Common spiritual symbols you need to know
There are plenty of spiritual symbols that we come across on a day to day basis. Yet we have no clue as to what their meanings are. Most of these spiritual symbols are either ancient or are attached to different religions and belief systems. Either way, it is important to know all about them because they happen to influence our daily lives, either directly or indirectly. Some are used for protection purposes while others are a sign of the spiritual side of life. The following are the 25 most common spiritual symbols you have probably seen and therefore ought to know a thing or two about.
1. The Bagua spiritual symbol
The Bagua spiritual symbol is commonly seen in Chinese spiritual jargon. The spiritual symbol is used to balance a lot of aspects including family bonds, astronomy, geomancy, astronomy, geography, and anatomy, just to mention a few. In total, the Bagua has eight trigrams. Each one of these trigrams has three lines, meaning it represents different realities. The broken lines present the Yin while the unbroken lines represent the Yang. Therefore, if your ultimate dream is to achieve balance in any aspect of your life, then you need to get your hands on the Bagua and experience some incredibly rejuvenating changes.
2. The Hamsa spiritual symbol
This particular spiritual symbol is one that symbolizes protection. It takes the form of a human hand with flower paintings or patterns on it. At the bottom of the palm is an all-seeing eye that has the power to protect one from “bad eyes” or ward off any evil that has been sent to you. This spiritual symbol is said to be effective against people who practice dark magic with the intention of causing harm. Therefore, it's a good idea to consider carrying a Hamsa symbol everywhere you go for your own protection. This spiritual symbol has been used in the Arabic world for ages and from the look of things, it does seem to work like a charm.
3. The spiritual eye of Horus symbol
The ancient Egyptians used the Eye of Horus as a sign or symbol of protection. If you take a close look at any of their relics, i.e., ancient carvings or portraits, the eye of Horus symbol will most certainly be among the first things you will lay your eyes on. The Eye of Horus was so powerful that it was believed to protect the pharaohs after death and while on their way to the afterlife. The latter explains why sailors used to paint the eye of Horus on their vessels before embarking on any voyage.
4. The tree of life spiritual symbol
The Tree of Life, or the World Tree, has a deeper meaning that’s connected to the life cycle or reincarnation. It symbolizes birth, growth, death, and then rebirth. The Tree of Life is also believed to be the Tree of Knowledge. And for those who don’t know, eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge is what caused Adam and Eve to be banished from heaven. You will also find this spiritual symbol across a number of cultures but referred to by a different name. It is usually depicted as a tree you’d see while in a dreamlike state.
5. The yin-yang spiritual symbol
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This is a rather famous spiritual symbol that is all about the duality of life. Dark and light, good and evil, or black and white – depending on what you’d like to call it. It also represents the unity between the male and the female or the masculine and feminine. This spiritual symbol goes a long way in showing the importance of balancing between the dark and light. This is because for one to live a meaningful and fruitful life, he or she has to fully understand the importance of striking a balance. This spiritual symbol also shows that light cannot exist without dark and vice versa.
6. The lotus flower
Unlike most of the spiritual symbols which are mostly about protection and warding off evil, the lotus flower symbolizes enlightenment. This symbol in Buddhism is a sign of the acquisition of knowledge and moving from darkness all the way to the light. It also shows the entire journey of transformation, from beginning to infinity. There are droplets on the petals which are being shed off, meaning that one has to shed off certain things in order to become better or more enlightened. This might mean getting rid off bad habits or negative, retrogressive thoughts. Either way, anything that is holding you back needs to be shed off in order for you to experience a proper, fully-fledged transformation.
7. The Dharma Wheel
The Wheel of Law or the Dharma Wheel is another popular Buddhist spiritual symbol that you ought to know about. Its meaning is quite simple as it has everything to do with the teachings of the Path of Nirvana. The wheel looks like some dream catching paraphernalia hanging from a treelike structure. You can’t miss it since the wheels are made out of different colors. It is said that the origins of the Dharma Wheel date back to about 2500 B.C.
