Interested in symbols in spirituality? This guide is for you!
Spiritual symbols are popular because of their holistic nature. They communicate a lot about our faith, thoughts, and feelings without using words.
Symbols in spirituality are the most effective ways of expressing our most profound thoughts about the value of life and our place in the Universe.
Over the centuries, the most popular symbols have gained traction in many cultures and traditions.
Here’s a look at the meaning of the most interesting spiritual symbols worldwide.
15 Spiritual Symbols Meaning
#1 – The Lotus Flower
This is a universal spiritual symbol that originated in Eastern cultures. It represents the origin of life, and acknowledges that all things in the Universe have a common origin.
According to Hindu culture, the lotus flower is the womb of the Universe. It has been part of this culture for centuries and is today the national flower of India.
Although this flower grows in some of the filthiest waters, it comes out beautiful and unscathed by its environment.
It is a testament that you can thrive wherever you find yourself, regardless of the prevailing situations.
Buddhists use the lotus flower as a symbol of the universal soul. It indicates that regardless of where you are or your status in life, you are a child of the Universe.
To benefit from the spiritual importance of this symbol, you can incorporate it as part of your daily prayer and meditation rituals.
The lotus flower pose, the padmasana, has been used for centuries in Eastern cultures to calm the body and enhance meditation.
#2 – The Yin and Yang
The yin and yang symbol has its origin in ancient Chinese culture. It is a powerful indicator of the law of polarity.
The masculine and the feminine should exist in harmony – they are actually complementary. Day and night live side by side, and so do light and dark.
The ancient Chinese used this symbol to teach that opposing forces can be complementary instead of antagonistic.
This symbol is about balancing our personalities’ various natures to achieve perfect harmony.
This symbol is used in meditation and spiritual practices to help resolve the conflict we feel within ourselves.
#3 – The Evil Eye
The evil eye was an important spiritual symbol used by almost every culture in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa in one form or another.
The basic tenet behind this symbol is one of protection against spiritual enemies. Evil eye talismans and charms were worn as early as the 6th century BCE to protect the wearer against spiritual attacks.
In many cultures, it was believed that one could harm you by spiritually sending dark forces into your home or person.
People wore the evil eye amulets to ward off such unwanted attention and hung evil eye talismans in their homes.
It is still a trendy spiritual symbol today. People were the evil eye to protect themselves from negativity.
#4 – The Buddha
The Buddha is the image of Siddhartha Gautama, the originator of Buddhism.
This great spiritual teacher lived during the 5th century BCE and is believed to be the embodiment of peace, oneness, and spiritual enlightenment.
Buddha’s statues, both gigantic and miniature, are used worldwide by those who hold his teachings in high esteem.
The Buddha’s spiritual symbol is used by those who desire to dispel ignorance by seeking spiritual enlightenment.
It encourages the pursuit of true peace and happiness by following the path set by the Buddha himself.
To benefit from this symbol, it would be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the teachings of Buddha, which encourage following the Eight Fold Path.
#5 – The Dreamcatcher
This powerful spiritual symbol has its origins in Native American culture. However, it was also used widely among Africans, Celts, and Vikings.
It features a woven hoop onto which feathers are attached, making it resemble a spider’s web. This symbol traps negative energies and prevents them from reaching their intended target.
At the same time, it allows positive energies to pass through.
It is mainly used in homes to protect the inhabitants against spiritual attacks.
However, a miniature form of the dreamcatcher can be worn on the wrist or around the body to protect the wearer against evil omens.
#6 – The Om
This symbol has its roots in the Hindu culture and talks about the unification of the mind, body, and spirit.
The Om is a central symbol of the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu scriptures. It is believed to be the original breath and sound of the Universe, and is at the core of everything in life.
Because of its powerful symbolism, the Om is a central pillar in yoga. It is used to help the yogi harmonize his being with the entire Universe.
The Om is used to induce a state of peace and calmness in the body. Its various curves represent the waking state, dreaming, and deep sleep.
To attract the positive energies of this spiritual symbol, you can chant “Om” while thinking of your place and role in the Universe.
#7 – Namaste
Namaste – the light in me honors the light in you. Although the phrase Namaste is often used as a form of welcome or greeting, it also means I honor you.
