Symbols: Tell Me More


What does the lyre represent?

The lyre was a musical instrument used in Ancient Greece to accompany singing or recitation of poetry or prose.  Lyric poetry developed from such songs, reaching  a height of popularity and practice  in the 6 th and 7th centuries BC.

The lyre was associated with Apollo, Orpheus, Erato, Harmonia, and Aeolus.     

Some say the lyre represented the underlying numerical harmony of the universe.

Orpheus, musician to the gods, enchanted all animals through his playing of the lyre and even succeeded in calming a storm-tossed ocean. In his hands the music of the lyre calmed all beings, causing them to be aware only of him. The lyre's seven strings corresponded to the seven known planets, and its sides to the relationship between heaven and earth.

fr. The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols
by Miranda Bruce-Mitford

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Out of the Cave and Into the Light

cock - In most cultures, the cock is an attribute of the sun or sun gods and relates to the masculine principle. In Buddhist symbolism, the cock symbolizes carnal passion and pride. For the Chinese, it is the yang (masculine) principle, courage, and faithfulness. In Japanese Shinto symbolism, the cock stands on the drum calling people to prayer. For Christians, the cock may be connected with the resurrection of Christ or with St. Peter, either banishing evil and darkness or reminding us of human weakness and repentance.

flayed a piebald horse - This is a pretty grotesque image if you take it literally, but remember you are in the Land of Myth. In this realm, the flayed horse reminds Amaterasu and us to look below the surface (below the skin!) to seek the truth.

mirror - In Japanese culture, the mirror represents Truth and is one of the Three Treasures. The other two treasures are the sword (Courage and Strength) and the jewel (Compassion). All three treasures can be found in  the Amaterasu myth. The mirror is used symbolically by many other cultures as well. It can represent truth, wisdom, self-knowledge, and self-realization, but it can also also simply symbolize the qualities of the person in the mirror: good, bad, wise, or ignorant.

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