Symbols appear everywhere we look; we see them even when we aren’t looking for them. Quite often our unconscious mind will pick up on these symbols even when our conscious mind does not. Part of the whole deal is deciding whether or not we think symbolism is an important factor in our lives. A few years ago I would have said “Well, that all depends really.” What it depended upon I probably couldn’t have said.
Now though I see it differently. As we go through our lives, reality talks to us continuously. Sometimes it is simply small talk – and even though that can contain important information it isn’t necessarily relevant to the issues at hand. On other occasions reality throws up great big signs, with flashing lights. It’s pretty easy to miss even these.
One of the problems I used to have with understanding symbolism was that the interpretations were always too literal. Dream dictionaries were a particularly large problem for me. I would wonder how literal and specific texts in a book could give understanding to something that I may have dreamt about. It took me a while to understand that it doesn’t really work like that. Instead, you have to pick up the symbol and take it within you – searching inside to find what it means to you personally. Dream dictionaries are merely a means to help find inspiration when you are stuck on the meaning of a particular dream or symbolism.
The following image is a card from a Tarot Deck:
Take a look to see the various symbolism and objects you can see within the tarot card. Each of these aspects will evoke a different feeling within you. That feeling will have a relationship to the overall meaning of the card. As you look, consider why your eye settled on a particular aspect of the tarot card first.
Come back in a few hours, or a few days and take another look at the tarot card. You will probably be in a different mood – a different state of mind. What do you see in the card now? What feelings does it evoke?
Other questions would be along the line of; why did I choose this particular tarot card for this post, mere chance perhaps? Was it because I simply liked the design? Am I trying to say something, or is the fact I picked this particular card saying something to or about me?
Buried within that card you will be able to find an entire bunch of symbols. Sometimes when you come back to it – it may well be a case that you no longer can even see a symbol you previously saw. This is much the same manner as which symbolism appears in our reality. It happens in a personal manner – often on a mundane level, but nonetheless there if you are looking for it. Symbolism needn’t appear to us in the objects around us – it can also be sounds, events, feelings, uncontrolled actions of our body, words heard in passing, a sign on the side of a passing bus.
I made the mistake of trying to decide whether or not to believe reality actually works in such a manner. The realization eventually came to me that in truth it is a case of understanding how our mind perceives reality itself by peeling back the veils of consciousness, and thus moving our minds into new realms of perception.
Symbolism is about focusing both internally and externally, rather than having a purely external focus. No one can teach this in any direct manner – it has to come from within.