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.
The 18° Scottish Rite sign is one of the strongest. Pelicans shred their breasts to feed their young in the Compasses. The pelican's blood-feeding myth inspired the symbol. Later symbolism saw the Pelican as the Redeemer who "feeds" the world via sacrifice. Today's Scottish Rite applies both ideas. Scottish Rite Masons must "feed" their families to become strong and purposeful. Today's family tension is unmatched. War, famine, illness, and natural tragedy strengthened the family. Parents must provide equilibrium. . Several outside pressures and competing time demands tear today's family apart. These demands might grow so chaotic that the family has no center or sanctuary. The family whose father has learnt the Masonic lesson of Equilibrium and has a moral and personal anchor that gives him and his family stability no matter what happens is fortunate.
Only a guy who has achieved Balance can give it to his family. The temptation to take the quick, cheap, and easy route in every situation is one of the biggest and most dangerous for families today. They don't comprehend that irresponsibility usually hurts others. The family of a man of Integrity who recognizes, as the Rite teaches, that all actions have eternal effects and teaches his family that Honesty is fortunate. Charity is the foundation of a family. Adults as well as kids who cannot put others first cannot form lasting connections. Relationships become exploitative. Exploitation, not care, cannot sustain a family or nation. The family whose father studied Masonic Charity is lucky. Scottish Rite Freemasonry has traditionally taught the ideals that produce strong, healthy families. Many Masonic wives claim that Masonry has improved their husbands. Like the pelican, the Scottish Ritual Mason feeds himself and then feeds his family. Masonry helps its members become stronger by helping others.