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!
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.
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.
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.
Okay, 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.
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.
Flash! 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.
I’ll try to keep this random thought about cactus meaning short. Those who follow my work know I can get wordy. I really don’t mean to, but there is so much to say about every item that is symbolic (which is pretty much everything, if you ask me).
You see, there is this little cactus that managed to survive this last winter and the harsh freeze that came with it. I had many plants I tried to protect from this arctic episode…about 20 cactus and succulents, but this guy is one of three who refused to relinquish its life.
I think there is big cactus meaning and symbolism here. I think the harder you work on surviving, the bigger and better your results, and you can see that from the blossoms this guy brought forth.
I’ve had this cactus for 4 years. It’s not grown much. I still love it, and care for it. But NEVER did I EVER expect it to give me FIFTEEN awesome blossoms! I kid you not. I wonder if it wasn’t the rigid-frigid winter that made this beastie go all wondrous on me.
That made me contemplate what makes humans blossom. I think we have to be pushed. Maybe we have to be shoved to produce impressive results.
But perhaps not always. Cactus, like humans are born with extraordinary resources, skills, acumen and defense systems. We are born with the same stuff! Together, human and cactus can get by in this world just fine. We are divinely designed.
As far as cactus meaning goes, I think these mysterious plants share a lot of lessons. Here’s a list I cooked up that I’ve observed over the years:
Cactus Meaning and Human Lessons
♦ Some of us have to be born with spears and armor to defend ourselves. It’s just the way it is.
♦ Some of us are equipped with enormous resources….it just might take a few years for those resources to become visible to the outside world.
♦ Some of us might be the prickly or toughest beings on the outside, or at first glance. But when our time is right…WHOA! – Getta a load of our beauty, and be prepared to be astounded by our glory!
In short, I hope this post on cactus meaning applied to the human condition might help you in some way. It certainly has me.
As always, thanks for reading. If you liked this article, you might like a few other related posts liked here:
Exploring Swastika Symbol Meaning From Around the World
Regrettably, swastika symbol meaning has been horribly marred due to the Nazi regime, when the symbol was the icon for the atrocities committed during WWII.
The goal of this article is to expose the swastika (also known as svastika or also a fylfot)in its many different forms and meanings around the world and throughout history.
Various cultures have their own term for their version of the swastika. The term swastika is a blanket word for four-armed or four-angled symbols.
In the Hindu language, the term swastika means ‘well being.’ This is the first of many examples demonstrating this symbol as the complete opposite of evil connotations inherited by Nazi Germany.
Swastika symbol meaning varies according to era and culture. This symbol has been around for over 3,000 years. It has made its appearance throughout the ages in China, Japan, India, Greece, as well as Celtic and Native American cultures. The swastika has also been featured in alchemy and even Christianity.
Swastika Symbol Meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism
The swastika, also known as sauvastika is not only a religious symbol in this culture, it is also considered a lucky symbol. It is said to bring about great prosperity and good fortune. The symbol adorns statues, buildings, textiles, and it is even painted on bodies for various festivals. The swastika is commonly used in ceremonies. For example, this symbol is strongly featured during weddings with Ganesh, the elephant god of luck placed in the center of the cross to insure blessings upon the marriage.
The arms of the sauvastika represent the directions and cycles of life. These extensions give a sense of motion, which symbolizes the forward motion of human life. The four dots represent the four concepts of Karma: Right thought, right words, right actions, and right understanding.
Swastika Symbol Meaning – Greece
The above shown symbol is an artistic rendition of a tetraskelion,which is the Greek version of the swastika. This symbol is also found in other regions of ancient Europe. It’s not always in the form of horses, as show above. Sometimes this ornate swastika was created with arms, wings, snakes or other features from nature.
In this symbol, the horse is symbolic of the chariot of the Greek titan Helios, who represented the sun. In myth, the grand chariot of Helios was pulled by four horses: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon. The circle in the center is symbolic of the sun.
