What does Wellness mean and why is the Indalo a symbol of Wellness?
The World Health Organisation defines Wellness as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing . . the optimal state of health of individuals and groups, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
And: The Indalo has long been a symbol of protection from all things bad . . including things that affect a person’s health and prosperity:
SEE examples of the Indalo as a symbol of Wellness in our SHOP category: Gifts to wish Good health and Wellness :
Indalo as the symbol of Wellness and Protection
For many years people have worn Indalo jewellery (or painted the symbol on their house) to help protect them from adversity – whether that be from actual physical harm caused by an accident, earthquake, flood, etc, or through illness, injury or bad health – as well as to protect them against financial difficulties too.
For this reason, the Indalo became a renowned symbol of good luck – and something that was gifted, one person to another, to say things like: Good luck at the hospital or with your operation, good luck on your trip (eg travelling on a gap year), good luck moving house, or in retirement, etc. By extension, the Indalo has also been used to offer good luck wishes for things like exams, interviews, starting a new job, a competition or match, a driving test, and so on . . even as a gift to help someone who is trying to lose weight, quit smoking, start something new (like Uni or a first day at school) . . in fact to wish good luck for any event.
The Indalo takes many forms but the basic shape is the same: A human figure with outstretched arms holding a “rainbow”
Protection is central to the philosophy of the Indalo and its meaning
Everything stems from the protective nature of the Indalo – established over many, many years. In fact, it was over 4,000 years ago, that Neolithic man decorated the walls of a cave in southern Spain with drawings of goats, deer and birds, as well as rudimentary sketches of men/women in various poses, alongside other shapes. Some of of these ‘shapes’ were in the form of the Indalo (a man with arms outstretched holding a rainbow). This is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Indalo has become famous in the province of Almería in Andalucía where to this day, it is strongly believed to offer protection, and bring good fortune wherever it is situated. Travelling around, you will see it everywhere. It is integral to the way of life of this region of Spain.
But this figure of a man with arms outstretched holding a rainbow, can be found in many other places around the world . . from different centuries and in different civilisations: In particular, it is common amongst the Native Indians of North America (and especially that of the Cree, Hopi and Sioux tribes) where there was (and still is) a strong belief that the rainbow is a representation of the Great Spirit – the Creator. So they use the expression ‘Rainbow Warrior’ to describe this mystical being that will protect them.
The so-called Rainbow Warrior or Rainbow Man shape also occurs (in roughly similar form) in various spots in Central and South America including Couscous in Chile, Incamacha in Bolivia, Sardinata in northern Colombia, at Nazca, Peru, and in Patagonia, Argentina. Likewise, there are ancient rock carvings with a similar basic shape in Ramses II’s temple at Abydos in Egypt, and in Zambia, Africa. And one of the petroglyph rock carvings in Hawaii is known as ‘Rainbow Man’ and has special significance for the Hawaiian people: It symbolises the responsibility that each individual person has to protect the land, their ‘Aina’ (Mother Earth).
In Italy too (at Valtellina in Lombardy), there is a rock called Rupe Magna. It is over 80m long and is engraved with thousands of ‘Indalo-like’ figures. Indeed, one of the most famous examples of Renaissance art is in Italy – Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing called Vitruvian Man, drawn in the late 15th Century, is in the form of an Indalo – a man with open arms in a circle.
A common thread or theme running through all these occurrences of the Indalo Rainbow Man around the world is the concept of PROTECTION that the symbol purportedly imparts. A belief in protection is central in every case, and part of the philosophy or understanding of the symbol – and the trust that people put in it. This protection can relate to general welfare / wellbeing of a person concerning their finances and business (think prosperity and good fortune), or protection of people in a more physical way, whether that relates to their property / house or to their actual physical body as regards good health and wellness while they go about their daily lives, including protection from illness, injury, and harm – or protection from misfortune (eg: bad luck in an event or occasion).
“Protection” is a common factor in all the incidences of this ancient symbol.
To many, the Indalo shape represents a link between man and God – with the rainbow being the bridge between Heaven and Earth – and in all these locations, this ‘Indalo’ symbol with its rainbow connection is said to act as a bridge between the physical and the spiritual worlds – and it is believed to impart this sense of protection and safekeeping to the local people.
