The Pelican is often symbolized as a creature of self-sacrifice, nurturing, and renewal. Famous for its large bill and the myth that it would wound its own breast to feed its young with its blood, the Pelican has become a symbol of devotion, charity, and selflessness. In Christian symbolism, it represents Christ’s sacrifice for humanity and is often depicted in religious art to convey themes of love and redemption.

Pelican in Dreams

Dreaming of a Pelican may represent feelings of selflessness, responsibility, or a need to care for others. From a psychological standpoint, it might reflect an individual’s nurturing nature or a desire to be more giving and compassionate. Conversely, it could symbolize a feeling of being overburdened with the care of others, possibly indicating a need to balance personal well-being with responsibilities.

Pelican in Myths and Folklore

In various cultures and traditions, the Pelican holds a place of reverence and fascination. Its self-sacrificing nature has been utilized in Christian symbolism to represent Christ’s passion. In medieval Europe, legends depicted the Pelican reviving its dead young by piercing its own flesh and feeding them its blood, an allegory for self-sacrifice for the greater good. The ancient Egyptians saw the Pelican as a symbol of death and afterlife, and it was often depicted in their art and hieroglyphics. In heraldry, it is a symbol of charity and often found in coats of arms.

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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