Feather symbolism is found in different cultures. In Ancient Greece, Hera the goddess of families was represented by a peacock. Hera had asked a hundred eyed man to keep an eye on her husband, Zeus. Zeus had the man killed and Hera turned him into a peacock. His eyes are on the tip of the peacock feather. In Ancient Greece, people believed the flesh of the peacock never decomposed so their feathers were also considered a sign of immortality.
In Ancient Egypt, feathers symbolized truth, order, and justice. The goddess Ma’at would weigh her feather against a person’s heart when they died. If the heart was heavy with sin the person would not be admitted into paradise.
In China, peacock feathers symbolize luck and fame. Eagle tail feathers symbolize love in China. Swan feathers symbolize sincerity in China.
In Hinduism, Lord Krishna has peacock feathers adorning his head. The feathers represent royalty and power. Feathers are kept in the house to promote prosperity.
Native Americans believe that feathers symbolize honor, wisdom, trust, strength, freedom, and power. Eagle feathers are most esteemed and symbolize the bravest, highest, and strongest. Native American warriors were often gifted with feathers after winning a battle. Feathers also symbolize the divine in Native American culture as birds fly in the heavens. Feathers were also a way to send messages to the spirits and their ancestors. Southwestern Native American tribes made prayer sticks topped by a plume of feathers. They put these sticks in sacred places. These prayer sticks were an offering to their ancestors.
In New Zealand, white feathers were worn by the Maori prophet Te Whiti o Rongomai. The white feathers symbolized pacifism. In the United States Marines, the white feather is a symbol of persistence and courage. Feathers are also considered a symbol of freedom and flight as they come from birds who soar in the sky. They symbolize transcendence from barriers. Feather symbols are found in airlines, automobile companies, online chats, television stations, law firms, and more.
In Mesoamerica, feathers symbolize abundance, riches, power, and fertility. Feathers were found on shields, garments, and headdresses. When soldiers died during combat, they were buried with feathers. The resplendent quetzal provided the most important feathers. These feathers were reserved for deities and the emperor.