She recently blogged about compiling a list of ones own personal 8 Auspicious Symbols, as in Buddhist philosophy. (Side note: Buddhism is filled with numbered lists, which I've always found reassuring and intriguing to my scattered head.) Gretchen invites us to create our own list of personal symbols.
Symbols + personal reflection + lists = how could I pass this up?! :)
Wedding Ring - "Love freely given has no beginning and no end."
Spiral - The mysterious π or Pi. The way the world repeats and expands or concentrates patterns inherent in our natures. The closest to "radiate the dance." One variation is the Celtic tri-spiral that feeds itself.
Lotus-heart Hands - A symbol of gratitude and mutual regard. Our best selves. "The Buddha in me greets the Buddha in you."
Bare Tree Branches - Grace and inherent knowledge. The patterns in life that grow randomly yet in a contained pattern.
The Flaming Chalice - UU symbol of the light of knowledge lit within each of us.
Baby Hand Print - My daughter's amazing existence.
Hearts - Love in all its many manifestations, also the enjoyment of finding and noticing.
The Moon - Full to crescent, though I am especially attached to crescent moons. The cycles of our lives, always in transition.
Of course, I have more than eight symbols, but not all of them translate into words very well. What's mysterious and compelling to me is that we each develop our own list of meaningful symbols. We may hold them in our hearts, seek them out, create them, and/or flaunt them in public. And/or share them with others. :)
I notice these symbols and collect them to some degree.
I have only one wedding ring, but I have a number of seashells that show off the perfect spiral. I collect hearts in different forms. I have numerous drawings, paintings, postcards or photographs of the moon and of tree silhouettes.
Other things I notice repeatedly, such as a sliver of moon, or a full moon hovering or lifting over the horizon, shifting tone against the changing sky.
What I think of as Lotus-heart hands is an familiar gesture of appreciation greater than words. I don't personally possess a flaming chalice, but it's dear to me and representative of my whole life experience in the Unitarian Universalist church. I have only one plaster hand-print from my daughter's first Christmas. One fleeting moment in her young life thus far.
And thus the symbols fall. I find them (or they find me), and I come to realize what they mean.