Category: Symbolism

  • Symbolism of Hands

    Symbolism of Hands

    Whenever you’re watching a documentary which anonymises its subjects, the camera often tips down to emphasise the hands. What are the hands doing? Picking at fingernails? In a tight grip? Relaxed and open? This close up on the hands is clearly meant to say something about emotional affect. It’s also interesting to take a look at hands as they appear…

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  • Symbolism of Green

    Symbolism of Green

    What does green symbolise in art and storytelling?

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  • Symbolism of Bridges and Rainbows

    Symbolism of Bridges and Rainbows

    Why bridges and rainbows? What have they got to do with each other? Well, the archetypal bridge is an arc shape, like the rainbow. Symbolically, bridges and rainbows can be similar.

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  • Lighthouse Symbolism

    Lighthouse Symbolism

    The lighthouse is a multivalent, paradoxical symbol which can come in very handy when crafting stories and connecting to theme.

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  • Blood Symbolism

    Blood Symbolism

    Red is not only the colour of blood–and the import of this fact does not need any emphasis–but it has also been used from prehistoric times to the present as a shield against evil. The Escape Through The Window: A Figura For Christ’s Victory Over Death, 1973 BLOOD AS SYMBOL OF LIFE Ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Apollonia (born 460…

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  • The Symbolism of Water Wells

    The Symbolism of Water Wells

    In folklore and fairy tale, round, enclosed structures (towers and wells) align with lunar figures which stand in for cyclic time i.e. dragons, serpents, werewolves or other related creatures who abduct maidens. And also, by the way, dishevelled hair and shaggy furs worn as garments are the other symbol set which go hand-in-hand with round, enclosed structures. These symbols are…

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  • The Symbolism of Dolls In Storytelling

    The Symbolism of Dolls In Storytelling

    Dolls serve as comfort; they also creep us out. Which is it gonna be? And how do storytellers utilise their multivalent presence in our lives?

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  • A Glossary of The Underworld

    Since we’re all going to hell (by someone’s rules), here is a glossary of terms you may need before you get there. I’d provide a map, but that is coming. ACHERON One of the Five Rivers of the Realm of Hades, according to Ancient Greeks. This is an actual river located in northwest Greece. The Ancient Greeks called it the…

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  • Words to Describe Landscapes, Landforms, Water and Construction

    Words to Describe Landscapes, Landforms, Water and Construction

    (Includes bodies of water.) You may be after a full glossary of landforms, in which case the Wikipedia article is comprehensive: Full list of landforms at Wikipedia. This post skews literary.

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  • Symbolism of Coats and Cloaks

    Symbolism of Coats and Cloaks

    The cloak is the garment of Kings, and the King is a symbolic archetype. Fathers and Kings are basically the same archetype in traditional stories. (Fathers are the kings of the home.)

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  • Wave Symbolism

    Wave Symbolism

    Storytellers have long utilised the symbolism of dreams, which apply equally when we’re awake.

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  • Symbolism of Eyes and Foucault’s Panopticon

    Symbolism of Eyes and Foucault’s Panopticon

    Most humans are drawn to the eyes and gaze. Eyes therefore feature large in art and storytelling, and sometimes symbolise surveillance. The gaze is extremely powerful. Artist Marina Abramovic knew this when she sat in an art gallery and stared at people for months. Harrison Fisher also understood when painting these girls, supposedly having fun, except for the one giving…

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  • Symbolism of the Maze and Labyrinth

    Symbolism of the Maze and Labyrinth

    I hate being lost. I’m not the only one. Before the age of cities, suburbs and GPS, it really was dangerous to separate from your tribe. Professor Kenneth Hill has studied the psychological effects of getting lost, and was interviewed by Jim Mora on the RNZ Sunday morning radio show. Jim asks, why do people freak out when getting lost?…

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  • Chimneys In Art And Storytelling

    Chimneys In Art And Storytelling

    The chimney is a multivalent symbol in storytelling. Chimneys can be cosy and welcoming. A column of smoke rose thin and straight from the cabin chimney. The smoke was blue where it left the red of the clay. It trailed into the blue of the April sky and was no longer blue but gray. The boy Jody watched it, speculating.…

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  • Egg Symbolism

    Egg Symbolism

    Eggs are common ingredients in modern cooking. Likewise, throughout the history of folklore and fairy stories, eggs are a common ingredient in magic spells. Anyone who has kept chickens knows that poultry regularly go off the lay. If your chickens are hungry, stressed, clucky or sick you won’t get any eggs. Before modern chicken farms, eggs were a luxury food…

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