Notes on the Peace Symbol ☮

March 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

I’ve included a second “Peace Egg” in this week’s design, which you’ll notice is 180 degrees from all the rest. Some would call it “upside-down”. But there are those who believe that the peace sign we most typically see is the upside-down version.

They will tell you that the peace symbol is, in truth, a reflection of the tree of life … reaching upward towards heaven, open-armed, gentle and alive, whereas the downward, more common peace sign actually defeats the purpose by appearing as a sword. Some feel that if you spend just a little time looking at both versions, the “up” position feels more comfortable and “peaceful”… and that the “down” position feels more angry, which furthermore explains why peace movements have failed. On the flip side, the downward version is said to have been developed to express “no nukes”.

Different opinions abound; but those who view the commonly seen peace sign as upside-down and therefore “wrong”, tend to feel very strongly about it – so I wanted to nod to that belief, at least once in my series, and give them some “peace”.

Symbols and their meanings have a rich and deep history, which I’m only touching on very lightly here. But as someone who’s made part of her living creating symbols, I do find the subject pretty fascinating, and likewise, I understand there can be substantial elemental power within symbols on an energetic level, which I have also experienced first-hand.

Yet meanings can be interpreted differently, or diluted, or ignored … and while I don’t disagree with the notion of symbols as a potent force, I also believe in an individual’s capacity to affect their surroundings, including the symbols in their environment.

So for the purpose of my “52 Weeks of Peace” series, I chose the “downward” version ~ against the wishes of a dear friend ~ for a couple of reasons: 1. it is most familiar and for right or wrong is widely associated with peace, and 2. I personally find a sense of grounding in this version; I see roots, just as the upward version can be seen as branches. Roots, to me, are very life-giving.

And … as many also believe, it is often intent, after all, that matters.

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§ One Response to Notes on the Peace Symbol ☮

  • saxtonstudio says:

    I also realized that what some call the upside-down “downward motion” of the more commonly seen peace symbol – actually points “up” for me. The arrow shape that forms the legs is clearly directing the eye upwards, which feels positive to me. Whereas the 180 degree version points down. i personally find a better sense of balance from the more “common” version. Of course, whether you see it as “up” or “down”, it should always represent what is inherently good.

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