Symbols - What does heaven look like
Feet and shoes
The feet symbolise aspects of soul. The main distinction often made in visions is whether the feet are shod or not – whether the soul has a body. The foot without a shoe is a disembodied soul. The foot with a shoe it is an embodied soul. A shoe thus takes on the symbolism of the body. Thus shoes are symbolic of form, bare feet symbolic of disembodied soul. The original analogy seems to have come from Plato in the Theaetus although such symbolism is in use in Norse countries and some other parts of the world. For example:
Plato – Symposium
Apollo was bidden to …. compose their forms. So he gave a turn to the face and pulled the skin from the sides all over that which in our language is called the belly, like the purses which draw in, and he made one mouth at the centre, which he fastened in a knot (the same which is called the navel); he also moulded the breast and took out most of the wrinkles, much as a shoemaker might smooth leather upon a last; he left a few, however, in the region of the belly and navel, as a memorial of the primeval state.
The Norse and Celtic races have in the past carved the image of shod feet going towards water – symbolising the soul covered by its physical body going towards dissolution and death.
One then often finds feet carved in the rock – shoeless and going towards a burial barrow.
Thus the disembodied soul returns to its symbolic 'home'. This is thus using the symbolism of feet in physical imagery.
On death it was customary for a person to bury their shoes as a symbol of the fact the soul was now free of the body…….
Lyall Watson – The Nature of things
Other organic charms concealed in buildings include old shoes on over seven hundred sites from Turkey to Australia, with a date range from the 13th century to 1935. All are men’s shoes, … always set with obvious care into their hiding places. Some are ritually marked or deliberately mutilated with mystic symbols and a few somewhat disturbing examples are still attached to the feet of their owners.
Furthermore, it is a sign of purity to go barefoot, when entering any religious site, one removes the shoes denoting one has ‘bared one’s soul’.
People kick off their shoes in visions and are frequently told to take off their shoes.
The symbolism here should be obvious. The person capable of seeing the spiritual world ‘takes off his shoes’, he stops being separated from the earth and the spiritual by the barrier of his foot covering.
The First Bushman’s Path: stories, Songs and testimonies of the /Xam of the Northern Cape
And /Kaggen said to the moon that was once his shoe
‘speak, you should speak because you are /Kaggen’s shoe
and you always used to speak when I wore you on my foot’.
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