Woodpecker Symbolism

Repeatedly, the woodpecker sends Morse codes to the world at large. Woodpeckers are magnificent birds with outstanding features. A woodpecker symbolism could imply various things, all depending on what experience and situation a person may be in.

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The woodpeckers are counted among the fanciest creatures in the wild and, as a result of this, they are linked to different meanings and people have drawn several connections to the woodpecker. In fact, a woodpecker symbolism can be given in numerous spiritual contexts. Pay attention as I will share with you meaning of woodpecker spirit.

What does the woodpecker mean in Native American symbolism?

In Native American culture, the woodpecker is seen as a symbol of protection, the protector of mankind. They basically view the woodpecker as a spirit guide of humans, making sure humans are shielded from danger.

The Native Americans relate the drumming of the woodpecker to the heartbeat of nature. The woodpecker encompasses the concept of life, their bond with Mother Earth and consequently the continuous energy flowing through all residing beings.

They accomplice the woodpecker restlessness with the pulses of the earth. They hold strongly that the woodpecker feather, when adorned, is an enablement to commune with forces of Nature to gain dominion over them.

The Earth and Wind Elements in Woodpecker Symbolism

The woodpecker totem is linked to the Earth and Wind elements, because they live on the ground but can however soar high into the vast skies. As a result of such unique make-up, the woodpecker is usually associated with the opportunistic and communicative concepts.

Woodpecker symbolism

People having woodpeckers as their spirit animal are often able to take advantage of whatever situation they are in. They are usually very vocal ad tend to talk their way out, and would have the upper hand in any situation.

They are considered to be creative and innovative. They do not allow the complications of their current predicament dictate or determine the outcome.

Determination in Woodpecker Symbolism

Another woodpecker symbolism is determination. People with the woodpecker totem are very persistent, not knowing when they should give up on anything, most especially when it involves reaching their dreams and aspirations.

Their resourcefulness is top notch and they always seize every opportunity to get to success. The world constantly tries to abuse one’s attitude of kindness and generosity, thus the woodpecker spirit animal amplifies that.

Woodpecker symbolism

They wait for the moment to march in accordance to rhythms and make forward strides, passing through doors of opportunities, not letting the distractions and worldly interference become deterrents and distractions.

Relatively, the woodpecker symbolism is also associated with the need to secure and protect our pursuits and aspirations from arising threats, helping to establish a balance between caution and kindness, abandoned dreams, aspirations and pursuits are renewed.

Woodpecker in the Woods

A woodpecker’s sustenance is tied to the hidden treasures the woodpecker finds in a tree’s trunk. When one walks in the woods, it is no doubt that the woodpecker would always draw your attention.

In the wild, woodpeckers have shown particular love interest in oak trees – representing durability, strength, wisdom and stability – as prevailing as the woodpecker spirit.

Woodpecker symbolism

What treasure do you need to hunt for within the ‘tree of self’? The woodpecker keeps reminding us that there is a need to go back to the simplistic, life giving sound our heart produces and listen attentively to the message it is passing.

Wise persons have likened the woodpecker tapping and hammering to the sound of drums. To humans, the sound of drum beats is likened to a heart beating. Drums are seen as a part of numerous ceremonies and rituals, deserving an hallowed place in our pursuit of spiritualism.

Emblem of Spirituality

The Native American people say that woodpeckers represent and symbolizes the journey into astral planes. The woodpecker is the emblem of prophets and messengers. The Romans as well linked the woodpecker to Mars, a planet with massive and very energetic vibrations.

In Astrology, the woodpecker is related to Aries, because Mars is the center of this Zodiac sign. Although some people consider the continuous tapping of woodpeckers to be annoying, there is a reason why it is so. There’s always a struggle with messages passed from animal spirit, teachers and spirit guides.

Prophecies are usually not understood or misinterpreted. The woodpecker must continue its work until the important lessons are sorted out. Whenever the woodpecker animal spirit enters into our world, it is making an attempt to hammer in a truth or give a solution.

Meaning of Woodpecker in Celtic Symbolism

Celtics of old had associated beliefs of their base with woodpecker animal totems or woodpecker spirit guides. They believed that every aspect of existence and life was intertwined with each other, an example is the Earth’s spirits, air, fire, water, trees, the plants as well as animals and all other things that reside alongside them.

