Here I will present some general advice when reading symbolism, which could be of great use to anyone as it enriches the experience of anything and everything if understood correctly.
The most important part about symbolism is to never take anything as constant.
Any symbol could mean anything depending on the context and interpretation.
That does not change the conventional meaning or the collectively agreed upon meaning.
But you as an experiencer will enjoy the experience more if you are in control of your
interpretation more than you are controlled by the symbols you interpreter.
In my art there are a lot of symbols that could come off as offensive,
I am very well aware of this, as I have had it pointed out several times.
But in the moment of creation that was not my intention. Usually my understanding
of the symbols I used differed a lot from that of conventional perception.
One example which I could give is that of piece number 27 (Sep 2017) "The Black Sun". Some people have claimed this to be an illustration of Nazism, and although I do not wish to interfere with the interpretation, that was not my own intention at the creation. It is actually a reference to evil in general. And how evil is usually used by means of mass, how an idea can manifest itself in a mass of people so that they carry out a certain behavior. Like the personnel at the hospital where I was raped according to our national law and furthermore tortured me if one were to see what happened without the conventional brainwash. They do not believe that they do anything wrong or corrupt, as they adhere to the collective idea. That is usually how evil works to anyone subjected to it. And that was the image I tried to depict in alignment with the conclusion. True evil rarely works alone, and although it may be one person carrying out the evil act, it is usually a group of people guilty for its manifestation. Whether the collective are able to perceive it or not. It takes a great deal of insight and wisdom to realize ones own evil, and even more to overcome it. That is why most people love the idea of conventional belief in the greater good, because that gives them a false identity of doing good even if they torture and murder people en masse. One of the main reasons for people to interpreter this image as illustrating Nazism is because of the six-pointed star used in the image. But in that particular piece it was actually representing the number six when I created it. What is written on the gallows is actually a number sequence, but with unconventional symbolism rather than conventional Arabic numerals. And this is yet another thing about conventional idea, that people have a very rigid belief in symbolism, that certain symbols must mean a certain thing. They will fight, torture and even kill for the meaning of a certain symbol. And that is what the image is about, how an idea can manifest itself in a group of people to the very extent that they will die and kill for it. Evil rarely works alone, most often it uses a group of people.
Strength in numbers is not the true strength. True strength is to remain independent even in the face of an enemy whose strength is only in numbers.
Since many people have associated this work with Nazism, this picture is a perfect example of what I mean.
Now when you know that, you will see that particular piece with a new set of eyes, your intellect has been expanded. If you understand this concept, and apply it on every image, you will get more out of it. Because what I meant when I created it could differ so much from what you gather from it when you interpreter it. Whatever you interpreter will ultimately be a result of your intellect and creativity within it; no interpretation is wrong, as long as you retain meaning from it yourself. Because you have your mind for the sake of yourself, so that you are able to navigate this realm of the collective reality in the moment.
My greatest tips is to try and see new things in the old, rather than being controlled by the crystallized intellect in your mind. Because things are not what they seem most of the time. If you believe they are, you are only subjecting yourself to the illusion.
Another important aspect to keep in mind which builds upon the previous tips of symbolism is to never allow your experience to become static, as it kills off the creation of meaning. What that means is, what you interpreter of something one day, may not be the same thing the next day. Much like time changes all the time, you change all the time, and your mind with you. The moment you allow yourself to become 'locked in' to a certain paradigm or dimension of perception, you will be controlled by that aspect. The more you are able to 'be in the now', the more you will retain from the reality in any given moment, as your interpretation is not so rigid and crystallized. Intellect is really only useful in order to navigate your own reality. But if you allow your mind to be controlled from the outside by means of reactions to symbols or triggering words, you have no control over yourself, and you are basically operating on intellectual autopilot.
My last tips which is very important as well. Always have second thoughts. Do not doubt your first thoughts,
but allow the second thoughts to guide the first thoughts. (If that formulation makes any sense)
Allow yourself to rush in, but simultaneously question yourself in real time, as to keep up observation of yourself. It is the easiest way to practice self-reflection. Because what you think is not always your thoughts. Those thoughts could have been given to you from something outside of you, which is now controlling your process of thinking. Question your own thinking and why you thought that, where it came from and why. Be like a thinker within the thinker, but without over-thinking.
An example is the easiest to illustrate this. If you experience something annoying, do not let it get the best of you. Your mind may want to rush to that particular reaction, but if you have second thoughts about the reaction, you are in much greater control of yourself. This is an art-form and a mastery, so it will require practice and a lot of testing. But the more you do it, the better you will become at maintaining your calm even in the face of humiliation.