Doors as Symbol

                                                          Doors as Symbol

 “If the door of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
. . . William Blake
I have always been drawn to the symbol the door. The door can mean many different things. It can be an entrance or an exit. A door can represent a new challenge or opportunity, or it can be an escape. It can represent a closing of the past, or a passage to a new future. For me, the door represents looking beyond outward appearances to find what is essential. This going in is something to strive for or towards and ultimately represents finding the truth, which according to most spiritual texts was never lost. It is getting the door open that presents the problem.

“Knock and the door shall be opened to you.”
In The Book of Symbols, the door is described as a place of transition. In ancient Egyptian tombs, doorways were built to allow free passage for the soul. In ancient Roman cities, the deity Janus protected doorways into the city. The door also protects a house from the elements and whatever else is outside. In the Christian tradition, people often hang crosses over the doorway to keep out evil spirits. In some Eastern traditions, it is recommended to keep a Buddha statue facing the door, so when people enter he is the first thing they see.


 What is your personal meaning of door? What do they represent in your life now? 


Hope; opportunity; opening; passage from one state or world to another; entrance to new life; initiation; 
the sheltering aspect of the Great Mother. The open door is both opportunity and liberation.

Christian:Christ— “I am the door.” The three doors of a cathedral or church signify faith, hope, and charity.
Hindu:Divinities are carved on door jambs, indicating the deity through which man enters the Supreme Presence.
Mithraic:The entrance to the seven zones of Paradise or the cave of initiation.
Roman:Janus is the god of the doorway and holds the keys of the power of opening and closing.
Zodiacal:The summer solstice in Cancer, is the “door of men” and symbolizes the dying power & descent of the sun, the Janua inferni.The winter solstice in Capricorn, the “door of the gods” is the ascent & rising power of the sun, the Janua coeli. These doors are also associated with the entrances and exits of initiation caves and with souls entering and leaving the world. In Hinduism they are the deva-yana (Janua coeli)& the pitri-yana (Janua inferni). (p. 54)
Doors and doorways have been symbolic across cultures for as long as history has been recorded. A door is both an entrance and an exit, so it has been associated with portals and passageways on many levels throughout history. Doors are closely related to gates and thresholds because the three share some very similar symbolic features and sometimes work together to create passage.
Doors were first seen in recorded history on paintings inside Egyptian tombs. The ancient Romans had advanced architectural elements and were known to have used single, double, sliding, and folding doors. The Roman god Janus was the god of doors and doorways, and also the god of beginnings, endings, transitions, gates, gateways, and time. Doors still continue to symbolize all of these elements today.
Entrances: A door is first and foremost an entrance. On a literal level a door usually leads to the inside of something, be it a house, building, or other structure. Within a structure itself a door serves as both an entrance and exit to other rooms, a passageway between rooms, and an exit from the structure. On a metaphorical level, a door can become an entrance to nearly anything, but it is most commonly used to symbolize the entrance to another world.
Beginnings: An open door has been a long-time symbol of a new beginning. An open door shows that there’s a way out and can also provide a view of what lies ahead. A closed or locked door, on the other hand, can represent a dead end or create the feeling that there’s no way out. A door can be a symbol of opportunity or one of imprisonment.
Transitions: A door or doorway symbolizes the transition and passageway from one place to another. A door is often used to symbolize the passage from one world to another in religion, mythology, and literature. A doorway may be used in lore and literature to symbolize a short transition, while a hallway might be used as a contrasting longer transition. Even when people literally use the door of a building to enter or exit the outside world, they are going through a type of transition each time.
Gateways: Doors and gates and doorways and gateways are very similar at a glance but show a few subtle differences upon examination. A gate is an open type of entrance; even when closed, a person can see what lies beyond a gate. A doorway, on the other hand, provides little view to the other side when closed. Doors are associated with privacy, control, and protection much more than a welcoming, open-view gate.
Thresholds: A threshold is typically a boundary and point at which two places meet. It is where two worlds come together and provide a point of passage. Reaching or crossing the threshold is associated with rebirth and leaving the past behind. A door can be used as a type of threshold to symbolize a boundary and separate two distinct places.
Endings: Just as a door that’s an entrance represents a beginning, a door that’s an exit represents an end. But while a door can symbolize an ending, it often dully symbolizes both an end and a new beginning, as well as a gateway to rebirth. And while a door may be found at the end of a long passageway, there’s an element of hope that there’s something on the other side.
Cultural Indications in Cliches: “Opportunityknocks” refers to the longer cliche of an opportunity knocking on one’s door. As discussed above, doors represent opportunity, especially open ones. The rhetorical question Were you born in a barn? refers to a person who leaves the door wide open, suggesting that a door symbolizes a non-primitive culture. “Next door” is a saying referring to an adjacent home or building, suggesting that the door to the home is a symbol of the home itself.

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