Signs and Omens

Man by nature is an inquisitive, gregarious, and territorial creature; wanting and needing to mark his groups and territories as much as to assign meaning and interpretation to the naturally occurring and man made things around him. From ancient symbols carved or painted in caves, through secret societies of past and present to naturally occurring phenomenon and gang tagging we will try to find meanings and interpretations for all.

3,278 Questions
Signs and Omens
Japanese Geisha

What does a dead geisha symbolize?

The Geisha girl is a beautiful woman, so she's a symbol of beauty. A geisha girl with her head decapitated means the opposite of peace.

Tattoos and Body Art
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What is the symbolism of a swallow tattoo?

Symbolism of a Swallow Tattoo:

Here are opinions and answers from contributors:

  • Swallow tattoos are just that; tattoos of the swallow bird. Reading about it, they are the traditional tattoos of birds that are commonly seen on people.
  • The swallows are an old sailor's tattoo. Sailors got them for proof of the Navy and trust. I'm getting one on my hand next week. Sailors also got mum and dad with an anchor behind it.
  • Long ago, a sailor would get a swallow tattoo after successfully sailing a certain amount of miles (obviously a great deal of miles, but I'm not sure exactly how many).
  • Actually, all swallows return home to San Juan Capistrano every year. So the tattoos were used to say that you will always come home. They are a sign of loyalty, pride to both regions and people.
  • It is said in an old superstition, that when you see a swallow for the first time in a new year it is an omen of wealth. You're supposed to rub the money in your wallet while watching the bird, in order to ensure wealth in the future.
  • Sailors would have a swallow tattoo put on their chest after completing 5,000 sea miles and one on the other side after completing 10,000 sea miles. Many sailors still get authentic Naval tattoos.
  • Here is the origin of the swallow tattoo: there was a ship named the swallow, the men had a mutiny and the original seven mutineers had swallows tattooed on them so that they could identify each other. Out of this two things happened: 1. People got swallows tattooed on them and lied about being one of the original seven; and 2. The authorities heard of this identification and searched for the seven sailors who got swallows to throw them off the right trail. Since then sailors have gotten swallows for every 5,000 nautical miles, one on each side of their chest, when they would retire they would hang a string between the two birds and hang women's underwear and stuff.
  • The traditional tattoo means: A sailor gets a set of swallows on his chest. The story goes if he or she drowns; the swallows come down and lift his soul to the heavens.
  • Sailors would get swallows after sailing all seven seas. If they had one, they saved a man's life. It's a sign of trust, honor, dignity and respect. Nowadays, they mean nothing more than some random tattoo that someone gets that has no meaning behind it.
  • I've always heard that the swallows are a mark for sailing around the horns (the bottom of South America and Africa) or for crossing the Equator, both longitude and latitude.
  • Okay; the swallow is a tattoo that a sailor gets after traveling 5,000 nautical miles at sea, but the reason behind it is that a swallow is the "first sign that land is near". To a sailor the swallow means a "safe return home". Swallows are known to travel far distances out to sea during migration and would rest on boats close to shore which gave early mariners the first sign that land was indeed close by. The horizon is 12 miles from a boater's standpoint in the ocean (more if higher up) and swallows fly further then 12 miles out. The swallow is also known as a sparrow and was worn by the famous pirate "Jack Sparrows".
  • The swallows traditionally mean 5,000 miles for the first and 10,000 miles for the second. When I got mine done, in honor of my grandfather, I was warned by the tattoo artist to be aware that, in terms of jail house tattoos, the bluebirds, swallows or sparrows can also stand for white supremacy or white power.
  • I am surprised that no one has commented on the connection that swallow tattoos have to rock and roll or music in general. I have always connected the swallows with a love, respect and appreciation for music. Much like the swallows always returning to San Juan, their home. I've always thought the tattoo represented always being home when you're within the music.
  • I've always associated swallow tattoos with loyalty and fidelity - swallows choose a mate for life and will only nest with that bird and no other. Also they carry a message of hope, when sailors saw a swallow they knew that land was near.
  • I actually wondered about this myself, and by chance a homeless person in London approached me, wanting to sell "the big issue" (a magazine). He had two swallows tattooed on his neck, so I asked him the meaning, and he said; "It's kind of rude" and he whispered it to me, because my girl was with me and he was a gentleman. He said it meant "Live long and live hard".