Birds or animals in general, had a representation of fertility and vitality in the mythology. Woodpecker had attributes of moving and growing, while making available life and vitality through bones and skins and also meat for their kinsmen associated them to this symbolism.

In the Celtic beliefs, birds had particular representation of bloodshed, skill and knowledge. They hold strong beliefs that the speech of birds could produce reasonable profits for them and numerous heroes of Celtic descent were able to find the secrets and dangers, by gaining the knowledge of birds speech.

By reason of their perception, the woodpecker symbolism showed how we can take opportunities and shape our lives the manner we please. Woodpeckers are not picky, they find delight and pleasure in even dead trees and the Celts believe that if humans could adopt a similar ideology, they would have the chance of making maximum use of every opportunity.

The Celts also held strongly that the woodpecker symbolism signifies how an individual should make a reconnection with their origin and roots and put trust in their gut feelings. This is a system of identifying danger and evil before they occur.

Meaning of Woodpecker in Christian Symbolism

Several animals, in this case birds, held great importance and significance in the Bible times. The creator has used animals as emblems of symbols representing Israel.

God also served prophets food using ravens, so, even the woodpecker is another perfect example of the great and magnificent things God does with animals. There’s so much spiritual perceptions of the woodpecker, but here’s how Christians view the woodpecker.

Woodpecker symbolism

The woodpecker is a testimony of God’s existence and extent of his power and strength. When the beak of a woodpecker is put into deliberate consideration, one would note that it has a unique build and form, which enables the woodpecker to specifically hammer into the very tough trees.

Such beak is not possessed by common birds, not to even mention the amount of strength that would be required to hammer into these hard woods just to feed. Christians believe that the woodpecker possesses a unique system that is particularly designed by God.

The woodpecker possesses enormous strength and has special muscles in between it’s beak and it’s head to serve as security against the vibrations and shocks of continuous hammering into trees.

That a woodpecker is still resilient and is not broken by these humongous challenges it faces is a sure word that divinity is the sustainer of everything living. The woodpecker reveals to us fundamentals of the Christian faith, including contentment, divine wisdom, show of humility, perseverance and patience.

Woodpecker Power Animal

The woodpecker animal is whom you are called to be, if you wish to improve your communication skills. One can easily differentiate between the rap of a woodpecker from all other sounds nature produces.

In a similar scenario, the woodpecker as a power animal helps you discover your tone and empowers apt and precise expressions. When one is experiencing a difficult and excruciating challenge in life, it is expedient to reveal the woodpecker power animal resident within you.

The woodpecker power animal encodes the precision of message in such a way that it is made possible and easy for others to comprehend your signals, subtle clues and even the nonverbal communications much better. The woodpecker power animal will push you to hammer away all your quest and desire for truthfulness and consistently peck away the difficulties, with so much zest and determination and focus and dedication to your pursuit.

Woodpecker Totem Animal

The woodpecker totem is a symbolism of new opportunities coming your way, like the hammering of the woodpecker would produce a knocking sound.  It is said that “when an opportunity knocks at the door, you must be sure to open the door.” It implies the spiritual implication of knocking. 

The woodpecker is able to feed itself because it views value in all things and doesn’t throw in the towel at every slight difficulty. If the woodpecker stops knocking, it would not bring its benefits to the maximum. One must be relentless and persevere in struggle when building a foundation, the solid permanent floor in your life. 

Having the woodpecker animal totem, you can always recall previous circumstances where you threw in the towel too soon and missed out on great results in life.  The spirit of the past must be captured and revived, that way, there’s room to recover the success that has been lost before. The woodpecker animal totem informs you:

  • That you must use your intellect and inherent power to make directions and goals for life.
  • To keep making forward strides until the desired level of success is attained.
  • That you must allow the woodpecker animal totem to invoke and push your strength to make achievements.

Woodpecker Spirit Animal

Having the woodpecker spirit animal implies that you show deep commitment to the ones you love. It is a show of how you love others fiercely and want to see the validation of this love in their acceptance towards you.

Based on this intense devotion, you are usually very sensitive to other people’s needs. You usually don’t need people to speak up because your instincts can sense when a person you care for is passing through a difficulty, suffering, sad, distressed or hurt.

