Symbolic Meaning of Peacocks

Written by avenefica on August 17th, 2007



A regular reader of one of my websites was curious about the symbolic meaning of peacocks, to which I reply:

Dear Plucky, 

In general, the Peacock is representative of glory, immortality, royalty, and incorruptibility. It is a possessor of some of the most admired human characteristics, and is a symbol of integrity and the beauty that can be achieved when we endeavor to better ourselves and better our lives.

In history, myth, legend & lore, the peacock is considered an emblem of protection, nobility, watchfulness, guidance, and holiness.

In Greco-Roman mythology the Peacock is identified with Hera (Juno) who created the peacock from Argus whose hundred eyes (seen on the tail feathers of the peacock) symbolize the vault of heaven and the “eyes” of the stars who watch all life unfolding .

In Christianity the peacock represents the “all-seeing” church and the holiness & sanctity associated with it.  Additionally, the peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual  teachings of Christianity.

In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and luck.

Similar to Lakshmi, the peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Japan – she is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness.  Kwan-yin chose to remain a mortal even though she could be immortal because she wished to stay behind and aid humanity in their spiritual evolution.

In Babylonia and Persia the peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon the thrones of royalty.

I trust this information on the symbolic meaning of peacocks helps you on your path.

And don’t miss my article on Peacock Tattoo Meanings here.

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33 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sherry says:

    very nice and useful….!

  2. jjmmee7733 says:

    I’ve been browsing for a very long time, trying to find something very special in Internet. It’s hard to imagine, how much time I spent searching for sensations. I have tried to find something interesting and not very serious, just to enjoy reading it. I can’t believe that I’m finally here and that I found everything I was looking for. Interesting information, interesting people. That’s exactly what I needed.

  3. avenefica says:

    I’m glad you’ve been slaked for the moment.

    The Internet is full of little oasis’ – persistence in finding them always pays off.

    Thanks stopping by.

    Namaste,
    A.

  4. Stacy says:

    I was looking for symbolism of peacocks… Three peacocks(p fowl? (plural) Visited me at home one day. They showed up one morning spent the day checking out my home/property, haven’t seen them again since. Really cool.

  5. yo yo yiggidy yo says:

    hey thanks. it is really useful. need it for an art project.
    super cool too cause i never would have thought of some of the things that are up there. later home skillet.

  6. Ann says:

    I was looking for the meaning because I think they make beautiful tattoo. I wanted to make sure the symbolism of the peacock would jive well with me. I love it.

  7. Matt B says:

    So did you rip this paragraph from Wiki answers (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_symbolic_meaning_of_a_peacock) or did they rip it from you ????

  8. avenefica says:

    Hi Matt B,

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery I suppose.

    The paragraph was “ripped” from my site. I have since added a comment/discussion & link in an effort to properly attribute the source. (you may see the Q&A revision here).

    Thanks for alerting me to the “rip.”

    Namaste
    A.

  9. Sorrow Grey says:

    Hi, I was wondering if perchance you knew what country the peacock originated from.???
    Thank you for sharing the meanings…
    I am going to borrow them to send to a friend,
    Thank you!

  10. avenefica says:

    Hi Sorrow,
    The peacock calls India its native home. Reciprocally, India hails the peacock as its national bird.
    Namaste,
    A.

  11. Margaret Peacock says:

    thank you for your Inf as you can see our name is Peacock Iv’e always wondered if it had some kind if attachment to it

  12. Alana Simmons says:

    Hi I have heard that it is bad luck to have peacock feathers in your home, also is it bad luck to have a peacock feather in your boat?
    wondering if this is the reason we have had so much heart ache with things going wrong BIG time.

  13. avenefica says:

    Hi Alana.
    If things are going “wrong” with you, I can guarantee it’s not because you have peacock feathers in your home or on your boat.

    Our external lives are mirrors to our internal conditions.

    If things seem “bad” on the outside, it is an opportunity to view what’s going on with your insides (thoughts, emotions, beliefs).

    Symbols are external conditions.

    Learning about symbolism from a personal perspective gives us creative, free-thinking way to get to our thoughts and beliefs about a matter. Symbolism gives us a back door to the inner functions and allows us to artistically play with our deeper/inner values that may, or may not inhibit our growth.

    If peacock feathers signal a warning sign for you, play with that message. Meditate upon the meaning of that feathery warning flag – why does it signal ill-omen?

    Asking ourselves these questions opens up a broader inner landscape. From that place of broader vision we can begin to see connections….correlations between our inner landscape, and the events taking place in our daily (external) lives.

    Namaste
    A.

  14. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

  15. maria says:

    hey my life right now is really bad. on easter sunday of all days two male peacocks came out of nowhere (from the woods to be exact). One of them got on top of my car and was standing there for a while. Got off and just like they came they left. Weird. Does that mean a warning that things will get worse or a good sign that there is hope and things will change around. please help

  16. Rosetta Englert says:

    Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards, Reader.