  • I always thought that two swallows seen paired together symbolized freedom.
  • I heard that the swallow/sparrow tattoos are to commemorate a fallen friend or family member. I would assume any persona that the bird has i.e., devil horns, angel halo or even a knife through it would depict the dead person's personality or trait.
  • It just means that they were a "Hard Man" back in their day. Everyone that I have ever met with a swallow tattoo has been at least a bit psychotic.
  • A swallow tattoo used to be worn by sailors back in the day. When you were out/lost at sea and you saw a swallow you knew you were close to land because these birds are never far from shore. They would follow the birds to safety or to home. I think the idea is that when you had the swallow marked on your body it would always help you find your way home.
  • They indicate that you've gone to prison and done your 'bird'.
  • From what I've heard and researched, swallows on the back of the hands are supposed to give you faster hands, such as in a fight or at work. These tattoos are much more common in Great Britain. I've never heard of them meaning racism or white supremacy before.
  • In Scotland it usually signifies a spell in the infamous Bar-L or Barlinnie prison in Glasgow.
  • I grew up in a bad area in Australia and a grandfather of a friend of mine came from England. He was a very hard man and the whole family was very tough and underworld related. I remember being a kid in their house when the grandfather was there and I asked him what his tattoos meant. He looked down on me with a hard face and said in a thick English accent (they moved to Australia in the 70's) "It means I can walk into any pub and put my hands on the bar and if anyone would want to fight, then I would fight them". He was a big guy and I had heard rumors of him tearing people apart. So I guess that they kind of mean courage, strength and loyalty. Oh yeah he was also a "Teddy Boy" in England, but I am not so sure what that is.
  • The swallow tattoo in England means "these fists fly". It's mainly seen on old guys now who used to be good fighters or well know hard men back in the day of the Krays, etc. Now younger people get them because they think they're tough. But the bright new ink used nowadays doesn't give the same look as the original tattoo.
  • I had a few tattoo artists tell me that sailors would get one bird tattooed on themselves after crossing the equator and the other when they came back.
  • My Dad has a swallow tattoo on his hand. When asked about it, he said he got it when he was 13 because it was the cheapest in the shop!
  • Swallow tattoos on a man's hands and neck originated in British prisons from the term 'jail-bird'. It simply means you have been to prison and served your 'bird'.
  • Freedom.
  • The swallow tattoo on the hand symbolizes that you're a swinger.
  • The swallow's wings are so long that the bird never reaches the ground. It always flies high above everything else on earth. Prisoners are known to tattoo themselves with a swallow when they leave prison as a symbol of freedom.
  • The swallow tattoo means a sailor completed 50,000 nautical miles.
  • If they're on the backs of the hands, it means you'll be faster and stronger in a fight. it's mostly in Great Britain and Australia though.
  • In Great Britain, the swallow tattoo on your hands means you've earned your 'wings' in a UK prison, i.e. you have been inititated into male-male sex rituals. Because of this it has also now become a popular design for gay celebrities such as Boy George, Mark Almond etc.
  • It also has a certain literal homo-erotic meaning, especially for sailors who have been at sea a long time without women.
  • If they're on the backs of the hands, it means you'll be faster and stronger in a fight. it's mostly in Great Britain and Australia though.
  • It's a symbol of good luck - traditionally nautical - for adventurers and travelers who will always find there way home. I have a swallow tattoo, someone told me it's the mark of
  • I got a swallow tattoo based on Egyptian mythology: During the Old Kingdom, swallows were associated with stars and therefore the souls of the dead. Chapter 86 of the Book of the Dead specifically instructs the deceased on how to transform into a swallow. In Spell 1216 of the Pyramid Texts, the pharaoh describes how he has "gone to the great island in the midst of the Field of Offerings on which the swallow gods alight; the swallows are the imperishable stars." The imperishable stars were those near the North Star that never seemed to rise or set, and therefore were "constant". The swallow also appears in paintings of the solar barque as it enters the underworld. The swallow is usually shown on the prow of the boat. In this context, the bird appears to be an announcer of the sun's approach. In Egyptian love poetry, the swallow declares the dawn of new love.
  • I got it because it symbolizes change, independence, and respect. The history of the swallow goes back much further than people realize.
  • Bluebirds and swallows are traditional nautical tattoos with a long history of use. They symbolize happiness and good fortune. The swallow was a tattoo a sailor got after traveling 5000 nautical miles.
Skin Disorders
Signs and Omens

