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The Sacred Dove of Peace

Updated on January 15, 2013

Symbolism of The Sacred Dove

The dove is known to symbolize innocence, compassion, faith, affection, peace and hope.

The dove can soothe our troubled soul and calm our worried minds. It renews our faith and inner spirit and reminds us to appreciate the simple blessings that surround us every day. The sacred dove lead us to the miracles and new possibilities that await us just around the corner...

Cultural Significance of The Dove: - Legend, Lore and Meaning of The Dove

Hindu: Yama, the god of the dead, has doves that serve as messengers to the underworld.

Islam: The three holy virgins are represented by stone pillars surrounded by doves.

Japanese: The dove was sacred to Hackiman, the god of war. A dove seen with a sword was said to prophesiize the end of a war.

Chinese: In China, doves are symbolic of good digestion, marital duty, and long life.

Pagans: The dove has been seen as a symbol of marital affection and fidelity. This may be due to the mating habits of turtle doves.

Motherhood and Femininity:

Doves are sacred to all great mothers and the queens of heaven. They depict femininity and maternity; often two doves accompany the mother goddess.

Greek Myth: In ancient Greek myth, the dove was the bird of Athena, which represented the renewal of life.

According to European superstition, the devil and witches can transform into any bird except the dove.

Source: Princeton online- Louisa Twining, Symbols of Early Christian Art, p. 183

Religious Symbolism of The Dove

The dove is a symbol of the Catholic sacrament of confirmation. In traditional early Christian symbolism, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost was represented by a dove. A descending dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit arriving from heaven.

The image of seven doves surrounding the letters "SS" (Latin Spiriti Sancti, "Holy Spirit") symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise (Rev. 5:12).

In the Old Testament: the dove represents simplicity; harmlessness, innocence; meekness; guilelessness and incubation. It also embodies the souls of the dead.

The Tree of Life:

The dove sits in the branches of the Tree of Life and appears with the fruit of the tree and vases filled with the waters of life.

The Legend of Noah in The Old Testament:

The Dove was a symbol of gentleness, peace, and divine guidance.

In the bible a dove was released from the ark by Noah, it returned with an olive branch to show that the biblical flood was over. Ever since, the dove has symbolized deliverance and God's forgiveness.

Symbol of the Holy Ghost in The New Testament:

As a symbol of the Holy Ghost, the dove originates with Christ's baptism, when, according to St. Luke,

'It came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, "Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased."'

(Luke 3.21-22, Matthew 3.16, Mark 1.10, John 1.32).

The Holy Grail and Parsifal a Legend in Alchemy:

A hermit is describing the grail castle to Parsifal. The Grail is guarded by the Templars.

"I will tell you how they are nourished. They live from a Stone whose essence is most pure". "On Good Friday", the hermit continues, "a dove flies down from heaven. It brings a small white Wafer to the Stone and leaves it there. The Dove all dazzling white, then flies up to heaven again... from which the Stone receives all that is good on earth of food and drink of paradisaical excellence".

- Wolfram Von Eschenbach, Parsifal: (Penguin p. 239)

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

Dove Depictions and Their Meanings

Dream Significance:

A happy event, loving constancy and peace. Seen with an olive branch, it is a bringer of good news.

Twelve Doves:

The 12 Christian apostles.

Two Wings of a Dove:

Love of God, love of man; an active and meditative life.

White Dove:

A health talisman; eaten as an antidote against infection.

Dove with Olive Branch In Beak:

Symbol of peace and good tidings. The dove, which is a species of pigeon, has been employed as a messenger from the earliest civilizations to the present day. It was trained in that capacity by the Greeks and Romans, and during the Christian era, and was also used in World War One.

- Gertrude Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols Scarecrow Press, New York, 1962, Volume 1, pp. 466-467

Image: VanesaArt.com

Your Thoughts on The Dove?

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    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      Great lens! Five Stars - I love all of your symbol lenses. Go Peace Doves!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      Personally I love doves especially in Africa with their beautiful call. Playing golf it was a pleasure to listen to them except when they called unexpectedly and you missed your putt. Beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens to bring the energy of Peace into our hearts and minds!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      great lens...I love the dove symbol and have painted many doves in my paintings...I have a lens on Medical symbols....5*

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      I love doves. Cool lens! Welcome to the spirituality group!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 8 years ago from Northern California

      Beautiful. I love the Peace Doves. Thank you for joining the Spirit of the Season Challenge.

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens

      Merry Christmas

      Lizzy

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      A beautiful lens and very informative too * blush * I never realized there were so many meanings, and why I love learning new things on Squidoo, well done! - Kathy

    • profile image

      joygush 8 years ago

      The Peace Dove has been my favorite symbol for years. I have placed it on my website showing my art, in black and white. But this year I have quality reproductions for sale in 8 x10 size in color. In times of trouble it signifies hope to me.

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      Very interesting work! You see doves as symbols on so many things.

    • Czarque profile image

      Czarque 8 years ago

      Interesting lens - thanks.

    • Beaman LM profile image

      Beaman LM 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens and fantastically informative. The dove is one of my favourite birds.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      We all use this word so easily, good to know the history or it so we know what we are talking about. *****

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.

