what does the dove symbolize - dove in the sky

What Does the Dove Symbolize? It’s Much More Than Just Peace and Love!

What does the dove symbolize beyond peace and love? How about perseverance and hope? We take a deeper look in this article.

What does the dove symbolize? Well, of course this beloved bird is usually a symbol of hope, love, and peace.

As such, it’s also a popular choice for tattoos and other body art. Likewise, doves are frequently used in religious ceremonies or iconography to represent purity or new beginnings.

But what else does it mean? We take a look at some of these meanings (and more!) below. Let’s begin!

The Dove is a Symbol of Hope, Love, and Peace

As we know, these beautiful creatures have been associated with “peace & love” for centuries.

When we see a dove, we automatically think of these positive concepts.

But why does the dove actually symbolize these things?

This bird is a sign of hope because it is a creature that is constantly searching for food, and that implies a “new tomorrow.”

And it is a symbol of love because many doves mate for life.

Moreover, it’s long been a peace symbol because the dove is a gentle creature that doesn’t usually attack other animals.  

So when we see a dove, we should take a moment to reflect on these concepts, and how we can apply them to our own lives.

colorful dove tattoo

What Does the Dove Symbolize for Tattoos and Body Art?

The dove is a popular choice for tattoos, around the world. But why?

In many cultures, the sighting of a white dove is seen as a sign of good luck. And as we’ve mentioned, it also stands for peace and hope. And love.

But for lots of people, it probably just looks cool. And for tattoos, sometimes that’s more than enough.

What does the dove symbolize in Christianity?

Generally speaking, doves are seen as symbols of peace and love. They are often used in religious iconography, as they represent the Holy Spirit.

In the Christian tradition, the dove represents the soul.

The dove is a symbol of peace and love in many religions, but it has particular significance in Christianity.

That’s probably because the dove can represent the peaceful nature of Jesus.

For this reason, doves are frequently used in religious ceremonies or iconography to represent purity or new beginnings.

What Does the Dove Symbolize in the Bible?

The dove is a common symbol in the Bible, here again often representing peace or purity.

The dove is also used as a symbol of hope and new beginnings. After the great flood, Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded (Genesis 8:8-12).

Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.

The return of the dove signaled to Noah that it was time to leave the safety of the ark and start anew.

The Bible also says that when Jesus was baptized, a dove descended from heaven and rested on his head:

When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. (Genesis 8:11)

Doves are also frequently mentioned in relation to sacrifice. In ancient times, doves were often used as sacrificial animals. In the Bible, doves are sometimes given as offerings to God (Leviticus 5:7, Luke 2:24).

“Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin — one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.”

In sum, the dove is a positive symbol in the Bible, representing peace, hope, and new beginnings.

And perhaps its most famous appearance in the Bible is when the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16).:

… he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

A fitting animal symbol, then, for such an influential book.

The Dove as a Spirit Animal

If the dove is your spirit animal, then congratulations: you’ve been blessed with a gentle guide who can help you as you navigate your life path here on Earth.

What Does a Dove Represent in Your Dreams?

Lots of people see doves in their dreams, but what do they symbolize?

Again, we see the recurring themes of peace, love, and innocence. A white dove in your dream, for example, can stand for purity and new beginnings. Or a sign that you’re about to get some good news or good luck in your waking life.

Likewise, a black dove in your dream might mean darkness or sadness, or a warning about betrayal or danger ahead.

It might refer to someone close to you turning against you, or it could be a more general warning about being careful in your upcoming interactions.

If you dream about holding a dove, then maybe you’re the one looking for peace and harmony in your life. And if you’re letting go of that dream dove, there’s a good chance you’re trying to let go of something (or someone) that’s causing you pain.

You’re setting something free, like your past.

An injured “dream dove” typically represents feeling vulnerable or exposed in some way.

Conclusion: The Dove is An Animal Rich in Symbolism

As we’ve seen, the dove is a complex and versatile symbol that has been used throughout history to represent a wide range of concepts, from love and peace to hope and new beginnings.

So the next time you’re looking for a way to communicate your thoughts and feelings (for example at work, or on social media), then consider using the dove as your messenger!

Thanks for reading!

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Daria Burnett

Daria Burnett


Daria Burnett is an author, counselor, and numerologist based in Florida. She has written several books on numerology and astrology, including the recent Amazon bestseller "Angel Numbers Explained."


Daria has also been studying astrology, the Tarot, and natural healing practices for over 30 years, and has written numerous books and articles on them.


She is a gifted intuitive who is able to help her clients make the best choices for their lives. She has a deep understanding of spirituality, and uses her knowledge to help others find their true purpose in life.


Her LinkTree profile is here.