Symbols - What does heaven look like
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.
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.
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- Barker, Cicely Mary - Swan
- Beuys, Joseph - Animals and Insects
- Böcklin, Arnold - Die Lebensinsel (Isle of Life) 1888
- Carlyle, Thomas - Sartor Resartus - The Phoenix
- Cirlot on bird size symbolism
- Crowley - 3 The Empress
- Crowley, Aleister - Book of Lies - The swan
- Da Vinci, Leonardo - Beautiful women - Leda and the Swan
- Eno, Brian - Passengers – Full album
- Escher - Swan infinity
- Grieg - En Svane
- Hugh Brody – The Other side of Eden - Dunne-za
- Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - Leda and the Swan
- Johann Adam Schall von Bell - from Athanasius Kircher
- Khunrath, Heinrich - Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeterna 1602
- Klimt - Leda
- Lalla - Royal swan, what happened to your beautiful voice?
- Mallarme, Stephane - Small air
- Mare, Walter de la - The Night-Swans
- Merlin - Many Merlins; Merlin Ambrosius [Historia Regum Britanniae] and Merlin Silvestris [Vita Merlini]
- Moreau - Inspiration 1893
- Norse - Rape, pillage, slaves and burials
- Ovid - Metamorphoses - The Story of Coronis and Birth of Aesculapius
- Ovid - The Amores Book II Elegy VI; The Death of Corinna’s Pet Parrot
- Rilke, Rainer Maria - 27 Sixth Elegy
- Shankara - The goal and salvation of the ‘Highest Swans'
- Sibelius - Lemminkäinen Suite
- Sibelius - Lemminkäinen Suite - The Swan of Tuonela
- Socrates - Plato Phaedo - Swans
- Sri Aurobindo - The Ascent
- Tae-kon, Dr Kim – Shape shifting to animals and birds and flying out of body
- Tennyson, Alfred Lord - Morte d'Arthur - Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge
- The Marriage of Philology and Mercury - The Strains of a Cithara attract Hyperborean Swans
- The Supreme Teaching from the Upanishads
- The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine - Key 06
- The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine - Key 09
- Twelve drummers drumming
- Yeats, W B - Collected poems - Leda and the swan
- Yeats, W B - Collected poems - The boughs have withered because I have told them my dreams
- Yeats, W B - Collected poems - The solitary soul and the swan
- Yeats, W B - The Wanderings of Oisin - I’d tell of that great queen Who stood amid a silence by the thorn