Animal Medicine: Pigeon

The pigeon is a highly undervalued animal. Because they are so abundant, especially for those of us living in NYC, we rarely appreciate them. Some of us even view them as a dirty or scary.

It’s true that pigeons are ground feeders, so they spend a great deal of their time with their beak pecking at the earth. However, pigeons are akin to doves, the holy bird of peace and love.

All birds are sacred, living their life among the heavens, viewing the world from above - and pigeon is no exception. The unique medicine pigeon brings us is that, while they have the option to fly, they choose to spend much time on land.

They are powerful messengers from the gods, bringing word of the holiness of our connection to Mother Earth. Pigeon always finds their way back home. Thus, they are said to symbolize home and security, our basic needs, associated with our root chakra. This brings along with it a strong maternal and creative energy.

This bird reminds us of the soothing, motherly energy available with at any time, and that inner peace is also just a few deep breaths away.

Because pigeon lives within both heaven and earth, their emotional spectrum is also broad. While symbolic of love and creation, this animal is also associated with darker emotions, which is reflected in the sound of its mournful coo. But this also enables the pigeon to represent emotional release - enter yoga's pigeon pose.

It is said that if pigeon or dove calls to you, you are being asked to let go of any inner emotional disharmony, past or present. To do this, one must journey within and lovingly release any old trauma stored in the body. Coincidentally, pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana) opens up the psoas and piriformis muscles, which are frequently associated with holding deep emotions. So take a deep breath, let your muscles relax, send yourself love and allow your body to reconnect to the earth. This will enable your spirit to reconnect to its source, too.