Direction of Movement from Left to Right


(applies to right handed people)

As abstract as some symbols may seem, they are based on experienced psychic content. For complement the following chapter provides information about some of these abstract symbols. The introduction to their understanding is done with the aim to open our (“symbol-recognizing”) eyes to the everyday life. This will show us the omnipresence of the psyche and its language.

From Left to Right (with Top-Bottom Qualities, Slash and Backslash)

/ Slash= striving upward

\ Backslash= striving downward

Slash and backslash are known as scribe and scratch symbols since ancient times. These symbols result from the topography of the hand and from the hand motion. Right handed people move their hands from left to right while writing. Thus left is the past and right is the future. As the vertical direction is being involved the motion goes either up or downhill. The upward motion is assigned to a positive and desirable quality, while the downward motion is labeled negatively. These feels are ingrained within us. It is being recognized and judged unconsciously and therefore also useful for suggestive advertisements.

The Times Sign

The times sign combines slash and backslash. It appears in the oldest cave paintings. The picture shows the times sign as a symbol for birth and death.

The times sign combines slash and backslash. It is an ancient prechristian symbol (witches cross) which represents the growth (slash) and the dieback (backslash), the perenniality of birth and death, summer and winter, youth and age, sowing and harvest. It represents the law of our world and forms the spokes of the sun wheel. There it marks the turn of the year as well as the equinox.


The Bowl

The main symbols “bowl and death ship” not only manifest theirselves in our dreams but also in our everyday life. They are being expressed through our gestures or as articles of daily use which are integrated in our symbol language due to their properties. The “bowl” symbolizes a receiving principal just like a bowl takes the liquid we pour in it.

In our gesture we will find the bowl in a receiving opening of our arms. This gesture is a popular symbol in political posters. The party representative is being portrayed as an adult (=authority) who welcomes an approaching child (=voter).


The Death Ship”

We connect the drying of a persons vitality with a stooped posture, just like a bowl that spills its content when being knocked over. The gaze is directed to the floor and the earth. The grim reaper also wears the symbol of the death ship on his scepter (=scythe). His floppy hat also refers to this symbolism.

As gesture we recognize this symbol as a sad hanging of the head.


© Alfred Ballabene (Vienna) translated by Seth