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Friday Inspiration - 4 December 2009
By Melissa Bult

The Power of Signs and Symbols
Hello everyone,

This week I finally got around to watching the film ‘Angels and Demons’ based on the best selling novel by Dan Brown.  Symbolism plays a big role through out the story and regardless of whether it is fact or fiction it got me thinking about how important signs and symbols are.  

As you enter into any shopping mall now you will be confronted with a variety of symbols such as mistletoe, decorated pine trees, candy canes and men in red suits.  These symbols tell us that is it nearly Christmas time.  We have natural associations to various symbols almost instantly for example the symbol of a cross automatically connects us to Christianity, a Kangaroo equals Australia and the silver fern New Zealand. 

The word Symbol comes from the Greek word ‘Symballein’ meaning to join together or toss together.  It also suggests a hiding or veiling of meaning.  A symbol is something that stands for, or represents, something other than what it is.  For example think back to cave man drawing on rock wall.  A picture of a lion may have stood for the king of the jungle but that is associated with courage, strength and power, these are human qualities that have now been placed upon this symbol. 

Signs and symbols were used often as a way of passing on information before there was formal written language and also when information became forbidden and needed to be passed on through secret code.  Many societies used symbols to connect their members, these symbols represented protection and often portrayed the message of the group. 

Humans have created many symbols but we also have symbols that are used to connect us with the Divine.  Gods and goddesses were less known for their human characteristics and more for their symbolic characteristics.  They were symbols of something much bigger than humanity. 

Some ancient symbols are still used today like the caduceus (the winged rod with two snakes wrapped around it) which was associated with the god Hermes and used by astrologer priests.  In the 7th century it became associated with astrological medicine and finally became the symbol of the medical and pharmaceutical practice today.  Interestingly enough the snake is considered to be the symbol of healing so it fits that it was associated with medicine early on.

Symbols and signs are effective ways of passing on information quickly but sometimes they can be taken the wrong way.  For example the pentagram can stir fear of bad witchcraft but it actually represents the four elements with the top point reaching towards spirit.  Humanity has also created a bad name for certain symbols like the Swastika (used by the Nazis) which actually means lucky or auspicious object in Sanskrit and symbolizes well-being. 

The reason I find symbolism so important is that spirit (the All, the Divine, the essence of life) speaks through symbols and signs because it very rarely speaks literally to us.  We may receive signs when we least expect it or in response to prayers and requests for guidance.  We receive lots of information everyday but in this busy world few of us actually notice.  You have to learn to be present and practice awareness if you really want to access this connection fully.

When it came to me to write today’s inspiration on this subject I had doubts and then I got an email from someone linking me to a short film which was called ‘signs’.  I instantly knew that was confirmation.   Clients constantly email me with similar stories and very profound instances of receiving a symbolic sign to confirm something. 

Common signs and symbols used by spirit:

- Birds, insects, butterflies, animals etc… You can receive lots of information through nature and the animal kingdom.
- Rainbows and cloud formations
- Over hearing someone’s conversation which answers your question (also called a Cledon). 
- Through magazines, TV, newspapers and music (never underestimate the song that pops into your mind or the fact you have heard one on the radio at just the right moment).
- Nature – trees and flowers all have meanings, nature can answer a multitude of questions for us.
- Shapes and colours
- Number patterns
- The message may come via someone else (a friend or stranger may say something without their knowing it)

Everyday things like car license plates or physical signs, even advertisements are also used to get messages across.  You never know what you are going to get!

We can also use oracles such as oracle cards, pendulums, tea leaves, runes, etc… but these must never be abused and must be used with respect and gratitude. 

I have learned not to ask for specific types of signs but rather to trust that however I am shown will be perfect.   Signs and symbols also may not come in a physical form but rather in dreaming or meditation.  Dreams are so important and contain masses of useful information for us both psychologically and spiritually. 

So look at the symbols that have meaning in your life as they will give you information about yourself and your path.  Pay attention to the signs that you receive daily as support from spirit.  Symbols are powerful so use them wisely and with respect. 

My suggestion is to have a book on signs and symbols to help decipher them.  Suggested books are ‘Messages from Spirit’ by Colette Baron-Reid and ‘The Signs and Symbols Bible’ by Madonna Gaunding. 

Love and blessings

Melissa x

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