Harbinger of Spring-Swallows


Ostara marks the first day of spring, and swallows are a harbinger of spring.  Goddess Eostre (or Oestre), the Teutonic  Goddess of Fertility and of and Spring is commonly pictured  with swallows flying above her head while she holds an egg in her hand and rabbits graze at her feet.  In Celtic lore, the fork-tailed swallow is a symbol of spring and love, and is sacred to the May Queen.  The arrival of swallows in the spring coincides with blooming daffodils, tulips, and buds on the trees.  Coming on the tide of warm weather and sunshine, and new growth of spring, swallows symbolize hope and new opportunities.  The procreative energy of spring also explains why swallows are attributed to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.

Magickal attributes of the swallow include good luck, joy, success, rejuvenation of the spirit.  Swallows also symbolize having a disciplined approach to life, and protecting one’s home and environment.  Swallows roost in communal nests that house hundreds of birds.  Living in such large groups is why the swallow is an emblem of inclusion, community, productivity and protection.  If the beautiful Swallow is your totem, you are a family person; you may enjoy and benefit from community fellowship and communal styles of living and working.  Swallows are emblematic of working together for the greater good.  In heraldry, the swallow represents conscientious attention to duty.

The swallow has its own legends and unique tales. One Indian legend tells how the swallow stole fire from the sun and brought it to the earth, carrying it on its tail feathers. Because of this, a swallow’s tail feathers are now forked and spine like. It also is why swallows are associated with the sun and fire, and are believed to be closely related to the legendary firebird.  The Swallow was thought of as sacred to the Oglala Sioux for more than one reason. These birds were high flyers and were the swiftest flyers of the plains. The Lakota believed that swallows would show up right before a thunderstorm, and that these birds were closely related to the Thunderbirds of legend.  A master of flight and camouflage, the swallow was revered by warriors riding into battle, in hopes that he and his horse could be swift as the swallow and able to dodge his enemy with ease. In Egyptian mythology, Isis turns into a swallow in her search for her beloved Osiris.

As a totem or animal spirit guide, swallows embody quick thinking and the ability to change direction in a moment.  Swallows are masters of the air and watching them feed is to witness the glory of nature in all its infinite grace.


When not writing for Ravenshawks’, Kammie works with business owners who are selling or restructuring their business, through her business Custom Fit Business Transitions.   She also makes very cool art, and will soon be selling this on etsy.com.

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