Woodpeckers ... Symbols of Death or Encouragement?



This Woodpecker Keeps Visiting Me!
It rests on the top of a rock pillar just outside of our living room window.  Sometimes it tries to fly inside, which makes me cringe when I hear the bang on the window.  It also will grab onto the window ledge and tap at my window pane, or just peek inside.

Traditional Symbolism of Woodpeckers
For some reason, in traditional Christian symbolism, woodpeckers represent death and heresy.  One site declared that these symbolisms are due to an old thought that woodpeckers always damaged or killed trees with all of their pecking.

A Better Understanding of Woodpeckers
Now it is understood that woodpeckers are typically helpful to trees, that they peck at them to get at bugs and insects that might be harmful to the trees.  Woodpeckers can actually be a sign that a tree might be in danger of damage, and they often help trees to live longer by removing destructive insects!

A Preferred Symbolism of Woodpeckers
I really get a kick out of my visiting woodpecker.  He/she just doesn't seem like the devil or an heretical creature to me.  When I see my woodpecker stopping by for a visit, I prefer to take him or her as a reminder, that maybe I should peck at my heart a little more frequently. Examine my soul regularly and persistently (btw ... did you know that woodpeckers tap at trees 8,000 - 12,000 times a day?).  My woodpecker reminds me to get rid of behaviors that are not good for me, that are insect-like (nagging, gossiping, criticizing, etc.) so that my soul does not decay. 

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