The cross is an archetypal symbol representing the connection of the earthly and the divine, the physical and the spiritual realms. It is, at its simplest, a representation of intersection, of meeting points, and of uniting opposites. It can denote balance and harmony, as it equally extends in all four directions. It signifies the human experience, as life is full of intersections, choices, and balance. In the Christian religion, the cross is a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and the suffering of Jesus Christ. But beyond religion, the cross is seen as a symbol of hope, a sign of the human capacity to rise above suffering and adversity.

Cross in Dreams

From a psychological perspective, seeing a cross in dreams can signify a person’s need for reconciliation of opposites within themselves. It may reflect an intersection in life where a crucial decision needs to be made, or a point where opposing aspects of the self meet. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, saw the cross as a symbol of the self, a unified image of the psychic totality. He suggested that seeing a cross in dreams might indicate a process of individuation, a journey towards self-realization and wholeness.

Cross in Myths and Folklore

The cross can be found in a myriad of myths, fairy tales, and legends across different cultures. In Norse mythology, the cross represents the world tree, Yggdrasil, a cosmic axis where the heavens, earth, and underworld meet. In Celtic folklore, the cross is a symbol of the four cardinal directions and the four elements of nature. In ancient Egypt, the ankh, a cross with a loop at the top, symbolized life and immortality. The cross is also a common symbol in alchemical texts, representing the four stages of the Great Work. These examples illustrate the rich and varied symbolism of the cross in global narratives.

In conclusion, the cross is a powerful and universal symbol that carries a multitude of meanings. It serves as a symbol of intersection, balance, hope, and spiritual connection in general symbolism, signifies conflicting aspects of the self or points of decision in dreams, and features prominently in myths and folklore around the world. Despite its varied interpretations, the cross consistently stands as a symbol of profound significance, reflecting the human experience in its many dimensions and complexities.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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