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v1.11 preface
v1.11 cover
v1.11 contents
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The Celtic Art Coracle volume 1 issue 11
Language of Ornament, continued
Ritual decoration is not confined to other cultures, or used in its true sense only by First Peoples. There are many situations in our own culture that use decorations which still mean a lot to us as symbols, even though we may have forgotten their  original, ritual significance.

The difference between a sign and a symbol is something that bears much contemplation. A bauble on a Christmas tree is a sign of Christmas, but as a sphere or station on the Tree of Life, it is a symbol. The sign is empty, although significant. The symbol is fuller than words can express.

The decoration on the soldier's chest is a symbol of the Solar hero, of whom the soldier became a part in a moment of transcendent courage. That capacity which the soldier has demonstrated is honored with a decoration, in the truest sense of the word.

The regal crown is another example of symbolic ornament, a sign that its wearer is acting as monarch in a ceremonial occasion. It signifies a lot, in that a crown jewel may be valued very highly for a number of reasons. But as a symbol, it is the same whether encrusted with giant gems set in pure gold or made of pink tissue paper.

As a symbol, the crown does something; as a symbol the medal does something; likewise the ring, the sunglasses, the lipstick, in a limited way.

 

The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved
10.02.01edition
coracle@thecoracle.tripod.com

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