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!
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.
I realize bugs aren’t everybody’s best friend. That’s okay. You don’t have to get all cuddly-wuddly with bugs to gain good luck from them.
A lot of symbolic meaning of good luck bugs comes from cultural perception. For example, the spider might not seem a likely candidate for luck. In fact, they are villainized in some cultures. But spider’s were high-fortune bearers in Greco-Roman, Native American, African and other cultures.
Even if we leave cultural opinion out of the lucky mix, most bugs provide good luck simply by existing. Bugs like butterflies and bees pollinate thousands of flowers. Dung beetles help cattle by removing feces, making things more hygienic. Earthworms aerate the soil, making it more viable for good things to grow.
You get my drift. Whether good luck bugs get their rap by nature, superstition or culture – they are indeed capable of being very lucky for humans. The following are six examples of good luck bugs…
These babies are so pretty, you can feel lucky just seeing one! As a matter of fact, in Christian lore, the butterfly is considered a blessing because it represents freedom of the flesh and opening to the spirit. This is symbolically demonstrated by the butterfly emerging from its cocoon.
In Japanese culture, the butterfly is considered lucky in love. Butterflies are embroidered on matrimonial garments as a benediction for a long and happy marriage.
The Native American Hopi considered the butterfly to be one of the beings who created the world. I suppose this is very lucky, because without a world, none of us would be here!
The Maori of New Zealand believe the butterfly is good luck for a healthy, long life…even immortality. It was also considered a symbol of freedom and lucky for advancing ourselves into better places in life.
You wouldn’t think this little guy would be among the good luck bugs, but you might be surprised. Case in point, both Chinese and Mediterranean cultures believed the cricket to be extremely lucky. It was thought their chirping was a song of blessing upon good crops, and protection of the home.
In early Europe, crickets were considered good omens, and protectors or hearth and home. It was considered bad luck to kill one when found in the home or garden. In England there is a belief that crickets are a kind of guardian and watched over the family within the home, protecting them from evil spirits.
Some Native American legends honor the cricket because they are mostly nocturnal. As such, their chirping is a loving song that protects the people of the tribe against bad dreams.
By far, the ladybug is the luckiest in the garden. Not only do they pollinate, they also gobble up 100’s of aphids a day and those suckers can be disastrous to plants and crops.
In America, the common cultural consensus about the ladybug is lucky. If one lands on you, it’s considered very fortuitous, and killing one is considered bad luck. Making a wish on a ladybug in your hand will come true when the ladybug flies away. According to lucky superstition, counting the spots on a ladybug indicates your lucky month. For example, if ladybug has four spots, in four months, expect a windfall of good luck (according to superstition that is).
There is an ancient Chinese legend that links the ladybug with luck in love. The story goes that when a ladybug comes to call, it is a sign that true love will also pay us a visit. Further renditions of the legend state the number of spots on the ladybug indicate the amount of months that will pass until we are united with our true love.
These guys can win any bug-eating competition hands-down. That makes them very good luck bugs in the garden.
Shaolin monks in Asia closely observed the mantis, and revered it for its elegant movements. From this intense observation, the monks created a meditative form of martial arts similar to Tai Chi. This makes the mantis lucky in balancing peace with defense. Kung Fu is also based on the mantis movements. The Chinese believed the mantis was lucky in achieving peace and resolving problems without violence, which is ironic, for sure. But these fighting styles were created more for reverence and inner development than defense.
In Africa the mantis is lucky in dreams. When we dream of a mantis, it is almost always followed with a solution to a problem we are struggling with. It is believed the praying mantis whispers an answer to a conflict while we sleep. Upon waking up we must remember the message and that will help us through our troubles.
Caterpillar: The caterpillar is good luck in old England if one pitter patters across your garden. In this case, it’s tradition to gently take the caterpillar and toss it over your shoulder to solidify that good luck. I’m not sure how lucky it is for the caterpillar to be flung about, but there you go. Another English tradition is to take a caterpillar, put it in a bag, and if worn around the neck it can prevent respiratory ailments like whooping cough. Again, maybe not so lucky for the caterpillar. Oh, and consult your physician before tying caterpillars around your neck.
