Monday, May 24, 2010

A Personal Symbology


A Personal Symbology

At various times
in my life
I have been aware 
of powerful symbols
that seem to represent
the essence of an experience
or to succinctly capture
a prevailing emotion or feeling

At times when
significant people in my life
have passed through the veil
I have been visited by Brahminy kites
beautiful brown winged raptors
And I have also seen splendid rainbows

On the morning 
of my Mother in Law's death
I was driving my youngest to school
when the biggest and brightest rainbow
I have ever seen
arced across our town
in a vivid embrace

On the morning of her funeral
I took a walk by myself
and saw the same rainbow
and then again 
as we drove to Auckland Airport
to fly back home to Australia
a rainbow seemed to follow the car

These past few weeks
I have seen the Brahminy kites 
soaring the skies
and just a few days ago
and then again today
out over the ocean
the Rainbow of Hope

It may be a co-incidence
It may be synchronicity
It may be purposeful
It may be none of these things
It doesn't really matter
What does matter is that the symbol
is a container
a vessel that is able to hold
the feelings, emotions and energy
linked to the experience 
and of something more than the experience
The symbol holds all that is ineffable
beyond the scope of words

A symbol speaks in a language
more powerful than words
its magic and poignancy 
reach into the unconscious
and connect us to deeper realms
to deeper layers of feelings
and experiencing

They create a bridge
between the conscious world 
and that of the unconscious
and I believe 
of the Universal consciousness
Symbols yield a powerful connection 
and knowing
a communication that is intuitive 

Do you have 
special symbols
that have become a part 
of your personal symbology...



  1. Awareness of signs and symbols probably underpins our very existence. But in our modern world, I wonder how many of us cannot see for looking. You have articulated the extremely complex relationship between levels of consciousness, well.

    We have the ability to recognise symbols, but it resides in the lightest of senses, and needs to be allowed to surface.

  2. Hi Martin

    I loved your response for it made me think even more about symbols. I have long been fascinated by symbols and metaphors and their power to link us to parts other than the rational mind.
    When Counselling I specialised in Sand Tray and Symbol work which was a highly effective way for not only children to process their issues but for adults to gain a greater awareness and insight into their experiences and dilemmas. There is a certain magic to symbols that never fails to intrigue me.
    Thanks for your comment. You strike me as someone that I would love to sit down and have a great chat with over a cup of tea....

    Happy days

  3. Hi Delwyn, hope your days are getting better as you go along.
    These signs could be just coincidences......just like the one 5 years ago when I went to the local animal shelter looking for my brother's dog and found a Devon Rex cat up for adoption exactly what I wanted as I have allergies, she had to be put to sleep before Christmas.
    Today I was doing some phoning around (charity shops) for a friend and suddenly thought "give the shelter a call and see how often they get Devon Rex cats there...."funny you should call today we have one here now"....coincidence....yeah right.

  4. Hi Abbeysmum

    Now you have me intrigued I will go and look up the Devon Rex cat.
    Abbeysmum are you writing a blog at present?

    Happy days

  5. Abbeymum
    I'm back...he's a little like a Bilbie don't you think? I see why he's good with allergy sufferers...
    We have no pets at present, rather bereft of both kids and pets after a long 38 years of parenting (human and feline and canine offspring) but enjoying the freedom it gives us.

    Happy Days

  6. These are lovely photographs... especially the rainbows & the sun on the leaves... rainbows are always special. Coincidentally (!) I have a couple of posts, part formed, about rainbows & symbols... you express so much in a few words, whereas I have been tying myself up with too many words... thank you!

  7. Nothing I would call "personal" I just adapt those of our current culture.

    The lazy man's symbology.

  8. Hi again Suzi

    I am not usually a garrulous person and I think I tend to write the same way. It comes easy for me...which is lucky when it comes to blogging....

    Happy days

  9. Hi Barry

    By personal I mean symbols that have been recurrent in your life and therefore have become a part of a collection of symbols that are more heavily endowed with meaning than others.

