Tag Archives: symbolism

Symbols {88} ~ Infinity

Originating from the Latin infinitas which means “unboundedness”, infinity is the concept of endlessness or limitlessness most widely tackled in the fields of mathematics and physics.

The very first person known to have written about the concept of infinity was Archimedes, more than 2300 years ago. His writings were found buried under some paintings and prayers which were written on top of his and were only discovered recently thanks to a very powerful scanner that uses hair-thin X-rays (Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource). Up until the discovery of his work, it was widely accepted that Galileo was the first scientist to bounce around the idea in his head.

The person who actually introduced the infinity symbol was John Wallis in 1655. This symbol is sometimes called the Lemniscate. It is a symbol that evolved a little bit from the Etruscan numeral for 1000 which looked like 2 letter Cs facing each other with an “I” in the middle (CIƆ). There is another theory that he actually derived the infinity symbol from omega (ω), the last letter of the Greek alphabet.

The Ouroboros symbol which is that of a snake twisted into a horizontal figure 8 and biting its own tail is also said to be a most plausible basis for the infinity symbol because it is a fitting depiction of endlessness.

Symbols {65} ~ The World Triad

The World Triad is a symbol that has universal significance. It can be found all over the world, across different cultures, throughout history. The Triad or the concept of threeness has been treated as sacred since ancient times. It is seen as the unity of the body, the mind, and the spirit, and is believed to symbolize physical growth, mental development, and spiritual awakening.

Originally, the World Triad was an oriental symbol, but the western Gnostics adopted it as an emblem denoting the three-fold nature of fate and reality. It represents cosmic creativity and stands for the cycles of time that keep spiraling endlessly.

The circular symbol of the World Triad is representative of the continuing movement of the Earth. It can even be understood as a reflection of the inter-dependence and inter-connectedness of all existence. Meditation on the World Triad symbol is believed to promote harmony, creativity, and self-confidence.

Like the Chinese Yin Yang, the World Triad also symbolizes the eternity of the forces at play in the cosmos, with harmonious balance existing between the conflicting forces. In Tibet and Bhutan, the World Triad symbol is considered the sign of Trimurti and referred to as the Cosmic Mandala. The Japanese know of it as the Mitsu-tomoe or Magatama, which is representative of the human spirit.

Symbols {58} ~ Hammer & Sickle

One of the most recognizable symbols of communism, the Hammer and Sickle represents the unity of the industrial working class proletariat and rural peasantry. The hammer denotes the industrial laborers, while the sickle stands for the agrarian ones. The emblem was developed around the Russian Revolution to glorify a changing regime and a re-invented social order. It was also seen as defining the parameters of the post-revolutionary Russia.

As a symbol of equality, the Hammer and Sickle captured the ethos of the rebellion and sought to replace the imperial images that had become entrenched in the public psyche since generations.

Over the years, the Hammer and Sickle symbol took on several other meanings. With the hammer representing power and the sickle symbolizing efficiency, their union came to signify the winning combination of power & efficiency. When used in the context of gender, the symbol implies and encourages the notion of gender equality. The hammer is associated with man, whereas the sickle stands for women. Together, they indicate the need for and importance of having the men and women working side by side for the betterment of the society. Another association of the symbol has the hammer equated with city and urbanity and the sickle likened to the village and rural backwardness. Collectively, they represent the harmony between the two ways of life.

The Hammer and Sickle were adopted as its official symbol by Soviet Russia in 1924. Ever since it has become an international political emblem representing different socialist states and communist parties all over the world.

Symbols {57} ~ Ik Onkar

Ik Onkar is a prominent Sikh symbol that represents the central tenet of the religious philosophy of the Sikh faith. Symbolizing the concept of the unity of God, it stands for the One Supreme Being who is behind all creation. The phrase has two components – Ik and Onkar. Ik is written as a numeral and means one, while Onkar denotes the name of God, Brahma (as mentioned in the Vedas).

The symbol is the opening phrase of the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib and forms the first word of the ‘Mool Mantra‘, which is regarded as the first composition of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Mool Mantra (literally meaning the ‘root magic chant or statement’) clearly reflects Guru Nanak’s belief in monotheism and encapsulates the entire complex theology of Sikhism. It is read as – “Ik Onkar Satnam Karta Purakh Nirbhau Nirvair Akaal Moorat Ajooni Saibhang GurParsad”. Translated in English, it means that there is only one God, His name is true, He is the creator of everything, He is beyond fear, He is without enmity or hatred, He has a timeless form, He is beyond birth and death, He is self-existent, He can be realized through divine grace.

