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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Swan

A swan is a symbolically very important bird in many cultures.  It takes on the symbolism of all birds.  Its size and strength indicate power and it is white symbol of the aether level and layer, as such symbolically it is a bird 'of the gods'.  Symbolically a swan person is a pure [white] or saintly soul, a mystic or guru.

The swan can travel metaphorically and literally in the Air and on Water as well as the Earth, so a swan person has advanced spiritual capabilities, is able to travel between and around various spiritual levels.  A swan is thus symbolic of those who are wise and knowledgeable especially of the spiritual world.  There are numerous legends concerning swans who ‘eat pearls’ - partake of spiritual knowledge.

Swans are one of the few birds to have teeth and occasionally this symbolism too is brought into play.  A person being described as a swan is not a meek submissive person.  They may not be very demonstrative in their defensive or attacking role, but they can do both effectively.

Swans also forms monogamous pair bonds, so it is a symbol of love.

It may mean that love is for their fellow man , their partner, or their children – the driving force of a swan person is love and they are faithful, devoted, supportive and constant.  Nice people.

The symbol, however, can also include love in the sense of the mystic marriage - love for our Higher spirit and as a consequence Divine love - as such it is a symbol of a person who has achieved enlightenment.

In effect, in the context of the spiritual path and alchemy, it represents the purification stage.

There is another symbolic aspect of the swan that also occasionally applies
"Mute swans have been observed to display homosexual or transgender behavior"

Philosophies of India – Dr Heinrich Zimmer [edited by Joseph Campbell]
The Vedantic ascetics were known as parahamsas, roaming through the world in homeless freedom.  They are compared to wild swans, or ganders; for these are at home in the trackless lofty sky as well as in the waters of the lakes of the land, just as saints are at home in the formless sphere devoid of attributes as well as in the garb of the human individual, seemingly moving among us in the phenomenal sphere of bondage.

Observations

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