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Deities

A List of 4 Deities Associated with Peacocks [With Stories]

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Written by: Tina Caro

In esoterism, the Peacock is a symbol of wholeness, because it unites every color its unfolded tail. It indicates the identity of the nature of all manifestations and their fragility because they appear and disappear with the same rapidity with which the Peacock takes sides and folds up.

Even the myths about it are connected to the natural cycles of life and death. But which are the deities associated with peacocks?

Let’s find out together with this article.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Peacocks are often associated with deities and spiritual symbols in various cultures due to their vibrant and majestic appearance. Here are five deities commonly associated with peacocks:

  1. Hera (Greek Mythology): Hera, the queen of the Greek gods, is often depicted with a chariot drawn by peacocks. The peacock is a symbol of her regal beauty and pride.
  2. Kartikeya (Hinduism): In Hinduism, Kartikeya, the god of war and victory, is associated with peacocks. He is often depicted riding a peacock and carrying a spear.
  3. Juno (Roman Mythology): Juno, the Roman counterpart of Hera, shares her association with peacocks, symbolizing her qualities of femininity, marriage, and childbirth.
  4. Hestia (Greek Mythology): Hestia, the goddess of the hearth and home, is sometimes linked to peacocks as guardians of domestic spaces.
  5. Quetzalcoatl (Aztec Mythology): In Aztec mythology, the god Quetzalcoatl, known for his feathered serpent form, incorporates peacock symbolism as well, representing beauty and spirituality.

These associations highlight the peacock’s significance in various mythologies and spiritual traditions as a symbol of beauty, regal splendor, and spiritual symbolism.

Other Powerful Deities That are Associated with Peacocks

Mayura

Mayura is a Sanskrit word for Peacock, which is one of the sacred birds in Hindu mythology. It is mentioned in a number of scriptures. It is also a contemporary Hindu name used in many parts of India. Legend states that Mayura was created from the feathers of Garuda, another mythical semi-divine bird from Hindu mythology. Garuda is identified as the vahana (vehicle) of Vishnu, one of the Trimurti.

In the images of Mayura as a mythical bird, he is depicted killing a snake, which according to a number of Hindu scriptures is a symbol of the cycle of time. There are many deities accompanied by this sacred bird. In Hinduism, the peacock was a favorite of the gods.

Also read:
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Kartikeya, the Hindu god of war and son of Shiva and Parvati, uses the peacock as his vahana steed. The peacock’s most famous iconographic association is with the god Krishna brandishing the peacock feather of his headdress. The peacock is also associated with Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and music.

Buddha

Tapa Shotor seated Buddha.

Peacocks have strong roots in Buddhism as well. This is because they are a symbol of patience, enlightenment, and strong values. Regarded as a symbol of wisdom, often the peacock is a representation of Buddha itself but there is more!

In some pieces of art, we can find Buddha as a peacock together with two other peacocks on either side of him that refers to two of his first disciples.

Hera

Statue of a goddess known as “Hera Campana”, 2nd century AD.

Hera, daughter of Cronus and Rhea, was born on the island of Samo or in Argos and was hidden in Arcadia so that her father would not devour her; the Seasons were her nurses. She grew up sweet and beautiful, with perfect skin, deep eyes, silky hair. Everything that lives on earth was sacred to her, but her favorite animal was the peacock, a solar symbol. Originally from India, he crossed Babylon, Persia, and all of Asia Minor to land in Samos, to reach the sanctuary of Hera.

In all the countries he crossed, the peacock distinguished himself for his ability as a ruthless hunter of snakes, so much so that it was believed that by assimilating and transforming their poison, the peacock produced the iridescent feathers of its tail. Its flesh, considered incorruptible, was given to the sick as medicine. According to the legend, Zeus fell in love with Io, a young and beautiful priestess of the Argive Era, thus unleashing the ire of his divine and jealous consort.

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To save her from his revenge, Zeus transformed Io into a shining heifer, but Hera demanded – as a demonstration of fidelity – that she be consecrated to her and placed her in the custody of Argos of the Hundred Eyes. He was a descendant of Zeus, endowed with prodigious strength, but above all, he was capable of seeing in all directions and of sleeping with his eyes half-closed.

 

To restore freedom to his beloved, Zeus charged Hermes to neutralize Argos: different versions of this myth state that Hermes either killed him or put him to sleep with the sound of Pan’s flute or with his divine wand. As a sign of gratitude for the help received, Hera immortalized Argos in the constellation of the Peacock, placing her hundred eyes on the bird’s feathers sacred to her.

Jesus

This relief is a fragment of a ciborium, a free-standing stone canopy supported by columns, designed to cover the altar or baptismal font of a church. The relief shows two confronted peacocks, symbols of paradise and immortality in early Christian and Byzantine art, placed above an interlace border that once outlined the open arch of the ciborium. Relatively late in date, such architectural elements were carved after the Langobards had settled permanently in Italy.

The peacock appears very early in early Christian art as a symbol of the Resurrection and Eternal Life. This symbolism is rooted in ancient pagan religions, some of which believed that peacock flesh never decayed after death.

The first Christians, therefore, adopted it as a symbol of the Resurrection, the glorious and eternal existence of Christ. In medieval times, it was thought that the peacock lost its feathers annually and that the new ones were always more beautiful than the previous ones. Along with this idea, some medieval legends supported the theory that the bright colors of the peacock’s feathers came from a special diet. It was believed that the peacock could kill and eat poisonous snakes, absorbing the venom and turning it into the colors of their feathers.

Also read:
A List of 4 Deities Associated with Snakes [With Stories]

This belief also contributed greatly to the peacock as a symbol of Christ’s Resurrection, since Christ “became sin” (2 Cor 5:21) for us on the cross, but then rose from the dead with his glorious body forever bearing the wounds inflicted by man.

Regardless of the biological correctness or non-correctness of these traditions, they help us understand why Christian artists often used the peacock as a symbol of Christ and his resurrection.

About
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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