early cultures had a special reverence for birds and their ability to
fly. Watching birds in flight they saw creatures with direct access to
the heavens, this led to them being perceived as symbols of hope and attainment.
As they observed the migrations of great flocks, their departure in the
fall and their return in the spring, people came to view them as symbols
of renewal and rebirth, representing the wheel of the life-death-life
It was believed that the annual travels of the birds took them to otherworldly
realms. In this light birds were often seen as couriers for the gods and
as messengers for departed ancestors. These go-betweens carried news from
the world of mortal men into the lands of spirit. They could come forth
again with divine advice and ancient wisdom.