What different symbolic meanings and significance do Bells have to different people?

Bells have always had a meaning to me during my life, I just never thought too deeply about them. Just knew they appeared frequently. Weather it was during christmas time of “santa” leaving a bell from his slay on my porch or simply finding a bell in a bathroom stall or at my sisters soccer game . They have always popped into my surroundings. When I was younger I never thought twice about it just really loved the sound it made and the feeling it had in my hand.

When I came to Evergreen last year it was so magical to me and I had several spiritual awakenings. Not understanding my life at all growing up or why certain things had occurred. Questioning of why things were  happening and why to me. I just went with it and did what I needed to do.Feeling out all the different emotions and feelings as they came. I didn’t understand why I did certain things either. Coming here I felt comfortable, loved , and happy . I looked at myself one day in the mirror in my dorm and something inside me was telling me to take the makeup off my face , and to just be. Just be was a reoccurring thought threw my head over and over again. The make up came off my face and I saw myself differently then I had ever seen myself before. Not only myself but everything around me, I saw colors, symbols, numbers, and signs. I was laying in my bed and thoughts were rushing to me so fast . I felt that I understood my life at such a deep level , I could feel that I was surrounded by love, support and guidance. Being up for almost the whole night tears were rushing down my face. Around four in the morning when thoughts were clicking for me I heard the most beautiful sound outside , realizing it was the sound of bells. It was a sign to me that I got it and it was okay. Everything that had happened in the past was okay and had happened for a reason. I saw myself how it had been before. Connecting everything together .

The feeling of only sharing this with a few close friends last year to now sharing it with this whole class makes me feel a little weird but good at the same time. It was something that was very memorable, important , and intense for me. I wasn’t to sure of what I wanted to make, I had thoughts of making a beehive also being very symbolic to me, until Bells started coming up a lot for me again. Popping into my head , and hearing a lot about them during our retreat and seeing a few of them as well. I realized I would be very interested to make one big bell or a collection of eight bells with different thicknesses and colors.

Not growing up in a religious home, but defiantly believing in something of a higher power. when I started researching bells, there was a lot about religious value, but also about many other things. Bells and chimes are used in ceremonies, celebrations, and announcements by numerous cultures across the world. The bell dome is supposed to represent the vault of heaven  above and its flat circular bottom represents the flat, circular horizon of the earth . The empty space within represents all that is between heaven and earth. When the clapper hits the inner side of the bell, it symbolizes a message being resonated and created within the vault, or dome, of heaven delivered to the earth below. Bells are also used for many different reasons such as being certain peoples wake up calls to push us forth into our daily routines. Schools use Bells for the beginning and ending of classes to notify that a certain time period is over and boats use the sound when sailing through thick fog in order to announce their presence. The different tones of bells have different meanings. The higher tones are supposed to lift peoples spirits, represent happiness , and symbolize a closeness to a spirit. Lower tones can supposedly dampen peoples spirits. Chimes and high pitched bells can announce the presence of the higher spirits. Many people can associate bells with religious activity, but also can be used as magical enchantments. Bells are used as luck or to ward off evil spirits. Some believe and some doubt, but I was just very interested in researching the different symbolic reasoning due to my own personal experience with bells. Bells have a beginning and ending to what they symbolize and can also be used for the ringing of a door bell. When looking into the Chinese culture it is said that they are used for prospering and protection. And when looking at the bell and the sound symbols of Dharma , the bells sound symbolizes the proclamation of the masses of Dharma. The empty interior means voidness . The center of the bell is the reality of full knowledge of awareness .I believe that bells speak their own language through a variety of tones.