Iconography

Symbols are a universal language. They are used and understood at the super conscious level by all cultures and civilizations.

Highly stylized and complex geometric forms used in Oriental rugs are akin to sacred geometry or mandalas.

Geometry involves universal patterns used in the design most often seen in architecture and art. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratios, harmonics and proportion are also found in music, light, and cosmology. This value system is seen as widespread even in prehistory, a cultural universal of the human condition. It is considered foundational to building structures such as temples, mosques, megaliths, monuments and churches and sacred spaces such as altars, sacred circles and meeting places such as sacred groves, village greens and holy wells. All created from religious art, iconography. Alternatively, geometry-based arts may be brief, such as visualization, sand painting and medicine wheels.

Sacred geometry may be understood as a worldview of pattern recognition, a complex system of religious symbols and structures involving space, time and form.

Cross

The cross is truly an ancient symbol, many forms of cross was used by pagan and shaman belief systems long before Christians adopted the cross in the 4th century.

    Some examples of cross symbols:

  • The four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
  • Four directions: East, West, North and South.
  • Four seasons: Spring, summer, autumn and winter.
  • Four weeks of the Moon cycle.
  • Four stages of life cycle: birth, adolescence, maturity, death.

Woven by Christians, the cross also symbolizes a commemoration of an event or in honor of a person.

Circles

Elements: The four basic elements to many pagans are earth, water, air (wind or spirit) and fire. Many consider the first two passive and feminine – and the last two active and masculine. In Wiccan or Native American rituals, the “quartered circle” (similar to the Medicine Wheel) represents a “sacred space” or earth. The four lines may represent the spirits of the four primary directions or the spirits of the earth, water, wind and fire.

Eye: another symbol of protection and a light source.

Hourglass: the eternal passing of time or the reversal of time to suggest a return to the past.

Comb: can represent the five pillars of Islam and a protective hand; also having magical properties including the retrieval of forgotten memories.

The lozenge: is often a vulva or uterus. If closed it represents a virgin; two triangles united vertically to form the rhombus is symbolic of sexual union; an open lozenge reflects a married woman ready to give birth.

Animals

  • Bats – happiness
  • Butterfly – happiness
  • Camel – wealth
  • Crab – invincible knowledge
  • Crane – longevity
  • Deer – well being
  • Dogs- protector of noble places
  • Dove – peace
  • Dragon – Emperor
  • Duck – faithful marriage
  • Elephant – power
  • Fish – abundance and prosperity
  • Horse – speed
  • Lion – strength, victory and bravery
  • Peacock – divine protection
  • Phoenix – Empress
  • Ram horns – male fertility
  • Scorpion – a motif indicating vengeance and protection against evil forces
  • Stag – long life
  • Snake – the continual contact between life and death and also a symbol of fertility, regeneration and immortality
  • Tarantula – prevents bad luck

Plants

  • Bamboo – wealth and honor
  • Carnation – wisdom
  • Chrysanthemum – long life
  • Cyprus tree – immortality, strength and endurance
  • Iris – liberty
  • Lily – purity
  • Lotus – purity
  • Peony – rank and wealth
  • Pomegranate – fertility
  • Tree of Life – heaven or eternal paradise
  • Weeping Willow – meditation

Colors

  • Orange – devotion, piety
  • Red – happiness, joy
  • Yellow – power, glory and strength
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