Pagan Symbols and Their Meanings
The star in this symbol is used to represent the four elements of earth, air, water and fire plus spirit. A circle is them placed around them to symbolise the connection and reciprocal relationship between them all. The pentacle is sometimes used on altars and in magical work to symbolise the element of earth.
The triple moon symbol represents the three phases of the moon, known as waxing, full and waning. Within some paths and traditions this symbol is also known as the triple goddess and is used to show the three phases of womanhood - maiden, mother and crone.
The first crescent, the waxing moon symbolises new life, rejuvenation and new beginnings. The middle circle represents the full moon, when magic is at it's most powerful. Finally, the second crescent moon represents the moon during its waning period. This time of the moon phase is a that is regarded as the best to send things away, remove them from your life or to finish things.
Eye of Horus
The eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol that is often used for protection. This symbol is also known as The Wadjet. The Eye of Horus is believed by many to have healing and protective powers as well as the ability to ward off evil spirits. Because of this the eye of Horus is often used to decorate protective amulets and other items.
This ancient Egyptian hieroglyph means life or living. Over time the ankh has come to symbolise eternal life and immortality to people from many walks of life. This symbol is also chosen by some who wish to show that they have spiritual beliefs rather than religious.
The Ankh is also known as the Egyptian Cross, or by it's Latin name, crux ansata, which translates to 'cross with a handle'.
The symbol of Hectate's wheel is used to represent the three aspects of the goddess - the maiden, mother and crone. Hectate is a goddess in Greek religion and mythology associated with crossroads, entrances, the moon, witchcraft, magic, herbs, necromancy, and sorcery.
The wheel is used to symbolise the power of knowledge and life and is a popular symbol in feminist traditions.
The triquetra has long been used to symbolise the holy trinity but pre-dates Christianity and its use as such. This symbol has been found in Celtic and Nordic inscriptions and arts as well as on Germanic coins and Swedish runes as far back as the 11th century.
Some modern traditions use it to represent the connection between the mind, body and soul. In Celtic-based Pagan traditions it is often used as a symbol of the three realms of earth, sea and sky. In the past there has been speculation that the triquetra is a symbol of the triple goddess or was used as a Celtic symbol of feminine spirituality though no solid scholarly evidence has been found to date.
The triskelion is generally considered to be a Celtic design but it has also been found within Buddhist writings. The exact design can vary but this symbol always features one shaped repeated three times, with each repetition interlocking. Triskeles can be found all over the world, for example: carved on many Neolithic stones in Ireland and Western Europe, in the symbol for the isle of Sicily and on bank notes in the Isle of Man.
Some Celtic traditions use the triskele to represent the realms of earth, sea and sky.
Setogram (faery Star)
The septogram is also know as the Faery or Elven star. It is used within some faerie traditions but is also associated with many other magical traditions.
Seven is a scared number in many pagan traditions and this star symbol can be used to represent different sets of seven things depending on a persons beliefs or tradition. These include:
- the seven Pleiades (stars)
- the seven days of the week
- the seven major Hindu chakras
- the seven classical planets (sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn)
- the seven notes in a diatonic music scale (white notes)
- the seven tenants (balance, harmony, humility, learning, reincarnation, tolerance and trust)
- the seven elements (earth, air, fire, water, above, below and within)
The number Three is commonly considered to relate to heaven and the higher realms while the number four relates to the earth. 3+4 = 7 which can be seen as heaven and earth coming together as a whole.
This symbol, often used by Wiccans is used as a sign of life. The spiral represents the ever continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth.
The spiralling line can been seen as the constant path of life and has been found throughout history as far back as Paleolithic times, where they were carved on tombs. Spirals can also be found in many instants in nature, for example: galaxies and sea shells.
Unlike amaze, you cannot get lost or trapped in a Labyrinth. Despite the many twists and turns that may present themselves, there is only one way in and out. This same pattern is seen in life as no matter who a person is, the family they are born to and the life they leave there is only one way to come into and later leave this world. Due to this the labyrinth is sometimes as a symbol of life and death.
Air is one of the elements that are found within most pagan traditions. It is considered as the element of the east and is connected to the soul and the breath of life.
Air is one of the four classical elements that are often invoked during pagan rituals and spiritual workings. The element of air is associated with the colour yellow and white, communication, wisdom and the mind. Air can also be represented by feathers, a fan or incense.
Earth is one of the classical elements (earth, air, fire and air). The symbol of earth is also sometimes used to symbolise Mother Earth.
The element of earth is associated with the colours of brown and green, abundance, prosperity, and fertility.
The element of fire is regarded as strong and masculine. Although fire can destroy anything in it's path it can also be an aid to life, for example in enabling us to cook food for ourselves and keep warm through the winter.
Fire as an element is associated with the south, strong will and energy as well as with transformation and change.
The element of water is believed to have a strong feminine connection and so is associated with all aspects of the goddess. The inverted triangle used to symbolise water is felt by some to symbolise the womb and so be fitting with this elements feminine association.
Water is a healing and purifying element that is connected to the west. Water can be used in rituals involving love and other emotions and flowing water in nature such as a river or the sea can be incorporated into magical workings that focus on carrying away negativity or other unwanted aspects from your life.
The horned god is one of the many names given to the male aspects of spirituality and life and this term most often used within the tradition of Wicca. This symbol can be used to invoke the god during rituals and other magical work.
the horned god is associated with the wilderness and virility. Some people also believe that it is the horned god that carries the souls of the dead to the underworld.
The Eye of Ra
Like the Eye of Horus, this is an ancient magical symbol which is often used for protection. The Eye of Ra was painted or carved onto the boats of Egyptian fishermen in order to protect them from evil curses and harm. This symbol was also placed on Egyptian coffins so that the person would be protected in the afterlife.
Common uses for the Eye of Ra are to wear it as a talisman or amulet or to place them in and around the home in order to protect the building and occupants from harm.