Farewell > Symbols
Labyrinth / Maze
The maze is associated with the choices required to reach safety during the journey of life.
The maze is also linked to the confusion and contradiction of the unconscious mind. Arriving at the center means discovery of the self.
In old times, when food and money were scarce, having a pig to eat was a sign of good fortune. In Germany, people acknowledge good luck with the saying "you have had pig".
The pig is considered a good luck charm, much like the four-leaf clover or rabbit's foot.
Metal was used as an adornment by Ancient Egyptians as protection against harm and evil spirits. Many Egyptian women still observe this tradition, wearing glittery ornaments in their hair and around their neck to ward off evil influences.
Candles, Bread & Salt
According to a Jewish tradition, a gift of candles, bread and salt blesses the home of a loved one. It symbolises the giver's prayer that the house will always be filled with light, bountiful food and spiced with joy.
"Faith as tiny as a mustard seed can move a mountain." (Matthew 17:20)
The mustard seed is a talisman for hope and faith, often given as a prayer of encouragement.
Custom of leaving a candle burning in the window until a loved one returns from a journey.
It is part of classical marriage ceremonies to lead the bride in a solemn torch-lit procession to the home of her husband to be.
- Symbol for a completed journey: it takes it back to its starting point.
German legend tells of a knight and his lady who were walking along the river banks on the eve of their wedding when they saw a spray of beautiful flowers in the river below. The lady begged him to retrieve them for her and as he dove into the water, clutching the flowers in his hand he was swept away by the turbulent waters. Struggling against the current, the knight cried out "forget me not", giving the flowers their name.
In the Middle Ages, whenever a knight left for the Crusades, his lady would present him with sprigs of thyme as a symbol of loving remembrance.
In medieval times, the shell symbolized a pilgrimage.
In China, a shell represents a prosperous journey.
Legend tells of a Roman king who asked his three daughters to describe their love for him. The oldest said she loved her father as much as bread, the middle one said as much as wine, but the youngest said she loved him as much as salt. Offended at being compared to such a common substance, the king banished his youngest daughter from his presence. To show him how precious her comparison had been, she had her father served a completely saltless meal. At the blandness of the food, her father recognised the depth of her love and welcomed her back into his life.
Gypsies use bread and salt to confirm an oath.
In the early European days, salt was used to ward of evil and to protect against the witches. Superstitious people still follow this tradition by sprinkling salt over the threshold of a new house to prevent the entry of evil spirits.