Seagull Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism: The Full Guide

An illustration of a seagull showing off its spiritual meaning and symbolism

The spiritual meanings associated with seagulls are incredibly inspiring and instructive. Even though these animals are often overlooked in modern society, there’s a lot of power and wisdom behind them!

This guide goes over the symbolism and spiritual meaning of seagulls, and how you can understand which ones are connected to your life.

Seagull Spiritual Meanings

Seagulls are very smart, sometimes too much for their own good. Anyone who’s ever been around them at the beach can tell you what they get up to. They’ve been known to distract people, sneak up to steal fries, and even walk straight into convenience stores to snag a bag of snacks.

But when you see these clever, silly mischief-makers, could there be a deeper spiritual meaning behind it?

The answer is a resounding “yes!” While you can expect to run into a seagull on a day at the beach, seeing them in dreams, visions, or other unique situations is different. These birds often show up when there’s a certain message you need to hear.

1. Be Open To Change

The spiritual meaning of seeing seagulls encourages us to be open-minded and accepting of change. Just picture one resting on the water — they gently bob with the ripples and waves. They don’t fight the current, they go with the flow. They know to change what they can and accept what they cannot.

These birds generally symbolize ideas like freedom, playfulness, and other characteristics of youthful exuberance. They’re not hard or stubborn. They live in the moment and are willing to adapt to whatever situation comes at them.

When you see a seagull, ask yourself one question: Is there anything in my life that I’m resisting right now? Sometimes, holding on to a situation is harder and more painful than letting go and accepting the consequences. It might be time to open yourself to change so you can be free.

2. Gain Perspective

Seagulls seem to be able to zero in on a single piece of food from hundreds of yards away. That’s because they soar high and keep a sharp lookout for anything that might be food. This higher perspective gives them the ability to spot opportunities that they’d otherwise miss.

A seagull flying and demonstrating its freedom

It also helps them see the potential in everything around them. When you lack perspective, things can be deceptive. What looks like a trash can from the ground may reveal itself to be a trove of crispy fries from the air.

Does life seem like it’s handing you more than your share of lemons lately? The spiritual meaning of seagulls might be a nudge that it’s time to get a higher perspective. There’s something about your situation that you’re missing, and a shift could help you turn those lemons into lemonade.

3. Adopt A More Carefree Attitude

Seagulls aren’t exactly the most serious birds. They’re very persistent in the pursuit of what they want, but they’re also a bit goofy. They live in the moment, and sometimes the moment says that you need to swallow an entire ice cream cone and yell at the sky.

The symbolism of these creatures can sometimes be that you simply need to loosen up. With the way modern society is constructed, it’s very easy to get caught up in anxiety about the future. This can give you a narrow focus and keep you from enjoying life. Learning to release what you need to let go of and adopt a more carefree attitude can free you.

When you see or dream of a seagull, ask yourself what’s holding you back from living the life that you want. Are you holding on to worries that aren’t yours? Are you worrying about things beyond your control?

4. Spread Your Wings And Fulfill Your Dreams

Seagulls’ perspective and carefree attitude allows them to spot opportunities and take chances. They don’t believe in comfort zones — they know that high risk situations come with high rewards. They’ll bravely fly into danger if they need to, trusting in themselves to make it out okay.

The spiritual meaning of seagulls is often that now is the time for you to fulfill your dreams. Do you have a lofty goal that seems impractical right now? It might not be as far out of reach as you think.

Comfort zones are safe, but they’re also stifling. It’s time to leave yours in order to get what you truly want out of life.

5. Challenge Yourself

These beach birds can also represent challenges. After all, it’s not easy being a seagull. They wouldn’t have to trick people or steal food if it was!

Seagulls may show up to encourage you to challenge yourself. Even if you’ve left your comfort zone, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns. What are you doing to expand your abilities and push yourself forward?

One of the biggest predictors of success in any endeavor is persistence. It’s also a difficult skill to cultivate. It’s time to tap into your inner seagull and accept the challenges that life’s throwing at you.

6. Peace & Freedom

Seagulls don’t really have a reputation as peaceful birds, but they are! They flock together without conflict. Seagull parents are also tender and caring to their offspring. These birds even defend each other from threats in order to maintain their peace.

These birds also live near the beach. They’re used to storms and rough waves. These temporary setbacks don’t disturb their peace or restrict their freedom. They come and go as they please, doing what they need to in order to stay happy and healthy.

If seagulls are appearing, it may be that it’s time for you to explore what peace and freedom mean for you. If you’ve been having a turbulent time lately, they might symbolize peaceful times to come. They can also represent an opportunity to claim some freedom for yourself.

7. Be Yourself

It can be hard for a human to tell one seagull from another, but they don’t have any problem with that. Each seagull has the freedom to be themselves, authentically, without trying too hard to differentiate themselves from each other.

Sometimes, people try hard to be different. In the end, this actually stops them from being themselves — they’re still letting trends and other people’s opinions dictate their actions.

Seagulls don’t have that problem. They just live their free-wheeling, beach-shrieking, fry-stealing truth and have a fantastic time doing it.

