Sigmund Freud once wrote, “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” The other day, a close friend confided that she had the most wonderful dream about a brilliantly plumed rooster. This was an extraordinary event considering that my friend’s last contact with chickens was as a child many years ago. From what I understand, the rooster decided to live in her yard, which was problematic given strict city ordinances. The main focus of her dream was problem-solving on how to keep the rooster.
I was curious. What was the significance of a rooster? Compared with other mythological birds such as the Gryphon, the Thunderbird and Phoenix, the rooster seems rather commonplace. Quite the contrary. Over the centuries, the rooster has garnered a prodigious status in the magical lore arena. A powerful masculine symbol, he embodies the brilliance of the sun, and exudes the excellent qualities of bravery, strength, prudence and honesty. Of course, there may be a tendency to exhibit some arrogance and excessive flamboyance. But with the frilled comb on his head, and vibrant plumage, it would be difficult not to “strut his stuff.”
In ancient times, the rooster, with his solar power and masculine energy, was the sacred sign to the gods, Apollo, Persephone and Zeus. Later, people believed they could harness this same energy by eating the bird, a foreshadowing of one of our most popular soups – chicken broth, which is thought to have an invigorating effect. In the Chinese Zodiac, those who are born under the sign of the rooster are enthusiastic and have a marvelous sense of humour. Many Christian churches have chosen to include the rooster on their weather-vanes, which can be seen as a sign of spiritual enlightenment.
Roosters that appear in dreams are said to be reminding us to the passing of time. With their spirited cock-a-doodle-doo, they prompt us to live boldly, to use our talents, to look within, to awake.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”