“Were it otherwise, why should all the ancient peoples, who were no more fools than we are, have had such a superstitious dread of killing certain birds?
In Egypt, he who killed an ibis, or the golden hawk – the symbol of the Sun and Osiris – risked and could hardly escape death. The veneration of some nations for birds was such that the Zoroaster, in his precepts, forbids their slaughter as a heinous crime.
Even the Christians have to this day their sacred birds; for instance, the dove, the symbol of the Holy Ghost.
Nor have they neglected the sacred animals.
The Evangelical zoolatry – the Bull, the Eagle, the Lion, and the Angel (in reality the cherub, or seraph, the fiery-winged serpent), is as much pagan as that of the Egyptians or the Chaldeans.
These four animals are, in reality, the symbols of the four elements, and of the four lower principles in man.
Nevertheless, they correspond physically and materially to the four constellations that form, so to speak, the suite or cortege of the Solar God, and occupy during the winter solstice the four cardinal points of the zodiacal circle.
They are the animals of Ezekiel’s Mercabah.”
H. P. Blavatsky