Your Fencing Symbol: Does it have a meaning?

Symbol –

a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.

Oxford Dictionary via lexico.com

I wanted to discuss (or rather dump my feelings as of late) the meaning of why I chose the symbol that is painted across my fencing helmet and etched into everything I have and do. This is not to be considered as the same ideal as the ‘meaning of your rose’ for those of us who are swordsmen, however can be likened unto it. First, let me describe what my symbol is, where it came from, and why I decided upon this.

Tiny Backstory About Me and Where My Symbol Came From

For those of you who don’t know, before I was introduced to this group, I was very exclusively in to video games. It was pretty much where I met most of my friends, and spent the rest of my time after work, homework, and school. One of my favorite games I have been playing since I was 8 is called “Starcraft”. This game has three different playable races; one is a futuristic, alien, and off-standish race called Protoss. They’re like the police, except in space and likes to burn anything that looks infected. They also despise any other race and tend to think highly of themselves (very sophisticated aliens).

The second is very reminiscent of us; Humans who’ve come from Earth to help establish living on other planets. We’ve been given the name “Terran” in this game.

The third is the strangest race, and yet an 8-year-old me decided “these guys are cool-looking and mean, I’m gonna play as them!”. This race (the best description I can give) is very similar to alienic-bugs which have adapted to travelling in space and are constantly seeking genetic perfection, they are called the “Zerg”. They’re often described as vicious and flesh-eating monsters who are taking over sectors of space and are running rampant like an infection.

Each of these three have a symbol attached to their race; each having distinct features to identify them separately. The Zerg symbol just so happened to have a circular spiral, but with the added spikes just to show their danger.

Three symbols representing three different races for a video game
From left to right the symbols that identify the races are: Terran, Protoss, Zerg.

What My Symbol Means To Me

So, what does an 8-year-old me picking some strange (and somewhat violent for 1990’s) bug-like-alien race from a video game have anything to do with my symbol (other than the same symbol is also depicted from the video game producer’s own creativity and I perhaps like to play that video game)? I mentioned this race is constantly seeking genetic perfection, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was also seeking the same solace, except perhaps not as specific. As a human, I can attest that I have grown attached to always wanting to be comfortable, to feel comfort, and to have the feeling of safety. But, if too attached to this ideal, most humans will never change, never consider more meaningful ways to interact with the world around them, or even a better way of life. Sometimes the change is forceful and without merit, like attaining a sickness or disease; but sometimes the change is voluntary, like making a health goal, following through with said goal, then achieving it.

When I joined this amazing family, I had already several names for myself, and without thinking, I had picked my fencing symbol (I first saw Veron’s helmet, realized I could do the same thing, except more personal, and thought ‘sure, why not?’) but lately it’s dawned on me just how important my own symbol is to myself. We are constantly changing, whether we want to or not, to allow the change is to be human, to rebuke it is futile.

I realize not everyone has a fencing symbol; and for those who do, it may not have a very personal meaning or perhaps it is just something that you like or found interesting. And this is awesome, and Terrasylvae will accept you for who you are –but consider perhaps exploring that symbol, finding background information about it, or making something up on your own? It’s a great exercise mentally to write about things which are important to you, or you feel strongly about.

I strongly suggest those reading this article take a few minutes to write in your fencing journal about your top 3 things that are important to you and then either find a symbol which can represent these items with your own personal flare/interest or make a connection from those things you’ve written about into your symbol.

Do you have a symbol? Describe it briefly. What could you say your symbol represents, or what would you represent if you don't have a symbol?

4 thoughts on “Your Fencing Symbol: Does it have a meaning?”

  1. Oooh what a fun topic! I love symbols. I actually have two that are significant to me. I’ve had the first one since high school and that is the spiderweb. The spiderweb, not the spider, represents wisdom and the interconnectivity of knowledge. I only use it in some areas of my fencing because I keep that one pretty close to me. The second one, which most people associate with me, is my burnt orange stripe on a charcoal background. I consider this my brand and the way I identify myself in symbol form.

    Reply
    • I remember you discussing your spiderweb symbol both in person and a written article you had a while back. I think it was then that sparked my interest over why I chose my symbol so instinctively when I first joined.

      Reply
  2. Funny you should write an article about that. When we were chatting after Sage Training I was saying I wished I had a personal trademark like many in the group and asked for ideas of symbols people associate with me. Ulvade suggested an open book with fairytale-ish things coming out of it. I loved the idea, but is it too complex for a personal symbol? I keep looking for things I keep being drawn to. Hmm. . .maybe the moon? I’ve always been a night person, I love gazing at it, keeping track of the phases, loved the Celtic Triple Goddess symbolized by the moon. . .did you know Rhiannon is the name of the Goddess in her maiden form? That is one to think about.

    Reply
    • Your symbol is something you *want* to represent, is my discussion. If you think something is awesome, don’t let the complexity weigh down your decision! But I think it also needs to say “Rhiannon” loud and clear, as well. Even still, it’s down to YOU to pick it, or make it.

      Reply

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