This spiritual symbol originates in India, where it is often used to express friendliness, good cheer, peace, and serenity.
It can be used by anyone across all cultures by those who believe in the tenets of peace, tranquility, and good neighborliness.
#8 – The Christian Fish
The early Christians used the fish symbol to communicate secretly and evade their Roman persecutors.
This symbol was drawn or painted on doors or walls of houses to identify those who followed Jesus’ teachings.
This symbol was adopted by the early Christians because Jesus had promised to make them fishers of men.
Before this, the fish symbol was used by pagans to indicate fertility, birth, and the power of womanhood.
#9 – The Hamsa
The Hamsa, which means five, is used in many cultures across the world as a sign of keeping evil spirits at bay.
Its strong links to Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam give it a universal appeal. In Buddhism, this symbol represents the cycle of life (samsara) – birth, life, death, and rebirth.
In Hinduism, it is regarded as the symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Hindus believe the Hamsa was delivered to humans by the supreme deity, Brahman.
Adherents of Islam and Judaism take the Hamsa as a sign of protection against evil influences.
#10 – The Eye of Horus
With its origins in ancient Egypt, the Eye of Horus is used as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. It is believed it empowers the wearer to decipher the hidden secrets of the Universe easily.
The Eye of Horus came about when the god Horus lost his eye in battle. It took the intervention of the god Thoth to restore Horus’ eye and give it extraordinary powers of the moon.
This eye would sometimes disappear (as the moon dies in its lunar cycle) and reappear when needed to provide safety or restore health.
In the modern world, wearers of this symbol believe it provides protection from spiritual attacks and inexplicable diseases.
#11 – The Mandala
This is an intricate design that shows one’s position in the world. With its origins in Hinduism and Buddhism, the Mandala is used to guide one through the journey to self-discovery.
It empowers you to gain knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual enlightenment.
This symbol also represents the power of spiritual values over material things. This is because Buddhism (and many other world religions) holds that all things are transient.
As such, the Mandala emphasizes the importance and value of spiritual growth over mundane pursuits.
#12 – The Ankh
This is another symbol that came out of ancient Egypt. It stands for virtuous living and eternal life.
The ancient Egyptians used the Ankh to represent the Nile, the source of all life in Egypt.
Because of the power and reverence with which the Nile was regarded, the Ankh could only be carried by the high priests or the pharaoh.
Later, the pharaoh ankh was modified – the cross shape was given a handle for ease of handling. This is the ankh symbol in use today.
In modern times, the Ankh stands for power, regeneration, and life.
#13 – The Star of David
The Star of David represents the power held by King David, the greatest king in Israel. It is believed that this symbol is a representation of the shield David used in wars.
In modern times, the Star of David stands for peace and harmony in the 7 sides surrounding us – up, down, east, west, north, south, and center.
This symbol encourages you to be at peace within your space, and to radiate positivity on all sides around you.
#14 – The Chakras
The Chakras are featured in the Vedas and have thus been regarded as a holy script since ancient times. Although the human body has many chakras, 7 are thought to be indispensable.
These are the crown, third eye, throat, solar plexus, heart, sacral, and root. Each of these chakras plays a role in centering our spiritual energies for our higher good.
If any of these chakras are blocked, your spiritual center will be out of sync, and achieving your goals and dreams will be hard.
Life has more meaning when the chakras are clear and well-balanced.
#15 – The Tree of Life
This symbol depicts a tree with deep roots and tall branches that reach the sky. It conveys many spiritual meanings with its symbolism.
For example, the tree of life encourages you to acknowledge your connection to the Universe. The physical and spiritual realms are interconnected, and what happens in one affects the other.
With this in mind, you’ll aspire to take care of your life’s physical and spiritual aspects because they are interdependent.
At the same time, the tree of life encourages you to seek spiritual enlightenment.
Like this tree started with a simple seed that took root and extended to branches that touch the sky, your spiritual potential is limitless.
You’ll see symbols that remind you of the Universe and your place in it everywhere you look. Some of these symbols have been around for centuries, transcending cultures and traditions.
Unfortunately, many have forgotten what some of the older symbols stand for. A closer look at these symbols gives you a deeper understanding of our place as humankind.
These symbols open your mind’s eyes to the universal knowledge and wisdom they hold.