What Does a Peacock Symbolize?

Depending on the specific culture or spiritual mindset, the peacock symbolizes wisdom, wholeness, dignity, beauty, immortality, patience, kindness, compassion, love, nurturing, good luck, bad luck or renewal. Ancient Christians associated the peacock with the resurrection of Jesus Christ because the bird sheds its feathers each year and grows new ones.

Some cultures believe that peacocks guard the entrance gates of heaven, while others believe peacock feathers displayed in a home bring bad luck. Hinduism associates the peacock with a deity that symbolizes patience, compassion, kindness and good luck. Buddhism sees the peacock as a symbol of wisdom. The Japanese attribute good will, kindness and love to the peacock. To Native Americans, the peacock represents beauty, dignity and wholeness.

In Greek mythology, Zeus had an affair with a nymph, and when his wife Hera found out, she turned her husband into a white heifer. She summoned her servant Argus to watch over the heifer with his 100 eyes. However, Zeus sent Hermes to play a lullaby on his flute so that Argus' eyes would close in sleep. When all 100 eyes were shut, the heifer ran away and Hermes killed Argus. Hera brought closure to the situation by forever placing an eye pattern on the tail of the peacock.