Hawk – Totem Symbolism

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When you have the hawk as a spirit animal,

you may have an inclination towards using the power of vision and intuition in your daily life.

The hawk totem provides wisdom about seeing situations from a higher perspective,

using the power of observation, and focusing on the task at hand.

It’s a good companion to develop spiritual awareness.

  1. Awareness,
  2. Perspective,
  3. Insight,
  4. Truth,
  5. Visionary Power,
  6. Guardianship,
  7. Strength,
  8. Initiative,
  9. Decisiveness,
  10. Creativity,
  11. Messenger,
  12. Caution,
  13. Maneuvering,
  14. Leadership,
  15. Spirit,
Additional  Associations…
  • Clear Sightedness
  • Being Observant
  • Messages from Spirit
  • Far Memory
  • Guardianship
  • Recalling past lives
  • Courage
  • Wisdom
  • Illumination
  • Seeing the larger picture
  • Creativity
  • Truth
  • Experience
  • Wise use of opportunities
  • Overcoming problems
  • Visionary power
  • Swiftness
  • Leadership
  • Sees more in life
  • Strength

The Hawk totem or lesson is one of the messenger, much like Mercury was the messenger to the gods. When brother Hawk comes to us with his lessons he tells us that we need to be ever vigilant observations of life around us. What signals are being sent our way?

Think about Hawk in the wild. When he gives out his shrill call, it is normally a warning sign.

In essence be aware something is coming or beware something dangerous is lurking.

When the spirit of Hawk comes into our lives he is giving that call and it is up to us to be receptive enough to know if he brings us warning or a blessing.

We should seek the truth of the call.


Hawk Totem Meaning

The hawk spirit animal or totem has several attributes and meanings:

  • Hawk is the messenger of the spirit world
  • Use the power of focus
  • Take the lead when the time is right
  • Power to see, clear vision
  • Strong connection with spirit, increased spiritual awareness

Hawk spirit animals belong to the realm of bird medicine. It carries the symbolism that comes with the ability to fly and reach the skies.

Hawks are predatory birds with remarkably sharp claws (talons) and whose size greatly varies within the 250 species. Female hawks are usually larger than the males. These raptors hunt during the day employing the use of their fierce talons to tear apart their prey.

Most hawks live in prairies, marshlands, forests, or open savannas. In these habitats they use their acute vision to hunt their food and raise their offspring. Hawks are fearless birds who will even face off with poisonous snakes if necessary.

  • Hawks piercing shriek tears through the air. In its shrill cry lies an important message which represents illumination.
  • Hawk teaches us to scope out the situation and focus on our talents, trying to draw them out.
  • Hawk learns to see the big picture in order to understand the past, present, and future.
  • Hawk asks us to be observant of surroundings so we won’t get distracted from our path by others.
  • It also reminds us not to get caught up in minor annoyances so we can maintain our inner balance.

People with Hawk Totem Spirit are…

  • Observant
  • Cunning
  • Decisive
  • Visionaries
  • Leaders
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Messengers

If Hawk is your Animal Totem;

Optimism is one of your strongest virtues.

Learning to give your messages subtly is a must because becoming forceful will cause retreat.

Hawk totem people aim to initiate and lead, and may be impulsive from time to time.

One of the greatest gifts a Hawk totem person can give the world is their visions of a better and brighter future.

Visionaries are always ahead of their time and it’s not easy seeing what other totem animal people are not ready to see.

If you are a Hawk spirit animal yourself, understand that this Spirit animal can give you a special task to hold the energy of what could be, of potentials that are waiting to be envisioned.

Seek out other people who can support you in your life and never allow others to cause you to lose sight of what is really important to you.

Hawk totem people have their own unique challenges in life.

As messengers, Hawk spirit animal must share their insight with others.

You love to share your visions of a better and brighter future, you tend to always ahead of your time and it’s not easy seeing what other people are not ready to see.

