This week’s symbolic topic brings us to the meaning of wings…specifically, symbolic meaning of winged creatures in myth and culture.
Now, when I was a kid, my first introduction to winged creatures took place via the television.
As a tyke, one of my favorite cartoons was Luno. Yeah, I look back on it now, and it’s hugely corn-ball, but it really stole my (over-active) imagination at the time. I have a clip of the cartoon here, if you’re interested.
The beauty of winged horses, like my animated childhood hero Luno, or any winged creature is that it explodes our imagination, and tickles our whimsy. Simultaneously dropping that bomb of creative limitless, winged beasties also speak to being grounded and pragmatic.
Huh? Well, consider the symbolism of wings. Historically and across innumerable cultures, the symbolism of wings is all about mystery, ascension, expansion, freedom and very ‘airy’, immaterial concepts.
On the other hand, the bottom body bits of the winged creatures speaks to methodical, practical, physical ideas that get the job done of a very material level.
In many ways, when we talk about the symbolic meaning of winged creatures in myth and cultural legends, we are talking about the constant balancing of dualities. In essence, we are addressing that age-old concept of yin and yang.
The symbolic implications of duality (and symbolic meaning of winged creatures) remind us of the following: For every darkness, there is a light. Where there death, new birth follows. What goes up also goes down. You get the idea.
Symbolic Meaning of Winged Creatures
Duplicity: Body vs. Wings
Here is a visual about what I mean about winged creatures…
So, the next time your mind ponders the perplexities of wings and whatever body they might be attached to, here are some ideas to flesh out symbolic seeds for inspiration…
Symbolic Meaning of Winged Creatures: Common Mythical Mashups
Angels on High
When it comes to wings on human-like creatures, we are talking about the duality of the divine vs the tug of the human heart. We all know angels or fairies are not humans, per se. However, they are deeply connected to the human spirit, and that makes them primal in their perception of the plight of humanity.
Here we are talking about human tendencies contradicting celestial, angelic proclivities. When angels, (or fairies, sprites, etc) come into our view, it is time to consider the divine messages we are receiving while also connecting with our root, base nature. It’s time to balance the primitive beings we are with the angelic essence we have access to.
Sleek and Soaring
When it comes to wings on serpents, the messages are similar in that we are dealing with a creature who is one with its primal nature (the snake).
This lovely being spends its time snuggling deep within the folds of earth. That makes it grounded, and beautifully interlinked with the soil of core existence.
Slap some wings on a snake and we are talking about messages from the divine about: Renewal, cleanings, new birth, beginnings.
For centuries, the snake has served as a symbol of healing and cleansing. Part of that purpose comes from its ability to shed its own skin. Combined with wings, the flying serpent is a symbol (common to the phoenix) that is about overcoming all odds (physical, habitual) and rising above circumstances to achieve brilliance.
Mythical winged horses such as my childhood pal Luno, or Pegasus are all about getting jobs done on a pragmatic level – yet also achieving great heights with guidance from the divine.
Time and again, mythology speaks of winged horses in terms of bravery, guidance, and support coupled with compassion and energetic (spiritual) connection.
These creatures established productivity through sheer might, while also attaining massive accomplishment through divine intervention.
King of the Jungle Wings
When it comes to the winged lion, we come upon some spectacular symbolism. As you might recognize, the lion body is all about instinct and maintaining status and presence within its kingdom.
Combined with wings, the lion steps back from ego, and steps back from primal instinct. With wings, the lion adopts a sensitive, more nurturing demeanor.
Winged lions combine the strongest elements of the physical with the softest essence of energy (spirit, mind, emotion). Prrr!
Closing Thoughts About the Symbolic Meaning of Winged Creatures
What’s the take-away for you?
All this to say, the next time wings make their way into your consciousness, I hope you might think back on this newsletter.
Realizing A Dream Takes The Best of Both Worlds (Winged Creature Symbolism in Action)
To realize a dream, we must balance the duality between common/physical and uncommon/mental (and/or spiritual)
Realizing a dream requires…
1) True grit wrung out in the realm of physical – action and perseverance. Dedication, loyalty, and a constant bodily presence overseeing the seeds that might take upon new growth.
and realizing a goal or dream also takes…
2) Divine delights inspired by intuition, listening and sacrificing to the guidance of our higher, ephemeral energies overseeing our endeavors.
As always thanks for indulging me these thoughts about winged creatures and their duplicitous meaning fixed in human experience.
I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, I would be delighted if you would consider sharing this on your social networks. And be sure to check out the links below for more information on this whimsical winged concepts!
Thanks for reading!
Winged (and grounded) blessings to you!