I've heard many people over the years say... "I need a sign" I've said it often myself but I've learned to recognize and understand symbols in life in helping me find a portal to a sign or helping to solve a problem or find an answer.
There are signs and symbols everywhere in the world that help give us a simple message or relevance to a situation or idea... in fact advertisers and the media as well as artists and writers count on us interpreting them if only subconsciously... for example a ladder can be seen as a tool or a symbol of climbing towards a higher truth or goals of fulfillment or self awareness.
Every culture and religion can view a similar symbol differently with various meanings and connections to other symbols and ideas... so it's very important to understand yourself and know your own connections to signs and symbols in the world--- in fact signs and symbols can have an individual meaning relating to your own experiences and circumstances; as an example of this I find the Palm Tree one of my most important symbols as it relates closely to where I've lived and visited... but perhaps most important to really understanding this is how I feel on a cognitive and emotional level when I see an image or experience one in life.
The palm is associated with fertility and victory, it's considered the tree of life in Arab and Egyptian cultures. In Greco-Roman traditions palm leaves were used to hail victors in battle or competitive events; in Christianity it has come to symbolize victory over death--- it is very important to understand symbols and images in how they relate to you and your beliefs if you look for an interpretation of a palm tree in a dream analysis book palm trees are seen as messages of hopeful situations and happiness.
I've used images of sun, moon and stars in batik work I have done (yes this is my work)...
The sun has come to symbolize the supreme cosmic power and the life force of the world... the moon is a symbol of hope and enlightenment and the stars represent divine guidance, guardianship and hope... stars like many other images have many meanings; a five pointed star known as a pentagram symbolizes aspiration and education... a six pointed star known as a hexagram or the Star of David is formed by two triangles as symbols of male and female principles and the links between heaven and earth, this symbol is also known as the Seal of Solomon from a ring design worn by King Solomon.
A twelve pointed star brooch signifies the radiance of the wearer but also represents the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles and the 12 Days of Christmas...
Jewelry from shells and bone to gold and precious stones each have special significance as symbols of power, status as well as identifying marks for different tribes and clans based on several symbols, styles of talismans.
I am most drawn to Turquoise as a symbol of courage, success and fulfillment. Aquamarine as ancient civilizations believed it contained the energy of the sea and sailors wore the stone for protection; it's also associated with creativity, self awareness and confidence. Finally my birth stone the diamond is seen as a symbol of purity, truth and fidelity.
The sea and water also have great significance for me... the sea represents the unconscious mind and waves represent both constancy and changeability.
Trees, flowers, fruits and vegetable all have special significance but I'm most drawn to the symbolization of gardens particularly a Labyrinth or Maze; in ancient times they represented the search for a true path to god with obstacles to overcome and moral choices to be resolved... today it represents life's pathway. A maze contains many pathways only one will lead to the center and a labyrinth has only a single path that always leads to the center.
I also have a strong draw to Cherry Blossoms a national emblem in China and Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize the ephemeral sweetness of youth and like the blossom is quickly shed; it's habit of flowering before leafing is symbolic of man being born naked into the world... A special birthday treat and special symbol and sign for me is that they are usually at their peak in New York's Central Park on my birthday.
... also the Pineapple is known as the emblem of hospitality in the United States...
There is symbolization in everything found in nature, numbers, letters, hieroglyphs, math and currency symbols and musical notes... if you look around in your everyday life you will find them in brand names and logos...
The Olympic Rings symbolize the union in sports of Africa, America, Asia. Europe and Oceania... the colors including the white field symbolize competing nations, being the colors appearing on their national flags in 1913 when the rings were conceived.
From this symbol I learned possibly one of my most important life lessons in that inauspicious beginnings can often yield remarkable outcomes and also how I've come to view rainbows as a symbol and a sign.
See you next time!... I would like to give special thanks to the authors and contributors to the reference books I used-
Signs &Symbols AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THEIR ORIGIN AND MEANINGS
1,001 Symbols An Illustrated Guide to Imagery and It's Meaning
10,000 Dreams Interprete