Meaning of Eagle: Symbol of Power – Dictionary of Symbols
Spiritual and Mystical Symbology of the Eagle
Very agile and skilled, this warrior and predator bird, known as the “queen of birds,” is related to the gods and royalty. This is because the sharpness of its eyes allows it to stare directly at the sun, which is a symbol of clairvoyance.
Because of its high flights, this bird is considered a divine messenger, symbolizing the power of the gods and spiritual superiority.
Considered a psychopompous animal (from the Greek “psychopompós”, a union of the words psyché, which means “soul”, and “pompós”, guide), its function is to guide living beings in the transition from the earthly to the divine world. This makes the eagle a mediating bird between the divine and spiritual realms.
Symbolism of the Eagle in Various Cultures
Many countries have adopted it as a symbol of national identity, such as Germany and the United States. In addition, this imposing bird was chosen as a symbol of the Roman, medieval Holy Empire, Russian, and Austrian empires.
Symbology of the Double-headed Eagle
An ancient solar symbol, used in heraldry and coats of arms, the two-headed eagle represents the empires of Rome (western and eastern). One head is facing Rome to the west, while the other is facing Byzantium to the east.
In the ancient civilizations of Asia Minor, the two-headed eagle represented the symbol of supreme power.
Eagle Symbolism in Mythologies
In Greek mythology, the eagle is associated with Zeus (Jupiter), the greatest god of Olympus. In Germanic mythology, it is a reference to Wotan, the major god of Valhalla. In Christian myth, the eagle is a symbol of St. John, and for Jung, a symbol of the father.
Representation of the Eagle in Alchemy
In alchemy, the eagle symbolizes the transmutation of vile metal into gold, that is, the transformation of impure substance into pure substance. Thus, for alchemists, this mythical bird, associated with the elements air and mercury, symbolizes renewal, birth.