Are you interested in the Meaning of Symbols of Wisdom? Then this guide is for you!
Symbols come in handy where plane explanations and descriptions are not enough. Symbols instill emotions in a way that cannot be achieved by any other method of communication.
Throughout history, humans have used symbols to convey knowledge and wisdom. Most of these symbols are used in ornaments, jewelry, tattoos, and artwork.
Here’s a look at some leading symbols of wisdom and knowledge:
Meaning and Significance of Symbols of Wisdom
#1 – The Lotus Flower
The lotus flower has for centuries been revered in Eastern religions for the rich symbolism it conveys. It is closely associated with such stellar qualities as holiness, resilience, peace, harmony, and wisdom.
The blooming of the lotus flower indicates the journey that each one of us must take towards enlightenment and self-awareness.
#2 – Books Symbolism
From ancient times, books have been linked to learning, insight, knowledge, and the acquisition of wisdom.
Many education institutions feature books in their logos and mottoes. Also, most religious organizations prominently display their holy books as an indication of the kind of services they offer.
The images of the holy books hold the promise of knowledge and enlightenment to the adherents.
#3 – Pen and Paper Symbolism
In modern times, images of pen and paper are closely associated with literary progress, science, and the acquisition of wisdom.
The association between pen and paper did not start yesterday.
Some of the earliest civilizations – Assyria, Sumer, and Babylonia – had high regard for the symbolic meaning of the stylus and clay tablet.
People in ancient Mesopotamia worshiped Nabu, the god of writing and vegetation.
#4 – The Light Bulb Symbol
Ever heard of the phrase to see the light? It means to understand. The light bulb is a universal symbol of creativity, knowledge, and wisdom.
It symbolically gives out the light that enables us to see things are they truly are. Without this light, we’d be fumbling in the dark with hardly a clue of what’s going on.
#5 – The Triangle Symbol
The triangle is a simple symbol of communicating wisdom. For example, it represents the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity and spiritual enlightenment – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The triangle signifies mental strength and balance. It indicates wisdom and the stability of the mind.
#6 – Stalk of Wheat
In ancient Mesopotamia, people paid allegiance to Nisaba, the goddess of grain. With time, this goddess became associated with writing, reading, and all forms of literature.
The goddess of wheat was taken to be the guardian of wisdom and knowledge, and a stalk of wheat became her symbol.
This was particularly true of the Sumerian cities of Eres and Umma.
#7 – The Tyet Symbolism
According to Egyptian mythology, the Tyet is closely linked to the goddess Isis. This deity was regularly consulted for her great knowledge and wisdom.
Myth has it that Isis is cleverer than a million gods combined. As such; her symbol, the tyet, was highly regarded by wisdom seekers in ancient Egypt.
#8 – The Rainbow Symbolism
The rainbow is a universal sign of hope and optimism. It indicates that one must remain focused on their goals and dreams despite the hurdles on the way.
Also, the rainbow gives one the wisdom to handle life’s issues in the best way possible. It encourages you to keep doing what you do best, and to look forward to positive outcomes for all your efforts.
#9 – Ibis of Thoth
Alongside the goddesses Isis and Seshat, Thoth was an ancient Egyptian god of wisdom. He represented all branches of learning, writing, and knowledge.
Among his many roles, Thoth kept records for the gods. As such, he was seen as a great source of knowledge and wisdom on matters happening in the spiritual realm.
#10 – The Owl Symbolism
In many cultures across the world, the owl is revered as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. His ability to see in the dark gives weight to this symbolism.
The owl as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge probably started with the ancient Greeks.
According to Greek mythology, the owl was a constant companion of Athena, the goddess of warfare and wisdom.
#11 – The Lion Symbolism
For years, the lion has earned the respected title of ‘King of the Jungle’. This paints a picture of a strong and brave animal that rules over the animal kingdom.
To become such a ruler, one has to be full of wisdom, valor, and determination. Many people look up to the lion for inspiration to acquire these qualities.
To have a lion totem means that you aspire to high levels of power, firmness, and wisdom.
#12 – The Raven Symbolism
According to Nordic mythology, the god Odin was always accompanied by two ravens: Muninn and Huginn.
Odin used these birds to gather as much information as possible about the world of humans. The ravens would fly to Midgard (where humans live), and bring back news of war, victory, and death.
As such, the two ravens were seen as great sources of knowledge and wisdom.
#13 – The Serpent Symbolism
In many cultures, the snake is regarded as the keeper of knowledge and wisdom.
It is s stealthy creature that gives the impression of making some well-thought-out calculations before it strikes its prey.
The association of the serpent with wisdom is seen in the world of science and medicine, where it is immortalized as the symbol of healing.
In some African cultures, diviners and spiritual healers would imitate the movement of the serpent to deliver or decipher a prophecy.
#14 – The Wolf Symbolism
The wolf is highly respected as a sign of loyalty, resilience, and wisdom.
It is thought that the courage, loyalty, independence, determination, and freedom displayed by the wolf goes to demonstrate that it is a highly intelligent animal.
Many people look up to this creature for inspiration when they want to make wise decisions.
#15 – The Phoenix Symbolism
This is a mythical bird that bursts into flames when its life comes to an end. Out of the ashes, a new phoenix emerges and takes the place of the old one.
