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Author Topic: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You  (Read 1197 times)

Donal2018

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2019, 02:48:27 pm »
If you ever get to NYC, make sure to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's arms and armor wing, which is a sword orgasm.

Interestingly, knives do nothing for me; couldn't care less. Is the same true for you? And is there a particular kind of sword (foil, saber, katana, broadsword...) that resonates more for you than the others? While I can safely say that nearly all swords pique my interest, I definitely favor knightly swords (of medieval Europe)--almost certainly a result of compulsively digesting Tolkien and Arthurian legend as a young lad.
 

Yes that Arms and Armor exhibit at the Met is amazing. I took my Nephews to it a couple of years ago. We are due for another trip there. I would recommend that place to anyone.

I know what you mean about swords. For the Western Knight and the Japanese Samurai  their sword represents their honor or even soul. So there is spirituality associated with the sword in those cultures of Chivalry and Bushido.

I also agree with you about knives. The thing about knives is that they can be easily hidden, and so are weapons of deception. Whereas the sword is wielded openly  and so is a symbol of honor and open combat.

Another thing I have read was that Crusader Knights would plant their swords point down into the ground and use the hilt and the crossguard as  a cross to pray with. So Chivalry and swords are mixed with Christian symbolism also.

I would imagine that pre-Christian Celtic and Norse/Germanic warriors might likely have had their own spiritual beliefs about their weapons. I think I would like to look into Celtic Recon on that topic.

Altair

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2019, 03:34:53 pm »
Another thing I have read was that Crusader Knights would plant their swords point down into the ground and use the hilt and the crossguard as  a cross to pray with. So Chivalry and swords are mixed with Christian symbolism also.

I've heard that too...which is one reason why I made sure the guard (crosspiece at the base of the blade) of my sword wasn't straight across, to form the Christian cross; mine are most definitely swords dedicated to my paganism, and I didn't want any confused symbolism going on.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Donal2018

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2019, 03:39:24 pm »
I've heard that too...which is one reason why I made sure the guard (crosspiece at the base of the blade) of my sword wasn't straight across, to form the Christian cross; mine are most definitely swords dedicated to my paganism, and I didn't want any confused symbolism going on.

Yes I can understand that, wanting a sword with no Christian connotations.

Aisling

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2019, 03:57:45 pm »
I also agree with you about knives. The thing about knives is that they can be easily hidden, and so are weapons of deception. Whereas the sword is wielded openly  and so is a symbol of honor and open combat.

Interesting thought, but perhaps a bit of an over-generalization.  The symbology doesn't fit as well if you consider openly carried knives, such as dirks and Ka-Bars, and hidden longer blades like sword canes.
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Altair

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2019, 04:05:06 pm »
Interesting thought, but perhaps a bit of an over-generalization.  The symbology doesn't fit as well if you consider openly carried knives, such as dirks and Ka-Bars, and hidden longer blades like sword canes.

OMG, the first time I saw a sword cane--in an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo on TV in the '70s--I nearly reached through my TV screen trying to acquire the damn thing, I thought it was so perfectly cool!

I'm mildly obsessed with Albion Sword's The Baron (wantwantwant) and it's the best example I've found of the kinds of swords that crop up in my dreams.

I finally got a chance to check out this link; that's a thing of pure beauty! Elegant simplicity. I'd quibble about the straight-across guard (as Donal and I were discussing above), but...just wow.

I'm also beginning to think we might need a separate Sword Love thread!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 04:07:11 pm by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Donal2018

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2019, 04:10:59 pm »
Interesting thought, but perhaps a bit of an over-generalization.  The symbology doesn't fit as well if you consider openly carried knives, such as dirks and Ka-Bars, and hidden longer blades like sword canes.

Good point (no pun intended). I had not thought of sword canes and openly carried knives. Of course you can't hide a broadsword.

Jenett

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2019, 04:16:27 pm »
Good point (no pun intended). I had not thought of sword canes and openly carried knives. Of course you can't hide a broadsword.

It's also worth remembering that for at least two millenia, basically everyone carried a small knife to use for eating and other daily needs. That's a different category of blade than a dagger designed for conflict, but they're a thing I think many modern folk have forgotten.

(Even a generation or two ago, it was really common for many people to carry a pen knife, and that's a lot less true these days...)
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Donal2018

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2019, 04:21:51 pm »
I'm also beginning to think we might need a separate Sword Love thread!

Yes, swords are fascinating objects. Their symbolism in Tarot is interesting also. I am a dark haired person whose main element is Air, so in Tarot my significator (card representing my Self) has always been the Knight of Swords (sometimes King of Swords as I have gotten older). Anyway, there is also a lot of interesting esoteric symbolism in Tarot including swords.

Donal2018

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2019, 04:34:13 pm »
It's also worth remembering that for at least two millenia, basically everyone carried a small knife to use for eating and other daily needs. That's a different category of blade than a dagger designed for conflict, but they're a thing I think many modern folk have forgotten.

(Even a generation or two ago, it was really common for many people to carry a pen knife, and that's a lot less true these days...)

Yes  you are right about practical knives. Humbler than a broadsword, but useful in daily life. I used to have a pen knife that my Father passed on to me when I was a kid (I think it might be in my storage unit). That used to be common thing back in the days as you point out. I have been thinking of buying myself a swiss army knife for Christmas this year...

Aisling

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2019, 07:48:46 pm »
I finally got a chance to check out this link; that's a thing of pure beauty! Elegant simplicity. I'd quibble about the straight-across guard (as Donal and I were discussing above), but...just wow.

I'm also beginning to think we might need a separate Sword Love thread!

