The current information about falcon symbolism fails to encompass many of the amazing adaptations of the entire family of falcons. When most people think of a falcon they think there is just one species, but “falcon” refers to a family of birds of prey. There 37 species of falcon subdivided into four groups – kestrels, hobbies, traditional falcons (such as peregrine falcon and prairie falcon), and hierofalcons (such as gyrfalcon and lanner falcon).
Reaping the Power of Falcon Symbolism
The falcon is a raptor. Raptor, otherwise known as “bird of prey”, is a name for predatory birds that means to “seize or take by force”. Other raptors are eagles, hawks and owls. The falcon has especially long toes that are proficient at seizing prey in midair. He also uses the increased surface area of his big feet to club his prey and knock them out of the air.
Falcon is the fighter jet of the raptor world. Built for speed he takes no prisoners. His name comes from the Latin word “falco” which means sickle-shaped and which refers to the shape of his wings. These streamlined, long wings create fast flight and allow for sharp maneuvers. He slashes through the air. Air is symbolic of thoughts. A sickle harvests a crop. Falcon symbolism brings the ability to chop down the field of thoughts. Leave behind the chaff. Bringing home the harvest.
Falcons typically use two distinct hunting strategies. The first, most well known, is the dive. Peregrine falcons are known for their record breaking stoops that reach up to 238 mph. They are the fastest animal on earth. The stoops start from a high perch or a high hovering position upwards of 3,000 ft. elevation. Falcon folds in his wings and free-falls like a skydiver with arms tucked to his sides jettisoning towards earth. Falcon spirit animal is not just about speed, he is about harnessing the power of gravity.
Have you set something in motion that you cannot stop? Are you going into a free fall? Do you believe it is controlled? Can you handle the force that is about to take over your whole being? Call on falcon to help you pull out of the dive in time.
Falcon medicine can help you manage an acceleration of life events beyond what most people think is humanly possible.
Falcons also pursue birds on the wing or mammals or insects on the ground. This is where the fighter jet quick turns come in handy. These direct flights are not for sissies either. They reach top flying speeds of 67 mph. Falcon symbolism teaches us about intensity. When you are moving that fast you can’t take in the environment around you. Focus is key.
Murmurations & Falcon Medicine
Have you ever seen a giant flock of thousands of birds twirling about in the air like a cloud of black dust? These flocks are made up of smaller birds such as European starlings or some species of shorebird. The flocks are in a tight ball that morph and dance in the sky. It is one of the most amazing sights of nature. These flock dances are called murmurations, a lovely name if you ask me.
Murmurations look to be a joyous dance by a chorus of birds, but scientists have found that they are really a predator evasion strategy. These flocks of thousands of birds are typically scurrying to get out of the path of a single peregrine falcon. This is the whirlwind in which falcon reaps his prey. Yes, reap the whirlwind.
The murmuration is coordinated. The birds become part of a group mind that moves together much like a school of fish is thought to. So what may look like a chaotic, haphazard dance is spontaneously choreographed.
Falcon symbolism teaches us about the nature of chaos and whirlwinds in our lives. Be it a free fall or whirlwind, where in your life are you feeling out of control? How much do you contribute to this chaos like falcon at the center of the murmuration? We say we like control, but we like chaos just as much because it is a form of control. Coming into awareness of your relationship with chaos can change everything in your life. Falcon spirit animal helps with this navigation.
Falcon Animal Totem of War & Hunting
Falcon symbolism is closely linked with the Egyptian God Horus who is the God of sky, war and hunting. Depicted as a man with the head of a falcon, but also in his entire form as a falcon. It is said that when he takes wing and flies across the sky he is the sun and the moon. His right eye is the sun and left eye the moon. He fought many battles against his father’s killer, Set. Some stories say he eventually won and unified the kingdom of Egypt.
The sport of falconry is named after the falcons who were among the first birds of prey trained to live and hunt with humans. This sport is thousands of years old and predominated in royal courts as a pass time. It was practiced by nobility throughout the Middle East, medieval Europe and the Mongolian Empire. More recently it has experienced a resurgence as a hobby for laypeople. Falcons are prized falconry birds because of their collected disposition and trainability.
Falcon has a shrill, blaring shriek that travels for miles. His war cry carry on and on for what seems like way too long. The characteristic helmet shaped coloring on falcon’s head is reminiscent of a gladiator’s cap. Falcon is one of a few types of raptors that has a characteristic “tominal tooth” on his beak that is a specially evolved notch. This notch aids in a swift severing of prey spinal cords.
Falcon spiritual meaning calls you to the wars you wage within yourself. Are you spending too much time at war with yourself in your thoughts? Do you talk too much about what makes you mad? We like to say that war happens “out there”, but we have the opportunity everyday in our own thoughts to win the war over darkness and be on the side of the light.
Peregrine Falcon Symbolism
The name peregrine means “wanderer” or “pilgrim”. This falcon is known for its very long migration from northern tundras of Canada all the way to wintering grounds in South America. Found on every continent except Antarctica. The peregrine falcon spirit animal causes us to look at our own wandering spirit.
About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch
Stacey L. L. Couch, Certified Shamanic Practitioner, works as a publicist and journalist for Mother Nature and is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She empowers people with the ability to explore life’s big questions by calling on nature, story and synchronicity as a source for guidance and healing. With her deeply rooted experience in the field of shamanism and passion for working with wildlife and rescue animals, Stacey has a unique blend of rational and mystical perspective that makes the world of shamanism easily accessible to others. She values mindfulness, wonder, and compassion in her daily spiritual practice. Learn More about Stacey.
