Lighthouses hold much intrigue for many people who love visiting them throughout various parts of the world. One reason why they’re so popular is that they provide a nostalgic feeling. They come from a time when people relied on one another. They also represent trust between lightkeepers and sailors when the latter were attempting to get home safely.
There are other reasons to explain their popularity, of course. Some people might love visiting them simply because they’re appealing to the senses. Or it could be because they look lonely and are looking for someone to live there. It could even be a combination. They also provide a beacon of light symbolism. But what is a lighthouse exactly?
A lighthouse is a stone structure that sits upon a land’s highest point, with the land being close to the sea, along with its possible dangers. It lets sailors know that they’re near land, as well as warning them that they’re approaching shallow waters, reefs, and rocks that they must navigate their way around with caution. A lighthouse also acts as a sign that a harbor and its calm waters are nearby.
A lighthouse is tall, whether in light or dark, and symbolizes safe harbor, guidance, and strength. A lighthouse can even be used as a symbol for certain artifacts that represent the passion that so many have for them. Lighthouse urns, for example, can represent a favorite location of a loved one who's passed, or perhaps a special memory of a particular vacation they once took.
Hermit of the Tarot Deck
Symbolically, a lighthouse bears similarity to a star, as well as to the Hermit of the Tarot Deck. Just as the star is a guide for those looking for a higher consciousness, or the Hermit is a guide to anyone looking to climb the top of a mountain or the highest levels of spirituality that exists on earth, a Lighthouse is both a beacon and a guide to anyone on a voyage or who has ended up adrift on the waters.
Metaphorically speaking, as the element of Water symbolizes emotions, a lighthouse symbolizes the emotional guidance and spiritual strength available to us when we feel we’re being tossed around a sea containing nothing more than inner turmoil.
With this in mind, we’re going to explore those metaphors associated with, and related to, the symbol of a lighthouse.
A storm contains both rain (water) and wind (air). As water represents the emotions, and air represents the mind, a storm symbolizes agitated thoughts and emotions. So metaphorically, a storm represents our inner demons that torment both our subconscious and our mind.
The Illuminated Eye
The beacon is the illuminated eye, or the guiding light, that shines in all directions and allows all adrift at sea to view it as a focal point to steer to the safe harbor's calm waters that the lighthouse oversees.
The lighthouse’s strength is symbolized by its location. It 's stationed at the island's highest point that’s closest to the sea, along with its dangers. As the circle represents divinity, the lighthouse's circular structure symbolizes reliable and stable spiritual guidance during emotional and mental storms.
The shallow waters, reefs, and rocks represent the final dangers that appear to accompany the end of a turbulent voyage. It’s the point where we’re tempted to throw our hands up in the air and give up. It’s just passed this point, however, that our problems are resolved and we acquire a new understanding and clarity that we’ve desperately been seeking.
The lighthouse, therefore, serves as a reminder that no matter the amount of turbulence we experience, the only thing we need to focus on is the Guiding Light of the Spiritual Warehouse inside of us. Our inner lighthouse represents inner strength.
That inner lighthouse also acts as a spiritual guide that directs us safely to that port of call that lives inside each of us. It provides us with emotional tranquility, safe harbor, and calm waters from the turbulent seas that surround us in our life.
Once we feel safe within our Harbour of Tranquility, we are in a position to better assess the emotional currents and tides that disturb our voyage on a temporary basis. When our emotional storm has passed, we can again go out to sea and take in the clear skies, prosperous waters, and calm seas as we go on sailing toward new adventures and horizons.