Red Cardinal
Spiritual Help

Does Seeing a Red Cardinal Have Any Real Meaning?

One of the prettiest birds in North America is the red cardinal. Several states appointed the bird as the official state bird for its beauty and its association with luck. States that have the red cardinal as their official bird are West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

They are also a part of most Christmas decorations, including the holiday cards that feature the lovely birds on a snow-ladened limb. It is always a best-selling card because of the starkness of the red cardinal’s beauty against a white background.

Cardinals are a bit of an irony because it is the male that is the brightest and prettiest, where most humans perceive females to hold that position.

But what does a red cardinal actually mean? That depends on your perspective.

There are many ways to interpret cardinals as legends about them have been around for thousands of years. Most people don’t think of them as ancient birds, but they are as they are associated with early Christianity as well as other older religions and traditions.


The red cardinal can be a sign of hope and encouragement as it represents a person’s struggle with their faith. It is associated with God because its bright red color reminds people of the blood that Christ shed for all mankind.

The red cardinal is considered a spiritual messager sent by God. There isn’t any explanation for the origin of that tradition, but perhaps the elders thought only God could send a bird as lovely as the cardinal.

The one explanation that could point to that thought is that red cardinals are unusual in certain parts of the world so seeing them could be something incredibly special.


Many people think the birds are the messengers of those deceased. The bids are there to show us our loved ones are watching over us. Some say they often see red cardinals after someone they loved passes.

It is interesting that in times past, a red cardinal seems to appear when a loved one’s name is mentioned. Whether or not this legend is true doesn’t seem to matter as seeing the bird brings a sense of comfort to those missing their loved one.

Old Religion

Those who believe everything has energy think the red cardinal is a symbol of new life and energy with some believing it houses the Holy Spirit.

This reflects back on the red color as red is a symbol of blood. Blood has always been known as a life-giving substance so what better way to acknowledge that than seeing the red cardinal and the Holy Spirit, who also gives life?


Some think cardinals appear when you need time to search through some deep issues. This thought continues as people state the birds are sent from Heaven to be messengers.

Whether that is true or not, watching a cardinal is relaxing and helps you reconnect with yourself. It can rid you of negative vibes as well as bring up if you are depressed.

It is just that kind of bird that causes reflection and pause.

New Beginnings

Many believe seeing a red cardinal when you are stuck in life could mean that new beginnings are on their way. In this thought, the bird is a symbol of faith and comfort.

Again, there is no explanation for this thought except that the vibrance of the color is easily associated with new things.

Whatever the red cardinal means to you, enjoy the moment when you see one. Take time out for some relaxing bird watching. You deserve the time. Plus, red cardinals are truly a bird of beauty and worth giving some time to observe.

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