Often it is difficult for you to share your insights with others because the other person does not necessarily want to hear it, and yet the Hawk totem feels duty bound to relay the message, no matter the consequences.

It is important however that Hawk totem people do be aware of how they are presenting the messages they receive. They need more than many others to try and deliver the messages as gently as they can, only becoming more forceful if their inner spirit guidance absolutely says it is needed. Sometimes simply thinking through for a time what needs to be said can help Hawk animal people find just the right words to use that will make all the difference and in this they should be encouraged to take their time and soar above for a while before speaking their truth.

Hawk totem people, like many who carry strong predator animal totems, may be shunned by others who sense and fear their inner power.

Others may sense that this is a person who can see straight through them and as many people think in terms of judging things as being good or bad, they are afraid that the Hawk spirit will see who they “really” are and so they strike first in an attempt to keep the Hawk animal at bay.

Hawk totem needs to learn how to veil their energy spirit somewhat, not as an attempt to deceive others but to allow people to get to know them and understand that Hawk Spirit has no interest in judging others.

Often these people have seen so much of the best and worst in life that they find they have no need to judge.

Some Hawk spirit animal people may have a tendency, because of their vast ability to see clear through to the heart of things, to become an arrogant totem animal symbol.

This should be avoided because it keeps them earthbound and causes interpersonal conflicts!

This can start as confusion on the part of the Hawk totem person who cannot understand why others seem less aware of the larger picture and their own issues.

It is important that people with the Hawk totem understand that others are not as well developed yet in these areas and avoid blurting out what they see and know without thinking of how it may impact another person.




Hawk Totem Meaning and Medicine:

The spirit of hawk totem brings with it many different meanings. If the hawk totem animal has entered your life recently take a moment to stop and reflect on some of the following messages:

Awareness, Perspective:

  • Do you feel like you’re moving forward in life blindly, or simply going through the grind? If the hawk totem has recently entered your life you may need to stop and take account of your situation. Observe the minute and fine details of your surroundings because it is likely a juicy morsel of information is hidden in the high grass. The spirit of hawk totem represents the ability to see meaning in ordinary experiences and will help you to become more observant. Many of the messages Hawk totem brings are about freeing yourself of thoughts and beliefs that are limiting your spirit ability to soar above your life and gain a greater perspective. It is this ability to soar high above to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture that allows Hawk spirit people to survive and flourish.

Insight, Vision:

  • Are you lacking confidence in yourself, are your bottling up your creative ideas and going unheard? Hawk spirit is both insightful and visionary. Stop doubting your ideas and assert yourself. Trust in your instincts and feelings and have confidence in any bright ideas that have recently come into mind.

Initiative, Decisiveness:

  • Are you hesitating or procrastinating about something important in your life? Are you avoiding someone or something out of fear? Hawk spirit totem waits patiently to strike at their prey, but when the time comes they strike with both speed and precision. If you stand by too long, any opportunities that have presented themselves will slip through your grasp. Take some initiative and seize the moment!

Caution, Maneuvering:

  • Have you become reckless and impulsive? Do you often find yourself being outthought or outmaneuvered in life? Hawk spirit can alert us to those times when we should NOT take action because we do not yet have all the information we need. For example, a hawk totem person is thinking about becoming involved in a relationship, personal or business, yet they get the feeling that something is “not quite right”. This needs to be heeded and Hawk spirit sent forth to gather the appropriate information to help the person make the best choice. Trust in your spirit intuition, Hawk’s totem may be telling you to steer clear for very good reasons! Be patient and fully examine the breadth of your decision making, once you have enough information Hawk totem will guide you to implement this knowledge to your advantage and steer you towards a more favorable path.




