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Several theories have been advanced to explain the meaning and function of the symbols. In the absence of written Pictish records, any interpretation is speculative. Nonetheless one theory has emerged as the most plausible and coherent. It is thought that certain combinations of the symbols – which usually appear in pairs – probably represent the names of individual people or families.
On the 350 or so Pictish stones so far discovered, around 40 different symbols have been identified, falling into three distinct groups. The first group of symbols are perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Pictish culture. These are the abstract, or geometric designs: extraordinary, recurrent and consistent. They are stylised in many different ways, but remain remarkably consistent over time and distance. Though they are not representational, some have been named after recognisable objects, such as the ‘tuning fork’ or ‘mirror case’. Others are known only by descriptive names, the most common being the ‘crescent and V-rod’ and the ‘double-disc and Z-rod’.
The second group consists of creatures, real or mythical. The real creatures are those which have at least in the past been indigenous to Scotland, such as snakes, eagles, wolves and bears. But the most common animal symbol is a curious creature with a pointed snout, curling antennae and curved, fin-like limbs. Known as the ‘Pictish beast’, it is sometimes likened to a dolphin or an elephant, but is clearly a hybrid born of the imagination. It is completely unique to the Picts.
The third group represents mundane ‘real life’ objects, often in pairs – mirror and comb; hammer and anvil; tongs and shears. These symbols often appear towards the foot of a stone. It is thought they may qualify the meaning of any symbols carved above.
The symbols occur on stones the length and breadth of Pictland, from the Forth to Shetland. This implies that they were understood by all Picts, and in some way were a common visual language. They are usually combined in pairs – abstract with abstract or abstract with animal. Abstract symbols are more common; and as a rule animal symbols usually only appear in the company of abstract ones.
As odd as it may sound the imagery depicted on the "Z-Rod" actually reminds me of a wormhole. I also find it interesting that the "Z-Rod" always seems to appear below the "V-Rod" but above the more mundane soldier on horseback imagery, almost as if it was something that they saw as being above them and controlled by a higher power.
As for the "tuning fork/broken sword" well that reminds me of a key.
Furthermore when you take into account the "V Arrow/Crescent" shape it seems as if it is less about a goddess figure and more about timing, like sunrise and sunset. This would also fit in nicely to the notion of connected worlds as many myths imply that Dusk and Dawn are the easiest times to travel between this world and the next. The V aspect of it could imply either the rays of the sun at certain times like the solstice or even be a reference to Orion. I wonder if any of the stones are aligned with those like so many other ancient stone relics seem to be.
This on the recent posts page, for the 'Secret Society' forum.
Is that just a coincidence, or could one have come from the other? Or have I been looking at symbols for too long, these last few days?
Maybe. To me, the bottom pic you brought looks like the front view of some headgear. Of course, we know what the Masons are all about?
reply to post by beansidhe
Wow, excellent connection. They look like different approaches to the same thing.
The right angle is clearly there in both symbols, the Pictish/British symbol has what appears to be a primitive compass both of which are critical tools for building.
Instead of the "G", the Pictish/British symbol has dual horn of plenty symbols, what looks like a club as in the card symbol, and maybe a shield.
Opens the door about the origins of Masonry possibly.
‘A study of one the most important archaeological discoveries in Scotland for 30 years, a Pictish monastery at Portmahomack on the Tarbat peninsula in Easter Ross, has found that they were capable of great art, learning and the use of complex architectural principles. And, in a discovery described as "astonishing, mind-blowing" by architectural historians, it appears that the people who built the monastery did so using the proportions of "the Golden Section", or "Divine Proportion" as it became known during the Renaissance hundreds of years later. This ratio of dimensions, 1.618 to one, appears in nature, such as in the spiral of seashells, and the faces of people considered beautiful, such as Marilyn Monroe. It can be seen in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Alhambra palace of Granada in Spain, the Acropolis in Athens and the Egyptian Pyramids, but was thought to have been too advanced for the Picts.’