About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch
Stacey L. L. Couch is a Spiritual Director who teaches about archetypes and symbolism. Her speciality is working with soul pioneers - those of you who are making it up as you go along the spiritual path. She works with beginner and life-long spiritual seekers. Through working with Stacey, lost seekers find their way home and professional spiritual guides receive mentorship. Stacey empowers people with the ability to explore their purpose and calling. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She values mindfulness, wonder, and compassion in her daily spiritual practice. Learn More about Stacey.
I loved the article. Murmuration is a wonderful new word. I knew these falcons were fast and powerful but even moreso. Thank you, Linda
You are most welcome Linda!
We looked this article up as one landed on my head whilst in the garden (rural north Nottingham, England) a few hours ago. I can still feel it! What an honour! I wondered if it had mistook me for its handler as I was wearing leather gauntlets. Have been greatly blessed over the last few weeks by seeing animals where we don’t usually see them: A deer running in front of the car on the way to work; two buzzards on fence posts in a wood clearing a few days later. Two nights ago, I felt a calling to go to a field of barley corn, where there were three paths to walk. I took a piece of barley from each path and called on the Goddess to come. Running quickly towards me came a large hedgehog that stopped by my feet and let me stroke his spines.
Hello Joanne, Isn’t it awesome to be in the flow with the animals and experience such communion? I am so delighted for you that you were not only able to have these mystical encounters with wild animals, but that you were able to show up with your whole being and take them in. Well done! Many Blessings to You, Stacey
Several months ago my daughter stopped by to visit and informed me that there was a “hawk” in the front yard (we’re on a busy street). It looked injured. She managed to corner it in the backyard and removed her sweater to gently catch and hold the beautiful bird. She was fortunate to reach a wildlife rescuer who specialises in raptors. She found out it was actually a Merlin she’d saved, with an injured wing. I love those sort of happy endings – at least as far as her part in it went, anyway.
This is fantastic! A falcon hovered for what seemed forever above me in downtown Boston today. Your words give me chills. Thank you
What an amazing experience Jenn! And in the middle of the city – what a gift! Many Blessings, Stacey
During a very unfortunate period in my life I decided to embrace better health. While walking along a path of which is on an historical site, I began crying my eyes out and looking up I noticed my walk became quite brisk and two falcons were flying above me . As I walked our walk was v shaped and my situation had become very small and I could only smile away my tears as I continued my walk in confidence, forgiveness, gratitude, love, and hope. Again I’m watching my two friends from my window!!! Blessings!!!
Hello June, What an awesome thing to travel in formation with the falcons! I can imagine it now and what a blessing it must have been. I marvel every day at how the animal spirits brings us wonderful treasures such as confidence, forgiveness, gratitude, love and hope. Thank you for reminding me today of the astonishing ways the animals deliver us divine gifts. Many Blessings, Stacey
So I was in Home Depot with my daughter and granddaughter. I needed a decorative pot to put a houseplant in so I went outside in the garden center and told my daughter to wait inside because it was cold outside. When I went out I saw a falcon fly overhead. I was like cool, then went about my business. I came in with a pot and was seeing how it looked with some of the houseplants inside. It wasn’t the right size so I went to go back outside only the falcon, it was a prairie falcon, was then lying on its back right in front of the door. I didn’t go outside because it was clearly injured and I didn’t want to make it worse. I had my daughter tell the manager to call animal control. I will refrain from telling the rest of the story because for some reason the staff didn’t listen and the Home Depot staff deciding what they were going to do went on for quite some time and the bird ended up in the store. Anyway, I tend to look for signs and symbols for guidance, although I will admit I didn’t at the time, I was later wondering what this could have meant. Any clue?
Hello Vicki, I understand that it can be hard to see an animal suffer and not be able to get the right kind of help for them. I do appreciate you taking notice and doing what you could. I get the sense that all the back and forth and trying out the pots and plants and going inside and outside that there was some indecision going on. Where in your life can you act more swiftly in your decision-making and clear out the doubt in your mind? Also, it might help you to read back through this article and find the questions I’ve added in. Try contemplating those questions for yourself and see what other inner wisdom comes. Many Blessings, Stacey
I came to this page after a falcon crossed my path this morning it seemed like he wanted to land on me. I took video and pictures. he stayed the whole time I walked making me feel that he was there for me. I am in New Jersey, and it is a rare sight. Today I forced my self to get up and go out to my first walk since November of last year. Walking has helped me a lot during the past two rough years of my life. I welcome this incident as an omen of good luck and good thing coming my way.
What a beautiful sight!!!
I adore when we show up for the world how the world shows up for us! That’s wonderful that you were able to get out on a walk and how lovely to have your bold action met with such a decisive bird. Many Blessings to you, Stacey
I love what you said about falcons being the fighter jets of the raptor world. I think that buying a falcon would be an awesome investment in a unique pet. My wife loves animals, so maybe I’ll play on that love to purchase myself a falcon to train.
Today , My husband and I encountered a falcon on the fence post outside my kitchen window just,feet from where we had to bury our 5 year old puppy, our beloved Sammy, just 7 days ago. He was like our child to our family.I feel as though the falcon was there as a gift.What a lovely and majestic sight for us. Just what I needed today. What do you think?
Good evening Stacey,
I appreciate your beautiful writing. My 4 year old Son and I rescued an injured American kestrel fledgling on Tuesday. It is at the birds of prey Raptor center in BroomField Colorado now. I felt as though we were meant to be there and it was a calling. Can you advise of any spiritual meaning more specific to rescuing or helping a falcon and children and falcons.
Warm regards ~Elisa