About Avia’s Story Creating Whats-Your-Sign
After producing 1,000s of pages online about symbolic meanings and totems, tons of long hours, and several do-over’s on the websites…Avia is still kicking! The story of Whats-Your-Sign.com started when Avia was a kid and has been evolving ever since. After being online for over a decade, this article tells the story of how the site got started.
Have you ever come across something that completely consumed your attention? Seized you by your snarglies? Something that enchanted you so much, you couldn’t get your mind off it?
That’s what signs, symbols and meanings do for me. I suppose digging for symbolic meanings is a bit of an obsession. I’ve been mining for meanings for a long time. Even as a kid I was peeking behind the veil of common to catch a glimpse of uncommon meaning.
This drive to see and learn beyond the realm of mundane evolved into this website. I’m thrilled my passion manifested into whats-your-sign. Furthermore, I’m elated so many people are as interested in this kind of perception as I am. Last year, this website received over 10 million visitors! That gets me giddy as a goat. Why? Because that kind of traffic tells me a lot of people are looking for ways to live a connected life – a life intimately linked with Nature and all her miraculous wisdom. Very cool beans.
Nature is a phenomenal source for digging into symbols and meanings. A tree, a bird, a flower… even stones…they all represent massive meaning that is married to the whole of Nature. That’s all a symbol is, really…a bit of something that reflects the meaning and energy of the whole.
Of course, symbols and meanings aren’t confined to the realm of Nature. Although…Nature is super-generous in extending symbolic meanings. The Natural realm can churn out meaningful wisdom to infinity and beyond. But there are other sources we can tap for signs, symbols and meanings. Take the cosmos for example. Planets, stars, black holes, solar flares… these are all symbolic too. Even our bodies are vessels for symbolic meanings!
In short, there is no limit to meaningful illumination around and within us. Many of you already know this, and you’re tapping into the uncommon on a daily basis; essentially living a “symbolic life”. You rock!
Some of Avia’s few journals that helped her create this website.
Other than extolling the good juju symbols and meanings offer…there’s another purpose to this article. I got an email from a visitor to the website. Here’s his message:
“Hi Avia. Love your website. So much material here. Page after page of information. So much, I could spend weeks reading! How did you do it all? Also, what are your resources? Where did you get all your information from? Thanks, Chris.”
Great questions, worthy of a response.
See that picture at the top of this page? Those are my journals. They’re stuffed with bits of wisdom, anecdotes, observations, experiences with signs, symbols and meanings. And that’s just 2013! I’ve got mountains of journals in the attic I refer back to for symbolic inspiration.
Some of my symbolic-journal-scribbling comes from friends, family and colleagues. I guess you could say I’m a symbol-collector. I squirrel away stories and experiences I learn from my peeps. After pondering these personal phenomenon, I start to process articles. A lot of my data on cultural symbolism (like Native American, Asian and Celtic) has come from close connections with groovy people with ancestral knowledge.
Other crib notes come from my personal forays into Nature through meditation and contemplation. My psychic eyes are always open to the opportunity for illumination. What seems like a random hawk crossing my path is hardly benign in the symbolic realm. Nope. Hawk crossings carry big mojo and big meaning. Even car trouble is symbolic for me! Nothing is off limits in the practice of living a symbolic life.
I’ve been accused of taking all this too far. I’ve gotten comments like, “Avia! Not EVERYTHING is symbolic!”. I beg to disagree. What’s more…symbols and meanings don’t require a believer. They either are, or they aren’t. A human can chose to take or leave deeper meanings shimmering just below the surface of awareness.
So, the symbol-journals are my main source of information and inspiration. I’m also a bookmonger. I can’t pass up a good book. Here’s a list of a few great resources from authors who have helped galvanize some of the symbols and meanings on this site.
When people ask me how they can enrich their lives by interpreting the language of their environment, I encourage keeping journals, meditating, and mulling. Some folks crinkle their noses at that idea. I understand. Doing this stuff takes effort. It takes commitment. I confess, I’ve been scratching in journals since I could hold a pencil…it comes easy to me. Nevertheless, it’s still a commitment…and a long-term one at that.
