The cardinal means be unique, shine your colors brightly, sing your own song. But it also says to use camouflage when it is appropriate.
There are times when it is important to disguise what you are doing, both for your own safety and for that of your children.
The male cardinal has stunning, deep red plumage. The female cardinal is much more muted, more of a quiet fall foliage set of colors. The male gently and thoughtfully feeds the female, even when they don’t have babies in the nest. She will sit in a nearby tree while he goes in and out of the birdfeeder. He carefully chooses the seeds for her, brings them over to her, and delicately feeds her. When they have children, he will bring her food as she sits in the nest. They both share equally in raising their children. He will sit in the nest, also, tending the babies. When he does this, he changes his plumage from “pull me over” red to the same comparatively dull but well-camouflaged female colors. I like a man who embraces his female side in order to care for his family!!! But it is also about hiding what you’re doing when necessary.
Are you being treated well by your partner? Are you treating your partner well?
When you see a cardinal, watch its behavior to take your cues about what it’s telling you you need to do.
Ted Andrews says that cardinals embody “renewed vitality through recognizing self-importance,” and that the number 12 is connected with them. Cardinals lay three to four eggs, and they hatch in about twelve days. Look for cycles or time frames of 12 hours, days, weeks, months, years. They also eat cicadas (which come in 17 and 13 year cycles), as well as weed seeds and injurious insects. Andrews says that this can “reflect a need to be more careful about your diet,” but it seems to me to be the reverse as well, that what bothers others, you clean up in the course of living, that your style provides goodness for you and helps to keep the ecosystem around you in balance.
adding to the gender equality of this bird. Assert yourselves, women! Sing your song right out loud and clear. For men, remember that it is good for everyone to express all aspects of themselves, including femininity. Creativity and intuition are native to and good for both sexes.
Be careful with and appreciate your Self.
Hide what you need to hide while you need to hide it. Sing to all the world when you can. Expect balance and sharing and tenderness in partnership.