Categorie archief: symbol



A roundel in heraldry is any circular shape; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours. In heraldry, a roundel is a circular charge. Roundels are among the oldest charges used in coats of arms, dating from at least the twelfth century. Roundels in British heraldry have different names depending on their tincture. Thus, while a roundel may beblazoned by its tincture, e.g., a roundel vert (literally “a roundel green”), it is more often described by a single word, in this case pomme (literally “apple”, from the French).

The first use of a roundel on military aircraft was during the First World War by the French Air Service.[citation needed] The chosen design was the French national cockade, which consisted of a blue-white-red emblem mirroring the colours of the Flag of France. Similar national cockades, with different ordering of colours, were designed and adopted as aircraft roundels by their allies, including the British Royal Flying Corps and the US Army Air Service. After the First World War, many other air forces adopted roundel insignia, using different colours or numbers of concentric rings to distinguish them.

Some corporations and other organizations also make use of roundels in their branding; employing them as a trademark, or logo.

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Round Table


The Round Table is King Arthur’s famed table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status. The table was first described in 1155 by Wace, who relied on previous depictions of Arthur’s fabulous retinue. The symbolism of the Round Table developed over time; by the close of the 12th century it had come to represent the chivalric order associated with Arthur’s court.

During the Middle Ages festivals called Round Tables were celebrated throughout Europe in imitation of Arthur’s court. These events featured jousting, dancing, and feasting, and in some cases attending knights assumed the identities of Arthur’s knights. The earliest of these was held in Cyprus in 1223 to celebrate a knighting. Round Tables were popular in various European countries through the rest of the Middle Ages and were at times very elaborate; René of Anjou even erected an Arthurian castle for his 1446 Round Table.

The artifact known as the “Winchester Round Table,” a large tabletop hanging in Winchester Castle bearing the names of various knights of Arthur’s court, was probably created for a Round Table tournament.[10] The current paintwork is late; it was done by order of Henry VIII of England for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s 1522 state visit, and depicts Henry himself sitting in Arthur’s seat above a Tudor rose. The table itself is considerably older, dating perhaps to the reign of Edward I. Edward was an Arthurian enthusiast who attended at least five Round Tables and hosted one himself in 1299, which may have been the occasion for the creation of the Winchester Round Table

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The letter O


O is the fifteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /oʊ/) is spelled o; the plural is oes, though this is rare.

The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin (eye), which represented a consonant, probably the voiced pharyngeal fricative (IPA: [ʕ]), the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a similar Egyptian hieroglyph for “eye”.

The Greeks are thought to have come up with the innovation of vowel characters, and lacking a pharyngeal consonant, employed this letter as the Greek O to represent the vowel /o/, a sound it maintained in Etruscan and Latin. In Greek, a variation of the form later came to distinguish this long sound (Omega, meaning “large O”) from the short o (Omicron, meaning “small o”).

Its graphic form has also remained fairly constant from Phoenician times until today. Indeed, even alphabets constructed “from scratch”, i.e. not derived from Semitic, usually have similar forms to represent this sound — for example the creators of theAfaka and Ol Chiki scripts, each invented in different parts of the world in the last century, both attributed their vowels for ‘O’ to the shape of the mouth when making this sound.

O is most commonly associated with the close-mid back rounded vowel [o] in many languages. This form is colloquially termed the “long o” in English, but it is actually a most often adiphthong /oʊ/ (realized dialectically anywhere from [o] to [əʊ]).

In English there is also a “short O”, which also has several pronunciations. In most dialects of English English, it is an open back rounded vowel [ɒ]; in North America, it is most commonly an unrounded back to central vowel [ɑː] to [a].

Common digraphs include OO, which represents either /ʊ/ or /uː/; OI which typically represents the diphthong /ɔɪ/; and OA, OE, and OU represent a variety of pronunciations depending on context and etymology.

Other languages use O for various values, usually back vowels which are at least partly open. Derived letters such as Ö and Ø have been created for the alphabets of some languages to distinguish values that were not present in Latin and Greek, particularly rounded front vowels.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [o] represents the close-mid back rounded vowel.

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The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write. Braille was devised in 1821 by Louis Braille, a Frenchman. Each Braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four (26) permutations, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised. For reference purposes, a particular permutation may be described by naming the positions where dots are raised, the positions being universally numbered 1 to 3, from top to bottom, on the left, and 4 to 6, from top to bottom, on the right. For example, dots 1-3-4 would describe a cell with three dots raised, at the top and bottom in the left column and on top of the right column, i.e., the letter m. The lines of horizontal Braille text are separated by a space, much like visible printed text, so that the dots of one line can be differentiated from the Braille text above and below. Punctuation is represented by its own unique set of characters. The Braille system was based on a method of communication originally developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon’s demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night called night writing. Barbier’s system was too complex for soldiers to learn, and was rejected by the military. In 1821 he visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris, France, where he met Louis Braille. Braille identified the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not encompass the whole symbol without moving, and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another. His modification was to use a 6 dot cell — the Braille system — which revolutionized written communication for the blind.

