Alchemically, this image from the 16th century Splendor of Solis of the peacock in the alchemical flask is viewed as demarking the end of nigredo and the movement into stages wherein the personality is more fully realized. This phase is known as “the peacock’s tail". The peacock’s tail, full of symmetrical patterns and vibrant colors, symbolizes the expansion of the personality. At the same time, this image can also be understood as depicting the lucid dreamer’s encounter with forms of light and color and the expansion of consciousness that results. As in the illustration of the Amphitheater of Eternal Wisdom, images of music frame the peacock, indicating the presence of harmony and proportion. There are also scenes of love that convey the ecstatic experience so often described by lucid dreamers.
Looking at these emblems, you may have noticed that they are all centered along a symmetry axis. We have already considered how the qualities of symmetry—proportion, harmony, balance, qualities associated with the Divine—are important to the alchemist’s work. As in alchemy, symmetry plays a key role in lucid dreams of surrender. See Lucidity & Symmetry for more on this topic.