When someone calls you “chicken”, you’re sure it can’t mean anything good. Or are you? Modern colloquialism ascribes cowardice to the chicken, and there’s a pretty good basis for that. But the lowly chicken has a few tricks up its sleeve that could make even the bravest man seem tame by comparison.
Chicken Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
The chicken appears in many forms throughout the world’s mythology, proof that our ancestors had thought more of this fowl. The chicken is often stylized into the Rooster, especially in the Chinese Zodiac and in legends like the basilisk. In ancient Rome, chickens were used by the priests for auguries. Here, the chickens are used to read omens and make predictions about the outcome of certain decisions. Certainly not something the modern person would have thought of when considering this “lowly” farm animal!
Chicken Symbolism & Meaning
The biggest symbolism attributed to the chicken may surprise you. Because of their nature and the purpose for which they are often raised, chickens have become symbols of the uncertainty of life. That is, you may live prosperously and without fear one second, and you may be sacrificed the next.
And “sacrifice” here, of course, means having your life offered as an exchange for something. You see, the lone chicken might not have that much importance when alive. But once slain and cooked for food (or used as a sacrifice to the gods, as the old civilizations have tendency doing), then the chicken gives itself up for something better. It either nourishes the body, informs the mind, or soothes the soul. The chicken is a reminder that we can live and die at any moment — but it is always in us to make our death productive for those we leave behind.
Chicken Spirit Animal
When the chicken makes its way into your life, it is a reminder that you should let go of your socially-constructed inhibitions and let your true self shine. Just as today’s society ascribes not-so-pleasant adjectives to the user, we may often be at the butt of trials and judgments meted out by society. But that does not mean we can let these influence us just like so. We are humans, individuals given very unique personalities. Just as the chicken struts, we should also strut our hearts and true selves out.
Chicken Power Animal
The chicken lives in a dangerous world. It is surrounded by all kinds of danger, from butchers to predators. Left on its own though, the chicken can usually get by. It has keen senses it can used to avoid danger, and it is also usually fast enough to outrun adversaries.
Because of this, the chicken is a great power animal for understanding the dangers posed around you. Do you think there are those just waiting for the right time to “eliminate” you? The chicken helps by giving you its senses and its own agility that you may evade the troubles.
Chicken Totem Animal
People born under the chicken totem animal are naturally brave. They’re not exactly fatalistic, but they’re also not afraid of what fates may befall them any given day.
If you think that the chicken is a simplistic person who just charges into danger, though, you’re mistaken. Chicken people value balance, and have a good sense of communication. In nature, chickens are good at communicating, too. In fact, the chicken person can take their abilities to communicate to such an extent that they study language in various forms!
Finally, chicken people are incredibly punctual people. This is actually an outcrop of their fearlessness. They don’t delay, as they know there is a time for everything. And this means everything — whether it’s an activity, or a time to focus on or notice something.
Chicken Native American Symbolism
To the Native Americans, the chicken is among the sacred animals. In fact, some tribes like the Kiitoki have a chicken dance for rituals. It is believed that this dance is passed onto a warrior from the Prairie Chicken spirit. The legend that goes with it tells us of a warrior who once killed a chicken for food. Unbeknownst to him, this chicken was performing a sacred dance. The chicken then appeared to the warrior in his dreams, and taught him the dance.
Chicken Celtic Symbolism
The chicken was not given any specific meaning by the Celts. However, the ritual sacrifice of a chicken is involved in Imbolc religious festivities of Celticism for the goddess Brighid.
Chicken Far Eastern Symbolism
The Chicken appears in the Chinese and Korean astrologies as the Rooster. They are industrious people who do not forget the value of dreaming. Furthermore, in Chinese society, chickens are considered good luck as they symbolized prosperity. The whole chicken is cooked and served, and is said to symbolize unity of the whole family.
Chickens in Dreams
When you see chickens in your dreams, it might be reminding you that your recent responses to life’s problems are borne out of reflex fear, and not thinking things through. The chicken’s bravery comes from knowing that everything in life has a time and purpose, and there’s no need to shy away if this is the only recourse fate grants you. Hence, move forward and show no fear, not even when you hear advice to the contrary from others!
Chicken Encounters / Chicken Omens
Seeing chickens around you is a pretty normal occurrence, and its meaning can largely depend on the setting in which you view them. Noisy chickens, for example, can mean gossip in life. Seeing chickens running away can mean a lack of willpower. Chickens beating their wings can men foreboding of unpleasant things to come.
Chicken Mythology and Folklore
In Japan, the myth of Amaterasu mentions the chicken calling out to the goddess. At this time, the goddess is hiding out in the caves. The chicken ventures out and makes its signature pre-dawn crow, to lure Amaterasu out and allow her light to bathe the world. Chickens have garnered a wide variety of meanings from different cultures and different settings, but their core values remain the same. So if ever someone calls you a “chicken”, think twice before retorting. Maybe that’s just one of life’s reminders that you could be taking on the chicken’s qualities instead.
Now I know why the chicken dance was done for me by my daughter’s kindergarten class. And why the roosters cockadoodledoo at midnight when they hear my voice. Good looking out 👌 thanks for this but of insight. I am often called a chicken.😉
What is the meaning of a white chicken in Africa? My uncle has been raising four white rooster. Since that time my life has been from one trouble to another. The roosters in question are infertile.