The labyrinth is a universal symbol that dates back to ancient times. Our ancestors used labyrinth shapes through the ages. In many cultures walking the labyrinth was thought to be beneficial in many ways including bringing good fortune, protection, empowerment, spiritual insight, healing and connection to the Divine and nature.
The symbolic world is the language of the Universe. Thus, words often do not convey the essence of the truth. Our perceptions create our inner stories, which in turn create the directions of our lives. Spirals, triangles, circles, squares, and crosses evoke feelings of connectedness that seem universal among humans throughout history.
Cellular patterns, solar systems, and waves of music all create patterns that respond to our living breathing Universe. Good examples of these patterns are spider webs, the swirl of our thumbprints and the tumultuous clouds of a hurricane all speak to us at a subconscious level.
The spiral is a highly complex symbol. It has been used since Paleolithic times and appears in pre-dynastic Egypt, Crete, Mycenae, Mesopotamia, India, China, Japan, pre-Columbian America, Europe, Scandinavia and Britain. It variously represents both solar and lunar power, air, the waters, rolling thunder and lightning, expansion, energy vortexes, creative force, winding and unwinding, birth and death, fertility, the Chinese dragon and kundalini energy.
Another symbol that is considered to have a universal meaning is the circle. The circle stands for unity and wholeness. A series of circles, one inside the other is commonly found as a symbol of the Cosmos. Lacking a beginning or end a circle represents infinity, perfection, and the eternal. Often the circle is used as a symbol of God. The Buddhist and Hindu wheel of life is a circle that symbolizes the constant cycle of change. Also, circles were considered harmonious and protective especially in the Celtic world. In Zen, the empty circle represents enlightenment.
The cross is a universal symbol from ancient times. The cross represented the Tree of Life and the Tree of Nourishment; it also is a symbol of the archetypal person, capable of infinite and harmonious expansion on the horizontal and vertical planes. The cross can represent a shared journey such as that taken by Isis and Osiris or Tristan and Isolde. In modern times, one cross stands for Christianity. The cross universally stands for integration, relationship, balance, synthesis and partner.
We have been fascinated with the triangle throughout time. It is connected to the pyramids and arrowheads. The underlying symbolism of the triangle includes visions, dreams, goals, revelation, and self-discovery. It is an active symbol for spirit and reaching higher realms. Also, it can also stand for integration, protection, and in Christianity the Holy Trinity.
Last but definitely not least is the square. The square was an ancient sign for the earth and it was particularly important in the symbolic systems of India and China. The square symbolized permanence, security, balance, honesty, integrity and morality.
Turtles have lived on our planet for over 200 million years. Symbolically the sea turtle (one of my favorite creatures) stands for success, achievement, creative progress and attainment of our goals is we persevere. When the sea turtle appears, either in pictures or real life, we are being told that the worst is over and as long as we maintain our persistence and courage, success is assured. the sea turtle also suggests to us to find a balance between practicality, creativity, care and patience.
Tortoises are land turtles. They usually indicated that problems can be solved through patiently dealing with things one step at a time. They tell us to slow down and focus on the basic parts of our lives. They often appear when we have experienced many changes, burden and hardships. They remind us that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that success is within our reach if we persevere.
I do hope you like this series and that your holiday is filled with blessings.
Blessing to all of you,