Symbols
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Symbols. Symbols. A symbol is something that stands for something else. Often a word, color, object, picture, person, setting or happening that symbolizes a deeper, broader meaning. WATER. birth-death-resurrection. creation. the unconscious. fertility and growth.

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Symbols


Symbols

  • A symbol is something that stands for something else.

  • Often a word, color, object, picture, person, setting or happening that symbolizes a deeper, broader meaning.


WATER

birth-death-resurrection

creation

the unconscious

fertility and growth

purification and redemption


The Sea

infinity

life

eternity

spiritual mystery

the unconscious

death and rebirth


Rivers

death and rebirth (baptism)

death

flowing of time into eternity

life cycle

incarnations of deities


Rain

sadness

sorrow


SUN

law in nature

creative energy

masculine

Father Principle

consciousness

(thinking, enlightenment, wisdom)

passage of time and life


Rising Sun

birth

creation

enlightenment


Setting Sun

death

end of time


MOONLIGHT

romance


ROSE

Love

lips

kindness

lovely woman


BALANCING SCALES

justice


COLORS RED

blood

sacrifice

passion

violence

disorder

sensuality


COLORS GREEN

POSITIVE

sensation

growth

fertility

nature

hope

NEGATIVE

death and decay


COLORS BLUE

usually highly positive

religious feeling

spiritual purity

truth

security


COLORS BLACK

evil

darkness

death

primal wisdom

the unknown

mystery

melancholy


COLORS WHITE

light

POSITIVE

purity

timelessness

innocence

NEGATIVE

blinding truth of cosmic mystery

terror

death

the supernatural


COLORS YELLOW

light

comprehension

brightness


CIRCLE or SPHERE

unity

wholeness

completeness


SEASONS

AUTUMN

Last few years

of life

SUMMER

Prime of life

SPRING

New beginnings

birth

WINTER

End of life


TREE

redemption

(cross)

life

(tree of life)

immortality

inexhaustible life


NUMBERS

Three

(masculine)

spiritual awareness

light

holy

unity


Three

  • Three in Holy Trinity

    • Father, Son, Holy Ghost

  • Three Phases of Moon

    • New, Full, Old

  • Three Sun Gods

    • Horus, Ra, Osiris (rising, midday, setting)

  • Three Levels of Space

    • Heaven, earth, abyss


NUMBERS

Four

(feminine)

spiritual awareness

circle

holy

life cycle


Four

  • Four Ages of World (Ovid)

    • Gold, silver, bronze, iron

  • Four Cardinal Virtues (Plato)

    • Wisdom, courage, temperance, justice

  • Four Parts of Day

    • Dawn, day, evening, night

  • Four Cardinal Points

    • North, south, east, west

  • Four Faces of Christ

    • Lion (ruler), ox (servant), man (earthly), eagle (spiritual)

  • Four Seasons

    • Winter, spring, summer, fall


NUMBERS

Seven

completeness

perfection

union of three and four

most powerful of all symbolic numbers


Seven

  • Seven Stars in Big Dipper

  • Seven Days of Week

  • Seven Planets (Old World)

  • Seven Days to Create World

  • Seven Days to Prepare food (OT)

  • Seven Colors in Rainbow


NUMBERS

TEN

perfection

completeness


Ten

  • Ten fingers

  • Ten toes

  • Ten Commandments

  • Tithing (1/10)


PLACES

Garden

(Edenic)

innocence

paradise

fertile

unspoiled beauty


PLACES

Desert

nihilism

spiritual aridity

hopelessness

death


PLACES

Island

freedom

innocence


ANIMALS

  • FOX

Slyness

cleverness


ANIMALS

  • ELEPHANT

    forgetfulness


ANIMALS

  • LAMB

    gentleness

    purity sacrifice

    innocence


ANIMALS

  • LION

    nobleness

    ferocity

    royalty


ANIMALS

  • DONKEY

    stubbornness


SERPENT

(snake or worm)

evil

libido (sexual energy)

mystery

pure force

wisdom

corruption

sensuality

destruction

the unconscious


MONEY

labor

evil


BIRDS

  • caged bird

    imprisonment


BIRDS

  • Dove

    peace

    purity


BIRDS

  • Eagle

    power

    clear-sightedness

    vision

    protection


BIRDS

  • Hawk

    war

    warlike person

    pugnacious


BIRDS

  • Owl

    wisdom


BIRDS

  • Robin

    spring


BIRDS

  • Vulture

    loathsome evil waiting

    to devour man


BREAD

life

material things


BLOOD

life

sacrifice


FIRE or BURNING

hell

punishment

passion


NAKEDNESS

naturalness

primitive instincts

savagery

innocence


MOTIFS or PATTERNS

These patterns are recurrent in virtually every cultural mythology


Creation

  • the most fundamental of all archetypal motifs

  • virtually every mythology is built on some account of how the cosmos, nature, and mankind were brought into existence by some supernatural Being or beings


Flood

  • Nearly every culture has a story concerning the destruction or near destruction of the world by flood.

    • Biblical account - Hebrew

    • Epic of Gilgamesh - Sumerian

      • http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/gilgamesh.html


Sacrificial Scapegoat/Atonement

The transfer of the corruptions of the tribe to a sacred animal or person to receive the cleansing or atonement thought necessary for natural and spiritual rebirth.

The rites of blood sacrifice and purification were considered a magical guarantee of rejuvenation.


Sacrificial Scapegoat/Atonement

  • The hero, with whom the welfare of the tribe or nation is identified, must die (or leave the tribe/nation) to atone for the people’s sins and restore the land to fruitfulness.

    • Christ

    • Joseph (OT)

    • Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery


Characters: The Great Mother

  • Represents mysteries of life, death, transformation

  • Good Mother

    • Positive

    • Life, birth, warmth, nourishment, protection, fertility, growth, abundance

      • Demeter

      • Ceres

      • Mother in Everyday Use


Characters…

  • Terrible Mother

    • Negative

    • Witch, sorceress, siren, whore, femme fatale

    • Associated with: sensuality, sexual orgies, fear, danger, darkness, dismemberment, emasculation, death; terrifying aspects of the unconscious

      • Wicked stepmother in fairy tales

      • Medea


Characters…

  • Wise Old Man

    • Savior, redeemer, guru

    • Personification of spiritual

    • Spiritual qualities: knowledge, reflection, insight, wisdom, cleverness, intuition

    • Moral qualities: goodwill, readiness to help

    • Appears when the hero is hopeless or in a desperate situation; helper


Characters…

  • Trickster

    • Joker, jester, clown, fool, fraud, prankster, picaro (rogue), poltergeist, con man, shaman, magician, shape-shifter, witch

    • Closely associated with Jung’s shadow archetype

    • Mischievous, unexpected, disorder, amoral

    • Represents primordial, dawning consciousness

      • Particularly notable in African and American Indian cultures


Immortality

  • Escape from time: (return to paradise)

    • the state of perfect timeless bliss enjoyed by man and woman before their tragic Fall into corruption and mortality

  • Mystical submersion into cyclical time: (reincarnation)

    • theme of endless death and regeneration

    • submission to the rhythms of Nature’s eternal cycle


QUEST or JOURNEY

  • The hero (savior, deliverer) undertakes some long journey during which he must perform impossible tasks and overcome insurmountable odds in order to save the kingdom.


Animal Motif

  • Children nursed/raised by wild animals

  • Live by instinct/can never adjust to “civilization”

    • Romulus and Remus

    • Tarzan

    • Jungle Book


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