In the United States, the swan is a symbol of peace and tranquility. What we maybe aren’t aware of, however, is that swans are closely associated with many Native American peoples. It is connected to one of the most sacred mysteries of the Lakota/Dakota religion, in which the swan acts as a messenger of faith.
In England, the swan is a symbol of loyalty and strength. Swan is a royal bird and it is even illegal to kill a swan in the United Kingdom. Swans are present in many European fairy tales, symbolizing chastity (partly because of their white plumage), artistry, and beauty. On a related note, swans are associated with fidelity, loyalty in marriage, and monogamy, because they mate for life. Man’s connection with swans goes back further than European fairy tales, however.
The swan was seen as a traditional symbol of beauty and grace in ancient Greece and was sacred to Aphrodite. The swan was also sacred to Apollo, the god of music (among other things), in Greek mythology. At the time, the people believed that the swan sang a sweet and beautiful song when people died. The swan song was supposed to be the most beautiful song the bird had ever sung since swans aren’t known for their singing.
The swan is one of the most powerful and ancient totems. Even the word swan is one of the oldest names in the English language, coming from the Anglo-Saxons. Most of the swan’s associations come from its appearance—it is a graceful, white bird, and the largest of the waterfowl. But swans are also powerful birds. From this, they reflect the power and longevity that is possible when we awaken to the power and beauty within ourselves. Swan is not only a widely known symbol but also a very personal one to the individual.
Swan Symbolism in Different Cultures
1. Swan Symbolism In Native American Culture
Many Native tribes have strong symbolism connected to birds, and swans are not excluded.
In many old native societies, swans held a sacred position amongst the other animals, their feathers often being used for ceremonies or to decorate people in important positions, such as shamans. The items decorated with swan feathers were often believed to have healing, protective and magical qualities. Swans also symbolize harmony and the ability to endure with grace and purity in your heart. Some tribes even associate the beautiful birds with the sky, as a symbol of bringing along the winds of change.
2. Swan Symbolism In Roman And Greek Culture
In Ancient Rome, swans were closely connected to Apollo, the god of prophecy, poetry, and music. As a result of this, the swan has been included in multiple works of literature and poetry throughout time. In Ancient Greece, the swans were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. This, in turn, has also strengthened the swan symbolism of love and togetherness.
3. Swan Symbolism In Southeast Asian & Indian Culture
Many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Japan and China tell ancient tales of swans being creatures of the mystical world, who have pure souls and love to play tricks. They also symbolize protection: when a swan appears, you can expect to encounter the light-hearted energy of a child.
In the beliefs of Hinduism, the egg of a swan is believed to be the origin of the gods. And thus, swans symbolize great respect, intelligence, and peace. The God Vishnu, who is in Hinduism, believed to be the protector of the universe can often be seen portrayed riding a swan.
4. Swans Symbolism In English Folklore And Contemporary
Swans have been deemed as royal animals in Britain for centuries, and are considered sacred to the highest degree. This is reflected in the laws that have been made regarding swans in this region, in which you are not allowed to kill, hunt or touch swans without permission. For many years, the royal family was the only one who was entitled to have ownership over the animal. There, the swan symbolizes regality due to their stature, beauty, and grace. They are seen as animals fit only to be in the presence of the highest classes of society.
Here in Rubyard, we present many swan jewelry pieces that are handcrafted by masters of Jewellery. These jewelry are the one of most meaningful gifts that you can find and the best option for anyone you love in your life.
- Ali Bakhshi