The albatross, a bird renowned for its vast wingspan and ability to glide over oceans for long distances, symbolizes freedom, endurance, and hope. Often seen as a good omen by sailors, the albatross is closely associated with the sea and represents guidance and favor in maritime contexts. Its capacity to fly far and wide without frequently landing ties it to themes of journey, exploration, and the transcendence of earthly limitations.

Albatross in Dreams

Dreaming of an albatross can be interpreted as a sign that one is about to embark on a long journey, either physically or spiritually. It can also indicate a period of grace and ease, with challenges being effortlessly navigated. However, if the albatross is depicted as injured or in distress, it might suggest feelings of guilt, burden, or something from the past weighing down the dreamer, reminiscent of the phrase “an albatross around one’s neck.”

Albatross in Myths and Folklore

The albatross’s most iconic literary appearance is in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” where an albatross is first seen as a symbol of good luck. However, after the mariner kills the bird, it becomes a burden he must wear around his neck, symbolizing guilt and penance. This has led to the phrase “an albatross around one’s neck,” representing a heavy burden or curse. Beyond this, while not heavily featured in traditional myths or legends, the albatross remains a significant symbol in nautical folklore, often seen as a harbinger of favorable winds and fortune for sailors.

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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