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Bora (rings)


A Bora is the name given both to an initiation ceremony of Indigenous Australians, and to the site on which the initiation is performed. At such a site, young boys are transformed into men. The initiation ceremony differs from culture to culture, but often involves circumcision and scarification, and may also involve the removal of a tooth or part of a finger. The ceremony, and the process leading up to it, involves the learning of sacred songs, stories, dances, and traditional lore. Many different clans will assemble to participate in an initiation ceremony. The word Bora was originally from South-East Australia, but is now often used throughout Australia to describe an initiation site or ceremony. It is called a Burbung in the language of the Darkinjung, to the North of Sydney. The name is said to come from that of the belt worn by initiated men. The appearance of the site varies from one culture to another, but it is often associated with stone arrangements, rock engravings, or other art works. Women are generally prohibited from entering a bora. In South East Australia, the Bora is often associated with the creator-spirit Baiame. In the Sydney region, large Earth mounds were made, shaped as long bands or simple circles. Sometimes the boys would have to pass along a path marked on the ground representing the transition from childhood to manhood, and this path might be marked by a stone arrangement or by footsteps, or mundoes, cut into the rock. In other areas of South-East Australia, a Bora site might consist of two circles of stones, and the boys would start the ceremony in the larger, public, one, and end it in the other, smaller, one, to which only initiated men are admitted. Bora rings, found in South-East Australia, are circles of foot-hardened earth surrounded by raised embankments. They were generally constructed in pairs (although some sites have three), with a bigger circle about 22 metres in diameter and a smaller one of about 14 metres. The rings are joined by a sacred walkway. Matthews (1897) gives an excellent eye-witness account of a Bora ceremony, and explains the use of the two circles.

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Carolingian cross



A variation of the Everlasting Cross is the Carolingian Cross, named after the Carolingian dynasty, a Frankish noble family that can be traced back to the seventh century. One member of this family, Pepin the Short, was crowned King of the Franks by the church, who saw this as a useful way to extend their authority over the secular world. A later and greater Carolingian monarch was Charlemagne, crowned in 800 A.D. making Western Europe an extension of the Roman Empire.

Coincidentally, the cross has a similarly sounding name to Cardinham Cross, an ancient Celtic Cross found in the walls of the 15th century village church of Cardinham, near Bodmin, Cornwall, England. This Cardinham Cross incorporates the Carolingian design.

The Carolingian Cross is made by extending the lines of aTriquetra (from the Latin tri ‘three’ and quetrus ‘cornered’). In Christian art, the triquetra represents the Trinity as one God. The triquetra is found also in Celtic knotwork, sometimes referred to as a Knotted Cross or Celtic Twirls Cross, and is popular with Neopagans to represent the interdependence in nature of Land, Sea and Sky, or the spiritual interdependence in man’s Mind, Body and Soul.

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Triquetra (IPA: [tɹaɪ’kwεtɹə]) is a word derived from the Latin tri- (“three”) and quetrus (“cornered”). Its original meaning was simply “triangle” and it has been used to refer to various three-cornered shapes. Nowadays, it has come to refer exclusively to a certain more complicated shape formed of three vesicae piscis, sometimes with an added circle in or around it. This widely recognized symbol has been used in for the past two centuries a sign of special things and persons that are threefold.

Germanic paganism

The triquetra has been found on runestones in Northern Europe and on early Germanic coins. It presumably had pagan religious meaning and it bears a resemblance to the Valknut, a symbol associated with Odin.

Celtic art

The triquetra is often found in Insular art, most notably metal work and in illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells. The fact that the triquetra very rarely stood alone in medieval Celtic has cast a reasonable doubt on its use as a symbol in context where it was used primarily as a space filler or ornament in much more complex compositions. But Celtic art lives on as both a living folk art tradition and through several revivals. This widely recognized knot has been used in for the past two centuries a sign of special things and persons that are threefold, such as Mother, Daughter and Grandmother – Past, Present and Future -and especially the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It can also mean Self, brother, and sister. 

Christian use

The symbol was later used by Christians as a symbol of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This appropriation was particularly easy because the triquetra conveniently incorporated three shapes that could be interpreted as Christian Ιχθυς symbols.

A common representation of the symbol is with a circle that goes through the three interconnected loops of the Triquetra. The circle emphasizes the unity of the whole combination of the three elements.


Modern Pagans use the triquetra to symbolize a variety of concepts and mythological figures.

Germanic Neopagan groups who use the triquetra to symbolize their faith generally believe it is originally of Norse and Germanic origins. Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans use the triquetra either to represent one of the various triplicities in their cosmology and theology (such as the tripartite division of the world into the realms of Land, Sea and Sky), or as a symbol of one of the specific triple Goddesses, for example, The Morrígan.

The symbol is also sometimes used by Wiccans and some New Agers to symbolize either the Wiccan triple goddess, the interconnected parts of our existence (Mind, Body, and Soul), or many other concepts that seem to fit into this idea of a unity.


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