Swastika Symbol as a Swedish Rune
This swastika symbol meaning deals with paths taken in the afterlife. It was a symbol commonly found on Scandinavian grave sites. Notice all the lines connecting and crossing each other. This is symbolic of the infinite nature of life – even in the afterlife. The center cross has been known to symbolize the womb. In Norse belief, the transition from physical to non-physical is all about returning to the source of life – the womb of the mother. In essence, this Norse rune represents journey through afterlife with the goal of returning back to mother earth (or mother sea in some accounts).
Swastika Symbol in Native American Tradition
This symbol can be seen carved upon numerous stone structures in New Mexico and Arizona. This is where the Hopi hailed from and believed the swastika symbol meaning dealt with their origin and ultimate destination of their clans. The center cross is symbolic of TuwanasaviI, this is the center of the world. It is also considered the center of the Hopi soul.
Legend states that the first Hopi clans were at the center of the world, and centered within their souls. With assistance from Spirit, the four clans were guided in a certain direction: North, South, East, West. After traveling out (from the center cross) both physically and spiritually, each clan turned left, which is symbolic of turning towards the earth. Other clans were guided to turn right, which was a migration towards the sun.
Swastika Symbol Meaning From Pagan Perspective
This version of the fylfot (or swastika) started its life as a Pagan sun wheel symbol. It represents the movement of the four seasons. Each of the four arms of the symbol are also symbolic of the four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, Water. Pagans assigned spiritual energy to all things in Nature. Consequently, each arm of this symbol stands for the energy of each element: Salamander (fire), Gnome (earth), Sylph (air) and Undine (water).
Later, the symbol was adopted by Christians. In the early days, being a Christian wasn’t the most popular choice. There was a lot of controversy about the new religion. Early Christians used this symbol as a sign to other Christians that they were among fellow believers. This symbol is also called crux dissimulata because it disguised the Christian cross, and helped believers avoid persecution.
Native American Version of the Swastika Symbol
This is an artistic rendition of swastika symbol from the Native American Ho-Chąąnk people (also known as Winnebago tribe). Four birds in a four angled design have been located on Ho-Chąąnk burial grounds. This is a nod to both creation and death. One ancient Native creation myth describes four magical bird clans who came from the heavens to populate the earth. In time, these clans evolved into different sects. But the birds clans were the first. This bird motif on grave sites is symbolic of flying back to the great Spirit or Creator at the time of death. The first four ancient bird clans are: Eagle, Dove, Vulture and Owl.
The eagle provided power and the courage of a warrior as a tribal member walked through the after life. The vulture insured all physical remains of the body were removed so that the soul could be fully released to move through the after world. The owl gave his eyesight and senses through the shadowy unknown of the after life. And the dove gave the deceased a calm, sweet countenance…a feeling of nurturing and peace throughout the after life journey.
The symbol in the middle is the union of all great spirits with the center of the crossing lines representing the ultimate Creator, as well as the ultimate destination of the soul.
Celtic Version of Swastika Symbol Meaning – Brigid’s Cross
In Celtic mythology Brigid was the goddess of the mighty Tuatha Dé Danann. These were four clans who were guided into Ireland to begin a new life. As a powerful goddess of one of these clans, Brigid was celebrated during the time of Imbolc, a festival marking new beginnings, and Springtime.
Brigid’s cross, also known as a sun-wheel, was typically woven out of straw or rushes. Once made during Imbolc, these ornaments were customarily hung in the home as a symbol of protection.
Each of the arms of Brigid’s cross represents the four Irish clans of the Tuatha Dé Danann, ruled by individual deities who were: Lugh, Fal, Nuada and Dagda.
Meaning of the Directions of the Swastika Symbol
Throughout most cultures, there is a sweeping consensus as to directional representation of the swastika.
If the symbol is turning clockwise (right), this is symbolic of opening up to sun energy. Conversely, if turning counter-clockwise (left), this allows an opening to moon energy. This is an age-old concept that attempts to define universal polarity.