Do I always want to take time to record a bit of symbolic history? Nope. Do I always want to whip out my pocket pad to write down a hawk sighting and its implications? Uh-uh. Sometimes I don’t want to meditate, or mull stuff over either. But I do, and it pays off by enriching my life…and offers enrichment to others through WYS (whats-your-sign) as an awesome side-effect. I suppose it’s like exercise (ew!). We may not always want to do it, but the pay-off is worth the effort.
As far as how I built this website…well…that’s nothing but old-fashioned hard work. I didn’t have one blessed clue about how to build a website when I started WYS. As a greenhorn, I had to teach myself how to write web code (HTML and later, CSS). I also taught myself how build optimized content that got ranked on search engines (it’s called SEO, “search engine optimization”). The company I use for webhosting, SiteSell.com, was instrumental in my education. -Couldn’t have done it without their tutelage. But I have to admit, the whole learning curve sent me off the twist a few times. Overwhelming, frustrating, confusing.
In time and with practice (not to mention plenty of trial and error), the very first version of WYS.com started to form. What you see today is the 5th version of whats-your-sign. As my skill at web design evolves, I apply it to WYS with a goal to offer you increasingly better content that’s pretty!
To be clear, 10+ million visitors didn’t come overnight. At the time of this writing, WYS will be 10 years old in 2015. That means it took almost a decade to cram this website with quality content about symbols and meanings. And I’m still cramming, lol! That means a lot of research, a lot of writing, and a lot of devotion to provide you with the good scoops on signs and symbolism. Good thing I love this niche, eh?!
In the end, whats-your-sign wouldn’t be nearly as fun if not for you, dear readers, who are taking the journey with me along the symbolic path.
Would I have still started a website if no one showed up to read it? Absolutely. In fact, when I first started WYS, I had no expectations. I rather thought my voice would go softly into the good night… unnoticed and unheard. But that was okay. I still wanted to create a lasting resource, just in case somebody out there DID want to get their groove on about symbols and meanings.
All this dialogue equates to one thing: A hearty, personal “thank you” to all of you who have been reading, contributing, emailing, following. WYS wouldn’t be what it is without YOU! Thanks for rockin’ and rollin’ with me, and may we all continue our symbolic fellowship for many years to come.
Inspired from the start!
This is not just a website. It is a collection of inspirations, dreams, notes, stories and every symbolic thought Avia has gathered over many years. From a young age, Avia was inspired to see things in a symbolic way. That sight grew into whats-your-sign.com.
Nature is the answer.
Whats-Your-Sign has had many different versions and directions over the last 10+ years. But the glue that always holds this website together is nature. Avia believes that nature speaks a symbolic language, and when we listen to nature, big answers are always available.
Birds, bears, bees! Oh my!
This website dives into all things symbolic. From zodiac sign meanings to chakras, Avia’s got you covered! But her real passion is about nature, and all the creatures found within it. Even as a kid, Avia understood the value of animal totems and connecting with life on a deep level. This website seeks to gain insight from all sources…including bluejays, beetles, badgers and bullfrogs!
Without the help and professional skills of Sue Huckle, I don’t think I could have gotten this far with website development. I highly recommend her services. Click to check her out!
Other Articles of Interest on This Site
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How to Create a Personal Symbol
Creating a meaningful, personal symbol is an innovative way to keep the focus of the elements that are important to you. The best part about this exercise is that the meaning of a symbol is personal, and unique to you, like a fingerprint. Learn more about creating a personal symbol here.
More About Avia
Avia believes the universe uses symbolism as a platform for expression and guidance. She actively pursues deeper meaning in life events and tries to help others see the uncommon in common events. Learn more about Avia and her work here.
Resources for Whats-Your-Sign
Aside from Avia’s own experiences and personal research, there are many contributors to this website. Click here for a list of resources used to create this website.