Category Archives: Gods and Goddesses

The Secret Life of Kokopelli Meanining

kokopelli meaning
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the Kokopelli, but the consensus is this being is all about letting go and having a little fun

Kokopelli Meaning and Messages

I'm sure you all have seen this image. It is perhaps one of the most recognizable Native American icons. This funky little guy hails from the four corners of the Southwest U.S., so we're talking about an area that spans across New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.

In all of these areas, Kokopelli shows himself on etchings and carvings.  He started out as an inky image on stones. Once discovered by modern man, Kokopelli ignited the human imagination.  So much so, that today - this fellow is embroidered on socks, carved in marble and hammered out in wrought iron.  Why? Because the Kokopelli was massively featured by Native Americans.  His image was so prevalent, that modern humans can't resist mimicking this guy and keeping an artistic version of him within our homes.

But why? What's the big deal about Kokopelli meaning? Outside of being so visible, which makes this being extraordinarily intriguing...there's something else that tags along with Kokopelli.  So what is the charm? Where's the mystery? Let's consider...

Kokopelli meaning originates from Pueblo Indians.  That sounds simple, but because this being spans across a vast area, it also bleeds into other tribal myths.  So the Kokopelli raises its spiky head in many other tribes such as: Anasazi, Hopi, Zuni and more.

Loosely, the name Kokopelli meaning translates to "the hunched one" or "wooden backed".  The confusion of his name rests in the combination of various Native languages and interpretations.

So what's the deal with this guy? Why is he engraved on so many features upon the Southwest landscape?  Well, just like pinning down the meaning of his name, his actual meaning is a little murky too.  I like this, because Kokopelli is kind of a mystifying being.

There are some Native legends that claim the Kokopelli was a being sent from the celestial heavens.  He would descend upon a tribe and encourage wild passion.  Imagine a big fraternity party on campus. The presence of Kokopelli encouraged a sense of being wild, lascivious and passionate.

In essence, the true Native Kokopelli was a fertility god that insured babies would be born.  I'm not just talking about human babies (although that seems to be the main theme).  I'm also talking about plant babies.  Beans, squash, corn...these were prime crops required by Native folk in the U.S. Southwest area, and Kokopelli was considered a blessing upon these crops. That in itself makes Kokopelli pretty freaking powerful.  Consider: If you ain't got no beans, then you ain't got no means to live.

In other accounts, Kokopelli meaning was a significant feature of wisdom, poetry, music and creative freedom.  It's as if Kokopelli was a Native American muse...enticing the artists within the tribe to create their greatest symphonies and soliloquy's.

It is also noted in Native lore that when the pipe was passed, and the Kokopelli appeared, this became a sign of extreme good luck in all areas. Whomever the Kokopelli visited seemed to be insured of great success.

But this isn't always the case.  Apparently, Kokopelli can be a little shifty.  There is a big trickster element with this fellow that should be recognized.  I think that goes hand-in-hand with creativity.

When we mess around with creation, we never really know what we're going to land upon.  -Doesn't matter if we're talking about birthing a new baby or creating a new project...sometimes things get tricky.

Personally, I think this is the essence of Kokopelli.  When it comes to creating new life - whether music, poetry, ideas or a human life...it's a grab-bag.  We don't know what the result is going to be, and Kokopelli reminds us of the wild-card that is always present when we venture into the realm of creating new things.

In closing, I hope you enjoyed this post on Kokopelli meaning.  If you like this post, it might be a great idea to do more research on this Native figure.  There is a lot more information out there, and I'm sure you are bound to find something that stimulates you when it comes to this tricky being.

As always, thanks for reading!  If you liked this article, check out the related links below!

Native American Symbol Meanings

Hopi Symbol Meanings

Native American Moon Sign Meanings

Symbolic Thunderbolt Meaning

thunderbolt meaning
From Chinese to Celtic, thunderbolt meaning is a deep symbolic element around the world.

