Symbols

Ibis

The ibis is a wading bird with a long, curved beak, inhabiting tropical, subtropical and temperate-warm zones all over the world, mostly tied to the water. The most famous representatives are the black head ibis, the sacred ibis and the scarlet ibis.

Marsh birds are often renowned as mystical and mysterious creatures, because they nest in concealed, inaccessible reed thicket and rise well over the marsh with their stalk legs there. The nest in the swamp is a metaphoric symbol for the beginning of the world. It is therefore hardly surprising that in Egyptian mythology an Ibis was laying the cosmic egg on the primary hill.

The ibis is generally regarded as a symbol for the soul and for fertility. It plays an important role in Egyptian cosmology. In this context, and because of its curved, crescent-shaped beak, the Ibis represented the moon and was dedicated to the two moon gods Isis and Thoth. The latter is also considered a God of knowledge, language, writing, mathematics, time, magic and of the sacred mysteries. Thoth is usually depicted as an ibis-headed figure, more rarely also in the form of a baboon. Over time, the positive attributes of this Egyptian god were integrated into the symbolism of the ibis, and the bird soon became known as an incarnation of Thoth, revered and sometimes even mummified. In ancient Sakkara cemeteries one found many, well-preserved ibis mummies.

In the Christian art the ibis symbolizes devotion. Moses used the assistance of this bird in his fight against the Ethiopians. According to scriptures, Noah followed the wisdom of an ibis, when his ark had landed on mount Ararat after the flood. The bird led him to the banks of Euphrates, where Noah settled. Since then, the Ibis is a symbol of fertility also in Christian culture.

 

> Usage of the symbol

The idiosyncratic bird is regarded as striving and persevering, because it begins its activity quite early and remains busy without a break. Combining the fertility theme (worl egg, Ark-Noah, etc.) and its passion for knowledge and wisdom, the Ibis is the ideal symbol for every kind of new beginning. The symbol of the ibis can be a great support, particularly if you are working on spiritual and intellectual projects, if you are seeking self-renewal or if you want to enhance your intuition and inspiration, .

You should place this symbol in one of the following bagua zones, depending on your focus (theme) and/or the character (material, color) of the symbol: n° 1 for career and way of life, n° 5 for holiness and spirituality or n° 8 for knowledge and wisdom. The depiction of a scarlet Ibis can also support the fire energy in bagua zone n° 9 (fame and recognition). The use of this symbol is as many-sided as the “interests”of this clever bird.

For an overview of specific birds, related hybrid creatures and mythological figures see:

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