In alchemy the peacock represents the phase of the work in which all the phases have been realized. The maxim is, “You must pass through all the colors.” No skipping the ones that aren’t appealing, no pretending you’ve done ones you haven’t, and ignorance of a color doesn’t excuse you from making its acquaintance. It speaks to recollecting all the scattered elements of personality from projection and fitting them into a conscious sense of identity. It also speaks to the aging process, letting each age have its turn—blissful youth, overworked midlife, elder who knows how things turned out. Through all the feelings, through all the stages of life, through all the components of personality, through all the experiences of your lifetime, skipping nothing, refusing nothing, denying nothing. Put another way, you’re encouraged to collect the whole set.