Crashing Into Classic Thunderbolt Meaning

The most basic definition of thunderbolt meaning is when a flash of lightning happens while thunder strikes at the exact same time. The occurrence of thunder and lightning clashing together at the same time is uncommon.  I think that, in itself, is symbolic.

When Nature tosses out something rare in our experience, it is worthy of a second look…it’s worthy of some pondering.

Thankfully, ancient cultures around the world have done a lot of pondering about thunderbolt meaning already.  The following points offer some views about how the thunderbolt is perceived in different ways.




thunderbolt meaning

Say what??
Before meteorology and science explained away the wonder of phenomenons like thunderbolts, we humans only had our imaginations to explain such epic events. Around the world, the occurrence of the thunderbolt was thought of as a colossal shout from big, magical sources. Whether angel, god or goddess – the thunderbolt announced a message from an immensely powerful source. Essentially, witnessing and hearing a thunderbolt was akin to receiving a message from the heavens.

thunderbolt meaning

It is ALIVE!
Thunderbolt meaning deals with the creation of life. Perhaps the best example of this is found in that singular, memorable scene in any movie version of Frankenstein. When the thunderbolt struck the creature, it animated Frankenstein’s vision. The Buddhists give us the idea of ‘the rolling Dharma thunder.’ Dharma is the order of life, the order of the cosmos. In this case, the thunderbolt is a symbol of liberating life, and igniting the cycle of living.

thunderbolt meaningOkay, maybe it’s not so alive.
With every ancient cultural view that sees the thunderbolt as a spark of creation, most of the same views also see it as a source of destruction. Look at Zeus (Jupiter). The thunderbolt is one of his symbols. He is considered a creator-father god in Greek-Roman myth. But he was also feared for his destructive tendencies. In Native American myth, the thunderbolt is associated with the Thunder Bird.  This mega-bird is symbolic of the great Creator, it also represents some wicked-destructive forces.

thunderbolt meaning
Is that a thunderbolt in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
The idea of fertility is part and parcel with the creative aspect of thunderbolt meaning.  In many ancient cultures, the thunderbolt is a symbol of libido, virility and fertility.  Anybody who drools over the Thor character in the Marvel comics movies can formulate exactly what I mean. In fact, a thunderbolt is one of this Scandinavian god’s symbols. I guess you could say Thor, and his thunderbolt are kinda like a sex symbols. If you consider the shape of lightning, it’s like a rod. I don’t want to get too graphic here, but let’s just say it causes us to be ‘erect’ in our thinking about the thunderbolt. The simultaneous boom is a very orgasmic feature too. I’ll let your own imagination do the rest of the work when it comes to the thunderbolt as a symbol of virility and fertility.

thunderbolt meaningFlash! Bam! Alakazam!
You know that Nat King Cole song? “Orange Colored Sky” Nat croons that he’s just walking along, minding his own business, and then WHAM! He got stone-cold smashed with inspiration. In his case, he was struck by love. Thunderbolt meaning can certainly be symbolic of being blind-sided by love.  It is also symbolic of being struck by a bright idea. The thunderbolt represents a split second moment of tremendous inspiration.  In Hinduism, the thunderbolt of Indra and Krishna are synonymous with the awakening of the Third Eye. This is a fancy way of saying the thunderbolt represents enlightenment, a spark of intelligence and getting groundbreaking ideas.

Closing Thoughts on Symbolic Thunderbolt Meaning

Whether perceived as a symbol of war and destruction, or an icon for creativity and inspiration – it should be clear thunderbolt meaning is surrounded with lots of smashing concepts.

I hope this post offered you some thunderously thought-provoking moments.  I also hope you take your curiosity about thunderbolt meaning further by doing your own research. I’ve got a few links to other related articles that might keep your symbolic search energized.

As always, thanks for reading!

