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Chough Symbolism & Which means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)


    Chough refers to 2 species of birds which had been as soon as regarded as associated to Hoopoes because of their lengthy curved payments. Choughs are, in truth, members of the corvid household which incorporates crows, ravens, and jays. A 3rd species of “chough,” the White-winged Chough of Australia, is definitely a similar-looking however genetically distinct chicken which belongs to its very personal genus. (1)

    The corvid household is widespread and quite common, however the Chough is a chicken which has confronted a steep decline in recent times on account of a variety of components together with altering agricultural practices and persecution. Though Choughs are typically saddled with a damaging status, the Chough is regarded as each beloved and culturally vital by lots of the individuals who stay throughout the Chough’s diminishing habitat. Choughs are frequent topics in heraldry and seem on the household crests and coats of arms for many European households. (2)

    Fashionable conservation efforts try and protect and return the Chough to areas whereby these birds had been as soon as considerable. Cornwall, particularly, has celebrated the return of Choughs which had been considerable previously however had gone extinct within the area. (3)

    Chough Symbolism and Which means

    The Chough is commonly taken as an emblem of violence. Myths abound surrounding the explanations for the startling crimson coloration of the Chough’s beak and ft. A number of myths affiliate this coloration with blood and declare that Choughs had been as soon as bizarre crows who bathed in blood and had been stained by it. Such myths join Choughs with numerous historic deaths. We’ll take a look at two examples of this in subsequent sections, however suffice it to say that Choughs are linked with martyrdom, homicide, sacrifice, the Aristocracy, and transformation. (4)

    Choughs as soon as nested on cliffsides and are way more frequent alongside coastlines, nevertheless they do stay inland as effectively. For that reason, Choughs might characterize the boundary between land and sea. Choughs are typically linked with transitions and liminal areas. (5)

    Chough on Cliff
    Photograph by Wikimedia Commons person Llywelyn2000 shared underneath Artistic Commons License 4.0

    The Cornish title for the Chough means “digger” and stems from the Chough’s behavior of digging by way of soil looking for meals. Choughs might characterize looking or uncovering. (6)

    Choughs seem on the coat of arms of Cornwall. Traditionally, Cornwall has been represented by Choughs for hundreds of years. This heraldic image is interconnected with a variety of Chough myths, however suffice it to say that Choughs are extraordinarily vital to Cornish historical past and tradition. The long-lasting Purple-billed Chough is, in truth, often known as the Cornish Chough. So, the Chough might characterize Cornwall or Cornish heritage. (7)

    Up to now, Choughs have been the topic of persecution. They had been considered pest birds and blamed for family thefts. One of many main crimes linked with Choughs was truly arson. It was once believed that Choughs would carry burning sticks of their beaks and drop them onto the roofs of thatch-roofed houses, inflicting devastating injury. There isn’t any actual foundation for this perception and it’s now thought that it might have one thing to do with the flashy crimson of the Chough’s beak and ft. Regardless, Choughs have been branded with a damaging status which associates them with arson, theft, and criminality. (8)

    Chough Native American Symbolism

    Choughs usually are not discovered within the Americas, nevertheless corvids usually maintain scared significance amongst Native American tribes. Crows and ravens are revered for his or her intelligence and lots of myths deal with them as heroes who deliver vital assets to the land. Whereas this can’t be straight utilized to the Chough, it may well a minimum of be assumed that the Chough could be characterised equally. (9)

    Red-billed Chough
    Photograph by Flickr person Ross Elliott. Offered by Wikimedia Commons underneath Artistic Commons License 2.0

