Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
By George A. Boyd ©2001
Symbols are templates of meaning. This suggests that each person will attribute different meanings to a symbol based on their experience and perspective. They will interpret it in their own way.
Because religions use powerful symbols to engage the emotions and imaginations of people, it is not surprising that there is such great diversity in how people interpret these symbols. Divergent doctrines have grown up around the interpretation of symbol-laden scriptures, giving rise to multiple sects.
Depending on how this symbol of Mars is related with other symbols in a horoscope, it can take on many shades of meaning. Each astrologer looking at the same natal chart can give an entirely different interpretation of the same aspects for the same individual.
The Many Faces of Symbols
Symbols come in many forms. They can appear as
Meditation on Symbols
In Reflective Meditation, you begin by concentrating your attention on one of these different types of symbols, to tease out the meanings held within it. This is called fixation.
As you hold your attention upon this symbol, your awareness opens. Different ideas and impressions come into your mind about this symbol. This is called contemplation.
Finally, you may feel that you have become one with the symbol, beyond words and representations. This is called absorption or mystic union.
Through Reflective Meditation, you build understanding, discernment and wisdom. Meditate upon the symbols of your choice, and experience this powerful method for your self.
Meditation on Scriptures
The sentences in scriptures are laden with richly symbolic passages. You meditate upon these by breaking out the symbolic phrases and meditating on each one. Let us use the immortal scripture from the gospel of John, in The Bible, as an example:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God."
The four symbols intimated in this powerful sentence are:
In the Beginning (meditate upon beginnings, the beginning of man, the moment of Creation of the Universe, etc.)
The Word (What is the Word? Does it refer to scripture? Is it a creative force? Is it the Verbum Deus, the Divine Fiat that sent creation into manifestation? Is it the AUM or Amen? Etc.)
The Word was God (What is the Logos or Christos, the Word Incarnate? What is the Son of God? Etc.)
The Word was with God (What is the relationship of the Son of God to the Father God? Etc.)
Each scripture can be broken into phrases containing individual symbols. These can be used for meditation to glean the meaning within them.
Enhancing Symbolic Meditation
Amplify your knowledge of symbols by reading mythology, and learning about other religions and cultures. A book you may find is evocative is Man and His Symbols by Karl Jung. Other rich sources drawn from the Western esoteric teachings include:
Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike.
Isis Unveiled, by Helena P. Blavatsky.
An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistc and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall.
An excellent source for symbolic materials is the Philosophical Research Society library in Los Angeles. Link with them at www.prs.org.