The various meanings associated with feathers have changed and evolved throughout time, from symbols of lightness, spiritual growth and good omen, capable of elevating the soul and providing peace and gleefulness, to a glamorous and elegant jewel that adds a stylish extra touch to your look. The feathers tell a story which originates from the Brazilian indigenous culture where the characteristic headgear and the colourful plumage were considered works of art.
The meanings behind the use of feathers are manifold and quite profound, and has made them, not only a recurrent image in the fashion and tattoo world, but one of the most sought-after icon in the jewelry industry
Feathers are like a blessing, they remind us that we are not alone in the world. An invisible force is helping and protecting us every step of the way.
For the indigenous populations of the Amazon rainforest they symbolize freedom, courage and free spirit.
Michela Chiarelli’s blog provides some clarity on the subject:
“The shaman feathers are sacred and of incomparable value.
The use of animal parts in shamanism is very common: fangs, talons and, above all, feathers.
The relevance that feathers have in shamanism, can be found in different cultures all over the world, from the Americas to India and it bears a double meaning: a generic one and one directly related to (their original owner) the bird that originally displayed them.
The meaning of feathers
Feathers are considered messages and messengers from the above world. They’re light, almost ineffable and embody the ability to fly.
When donated they’re almost always used by the shaman as a sign of acknowledgment (recognition).
There are different ways of gaining possession of a feather, by sheer happenstance while having a stroll, as gift or a message from the spirits or the living cosmos or, sometime, a member of the community will donate it to you.
A very meaningful gift that can’t be donated or accepted with levity.
Such gift implicates a sense of responsibility towards the community and at the same time it symbolizes acknowledgment, since donating a feather is equivalent to recognizing the presence of a spirit inside you.