....the following comes from the book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.
Most people have no trouble recognizing these redbirds. They also are part of the finch family, and a general study of finches is beneficial for those with this totem. Unlike many other birds, they are usually year-round residents, and their influence and the archetypal energies associated with them can be accessed all year long. They remind us that regardless of the time of day or year, we always have opportunity to renew our own vitality and recognize the importance of our own life roles.
The cardinal has a loud and clear whistle. Whistles are often reminders to listen closely--to pay attention to what is blowing on the winds. In the case of the cardinal, the female joins in on the whistling, which is unusual among birds. This reflects that we should be listening to the inner voice (the feminine) more closely for our own health and well-being. Since most female birds usually are quiet and camouflaged, a cardinal totem almost always reflects a need to assert the feminine aspects of creativity and intuition more strongly.
All cardinals are beneficial and friendly. They eat many weed seeds and injurious insects. The seventeen-year locust (periodical cicada) is one of these. Cardinals can reflect a need to be more careful about your diet, that what you are eating may be injurious to yourself and affecting your overall vitality.
Cardinals lay three to four eggs, and they hatch in about 12 days. This along with it being a 12-month resident, reflects the rhythm of 12 that is going to become more prominent within your own life.
The male cardinal makes a good parent, and often shares with the female the task of egg incubation. The male, though, will always feed the female while she is in the nest, and the baby cardinals as well. Although the male normally has the brighter color, when it shares the task of incubation, its colors remain much the same as the females, all for the sake of camouflage. This often reflects lessons associated with responsibility and the recognition of the importance of the task at hand.
The males usually have a bright head, although their coloring will often be duller on the back and wings. The bright-colored crest is a warning to rivals, while the duller colors can help shield it.
These birds are named for the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, with their bright red robes. If it is your totem, it may reflect past-life connections with the church, or even a reviving of more traditional religious beliefs, regardless of denomination.
Cardinals brighten the environment. They catch the eye and add color to our lives. When they appear as a totem, they do so to remind us to become like them. Add color to your life, and remember that everything you do is of importance.
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