What does it mean if your left palm itches?

Some people say it means good luck or you're going to get some money

Generally your left hand itching means money coming into your life, unless you are left-handed in which case it means money going out of your life.

I thought it was the right hand brings money and the left hand your paying out money.

It means something is irritating the skin of your hand.

It means you are too superstitious or that you are having bad luck

There's an old superstition that when your palms itch it means money. An itching left palm means money to be paid out, while an itching right palm is money coming in. To stop the left palm from itching, the superstition says to rub the palm on a piece of wood.

There may be something to this old tale, since itching palms often show new internal energy moving through the hands. The left hand is the passive or receptive, and the right is the active. When the left palm itches, look for new energy or services coming into your life - Of course this will probably cost you some money. The right palm itching means energy or services going out - Work you might get paid for.

Touching or rubbing wood is a very old method for transferring or releasing unwanted energy buildup (thus expressions like "touch wood"), so if your left palm itches, try rubbing it on the corner of a table - If you don't get a splinter, perhaps you'll save some money!

The answer in bold italics offered by The Oklahoma Pagan Society

Rockhounding and Mineral Collecting
Signs and Omens

Hawaii's state gem or mineral?

Black Coral.

Signs and Omens
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

Finding a tiny black feather meaning?

Not all naturally occurring phenomenon can or should be interpreted as omens. Finding feathers isn't usually something of note, unless you have asked a specific question of your spirit guides, in which case the interpretation is very personal.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Signs and Omens

What does it mean when there is a dead CAT in front of the door?

It means that it died of hunger or cold. or maybe someone poisoned it.. lol

maybe it has something to do with bad luck too?

Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Signs and Omens

What kind of omen is a bald eagle?

In some cultures, eagles may have some religeous properties, but bald eagles are only birds. To see one is a thrilling experience, enjoy it for what it is.

Tattoos and Body Art
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What colour symbolizes strength?

red - symbolising strength, power, danger, war, passion, desire, love etc...

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What does a dove symbolize?

In some religions, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. A dove can also symbolize peace.

=== === == ==
Doves symbolize peace.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

Do dragonflies have stingers?

NO there just like butter flies sweet and there share there homes with us

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What does it mean when you see a crane?

Construction work.:)

Signs and Omens

How do you stop seeing ghosts?

it is hard to just stop seeing ghost I've lived with ghost my whole life and it is very hard to stop seeing them so basically you close your eyes and say ghost i am not ready to see you i do not want to see you please go away until I'm ready.

personally i have never done that but my sister has and it has worked for her so it's worth a try isn't it if it will stop you from seeing them. SO try it it may or may not work for you.

Or you can say " ghost, I know Chuck Norris, so leave before I kick the ectoplasm out of you! "

that works to i guess

Signs and Omens

What does it mean when a bird attacks you?

You probably got to clsoe to it's nest... I wouldn't worry about it birds are very protective of their babies and if you got to close it might of been a reflex to attack.

Tattoos and Body Art
Signs and Omens
Doves and Pigeons

Why is the dove associated with love?

