Speaking in Symbols

Learning the language of the subconcious

Archive for the tag “folklore”

Dragonfly

While still reeling from the realization that my subconscious can lie to me, an image came to me with a great deal of force. The image was clearly that of a dragonfly, but it was a crude drawing, almost like a petroglyph.

crude dragonflyThe colors in the dragonfly I saw were reds and oranges. I haven’t payed much attention to color in the past; I haven’t seen much need to pay attention to color.  The black horse and the brown butterfly I wrote about recently have really been the only archetypes that have come to me where the color mattered. The fact that my dragonfly is red and orange, then, becomes an important part of decoding it’s meaning.

Red and orange are both warm colors, associated with energy and power. Red also symbolizes passion, love and desire, while orange represents balance, enthusiasm and warmth.

Female green darter at rest. Image courtesy Wikipedia commons.

Female green darter at rest. Image courtesy Wikipedia commons.

The dragonfly itself is full of symbolic meaning. It is a creature that lives in two worlds–the water and the air–and is indicative of change.  Like a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, a dragonfly naiad is unrecognizable when compared to the adult.

Dragonflies have a symbolic connection to the spiritual realm. Because they feed on mosquitoes, the are found around water, and many Native American traditions say that the dragonfly is indicative of pure water. They are also an invitation to look deeper, to peer into that water as it were, and to be wary of self-created illusions. This makes sense, then that the image of a dragonfly came to me while I was thinking about the man in my dreams who deceived me about what symbolizes me.

A dragonfly rests with it’s wings outstretched, which, to me, bears a resemblance to a double-barred cross.  I was mildly surprised to discover, then that in early and medieval Christian tradition, the dragonfly was considered a creature of the devil, one that would weigh souls down so they couldn’t go to heaven, or who would stitch the eyes and mouths of misbehaving children closed.  This, too, speaks to me. Dragonflies are beautiful, helpful insects, but they were maligned and unfairly castigated by humans for centuries.  The dragonfly then reaches back to the idea that maybe some of the things I’m feeling and experiencing aren’t so much bad, as misunderstood. This is comforting to me.

I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of the symbolism concerning color and dragonflies with this post. And, like all other posts on this blog, I’ve just talked about the symbolic meanings that are significant to me–someone else who saw or feels connected to a red dragonfly might have a completely different interpretation. I think that’s part of the reason why I love symbol work so much.

 

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