I was just out doing some yard work when the thought of icon and archetype came into my head. I am sure I am not the first to write about this, but being a child of the 1960’s growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area (which became Silicon Valley), I cannot help but look at the new Aquarian Age from the electronic view point. Since I am also an Aquarian, I like to bring in the history (Saturn) and then call forth the innovation (Uranus) in its current unfolding.
From Wikipedia.com we get the following two definitions of icon:
- a painting of Jesus Christ or another holy figure, typically in a traditional style on wood, venerated and used as an aid to devotion in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches.
- a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.
And of course there is the most current definition: a picture on an electronic screen that represents an application, program, disk drive, file, or instruction.
We humans are meaning seeking animals. While not all of the population on the planet is literate, most people on the planet have the ability to associate an image with a larger collection of thoughts, ideas, meanings, processes, instructions, and stories. The traditional meaning of the word “icon” is non-secular and dates sometime between the second and fourth centuries A.D. Icons were most often images of Jesus Christ, his mother Mary, saints and angels. This art form developed further and later, into the magnificent stained glass of the Gothic period in Europe. In both cases (and in many other ways to present iconography) we are talking about images which, when seen, give people a larger more complex story.
When we access our electronic devices, our screens are filled with a multitude of images -these are our modern day icons. We know when we click on the envelope we will be taken to our electronic mailbox(es) and we will be able to read current and past undeleted emails and be able to respond -all by just recognizing a simple “image” of an envelope.
Astrology is a study of images, icons, archetypes, and so much more. When we look at a symbol or “glyph” for a planet or a glyph for a sign, we know that each one represents a width and breadth of not only key words and ideas, but also experiences, feelings and sometimes -critical life changing moments. If you are able to grasp the “greater meanings” of the icons on your electronic devices, you can grasp the glyphs and archetypal understanding of astrology.
As a practice, take a planet or a sign for a week and see all the ways it manifests itself in your consciousness. See how the archetypes, images, iconography and sensations appear in your environment and are reflected by the people you encounter and possibly even your own moods. We are surrounded by imagery. Give your meaning-seeking mind a playful experience in deepening your astrological experiences.