector to the underworld. Other characteristics of symbolic grackle in Native American culture are that of a clan animal, divination rituals, and fortune telling.
Grackles as Spiritual Animal Guides
The National Museum of the American Indian explains that Native Americans have significant relationships with animals native to their homes due to the thousands of years spent cultivating relationships with said environments.
These unique relationships are often represented or commemorated through specific folklore, imagery, totems, and spiritual practices and values. This can be seen in the well-known spiritual concepts of totem animals, power animals, and spirit animals.
Grackle Totem Animal
Faust Gallery, a gallery dedicated to showcasing extraordinary Native American art and jewelry, details that a totem animal is the primary guiding spirit of your family, and it stays with you throughout your lineage or lifetime.
If your totem animal is a grackle, you are resourceful and clever. You learn to adapt to any situation and use your creativity to find otherwise tricky solutions.
Grackle Power Animal
A power animal, also known as a tutelary spirit, is a guardian spirit of a particular person, lineage, place, or culture.
As your power animal, the grackle is a spirit you can depend on to provide you with spiritual assistance. Grackles are sociable birds that learn to live and work in flocks to protect themselves and their family and survive.
Similarly, it would help if you leaned on this power animal to provide the guidance you may need in certain difficult situations.
Grackle Spirit Animal
A spirit animal is a teacher or messenger that chooses to guide you and provide you with unique and powerful knowledge. You can have multiple spirit animals guide you throughout your lifetime.
Those with grackles as their spirit animal need to remember the intelligent and curious side of the grackle. This spirit animal encourages you to be more curious and open to exploration and learning about yourself and your environment.
What Does A Grackle Dream Mean?
To understand the important message within a dream, it is important to consider what occurs in the said dream and what animals or symbols appear.
A Grackle and Human Shadow in Your Dream
Dream Dictionary writes that a dream with a blackbird and human shadow might have an important message regarding sex and your life instincts. It could signify repressed ideas or desires as well as shortcomings.
The grackle is a social creature known to flirt in very demonstrative ways. It makes sense that seeing a grackle in your dream might reflect your love life and how much you need to take better care of it by not repressing your feelings or desires.
Attacked by Grackle in Dream
If the bird attacks you within the dream, this might be a sign that you have detrimental flaws that you need to recognize and improve upon.
That said, the bird does not need to attack you in your dream for the dream to be meaningful, however. Just having a blackbird appear in your dream may signify that you need to prepare for an upcoming change in your life.
It is important to note how much dreams take from the natural characteristics of the blackbird and, in this case, the grackle.
The grackle is also a sign that you must prepare yourself for change because these intelligent animals are great at adapting to new circumstances.
What Does It Mean If You Encounter A Grackle?
You are most likely to encounter a grackle in an urban environment, as they can easily survive off human leftovers and feel pretty comfortable around people.
In other words, it is common to encounter a grackle. That said, there are specific circumstances you can look for the next time you see one to see if a particular symbolic message is being portrayed to you to help you overcome a specific life obstacle.
If you see a grackle by itself, you must take it as a reminder that you need to be brave and trust yourself in whatever obstacle you may be facing.
Grackles tend to migrate in flocks, so seeing one by itself might mean that you, much like this bird, need to learn to fend for yourself for a bit and trust your instincts.
Seeing a group of grackles, called a plague, represents the rallying of like-minded people. This omen signifies that if you feel alone, don’t worry. Other people relate to you and can support you.
These are the people you can learn to lean on and trust, just as the grackle does with its flock.
As you can see, the grackle is a beautiful black bird with various forms of symbolism. It can remind you to use your resourcefulness to solve a problem, or it can be a sign that you must learn to trust your support group and understand that they will protect you.
There is a long history of animal symbolism in Native American culture, as referenced throughout this article. Indigenous tribes used animals as a way to connect with the world spiritually and to guide.
Don’t forget that now, after reading this article, you too can use grackles and the nature around you to guide you to where you need to go. Please comment if you have any questions!