The Significance of a Red Cardinal Sighting
Messages from Spirit can come in many forms, but the red cardinal has long been held as the most notable spiritual messenger. The male cardinals are certainly hard to ignore with their striking red feathers and melodic yet almost “pay-attention-to-me” chirps. And when they come to you almost insistently trying to gain your attention, it’s likely you’re receiving a message from Spirit.
A Spiritual Messenger
The notion that cardinals are messengers of Spirit exists across many cultures and beliefs. Numerous things in our world have been given the designation of cardinal such as cardinal colors, cardinal directions and cardinal angels, for example, signifying their importance.
The word cardinal itself is derived from the Latin word cardo, meaning hinge or axis. Like a hinge on a door, the cardinal is the hinge on the doorway between our Earthly world and the Spirit world, carrying messages back and forth.
The cardinal can be associated with many myths and traditions surrounding renewal, good health, happy relationships, monogamy and protection, just to name a few. Looking at the life of a cardinal, it’s easy to see why so many good associations are connected to it: cardinals mate for life, they are non-migratory birds so they remain in their immediate area all their lives and all year long, protecting their turf. And after the couple gives birth, both parents work together to assure the health, welfare and security of their family unit.
If you believe that cardinals are a winged messenger from Spirit, then the next time you see one who is insisting on getting your attention, ask yourself these questions: What or who were you thinking of at that moment? Did you ask for guidance from Spirit or ask for help finding the answer to an important question? Allow your cardinal sightings to bring you a feeling of peace, knowing you are being heard. Let their visits remind you that you are always guided and protected by Spirit. Above all, don’t forget to thank your winged friends and Spirit for their guidance.
Visits from the Other Side
When deceased loved ones want you to know that they’re around, one way they might do that is to send messengers from the animal kingdom: small, brightly-colored bugs, birds and butterflies are not an uncommon choice. Things with wings tend to get our attention, and if you allow yourself to get tuned in, you might even feel who has sent them to you in hopes you’ll receive their message—even if that message is a simple acknowledgement that your loved ones are always around. And if you’re pondering something and asking the Universe for guidance, seeing a cardinal or the like is telling you that you’re being heard and guidance is being offered.
Native American Culture and Shamanism
Many Native American tribes tell stories and hold beliefs surrounding the cardinal (often called, the “red bird”). In Cherokee creation stories, the first red bird is considered to be the daughter of the Sun itself, giving the cardinal a feminine connection, even though the more brightly colored of a pair is the male. The Choctaw people believe that the cardinal is an omen regarding relationships: if you’re single, it could be a sign that your status is about to change; if your relationship is in trouble, the cardinal can be seen as a warning that things need to change. Some Native American cultures believe that cardinals help them predict changes in the weather, serve as watchers and guardians, and still others look to red cardinal sightings as a sign of what direction to travel or follow. The color red itself is considered protection from enemies and illness.
No matter the story, belief or tradition, it’s clear that a red cardinal sighting played an important role in Native American heritage. In their practice, Native American shamans utilize the medicine wheel. The basic makeup of this medicine wheel includes the four sacred, or cardinal, directions: north, south, east and west, and the four cardinal colors: red, blue, black and white. In the medicine wheel, the color red is most associated with the East, the season of spring and animals of flight, including the cardinal. It is believed that words spoken in the direction of the East are carried on wings and delivered directly to Spirit.
Four of the seven Archangels are considered Cardinal Angels, and they are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. Cardinal Angels are tasked with influencing and inspiring large groups, such as cultures and nations. This is very similar to the Native American belief that Spirit offers guidance, protection and direction through messengers.
Red Cardinal Sightings
The red cardinal has played many prominent roles throughout our history. It continues to be an important part of our human experience, especially in bridging the gap between Earth and Spirit and bringing the wisdom of the Universe to our doorstep in a bright and beautiful way. All we have to do is pay attention.