Doves are associated with love and peace because of the doves beauty and its faithfullness to its mate. In ancient times this was took to be a symbol of human love and beauty.

Also it was a dove which noah released from the ark to find land. Of course the bird flew back to the ark bearing an olive branch showing that there was land and has from then on been a symbol of peace and one of love.

At christian weddings doves are often released to express the patners loves for one another.

The dove - representing Love, Maternity, Beauty, Elegance, Gentleness, Peace, Spirit and Angel-like quality.

Signs and Omens

Crow is bad omen or good omen?

For their dark color and tendency to feast on carrion (especially after battles) crows are generally considered a bad omen

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What does it mean to find a feather?

Supposedly it is an angel's sign to you, they are communicating with you sort of a "I'm here to protect and look out for you" or '"I'm here to help you"

It can also be a sign or communication from someone you love who has died.

It's usually associated with them saying "I'm ok" or "I'm here"

This may be too personal, but before my aunt Vickie died, my mom and her watched a movie about angels.

Of course, the angels in this movie didn't have wings. My aunt turned to my mom and said "angels have wings, don't they" and a few days later my aunt died.

The day after, my mom went out to get the mail which came early and heard my aunts voice clear as a bell say "angels have wings, don't they?" right as a white feather fell down right in front of her.

It gives me chills to even write this. if you're finding white feathers, an angel is watching over you.

Signs and Omens

What does the sign of the dragonfly symbolize?

It symbolizes freedom or good luck for some people.

Signs and Omens
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the spiritual meaning of frogs?

Frogs are usually interpreted as transformation.

Frogs begin as eggs, become tadpoles, grow legs, and become frogs. They also begin as creatures that "breathe" underwater and transform into air breathers.

What a wonderful natural example of transformation.

Signs and Omens
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the spiritual meaning of ladybugs?

Ladybugs are supposed to symbolize the Virgin Mary, and thus are very sacred. That's why you always have to be careful that you don't hurt them, or so the legend goes.

Supernatural and the Occult
Signs and Omens

How do you spell of the spirit of the glass?


Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What does a star on a Mormons house represent?

If a person who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the "Mormon" church) puts a star on their home, it is probably just used as a simple decoration or symbol of patriotism. This would be the case unless it is an active-duty military star on a door or window, which means a family member is currently serving in the military.

On historic Mormon buildings, stars were often used as a symbol of Christianity. Historically, stars have been used in Christianity to represent many things, including the five wounds of Christ and the five joys of Mary (Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascention, and Assumption). In Mormonism, the star may also have different symbolism. If there are both large and small upright five-pointed stars they will represent the governing and saving power of the priesthood. Upright stars with no size variation, espeically when combined with suns and moons, represent the Terrestrial Kingdom of God, and inverted five-pointed stars represent the 'morning stars' - the sons of God. (Revelation 22:16) If there are both inverted and upright stars, they may represent the our prayers ascending to heaven (upright stars), and the anwers to the descending (inverted stars). A six pointed star may represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel or the actual stars as a symbol of creation.

To see examples of star symbolism on historic Mormon buildings, see the "Related Links" below.

Signs and Omens

What is numerology for dragonflies?

If by 'numerology' you really mean the 'collective noun' for dragonflies, e.g. flock of sheep or gaggle of geese, then the collective noun for dragonflies is a cluster or flight.

Signs and Omens

What do wolves represent?

Wolves usually represent American wilderness, or mystery, or even a teacher or a pathfinder.

Signs and Omens

What does it mean if you see birds all the time?

Birds are very common, so it is not unusual to see birds all the time. There is no reason to look for a supernatural or symbolic meaning behind natural occurrences.

Signs and Omens
Paranormal Phenomena

What is the spiritual meaning when unexpectly seeing a robin bird?

I don"t take much stock in ornithomancy . A robin or Thrush is of course, a sign of Spring. Robins are migratory birds- which might explain the term Round -Robin for an exchange circuit of stamp collectors- rotating sports assignments, etc. It is a good sign that the weather is normalizing.


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