Woodpecker symbolism

The heart of a woodpecker is laden with so much kindness and because you have the woodpecker spirit animal, yours is not different also.  The woodpecker spirit animal is never wearied in showing care to the ones it loves. Some qualities of an individual with the woodpecker spirit animal:

  • Believes in breeding genuine joy and satisfaction.
  • Has deep roots of faithfulness, trust and loyalty.
  • The woodpecker spirit animal totem pushes them to show unconditional love.
  • Believes that communication is powerful and does it tirelessly.

The woodpecker spirit animal helps you peck and hammer through tough shells of individuals until you are able to touch them as you please.

The Spirit Animal Vs. The Totem Animal

A common confusion of spirit animals and totem have often occurred.  All individuals have their spirit animal and totem, although our totems are determined on the basis of our dates of birth and they represent and reveal our personal characteristics and character to a great extent.

Past civilizations considered the use of spiritual rituals and ceremonies to invite their totem animals which protected them, asking them to release strength and power. This assisted them in those times to overcome their hardships and challenges. The revelation of your worst and best characteristics is done by your totem animals.

Like totems, each individual also owns their personal spirit animals. The spirit animal follows us all our lives and we usually encounter them accidentally, almost every turn we take. There’s also a strong connection between us and our spirit animal, as it is the force that guides us in life. 

The spirit animal reveals to us how we ought to handle issues in our lives which can be difficult to go through. 

Positive Attributes of the Woodpecker Spirit Animal

Those who have the woodpecker spirit animal always feel deeply committed to those ones they love, not minding if they are family or friends. They love totally and completely and seek for validation for the love offered, through the acceptance from the loved ones.

Woodpecker spirit animals make individuals very sensitive to the needs of people around them, even if they do not speak up, because their instincts allow them to know when a person is hurt, distressed or sad. They have a very tender heart and tend to do everything possible to make sure their loved ones are cared for.

They are loyal and faithful, highly communicative, very forgiving, so they don’t worry so much if things go wrong or bad and tend to move on as soon as they can. They are considered to be naturally nurturers, as they hold strongly that nurturing is expected when satisfaction and happiness are in view.

Negative Attributes of Woodpecker Spirit Animal

  • They can be too dramatic and possess tendencies to sulk and be emotional if they don’t attain their desired results.
  • They are also not very logical in their thinking most times, they employ feelings in most problems and situations.
  • There is a need for a balance between emotions and thoughts, as they can be easily swayed by intense emotions.
  • Rather than being excessively emotional, one can practice to think with a clear mind and choose words very carefully.

Times to Invoke the Woodpecker Spirit Animal

You can summon or invoke your woodpecker spirit animal, if by any chance you:

  • Have a need to rekindle your motivation in getting through a difficult phase in life. It is okay to lose passion and have the feeling to stop making attempts. Nevertheless, that’s not what you’ll do, because you ought to make great achievements.
  • Feel there’s a need for safety and stability in your life. There always will be hurdles in your life’s journey, but you must recall that it is the reason why you work so hard. You must take these hurdles as a dare, rather than seeing them as reasons to throw in the towel.
  • Need to discover the right opportunities to embrace. Getting lost is quite easy when you are faced with numerous opportunities and offers, also when change occurs rapidly. All you need do is look and you will get directions to the best choices for you.

What does it mean when a woodpecker visits you?

When you sight a woodpecker, it is termed as a woodpecker visitation. It could imply that you should not be overly open about your goals, aims as well as ambitions, as such could pose risks of not being able to achieve them. 

It could also be a note of caution, raising awareness about those who may not want to see you making any giant strides. If by any chance, you sight the woodpecker at a period where you are experiencing difficulty and things are bad, it’s visit could serve as an encouragement to you to be resilient and not consider giving up. 

The woodpecker visiting could also be a note of warning to you to strike a balance between being alert and kind, so that no one would take undue advantage of you.

What does it mean when you see a woodpecker pecking a tree?

As a spirit animal, the woodpecker is a symbolism of a steady and continuous quest for knowledge and wisdom.

Woodpecker symbolism

Woodpeckers spend almost all their time searching for food on the back of trees. When you see a woodpecker pecking on a tree, it implies that you are always busy with research and you have a deep love for Innovation. That basically is what people admire in you.

