Woodpecker – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Animal symbolism is often underestimated. People don’t think about it too much, but almost everything we see today has an animal symbolism behind it.

Almost every product and brand uses animal symbolism for advertisement, so it is fun to take a closer look and discover the facts behind this symbolism.

Woodpeckers are small birds that inhabit large parts of our planet. Their names, pretty much, explain why they are popular or how they got their names. Probably all of us heard woodpecker’s noises in the forest, but we couldn’t quite determine what that pecking sound was.

Woodpecker symbolism was created by civilization and cultures that lived near this bird for centuries. For them, woodpeckers had a great symbolic meaning and represented something important. To some of these cultures they were messengers that announced the coming of something good or bad, and to others they had a more negative symbolism.

In any case, if you are interested to learn more about these peculiar birds, this is the right opportunity to do that.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Spirit animals and totems are often confused as synonyms. Even I had a hard time telling the difference between a spirit animal and a totem. If you are uncertain what each term represents, it is best to read the next section of this article, and if you are aware of the difference then just skip to the next section.

Every human being has its totem and spirit animal. We determine our totems based on our birth dates and they are great representations of our character and personal characteristics.

Ancient civilizations used spiritual rituals to invite totem animals that protected them to send them power and strength. This helped them overcome hardship and problems. Your personal characteristics are well described by your won totem animal. Your totem animals can show you your best and your worst characteristics.

Just like totems, every person has its own sprit animal. These animals followed us our entire life and we accidentally encountered them almost everywhere we go. We will also feel a strong connection with our spirit animal, because this animal is our guiding force in life. This animal shows us the way and how to deal with issues in life that can be difficult to endure. When your spirit animal is, for example, the fox you are very cunning and you know how to get by in life. Now that I have briefly described the difference between these two, let us get on to characteristics.

Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, woodpecker is best described with these words:

  • Communication
  • Intellect
  • Listening
  • Intuition
  • Ideas
  • Fertility
  • Determination
  • Opportunity
  • Innovation

These words best describe your life’s journey and how you go through life itself. Every person guided by the woodpecker spirit animal is full of creativity and positive energy. You enjoy creating new things and being challenged to do something. When your spirit animal is the woodpecker, you get used to changes quickly, so almost any career path is good for you.

You are also a very intelligent person. Your intelligence allows you to adapt well to different situations and to quickly figure out a way to survive. Another great characteristic of people guided by woodpecker spirit animal is that they use their communication skills. They can get away from almost any situation by just using their mind and language skills. This makes them great at careers such as PR managing, teaching and journalism.

Woodpecker spirit animal symbolizes opportunity, which means you will receive many opportunities in life. It is up to you to take them or not, after you evaluate the positive and negative sides of everything. Woodpecker spirit animal symbolizes determination and attention.

These two combined create a very confident person who knows how to get by in life. You are aware of everything that is around you and no great opportunity can pass by you. Once you do notice it, you will keep your focus locked on this opportunity and do everything in your power to succeed.


Woodpecker totem gives you the power of rhythm. You are very much in sync with the Earth and its signals. There is no way that something can pass by you, since you are always on the lookout for new adventures and challenges. You are a person with the ability to capture other people’s attention by just speaking, since your vocabulary and magnetism are simply undeniable.

Your speech is your greatest power. There is no situation in life you can’t get out of with you words. There is only one problem about that, and that is your tendency to speak more than you do. This can sometimes create problems in your life especially business-wise.

Symbolism and Meaning

Woodpeckers are interesting symbols. Their symbolic meaning is portrayed in different ways in different cultures and every civilization has its own view of the woodpeckers. In Native American culture woodpeckers are one of the signs in the Zodiac. As a Zodiac sign, woodpecker symbolizes a vibrant personality with a very sensitive nature. In Western Zodiac, woodpecker sign is equal to the Cancer sign. People who are born under this sign tend to get too possessive and emotional, which is their negative characteristic. On the other hand, they are very humorous and love to be around people.

In Shamanic rituals, woodpecker sounds were often recreated in order to achieve the connection with the spiritual world. The woodpecker is also associated with the Aries Zodiac sign, because it is very initiative and represents the moving energy.

The Sioux tribe believes that woodpecker feathers have the ability to speak to the thunder and send your message to the spiritual world. Woodpecker’s feathers were therefore considered to be a gate to the spiritual world.

Dr. Carl Jung believed that woodpeckers represented the return to the womb or the point of creation, when it comes to creativity. To him, the tree is supposed to represent the womb and the woodpecker is there to break-through and reach that creativity.

In popular culture, woodpeckers are often seen as symbols of communication and they are often used in TV shows and cartoons. They are quite lovable creatures and it is easy for humans to recognize them, due to specific sounds they make in nature.

Dreams about Woodpeckers

As symbols in our dreams, woodpeckers can be both positive and negative symbols. They are often symbols of messages and warning signs about something important.

Seeing a woodpecker – This dream symbolizes good news that you are about to receive from someone. The good news could be related to your business or private life, either way you will be extremely happy to hear it.

Dead woodpecker – To see a dead woodpecker in a dream represents bad news. You must be prepared to hear something you won’t like, that could be related to your career or private life.

Hearing a woodpecker – If you heard a woodpecker in your dream, this means you are going to have extreme good luck in the upcoming period. Prepare for a stream of positive energy and a lot of success in every field.

Several woodpeckers – Seeing several woodpeckers in your dream symbolizes nagging and being overwhelmed. People in your life are starting to get on your nerves and you are not sure if you can take this pressure any longer.


Woodpeckers are quite interesting symbols. They represent communication, creativity and assertiveness. Civilizations that created the symbolism behind woodpeckers paid close attention to their behavior and habits.

Today, even though animals aren’t as appreciated as before, the woodpecker character and symbolism continues to live through television and people’s imaginations.

Woodpeckers might not be high on the symbolic scale, but their symbolic characteristics are still valuable for us. Following the energy of a woodpecker spirit animal and totem is going to take you places, and you will definitely be a person to remember for many people.