Lightning Symbolism & Meanings
Lightning is a powerful and mysterious thing. For thousands of years humans didn’t even know what lightning was or what causes it. They were fearful of lightning, and for a good reason too. Lightning is highly dangerous, and if you are struck by lightning then you do not have a very good chance of survival. However, people who do survive lightning strikes usually end up having scars or serious bruises that come in the shape of lightning bolts.
It is almost like nature is marking these people, or constantly reminding them of what they barely survived. In a way, the symbolic meaning of lightning is just as fearsome as the real thing. Lightning tends to symbolize the scarier things in life like fear and destruction. However, lightning also symbolizes mystery. It almost makes you wonder, what else can lightning symbolize, and why does it have the symbolism that it does?
What Is Lightning?
To understand part of lightning’s symbolism you need to be able to understand what lightning is and why it happens. Lightning is basically pure electricity. Lightning only comes during a thunderstorm. You need thunder to make lightning, but you can have thunder without lightning as well. In rain clouds there are tiny droplets of water that can come down as rain. However, they can also rub against each other and make an electric charge. These charges can keep bouncing around and building up a big enough charge and turn into lightning.
The lightning then wants to get to the ground in any means necessary, but it will take the easiest route it can find as well. Things that lightning is attracted to are called conductors. Trees are one path that lightning often takes. Some buildings put poles on the top to catch lightning so that it will not hit something more important.
Of course, if lightning is near an open field and you are the only other thing in it then it is likely that you will be hit by lightning if you are the tallest thing around. This is why it’s a good idea to stay indoors during a lightning storm, and if you aren’t inside you shouldn’t hide under trees or try to swim. With regard to the whole of human history, the reason why lightning does what it does was discovered only recently. This gives lightning a sort of primordial symbolism. It seems to be almost older than life itself.
Lightning is mostly known in the world of symbolism as something that is scary and ferocious. Since lightning has been around since before humans were alive, it has always been a part of human life. Because of this fact, lightning aligns with some of the most basic of human feelings. Lightning is closely related to fear for many obvious reasons. It is always accompanied with clapping thunder and downpour of rain. There is hardly a bright side to lightning; at least, when you only look on the surface.
Symbolic Meaning Of Lightning
When you take a deeper look at lightning, it is more even more beautiful than scary. The pattern that lightning makes is soundly structured, while also giving off the appearance of being wild at the same time. Lightning can inspire creativity and be a great symbol for the whole thing. If nothing else, lightning is the perfect symbol for energy, since it is pure electricity. While lightning may be fearsome when you are out in the rain, it is something that can be better appreciated in a photo or from the comfort of your home.
The dual nature of lightning is not strange for symbolism at all. Many other things are opposites within themselves in symbolism. Like lightning, other symbolized things can be fearsome and beautiful, lovely and haunting, intelligent but mysterious.