15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings

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Throughout your spiritual journey, you will be introduced to a number of different signs and symbols, each with its own meaning and religious or spiritual affiliation. These symbols and icons have an incredible level of significance to various cultures and religions.

The word ‘symbol’ is derived from the Greek word ‘symbolon’, which means token, insignia, contract or a means of identification. Today symbols are seen in various capacities throughout our lives from technical scientific symbols to musical notation, social media icons to various holiday signs. As the Britannica explains, “The symbol is not, however, kept hidden in meaning; to some extent, it even has a revelatory character (i.e., it goes beyond the obvious meaning for those who contemplate its depths).”

In the religious and spiritual world, these symbols have deep significance, tied to specific theology, dogma and religious affiliations. Interested in learning more?

The Cross

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Dreamlandia

One of the most recognized religious symbols in the world today, the cross is known for its association with Christianity. This one religious symbol has graced schools, hospitals, orphanages and religious buildings around the world, a clear way of denoting one’s Christian association. The cross is associated with the nailing of Jesus to the crucifix and the hope that Christians associate with the events that followed.

The Dharma Wheel

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Psychic Gloss Magazine

A symbol found as part of the Buddhist teachings, the spokes of the Dharma Wheel area said to represent the 8 aspects of spiritual enlightenment. This includes right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. The round shape is said to represent the perfection of the Buddhist teaching of the dharma, while the wheel itself represents the concentration and mindfulness that underscore the teachings.

The Ankh

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Sepeb

Also known as the ‘Egyptian Cross,’ the Ankh symbolizes eternal life. This symbol has also come to be associated with wisdom, fertility and the basic concept of life itself. It is often seen throughout Egyptian folklore representing the gift of eternal life from the Gods to kings and world leaders.

The Flower of Life

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: The Open Mind

A unique geometrical shape, the flower of life is believed to represent the very foundation of space and time. This symbol has been found in various temples, manuscripts, and works of art throughout generations. It is said that the unending connection between all aspects of the symbol represents the way in which all aspects of life and the world around us are connected.

The Pentacle

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Wonderful Worlds | Blogger

A representation of good, pure, white magic, the pentacle is a symbol often associated with Wiccan and Pagan beliefs. The five points of the pentacle refer to North, South, East, West and the Spirit or Earth, Water, Air, the Spirit and the Divine. While some religions focus their views on a duality concept, Wiccans and Pagans go further, looking at life as a balance of the elements.

The Hamsa

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: InkLocations

A popular symbol in ancient Middle Eastern cultures, the Hamsa Hand is believed to bring health, happiness, luck and good fortune to those who wear it. The hand sometimes includes the symbol of the evil eye, and when the two are combined in this way it is believed to protect the wearer from the curses associated with the evil eye itself.

The Ichthys

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: narutofanon

Also known as the ‘ichthus’ or the Christian fish, the origins of the Ichthys are, surprisingly, Pagan. As the symbol was widely used by other belief systems before the Christians adopted it, including the Greeks and the Romans, the fish was far less recognizable than the cross and was often used by those who were at risk of being persecuted for their beliefs.

The Bagua

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: fengshui123.ca

A symbol traced back to ancient Chinese, ‘bagua’ can be translated to mean ‘eight symbols.’ The symbol itself is made up of 8 trigrams, arranged to create an octagonal shape. The symbol refers to a specific collection of 8 symbols each with their own meaning In Chinese philosophy. They refer to a specific family member, animal, personality trait, direction, season, etc.

Double Happiness

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: ReligionFacts

A symbol associated with traditional Chinese, the ‘double happiness’ symbol incorporates two separate Chinese characters that when together translate to ‘joy’.  This symbol has come to be associated with love, luck, and happiness in life.

The Yin-Yang

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Ancient History Encyclopedia

Finding its roots in Taoism/Daoism and ancient Chinese philosophy, the yin-yang is designed to represent the balance of the two sides of each aspect of our lives. This can be associated with many examples of the two opposites needed in each situation such as light versus dark and femininity versus masculinity.

The Khanda

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: dhgate

Similar to the importance of the cross to the Christians, the Khanda is an important symbol associated with the Sikh religion. The center of the symbol depicting a double-edged sword is the reason for its name, as they are also called a Khanda. This symbolizes divine knowledge and truth from the falsehoods we encounter in life.

The Tree of Life

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Tree Removal

Recognized across many different cultures, the tree of life is based on a mythical magical tree that is believed to provide energy to every being on the planet. Each of the individual parts of the tree – the roots, the trunk, the branches and the leaves – have their own unique meaning, representing a different aspect of life itself. The roots show the deeper hidden connection, the trunk provides the tree with a solid foundation, the branches extend from the tree, building upon the reach of the tree and its leaves collect the sunlight, providing the tree with the sustenance it requires.

Earth Medicine Wheel

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: NRC Programs

A Native American symbol, the earth medicine wheel is said to represent peace and harmony throughout all beings that exist in the world. Native Americans believed that the cardinal directions were each associated with great forces, which is why the wheel specifically points to each of the four. They all come together, aligning all of these forces in one powerful entity.

The Caduceus

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Florence Inferno

Originally a symbol associated with ancient Greek mythology, the caduceus has been adopted as a symbol in today’s modern medical world. The double snakes represent the duality of life – light versus dark, good versus evil. The way in which they spiral together is designed to show the dance of the cosmic forces. The staff along the middle is the central connection between the physical world and the ethereal. Finally, the wings represent ascension and the divine.

The Lotus Flower

RWC News 15 Powerful Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Source: Namaskar

A symbol highly associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower is associated with spiritual awakening, purity, and faithfulness. A flower that is often found growing in murky ponds and waterbodies, it is the symbol of something pure and beautiful rising from the dark, dirty struggles of life. It has also come to be associated with spiritual enlightenment, its petals spreading and opening up in the way that one’s mind does upon acceptance of the Universe.

Featured Image via Spiritual Unite

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Shelby Maydfunov
I have been reporting for RWC News for 2 years now. I am the daughter of parents legally immigrated here from Russia 41 years ago. I am 27 years old.

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