Birds of all kinds are also divine messengers. If you have trouble seeing this, it could be because you’ve learned to ignore your own innate spiritual abilities. The spiritual meaning of seagulls might enter your life to urge you to open your eyes to your full potential. Once you stop ignoring this aspect of yourself, you can live an authentic life.

What Does It Mean When You Keep Seeing Seagulls?

In general, seeing any kind of spiritual symbol or message multiple times enhances its meaning. You might not think too much about seeing a seagull on occasion — they’re very common birds in many parts of the world. But when you keep seeing them, you should explore the spiritual meanings above.

It also depends on how you see them. If they’re flying around a beach, there might not be much behind it. But if you see them in visions, dreams, or other spiritual contexts, it’s more likely to mean something.

As a rule, you shouldn’t ignore a message that the universe sees fit to send you over and over. Chances are high that you’re seeing seagulls repeatedly because you really need to hear what they have to tell you.

Seagulls As A Spirit Animal

Seagulls represent wisdom and cunning. They use their cleverness to take care of themselves and, according to one legend, protect those who can’t protect themselves. Seagulls also have a reputation for complaining.

In Indigenous American cultures, seagulls have a special meaning as a spirit animal. This can vary from area to area and culture to culture. Spirit animals aren’t really the same as spirit guides, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in English.

If a seagull comes into your life as a spirit guide, it can be a sign that you’re resourceful and opportunistic. You know how to use what’s around you in order to take care of yourself and others. You also have immense untapped potential.

This bird can also indicate that you have a tendency to complain. Seagulls cry for food even after they’ve been fed, which leads people to ignore their calls. Avoid falling into this trap yourself — you have the intelligence and resources you need to tackle a lot of difficult situations. Ask for help when you need it, avoid frivolously asking for the goodwill of others.

Seagulls As A Totem Animal

Totems are animals that serve as the symbol of a family, group, or clan. It’s an anglicized form of an Ojibwe word, but the English “totem” doesn’t resemble the concept of a totem animal as they’re used in Indigenous cultures. In some cultures that have a similar concept, there can also be individual totems, gender-based totems, and more.

If a seagull serves as your individual totem, you may be a teacher or have strong parental instincts. Seagulls take care of their babies and watch over them, but also know when it’s time to back off and let their children learn to fly on their own. As a totem animal, the seagull can relate to parenthood, teaching, and mentorship.

You have a seagull’s high perspective and learn from your mistakes rather than shifting blame. You use this ability to help others who end up in your situation. Rather than wanting everyone to struggle like you did, you’re interested in improving things for other people.

What Does It Mean When A Seagull Crosses Your Path?

When a seagull crosses your path, the spiritual meaning is highly context dependent. Seeing one cross your path can be a warning — seagulls are very alert birds, and they know how to get to safety when a disaster is on the horizon.

If one crosses your path heading inland, expect a storm. If you hear them calling in the rain, there’s fair weather ahead.

Hearing a seagull cry may be encouragement to find and use your unique voice. Do you have any talents that you’ve allowed to languish? It’s time to revisit them!

If a seagull drops a feather near you, you can interpret the color. White indicates that you should focus on your spirituality. Gray says that there are peaceful times ahead. Black is a sign of protection.

The Spiritual Meaning Of A Flock Of Seagulls

When you see a flock of seagulls and want to understand what it means, count them! The number of seagulls you see may have numerological significance. Two birds can be a sign of love and partnership. Four, a symbol of balance and temperance.

It’s also important to make note of what they’re doing. Are they fighting an enemy? Swarming a source of food? Competing for mates?

Take a look at the flock as a whole. What direction are they moving in? Birds flying from left to right was once considered a sign of good news. Right to left was the opposite.

Does the flock form a shape, like an arrow or spiral? This can also add to its meaning. Use your intuition to determine what this symbol is trying to tell you.

Seagull Symbolism In Different Cultures

Since seagulls are so widespread, they have different spiritual meanings and symbolism associated with them for cultures all around the world.

In the Americas, they were generally clever tricksters. One legend tells of seagulls who cried for food when they didn’t need any, fishermen stopped feeding them. This is akin to the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

To the Celts, seagulls were associated with storms and the sea. They’re connected to the deity Manannán mac Lir, the son of the sea.

In Japanese Shintoism, seagulls were messengers of the sea gods. The black-tailed gull is endemic to that region, where it’s called “umineko.” This comes from “umi,” meaning “sea,” and “neko,” meaning cat, due to their cat-like cries.

To the ancient Greeks, seagulls were connected to a woman named Ino. She cared for Zeus’ newborn son, Dionysus, who was born out of wedlock. Zeus’ wife, Hera, was enraged by this and drove Ino’s husband to madness until he murdered his own son. Ino took her other son in her arms and leapt into the sea to avoid her murderous husband, where the gods turned both she and the boy into minor deities.

Ino was later renamed Leucothea. In The Odyssey, Leucothea flies to help a shipwrecked Odysseus in the guise of a seagull. She tells him to abandon his cloak and raft and gives him a veil to wear instead. This allows him to reach land safely.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, the spiritual meanings of seagulls can serve as helpful messages to guide you in the right direction. We all get lost sometimes, and these animals represent concepts of freedom and perspective that can be just what you need to get back on track.

If you have any questions or thoughts about these fascinating animals and what they symbolize, let us know!

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