Almost five years ago to date I wrote two blog entries (on another platform) regarding my personal symbols and logo. I revisited these blogs because my life has changed 360 degrees since then and my personal logo has metamorphosed into something completely different as well:
It’s no secret that I love frogs… to the extent of even using a frog as a symbol of my inner self, or as I prefer to call her, the inner diva. People always ask me is “why frogs?” and all I can say is “because they bring good luck and are a manifestation of my persona”. So do I see myself as a frog? Yes, absolutely – short, fat, ugly and needs her own lily pad. More importantly, I admire the characteristics of the frog: adaptable, non-aggressive, content with its peculiar surroundings and even more unusual body, but more importantly, it is a creature with a sense of adventure who is not afraid of boundaries but is loyal to its kind.
Moreover, the frog undergoes incredible transformations throughout its life and always comes out unscathed, better skilled, and all the wiser. It faces, accepts and embraces the growing pains at each stage, and faces life with a wonderfully positive attitude – even if it is stuck its whole life eating flies and has to struggle for acceptance in its biosphere! So you tell me, what is not to admire about the frog? It is more agile and skilled than the elegant but clumsy giraffe, more adaptable than the speedy but one-track minded rabbit, and as skillful in camouflage as the chameleon.
Feng Shui also plays a huge role in my life, especially my home life, and frogs are an essential component of Feng Shui, so you can imagine that for me it’s a preciously happy coincidence that my love of frogs complements my Feng Shui in every manner possible – the more the merrier! The frog is a symbol of fertility and abundance, with the uncanny ability to overcome adversity and multiply quickly, cheating fate on more than one occasion.
A few decades ago I discovered the mysticism of Celtic spirituality and all its symbolism. It is a source of fascination and fountain of wisdom that influences my psyche and spirituality in more ways than one, and I am not alone in this field. There are several theologians and philosophers who shared this duality and wrote extensively about it, which I am not about to get into today. Suffice it to say that Celtic symbolism is as fascinating to me as Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism and their influences in the broadening and deepening of my own Christian faith. The regular readers of this blog will know that I am no stranger to inter-religious dialogue, and that I am not a silent bystander along the sidelines in the matter. This is the beauty of living in different countries and cultures, and being exposed to many faiths – you learn and you grow, and at the end of the day, you learn how to pray in a way that makes the most sense to you.
My travels through Scotland in the Summer of 2013 reinforced by fascination with all things Celtic, and much to my delight, I encountered my beloved frog again in this mysterious realm. In Celtic spirituality the frog symbolizes healing. The Celts believed that the frog was once the lord of the earth, having the power to cure because of its association with the cleaning and healing rains. From a theological perspective, the frog was also a symbol of resurrection as well as spiritual growth or evolution.
The most powerful symbol in Celtic Spirituality is the Celtic Knot, also known as the eternal knot or the endless knot. It is a symbol found in Buddhism and some aspects of Hinduism as well, and they all boil down to the same meaning: the interweaving of spiritual path, flow of time, and movement within something that is referred to as The Eternal by all the religions. “All existence is bound by time and change, yet ultimately rests serenely within the Divine and the Eternal.” (Wikipedia). Of all the knots that I have in my life, this is the only one that is a source of comfort and reflection. Needless to say, it has captured my mind and spirit all at once. Some of the other interpretations of this powerful symbol are:
- “Eternal Love and Friendship
- Samsara i.e., the endless cycle of suffering or birth, death and rebirth within Tibetan Buddhism.
- The inter-twining of wisdom and compassion.
- Interplay and interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation
- The mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs.
- The union of wisdom and method.
- Since the knot has no beginning or end it also symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha.” (Wikipedia)
Now, if I merge the two symbols I end up with something that is earth-bound, practical, of resilient character that moves within The Eternal in pursuit of spiritual growth. That, in a nutshell, is the core of my being, the essence of my spirituality, and my driving force.
After writing and publishing the first part of the blog in July of 2013, I realized that I had inadvertently challenged myself publicly to find my personal logo. For a good number of years, this became my watermark on photographs:
The Celtic Knot mosaic with 11 frogs interwoven with the fundamental elements of the Celtic Knot: Time, Change, Faith, and the pursuit of The Eternal represented the 11 pillars that governed my life at the time:
- Ignatian Spirituality
- Cultural heritage
Five years later, I have reduced it all to one symbol:
This frog watercolour painting was a Mother´s Day gift from my daughter and I have since registered it and is protected under copyright. I stand by the elements of the celtic knot and the original 11 pillars, with the addition of