Thunderbolt blessings to you,

Avia

Symbolic Meaning of Lightning

Dreaming Meaning of Storms and Lightning

Symbolic Meaning of the Thunderbird

 

It’s Not Easy Being a Girl. The Real Gorgon Meaning of Medusa

gorgon meaning
The real gorgon meaning behind Medusa

 Setting the Record Straight on Gorgon Meaning and Medusa





Did you ever see the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans? I did, and you know what? It wasn’t the Kraken that rang my bells.  It wasn’t the Minotaur that made me go bonkers. Nope.  It was Medusa.  That scene with her luminous eyes and slithery snakes left me breathless.  To me, she was majestic .  Forget Marilyn Monroe – for me, Medusa was the ‘it’ girl.

Maybe that makes me a sicko.  I mean, the term gorgon in Greek translates to ‘dreadful’ or ‘beastly.’  But in my defense, I happened to have some background history on gorgon meaning and Medusa before seeing the movie.

Did you know Medusa was once a breathtaking, bombshell of a woman? Yep, her beauty was legendary.  That is, until one day Athena turned her into a gorgon.

Picture it, ancient Greece, a lusty Poseidon lays eyes on the ravishing Medusa.  Unable to contain his libido in the presence of such loveliness, Poseidon makes a move on Medusa.  She refuses his advances.  She was quite chaste.  As a matter of fact, her name Medusa means ‘to protect’ – and legend states she was quite protective of her purity.

Wanting to keep her virginity, Medusa resists Poseidon as best she can. As a last resort, she runs to Athena’s temple (who happened to be the virgin goddess who held purity in the highest regard).  Poseidon eventually wore down Medusa, and forced himself upon her.  Athena witnessed the tail end of the violation – not knowing Medusa was a victim.  Instead, Athena assumed Poseidon and Medusa laid together in mutual consent, which was certainly not the case.

It was a slap in Athena’s face to see the two together within her temple of virginal purity. Enraged and insulted (not to mention quick to judge), Athena smote Medusa with the curse that made her into the so-called monster we see today.

The big crime here is that before Medusa’s gorgon days, she was quite a sweet girl.  She was said to be generous, thoughtful, bright and beautiful.  Sometimes nice girls just can’t catch a break.  But the irony is, Medusa became quite a bad as* while living as a gorgon and even after her death.



 Vengeance, Defense and Gorgon Meaning

Understandably, Medusa became pretty bitter about the whole turning into a monster thing.   Part of gorgon meaning deals with a certain kind of seduction with the result being the death of whomever she woos.  A gorgon was able to pluck a viper from her coiffure and command it to do her bidding.  Sometimes this meant a killing strike upon an unsuspecting passerby.   Was she playing dirty pool? Maybe, but maybe she had her reasons.

Another fact of gorgon meaning deals with the whole turning folks into stone bit.  Rather than seeing stars, looking into Medusa’s eyes made a body see granite. Yep, meeting Medusa’s gaze turned a body into a boulder.

If you ask me, these are the most epic defense systems a beautiful woman scorned could have.  But alas, poor Medusa met her fate when Perseus beheaded her.  He did so by seeing her through the reflection of his shield, thus avoiding becoming a rigid rock.

gorgon meaning medusa
Surprisingly, gorgon meaning deals with generosity as Medusa kept on giving after her death.

The Legacy of Medusa – Gorgon Meaning That Won’t Quit

Okay, so Medusa’s plight continues to become more tragic after her death. Interestingly, death doesn’t staunch Medusa’s core spirit of generosity.  Beneath that gorgon exterior, Medusa was still a giving being.

Even through an incredible, unwanted assault, Poseidon’s attack upon Medusa wasn’t entirely disastrous.  Their union caused Medusa to become pregnant. Immediately after Perseus murdered Medusa, she gave birth to Pegasus, the magical winged horse who contributed much to Greek myth.

But that’s not Medusa’s only contributions after death.  Here are a few contributions credited to Medusa, even after her beheading.

♦ A grand coral reef was said to be created in the Red Sea when Medusa’s blood trickled into the waters after Perseus set her head down on the shore.

♦ Medusa thwarted an unwanted marriage between Perseus’ mother and Polydectes when Perseus revealed Medusa’s gaze upon Polydectes, turning him to stone.

♦ Medusa had a part in creating the Atlas mountains. While traveling through Africa, Perseus was attacked by a Titan.  After revealing Medusa’s stony stare, the Titan was transformed into the Atlas mountain range.

