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Veszy-Wagner, L. (1973). The Symbolism of the Bird. Am. Imago, 30(1):97-112.

(1973). American Imago, 30(1):97-112

The Symbolism of the Bird

L. Veszy-Wagner

In today's slang “bird” means girl.

Freud knew only one dream symbolism concerning the Bird, that it represents masturbation, since the sensation of flying and phallic erection are similar. He notes that the German slang verb “vögeln” (denoting the sexual act) derives from the noun “Vogel “—bird.

In the following comments, I will describe two other symbolic meanings of the Bird's image for the human Unconscious.

I

The Swan Maiden

Professor A. T. Hatto, in an erudite anthropological essay on “The Swan Maiden “, “A Folk-Tale of North Eurasian Origin” (36) puts forward the thesis that the prototype of this universal myth originating from North-Eurasian folk-lore (21) (28) (59) must have been a migratory and/or aquatic animal, probably a bird, and that the observation of animals has produced many speculations on Nature, which man has only fragmentarily understood. This is an acceptable theory. However, the analyst has to add that primitive man's meditations could never have come about without his constant, although sometimes unconscious comparisons with his own nature, that of the human species and of the individual.

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