The Indian Upanishads indicate the caterpillar among good luck bugs because of the way they progress through life. There is philosophical appreciation for the way the caterpillar gracefully moves from leaf to leaf – this is considered lucky in travel and moving forward in life. Then, due to it’s transition from larva, chrysalis to butterfly it is thought to be lucky in transitions. Whether changing jobs or moving into a new home, the caterpillar is believed to be an omen for luck in any change in life.
In Native American tradition, the caterpillar is believed to be lucky in love. This is especially true with sex. Yep, you read that right. The caterpillar is considered a lucky charm for good sex and also successful conception of a child.
Bees: In nature, bees are obviously top on the good luck bugs list. They pollinate at mind-blowing rates. They insure the continuation of countless plants and flowers. Then there is their byproduct – honey. If you ask me and Pooh bear, we’re lucky just to have a pot of honey!
In ancient Egypt, the bee was a lucky emblem because it was believed to be the giver of life. It represented life, birth, death and resurrection. It was also a lucky symbol of strength and power. Apparently the Egyptians associated the bee with lightning and the sun. Bees were said to be born from the tears of the sun god Ra. This made encounters with bees a lucky sign of gaining strength and winning battles.
In Greek and Roman myth the bee is lucky in business. You’ve heard the term ‘busy as a bee.’ Well, the Greco-Roman’s observed their industriousness and considered the bee as a symbol of success when hard work is applied to any endeavor.
I hope you enjoyed this article on good luck bugs. I further hope these insights might help bring about more acceptance of bugs for those of you who might be creeped out by them.
These are certainly not all the good luck bugs in the world. There are tons of bugs, so there are tons of them that are considered highly fortuitous. I’d encourage you to do further research on this topic, and embrace the lucky potential of the insect world. Get buggy!
As always thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please check out these related links below:
Today’s Holiday Meaning – April 2nd “Carrying Away of Death”
I adore this holiday. It’s all about celebrating life, renewal and rebirth. This is an ancient German celebration practiced by the Pagans. Now please don’t let the term ‘Pagan’ freak you out. That word has been so maligned by media and religious zealots; the meaning has spun into a dark place. What is the true meaning of Pagan? It means ‘country folk.‘ That’s it. Not as scary as some might have you believe.
But I digress. Today’s holiday meaning celebrates the return of warmth, and the abatement of the cold. The celebration is called “Carrying Away of Death.” For Pagans, winter was symbolic of a time of darkness, and the return of spring meant the return of life from the grips of death.
The ritual of celebrating the Carrying Away of Death is symbolic and elegant. The Pagans made little dolls made of straw. These are symbolic of death and winter. These little figurines also represented the challenges faced over the harsh months of intense cold.
After the straw figures were made, a tremendous bonfire was lit. The bigger the fire the better! Once the fire got stoked to a ferocious peak, the Pagans tossed their little straw effigies into the fire. It’s important to note, fire is symbolic of transformation, energy and inspiration. Tossing the dolls into the fire, it was believed, transformed energy from dark to light.
Essentially, this act abolished all the experiences, energies and spirits that plagued the people through the winter. It was a symbolic act of saying goodbye to death and welcoming the return of life. This ritual was a physical demonstration of annihilating unwanted evil and tribulation. It was also a ritual of welcoming life, hope and the promise of warmer, better days to come.
Today’s Holiday Meaning – April 2nd “International Children’s Book Day”
Today’s holiday meaning advocates children reading books. It is also the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. He is most remembered by his enchanting fairy tales beloved by children all over the world.
This holiday was founded by The International Board on Books for Young People. Various countries celebrate this day in different ways. In Greece, a common tradition is for children to draw pictures of characters from their favorite books. In Denmark, there is a festival Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown. There, his books are celebrated, and read aloud to children. In parts of America, awards are given to children who have read the most books. Awards are also given to notable authors of children’s books on this day.
In closing, I hope you enjoyed this article on today’s holiday meaning (April 2nd). These two holiday’s are not the only ones occurring on this day – so do some research and see if you can find a perfect symbolic holiday that suits you!
The take-away point to this post, I think, is this: This is a day to celebrate potential. It is a day to embrace imagination. This day resonates with the promise of hope and new adventure. Why? Because between the Pagan Carrying Away of Death, and the recognition of igniting children’s imagination with books – we have a strong combo for awesome, limitless possibilities!
As always, thank you for reading. If you liked this post, feel free to check out these related posts: