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~~Numerous cultural and religious groups throughout the world revere the peacock feather as a powerful, mythical symbol. Although the centuries-old custom of celebrating the majestic bird began in India, the tradition was adopted throughout Asia and Europe as societies came into contact with this unique creature. Legends abound to explain the symbolic meaning of the intricate patterns and vibrant colors found in the peacock's resplendent feathers.
The Eyes of Heaven
In her book “Peacock,” ornithologist Christine E. Jackson notes that the dozens of eye-like ovals that dot a peacock's feathers have intrigued shamans, philosophers, scientists, artists and storytellers for centuries. Legend holds that the Greek goddess Hera gave the peacock 100 eyes, which once belonged to the giant Argus, so that it could protect her by seeing the past, present and future. The vibrant bird, which belongs to the same family as pheasants, is often used to portray the beauty, love and compassion of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi and the Japanese goddess Kwan-yin. The all-seeing eyes on the feathers also figure prominently in Christian folklore as a representation of God, who is vigilantly aware of all of humanity's thoughts and actions.