You might be right about the separate thread.  I think we could all wax poetic for hours on the subject.

Isn't it a gorgeous blade? I have spent entirely too much time drooling over Albion's website. 

I can understand the dislike of the straight armed guard.  I'm at a loss to explain why the cruciform shape draws me. Then again, I am fascinated by medieval Irish Christian monasteries for no readily obvious reason, so there's no accounting for my taste in these things. I suspect that when I find the answer to why I'm so drawn to one, I'll find out why I'm drawn to the other.
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Aisling

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2019, 08:15:37 pm »
Yes, swords are fascinating objects. Their symbolism in Tarot is interesting also. I am a dark haired person whose main element is Air, so in Tarot my significator (card representing my Self) has always been the Knight of Swords (sometimes King of Swords as I have gotten older). Anyway, there is also a lot of interesting esoteric symbolism in Tarot including swords.

There's definitely some interesting symbolism in the tarot.  No surprise that a sword card is my significator as well.
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Altair

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2019, 12:16:47 am »
Yes, swords are fascinating objects. Their symbolism in Tarot is interesting also. I am a dark haired person whose main element is Air, so in Tarot my significator (card representing my Self) has always been the Knight of Swords (sometimes King of Swords as I have gotten older). Anyway, there is also a lot of interesting esoteric symbolism in Tarot including swords.

Two weeks ago I was at Flame Con, NYC's annual comic book convention geared towards us in the LGBTQ community, when I saw this print for sale, from an upcoming tarot deck:



A guy of African descent, with a bird of prey, as the Knight of Swords? Of course I snapped one up immediately.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Aisling

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2019, 09:24:55 am »
A guy of African descent, with a bird of prey, as the Knight of Swords? Of course I snapped one up immediately.

I like that!  Do you know who's publishing the deck?
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Altair

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2019, 11:14:17 am »
I like that!  Do you know who's publishing the deck?

I don't, sadly. The name on the back of the print is Matt Becker, and a little googling yielded this:

https://gramha.net/media/1924756990362867914
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Ashmire

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Re: Symbols That Strike a Chord in You
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2019, 01:05:45 pm »
FIGURATIVE:
Ouroboros. A snake eating its own tail, usually in a circle but apparently on occasion as a figure 8 "infinity" sign, which is a major association of this symbol. I can't quite figure out why, or how much, this symbol interests me.
So what symbols strike a special chord with you, and if you can put your finger on it, why?

The Ouroboros is an interesting one for me, but in a different way.  I always thought it looked cool aesthetically, and for a time had a pendant of it I made from copper wire, but soon after meeting my patron, he told me in no uncertain terms to "GET RID OF THAT!".  I was surprised( even though I think of them more as magical crocodilians than snakes, why should a Dragon be averse to a Serpent?), but complied by giving it, along with the Thor's Hammer I would no longer be using, to a young pagan acquaintance who might find them more useful.  Turned out the snake wasn't the problem.  As I eventually realized, the Ouroboros is historically construed as the symbol of eternal cycles---which can be a comforting or even genuinely positive thing in the right circumstances---but for me, a large part of the spiritual/self-improvement work I need to do in life is actually about breaking out of cycles---cycles of generational trauma and poverty, of anxiety and executive dysfunction, of poor self-care leading to repeated burnout.  In fact the snake is a validly useful symbol for me (more on that in a bit), but it needs to break out of that rigid, self-consuming circle before it can be so!


Yin-Yang
Although it's been turned into a tedious cliche by so many people who seem to have a very poor understanding of the ideas behind it( though it doesn't seem that difficult of a concept to me), this is still a very important symbol for me and one which the world very much needs now, of the need for balance and not to fall into extremes which so often end up tipping you into being the same as the opposite position you were trying to avoid (see also the JKD Core Symbol, which features this with cycling arrows, emphasizing that point and also that, while you sometimes need one side more than the other, the need is always going to tip back at some point).

   I also once had a dream vision in which I was joyfully ice skating down the center line of a giant Yin-Yang symbol, which seemed incredibly descriptive of me on so many levels.  I so often seem to land solidly in between any accepted set of categories, and so much of my life feels like I'm just standing around trying frantically and usually without much success to point everyone towards some iteration of the "Why not both? Both is good!" meme.


Mongoose and Snake
It may seem contradictory, but I have actually heard it's not so uncommon to have an affinity for both sides of a predator/prey relationship---after all, in nature they both ultimately depend on one another to survive and stay healthy, and in this particular instance both are quite likely willing to eat the other.  But, taken separately---aside from having a slight childhood obsession with Rikki Tikki Tavi---"Mongoose" in some form is a part of two of my private magical names and is a symbol of using intellect, attitude and agility to overcome a seemingly more powerful opponent---which let's be honest, if you're me is practically everyone. 

Meanwhile, the Snake( which is both one of the two main animals associated with Wing Chun kung fu, and the birth sign of Ip Man who is a significant figure for anyone, like me, studying Wing Chun) has in some contexts a similar set of connotations with regard to swift agile movement, but the spiritual lessons of the snake are bit more complex and harder for me personally to learn---overcoming obstacles through flexibility, for instance.  I very much dislike having to compromise, change course, or use indirection in any way, but as much as I would rather just throat punch everyone ( metaphorically or otherwise) and have done, that isn't always a feasible option.
   Then, too, it was pointed out to me in a vivid dream that a snake always rests, sometimes even hibernates, before shedding and renewing its skin, providing a lesson about patience in fallow times and avoiding burnout, perhaps.  On a more personal level, a snake is a creature mostly doing a beneficial task that frequently ends up misunderstood and despised or feared, which is certainly something I often relate to as an autistic person.

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