Apart from its strong association with the concept of rebirth, the phoenix has been used as a symbol of valor, perseverance, knowledge, and wisdom.
#16 – The Spider Symbolism
In many ancient fables, the spider is depicted as a clever prankster who holds immense knowledge and wisdom.
Among the Akan people of West Africa, the spider represents Anansi, the good of learning and knowledge.
In modern times, the spider stands for survival and freedom. Slaves taken to the New World looked to the spider for inspiration on clever ways to outwit their oppressors.
#17 – The Scarecrow Symbolism
The scarecrow is seen as a symbol of wisdom in the Shinto (Japanese) culture. The Shinto deity Kuebiko (scarecrow) stands for agriculture, scholarship, and knowledge.
#18 – The Mimir Symbolism
In Norse mythology, the Mimir was said to be the counselor of the gods. He was consulted by many as a source of knowledge and wisdom.
Myth has it that Mimir was beheaded by the god Odin. He preserved Mimir’s head and gave it the power to speak.
Mimir’s head would counsel Odin on all matters of life and death.
#19 – The Mandala Outer Circle
The mandala is a geometric pattern that stands for the cosmos. It is used to symbolize wisdom and fire.
This symbol teaches that life is impermanent; nothing lasts forever. Just like fire, life eventually comes to an end, paving the way for new life to sprout.
#20 – The Diya Symbolism
The diya is a traditional oil lamp that is common in the Indian subcontinent. It is used in Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Zoroastrian religious rituals to enhance spiritual understanding and enlightenment.
It is a favorite tool for the seekers of spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
#21 – The Oak Tree Symbolism
People from across the world have a lot of respect for the symbolism the oak tree represents. It is a sign of strength, resilience, longevity, power, and knowledge.
Among the ancient European pagans, the oak tree was revered as a sign of wisdom and perseverance. It was an important item in pagan rituals and festivals.
The oak tree can live for hundreds or thousands of years. As such, many cultures associate it with age-old wisdom and knowledge.
#22 – The Gamayun Symbolism
The Gamayun is a figure that is featured in Slavic mythologies. It takes the form of a bird with a woman’s head.
According to mythology, the Gamayun is a keeper of knowledge, wisdom, and prophecies. It would deliver special messages to the people from the divine realm.
#23 – The Capricorn Symbolism
In ancient Mesopotamia, the goat-fish Capricorn represented the god Enki. Enki was celebrated as the guardian of life, magic, water, knowledge, and wisdom.
He held the secrets of the cosmos, and only he knew how to fertilize the lands to receive a bountiful harvest.
#24 – The Saraswati Symbolism
In the Hindu culture, Saraswati is respected as the goddess of learning, arts, knowledge, and wisdom.
She has four hands with which she holds the book of knowledge (Pustaka), a water pot (Matka), a musical instrument (Veena), and a garland (Mala).
The goddess Saraswati is represented by vertical triangles that emphasize her vast knowledge and wisdom.
#25 – The Bodhi Tree Symbolism
The Bodhi tree lays emphasis on the importance of meditation as a tool to attain spiritual wisdom and enlightenment.
The image of the Bodhi tree as a tool of meditation was popularized by Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of Nepal.
The time he spent under the Bodhi tree led to Siddhartha’s spiritual awakening, and he eventually became known as the Buddha – ‘the enlightened one’.
#26 – The Bagua Symbolism
The Bagua is a symbol used in Taoism (China) to indicate the knowledge of the natural working of the Universe.
This symbol encourages one to discern what’s happening in their world as this enables them to unleash their wisdom.
The Bagua symbolizes the journey one must take to harness their true mental prowess.
#27 – The Wisdom Eyes Symbol
The Wisdom Eyes is used to indicate a state of meditation in the Buddhist culture. This symbol is featured in many stupas.
It indicates a pair of eyes looking down in a state of meditation. It encourages people to search for truth and wisdom about their lives.
#28 – The Nyansapo Symbol
In the West African culture of Akan, Nyansapo means the ‘wisdom knot’. This is an adinkra symbol that stands for patience, creativity, intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom.
The Akan hold this symbol in high regard as it empowers one to display wisdom in decision-making.
#29 – The Trishula Symbolism
The Trishula symbol features heavily in Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
It is a three-pronged trident that holds many meanings in the life of the believer.
Depending on the context with which it is taken, the Trishula can mean knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, and determination.
#30 – The Biwa symbolism
In Japanese mythology, the symbol of the Japanese goddess Benzaiten is the biwa. This goddess is in charge of everything that flows, such as knowledge, words, poetry, music, and water.
The biwa is highly respected in all the islands of Japan as a symbol of wisdom.
#31 – The Jnana Mundra Symbolism
This symbol is shown as the forefinger of the hand bent to touch the thumb. Many Hindu gods are depicted in this pose.
The Jnana Mundra pose signifies knowledge, wisdom, purity, and passion.
Everywhere you look, you will encounter symbols of insight, perception, knowledge, and wisdom.
Symbols of wisdom hold deep meaning for the intended audience. As such, they are heavily employed by storytellers to pass their message across.
In modern times, symbols of wisdom have found their way into the world of fashion and beauty. Many people use them in jewelry, ornaments, and as good luck charms and amulets.