I often find my kids sifting through YouTube videos obsessively looking for ‘Easter eggs’, even when they are not of the chocolate variety. ‘Easter eggs’ is the buzz term for the messages and symbols cleverly hidden in movies. As an example: in every Disney movie you will apparently find characters from other Disney movies, loitering in the background. Look out for Mickey Mouse at the controls of a tie-fighter as he bears down on Pluto (sorry, very bad dad joke).
So I got to thinking: why don’t I hide a few symbols – I mean Easter eggs – into the pages of my new book?
The kids brought this coincidence to my attention – ‘Cool Dad! Your new book’s full of fidget spinners!’.
The symbol they are referring too is actually a triskele (and it was never intended to resemble a ‘fidget spinner’). The word triskelion (or triskele) is a Greek word that means ‘three legs’ and it’s been seen as far back as 3200 BC. The exact symbolic meaning of the triskelion is blurry, giving rise to many interpretations. It has been known to represent everything that is dynamic in life; in opposition to anything rigid or fixed. It could represent time: past, present and future or the three stages of life (childhood, maturity and old age). It could symbolise the ‘three elements’: water, fire and earth, or the three worlds: the living, the dead and the spirit. I included it in the story because it also represents the three female virtues of the goddess: daughter, mother and wife (in reference to the feminine power of the protagonist).
I also love what the number 3 represents in ancient and current philosophies and beliefs.
The number 3 is the symbol for the trinity: it represents unity and the balance of triangular elements or forces. There are three states of matter, three primary colours, three dimensions of space (height, length, width) and time (past, present, future); three states of existence (spiritual, intellectual, emotional) and three states of matter (gas, liquid, solid). Christianity has the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Islam, mosque towers are often topped with three balls symbolizing the three worlds and Buddhists talk about the three characteristics of existence (impersonality, impermanence and dissatisfaction) and the three poisons (greed, ignorance and anger). Three is the number of Tim Tams you should eat before you stop. Overtime, so many ideologies and beliefs point back to a trilateral reference of some description.
In The Mark of the Maker Stone (another shameless book plug) the triskele symbol is hidden amongst the illustrations. I wonder how many will be discovered …