You may have not realized that simple everyday objects you see and use everyday can have specific symbolic meanings. Something as ordinary as a knife sitting in a loaf of bread to the fluttering of a blue curtain can hold incredible meaning and significance.
Generations ago, in a society run by a limited number of literate individuals, symbolic imagery was vital in enlightening the masses. Byzantine, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical and Christian symbolism regarding common household objects.
Take a look at the 22 examples below, then take a look around your own home. Which ones pop out to you? Do you see their meaning now?
1. A knife in a loaf of bread: Represents holy communion.
2. A club: Symbolizes death. Saint Jude, one of the apostles, was beaten to death with a club.
3. A glowing candle: A symbolic reminder of Christ’s Passion.
4. Glass prayer beads: Symbolic representation of the allseeing wisdom of God.
5. Coins on top of a Bible: Symbolizes the triumph of the material world over the devout and holy.
6. A red pillow: Symbolizes selfindulgence and corruption of the soul.
7. Nails: The Crucifixion of Christ
8. An overturned copper tea kettle: Represents a loss of faith.
9. A lemon next to a salt shaker: Symbolizes a doer of evil deeds.
10. A fluttering blue and white curtain: Represents the heavenly world where the splendor of the holy and divine is only beginning.
11. A burned out candle: Symbolizes a lack of devoutness and virtue.
12. A white or blue pitcher and basin: A symbol of Purity, signifying clean thoughts and an uncorrupted spirit. The pitcher and basin are also symbolic of forgiveness of sins, cleansing, sanctification, unity with God, eternal life, and glory.
1. Hourglass: Represents the inevitable passing of time and the certainty of death.
2. A clock with missing hands: Signifies humankind’s powerlessness to control his own fate.
3. A rabbit on a white or silver platter: Implies fertility.
4. Lute: Represents a musical instrument symbolic of romantic love.
1. A spilled or overturned inkwell: Represents broken promises, broken political treatise and missed chances.
2. Whisk broom: Represents marital faith and trust.
1. Mirror: Suggests vanity or an introspective nature.
2. A child’s toy: Represents the freedom, virtue and innocence of early life.
3. An unsheathed knife near a money purse, or pile of coins: Represents a rebellious and materialistic viewpoint.
4. A dirty window: Represents physical illness (usually a venereal disease or leprosy); a polluted body. What have your surroundings revealed to you about your life? Are there any every day symbols that have specific meaning to you that we missed here?