A Symbol is something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible, such as faith, luck, wealth, love, success, etc.
Symbols have been used throughout the history of mankind. Here are some of those symbols, with their universal meanings…
Angels: angels fulfill many different roles as our guardians. They guide, protect, watch, support, encourage, help, and heal us. They also teach us lessons on how to love and laugh and how to find peace.
Buddha: A Buddha is a person who has developed all positive qualities and eliminated all negative qualities. Buddha was an “ordinary” human like you and me before he became enlightened. Enlightenment is compared to awakening, as a person suddenly experiences a complete transformation of body and mind from sleeping to waking up. One could say that a Buddha represents the very peak of evolution, as he/she is omniscient or all-knowing. Buddhists value above all else having compassion for others and causing them no harm. A fundament of compassion is ridding oneself of anger, greed, hatred and other negative emotions, for in the presence of those it is impossible to feel loving kindness. So another value of a Buddha is equanimity, reason and using logic and examining cause and effect relationships that we can penetrate the misconceptions we have about the true nature of reality.
Butterfly: Represents the power of transformation. As a totem butterflies bring beauty’s rebirth and let the heart dance with joy, reminding us to take time to taste the flowers.
Celtic Cross: To the Celts, the Celtic Cross was a symbol of the four quarters, the North representing wisdom and stability, winter and death; the East knowledge, learning, youth and spring; the South vitality, passion, strength and summer; the West intuition, emotion, inner knowledge. The circle connecting the four arms of the cross symbolizes the unity and the eternal cycle of life and rebirth. This distinct style of cross with a ring dates from the early middle ages and is found in churchyards throughout Scotland.
Celtic Knot: The intricate weave and flow of Celtic knot work to symbolizes the flow of the life force through the cosmos, representing the endless cycle of life; the infinity of birth, death and rebirth.
Cross: Symbolizes health, fertility, life, immortality, the union of heaven and earth, spirit and matter, the sun, the stars… it is seen a world centre and a cosmic axis, the cross represents the human form, with its four cardinal points it can be mapped to fourfold systems: the four directions: north, south, east, and west; the 4 seasons; the four elements; the four winds…
Dolphins and Porpoises: symbolize Pranha, the Breath of Life, community and finding your own rhythm. Traditionally they are the patrons of sailors and bring good luck to a voyage. They teach us to live in harmony with others, our emotions and our environment, and to trust in our own power and rhythm and thus achieve balance and freedom.
Dragonflies: represent the powers of light and transformation, and the ability to see through illusion. They bring prosperity and harmony. They teach skillful action while maintaining a free and joyful sense of being.
Dragons: represent knowledge, hidden wisdom, and utilization of personal power and buried treasures. They are considered a combination of serpent (matter) and bird (spirit), and their fiery breath is the essence of Life-force. They are teachers of magick and serve as protective yet demanding guides who encourage us to be our finest selves.
Faeries: Fairies, or faeries, are known to bestow gifts upon people they are attracted to, such as beauty, wealth and kindness. They are the spirits of Nature itself. Everything is alive, and if you believe and wait patiently, they may reveal themselves to you. Try watching from the corner of your eye rather than directly
Feathers: It is commonly thought in most cultures that feathers are symbols of higher thought, spiritual progression. The line of thought here is that birds were considered divine creatures in primitive/ancient cultures because they are creatures of the sky (heaven) and therefore closer to God.
Fleur De Lis: It signifies perfection, light and life. Some say the three petals of the fleur-de-lis represent the Holy Trinity. Its resemblance to a spearhead has also led military units to identify it with martial power and strength.
Gargoyles: are protective entities created to act as guardians. Depictions of gargoyles appear in medieval and gothic architecture, and it is no doubt that many of these ornamental creatures were enchanted to provide protection to their buildings.
Griffins: A very protective and vigilant Spirit Guide, the Griffin (also spelled gryphon or griffon) is a master of astral workings and a guardian of the Soul and Life-essence. It appears as a creature with the head & wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.
Heart: This shape is typically colored red, suggesting both blood and, in many cultures, passion and strong emotion. This shape is particularly associated with romantic love. The heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past also intellectual core of a human being. As the heart was once widely believed to be the seat of the human mind, the word heart continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and stylized depictions of hearts are used as prevalent symbols representing love.
I-Ching: a symbol of Protection, Good Luck and Prosperity.
Infinity Symbol: or Lemniscates looks like the number 8 lying on its side. The lemniscates represents the cycles of infinity and creation, as one universe grows into and becomes another. It is past, present and future, all in one, and represents being in the eternal now.
Key: is a symbol of power and/or wealth. Keys are used to lock away what is valuable. A key provide access to goods which are locked away to anyone who possesses it. Mystery, Secrets,
Kokopelli: He symbolizes fertility, both in people and the rains that bring growth to the crops. He brings happiness and harmony. The magic from his flute was thought to stimulate creativity and help good dreams come true, and the gifts in his sack bring joy and abundance.
Laughing Buddha: The Jolly Laughing Buddha is also known as Hotei or Pu-Tai. He is extremely popular in China where he is also known as the Loving or Friendly One. He is derived from an eccentric Chinese Zen monk who lived well over a thousand years ago. He has a very open and jolly demeanor; he was regarded as an incarnation of the Maitreya bodhisattva. His features graces many temples, restaurants, and jewelry and has come to represent a Buddha of contentment and abundance. He is nearly always seen carrying a linen sack which is always full and is full with many valuable items, such as rice plants (indicating wealth), sweets for children, food items, or the grief of the world. He is the Buddha of the weak, the poor and children.