8. The Caduceus spiritual symbol
This spiritual symbol is depicted by two intertwining snakes facing each other around a winged staff. You might have seen this in hospitals or in prominent healthcare organizations symbols. The symbol has an astrological meaning to it that is related to planet Mercury. The two snakes represent the male and female, which is the perfect representation of the human primal life force. The snakes also represent kundalini energy while the wings at the top of the staff represent the start of a new life (or a rebirth of sorts). The symbol also depicts the flow of kundalini energy which rises from the base of your spine to your entire body.
9. The Star of David
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The Star of David doesn’t have anything to do with protection but rather the union between God and man. It has also been used as a sign of the union between two opposing energies, i.e. man and God. The middle of the Star of David or the Shield of David signifies the heart, where power rests. And because of what it represents, the symbol has been used in plenty of Kabbalistic practices. The Star of David is also a prominent Jewish symbol.
10. The Triade spiritual symbol
The meaning of the Triade spiral - which is widely used in Celtic Folklore - has a lot to do with the movement of time. For the same reason, the Triade spiral has also been widely used when it comes Celtic architecture. Its meaning is attached to the elements, just like the pentacle. The elements in question include the spirit, mind, body, water, and the sky. So, if you ever dream of understanding Celtic folklore, then the Triade spiritual symbol is a good place to start.
11. The Pentacle spiritual symbol
When it comes to Satanism, then the pentacle must be the most popular spiritual symbol on the list. But the truth is that the pentacle spiritual symbol has got nothing to do with the devil or devil worship. The topmost point represents the spirit of man while the other four points represent the other four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. In short, the pentacle spiritual symbol represents the nature of man, and not the antichrist or the devil like Hollywood blockbusters have conditioned us to believe.
12. The eagle
The eagle is one of the strongest predatory birds. Possibly for this reason, it symbolizes strength and greatness throughout many cultures. The latter explains why the bird has been extensively used in the Native North American culture as a sign or symbol of protection and power. Due to its commanding presence, the eagle was thought to be the sign of the all-powerful creator and the ruler of the skies.
13. Double happiness symbol
This symbol is commonly used in marriages, meaning to wish the newlyweds nothing but happiness and tranquility. It usually comes in the form of an ornamental design with two letters of the Chinese alphabet that translate to joy or happiness. Wearing this symbol is believed to give the couple not only joy but the happiest union that is a dream for every couple, new or old. And thanks to modernization, as well as cultural exchange, a lot of other cultures have begun adopting the symbol in their own marriage ceremonies. After all, who wouldn't want a little more happiness in their lives?
14. The earth medicine wheel machine
This is also another vital Native American spiritual symbol that many people see on a daily basis but don’t quite understand its significance. The earth medicine wheel is a representation of peace and harmony throughout all living beings, together with the necessary elements. It can also be used to symbolize change that comes with a closer look at one’s inner self. This is called inner vision which can only be achieved by harmonizing one’s spiritual energy.
15. Gayathri Yantra
This symbol acts in the protection of the truth. It also helps facilitate the growth of one’s wisdom and power to make sound and important decisions. In short, the Gayathri Yantra symbol is very important in the illumination of one’s essence. This kind of understanding comes with the full appreciation of the four elements including air, earth, water, and fire. It also symbolizes spiritual growth or maturity. A keen eye in the crowded streets of India will spot this symbol anywhere.
16. The spiritual symbol Shinto
This is a Japanese cultural symbol meaning a place is sacred or is a holy ground. It is for this reason that you’ll always see it in public shrines or other places of worship. The Japanese culture has a lot of gods. But their shrines always have one symbol in common – the Shinto. This symbol looks like a red circle with a black mark that looks like the geometric symbol Pi situated at the center. The symbol is used for specific rituals, such as the cleansing and warding off of demons and bad dreams.
