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Ever since I read my first Dan Brown novel I was fascinated with symbolism. I began to make a conscious effort to notice symbols around me, realizing that they were everywhere. To me, back then still in my teens, it was kind of a shock to realize how much symbolism was around us, yet nobody seemed to notice.
Symbols as old as any kind of written language changed their meaning throughout time, some started out representing all that was good only to become a representation of pure evil over time. Symbolism is the most adaptable language and one that is most wide spread, yet never uniform. The combination of different symbols, creating new one, can be as fascinating as inventing Klingon must have been to whoever did that.
Symbols are all around us. Some we know well and don’t seem to really notice that they speak to us in their own way. Like the cross, used by the church. We see it everywhere, people wear it around their necks, its on the Bible and on every Christian Church. It represents a religion, the pain Jesus went through, it stands for sacrifice and pain, but also the soul and the believe in good. It is well known, its associations ingrained in many Christians, but it wasn’t always a representation of the Christian religion. However, as far as I could find out during research it has always been a religious or spiritual symbol. It’s most basic meaning was the crossing of the worldly and other-worldly/spiritual world. Its representation can be found in hieroglyphs of old Egypt, in ancient Greek scriptures or ancient Celtic art.
Another symbol most know off is the swastika, only it’s meaning has been greatly changed by use of one man who was more then just evil. In ancient times, it was a symbol of good fortune, now it represents racism, murder, genocide and hate. If one was to paint it on their door, or God forbid, wear it as some form of jewelry, they would be ladled a Nazi no matter that the Swastika had a different meaning once.
Another symbol we see often throughout our life is the Nike Logo. Yes, as surprising as it might be to some, but it’s quite ancient. The logo composes of the word Nike who was the winged, ancient Greek Goddess of victory, and the swoosh below the word is a representation of Hermes’s winged feet, representing speed. Together they present victory and speed, exactly what the brand is trying to represent with their footwear.
In ancient times symbols where a way of communication, they were part of rituals and of great importance. Nowadays we are still surrounded by them but most don’t know their meaning, origin, or purpose. They have become so common that we don’t even see them anymore unless we look with conscious eye. Yet symbolism is a whole world to be discovered and it’s on everyone’s fingertip to do so if they want. Just look around you and notice all the symbols around you, you might be surprised on what you find. To this day we use symbolism to convey meanings, and we still are inventing new symbols every day, combining old ones into new ones with new meanings.
To demonstrate what I mean here is a symbol I created for a book cover I designed and then place on merchandise.
The Alpha and Omega are representing the beginning and the end. These Greek letters are overshadowed by a star, only it’s not a star it’s the rays of the sun radiating outwards. This is a representation of Apollo, who aside form other things, was the Greek God of Prophecy. In its center is planet earth with all its inhabitants. In it’s entirety the symbol represents a phorophyte made about mankind that will spread from the beginning of mankind’s existence to its end.