Tapping The Power Of Symbolism

by | Aug 31, 2018

Are there certain shapes, words or images that you are drawn to or that have special meaning for you? Since ancient times, humans have possessed objects or created images to represent something in nature or from their experience that they felt brought them good luck, protected them, or inspired them.  Whether it was a lock of hair, a feather, or a cross, this item became a symbol or representation of that which they considered to be a source of protection or good fortune.  Some people refer to the symbol as a talisman, which is defined as “anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions.”  (Dictionary.com)

The heart, and the word “love” are two such symbols for me.  In fact, I make an effort to wear something with a heart (e.g., earrings, a necklace), or something with the word love (e.g.,one of my favorite tee shirts has the word repeated in different colors across the front) every day as a reminder, as an inspiration, to focus on love in all that I do. As it turns out, in the Robert Camp book Love Cards, my birthdate, July 29th, is the Queen of Hearts card.  So, I guess I come by my fascination for that symbol naturally!  

Years ago, I had a dream where lightning played a prominent role.  My research showed that it signified transformation, or sudden, profound change.  That weekend, I went on the “hunt” for a piece of jewelry with lightning on it; we went up to the Hopi reservation in AZ, where the artists were holding their annual event to honor and support their Veterans.  I was drawn to a beautiful, substantial piece on the table of a young man who told me that this was his first participation in the event.  I looked at it closely, and, lo and behold…the beautiful bracelet had bolts of lightning on it. (See picture, above)  I bought it, stating “This bracelet made my day!”  He countered…”That bracelet made my mortgage payment!”  We had a good laugh together, shook hands and hugged, and I walked away with the symbol that had new and important meaning to me.  I have been inspired by lightning ever since.  

Using an essential oil that embodies what that symbol or talisman means to you further enhances its power.  For example, I use Ylang Ylang, which is known for Her ability to sooth and support the physical heart, as well as the emotional heart, when I am wearing my heart/love symbols.  For the lightning symbolism, I use Helichrysum, which holds such powerful light, and Palo Santo, which is known for spiritual transformation and expansion.  So, I will put a little of each on my heart and my wrists when I wear my beautiful Hopi bracelet.  Using an essence or essences that you associate with your particular talisman expands the senses associated with the message of that symbolism in your consciousness.  You begin to associate the aroma with the meaning and the visual image.  In some cases, when people carry or wear their talisman, the feeling or kinesthetic aspect of it comes into play, as well.

The process of deciding which particular essence will enhance the meaning of the talisman you are wearing or observing becomes an important experience, too, as it requires you to delve more deeply into the meaning of that particular symbol to you…both originally, and perhaps what it has come to mean, over time.  Originally, the lightning was important because of the profound dream that I had; now, I also associate the meaning “trial by fire” with the lightning symbolism, as it also represents growth through dramatic or traumatic experiences to me.  

One of my dear students and friends, Kim, makes talismanic aromatherapy jewelry (i.e., they have a clay area on the reverse side on which you can place a drop of oil) which perfectly embodies the above discussion.  I offer some of her pieces in my studio (and they will soon be on my website, as well!), and will close with a picture of one of my favorites, also a talisman of mine, the Bear.  The Bear symbolizes natural medicine, courage and fearlessness, among other things.  I also resonate with the fact that many species of bears hibernate…thus symbolizing the need for us to take time from our busy lives to reflect and replenish.  Two perfect essences to use with Bear symbolism are Laurel Leaf (courage, fearlessness) and Frankincense (meditation, reflection), though there are many others. 

So, I would close by asking you to consider which symbols have meaning for you — your dreams, your legacy, your life.  Take those symbols and bring them more deeply into your everyday world by meditating upon them, wearing them, surrounding yourself with them, and allowing specially chosen essential oils to further anchor their meaning in your consciousness.  I would love to hear what symbols have great meaning to you, and which essences you particularly associate with them.  Please do drop me a line and share your thoughts!

Blessings to you as we approach this beautiful Fall season.  

Audre Gutierrez