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Cirlot on eagles



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

J E Cirlot – A Dictionary of Symbols

The eagle is a symbol of height, of the spirit of the sun and of the spiritual principle in general.  In the Egyptian hieroglyphic system, the letter A is represented by the figure of an eagle, standing for the warmth of life, the origin, the day.  The eagle is a bird living in the full light of the sun and it is therefore considered to be luminous in its essence and to share in the Elements of air and fire.  Its opposite is the owl, the bird of darkness and death.  Since it is identified with the sun and with the idea of male activity which fertilises female nature, the eagle also symbolises the father.  It is further characterised by its daring flight, its speed, its close association with thunder and fire.  It signifies the rhythm of heroic nobility…  More generally speaking, it was believed to fly higher than any other bird, and hence was regarded as the most apt expression of divine majesty. The ability to fly and fulminate, to rise so as to dominate and destroy baser forces, is doubtless the essential characteristic of all eagle symbolism

The source of the experience

Cirlot, J E

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