Feminine symbols

Feminine symbols have been used from ancient times to represent birth, fertility, death, decay, transformation and rebirth. The portrayal of the message through these symbols take place either through an object, an image, a picture, written word, a sound or a particular mark . In fact these symbols have been used to depict the scared feminine, the great goddess, the mother earth, the mother goddess or the “big she” as ideas, concepts or other abstractions. The symbols of the feminine have been used to make the invisible take form and become visible for the humanity. In fact these symbols have helped humanity to make associations with the mysterious feminine form that is invisible in persona but widely felt through actions in the universe. Abundant examples of such feminine symbols can be found in the form of images and carvings of the various ancient “goddess forms” and their associations with earthly things and happenings.

Feminine symbols: The multiple meanings behind the symbols depicting the feminine

The supreme feminine or the great goddess or the mother goddess depicts wide spectrum of happenings in the universe and hence the meanings behind the symbols used to depict the feminine can be multiple and manifold. These symbols blend with the earth centred beliefs and traditions. If we ask the countless witches, the ecofeminists, members of the covenant of the Goddess and the educated Wiccan high priests we will find that they accept the wide range of associations and meanings behind the feminine symbols depicting the nature’s process of birth, death and rebirth.

Feminine symbols: The symbols of the feminine and their associations to earthly phenomenon

The feminine symbols are associated with the complete spectrum of life including fertility, birth, nurturing, maturation, death, decay, transformation and rebirth. The Egyptian goddess Isis and the various Hindu goddesses are clear examples of the universal acceptance of the lighter and darker sides of nature. In fact feminine symbols allow us to accept death, decay and transformation as normal part of our lives and make us appreciate the all encompassing form of Mother Nature which involves the procreative as well as the destructive aspects of the nature. It tells us the truth that in fact the mother goddess who gives us birth in her body is the dark body to which we have to return. In its most primary earthly manifestation, the feminine symbols are associated with the feeling of touch which originates in the womb and where we are in close association with the mother without any individual existence. Throughout our life thereafter and in our death bed too, we are associated with this primary manifestation of the feminine symbol through the sense of touch and this signifies our journey of life which begins from the womb and which ends in the eternal womb of the supreme feminine. Feminine symbols are therefore associated with “darkness and warmth”, “death and life” and they teaches us to accept life, death, transformation and rebirth as various stages until we merge with the universal void.

Feminine symbols: What should be our approach towards the symbols of feminine before adopting them in our lives?

As I said before, the symbols of feminine have multiple meanings and can convey powerful messages to our conscious and unconscious mind. Without consciously knowing we might draw ourselves towards manifestation of these messages in our life. This may range from being generative to destructive in nature. In these circumstances, before adopting a feminine symbol in our life we need to study and understand the complete meaning of that symbol and what it represents. After an in depth understanding of the associations behind the symbols, we can select some for our daily use. One fact that we must remember is that many of these symbols of feminine are occult symbols and may have manifold rituals and meanings behind them. The bearer or wearer of these symbols should be ready to accept the consequences of the happenings and manifestations of these symbols. If in doubt the best thing is to avoid them. Let’s take some examples. The symbol of goddess kali may look to be very liberating for the feminists and those who espouse liberation, freedom and assertion. But before accepting the goddess as our personal deity and before utilizing any of her symbols in our daily life we need to understand what she represents. Kali represents violent destruction of the ego and ignorance. She depicts death of the ego and rebirth of the “self” with abundance wisdom. So if we are accepting the goddess as a symbol in our life then we need to be prepared to take both the destructive and constructive part of her nature as a normal occurring. This fact is true for all feminine symbols as they represent the whole spectrum of life rather than a specific part.

Feminine symbols: The significance of the feminine symbols within our unconscious mind

The feminine symbols are actually the bridge between the conscious mind represented by our ego and our unconscious mind. Unless and until we slay the demons and fears of our unconscious mind we cannot truly arrive in life. The conscious mind should bring the unconscious into the open, face the dark and neglected powers of the unconscious and tame these dark forces through the power of universal love and compassion. These tamed forces then become our ready companion for constructive action. This overall self transformation can be only brought about by feminine symbols of immense strength and energy. They act as the mediators and the bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. Examples of such happenings can be seen in our ancient myths and stories. When Theseus needed to slay the monstrous Minotaur by penetrating the labyrinth in Crete, he took the help of the fair Ariadne. With her thread, Ariadne enabled him to go in and find his way out again. If we apply Jungian psychoanalysis to this story to translate the real meaning behind this story then we will find that the monster Minotaur is the dark and neglected aspect of our unconscious mind which has to be tamed and the labyrinth is the vast unconscious mind which we fear to enter and Aridane is the feminine symbol which acts as our mediator and source to reach the unconscious and defeat and tame the dark forces of our unconscious mind. Aridane is not only the mediator but she is the supreme feminine teacher who teaches us to accept the neglected part of our own self with love and compassion, honour it by bringing it into the conscious mind and nurture it for constructive action.

Article by Sanjay Nair


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