Element: Water

Characteristic: Heart (your emotions)

Ask Pelican for help with co-operation:

Let me learn how to be unselfish, to look for the good of the group. Let me work with others to achieve common goals. Show me how to float on top of my troubles and not be weighed down by my emotions.

(c) This image of a pelican was created by Linda Karen Godden for the Australian Animal Oracle, and copyright for this image remains with Linda. Please do not copy without her permission.

Return to Our Animals page


The Australian pelican is a large waterbird with an enormous bill and pouch. Remember the child’s rhyme “its beak can hold more than its belly can”. Pelicans feed by dipping their head underwater to trap fish in their enormous bill. Pelicans form swimming flocks and have been seen to work together to herd shoals of fish into shallows so that all in the flock may feed. One large flock will divide into two and as one half waits in the shallows the other will search for shoals of fish to drive them into the feeding shallows. When the first flock has fed, the pelicans exchange roles so that all may feed.

Pelicans encourage you to be unselfish now and to work with others to encourage a spirit of cooperation. Just as the pelican can work with others, so you can work unselfishly now with others to achieve a common goal.

Despite their size, pelicans are buoyant on the water and float easily. Water is a symbol of the emotions and your emotions can easily weigh you down at this time in your life.

Although you may be experiencing very heavy circumstances in your life now, pelican shows you how to float easily on the surface and rise above life’s emotional highs and lows.

Once you manage to master this knack of being buoyant, of floating easily on the surface no matter how deep the water is, you can stay on top of your current troubles and even fly away whenever you like.

Pelicans are magnificent in flight, with a seemingly effortless mastery of the air and are able to travel long distances in a short time, just as you can when you decide to it is time for you to fly.