Spirit Matters: ‘What’s your sign’ can be a loaded question

What’s your sign?

Many of us associate that question with the Zodiac symbol we fall under on the date of our birth.

But I’m talking about something different here.

What sign, or signs, do you identify with on a soul level?

A quick Google search turned up hundreds, if not thousands of signs and symbols … traffic signs, religious symbols, cultural symbols. The list goes on and on.

As the famous song goes “signs, signs everywhere there’s signs …”

A cross or a crucifix is one of the most proliferated signs we see in our world, and one that most Christians see as a touchstone of their faith.

But what about the other simple representations of deep concepts or belief systems?

I have long been drawn to five symbols on a soul level: yin/yang, peace, a flame, a dove and a heart. These five symbols have spoken to me wordlessly at depths most other things don’t. Taken together, I see them as an expression of my inner being.

(I guess this is as good a place as any to gently remind people that you can have certain religious beliefs or worldviews, and still be drawn to other symbols. As someone who tries to follow the way and teachings of Christ, I can be drawn to symbols other than the cross and crucifix, without negating my faith.)

In short, ying/yang represents the complementarity of masculine and feminine energies. The reality is, regardless of our gender, we each carry masculine and feminine energies within us; and Creation itself is a balance of masculine and feminine energies. Both contribute to a sense of wholeness.

Brittanica.com describes the traditionally Eastern concept this way: “Yin is a symbol of earth, femaleness, darkness, passivity, and absorption. It is present in even numbers, in valleys and streams … Yang is conceived of as heaven, maleness, light, activity, and penetration. It is present in odd numbers, in mountains …”

That seems like a simple description, but the yin/yang symbol speaks to me on a level beyond words. For me, it represents living a balanced life at the soul level.

The concept of peace can be represented in many ways, but the two I think of the most are the “V” sign and a dove. I find myself using these two symbols frequently to sign off in social media communications.

The dove and the flame also represent the Holy Spirit, reflecting how the Holy Spirit can be as gentle as a whisper, and as profoundly transformative as a fire. I have experienced both of these energies in my own life, and these energies of the Holy Spirit only get more powerful with time, and as my life continues to unfold. The flame and the dove each express that truth far better than any combination of the 26 letters in the English alphabet ever could.

And, finally, as simplistic and naïve as the heart symbol seems, it is the one that has been with me from my early childhood and has stayed with me throughout my life. Early on, it might have represented the feelings I thought I had for the flavor — I mean crush — of the day. As I contemplate it more, and try to put it into practice in my life, that simple symbol profoundly represents and reminds me of my desire to live a “heart-centered”life, and to recognize the heartbeat of the Divine in everything around me — indeed, in the entire universe.

So, I leave you with the question “what’s your sign,” and in doing so, I hope you will take some time to reflect on what signs and symbols you are drawn to, and why. What do those signs communicate to you about your life, your soul and your worldview?

· SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly columnthat examines spirituality. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada at jzblue33@yahoo.com to share how you engage your spirit in yourlife and in your community.