Pelican – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Pelicans are large birds that are best known for their large beaks. They inhabit only several parts of our planet and can’t be found everywhere in the world. Their symbolic value is still very important and it shouldn’t be underestimated.

Pelicans usually inhabit areas close to seas and oceans and can’t be found deep in the center of a continent.

Pelicans in popular culture are still very relevant and their symbolism persevered throughout years. Animals symbolism and especially bird symbolism is important and highly valuable. Birds had a special importance for people and we always envied their ability to fly and see the world from a different perspective.

Pelican symbolism might have been created by civilizations that lived near them, but from there, the pelican symbolism got spread across the globe. So if you were ever interested in finding out more about pelican symbolism, here is your opportunity.

Spirit Animal and Totem

As a spirit animal and totem, pelican has a lot to offer. This peculiar bird is not only interesting because of its appearance, but also because it represents a certain type of personality and certain type of character. Spirit animal should be your guide through life and leaning on to your spirit animal is something you should do.

Totem animal is an explanation or guide to your character, and by learning more about your totem animal you can learn more about yourself and your personality.

Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, pelican is best described by these words:

  • Responsibility
  • Teamwork
  • Charity
  • Friendliness
  • Direction
  • Safety
  • Bounty
  • Resources
  • Generosity
  • Nobility and
  • Self-sacrifice.

People guided by this spirit animal are the ones who would everything they have for their friends and family. They love helping others and being there to offer a helping hand in time of need. Their desire to make others feel well overcomes their desire to make themselves feel good. They sometimes even care more about other people than themselves, which can be bad for them.

This spirit animal symbolizes charity and generosity. You are a person who likes to be involved in any kind of charity work, even if it means helping someone cross the road. Helping others makes you feel good, which is why you often choose careers that involve helping others as a profession. You lean towards medicine and social work; because there are the careers you can excel at and feel passionate about.

Pelican spirit animal is also a symbol of resources and teamwork. You love being a part of a group and working on something with others. You love when there is more than one mind working on something, because there is a chance more minds are going to find the solution to a problem faster. You also like the energy that gets created by teamwork and you would rather be a part of team than work alone.

Pelican also symbolizes friendliness and wisdom. Yu are very open to people and others don’t have a hard time approaching you. You even feel good when you meet someone new and listen to the stories they have to tell. This is something that fills your heart with positive energy and optimism. You are also a wise person and many people come to you to ask for an advice. You gladly help if you can and share your wisdom with others. Careers in teaching are also very suitable for you.


As a totem, pelican symbolizes friendship, intelligence, good heart and responsibility. You are a very kind person by nature and your positive energy is the first thing that attracts other people. They love spending time with you and being in your presence. Your friends know that you are going to be there for them no matter what happens and you never leave your friends hanging.

Pelican totem symbolizes responsibilities and working hard. Even though you love being a part of a team, this doesn’t mean you don’t contribute anything. Unlike others who like to be a part of a team just to cover up their laziness, you take your role very seriously and you give 100% effort.

As a negative trait some might mention your overly sensitive nature. Sometimes you can get offended by even the smallest comment, which can be nerve wracking for others. They never know what they can say and what you are going to take the wrong way. Because of this, they avoid making jokes all together or they choose their words when they are next to you.

Symbolism and Meaning

Pelicans as symbols have been used for hundreds of years. In ancient Egypt pelicans were symbols of death and afterlife. They were often used as symbols in art and literature. They even carved pelicans on tombstones to chase away the snakes so they can’t disrupt the dead. Pelicans were also symbols of afterlife and Egyptians believed they had the ability to secure the passage from one world to another.

Jewish culture prohibits eating pelican meat, because it is considered to be unclean and non-kosher. Murri people in Queensland, have myths that describe the pelican as one of the saviors during the great flood. A pelican made a large canoe during the flood in order to save drowning people. After he fell in love with one woman he saved, he got tricked by her and her friends and disgraced.

After that, the pelican painted his face in white war paint and prepared to go to war but he never did. Another pelican saw him and killed him, because he didn’t look like the others. This s the story of a black pelican that has since become the black and white pelican.

In Alcatraz Island, the word pelican comes from the word al-caduos which means a water-carrying vessel. Since pelican’s stomach resembled this vessel, it was since then called that way. In Christianity, pelicans are seen as symbols of Passion of Jesus. They respected the way pelicans cared for their young ones and how they devoted great attention to their well-being.

In popular culture, pelicans can be seen on many works of art and in literature. Their symbolic value is extremely important and they can also be found in modern heraldry. Coins in Albania have a pelican engraved on them and the Christian Democratic Party is also known as the American Solidarity party and they have a pelican as their animal symbol.

Dreams about Pelicans

Seeing a pelican – Dreams about pelicans are a representation of your inner state. You are currently feeling at peace with yourself and nothing can disrupt this feeling. You can use this period to advance in every sense of this word and make some changes in your life.

Pelican flying – If you had a dream about a pelican flying, this means you are a very generous person and you love helping others. Perhaps you devote too much attention to other people and far less attention to your needs. This dream can also be a warning sign to start caring more about yourself and less about others.

Pelican with full beak – If you had a dream about a pelican with a full beak this means you are about to have a lot of success in every field of your life. A very positive period is approaching you and you can use it to advance your career or personal life.

Pelican with young – If pelican in your dream had young by its side, this means you need to be more in touch with your inner emotions. You are keeping something bottled up inside and this can’t be good for you. Express your emotions and enjoy every moment of your life, no matter how hard it might seem to open up to others.


Birds had a special importance for people and we always envied their ability to fly and see the world from a different perspective. Pelican symbolism might have been created by civilizations that lived near them, but from there, the pelican symbolism got spread across the globe.

Pelican symbolism will continue to expand and grow, even though it has already gained an important position in a lot of cultures around the world. Pelican symbols can be found on almost anything and this only speaks about the importance of their symbolic value to the world.

Pelicans might not be as mentioned as some other birds in a symbolic sense, but this doesn’t take away from their importance. Pelicans have been and will remain being symbols of stability and good nature.