September 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

The Circle, or Disk, has come to stand for perfection and unity; oneness. It is also a symbol for infinity/eternity or heaven and the celestial. And because of its likeness to the sun and the moon, also representative of these celestial bodies.

The Circle is of course also connected to the circumference and circumferential movement. The cyclic movement can be represented by the Wheel. Both the Disk and the Wheel are circular; however, the disk is immobile while the wheel rotates (although within the structure of the wheel there is a duality, since the center is still and the perimeter moving). The circumference  suggests a limit, an enclosing, a border, but at the same time the circular movement is a representation of time, an eternal cyclic movement. Time, and the continuity of life, can be symbolized by the Ouroboros, the serpent/snake/dragon who is biting its own tail, forming an “O” with its body. (See also: Snakes, Serpents)

The Wheel is a symbolic synthesis of the activity of cosmic forces and the passage of time, which is rooted in solar or zodiacal symbolism. The rim of the Wheel are often divided into sectors illustrating phases in the passing of time. However, to move instead in the direction from the outside of the wheel towards the central point (instead of moving circumferential) is to travel towards the mystic “Centre“, which is non-spatial and timeless.  It could also mean going through a transmutation, an ascending metamorphosis.

The Centre

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

The intention of symbols representing the “mystic Centre”, is to reveal the meaning of the of the primordial state; to make it possible for man to identify with the supreme rule of the universe. In many religions God resides in the Centre, and in diagrams of the cosmos the center spot is reserved for the Creator, sometimes surrounded by concentric circles spreading outwards. This formation, concentric circles spreading outwards, is in some cultures also a symbol of infinity.

Many rituals acts are partaken in with the intent of finding the spiritual Centre of a location. The purpose of many pilgrimages is to reach the Centre, to reach the paradisal state. As has been mentioned before, the symbolism of finding the center of a maze or labyrinth is connected to the idea of the Centre, where the answer, or origin can be found in the center.

In a cross, the Centre is located at the intersection and conjunction of crossing lines. In this position it expressess the infinite depth of space. Moving towards the Centre, could also symbolize transformational process.

See also:
Wheel, Disk

Crystals, Diamonds

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

The general symbolism of precious stones, jewels and gems, is that they signify the spirit, and spiritual truths. The treasures and the riches that they stand for symbolize moral and intellectual knowledge. Hidden gems are symbols of superior knowledge; treasures in a dark cave signify intuitive knowledge that can be found within the vast darkness of the unconscious. In myth, these treasures are often guarded by a dragon or a serpent.

Crystals. The state of transparency of crystals, is a conjunction of two opposites: it is matter that exists as though it did not exist (since one can see through it). Its transparency offers no hardness or resistance to contemplation. Pliny writes that crystal is a kind of ice, because it “is only to be found in places where the winter snow freezes with the greatest intensity”. This is why, he says, in Greek its name is derived from the word for “cold” (κρύσταλλος, from κρύος). Rain-water and pure snow are absolutely necessary for its formation, he adds (book 37, chapter 9). Pliny also describes how crystal can be used in medicine, saying that the best method of cautery for the human body is a ball of crystal, acted upon by the rays of the sun.

Diamonds. The diamond is a symbol of light and brilliance; it often signifies the mystic Centre. Cirlot says that the word diamond is derived from the Sanskrit’s dyu, which means “luminous being”. Diamond, is usually traced to the word adamantine wich is derived from the greek word adamas, meaning “unbreakable”, “unconquerable”. In Natural History by Pliny, adamas is described as the substance that possesses the greatest value of all human possessions. Pliny writes that its hardness is beyond all expression and that it also is incapable of being heated, and can block the effect of a magnet. It is because of these indomitable powers it has received the name adamas in Greek. But Pliny also says that the stone’s power might be yielded if the stone is steeped in the fresh (and warm) blood of a he-goat, and subjected to repeated blows. But even then, it might break both anvils and hammers of iron. Pliny says that adamas overcomes and neutralizes poisons, dispels delirium, and that it can cure depression and prevent suicide. (book 37, chapter 15).

Other keywords: subterranean astronomy


December 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

Both fire and water are symbols of regeneration and transformation.

Fire is a symbol of perpetual change, since it is the agent of transmutation: it transforms a substance into another substance without being a substance itself. Heraclitus claimed that fire is the primordial element: Fire is the origin of all matter; all things derive from fire and will return to fire. Heraclitus looked at everything as being in the state of permanent flux – reality being nothing else than a succession of transitory states.

J. E. Cirlot describes the difference between metamorphosis and transmutation as follows: Metamorphosis, the transformation of one being into another, is an expression for the “difference between the primigenial, undifferentiated Oneness and the world of manifestation.” (as well as being related to the general symbolism of Inversion). Everything may be transformed, substituted, for anything else. Transmutation, on the other hand, is metamorphosis in an ascending direction. Moving away from the rim of the ever turning wheel of transformation, moving instead towards the “non-spatial and timeless” Centre.

Labyrinth / Maze

November 21, 2010 § 3 Comments

Labyrinths and mazes are often connected to quests, and the idea of the search for the Centre. Finding out the Answer is analogous to finding the Centre; getting to the ‘core’ or the ‘heart’ of something that might be complex, enigmatic, mystical, difficult… Compare this also to the symbolism connected to the knot.

According to some, labyrinths can be read as diagrams of Heaven; where a terrestrial maze may reproduce the celestial. On the other hand, labyrinths can also represent the inability to escape: Sometimes they are used as traps, to lure devils into it, so that they might be locked inside never to be released.

Other keywords: emblems, whirlpools, cosmic labyrinths, pilgrimage, the Underworld, infinity, traps

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