The history and culture of a world full of symbols | Egret Jewellery


Symbols 

Can You imagine London without Big Ben? Can you see it set in among the beautiful old buildings winding their way imposingly alongside the river Thames?  Or can you envisage Disneyland without Mickey Mouse? What about the images that pop into your head when I mention Buddha? Is it the golden statues, a lotus flower or perhaps the sweet smell of incense?

Symbols have a way of taking on an identity of their own, evoking pictures in our minds and breathing life into places our fingers have only traced along the creases of a map.  

 

Human culture has used symbols to tell stories since the dawn of our consciousness, since we began to think and problem-solve they have been a way for us to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next. They have helped us to navigate this ever-changing world whilst binding us together as a collective. Our ancestors’ illuminating images go back generations and generations to help us to access distant cultures and ancient beliefs; they allow foreign places, ideas and civilizations to somehow feel familiar, like we have been there.

 

Throughout our existence communication either verbally or by the use of symbols has been an integral part of our evolution. Symbols play a powerful role in how we express ourselves. We literally use thousands of them on a day-to-day basis; they can instantly convey an idea or information through a simple picture or pattern. We use symbols to show danger, political alliances, ethnicity or gender. They show a bond to a sports team or the direction we need to go in. Communication with symbols is unique to human life, we are the only species on earth that uses them, in essence they are a part of what make us unique.

A Symbol can be used to unite a small group of people or they can be a shared image between lots of people. Symbolism can be a way to bring together religions, be a unifying sign between countries, like a flag, or they can be used to separate, infused with secret meanings and shared with only a select few. The Nazi swastika was originally a symbol for protection but then corrupted and inverted to incite hate and fear to millions of people. It is still used to this day to represent a divisive movement. We have adopted symbols from many different cultures. For example, the symbol for the tree of life is found in Christianity, Chinese mythological culture, Celtic Polytheism, Hinduism and Buddhism. In Western societies we use it to symbolise families, strong bonds and new beginnings. We have embraced symbols to help us feel close to places that may otherwise feel like a dream. These symbols often express deep meaning and leave words gone unsaid. Reminding us of our history and our spiritual connection to the earth.

They can protect, propel and guide us forward in our lives and are literally found everywhere. Symbols of love, power, spirituality and strength can bind us all together and supply a common language that unifies and unites us through a collective belief. Ultimately, symbols evolved into words and into languages that has expanded the richness of modern human life.

Our Ancestors used jewellery and other forms of decoration to reflect their identity. They were used to convey membership to a group or someone’s status, age or gender.

To this day jewellery is given as a sign to belong to something. To being in love, being part of a family or friendship or religious beliefs.

At Egret, we understand the beauty and spirituality of symbols. We put our knowledge into every single piece bringing you a higher understanding of what each one means. We understand how easy it is to get caught up in our day-to-day lives and hopefully our jewellery will go some way to remind you about your spiritual connection to each other and the universe.

 


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