  17. Dave says:

    I found this article in searching the internet tonight because a peacock crossed the road in front of me earlier this evening. Being that I live in Indiana and don’t think that peacocks are indigenous, I thought I would look up the symbolism. I’m a bit blown away by what I’m finding. That may sound crazy, but it’s true.

  18. avenefica says:

    Hi Dave. No crazies here, you’re in good company.
    I live in NY, and peacocks are certainly not native here. However, my sister in law keeps one as a pet. Once the little guy got loose of its pen – freaked the whole neighborhood out. Rock on ‘cock!
    Anyhoo, glad you found the site.

  19. pav 11:11 says:

    thankyou may love peace and happiness come to you all on secret winds and surround you forever in ways of beauty…

  20. Mandy says:

    What would it mean if you were driving along a highway and had to slam on your brakes to let a peacock cross the road. In an area where peacocks are only found in zoos. I suppose someone had one as a pet and it got loose. Later that day you get an offer for a job you really want, one of your best friends passes her emt test, then the only other person you were working with that day got out of a speeding ticket where she was going over by 25. Oh yeah, did I tell you I found out my brother got a job offer the same day as well. Coincidence?

  21. linda says:

    I HAD A VERY BAD EXPERIENCE WITH PEACOCKS. ONE CAME TO MY HOUSE AND SLEPT ON THE ROOF OF MY HOUSE, THEN IT SLEPT ON TOP OF MY CHIMNEY.
    SIX MONTHS LATER, MY HUSBAND DIED SUDDENLY. AFTER HE DIED, I WAS CLEANING OUT THE BOOK SHELF, AND A BOOK HIT ME IN THE HEAD AND OPENED UP TO A PAGE SHOWING A PEACOCK AND INFO ABOUT IT SAYING THAT (IN CHINESE FOLK LORE )IT BRINGS DEATH TO A FAMILY MEMBER. I CAUGHT THE BIRD AND GAVE IT TO A FARMER. HE HAD IT CAGED IN HIS BARN, THE NEXT DAY THE BIRD DISAPPEARED AND NEVER WAS SEEN AGAIN. TRUE STORY.

  22. kal says:

    Quick question.

    What would a tattoo of a naked lady sitting on a peacock symbolize?

    Appreciate your suggestions.

  23. ingwaz says:

    as usual, this was a really interesting read! i’ve been following the site for a long time now, but this is my first time commenting..
    i have a question, though! when i was a kid, i was attacked by a peacock, so i was wondering, would you consider that to be a sign of some sort? or would you say that’s not really important? i’ve been trying to find a connection to the animals that have ever popped up in my life, but i’m not sure if the attack could really hold any significance, considering how young i was…

    any thoughts on this would be very well welcomed! :)

  24. Tery says:

    I kep having dreams of birds, the fist a peacock with the wings spreaded coming toward me had me in a corner

  25. indodiabetes says:

    This is my first landing to your blog. You are one of hundred billion peoples who able to explain the natural signs/symbols into a meaning.
    I will come back to read more and tell my friends who need natural signs/symbols a meaning.
    COOL FOR YOU.
    Regards

  26. mia says:

    I was thinking about doing a tatto of a peacock but I wanted to make sure it didn’t have a bad meaning and so far I like what I see…nothing to worry about for now :)

  27. Kenisha says:

    Thank you, I am planning my wedding and I had been thinking about a peacock theme due to the fact that our colors are purple and teal. Just wanted to make sure that it doesnt stand for anything demonic.

  28. Travis fr Ilwu 502 says:

    A male Peacock recently showed up in my backyard and there are no tags to identify where it came from. My neighbors know nothing as well. My luck has been incredible lately before and after it showed up, It now burrows beside my house during the day, and hides in the giant cedars at night. I’ve fed it and now awaits every day at the same time.. Any suggestions on what they prefer for food n shelter? Thanks for the info! Cheers :p

  29. Giana says:

    OK, so peacocks have been my favorite animal forever!! They are so unique! I am literally obsessed! I spend all my money on peacock items, and I was planning on getting a peacock feather tattoo when I am older. I am glad this is the case. Also, there is actually a female peafowl buried in my backyard when we foun it dead on the road. And my mother’s family raised peacocks.

  30. Rosie says:

    For best part of the last 9-10 months Ive had a wonderful Peacock in my garden just turned up out of the blue and I sat near him for hours and talked to him and fed him. He lay as if he was protecting me and he gave me such happiness even with my two cats!then about two weeks ago he showed his full feathers and paraded around the garden I felt overwhelmed actually and it touched my heart he did this for me. He now has gone but I think that was his way of saying I was going to allright now!

  31. Dear Ms. Venefica,

    I am doing research for a collection I am developing and wanted to ask I can can quote your above article on the symbolism of peacocks and of course credit it to you. Please let me know. Please email me any questions.
    Best regards,
    Simon

  32. avenefica says:

    Simon,
    Please feel free to to quote the article. Thank you for your inquiry, and best wishes to you.
    A.

  33. Connie says:

    Looking for information on peacocks today. A trio of peacocks walked up to our house this AM looking for food where we have a bird feeder. It was very unusual for a late January day in Ohio. But the weather is mild and rainy. It was a very pleasant surprise.

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