    • Sarunas profile image

      Sarunas 8 years ago

      Awesome lens : )

      Good job. 5 stars from me.

      Keep it up.

    • profile image

      Floraluniverses 8 years ago

      Very nice work with lots of information :) Thanks for sharing with us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      monarch13 - this is a beautifully done lens and it just got lens-rolled to Choose It - Spirituality and will be featured there, so I have it book marked for a resource for everyone. - Thank you for creating. All of your lenses that I have visited are inspiring to me. - Have a great day! :) - Susie

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is beautiful lens! Angel blessing is due! :)

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 8 years ago

      thoroughly enjoyed this lens :) great job :) 5 stars

    • draik profile image

      draik 7 years ago

      Thanks for joining All About Animals Group. Your lens was added to our feature module and it will appear randomly.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Lovely. Simply lovely.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 7 years ago from Pueblo West

      This a beautiful lens! Wonderful presentation.

    • profile image

      seeker53 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I chose the flying white dove symbol for the cover of my book "In Pursuit of Joy" because it symbolizes the soul flying toward God and a divine state of constant joy. I learned alot about the dove symbol from your lens.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Such a beautiful page! I learned some things that I didn't know before. The symbolism of the dove is really far reaching. I'm happy that I found this page and am eager to read more of your lenses. I'm going to add this to the Featured Lenses module on my Pax et Bonum - Prayers for Peace and Goodwill. It's perfect.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Lovely... Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      JewelRiver 7 years ago

      5 stars! This is probably the best idea for a lens I have come across. I really would like to give you kudos for this lens. I love doves and they have a calming peaceful affect. I'm going to go out and buy a dove necklace after seeing this lens

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      Beautiful Lens. Faved, thumbs-upped (is there such a word?) and joined your Fanclub.. THANK YOU!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      came back to give a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      It's great to know what Doves mean. Never thought of that before. Thank you for the lens.

    • AlaskaHydro LM profile image

      AlaskaHydro LM 6 years ago

      Love the lens but, then again I seem to love everything you write so far.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens! Enjoyed it very much!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 6 years ago

      The Dove is such a special symbol for love and peace. You did a beautiful job of presenting all the religious significance, too. Angel Blessed and featured on Angel Wings November 2010.

    • free ebooks onl profile image

      free ebooks onl 6 years ago

      I love the intro image with the embroidery/stitching ... whatever that would be called :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Beautiful presentation of the meanings of the Dove. Lovely, angel blessed.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Such a lovely page that is so inspiring.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      picasso's dove is a favorite of mine. peace to you :)

    • profile image

      iloveanimalslogo 6 years ago

      Hi! Would you like to add our I Love Doves collections from Zazzle to your lense?

      Check them out here, http://www.zazzle.com/iloveanimalslogo/doves

      Thank you :D

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      A really nice presentation. Angel blessed!

    • suzyjahi profile image

      suzyjahi 6 years ago

      I LOVE DOVES!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some good thoughts on doves. Blessed by a squid angel and featured on Me?!! A Squid Angel on the Christianity page.

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 5 years ago

      Aw, it's just a family thing really, we try not to draw attention to it (but thanks). Loved your dove spacer bar.

    • squidshe profile image

      squidshe 5 years ago

      beautiful images.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 5 years ago from Oz

      Spreading some doves sparkling & blessing on this beautifully presented dove lens. I particularly love all the different meaning of doves. Happy Christmas!

    • profile image

      JeanMark007 5 years ago

      This morning I was thanking God for many things and giving him praise, then all of a sudden to doves flew together on my fence in the backyard! What a Gift from God Above! Thank you Lord!

      I am still in awe!!!

    • profile image

      KabbalArt 5 years ago

      Refreshing images and topic.

    • profile image

      brynimagire 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens ! Nice post.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      It's interesting that so many different cultures find the dove to be symbolic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very intersting lens.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      First, I like Doves. They visit our bird feeders every day. And second, thank you for publishing this info. I found the scope of it fascinating.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Dove is the beautiful bird and symbol. I know this lens but you make it better and better... Blessings!

    • profile image

      atsikplornu1 4 years ago

      "DOVE" Even in the Bible,I remember NOAH.!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      On Christmas Cards or any kind of cards I think they are the best international symbol of peace in any language a dove is very well known.

    • profile image

      hmrezaul123 4 years ago

      Crafty lens. Doves are symbol of peace and tranquility. I agree with you.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      I did not know much of the reasoning as to why the dove is considered the bird of peace. I just knew it was a bird of peace and love. Beautiful.

    • profile image

      olgahutsul 3 years ago

      Well, in Christian tradition this is where the love for doves come from (the book of Genesis), referring to Noah trying to find land after the flood:

      [8:8] Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground;

      [8:9] but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him.

      [8:10] He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark;

      [8:11] and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.

      [8:12] Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

      let alone the Holy Spirit is often represented by white dove (Which is deeply rooted in Middle eastern tradition of representing then mother Goddess as a dove, attributing it gifts of fertility and procreation.

      Beautiful symbol.

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