Meaning of Vulture – Dictionary of Symbols

The vulture has an antagonistic symbolism as it is related to both life and death. The vulture is the symbol of death in Mayan culture. But since the vulture feeds on the poor flesh of decomposing corpses, the vulture also symbolizes the regeneration of life forces, it is a purifier that ensures a cycle of renewal.
Vulture Symbologies

According to cosmological symbolism, the vulture is related to both water and fire. The vulture, by transmuting death into new life, rules the storms of the season that ends drought and renews vegetation, figuring as a deity of abundance.

The vulture is also related to the celestial fire, which is both purifying and fecundating. For some ancient indigenous cultures in South America, the vulture was the first to possess fire, possesses divine wisdom, and is pure.

The vulture is also said to be the richest of animals, for it alone knows the true power to triumph over death, transforming it into life.

In ancient Egypt, the figure of the vulture is related to fertility and abundance. The vulture, in Egyptian art, symbolizes the power of the celestial mothers to absorb death, the corpse, and return it to life, thus symbolizing the eternal cycle of the transmutation of death and life.

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