Hawk Spirit Message:

The hawk totem is a messenger of insight, adaptability and openness, it is also about visionary power and guardianship.  Hawk’s spirit teaches us to be observant and to pay attention to what we may overlook. This could mean a talent we don’t use, a blessing for which we haven’t expressed gratitude, or a message from the universe.  The hawk has keen eyesight, it is about opening our eyes and seeing that which is there to guide us. Hawk spirit awakens vision and inspires us to a creative life purpose. Look to the world around you for there are totem symbols buried in everything.



Hawk totem in Dreams:

To see a hawk in your dream, denotes that suspicions are lurking around you and your activities. You need to proceed with caution.

Alternatively, a hawk symbolizes insight. Consider the phrase “hawk’s eye” to mean that you need to keep a close watch on someone or some situation.

The key is to sense the subtle meaning carried by the winds and spirit of change.



Native American Hawk Totem Painting


Cultural Symbolism of the hawk totem:

  • Native American: Among Native American traditions, Hawk totem served the role of messenger guide, bringer of spirit messages and portents of change. Hawk spirit reminded the people they needed to be awake and aware. Many Native American tribes admire the hawk for its speed, endurance, perseverance, and sharp eyesight.
  • Celtic: In the Celtic tradition Hawk totem animal empowers a person to seek out their ancestral roots and to examine in depth that which is positive (so that it may be integrated into a person’s life) and that which is limiting (so it can be released). Tradition is only worth honoring when it supports joy and fulfillment in one’s life! In this tradition Hawk totem also supports the solar side as stated above, helping a person to move forward in life and to seek out great quests to embark upon.
  • Greek: In Greco-Roman mythology, the hawk totem is the ‘swift spirit messenger of Apollo/Mercury,’ and is associated with the sorceress, Circe.
  • Chinese: The Chinese associated this spirit bird with war.
  • Christian: In early Christian animal symbolism, the wild hawk represented evil; the tamed hawk signified the convert; and the hooded hawk symbolized the Christian hoping in the Light of Christ even though surrounded by the darkness of earth. Because of the hawk’s swiftness in darting down and grasping its prey, this animal is a symbol of death, injustice, violence, and those people who prey upon the weak.
  • Egyptian: In ancient Egypt, the hawk was considered a royal bird and a symbol of the soul (ba). Isis is said to have shape shifted into a Hawk to save Osiris. Horus also carried Hawk medicine which allowed him to see the “unseeable”.
  • Indian: Gayatri is the Hindu hawk spirit who brought an intoxicating drink of immortality known as ‘soma’ from heaven. He is also a spirit vehicle of Indra.



The hawk spirit animal as the messenger

The hawk can soar high and reach the heavens effortlessly. As most bird totems, this power animal is often considered as a messenger who brings messages from the spirit world and the unseen.

If you have the hawk as a spirit animal, you may be inclined to play with divination tools and use your intuition to guide your steps in life. Working with the hawk totem could reinforce your ability to rely this type of guidance.

When the hawk shows up in your life, be sensitive to the messages it may carry and be receptive to your own intuition.


Main meaning of hawk totems and the power of focus

Hawk spirit animals invite us to be focused in our daily undertakings. When you feel the presence of the hawk totem, avoid distractions and focus on the task at hand.

At the same time, hawks can soar and fly high in the sky. This animal has the power to provide support in gaining a higher level perspective on any issue or project you undertake. When the hawk appears in your life, it’s perhaps time to be less distracted by the details and focus on the higher perspective. Relying on the hawk power, you can see what’s ahead clearly and defy any obstacles that may be on your way.

A specific way the hawk guidance works is to use a high level and yet clear and focused vision to guide your action.


Hawk spirit animals and taking the lead when the time is right

The hawk is also a bird of prey. Having this animal as a spirit guide emphasizes your ability to lead and influence others. When the hawk is present in your life, it could signify that it’s time to take more initiative and being active.

Hawks symbolize the power of observation. This spirit animal’s guidance may also indicate that you have the opportunity to study a situation before taking action. Observe the situation and then act when the time is right.