♦ To this day, Greek art depicts the image of Medusa. These pieces are thought to be protection against enemies and bad energy.

Pretty interesting that Medusa’s name means ‘to protect’ – she seemed to do a lot of that after her death.

Closing Thoughts on Gorgon Meaning and Medusa

In the end, I think the moral of Medusa’s story is this:  Even the most awful so-called ‘monsters’ serve unexpected purposes.  Therefore, it might be a good idea to think twice about the ugly, cranky, outcasts in our lives.  I think gorgon meaning is intended to make us reconsider that which is ‘abnormal’ or ‘freakish.’

Look at all Medusa accomplished.  Unfortunately, her path was a tragic one, and her greatest hits were celebrated after her death.  Nevertheless, her legacy lives forever.

I hope you enjoyed this article on Medusa and gorgon meaning.  If you liked this post, please check out the links below for related information.  As always, thanks for reading!

Meaning of God and Goddess Symbols

Symbolic Meaning of Snakes

Going Old School With Odin Meaning and Messages

Odin Meaning Odin God
The Norse god Odin with his two ravens

Norse God Odin Meaning and Insights





If pressed to make a choice, I’d say Odin is one of my favorite ancient gods.  Why?  Because he’s old school.  While Zeus was out playing pranks and scheming for more power – Odin had other motives.

What sets Odin apart from most gods in most cultures is that he was for the people.  While many gods in cultures around the world were fixated on self preservation, Odin made great sacrifices to give humans the gifts they needed to survive in a harsh world. He was a true benefactor to the human race.

Here are a few reasons Odin makes my top 5 list of favorite deities:

  1. He was a humanitarian
  2. He was an animal lover
  3. He had a great appreciation for art and poetry
  4. He was a fearless warrior
  5. He respected his comrades in arms
  6. His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable
  7. He never gave up, even when he knew fate suggested he should
  8. He didn’t say much, but what he did say was profound
  9. He understood great sacrifice is required for great gain
  10. He was a pretty good-lookin’ dude from what I can tell ;)

Odin The Norse God and the Nitty Gritty of Creation

Odin is a father-god as well as a sun god.  His association with the sun makes him a light-bringer, a creator, a passionate leader whose destiny simply must shine brightly.  Indeed he was bright, and he did a crackerjack job and creating stuff.

Well, sure, there’s that little detail of Odin almost killing his father Ymir which isn’t a very creator-type thing to do. However, by slaying Ymir, Odin (and his brothers Vili and Ve) created middle earth. You see, Ymir was the first giant.  After he was sacrificed, his blood became our oceans, his bones became our mountains, his flesh became our land, and his hair became our vegetation.  To his credit, Odin didn’t entirely off his dad.  Ymir still lives, although in a subdued state.  You know Ymir is still alive and kickin’ when earthquakes happen, that’s Ymir shifting his body.

After middle earth was created, Odin got the bright idea to populate the place. So he took an ash tree and crafted the first man.  From the elm tree, he sculpted the first woman.  I’d say he did a pretty fine job on both physiques.

Odin was an industrious dude because he didn’t stop at creating the earth or humans.  He also separated day from night.  Quite a neat trick if you ask me.  The ever-savvy Odin figured all this stuff needed a bit of organization, so he established Midgard (middle earth) for humans, then Asgard – the home of the gods.

The Secret Life of Odin – The Personality Behind the God

Within the god neighborhood of Asgard, there was a great hall called Valhalla.  That’s where Odin chose to spend his days and nights.  Interesting, the term Val means ‘death’ or ‘slain’ and halla means ‘hall.’ So essentially, Odin’s address was ‘the hall of death.’  But it’s not as macabre as you might think.  This was a place of warriors who died bravely in battle, fighting for the cause.