17. Khanda spiritual symbol
The khanda is synonymous with the Deg Tegh Fateh of the Sikh doctrine. It is made up of four weapons that cross at the bottom, spreading out from the sides and going all the way up. The weapons represent Miri-Piri and its duality nature or character. The duality of Miri-Piri shows the integration from physical to spiritual as well as temporal sovereignty. You can’t miss the chakkar at the center, a double-edged khanda in the middle and single-edged swords articulating its sides. Note: a Khanda is a sword.
18. The Fish or ichthus spiritual symbol
Whenever fish comes to mind, all we think about is some sweet smelling, homemade stew. But in ancient Christianity, the fish symbol – which was referred to as ichthus or ichthys – has spiritual significance. The symbol is a sign meaning or representing fertility. It also served as natural protection of the natural force of women. This symbol might have been popularized by Christianity but it has its origins deeply embedded in paganism.
19. The peace sign
Contrary to popular belief, the peace sign is indeed a spiritual symbol that is well respected all over the globe. It arose due to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, popularly abbreviated as CND. The CND organization’s goal is to disband the manufacture of and disarm nuclear bombs so that everyone can enjoy a peaceful world – a world we all dream about. And this is why the peace symbol is considered a spiritual symbol.
This spiritual symbol is extensively used in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainism religions. The Om represents creation and protection. Another interesting fact about the Om is that it has been found in many ancient religious texts which transcend the scope of language.
21. The snake spiritual symbol
The snake symbol is either revered or detested, depending on the religion in question. In Christianity, the snake is a sign of the devil or deceit. In most Eastern cultures, however, the snake is a symbol of regeneration, meaning that they view the shedding of the skin as some sort of rebirth or a fresh start.
22. The spiral
Once again, the spiral is one of those spiritual symbols that has been used so much that you can easily spot it in your dreams. The spiritual symbol is a representative of new beginnings or enlightenment on a whole other level. In other cultures, the spiral spiritual symbol is used to represent the goddess of the womb or fertility. Either way, the spiral spiritual symbol is used to represent some sort of rebirth or a new beginning.
23. The star and crescent
The star and crescent spiritual symbol has been used in a number of cultures and religions, as well as civilizations. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the symbol means a whole lot of things to a lot of people. The star and crescent spiritual symbol was once a sign of protection in the Ottoman Empire. In Islam, it is a symbol of peace and protection from Allah, the one true God.
24. The Flower of Life spiritual symbol
The sign of the Flower of Life has more than seven geometric symbols overlapping each other. This symbol is well over a couple of thousands of years old and is prevalent in almost all ancient cultures. This sacred – and sophisticated – geometrical masterpiece contains all patterns of creation. And to some extent, its meaning has been closely associated with an attempt at explaining creation as it is. Of course, there are plenty of other sacred geometrical symbols but this specific spiritual symbol seems to be the most popular and most erudite of them all.
25. The Ankh
The Ankh is probably the most common spiritual symbol, second to the Christian Cross. The only difference between the Christian cross and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic Ankh is the circular loop at the top of the Ankh, which signifies the circulation of holy water. If anyone in ancient Egypt dreamt of the afterlife, then the dream wasn’t complete without an Ankh on their tombstone. This spiritual symbol represented eternal life as well as regeneration or reincarnation. It’s no wonder most Egyptian gods and Pharaohs were sculpted holding this spiritual symbol in the popular relics we know of today.
As we have already established, it is important for you to know about spiritual symbols as well as their meaning and origins. Most of today’s problems emanate from our lack of spiritual understanding, hence making us spiritually starved beings. But if we can make some time to focus on the spiritual side of things, then we will be successful in restoring balance in our lives. It all starts with learning one spiritual symbol at a time. Eventually, your dream of spiritual maturity will surely come full circle! Feel free to use the internet to learn more about spiritual symbols. Even better, seek spiritual guidance from spiritual leaders, like a priest or monk.