The foundation of the white feather

John Lennon once said to his son Julian;  “if anything ever happens to me, and you see a white feather floating evenly across the room, you’ll know that’s me” and said this would signify his promise to always look after him.”

In 2007, 27 years after John Lennon’s death- (2+7=9) Julian got the sign while in Australia, working on a film called Whaledreamers. It was there that an aboriginal elder invited Julian to participate in an ancient tribal ritual in which Julian was presented with a white feather. He can be seen wearing this feather around his neck in photos ever since, and the main reasoning behind the naming of his personal charity “The White Feather Foundation”.

Julian Lennon wearing his white feather

In the 1995 Beatles release of “Free As A Bird” (George, Paul and Ringo) featured a profound video seen below. There were several experiences during the recording and filming of this particular video. “Free as a Bird” is a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon.  The Beatles then made a studio version of the recording, incorporating contributions from McCartney, Harrison and Starr.  The song was released the week of the 15 year anniversary of Lennon’s death on The Beatles Anthology 1 record.

During a promotional photo session for the release, George, Ringo and Paul were greeted by a rare white peacock that wandered into the shot.  Paul reacted to this event by saying;

“I said to the other guys, ‘That’s John!’ Spooky, eh? It was like John was hanging around. We felt that all the way through the recording.”


During the recording of the single, Paul also recognizes John’s presence.

We put one of those spoof backwards recordings on the end of the single for a laugh, to give all those Beatles nuts something to do. I think it was the line of a George Formby song. Then we were listening to the finished single in the studio one night, and it gets to the end, and it goes, ‘zzzwrk nggggwaaahhh jooohn lennnnnon qwwwrk.’ I swear to God.  We were like, ‘It’s John. He likes it!

But that’s not all! Another experience during this session- Paul was talking about the filming and production of “Free As A Bird” when some strangeness began messing with the recording.

Thank you Beacon for the only existing clip of this amazing experience that I can find.


In previous blogs, I have shown several analogies involving the Beatles and the Egyptian god Khepri (The creation beetle god). See The Sun King blog below. What is also interesting here is the hieroglyph for Khepri features a feather.  The feather of Ma’at, which has much significance.


He [Khepri] was given a central role in the “book of the dead” (“the book of coming forth by day”) and the “amduat” (“the book of that which is in the underworld” or “the book of the secret chamber”) and scarab amulets were placed over the heart of the deceased during the mummification ritual. These “heart scarabs” were meant to be weighed against the feather of Ma´at (truth) during the final judgement. Scarabs were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead which instructed their heart .. “do not stand as a witness against me.”

The feather of Ma’at in Egyptian mythology was used in the underworld when the deceased underwent their final judgement.  It is said the feather was weighed against the deceaesd beings’ heart.

John Lennon of course was a Libra. (The “scales”)

“Ma’at” has two definitions:

1) Ma’at is the ancient Egyptian goddess who gave order to the world after the chaos of creation. She is essentially a nature goddess: she rules over the sun, the stars, the river Nile, and other natural occurring phenomena.

2) Ma’at is also what the Egyptians referred as moral law. Ma’at determined good/bad and truth/justice. Ma’at is what can send you to Egyptian hell.

Ma’at the Egyptian goddess of truth, balance and order

Here’s how it worked:

When an Egyptian died, they were sent to a transitional purgatory where their life would be judged. Osiris. the god of the Afterlife, ruled over this underworld called “Duat.” Here in Duat, the jackel-headed Anubis (son of Osiris) would judge your soul by literally weighing your heart on a scale against the Feather of Ma’at.

To begin, the person being would recite the 42 Negative Confessions, found detailed in The Book of the Dead. The translation of these confessions are thought to be the origin for the Bible’s Ten Commandments. The best known copy of The Book of the Dead comes from the Papyrus of Ani, written in 1240 BC.

If the judged person had lived a morally-just life, they would recite these confessions with a clear conscience and their heart would be light (i.e., lighter than a feather); their soul would be pure. Anubis would then reward the ‘good’ person with eternal life. If the person’s heart was “hardened” through punishment for evil-doings and made heavy with sin, the judged heart would outweigh the Feather of Ma’at. When this happened, the crocodile-headed Ammit, the Egyptian Destroyer, would eat the condemned heart and the judged person would remain restless forever, forbidden to enter the Egyptian heaven of Aaru.

Therefore, the Feather of Ma’at is a symbolic reminder to live a pure, just, and truthful life.

You may recognize this symbol from another Band- “Led Zeppelin” whom also use a lot of Egyptian mythology in their works and art. This symbol is attributed to the feather of Ma-at as well.  This symbol was chosen personally by Jimmy Page to represent himself esoterically on the Led Zeppelin IV album.  If interested- this fascinating blog has a lot of interesting information about esoteric Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin

I love to think that John Lennon’s spirit is still communicating with us.  His friends and relatives seem to associate him with the sign of a white feather. Spiritually, a white feather is typically seen as a sign from the angel or spirit of a loved one who has passed on. White feathers symbolize faith and protection and are most significant when found in a spot where they are not likely to be, such as inside of a home or an automobile.In Native American and aboriginal tribes, a white feather was to signify a person who had spoken with the ancestors or spirit world.

Many Beatles fans have reported seeing sign of John’s white feather in various circumstances.  One of my favorite reports of this happened to a tour group during a “50 year Magical Mystery tour” around sites of New York City made famous by the Beatles and their involvements there.  A brief summary of the incident has been described below, but the full story can be read about here.

Jackie said, “As Susan was talking, I looked up and saw what I thought was a snowflake; it fluttered past Susan, toward Richard, and I held out my hand and it settled on my glove. It was a beautiful pure white feather. Everyone saw it, and understood….such a happy moment as you can see by my face in the picture. I still have the feather, here in Liverpool. Magical start to a wonderful weekend celebrating 50 years of The Beatles in the USA.”

Susan added, “The incident with the feather was particularly emotional….there were over 40 witnesses – and there was a collective gasp when Jackie held it up and we all realized what it was. Since everyone in the group was a big fan, we all knew what it meant, and we really did feel like it was John expressing his approval of what we were doing.

John Lennon was a special soul. His music and activism inspired millions throughout the world. Perhaps he lives on within all of us, and perhaps the truth of his legend can be perceived within the symbolic nature of the feather.

feather feather2 feather-hat-john

… to be continued …


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