Valkyries (which means ‘choosers of the slain’) also lived in Valhalla.  These were lovely, strong women who at Odin’s bidding, brought the bravest fallen warriors back to Valhalla.  This wasn’t a gloomy glum place to pass your time in the afterlife. Nope. Big feasts were thrown every day and night. Sometimes warriors had friendly tests of strengths against each other.  Wild boar was served every night, and the mead (beer) flowed like waterfalls.

You’d think Odin would be whooping it up with his warriors and Valkyries, but hid didn’t.  He never ate.  Rather, he gave his meat to his two wolves, Geri and Freki.  But boy-howdy he drank mead like a fish.  A god after my own heart.  Odin also preferred to be alone rather than join the antics.  He was a deep thinker.  I suppose the alone time allowed him focus and the concentration he needed to protect, organize and enhance his kingdom.

Odin had an inside edge when it came to wisdom.  He had two ravens (sometimes crows, depending on the literature you’re consulting).  Their names were Hugin, which means ‘thought’ and Munin which means ‘memory.’  Every day Hugin and Munin would fly throughout the land gaining information.  They would return at dusk and report all the going’s on they observed to Odin.

As far as Geri and Freki – these weren’t any ordinary wolves. They were supernatural.  These were warrior wolves gifted with super-canine strength.  They adored Odin, and never left his side.  So loyal, they would protect Odin with their lives.  Woe to the fellow who went up against those hell hounds. Mangle-mania! Oy!

Always the animal lover, Odin also had a horse.  But not just any horse.  His name was Sleipnir, and he had eight legs.  His name means “slippery” – I suppose he would be a slippery one to catch, having eight legs! Sleipnir was as devoted to Odin as Geri, Freki, Hugin and Munin. This horse was also endowed the gift to travel between dimensions.  In essence, no place was off limits to Odin as long as he had his noble steed.



An Ode to Odin Meaning and Accomplishments

Odin had a phenomenal reputation for tending to the needs of the other gods in Asgard.  He also paid special attention to his warriors.  They were his pride.  He took great care in their training and well-being.

Odin was always thinking of better ways to protect his people from the evil giants always wanting to pick a fight with Asgardians. So intent upon providing a peaceful, long-lasting existence for his people of Asgard, he made a gruesome sacrifice.

One day, Odin decided he needed more insight as to how to guard his people. So he went to the Well of Wisdom, which was guarded by Mimir. Odin asked for a drink from the well, but Mimir said there must be a price to be paid for such knowledge (there’s always a price, ugh).  In Odin’s case, he had to pluck out his eyeball.  Why Mimir wanted a slimy eyeball, I have no idea – but he got what he wanted, and Odin did too.

odin meaning odin god meaning
Odin never gave up finding solutions for his people, even though he knew Asgard would end.

Ironically, with only one eye, Odin lost half his sight as well as his depth perception. But he gained ‘second sight’ or ‘otherworldly’ sight from the wisdom juice.  From this ‘second sight’ he could see into the future, and what he saw was not good.  He saw the ultimate demise of Asgard.  But even after seeing this, he never gave up trying to find solutions to prevent its eventual end.

As mentioned, Odin also had a soft-spot for humans.  None of the other Norse gods could really figure out what his fascination with us was, but Odin didn’t care – he kept looking out for us all the same.

He made yet another great sacrifice, this time on behalf of humanity.  He wanted to obtain the powerful gift of Runes to give to humans.  Runes are magical inscriptions that can be engraved on wood, stone, whatever. These inscriptions are a language that can guide people and also offer protection.  They can’t necessarily tell the future, but the inscriptions can reveal certain potentialities that offer forewarning.  The runes can also offer advice and solutions for various tribulations.

In order to get this gift for the humans, Odin hung himself from a wind-rocked tree for nine whole nights while being impaled with a spear.  Ouch!  But he won the right to have the Runes, and gave them to humans.  Humans used them to help predict weather, crop behavior, oncoming threats, solutions to family squabbles, and much more.

Closing Thoughts on Old School Odin Meaning

In summary, it should be clear Odin was one bad as* when it came to protecting his soldiers, his Asgardians as well as human kind.  It should also be evident that Odin was outrageously determined to think his way through any problem.  He was rabid about finding solutions – even if it meant self-sacrifice.

