Symbols give us the ability to reconcile opposites as well as utilize something that points to a transcendent reality, which in turn, can assist in the process of unveiling the unconscious mind and expanding our sense of self. When we look at a symbol of say a cross, it means many things to many people, the trinity perhaps, pain and oppression, the death of Christ, or an entire set of values and religious affiliation. Not only can the cross hold these types of meanings, but personal meaning as well as maybe a tie into memory and experiences that we have had. It is the transcendence of symbols which Carl G. Jung felt to be of such value to individuals on their quest for wholeness or individuation (as Jung referred to the process of achieving a state of balance). Think about how many meanings something such as the cross really does have, and to even deepen this all further, think of all the meanings that this symbol has taken on throughout time! It is really quite amazing and we can use this knowledge to begin to understand parts of our lives or what the universe or psyche is trying to show us exists.
For myself, the number 3 seems to be coming up for me lately. I see this as a correspondence with the 3rd Chakra in my case through the process of self-inquiry. The Chakra system can be likened to 7 centers of energy and awareness that is held in the body. It has been around for thousands of years and is not as some ignorant people like to pretend “new Age.” The 3rd chakra sits around the navel and corresponds to the stomach and parts of the digestive system. Within the 3rd chakra is held: willpower, self-confidence, self-development, self-control, feelings, sensitivity and most important Power. One symbol of this chakra is the triangle (surprise, surprise) and the element it is likened to is fire. Manipura (meaning “shinning jewel”) is the Sanskrit name for this chakra and you can imagine the issues that crop up if we are in excess or deficient by looking at what it holds. The third chakra is considered to be rich in energy and is traditionally portrayed in gold and yellow colors which are two colors which I have not connected with myself for a while now. As we can reflect on personal power, it is something that I have had great struggles with in my own life for many reasons (see my post In Progress if you are interested). In accordance with any symbols in my life that crop up they are everywhere; in receipts, photos, lines, art, everything that I involve myself in. So here is one of many symbols that my own psyche is throwing at me to heed the call of the 3rd Chakra. Enjoy and reflect on symbolism in your own life, as it is always there, you just need to wake up and see it!