Millions of people have faith in it, and believe in it: In the case of the ‘Almeriense’ Spaniards of Andalucía, so strongly do they feel about it, that they regard it as a part of their ‘tierra’ (the land of their birth). Even today, in the small village pueblos that lie hidden behind the giant sierras that roll down to the Mediterranean shores, the Indalo is known for its protecting qualities.
Consequently, people hope that, by wearing an Indalo, they will be protected . . helping to make them healthy and well, and to keep them healthy and well too.
In Granada, southern Spain, a gentleman named Xaverio (Javier) Muñoz runs a programme called Método Indalo Codex which is for personal development. It promotes good health and a healthy living or lifestyle which is all about restoring your body to what it used to be in terms of health, fitness and wellbeing (aka Wellness), and then maintaining it.
It comprises a series of exercise programmes based on the Indalo form, in order to activate a person’s interior power for positive thought, and subsequent health. The Indalo Codex is a kind of dynamic meditation – a self-development manual by which, through simple psycho-physical exercises, all the wisdom and practical knowledge exemplified by the Indalo symbol is expressed. In its basic form, it utilises the Indalo posture with arms extended to unify the body, mind and spirit, in harmony with nature. The intention is to internalise in the subconscious, goals for good health, and to promote overall wellness. Inspired by the Indalo (and it’s history), it is intended to create a positive attitude to health, and achieve the goal of overall wellness.
So, what exactly is Wellness?
The concept of Wellness is much more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being – not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
It is a combination of this list of the 8 dimensions of Wellness:
- Physical and nutritional health, including good diet, optimum sleep, and an active lifestyle including getting outside into the fresh air and the sunshine
- Emotional wellbeing – looking after yourself, relaxing where possible and reducing stress, and trying to understand your feelings and be able to transmit them to others
- Social connections – having friends and relationships, and fostering a sense of belonging for support
- Spiritual sense of purpose and a meaning to life which involves discovering what values and beliefs are important to yourself
- Intellectual knowledge and skills – being open to new ideas and participating in cultural and community activities
- Financial satisfaction including planning for the future to provide economic health and prosperity
- Positive environmental surroundings which support your health, wellbeing and safety
- Occupational satisfaction from work and/or volunteering
It is balance in life.
Indalo as a symbol of Wellness
Small wonder therefore that the Indalo is regarded as the most appropriate symbol of wellness . . especially when one considers the other contenders:
Here’s a list of 6 symbols of wellness which are often touted as significant:
- The Lotus flower has been hailed as a symbol of wellness but, in reality it is a symbol of enlightenment – of Buddhism, of reincarnation and re-birth
- Yin-Yang could be termed a symbol of wellness too because it reflects balance in life, although it is strongly entwined within Chinese philosophy
- The Hamsa likewise has been used as a symbol of wellness, although it tends to be centred in the beliefs of the Middle East
- The Tree of Life, which is a symbol of unity, also has merit as regards the concept of wellness because it shows that each of us is part of something much bigger, honouring the diversity of creation while celebrating shared origins. It concerns development, growth and connection – but tends to concentrate on mindfulness and ‘living in the moment’
- The Carnelian gemstone has also been touted as regards to Wellness, and there is no doubt that many people believe in the power of gemstones to help build and maintain good health. Carnelian has a long history in Ancient Egypt and the Indian sub-continent as a source of energy and as a ”cellular cleanser” – but not really for comprehensive wellness overall
- And what about the humble Apple . . a great symbol of good health in every way – but there is more to wellness than just simple physical health
When one considers all the above, it is plain to see just why the Indalo is the symbol of Wellness most popular in these modern times. Health is a state of being, whereas wellness is the state of living a fulfilled and healthy lifestyle. Health refers to physical, mental, and social well-being, whereas Wellness aims to enhance that well-being: Wellness is an active process of making choices to achieve a healthy and fulfilling life – something that is especially important as we age.
And, as Xavier notes about the Indalo Codex, it is all about using the Indalo symbol to channel and restore good health: The intention is that not only could it MAKE you more healthy by giving you a positive attitude to healing, but it could also KEEP you more healthy too, as one of the great symbols of protection.
The Indalo is an ideal gift for wellness
Wish your friends or loved-ones well by sending them an Indalo as a meaningful present to promote general health and wellness. It would be a lovely little gift to show that you really care about their health, prosperity and well-being.
The Indalo: For protection, prosperity, good luck and . . WELLNESS