    Happy days

  10. Awesome and beautiful as always Delwyn! Symbols?? Do I have them? Im a great symbolist,but I was told by my shrink I must not think magically,(what ever she was meaning with that)after what she was no longer my shrink, :O)
    Having symbols in my life gives me some comfort in cases of loosing dear people and makes this life and this world more acceptable to live in! Blossoming flower in certain colour,rainbow,clouds,birds,trees....Right now Im a grandmother to 5 blackbird eggs,their mother darling came and made a nest in one of my plant-pot's very small so that she nearly is fitting in(strange little bugger)oregano and maggyherb are in it so its time of lots of rain,Im trying to keep all of them dry, :O)
    symbol of togetherness in lonely times
    Happy days Delwyn

  11. Hawks, here on the property, have a special place in my heart, Delwyn.

    When staying at my home, my mother always sat in the same spot on my front porch...watching the birds at the feeder. On her last visit, we noticed a young House Finch, seemingly having trouble learning to fly against the wind. We saw it often that day. My mother died within a few weeks, with her three daughters by her side, actually in my arms. About 30 minutes after her passing, I found myself sitting in her special spot on my porch, within minutes a little struggling House Finch was fluttering just 10 feet away, directly in front of me. Suddenly a very majestic Red Shouldered Hawk swooped in from nowhere, with a quiet stillness and speed, snatching the struggling bird in one graceful movement. An almost angry sadness overcame me, but the recognition of how peaceful and graceful it had been taken, made me think my own mother's peaceful and graceful departure. I took it as a sign. At her funeral my granddaughter Amanda wrote and spoke a poem of the meaningful moment.


  12. While trying to adapt to living in another country, my husband had to leave this new place and I broke into tears on the way home from the airport. As I turned the next corner a particularly bright rainbow appeared in the sky immediately in front of me. I was heartened and saw this as a sign we were in the right place.

  13. I can't remember a recurrent symbol in my life but I think we have very personal significant ones. My father died in 2001. Last year I dreamt of him. He wore a magnificent flashy green kaftan (like those worn in central asia in the beginning of the twentieth century) and he was glowing with love.
    He gave me a wave hello and I woke up filled with great tenderness. I do love kaftans. They relate for me to my creativity. It's like my father has chosen my favorite symbol to connect with me at an important moment of my life ( I left my job and married for the first time in this very moment). I tend to believe the birds
    non solely as messengers but" really" incorporated during a short moment by a departed soul as the way the shamans do...

  14. Yes, several. For example, on the day that my dear friend and I established a business partnership, there was a double rainbow in the sky. I thought it was a hopeful, auspicious symbol. Red-tailed hawks, eagles, and hummingbirds are all powerful totems for me.

  15. I'm only just now awakening to that possibility. I think having a blog has helped me truly take in my surroundings on a much more intimate basis. I am paying more attention and I have no doubt I too will uncover a few more symbols over time.

    Lovely post Delwyn...

  16. After our baby died I did a visualization where I met Tyrel who appeared as a 3 year old. We laughed as we played together. As I was holding him, slung on my hip, he reached up into the sky and pulled down a star and gave it to me and said: 'You can do this too mom'. I have several clear marbles around that house that symbolize a star and his words. So when ever I look at the marbles or find one tucked into the folds of the couch, or in jeans pocket I say: 'anything is possible, anything is possible' and believe it. Thanks Delwyn for your sharing and the topic.

  17. Your recent posts have been very touching for me. Thank you.

    These photographs are wonderful also.

    Yes I have a symbol. It is a swirl or a spiral. It has very deep meaning for me. I can hardly describe it - when it appears I pay attention and yes it speaks beyond thought, words, emotion, feelings - it reaches to the core - speaks in silence.

  18. Powerful post.

    For me, many images resonate very deeply. Here are the first three to come to mind:

    The Buddha, meditating, at the moment of his awakening. Redwood trees. Sailboats moored in a snug anchorage.

