I currently enjoy learning about semiotics. It’s extremely interesting to me, because it deals with a bit of sociology, anthropology, psychology, and other things that relate to the mind. I can almost tell you what kind of a thinker I am based on these interests alone and how my thought-process works. And more importantly, why illustrating and drawing for visual development intrigues me. Forever, we will always try to solve the mind. But it is impossible to completely comprehend it. Because things change. Years from now, all our experiences will culminate to whatever point in our timeline of life, to which we will look back and say, “Wow, I can’t believe I used to think like that.” I feel like the human mind changes all the freaking time.
Well, I am learning a ton about signs. I was skeptical at first, really, since I had no idea what it was about. So for my first week in class back in September, I was inspired by the preferential shapes test — our homework was to create 5 cards that contain a symbol, and related theme and make up my own “preferential test.”
It’s a lot like tarot card reading for sure. I can’t do this test on myself since I am the creator of the cards, but I welcome others to try it. The theme of my card is 5 Popular/Common Chinese Creatures in stories. These include good and bad.
Please choose your favorite animal, 1 being most favorite, and 5 being the least. It’s best not to look past this line if you’re doing the test yourself until you’ve chosen your order.
- Your present moment. (Moral law). This is what you are feeling or thinking subconsciously at the moment; things you truly believe in or think about.
- What your goal is right now (Heaven). Something you are looking forward to.
- What is grounding you right now (Earth). Who you really are, your true inner nature.
- Hopes. (The Commander). Your hopes and dreams of the near future.
- Fears. (Method & Discipline). What you fear about yourself or your environments currently. What you need to work on improving.
- Dragon: These noble creatures appear throughout Chinese culture and represent the Emperor of China. They are powerful, majestic, eccentric creatures and often considered “lucky.”
- Fenghuang: The Chinese phoenix is the ruler of all birds. It represents the Empress. It has no connection with the Western phoenix but shares similar positive traits. It is considered the pair to the Emperor’s dragon symbol. During times of trouble, it tends to hide away, and during times of peace and prosperity, it appears.
- Snake: Many tales are told about snakes all over the world, most are thought to be conniving and evil, but others are thought to be powerful deities. They embody the femininity and seduction of the woman — this is different from the femininity of the phoenix, whereas one has much more of aristocratic-like feminity. The snake to me represents the raw female that society teaches is bad to indulge in. I am not sure if I agree about that. But Nü Wa is a half-woman, half-snake deity who is the creator of the world according to the Mao tribe. That is to say, not all snakes are here to make you eat a certain fruit from a certain tree.
- Tiger: The King of all beasts is another power animal that is the rival to the Dragon. These agile creatures loves challenges. It is easy to say that they are wild and feral, and running toward things at full speed. The white tiger is thought to symbolize wisdom in Chinese culture.
- Turtle: Turtle, in many Asian tales and myths, represents longevity. They live for many years, some even longer than humans, and thus, aquire much wisdom and sagehood. They are also guardians, or gateway animals that give people guidance. These creatures are also one of four animals that possess “spirit” according to the “Book of ceremonies.”