The sky shows itself as
the reality that it is: infinite and transcendent. Quite simply, the sky
is a reality apart from the environment man exists upon. The quality of
its mere height and infinite expanse is revealed to the man at once both
to the intellect and the soul; its symbolism allows man to realize his
place in the universe. "The sky symbolizes transcendence, power and changelessness
simply by being there. It exists because it is high, infinite, immovable,
powerful." Luis Barragan stated, "The sky is the true facade of a house."
This reference denotes the house as man's mark on the earth while the sky
is his relation to the cosmos.
The sun is a constant, recurring
element. Its patterns are known and easily traceable creating temporal
rhythms which reflect the change of the seasons and the passage of the
days. It is the source of energy for the life forms of the Earth. It is
the source of light for vision and energy for growth and warmth. The Greeks
held light as the source of intellect and creativity. Christianity connects
light with love and the "Divine Light."
While the sun is an immediate
constant, the moon alters and varies in its appearance. The phase of the
moon expresses growth, maturity, decay, and death. The moon follows a pattern
of appearance, but it is not as regular as the sun. Its variations in appearance
more closely parallels the daily routine of man which is prone to variation.
The moon is a living time with associations of fertility, periodic regeneration,
time and destiny, change, and the opposition of light and dark. The moon
is the heavenly body
associated with life.
Water is significant because
of its formlessness and potential, it symbolizes the primal substance from
which all life has emerged. Its formless quality represents a pre-existence
of life before emerging into a true form. Its potential lies in its fertilizing
qualities; it has the ability for creation and the encouragement life and
growth. Psychoanalytic evidence also suggests that frequent contact with
water can be therapeutic and bring the individual closer to the unconscious
processes of life. The human species at one time emerged from the water
Stones posses a hardness,
ruggedness, and permanence which is unique. It is an imperishable material.
A stone simply is. "Its strength, its motionlessness, its size, and its
strange outlines are none of them human; they indicate the presence of
something that fascinates, terrifies, attracts, and threatens all at once."
Mountains are the greatest examples of stones; their height draws them
towards the sky while physical distance from humans makes them places of
The earth is viewed as the
mother of all beings: "Mother Earth." The earth is fertile, and is the
provider and unifier for all beings upon its surface. The earth is of the
primeval pair: Heaven and Earth. The sky is the realm of the unattainable
and perfection while the earth remains at the realm of humankind.
Like the mountain, the tree
is an element of nature which aspires towards the heavens, but it is a
living form. The tree exists in both realms, but relies upon many factors
for its survival: water for fertility, sunlight for energy, the earth for
it roots. The tree is also symbolic of the life process and the passage
of time by re-enacting the cycle of birth and death each year through the
sprouting of new leaves in the spring and loss in the fall.