Odin also stood up for his beliefs.  Even when the other gods were questioning his motive for fiddling with us humans – Odin still provided regardless.  He provided a home and happiness to his warriors even in the afterlife.  He created an almost Utopian place to live where all kind could live in harmony – at least for a time.  I’d say that’s pretty epic.  And it’s pretty old school to have a vision and hammer down on it, no matter what.

I hope you enjoyed this article on various thoughts on Odin meaning as a wicked-awesome Norse god.  Of course there is tons more to Odin, so don’t stop here.  Keep researching.  You’ll find out about his lovely wife Frigg, his buff son Thor, and his emo son Loki.  Keep diving into the fascinating saga of Odin, and you won’t be disappointed.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these articles below:

God and Goddess Symbol Meanings

Celtic God and Goddess Meanings

 

Today’s Holiday – The Martyrdom of Hypatia

today's holiday hypatia day

Symbolism of Today’s Holiday for Hypatia

Today’s holiday is something to be mightily celebrated. Why? Because this is a day of bowing to the juggernauts in both ancient and modern world.  Specifically, the female juggernauts who moved mountains to change minds and advance the human society.

Which brings me to Hypatia.  She was a Greek writer, philosopher, astrologist, mathematician…you name it…she seemed to have her finger on the page of whatever kind of wisdom required for the time.

In fact, she was the caretaker and curator for the educational institution of Alexandria.  This was a goldmine of knowledge, study and information.  Hypatia was the matron of this place, where she taught students, and preserved precious archives.

There is a sorrow that cloaks this day.  Hypatia was stoned to death around this time in March (estimation March 8-12).  She was accused of political meddling by a bunch of zealots.  It did not help matters that she was smart, savvy and way beyond her years in terms of insight and vision.

Nevertheless, Hypatia’s presence was overwhelmingly revolutionary.  She paved a way for so many students, women and scholars for tons of decades after her passing.

This is a great day to observe the following…

♦Embrace the beauty of a book

♦Recognize teachers and mentors in your life

♦Take a bow to those who have fought for the freedoms we experience today

♦Learn a new skill, consider a new profession, take on a new challenge

♦Dare to challenge the ‘status quo’, upset the apple-cart, and be a shining example of what it means to stand up for your passion.

To be sure, Hypatia was a rebel.  She stood for her beliefs, and she never backed down.  Regrettably, that resulted in her gruesome demise, but she cut a path for so many of us because of her unflinching will.

In a way, Hypatia was a hero.  So today’s holiday in history is a great day to celebrate your bold, brassy women and mentors that have made a difference in your lives.

As always, thanks for reading!

Brightly,

Avia

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

st patricks day symbols

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Symbols





It’s been said that on March 17th, St. Patrick’s day, everybody is Irish.  That’s not too far off the mark.  At one point, Irish immigrants outnumbered any other nationality in the US. In fact, the Irish have been so influential in this country, that many Irish customs (and symbols) are embossed upon the American culture.

This Irish holiday is just as impressive with symbolic meaning. Firstly, St. Patrick was a pretty remarkable dude…and he wasn’t Irish either. He was born around Roman Britain, close to Scotland.  In a weird twist of fate, St. Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and made a slave in Ireland.  Ironic, eh? Yeah…the guy who is an Irish icon was kept a slave there from the time he was 16. After about seven years as a slave, St. Paddy was called by God to serve a higher purpose, and he ran away from his dour life of slavery.

He traveled Europe and got the education he lacked as a slave. Then God called St. Pat again, telling him it was time to do great things. So St. Patrick went back to Ireland to share his passion for Christianity. Talk about dynamic forgiveness! This is a guy captured by the Irish, yet he went back there as a missionary to talk about salvation.

St. Patrick didn’t have an easy time of it though.  He made some big social blunders.  On one occasion, Patrick lit a bonfire on what was then one of the most sacred Celtic celebrations (Beltane).