Does woodpecker on house mean termites?

Having a woodpecker on your house could surely imply termite infestation. It would require that you start making plans for termite inspection and fumigation of your property as soon as possible.

But don’t be too quick also to make such conclusions. Woodpecker is very symbolic and having one on your house could mean some sort of impending danger. You would need to start making plans and preparations to put up some protective measures for yourself as you might be in harm’s way.

Is the Woodpecker Spirit Bad luck?

Certain persons have the feeling that the woodpecker totem is a symbolism of bad luck, just because you tend to be more focused on the directions of the heart than the head. The woodpecker spirit relies on trust in people, things and situations for a very long time even if they no longer work.

Carrying other people’s burdens and worries even before understanding how it can affect you. You are always in over your head and this tends to make you very emotional, moody and depressed. Because of your empathy, it has adverse effects on the energies of your life also.

As a result of this, there’s a steady demand for you to always clear out all forms of negative feelings from your aura.

What does a Woodpecker in the Dream Mean?

Seeing the woodpecker in your dreams could be either negative or positive symbols. 

Usually, they are signs of instructions and cautious signs about important events. It could imply the need for you to be more attentive to your life and an alert not to take your present as well as your future for granted.

Sighting the woodpecker in a park or woodland in your dream: implies that you need to increase communication with others.

Admiring the bird in your dream: implies that you have intense admirations for a very hardworking person.

Holding a woodpecker in your dream: shows how much you want to change your character and show kindness.

Making an attempt to hold a woodpecker in your dream: indicates that you need to concentrate more on yourself.

Sight of a flying woodpecker in your dream: signifies your dissatisfaction with the state you are in and demand for change.

Attacked by the woodpecker in your dream: reveals how much turmoil and stress you are facing.

A dead woodpecker in your dream: an indication and note of caution of a scuffle you might experience at work, most especially with your superior.

Seeing a woodpecker watching you in your dream: a reflection of how much inner peace you feel and signifies that you have a very pleasant relationship with your family.

Shooting and killing woodpeckers in your dream: reveals that your current path or direction in life is not appropriate and an indication that you must rewrite your goals.

Hearing the woodpecker in your dream: implies you would have great luck soon. Make preparations for success in all you do.

Sight of numerous woodpeckers in your dream: a symbolism of nagging as well as being overwhelmed. Individuals you know are getting to you and you are not certain if you can handle the pressure.

What does a Woodpecker Tattoo mean?

Native Americans viewed the woodpecker as a resourceful bird that commits itself totally to taking care of and making provision for it’s loved ones.

Woodpecker symbolism

A tattoo of a woodpecker could symbolize security, uniqueness, creativity, wisdom, determination, sturdiness and shamanism. A tattoo of a woodpecker also portrays being in close fellowship with nature.


Woodpecker, though a very defiant bird, has a couple of phobias, one of such is its hatred for mirrors. A woodpecker gets startled by the sight of its own image.

Owls are predators of woodpeckers and as such, a woodpecker would never be seen near an owl. One last hate the woodpecker has is noise. As long as the noise is not made by the woodpecker, that noise is displeasing to a woodpecker.

In times past, the red headed woodpecker was considered one of the commonest and most dominant kinds of woodpecker, but is now an endangered species. The rare status is associated with loss of it’s nest as a result of activities of man, particularly in cutting down dead trees.

As believed by the Eastern Slavic customs, woodpeckers are associated with death and misery and they are considered a precursor. The Slavs believed that the woodpecker drumming is an announcement of death as well as any wood foraged upon by woodpeckers are not conducive for human consumption.

Final Thoughts

The woodpecker symbolisms are numerous, and they are an interesting breed of symbols. Woodpecker is definitely a perfect example of being resilient and tough. The dynamic nature of the bird cannot be overemphasized, seeing that it belongs to various elements.

You can lean on this versatility of the woodpecker spirit animal to give you guidance and instructions as well as directions in whatever situation you might be faced with. It is of utmost importance also, that you note that the Woodpecker can also impart you with wisdom and creativity. Having the woodpecker as your spirit animal makes you stand out and showcases your uniqueness to everyone you come across.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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