Did you know that the red color of the cape or capoté of the bullfighters enrages the bulls? But actually, bulls are colorblind, and the reason why they charge recklessly is due to the way bullfighter move their red capotés. The reason why this myth was famous is that we have attached the emotion of recklessness, rage, and anger to the red color of the capoté, using it to symbolize those emotions.
Symbolism is the act of attaching a specific set of meanings, emotions, and concepts to an object, detail, or idea. This can also be used as a writing or a literary device to project a specific emotion or feeling to an object. Modern-day examples of symbolism include the yin and yang symbol (balance, or harmony), the ouroboros (rebirth), and the delta (Δ) symbol (a mathematic variable).
Have you played Pokémon and questioned what these ♂ ♀ symbols mean? These are the male (♂) symbol, and the female (♀) used to represent or symbolize a specific gender. There are plenty more symbols we can see in our everyday lives, which you can see in the examples or samples above. Alternatively, anyone can attach meanings to patterns or objects creating their desired symbol.
Start by choosing an object, detail, or concept to use as a symbol. This can be anything you can see, hear, touch, feel or perceive. Alternatively, you may swap this step with the next one if you want to do a top-down approach beginning with a specific feeling and then searching for an object that can evoke said feeling.
After selecting and choosing a symbol, try to perceive said symbol via your different senses. Understand and analyze how the feelings evoked from perceiving the symbol affect you as a person. This will often manifest as a snippet of words describing a feeling.
When you have understood and perceived the symbol, you will now need to interpret how it makes you feel. For example, when you perceive the color red, you remember the time someone in your life you care about helped you. This would indicate that you felt the feeling of being loved when you perceived the color red.
After doing all the steps above, you will now write down and describe the subjective feeling the symbol evoked in you. This will help finalize the meaning you have attached to a specific symbol. Do note that the meanings you have attached to the symbol are all subjective and can change over time.
Yes, symbolism is the act of attaching meanings and concepts to an object or idea, using them as a symbol. When you attach a meaning to a specific color, you are emphasizing a specific emotion you want to evoke with said color, thus using said color as a symbol of the emotion. When we use the motif of red to symbolize the emotion or feeling of uncontrollable anger and rage, we are using red as a symbol of said emotion. This technique can also create effective imagery by using specific colors of an object to denote specific emotions or feelings.
There are a couple of flowers that people often use to evoke a specific emotion or feeling in everyday media. The rose is the symbol of unrestrained passion, love, and romance, which makes it a good gift to give to a partner or a loved one. The sunflower symbolizes happiness and glee due to the yellow petals and its sun-like appearance, often used as a gift for friends. Another commonly used flower is the purple hyacinth which is the symbol of sadness or immense regret of a certain action.
The heart symbol has many meanings that people around the world have associated the heart symbol as. Past cultures have often associated the heart as the center or holder of human emotion. An example of an interpretation of the heart is the kabbalistic belief of the tree of life (sefirot), where Binah (the heart) is the center of understanding and empathy. Modern-day culture associates the heart symbol with the act of love, understanding, and empathy. Another way to interpret the heart symbol is to attach different objects to it, like an arrow through the heart, which symbolizes the act of falling in love.
Symbolism is very important for us humans to help rationalize and understand different concepts, patterns, and nature. This pattern-seeking behavior is why we put great emphasis on the importance of finding and interpreting symbols in our everyday lives. Often we use these symbols to a great degree to describe our personalities and lives.