Animal Symbolism Likeness And Representations

animal symbolism likeness and representation

Animal Symbolism: Likeness and Representations

Animal Symbolism and Finding Meaning in Unique Places

I wrote this article in response to a question I got from a reader of whats-your-sign.com.  

Lisa asked if the meaning of an animal was a legitimate sign – even if it wasn’t an real animal…like a picture of an animal.  

My answer is yes! 

Whether a photo or a stuffed animal, if it is an animal that grabs your attention – then it is worthy of giving you a message and it is a sign of something profound. Read further into Lisa’s question and my response to appreciate the whole concept.

Lisa’s Question On Animal Symbolism From Pictures, Signs, Etc.: 

“What if I don’t see the actual animal, but a representation of it? Should the animal symbolism still mean something to me even if I don’t encounter the physical animal, but an image or object that represents the animal?

I came across your site as I was searching for what the rabbit symbolizes. I was packing up for a move and when I opened my luggage which I took from storage, there was a rabbit in it. It was a wooden rabbit. It was not real. I’m not sure where it may have come from.

My question is even if it is not a real rabbit, could it still be a sign? Just have a lot questions in my life right now and have been praying hard for guidance and I am wondering if this might be a sign of some sort.

Thanks,
Lisa”

Avia’s Response to
“Animal Symbolism: Likenesses and Representations”

 


Hey Lisa,

Speaking from personal experience, my answer would be “yes”…it’s still a sign.

For example…I live in NY. It’s highly unlikely I’m going to run into an Octopus up here. Nevertheless, the Octopus visits me in pictures, advertising, even toy replicas. When this happens, (for me) it’s a sign. It prompts me to perk up, pay attention, and mine the meaning of these visitations.

This opinion is influenced a bit by my stint in academia. Once upon a time, I took several philosophy courses in aesthetics (a study of principlesconcerned with the nature of beauty).

There is a concept in aesthetics called “representation”. There are fierce arguments about what a representation of a person, animal, etc. means. Does it embody the essence of that object? Or, is it just a copy – a shallow mimicry of the object?

Thankfully, I had a groovy professor who let his students make their minds up about the debate. I took the path of thought that allowed me to classify a representation as a connection to the source.

In other words, an image, sculpture, etc. that captures an animal’s likeness is a carrier of that animal energy (and animal symbolism).

Furthermore, I don’t think energy is so confined that it’s limited to sending us messages exclusively through the physical encounter of an animal. I believe imagery or inanimate objects are symbols of animal essences. Therefore, these representations can be just as important to heed as the actual creature itself.

There is a concept in aesthetics called “representation”. There are fierce arguments about what a representation of a person, animal, etc. means. Does it embody the essence of that object? Or, is it just a copy – a shallow mimicry of the object?

Thankfully, I had a groovy professor who let his students make their minds up about the debate. I took the path of thought that allowed me to classify a representation as a connection to the source.

Other Articles Of Interest On This Site

Animal Symbolism and Animal Totems

Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness. Get more about animal totems and animal symbolism here.

Bird Totems and Symbolic Meaning of Birds

If bird totems are catching your attention, you should feel very heartened by their presence. Allow their spirit to boost your confidence, and remind you that the ultimate power is within this present, unseen moment. Get more information about the meaning of air creatures here.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time, and mass societal opinion. What’s cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, “Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder.”

Having said that, it’s in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I’ve got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ?

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It’s a language that is universal and everywhere. It’s super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!