Hawk spirit animal and power to see

The hawk spirit animal is associated with the power of vision. If you have the hawk as a totem, you have or are developing the ability to see clearly and have strong visions. Perhaps, you even use clairvoyant skills to support your goals in life and communication with others.

Just like the hawk can see in great detail at great distances, you maybe able to perceive what others do not. You may have an affinity with piercing life great mysteries and divination in one form or another.


The hawk and connection with the spiritual realms

When you have the hawk as a spirit animal, you may have a natural inclination to receive visions, either in dreams or awake. Your extra sensory abilities and intuition are supported by the power of this animal.

The hawk totem is strongly connected to the spiritual realms. When it shows up in your life, you may be called to pay attention and experience rapid spiritual development. As you develop your relationship with your totem, you may be inspired to feel your connection with spirit more fully.


Hawk symbolism in ancient traditions

In numerous traditions, the hawk has a strong relationship with the world of the gods. Some of this symbolism has persisted in modern mythology and beliefs.

In Ancient Egypt, the belief was that a hawk-headed spirit called “ba” would fly off a mummy to come back among the living as a hawk or swallow. The hawk symbolized a part of the soul that would be freed up after death and come back to the world of the living in the shape of a bird. It was also the animal of choice for the god Horus, god of the sky, who was represented with a hieroglyph depicting a falcon or hawk.

The popular belief in more modern times that birds like hawks or owls are announcer of death may be rooted in this myth.

For the Greeks, the hawk and the eagle were associated with the god Jupiter, king of the gods. The bird is strongly connected with the realm of the gods.




The Hawk is the symbol of the dawn and the freshness that a new day brings; and the power of recollection. These energies and qualities enable the seer to travel back through the pathways of time; helping to connect us with with our roots and incestral wisdom that lives within our phyches and our culture. Hawk is known for his ability to travel into the past.

The Hawk is associated with nobility and stature; with him he brings qualities of dignity and pride. Hawk has the ability to soar very high in the skies- recognizing him as a solar bird. He brings energies that help in searches for completion, healing, and illumination. He has the ability of focus, calmness and to see things in context. He is a very powerful bird; and working with him will require that you don’t allow his power and high ideas to go to your head; he MUST be balanced with a sense of humility.


Hawk is known for his very keen eye; therefor bringing with him the ability to pay very close attention to details; picking up important pieces to a puzzle that are very significant in putting one’s life into perspective. In this way Hawk helps us to let go of unnecessary baggage in our lives; wherein finding a sense of pride, nobility and stature. This process is one of cleansing; another powerful energy that Hawk brings.


If you have embraced, accepted and know Hawk; you bring all of his qualities and energies into your life; allowing you the ability to have his keen sight; to see things in detail and focus; with a strong ability of recollection. You will have his strong sense of pride, nobility and stature and also have very high ideas; filling your life with enthusiam and inspiration. Remember though that in working with Hawk you must temper him with a sense of humility; or these energies and qualities can lead to arrogance or even acts of cruelty. An introduction to the Hawk at a certain phase in your life may indicate that you need to connect with your roots and let go of some issue in the past. He may be telling you that knowledge from your roots or past may be very important in order for you to find your sense of place; your birthrights. Hawk also may ask you to examine if you may be too much of a seeker of detail; although being precise can be invaluable – it can also be carried to extremeties; depriving you of a wider view. Are you possibly getting too carried away by the justness of your own cause; perhaps forgetting or considering the feelings of another?



If Hawk has flown into your life;

Be aware that there is a message to be received and interpreted. 

Hawk holds the key to higher consciousness and trying to bring certain things into your circle of awareness.

Know that enlightenment is imminent.

Hawk often represents the ability to see meaning in ordinary experiences if you choose to become more observant.

Many of the messages Hawk brings you are about freeing yourself of thoughts and beliefs that are limiting your ability to soar above your life and gain a greater perspective.

It is this ability to soar high above to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture that will allow you to survive and flourish.



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