For example, sun energy is symbolic of: Masculinity, Assertiveness, Passion, Truth. On the other hand, moon energy is the opposite, symbolic of: Femininity, Restrained, Calm, Mystery.
Closing Thoughts on Swastika Symbol Meaning
I hope you enjoyed this article on the various meaning of the swastika. It was my highest goal to shed new light on this symbol. I think it also teaches a symbolic lesson that just because a symbol has gotten a bad reputation (such as Nazi German swastika), that doesn’t mean the symbol has always stood for a maligned concept.
Segments of populations have been adopting and changing the meaning of preexisting symbols for eons. That means one symbol almost never has one single meaning.
Don’t let this be the end of your research on swastika symbol meaning. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots more versions of these symbols, and with each version, there is are different meanings.
If you liked this article, you might enjoy the related links listed below. As always, thanks for reading.
Such a simple, benign looking thing. So unassuming. Sure, it’s the ‘incredible edible egg’, but the egg is also incredibly symbolic. Consider: All life comes from some kind of egg, whether in the form of seed underground, or a vessel within the womb.
As Easter is fast approaching, I thought it might be cool to talk about symbolic egg meaning on a broader scale.
This being the month of April, it’s noteworthy that the full moon of this month is called the Egg Moon. This is according to Native American Iroquois tradition. This full moon prompts us to celebrate the explosion of bright beauty surging forth by the prompting of the Egg Moon. This Native American moon signifies the birth and creation of new life across the land. Furthermore, the Native belief is this moon actually lures the life out of the ground, encouraging sprouts to spring to life. Learn more about meaning of Native American Moon Names here.
Also this time of year, the egg is used in Christianity as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. In essence, the egg is a metaphor for Christ breaking the for from the tomb of death just as new life cracks out of the casing of an egg. This comparison is featured during springtime festivals like Easter which deals with Christ’s spiritual ascendance and resurgence, as well as the celebrating the return of spring.
On the whole, egg meaning deals with fertility and creation. Countless creation myths begin with a grandiose, cosmic egg. Upon breaking open, the contents ooze out and begin forming the universe as it is known in whatever culture telling the story.
In Alchemy, the yellow yolk is symbolic of gold, and the sun. This yolk stands for vibrant goodies like: Life, Vitality, Light and Truth. The albumen (that white slimy stuff) signifies silver and the moon. The albumen is symbolic of neat things like: Support, Purification, Clarification, Nourishment.
Alchemists have fascinating beliefs about the egg as the origin of all life. This is shown in intricate illustrations of a serpent wrapped around the cosmic egg. This serpent is often called a uroboros…it is the serpent that eats its own tail. This is symbolic of always coming back full circle. The uroboros hugging the egg of the universe is symbolic of the ever recycling nature of life. There is no end or beginning, always a return to the source. That’s pretty heavy, I know, but there isn’t much in Alchemy that’s sweet and simple. In short, the serpent wrapped around the cosmic egg is symbolic of: Beginnings, Renewal, Infinite Potenential.
The egg is also a universal symbol of promise and potential. Within any egg, at any given time, there rests dormant the possibility of life Within that possibility of life infinite diversity. What I mean is, the egg prompts questions of potential like: How will this life manifest? Green eyes or blue? Prince or pauper? Rooster or hen? Fuzzy or silky? Genius or diabolic? In this sense, egg meaning also reminds us of the delicate balance of duality. In a way, the egg is a yin yang symbol. There is no such thing as all good or all bad. There is always a mix. But there is always a higher probability for certain traits.
If you’ve been following my work for any length of time, you might notice I get jazzed about snakes. For a myriad of reasons, snakes have always been my source of inspiration and wisdom. Perhaps it has to do with their symbolism of duality. A staggering collection of cultural myths consider the serpent a symbol of contradiction like: light vs. dark, creation vs. destruction, good vs. evil, etc. I dig that.
