The Peace Dove

The Legend: An interesting story from the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C, north of Victoria. When I first heard the story, I thought it could not be a very old legend because I was under the impression that white settlers had transported the "dove" to the Americas. However, upon consulting an ornithologist, I found that there is indeed an indigenous pigeon in this area, called the Band Tailed Dove. The legend:

" ... long time ago there were two feuding bands. A warrior was killed, and his wife was afraid that her son would be the next to die. So she went up to a cliff overlooking the water and prayed for peace so hard and long that she turned into a tree. This tree is the Madrona or Arbutus tree, and to this day the Band Tailed Dove eats its orange berries to spread the seeds of peace."

Long, long ago, there were two Shahs (kings) who lived in kingdoms in the East and who held grudges against one another. over the years, they became angrier and angrier and were constantly threatening each other.

Finally, one of them announced, "I'm going to make war!" Everybody prepare for war!"

Now, the other Shah had not been to war for 15 years. Therefore, he had nearly forgotten where his armor and battle clothes were stored. The day before the war was to begin, the Shah asked his mother, "Bring me my helmet."

The mother went away but soon returned empty-handed. "Why didn't you bring my helmet?" he complained. "I couldn't lift it. It was too heavy for me," she replied.

The Shah was surprised and decided to go and get the helmet himself. But his mother stood in front of him, blocking his path. "Please, please, don't touch the helmet," she begged him.

"But mother, I am a Shah. How can a Shah go to battle without his helmet?"

So his mother told him the secret. "A dove has built a nest inside your helmet. And inside the nest there are three tiny baby doves lying so safe and secure. Don't touch them. Please don't touch them. Doves are the most peace-loving birds of all. They never harm anybody. Every day the mother leaves the nest and brings back food.

She tries so hard to keep the babies safe. How could I dare destroy their home? If I an much as laid a finger on your helmet, the mother dove would get scared and fly away, and then the tears and sighs of the innocent baby doves might bring misfortune and disaster to our country. This time, son, why don't you go to war without your helmet?"

The Shah listened and decided he could not argue with his mother, and so he decided to go to battle, bare-headed.

A Shah at war without his helmet? The thought amazed the other Shah so much that he asked, "Where's your helmet? Why aren't you wearing your helmet? How can you go to war without your helmet?"

"A dove has built a nest for her three little chicks in my helmet. My mother didn't want me to destroy the dove's nest, so I came to battle without my helmet."

The warring Shah could not believe his ears, so he sent his advisor to check if these words were really true. After a while, the advisor returned and said, "Yes, it's true. There really are little doves nesting in his helmet."

The warring Shah was so astonished that after pausing for a moment, he extended his hand to the helmetless Shah.

"Let's make peace together. Let's make peace forever. Your mother didn't want you to destroy even the tiny nest of the three baby doves and the mother dove. How then can we destroy the homes of thousands of people?"

And so the two Shahs signed an agreement to keep peace forever. And from that day onwards, the dove had become known as the symbol of peace.

From "Edebeyyat 5," Baku: 1994.


Wisdom of the Dove

The wisdom of Dove's Cycle of Power is Dawn and Dusk. The dove has a tremendous wealth of lore and legend surrounding it. Most of it centres on all the traditional feminine and mother symbols.

In the Greek tradition, Aphrodite was born from an egg brooded by a dove. A dove founded the Oracles of Dodona, which Alexander sought. To the slaves, the soul would become a dove at death. To the Alchemist, it was a symbol of sublimation. To the Christians, it is a symbol of peace. To the Pueblo Indians, it was also honoured. Its feathers were often worn and used in prayer sticks. The mournful song of the dove was considered an invocation to water and an indication to men where the water could be found. Its song would signify waterholes or springs to which the dove must return at dusk to drink. The song of the dove speaks to all that hear it. Its mournful tones stir the emotions or the internal waters.

The dove is actually a smaller copy of the now-extinct passenger pigeon. A study of its qualities will help you in understanding the significance of the dove in your own life.

The dove is also a ground feeder, reflective of keeping contact with Mother Earth and the creative possibilities of the feminine energies on earth. Its diet is mostly seeds, but it will eat stones that accumulate in the gizzard to help with digestion. Those with a dove as a Spirit Guide will find that eating bulk will help in their own digestive and creative process. The brood of the dove consists of two eggs. Two is a traditional number for the feminie and creative energies.

A study of numerology, as applied to doves, will also add insight for you. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the dove is its song. Even though you can hear the song of the dove at all times during the day, it seems more distinct at dawn and dusk. These are the between times - a time in which there is a thinning of the veils between the physical and the spiritual, the past and the future. The dove can help you to use these times to see the creation process active within your own life. The song of this Spirit Guide tells you to mourn what has passed but awakens to the promise of tomorrow. It is a bird of prophecy and can help you to see what you can give birth to in your life. ~unknown author~

Return to Table of Contents