The Pelican is a central symbol used in the 18th Degree (Knight of the Rose Croix which was also known as the Knight of the Pelican) of the A.A.S.R. where it is shown to pluck its own breast to feed its young. This was from an ancient belief that Pelicans would feed their young with their own blood when not enough food could be found. This evidently came from a misinterpretation from the fact that Pelicans dipped their beaks into their pouches to extract food that was gathered. It has been extensively used as a Christian symbol, where the Pelican symbolized Christ who sacrificed his life for the redemption of mankind. Indeed, in medieval myth, it was said that the female bird at times smothered her young with love, but that the male bird revived them with his blood three days after their deaths.
In Alchemy, the Pelican symbolizes resurrection. Jews regard the Pelican as the bringer of misfortune and desolation.
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