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Rudder, Oar or Plow


Crowns: Urban or Solar

Orb or Ball



The Gate

Full Boat

The Mystery Basket


Lady Luck: Cards, Dice, Gambling Paraphernalia, Shamrock

Symbols of Isis Fortuna

All of the symbols of Fortune are profound teachings from the Goddess and come to us across time. They are a gift from the Gods arriving through the Ancestors and represent a polymorphous, multivalent "scripture". They each carry distinct ideas and energies, and they work together in a meaningful web of correspondences. They can be used in any number of spiritually creative ways.

The word symbol comes from the Greek sumballein. This word is usually rendered “thrown together,” but it could also mean “projected simultaneously” or “emanated concurrently”. Rather than two things squashed together, imagine two baseball pitchers whose throws meet with a loud crack half-way. That crack is an aperature in false understanding, a slit for illumination to pour through. A true symbol provokes insight.

Effective, lasting symbols are not arbitrary signs like a question mark or umlaut, not are they arbitrarily mixed together. Symbolism arises from a pre-literate sensibility that depends on grounded contact with Reality. It reached its cultural height in the hieroglyphic worldview of Ancient Egypt. It is recoverable, for literate people, on the individual and cultural levels, and we must address both simultaneously. That is part of our "pontifex" brdige-building priestly responsibility in this Age of Restoration. A change in religion, from book-based authoritarianism to nature-based Shamanism that empowers the individual, is a helpful step in recovering this worldview. Literalism is the enemy of Truth. Symbolic language is loose and fluid because Reality is loose and fluid, and symbolic language is truer than non-symbolic language just as poetry and mythology are truer than scientific discourse: at the level of the soul. All forms of literalism, scientific or religious, are either provisionally true or inherently false because the "fixed particulars" they constantly refer to does not actually exist anywhere in the fluctuating natural world. Scientific and religious literalism are cages to the soul and both are based on misperceptions and outright lies that retard spiritual and social progress. From the vantage of experiential mysticism, scientism and fundamentalism are identical twins. The spiritual langage of symbolism, understood and approached properly, delivers us from the mental slavery that all forms of literalism engender. That's a long lesson, though, and each of us has to learn it through direct experience. Doing so represents recovery, from the Cave of the Ancestors, of a vital spiritual discipline that actually sustains the world. The true function of a Pagan Visionary is to link this world to the Symbolic in active relation, and this spiritual function sustains Reality. Without its presence in the world, all other endeavor is meaningless.

A true symbol is a “sign” in a religious sense, participating in the essence or nature of the things it refers to. It corresponds or resonates with the “thing” it refers to. An ankh, therefore, is not arbitrary but actually bears a mysterious energetic relationship to “life”. It radiates this energy even when its meaning is not understood. A solar mural on the wall doesn’t simply remind us of the sun in the sky; it actually draws some of the sun’s spiritual energy into the room and makes the sun present. The symbol is an actual part of what it represents. It can serve as a portable form of energy, as a portal for energies or between realms, and sometimes as a complete embodiment of what it references. Awakened by consciousness, a true symbol is a thing of power that can also awaken consciousness. This was the great Shamanic discovery, and it enabled us to communicate with all orders of consciousness, including nature and the Gods. This is a knowable Truth. Historically and globally, correspondence is the most common basis for spiritual epistemology, and it once was the basis of all human language and all human knowledge systems.

It is in correspondence that the tensions of science and religion will someday achieve resolution. Metaphor is a universal mystery of being, of self-awareness. The Grand Unified Theory that physics seeks is not hidden in a yet unstated theorem, an elegant bit of math, but rather in the phenomena of poetry, in the epistemological kinks that make poetry possible and recognizably true. This is not to say that the “poetic” is preferable to the “scientific”; what it means is that the nature of poetry reveals the nature of the Universe. Thus, contemporary physics is waxing poetic, more conscious than ever that math is also symbolic, always at the edge of Mystery. The only methodology for answering questions of ultimacy is Shamanic and Mystical. All other approaches will be frustrated and will continue to compound the destructive trends of contemporary culture. Shamanism is the religion of the ancestors and is the most sophisticated human cultural achievement, for it effectivley links heaven and earth, immanent and transcendent experiences and leaves signs--in stone and in the deep mind--that it knew exactly what it was doing, and did it well for tens of thousands of years. Shamanic culture is the natural state of humanity, and only in our natural state will we know the mysteries of Nature and live in balance with it. No approach that alienates us from Nature will ultimately succeed, and so a Restoration--a Great Turning of the Wheel--is needed.

Symbol is the work of Divine Logos, which works through correspondence. Spiritual logic is a logic of actual—not arbitrary or abstract—connection. It is the Divine Consciousness permeating all things and linking them in sanctity. Symbol is intuited and known experientially, based on the shared oneness of the knower and the object of knowledge. It is not worked out through rational processes and cannot be understood through intellect alone (though the intellect, like the body, can be a symbol for it!). Historical and cultural information is vital to understanding symbols that are new to us, but keep in mind that such information is meant to take us deeper or give us a key—it is the introduction to, rather than full understanding of, these mysterious gifts of spirit. I recommend “sitting with” symbols that attract you and embarking on personal relationships with them; look at many images of them, gaze at them, try journaling or creating art with them. Hold their tensions—if you hear contradictory interpretations, try just “holding” both rather than settling on one. You know a God or sacred symbol like you know a living person or companion animal, not as you know a crib sheet or data set. Give them space in your life and some attention, and they will begin to speak. They will begin to speak to you in the world, popping up in unexpected and illuminating ways, or in your dreams; they will teach you and perhaps even give themselves to you. Interact with them—do not receive them passively and do not yield your own authority. Slowly, they will give you a new language, the language of the Gods. This is the language you must learn if you endeavor to understand the spiritual nature of reality. Its levels of deepening understanding are the rungs of the Heavenly Ladder, and they eventually give us “Overstanding.”

The acceptance of the sacredness of Mystery is another important spiritual discipline linked to the ways we work with Symbol. Mystery is not a lack. Mystery makes whole; Mystery is inherently Divine and Sacred. It is something to respect and to be cautious in exploring, but it is not something to fear. Mystery is your fundamental nature, and it is an august and venerable image of the Divine. True Initiation means the beginning of relationship with Mystery, and to become Divine means to ask the question of the Wheel's Axis: Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? The only answer is: I and I are I am I. These are sacred mantras that can initiate the turning of Her Wheel in anyone who uses them correctly.

Here's some of what has to say about the sacred "Green Language":

Both "green language" and the "language of the Birds" refer to the oblique writing styles used by alchemists, magicians, and other mystical initiates to communicate with one another publicly while 'concealing' the information from the hostile or unworthy.

In short, it is a method of symbolic writing which appears opaque or unintelligible unless one has the necessary understanding of its symbolism to interpret it.

The names given both refer to nature, and refer to a concept similar to that of the logos- a stream of uncorrupted information transmitted mystically through the workings of the natural universe. The "language of the birds" is so called because it was believed that a gifted magician or holy man was able to converse with birds, and therefore learn mystical secrets of God. Sages believed to possess this gift include St. Francis of Assisi, the biblical King Solomon, and the the Northern mythiocal hero Siegfried.

The Egyptians credited the origin of their hieroglyphic language to the movements of birds; the Egyptian god of writing and magick is the bird-headed Thoth. This belief may bew rooted in the idea that ancient cuneiform writing originated as bird-tracks.