Lotus flower: A symbol of the sun, creation and rebirth. The lotus is the “crown of a thousand petals” representing the ability to open, petal by petal to mystery and enlightenment, in magick it is used for purification and protection.
Mermaid: Half woman, half fish, the lovely mermaid represents the power of our unconscious desires. She gives us the power to seek beneath the waves of our emotions and dreams for the pearls that lie beneath, and she reminds us that unless we follow the truth our inner selves, then our lives are as ephemeral as sea foam.
Moon: Glowing with reflected light, the Moon represents light within the darkness, and is associated with the female divine energy. Lunar energy offers us the ability to connect with the flowing powers of magick and mystery and our powers of psychic perception and intuition. As it waxes and wanes and is reborn anew, the Moon brings us the potential to connect with our own ability to rejuvenate our lives.
Mushrooms: Symbolizes long life, happiness and rebirth, successful government, signifies knowledge and enlightenment.
Om: or Aum the Hindu or Tibetan Om or Aum symbol represents the primal sound of the Universe. There are actually 4 syllables to this sound “Ah-oh-mm” and the silence that comes after. Chanting the Om sound will bring you into greater harmony with Spirit.
Owls: Is a classic symbol of wisdom and helps to connect with magick, silence and the ability to see through darkness or deception.
Pentacle: Or Pentagram represents the domination of Spirit or Divine Will over base matter, and the elements of Spirit, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. The pentacle has been a symbol of protection and spiritual growth, prosperity, abundance and groundedness for millennia. At its points are the stages of Life: birth, initiation, consummation, repose, and death, with the circle bringing us back to birth in the cycle of reincarnation.
Phoenix: symbolizes rebirth, regeneration, and transformation. In legend, when the Phoenix got old, it built a pyre and set itself aflame. From the ashes of the fire, a new Phoenix was born.
Ravens and Crows: represent magick, mystery, and sacred law as well as battle, As guardians through the cycle of death and rebirth, the scintillating rainbow colors in their dark wings remind us that even in the midst of darkness we have the power to touch the light.
Seraph or Seraphim: are angelic beings of elemental fire. They are seen variously as a lion headed, winged being, a being with 4 heads – man, eagle, lion and bull, or a man clothed in flames. They teach the ability to strengthen energy and will-power to take action and accomplish tasks both magickal and mundane.
Skull: is the seat of our wisdom and our power to think, the skull represents the receptacle used in the process of transformation
Solar Cross: Equal Armed Cross symbolizes the Sun and the four directions. Its energy is active, kinetic and vibrant, yet peacefully balanced.
Spiral: Is an ancient symbol of evolution and represents the cycle of the seasons and the cycles of Life, growth and change. Although each loop of the spiral brings us back to the same place, it takes us to a higher and more evolved level at each turn.
Stars: symbolize our inspiration to “reach for the stars” from the primal ooze of our birth toward the enlightenment of the cosmos.
Sun: Symbolizes creative energy; thinking, enlightenment, wisdom, spiritual vision
Sylphs: are elemental spirits of air. They often appear as bird-winged faeries tend to shy away from humans, preferring to live alone on remote mountaintops, where they can fly with the birds. They tend to be mercurial loners. As a guide, they help us find inspiration and creativity.
Tarot: is a means of communication with the Divine
Thor’s Hammer: Represents power, protection and strength used with honor.
The Tree of Life is a universal symbol found in many spiritual traditions. It symbolizes many things, including wisdom, protection, strength, bounty, beauty, and redemption. This tree is symbolic of the Creator as it sustains creation with its abundant fruit, protection and regeneration. The Tree also represents humans as we too develop roots, strengthen our trunk and branch out to a wider vision of life as we grow. The tree provides provide shelter. Tall and strong, it has deep roots. It reaches skyward. It loses its leaves and grows new ones …bears fruit …gives shelter. With nurture and care, it lives for generations.
Triangle: represents the active principle and is often used as a symbol of fire. Its energy is dynamic and it creates change, moves forcibly and with power.
Triple Moon: Glowing with reflected light, the Moon represents light within the darkness, and is associated with the female divine energy. Lunar energy offers us the ability to connect with the flowing powers of magick and mystery and our powers of psychic perception and intuition. As it waxes and wanes and is reborn anew, the Moon brings us the potential to connect with our own ability to rejuvenate our lives.
Triquetra: The triquetra symbolizes all trinities and especially the realms of Air, Earth and Sea – thus all the world.
Triskele: Represents all trinities. Three is seen as a magickal number by many ancient cultures
Turtles: Turtles teach us to be always at home in the world. They represent connection with the earth, patience, protection through non-violent means, and the ability to respect our own boundaries as well as that of others, and to have a thick emotional shell.
Willendorf Goddess: is an Earth Goddess, representing fertility, abundance, wealth and plenty, and the potent female power of the land
Wings: represent the ability of our souls and our minds to take flight and to rise above our emotions so that we can see the larger view with clarity and intellect. They also symbolize freedom and the immortality of the soul.