Friday, August 27, 2010

Order of Preference



© Circles of Life_8X10_Linoleum Print

My Last blog was about the book "Signs of Life" by Angeles Arrien
And I saw a lot of responses to it both on my blog and my Facebook page of people who tried the test. I strongly recommend getting a copy of the book and going through the other exercises as well as the in depth analysis of this test.


As for this exercise, in my last post I wrote about the symbols and what they signify.
But did you know that the order in which you place each symbol also has its own significance??


Here is a brief overview of the significance of the order.

  • Position 1 refers to place where you think you are. 
  • Position 2 reflects your strengths
  • Position 3 is all about where you actually are
  • Position 4 is your motivation and
  • Position 5 symbolizes your old, unfinished business.

It is a holistic approach of what the preference and symbols together signify. The combination gives you a true picture of your inner landscape. The most interesting thing about this test is that... every time you take it, the results are different.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Five Universal Shapes

                                   © Home Sweet Home_5X7_Pen and Ink


One of my life's passion is Folk Art. They tell a million stories about a cultures experiences through some simple shapes and form. What is even more fascinating is the striking similarity in their way of expression even if they haven't had any cultural overlaps. A lot of my work is inspired by these basic shapes and forms and what they represent.


This interest of mine got me attracted to the book "Signs of Life" by Angeles Arrien. This Book talks about the Five Universal shapes, what they represent and how to use them to understand our inner landscapes. The author, Angeles Arrien, is a Cultural Anthropologist who has dedicated her life researching and understanding these cultural similarities. She is an inspiration! 


The five basic shapes are: The circle, the square, the triangle, the cross, and the spiral. These symbols bear similar meaning in different cultures.

  • The circle symbolizes wholeness, a complete cycle. 
  • The square with its equal sides symbolizes balance and stability. 
  • The Triangle represents goals and dreams
  • The cross stands for relationship
  • And the Spiral... you guessed it, represents personal/spiritual growth.

The book then guides the readers to a 'Preferential Shapes Test' to understand the state of ones inner mind. The test is simple. You just have to order the shapes from position 1 to position 5 as per your preference. The Author says: "The sequence in which someone places the shapes when taking the test is most important in showing which of the five universal processes of change and growth is being experienced most intensely by that person at that time."


I took the test and was amazed at the accuracy of the results. Try it out, I am sure you will also be equally amazed. And do stop by again to let me know your thoughts.


"While I stood there I saw more than I could tell, and 
I understand more than I saw; for I was seeing in a 
sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live
together like one being"
- From the book 'Black Elk Speaks'

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