The Metaphysical Roadrunner

OK... so I found the definitive information on what Roadrunners represent as totems and messages from spirit. The short version looks like this: Roadrunner represents quick thinking, being able to shift dimensions easily, and being able to switch directions quickly.


For a more in depth understanding, there's all this:

Roadrunners are ground dwelling cuckoos ranging in length from 20 to 24 inches from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak. Legend has it that the roadrunner got its name from running on the road alongside horse drawn carriages. Also known as the chaparral cock this legendary bird is famous for its distinctive appearance, its ability to eat rattlesnakes and its preferences for scooting across the American deserts as seen in Warner Brothers cartoons.

Because of its lightening quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes. Using its wings like a matador's cape, it snaps up a coiled rattlesnake by the tail, cracks it like a whip and repeatedly slams its head against the ground till dead. It then swallows its prey whole, but is often unable to swallow the entire length at one time. This does not stop the roadrunner from its normal routine. It will continue to meander about with the snake dangling from its mouth, consuming another inch or two as the snake slowly digests.

Although speed is its ally time is irrelevant to the roadrunner. It can do several things at once and isn't bothered with completing one thing before moving on to the next. This is partly due to its great mental agility represented by the crest on its head.. Many native cultures believe a "crest" symbolizes quick and efficient thinking capabilities. Those with this medicine have the ability to think quickly on their feet, flow with rapid change and understand the proper use of speed.

The roadrunner is a large black and white mottled ground bird. It has strong feet, a long tail and an over sized bill. It can run up to 17 miles per hour. When the roadrunner senses danger or is traveling downhill, it flies, but it cannot keep its large body airborne for more than a few seconds and so, it prefers walking or running. It has a clownish gait when running or walking and reminds us to laugh with ourselves and not take things too seriously.

The roadrunner is a vocal bird producing a variety of sounds from crows, chuckles, clacking and coos. Roadrunner asks us to use sound to benefit ourselves. Distract unwanted influences or say the right thing at the right time. By listening to the roadrunner we discover the right tone to use in any situation from a low coo to a screeching chuckle. Sound as well as speed can pierce through a situation and change its energy. Shamans are known to use both to shape shift realities when necessary.

Roadrunners are uniquely suited to desert environments and inhabit open, flat or rolling terrain with scattered cover of dry brush, chaparral or other desert scrub. When spring arrives, the male roadrunner acquires food for himself and then offers choice morsels to a female as an inducement to mating. He often dances around her while she begs for food, then gives her the morsel after breeding briefly. Roadrunner teaches us the importance of honoring our personal needs first before giving to others. Some might think of this as a selfish act but in truth it is a balanced one. Although roadrunner has an ulterior motive when offering the female food (that of breeding) it carries the message of survival. Take care of yourself first and then assist others.

Because roadrunner is always thinking of ways to get what it wants it reminds those with this medicine to use the ingenuity of their minds. If a problem occurs "think" yourself out of it. Highly intelligent, roadrunner medicine people have the mental capabilities to fix or change any situation. Procrastination is not part of this medicine. Roadrunner reminds us that mental alertness, speedy action coupled with the right use of sound always produces harmonious outcomes.

~via shirleytwofeathers


  1. This morning, as I stood at the kitchen window, I saw a roadrunner zipping back and forth, then finally up the road.
    I live in Arkansas. Roadrunners are fairly new to the area.

    I went immediately for my Medicine Cards, didn't find Roadrunner. I scrolled thru several sites, but this one drew me in.
    I'm glad I found your site.
    Thank you,

  2. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  3. Hi everyone! I do not know where to begin but hope this site will be useful for me.
    Hope to receive some help from you if I will have some quesitons.
    Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)

  4. I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have suck a writing skills

  5. What a cool name for your site. I just saw a roadrunner in a very odd place. your explanation is timely, as sirens blare outside my window. Think it was warning me, as they don't generally come down into town in the daylight. Certainly not to a place where people were talking loudly.

  6. I live in the AZ high desert and recently I have been having encounters with roadrunners. Today ---during a walk -- a long one -- 5 minutes or more. We had a nice energy exchange and he cooed at me, then hopped off the low-lying dead tree he was perched on and disappeared into the brush. Thanks for the info. Very helpful. JM, Cottonwood, AZ


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