    Chough Christianity Symbolism

    In Christian symbolism, the Chough is related to martyrdom, sacrifice, and penance. The Chough’s crimson beak and ft is claimed to be associated to the homicide of Thomas Becket. Thomas Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury through the twelfth century. When he was appointed to this publish, King Henry II started attempting to affect him to acknowledge the king’s rights to dominate over the church. Archbishop Thomas Becket refused to take action and even threatened to excommunicate the king if he tried to train undue authority over the church. When Henry II tried to crown his inheritor with out permitting the Archbishop of Canterbury to train his privilege of coronation, Thomas Becket went by way of along with his menace and excommunicated the three bishops concerned within the course of. For his actions, Thomas Becket was slain by Henry II’s males. Thomas Becket was made a saint after his demise and it’s mentioned {that a} crow flew down and landed within the blood which he had shed. The blood stained the beak and ft of the crow who is claimed to have turn into the primary Chough. A coat of arms that includes three Purple-billed Choughs has been attributed to Saint Thomas Becket a number of a long time after his demise. The demise of Thomas Becket was an vital occasion and is the backdrop of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, one of the fashionable and influential peiecs of Medieval literature. (10)(11)

    Via its reference to Saint Thomas Becket, the Chough is linked with piety, braveness, and religion in addition to the treachery and violence which befell the murdered saint.

    Chough Celtic Symbolism

    As beforehand said, the Chough is each vital to Cornwall and to the hagiographical traditions of Christianity in Europe. Much more vital, although, is the connection between the Chough and one of the vital figures within the historical past of Celtic storytelling. That’s King Arthur. We are going to dive into the connection between Choughs and King Arthur within the fantasy part of this text, however know that it’s typically thought that King Arthur reworked right into a Chough upon his demise. (12)

    Chough on Fence
    Photograph by Dr. Raju Kasambe. Shared by way of Wikimedia Commons underneath Artistic Commons License 4.0

    King Arthur stems from historic Welsh mythological traditions and is crucial to the literary traditions of Europe, and certainly the whole world. Via their affiliation with the legendary King Arthur, Choughs are linked with kingship, the Aristocracy, knowledge, would possibly, majesty, and management.

    Irish myths usually join corvids, like crows and ravens, with the Morrigan. The Morrigan is a goddess of chaos who’s related to supernatural energy, femininity, and triumph. The Morrigan is commonly the catalyst for vital occasions in Irish myths and her favor is, in lots of instances, the factor which decides the victor of a battle. (13)

    Chough in Desires

    Dreaming of a Chough might signify a metamorphosis on the horizon. Choughs which make their houses in coastal areas may be considered representing transitions and metamorphoses.

    Dreaming of a Chough in a context involving hearth might confer with innocence or purification. It’s now recognized that Choughs are unlikely to have ever been at fault for beginning fires. Fireplace usually represents purification, however a Chough may also signify misplaced blame.

    A dream that includes the picture of three Choughs would possibly signify sacrifice or treachery.

    Chough Encounters and Omens

    In lots of the Chough’s former habitats, seeing a Chough is a fortunate incidence which signifies that devoted conservation efforts have borne fruit.

    An encounter with a Chough would possibly characterize one’s future. Via their reference to King Arthur, Choughs are related to concepts like royalty, knowledge, and potential. A Chough encounter would possibly act as an indication that one ought to pursue their potential to the fullest.

    Chough in Mythology & Folklore

    Within the following part, we’ll look each on the Chough’s function in Greek mythology, within the fantasy of King Arthur and on the function of the White-winged Chough (once more, not a real Chough however an unrelated Australian chicken with the same look) in Australian Aboriginal mythology.

    Aboriginal Mythology:

    In keeping with one Aboriginal fantasy, the Pleiades, or “seven sisters” cluster of stars, had been as soon as a bunch of White-winged Choughs. The Choughs had been sisters and had been coveted by a male Magpie who wished to marry them. One of many Chough sisters agreed, however her Magpie husband was lazy and made his spouse and her sisters do all of his work. ne day, when a storm rolled in, the Choughs requested the Magpie to strip bark off of a tree to construct a shelter. He refused, so the seven sisters started doing it themselves. As they labored, the Chough sisters sang a magical music which made the tree develop taller and taller. Ultimately, they discovered themselves within the sky amongst the celebs. The sisters had been glad to be freed from the Magpie and selected to stay within the night time sky endlessly. (14)

