29 April 2013

Symbolism in the Gothic Subculture

I was in my junior high years, maybe 14, when I finally decided to but a specific neckless. It was 2006 and I was spending my summer at the south of Israel, because there was war at the north. Ask any Israeli and he would tell you it was the "Second Lebanon War". The north was heavily bombed while me and my family spent the entire summer at our relatives' house escaping the terror.
It was the afternoon and I was at some kids fair, when I spotted a jewelry stand. I then decided to spend my last money for that day on a neckless.
I bought myself my first Ankh.

It is not new that symbols are tend to belong to many alternative groups, the Gothic Subculture perhaps is best recognized and maybe accused of wearing very specific shapes on the neck.

Let us call him "the common man".
Perhaps what this common man easily points out when first looking at a goth [besides the outfit] is the symbol. Moreover, other people who might wear completely normal clothes or plain black clothes with symbolic jewelry, would be pointed out as the representatives of something "alternative", "weird" or "mystical".

Ok I'm done with the high language shit. Nobody reads this anyway....

So basically goths today are being recognized by symbols. Would it be the black hair, the huge boots or the ripped stockings, but there would be always something that would attract this common man I told you about. There would be a symbol who is worn by many many people who dress the same, that would sort of represent them, and for the common man, define them.
I think it is nice. Because just like punks wear their Mohawks proudly and won't be mistaken for someone else while wearing them, so do goths, with their jewelry especially.
I suppose this is sort of a call for beginners at goth as well. This was the reason I decided to but my Ankh- because I saw older junior high students wearing it, and I thought that it probably meant a lot and it would give me something I yet not have...

And of course, this would be probably the part that has the most misconceptions to it. People interpret symbols very aggressively. Mostly when they see something that clearly has a statement but they cannot understand it, they would probably give it a bad name.

How often you had to explain to someone that an Ankh is not a fucking Christian Cross, not the symbol of Satan? This issue was very annoying to me back in Israel. Because you see, a country like Israel that has the Jewish religion as its middle name having everyone walking around with golden David star chains [and sadly tattoos...] found it hard to understand there are, oh god, other religions! So if someone was by any chance Christian [and not an Arab] he would have to hide his little cross under his shirt, because it led to a very uncomfortable feeling for other people, especially in schools where people are uniquely stupid. Well, what am I talking about? Everyone in Israel are uniquely stupid when it comes to everything uncommon.
With that being clear, I suppose now you can imagine how great symbols are treated in the country I came from. I don't know about other places, but when I wore my Ankh I always got tons of very unintelligent questions.

This goes for Pentagrams and Celtic symbolism as well. Here's a nice example: when someone would wear the ax of Thor as a neckless [I never understood why people wear it] you would probably think he's into metal, or some other Celtic or Nordic stuff. It's so natural to think that, isn't it?

But there's another thing, and it is easier for Babybats and other people who are new to the scene to forget- symbols have meanings. And if you like to live giving everything a meaning/ complicating your existence [like I do] you won't wear a symbol just for fun. And frankly that's what most of us do- we wear it cause it's cool, so it probably means it's goth. I won't get too sarcastic on this because there's nothing bad with wearing different kind of jewelry in general, but please: know what you're wearing. This goes for patches as well- know what kind of message you carry out about yourself and to the world. One would not wear a Pentakle not knowing what it is, or having no idea what it means TO HIMSELF! This is something so important people love to ignore or pretend it doesn't exist.
Symbols have a meaning, and they also can affect you! So if someone asks why the fuck you are wearing the Inverted Cross or the Symbol of Juda you must not be in a position where you don't know what to reply back.
I don't want to be all preachy about it, but it's true. Maybe in a subconscious way more than any other.
Goths who give their outfits/ makeup unique symbolical appearance usually know what this symbol means for them personally. Hence you use the Gothic Subculture and other different symbols for yourself, it suits you, and YOU DON'T HAVE TO FIT IT!

One does not have to wear an Inverted Cross to look Nu Goth, nor to wear an anti nazi patch on the jacket to look punk. One does not have to have an ear tunnel to listen to hardcore music, for that matter.
It's a tacky subject really, but I suppose you yourself would never wear something just to fit in a group in order to belong, like an empty shell or something.
I am saying this because the common man who we all love to hate is having a blast not understanding alternative movements and symbols. So for your own sake make it real and not fake.

After buying my first Ankh I went back home to read what the hell it means. I was surprised to see how it taught me to look at life differently. I later on always explained to any questioner in details what did my Ankh mean, to myself especially.

Thank you for the attention.
Next post I shall detail the symbols I like to wear.

++ Update:
Blog is no longer pastel. I was a bit bi polar, I know...

+ Nebel Violet +

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