The simple answer to ‘what is a naga?’ is this : It is a serpent. Yep, naga meaning translates to ‘snake’. But that’s where simplicity ends. Various forms of nagas are found all across Asia and India. Each naga tells a different tale according to its location.
In India, snakes have been honored for centuries. To prove my point about duality, Hindu belief identifies the snake as having two distinct personalities. In this culture, nagas are both holy and maniacal, divine and devilish.
But in cultural symbolism, there is a reason for this two-faced aspect. Almost universally, snakes are typically feared or revered. They are the epitome of mystery. The serpent has wrapped its tail around countless legends throughout human history. Inevitably, there is a silver lining to a snake’s evil action. Vice versa, there is a consequence to a serpent’s good deed. Let’s break it down…
The Dark Side of Naga Meaning
To understand the dark side of naga meaning, we have to understand their behavior is not random. If a serpent lashes out, there is almost always a cause.
Let’s take the tales of nagas poisoning people. In almost all cases, these powerful serpents are not spewing venom for the fun of it. Nope. More often than not, the recipient of naga poison committed some kind of crime or misdeed. This scenario serves as a great moral in children’s fables. It’s a great teaching method encouraging children to be good – or else the naga will unleash their deadly spit. Yikes!
Nagas have an obsession with glittery goodies like gems, gold and other treasure. Woe be to anyone who came close to their hoard of sparkly collection of precious bits. Naga’s were known to squeeze the bejeebers out of anyone who attempted to go near its treasure. Who can blame the serpent for that? I’d be pretty cranky if someone tried to steal my vintage-mint-in-box Pee Wee Herman doll. lol.
Okay, I confess, I’m an advocate of serpents. Snakes, including nagas are often villainized. It just seem unfair. It’s true, most times serpents of legend have a reason to be nasty. But I must say…sometimes a wicked naga is just plain wicked. For whatever reason, naga’s are known to seduce an unsuspecting folks. Once lured in, the naga struck, killing the poor being who crossed the serpent’s path. Some naga’s are just bad eggs, I guess.
The Light Side of Naga Meaning
Now for the good stuff. The symbolic meaning of serpents (and the naga) often revolves around renewal and regeneration. In the case of Hindu naga lore, the serpent represents infinity and creation. This has to do with the snake’s ability to shed it’s skin. Out with the old, in with the new. After shedding, the snake is shiny and reborn. This theme is seen in many legends in Indo-Asia.
Another redeeming quality of the naga is protection. Extreme protection. As mentioned, you don’t mess with naga treasure. Often myth depicts the naga protecting booty not for themselves, but for the royalty of the land. If you ever tour around Asia or India, take a look at the temples. Odds are, you will find carvings of serpents wrapped around stairs and columns. This reinforces the aspect of fierce protection the naga provides.
Nagas are also associated with water and the underworld in Hindu belief. As such, they influence behavior of rainfall, rivers, and lakes. Not only is this vital in hot climates, it is essential for successful agriculture. In this sense, the naga is a positive symbol of provision, generosity and fertility.
There is another Hindu legend that states the naga showed kindness to Buddha. One day while Buddha was meditating, a torrential storm blew in, pummeling the Buddha with wind and rain. The nagas saw this and came to the Buddha’s aid. They used their hoods (similar to cobra hoods) like an umbrella to protect Buddha from the rain. Then they wrapped their bodies around Buddha to keep him warm from the chilly wind.
Closing Thoughts on Naga Meaning
See, so the serpent naga is not all that bad. I think the symbolic lesson here is this: If something seems scary or intimidating, there might be a positive side too. I’ll admit, snakes aren’t everybody’s favorite creature, but when we take a look at serpents through the eyes of different cultures – it gives us insight into new perspectives.
I hope you enjoyed this post on naga meaning. If you enjoyed this article, please be sure to check out the links below for related information. As always, thanks so much for reading.