Sunday, August 21, 2011
There is an ancient legend regarding the Pelican that, in Times of
drastic need, it will pierce its breast to feed its young with its own
blood. Therefore, this ultimate "out-pouring" of the Pelican for its
loved ones makes it a Symbol for Self-Sacrifice and resurrection.
And because of this, the Pelican often appears in crucifixion
The piercing of the breast is a common theme in mythology and
Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus hanging on the
cross wherein someone in the crowd hurls their spear and pierces
Jesus' breast; whereby His blood feeds His faithful followers.
This theme also appears in the legend of Odin (Wodin / Wothan)
who cut open his breast while hanging suspended upon the
World Tree, Yggdrasil.
In Alchemy, the Pelican functions as a Symbol of the selfless
striving for purification.
But what is the meaning of the piercing of the breast? Where does
it come from? And, why the Pelican?
The Pelican collects fish and stores these fish in its large bill. When
its bill is full, the Pelican returns home to feed its young with these
In order for the Pelican to empty its bill, it must press its bill
against its breast in order to force out the contents. This makes it
Appear as if the Pelican is stabbing itself in its breast.
And because the Pelican appears to be "stabbing itself in its breast "
when it empties its bill to feed its young it has become a Symbol
When it comes to the term "Sacrifice", it is important to keep in
mind that there are two very different and distinct definitions for
this term. There is common sacrifice, and there is Esoteric Sacrifice.
Common sacrifice is the corrupted and debased definition which is
is "fed" to us by the various factions of society whereby we are told
that we must give willingly, freely, and often to every person and
every organization which makes demands of us. This type of
guilt-ridden Sacrifice is covered in great detail in the article on:
"Guilt, Threats, and Obligations".
Esoteric Sacrifice, on the other hand, is a completely different
Lesson and Instruction. Esoteric Self-Sacrifice is the free and
willing giving of ourselves from within to those who are Truly worthy
and well-qualified. This is the Lesson alluded to in the Symbolism
of the Pelican. For the Pelican's Self-Sacrifice is the Sacrifice
which comes comes from within itself and is "poured out" to those
who have proven themselves to be worthy and well-qualified.
This mystical Truth regarding common sacrifice versus Esoteric
Sacrifice is made very clear to us in the Words of Jesus in His
sermon on the mount, when He said:
"Nor cast your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matt. 7:6)
Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.
Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2011