Monday, November 7, 2016

The 10th Appearance of This Orb Motif: Is It a Psychic Symbol of Motherhood?

Photo date: November 2, 2016. Photographer: Mark Mahin.

Below is a photo I took of the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal in New York. I have 9 previous times photographed orbs with this very distinctive pattern.

striped orb
Below is a composite showing this orb and 9 other orbs I have photographed with the same pattern. You can see the original posts here.  The photos were taken over the course of quite a few weeks, with no such symbol appearing in 99% of the photos I took during these weeks.

striped orbs
In trying to unravel any meaning behind such a symbol, I feel rather like Robert Langdon, the chief protagonist of the "Da Vinci Code" series of novels. Langdon is a professor of "symbology" who must unravel cryptic symbols.

I originally called the recurring motif shown above "the cul-de-sac motif," because I thought it resembled an aerial view of a winding road leading to a cul-de-sac. But now I think it resembles something else: an umbilical cord.  We see a loop in the stripe, and umbilical cords sometimes become looped in the womb.

Imagine if you had the job of creating a symbol of motherhood, using only a small number of pixels. It wouldn't work to draw a nursing mother -- that would require too many pixels. Nor would it work to draw a breast or a vagina, for women have those even when they are not mothers.

But it occurs to me: you could symbolize motherhood by using a single brush stroke. You would simply draw a symbol just like the one above, which would symbolize a mother's umbilical cord. The only women with umbilical cords are mothers.

If this symbol represents an umbilical cord, it creates all kind of fascinating symbolic possibilities. A pagan might think it is a symbol of some Earth Mother or Cosmic Mother. A Catholic might think it is a symbol of Mary, the mother of Jesus. A spiritualist with a deceased mother might regard it as a symbolic message from his mother in heaven. A Jungian theorist might regard it as something coming from the psychic depths of the collective subconscious.

I honestly don't know what the strange curvy symbol means. All I know is that it keeps appearing again and again inside the mysterious orbs I photograph  -- ten times so far. 

Below is my revised table showing recurring orb motifs I have photographed.

Description Occurrences Comments URL
Inverted Y 6 Rather like the lower case lambda character, part of the Greek alphabet

Umbilical cord ( AKA "cul-de-sac") 10 Resembles an umbilical cord with a curved loop. Is it a symbol of motherhood?

This post
Curved stripe at top or bottom 6 May be on top or bottom of orb
Diagonal stripe 6 Goes from one side of orb to another, diagonally. Looks like a slash (not a backslash)
Short diagonal stripe 3 Goes only one third of orb, from top right corner toward center
Hose and circle 6 Looks like a ball that has fallen out of a tube
Slanted C 4 Looks like a C shape, tilted over quite a bit to the right
Caret stripe 2 Looks rather like the caret character
Hook-like stripe 2 Has a kind of candy-cane shape
Curvy 9 which fell down 2 Looks like a curvy nine which “fell down”
4 stripes 2 Straight lines intersecting in a particular shape
Broken squiggly T 3 One wiggly horizontal stripe at the top above a vertical stripe at the bottom

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