This is true for a huge range of objects in our consumer society. Think about cars and clothes. They signal social identities. They are communicators of social membership – status, class, lifestyle, success, and values. So objects are also used to communicate to others who we are – they have symbolic-value to us. Symbolic-value is created by successfully associating something (for instance a new product) with something generally recognised and valued in the overall culture (for instance a celebrated brand).
Anthropologists studying traditional societies call the symbolic aspect of objects totemism (Wikipedia link)- the symbolic association of people and groups with powerful animals, plants and nature (Douglas & Isherwood 1979).It is used in many rituals in every religion and is often a symbol of the soul.Standing Forward Bend Earth The earth has been worshiped as its own sacred god, or goddess a living being with a soul.
It is likely that all of its forms have or have had some meaning at one point or another.
Standing Forward Bend From volcanoes and mountains, to valleys and caves, the earth produces many symbolic features.
Its products have inspired spiritual and mystical practices since the beginning of time sacred tree worship, paganism, alchemy, and so forth, and many of its beautiful manifestations are still considered to hold sacred powers today. Air Circulating throughout the body and universe, air carries the vital energy, prana.
Air is the most intangible of the elements, yet it is necessary to animate all living creatures. Air represents the freedom connoted by such things as the sky, wind, flight, and breath.