    Interesting how stillness is prominent in all of them.

  19. Hi Dan

    that is a great trinity of stillness Dan

    happy days

  20. Hello Jennifer

    I have at times found the spiral to be very prominent in my life too speaks of both the inward and the outer journey, that of spiritual awareness as it spirals inwards and that of individuation as it circles out.

    Happy days

  21. Hi Maggie

    I was touched by your story Maggie and my heart feels your loss as much as an outsider can...I can only imagine what it must be like to lose a child. Whilst preparing Dad's funeral and visiting him a number of times after his passing I couldn't help but think how painful this must be for one who has lost a child or indeed a partner when younger than chronological time should suggest that death is imminent and inevitable.

    Happy days

  22. Hi Vicky

    I sense many things happening in your spiritual growth Vicky, some by choice with awareness and some that will be foisted upon you. I admire your strength and discernment.

    Happy days

  23. Hi there Meri

    Rainbows always appear that way...such a sign of hope and promise...

    I wonder if there is a set of common symbols that we use for such emotions. I see you also have an eagle/hawk as a totem...I like that word totem and it eluded me when I was writing my post...thank you for bringing it back.

    Happy days

  24. Hello new friend Sylvie

    thank you for relating your experiences. I loved the dream ...

    I also had a dream of my Dad just before he passed and in the dream he was younger in face but wise and mellow in nature. He reassured me that in time everything will return to normal... the funny thing was that in the dream he came to me on my a video...I think that must be telling me something....he knew where to find me...

    Happy days

  25. Hello GMother

    you also have a lovely story of reassurance...I think it is great that we can have this affinity with specific symbols and feel the peace they bring.

    happy days

  26. Everything in this page is so beautiful, Delwyn! I sometimes draw mandalas myself. And I think they symbolize the state of my mind..I sometimes draw flower mandalas too. I'm not good at drawing, though..

  27. This is such a beautiful post in every way possible.

    I think of these symbols as allies. They have my back, they stand shoulder to shoulder with me when I need them. They add beauty and wonder to my experience.

    So do you, with your thoughtfulness and artfulness. Thank you for this!

  28. What you say about symbols here is deeply satisfying for me. I feel like my whole life has been a journey through various symbols. Some are long-term like bees and horses, fire and water, and some wander in and out of my life for a specific time. They are all truly my guides.

    Thank you for sharing some of yours with us.

  29. Hi Polly

    they do act like guides, reassuring ones, and become very familiar. I just saw another Brahminy kite on my way home from the gym.

    Happy days

  30. Hi Reya

    I like your idea...they are both comrades and part of ourselves, inner and outer supports....

    thanks for the visit

    happy days

  31. Hello Sapphire

    I went through a mandala phase too when I was besotted by Carl Jung. Did you know he drew one every day and spent half of his life deciphering them...You don't have to be good at drawing to benefit from drawing mandalas do you. they are like a doodle from the unconscious.

    happy days

  32. Delwyn,
    your posts are so beautiful and thoughtprovoking. This is one i will revisit from time to time. I do have symbols, they've come to me through my life and even if i don't understand always (or ever) i still feel blessed.
    Thank you for your kind, wise words to me.

  33. At Standing Still I Have a Skill

    At standing still I have a skill
    that truly is unique.
    At sleeping I'm unquestionably
    on a winning streak.

    At lying down I'm unsurpassed;
    I'm simply undefeated.
    At sitting I'm the reigning champ;
    I'll never be unseated.

    At drifting in a daydream
    it is obvious I'm blessed.
    At staring at the TV
    I'm undoubtedly the best.

    At doing nothing
    I am even better than you'd think.
    At everything besides that, though,
    I'd have to say: I stink.

    I hope someday I'll maybe learn
    another kind of skill.
    Until then I'm content to be
    the best at standing still.

    --Kenn Nesbitt


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