There are oodles and oodles of books on Symbolism & Dream Interpretation on the market and endless pages on the internet. Sometimes too much information is just as bad as not enough, it leaves us questioning what to believe…wondering which meaning is right. The reality is the right definition or explanation is yours!
Symbolism is the use of symbols to express a point or activate a memory. This activation is like reaching into the brain for secret files that are triggered by what we see & hear. These files are created by the world we know and become more and more customized as our minds develop. This customization is based on exposure…cultural, religious and personal exposure all help make up our personal language. For example-Crow is one of my personal totems, so when I ‘see’ a crow I realize that I need to keep my eyes open that personal information is coming in. However there are people out there that hate Crows and see them as nothing but carrion eaters. If Crow showed up to them they very likely would have a different reaction then I. When helping people interpret their dreams or teaching the Tarot I always start by having students tell me what they see or think before I tell them what I see or what is written down in a book. I do this because the Reader or Dreamer is the one who is right. Symbolism is not an exact science, it is not stagnant…it is a trigger for our brain, that brings about an evolving dialog within.
How do we discover personal Symbolism?
First thing first get a Journal & review it often. If you have read other articles of mine, you are starting to see how often I make this statement. Really it is my number one tool for Psychic Development, after all you need to know yourself. Then start keeping track of your dreams, thoughts and insights. This is not a traditional diary where you write about your every day stuff, but more of a research tool. When you have a dream that stands out to you or one filled with symbolism, jot it down…I personally like to write the basic information first without filling the details of what I think. I also like using a journal with blank pages not lined, this gives me the ability to do a bit of drawing and kind of spread out my thoughts in a not so linear manner. You can do the same when you have a vision (waking dream), journey or see an animal or unusual sight on the side of the road. Once you have your information down, start by first writing what the symbols (animals, signs, shapes, etc) mean to you. Don’t worry about if they are right or wrong, just write down the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the symbol. Then go ahead and dig out a dream interpretation book or go online to a symbolism sight. Look it up, but do not assume they are right and you are wrong, instead look for the common ground. The more you keep track of your insights the better developed your list of personal symbols become. For example if yellow roses make you think of your deceased father, he may very well start using yellow roses as a sign to you he is around. If you see wolves as a sign of deep personal wisdom, don’t be surprised if you start seeing them when you need to acknowledge your own wisdom. An example of my personal symbolism are Aces in the Tarot. By most books Aces represent the beginning of something…to me I see them as Karma. I am not sure at what point this became part of my personal symbolism as I have used it for as long as I can remember. All I know is that when I do a Psychic Reading for someone and an Ace comes up it is a sign of Karma at work…the things that cannot be changed, the lessons we have agreed to work out this lifetime.
Developing Personal symbolism is one that happens over time. You are not going to sit down and develop a book of personal symbols in a week, month or even a year. In fact it will grow and expand throughout your life. My personal symbolism is vast, it changes whenever I am introduced to a new culture or study a different form of energy work. It is highly personal and is not the same as my friends, family or colleges. I no longer keep a journal of my personal symbols as they are so incorporated into my mindset and utilized every day whether I am working or simply out for a ride. When something new triggers me I set back to my old procedures of first thinking what I come in contact with it, then I might go browse the internet and see what others have to say about it. I value others thoughts, but when it comes to symbolism…my view is the one that is right for me, just as yours is for you.
Remember to be patient with yourself, developing personal symbolism is an art and it takes time.