Crystals are often associated with spiritual matters, including death, dying and the afterlife. So, too, feathers symbolize being close to the spirit realm. Feathers represent ascension, spirit, flight and even heaven. It is sometimes said that when a feather is found in an unexpected place it is a message from a deceased loved one, perhaps even a sign that we have a guardian angel. “When feathers are near, angels appear.” Birds are one of the only creatures that can swim in the oceans, walk on land and fly. As such, they symbolize the connection between heaven and earth.
The color of a feather has reported significance. White feathers are believed to appear after a period of particular hardship to indicate that positive change is coming. White feathers are especially associated with angels. Black feathers, on the other hand, are a warning sign and protection from negative energies. Ravens and crows, and their black feathers are considered a symbol of death and mourning in some cultures. Red feathers are associated with fertility and the physical world, green with health, healing and prosperity. Grey feathers symbolize peace.
Just as different crystals have different meanings, the feathers of different birds are believed to have different meanings. Doves symbolize peace. Eagles are revered as representing power and courage.
In many cultures, cranes are connected to good fortune. Not surprisingly, owls and their feathers are seen as signs or omens, usually related to death, ghosts and fear, but occasionally something more positive such as insight and wisdom.
There is some inconsistency. For instance, Cardinals are a reminder of lost loved ones and the appearance of one suggests that a loved one is “visiting” while red feathers are also generally connected with more positive sensibilities.
Will Holsinger handcrafts feathers wrapped with suede or leather twine, with a specially selected crystal at one end. He sometimes crafts small pieces using driftwood or other found objects. These designs are now available at Marin Mystic Treasures in Novato, California.