No big deal, right? Well, the high Celtic king, Laoghaire saw Pat’s fire and was enraged. Apparently, it’s not good etiquette to light a bonfire before the king lights his own first. Oopsie.

St. Patrick soothed over the hard feelings about the fire, started to make friends, and successfully shared his views about Christianity.

What I find very cool about St. Patrick is that he took a different tact than many missionaries.  He wasn’t about crushing and converting the people.  He actually meshed the Celtic/pagan beliefs in with the Christian philosophy.  So instead of obliterating Irish ancient beliefs, St. Patrick wove together the old and the new – forming a cohesion.

As he respected the old ways while honoring his own faith – I think St. Paddy would approve of this post on St. Patrick’s Day symbols.  Why? Because symbols, either ancient or new, reflect an era, a culture, a belief, etc. Check out these St. Patrick’s Day symbols…I think you’ll find they make March 17th a little more rich with meaning.



st. patricks day symbols

St. Patrick’s Day Symbols

Shillelagh: Okay, so it’s not the most sophisticated weapon, but certainly effective.  Back in Patrick’s day, there was a lot of warring for territory, and family feuds. The fighting Irish devised these clubs called shillelagh’s from oak trees as weapons. Often, a warrior would double fist their clubs, one club in one hand to deliver the damaging blow, and the other club for staving off attacks. So what makes this one of St. Patrick’s Day symbols? Over time and with the evolution of legend, the clubs turned into staffs or walking sticks.  They were considered to be a mark of wisdom and great power.  Check out any picture of St. Patrick, and you’ll see him with a staff – a mark of his esteemed position in the Irish culture.

Leprechaun: These are the wee ones in Irish lore. They are a group of fairies known as Luchorpan. The whole deal with their association with cobbling shoes points back to their name in Gaelic, which means ‘one shoemaker’.  Now, you’ve got to understand that in ancient cultures around the world, just about everything had a governing spirit (fairy, troll, goddess whatever).  There is a hierarchy of mythic beings who are in charge of certain functions in life. Leprechaun’s, apparently were the Jimmy Choo of shoes back in the day. The leprechaun is included in this list of St. Patrick Day Symbols as a nod of respect to St. Pat for keeping old traditions intact. Rather than eliminating beliefs in magical beings, St. Patrick allowed the people to acknowledge them side-by-side with the new religion.

Harp: Both a national symbol of Ireland, and St. Patrick, the harp won popularity with the Irish long ago.  This instrument was used in festivals, celebrations and just general family gatherings. Its music was said to put evil spirits to sleep, and insure peaceful dreams for children. The harp plays its way into Irish culture because it was custom for great tales and legends to be made into music.  These tales were often sung accompanied by the harp. Seeing as how St. Patrick is a living legend, it makes sense a few harp tunes were played in his honor. As a symbol of cultural heritage, St. Patrick and the harp go hand in hand.

Shamrock: This unlikely little plant set St. Patrick on the map.  It is THE symbol he is most famous for.  Why?  Because St. Pat was a clever guy.  He used the shamrock as a demonstration tool to explain the triple force behind Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost).  Celts were already digging the scene of triple energy (triple gods, and goddesses) when Pat showed up, so a trinity was easy to grasp.  St. Patrick used the shamrock to show how each branch of the Christian faith stood on it’s own power, but all the leaves needed each other to live and grow.  He used the leaves to explain the individuality of each holy entity, while also explaining their dependence upon each sacred power.  Learn more about shamrock symbol meanings here.

In closing, I hope you enjoyed this brief article on St. Patrick’s day symbols and their meanings.  To be sure, there are many more icons associated with St. Patrick, as well as Ireland.  Don’t let your research stop here! Take some time to find out the symbolic meanings associated with this great time of year and the Irish culture.

If nothing else, you can impress your friends at the pub with your knowledge about Irish symbolic history!

As always, thank you for reading. And I hope your St. Patrick’s day (March 17th) turns out to be a frolicking good time.

Brightly,

Avia

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Symbolic Meanings for the Month of March

Symbolic Shamrock Meaning

Symbolism of Celtic Trinity

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