    Celtic Mythology:

    In keeping with some variations of the legend of King Arthur, Arthur was fatally wounded in battle, however earlier than he might die, the nice king’s soul entered the physique of a Chough. The Chough’s crimson beak and ft had been then mentioned to characterize the bloody circumstances of Arthur’s battlefield demise. This little bit of mythology was so well-known and fashionable that it’s even refenced in Don Quixote. As a result of Arthur was mentioned to have turn into a Chough, Celtic cultures usually declare that to hurt or kill a Chough is to ask misfortune. (15)(16)

    Cornish Chough in Mud
    Photograph by Wikimedia Commons person Alun Williams333 offered underneath Artistic Commons License 4.0

    Greek Mythology:

    In keeping with Greek mythology, the Chough, which can also be referred to therein as a “sea-crow” was sacred to the Titan, Cronus. Cronus was the daddy of Zeus and a lot of the Olympian gods. He feared his kids and devoured them once they had been born till Zeus defeated him. Cronus is related to time. (17)

    Chough Spirit Animal

    If the Chough is your spirit animal then you’re prone to be clever, curious, and affected person. Choughs may be gregarious birds, nevertheless they appear to get alongside fairly effectively with each other and exhibit much less aggression than related corvid species. (18)

    Individuals with the Chough as their spirit animal are noble souls who crave justice and wish, greater than something, to satisfy their potential. Others would possibly discover the Chough spirit animals to be overly severe, however individuals with this spirit animal are merely decided to attain their ambitions.

    Chough Totem Animal

    The Chough totem animal is related to transitions. As a guardian of the barrier between land and sea, the Chough oversees one of many earth’s most important areas of transition. Individuals with the Chough totem animal usually endure main transformations all through their lives. The Chough totem animal additionally allows individuals to assist ease others by way of life’s main transitions.

    Pair of Choughs
    Photograph by Gail Hampshire offered by Wikimedia Commons underneath Artistic Commons License 2.0

    Individuals with the Chough totem are typically gifted with each empathy and foresight. With these two instruments at their disposal, the Chough totem is particularly nice at giving significant recommendation to others. This can be a energy with the Chough treasures and is completely satisfied to make use of to the good thing about pals and family members.

    Chough Energy Animal

    The Chough energy animal is related to sacrifice, selflessness, and perseverance. So many myths connects Choughs with lovely items rising out of violent circumstances. Like Saint Thomas Becket, the Chough energy animal grants the facility to endure struggling within the title of what’s proper and to deliver forth a vivid new future from out of the turmoil of struggling.

    The Chough energy animal grants one the angle to be actually selfless. Selflessness depends upon one’s imaginative and prescient and perspective. The power to see immense worth in issues outdoors of 1’s self is a robust advantage. The Chough energy animal permits you to sacrifice no matter is important to supply a brighter future.

    Chough Tattoo Which means

    A Chough tattoo can have a mess of meanings relying upon context. Normally, Chough tattoos usually characterize royalty, knowledge, curiosity, maturity, and perception.

    A tattoo of a Chough within the context of Cornish heraldry might characterize Cornwall itself, Cornish satisfaction, or the vital conservation work being performed to protect Choughs in Cornwall.

    A tattoo of three Choughs might characterize the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket and could also be chosen out of non secular observance.

    A Chough tattoo might also characterize the unimaginable myths surrounding the legendary King Arthur. Such a tattoo would possibly characterize hope and rebirth.


    Choughs usually are not almost as frequent or widespread as a few of their corvid cousins. Regardless of this, their influence is far-reaching and poignant. From conservation to rebirth, Choughs characterize vital work which is preserving pure landscapes, and vital tales which have formed the panorama of literature world wide. From saints to kings, the Chough reminds us {that a} good chief is selfless, brave, and keen to sacrifice for the great of his followers!