Ik Onkar

The symbol Ik Onkar is representative of the cornerstone of the Sikh religion, which is the belief in the oneness of God and the oneness of humanity. There is only one Divine Reality, one God who is manifest in all creation and is the only constant, the eternal Truth. It urges one to realize that we are all bound to the creator and one another in such a way that we are all inseparable.

Symbols {56} ~ Triple Moon

The Triple Moon Symbol is a popular pagan and Wiccan symbol used to represent the Goddess. It shows different portions of the lunar cycle, with the moon in three phases – waxing, full and waning. First, there is a crescent moon that is in a growing/waxing phase. In the center comes a circle representing the full moon, and finally, there is a crescent denoting the diminishing/waning moon.

Spiritual and religious symbols contain meanings that delve into the deeper reality. The same goes for the Triple Moon Symbol, which is considered representative of all aspects of the divine feminine power – intuition or psychic insight; creative energy; and wisdom & mystery. It indicates the three life stages of a woman.

The waxing moon stands for the Maiden and symbolizes purity, youth, new life, beginnings, rejuvenation, excitement, enchantment, and expansion. The full moon represents the Mother and represents fulfillment, fertility, ripeness, potency, compassion, giving, caring, nurturing, protection and power. The waxing moon represents the Crone and stands for repose, maturity, wisdom, experience, knowledge, understanding, completion, death and rebirth. In its entirety, the symbol is believed to signify the eternal cycle of birth, life, and rebirth.

Also called the Triple Goddess symbol, the Triple Moon icon is commonly seen on the crowns or headpieces worn by the High Priestesses.

Symbols {48} ~ Amulets

Amulet refers to any object that is believed to have the power to ward off evil and protect its owner or wearer from injury, harm or danger. The word is often used interchangeably with ‘Talisman‘. However, the ‘talisman’ is specifically a good luck charm that is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity, though it may offer protection too.

The term ‘amulet’ is derived from the Latin ‘amuletum’ that means an object that guards a person against trouble. An amulet can take any form including gems, engraved gems, coins, rings, pendants, statues, drawings, plants, animals and even incantations or magical spells. It may be worn or otherwise carried on the body, hung upon the bed or used externally like placing it in the bath.

Amulets have been a part of the traditions and folklore of nearly all societies and cultures through the ages. In the ancient Roman society, they were linked with religion as well as magic. In fact, several gemstones have been connected with particular gods and supposed to have their associated powers.

Source: https://www.ancient-symbols.com/

Symbols {37} ~ The Tree Of Life

The concept of a sacred tree, also known as the Tree of Life, can be found in creation myths from all over the world. The Tree of Life has been spotted in art, architecture, and iconography from different cultures.

The Tree of Life is a symbol of unity, representing the idea that all life on earth is connected: though we may branch out in various directions, each of us is part of something bigger. It honors the diversity of creation while celebrating our shared origins. It is no wonder the Tree of Life is regarded as a timeless, legendary icon.

Symbols {33} ~ Skulls

Spotted in paintings and statues, skulls feature prominently in Eastern iconography. In both Buddhism and Hinduism wrathful deities are often depicted wearing necklaces of human skulls known as munda malas. In Tibetan Buddhism, certain tantric rituals require the use of vessels made from human skulls. These are known as Kapalas and were traditionally used to make offerings to the gods.

In Tibetan Buddhism, skulls represent bliss, the limits of human knowledge, and the Buddhist concept of emptiness, or the idea that nothing has an inherent essence. Denoting death, skulls are also a reminder of impermanence and life’s malleable nature. Because nothing is fixed and all is fleeting, one sees a skull and is reminded to embrace empathy: live today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Symbols {24} ~ Happy Buddha

Full of exuberance, Happy Buddha is often mistaken for Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. But the image of Happy Buddha is actually based on a wandering Chinese monk, Budai (Hotei, in Japanese), who lived centuries ago.

Happy Buddha is believed to be Maitreya, or the Buddha to come. His plump figure and benign countenance suggest magnanimity and plenitude. Also called Laughing Buddha, his signature smile is symbolic of pure joy. Happy Buddha is considered a symbol of good luck, and it is thought that rubbing his big head or belly brings fortune and wealth. At the same time, his walking stick and satchel remind us to pay attention to the journey before us, not just the destination.