This page lists all the various symbols in the Religious Symbols category.
Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of compelling ideas or ideals. Symbols help create a resonant mythos expressing the moral values of the society or the teachings of the religion, foster solidarity among adherents, and bring adherents closer to their object of worship.
Symbols in this category:
Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colours violet, indigo or deep blue, though it is traditionally described as white. It is at this point that the two side nadis Ida and Pingala are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Sushumna, signifying the end of duality.
Alpha and Omega, alpha (α or Α) and omega (ω or Ω), are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet and are an appellation of Christ or of God in the Book of Revelation. These couple of letters are used as Christian symbols, and are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho, or other Christian symbols.
Anahata, or Anahata-puri, or padma-sundara is symbolised by a circular flower with twelve green petals. (See also heartmind.) Within it is a yantra of two intersecting triangles, forming a hexagram, symbolising a union of the male and female. The seed mantra is Yam, the presiding deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, and the Shakti is Kakini.
Because of his instrumentality in the restoration of the gospel, Moroni is commonly identified by Latter-day Saints as the angel mentioned in Revelation 14:6, "having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
In some forms of Neo-Druidism the term is symbolized by an emblem showing three straight lines that spread apart as they move downward, drawn within a circle or a series of circles of varying thickness, often with a dot, or point, atop each line. The symbol was invented by Iolo Morganwg and adopted by some Neo-Druids.
When it comes to symbolic meaning, the boar can be distinctly different from the “pig”, so this article will only address the former. While there are some general connotations to the boar that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.
The Camunian rose (or in Italian Rosa camuna) is the name given to a particular symbol represented among the rock carvings of Val Camonica. It consists of a meandering closed line that winds around nine cup marks. It is engraved in the form symmetrical, asymmetrical or swastika.
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by some Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters chi and rho (ΧΡ) of the Greek word "ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ" =Christ in such a way to produce the monogram. Although not technically a Christian cross, the Chi-Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ.
Tibetan Buddhists make use of a particular set of eight auspicious symbols, ashtamangala, in household and public art. Some common interpretations are given although each symbol although different teachers may give different interpretations.
The right-turning white conch shell (Sanskrit: Śaṅkha; Tibetan: དུང་གྱས་འཁྱིལ, Wylie: dung gyas 'khyil), representing the beautiful, deep, melodious, interpenetrating and pervasive sound of the Buddhadharma, which awakens disciples from the deep slumber of ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and the welfare of others;
In Hinduism the Conch is an attribute of Vishnu as is the Wheel (Sudarshana). Vaishnavism holds that Shakyamuni Buddha is an Avatar of Vishnu.
The Cross of Tau, named after the Greek letter it resembles, is suspected to have originated with the Egyptians. It has been a symbol to many cultures before Christianity, including a mention in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. It has been adopted by Christianity as a representation of the Cross. It is strongly identified with the bull in the astrological sign of Taurus.
The cultivation of dates began over 5000 years ago, and the fruit is still an important foodstuff in many parts of the world. In terms of symbolism, the date has much in common with the fig, and aside from the fruit itself, date palm trees hold symbolic importance in their own right.
With its pure white feathers, softly rounded body and gentle demeanor, the dove is one of the most ubiquitous symbols of peace, innocence and purity. On the other hand, the dove’s symbolism is considerably more complex than notions such as these, and in some cases those complexities can prove quite surprising.
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the mariner Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and Catholic public policy positions, and actively defending Catholicism in various nations.
The five-pointed star, or haykal (Arabic: temple) is the symbol of the Bahá'í Faith as mentioned by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith: "Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him." The five-pointed star has been used as the outline of special letters or tablets by both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.
The fox is a very interesting creature in terms of symbolism; it carries significance in a number of cultures, and the nature of it's symbolic meaning varies widely, both between cultures and within cultures. While some of its associations are quite well known, the fox also represents concepts that may not be obvious to the causal observer.
The globus cruciger (Latin) is an orb (globus) topped with a cross (cruciger), a Christian symbol of authority used throughout the Middle Ages on coins, iconography and royal regalia. It symbolises Christ's (the cross) dominion over the world (the orb), literally held in the dominion of an earthly ruler (or sometimes celestial being such as an angel). The first known use was in 423 on the reverse side of the coins of Emperor Theodosius II.
The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة khomsah, also romanized khamsa, meaning lit. "five") is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye.
Aegishjalmur, also called Ægishjálmur is an ancient protective talisman of the Norse ---but the true nature of its magic has many interpretations. In icelandic sagas it can be found to confer power and dominance in conflict. To instill fear in one's enemies and to conquer fear in one's own mind. And while its literal translation is "Terror Helm", it is believed that it was never actually a helm, but rather something worn impressed or imprinted upon the forehead.
Ik Onkar is the symbol that represents the One Supreme Reality and is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. Ik (ਇੱਕ) means one and only one, who cannot be compared or contrasted with any other, (ਓਅੰਕਾਰ) is the one universal ever flowing divine melody and existential unstuck never ending sound of God.
The Illuminates of Thanateros is an international magical organization focusing on practical group work in chaos magic. The idea was first announced in 1978, while the order proper was formed in 1987. This fraternal magical society has been an important influence on some forms of modern occultism.
Italo-Roman Neopaganism, known variously as Religio Romana (Roman religion) in Latin, the Roman Way to the Gods in Italian and Spanish, is a contemporary reconstructionist movement reviving traditional Roman and Italic religious cults consisting of loosely related organizations.
In certain parts of the world, the jackal often carries negative meaning, and some would argue that even the word “jackal” sounds harsh to the ears. This, however, is not the complete picture, and here we’ll examine some of these symbolic meanings and pinpoint specific aspects of the animal’s nature that has led humanity to classify jackals the way they have.
The Khanda (☬ Punjabi: ਖੰਡਾ, khaṇḍā) depicts the Sikh doctrine Deg Tegh Fateh in emblematic form. It is also part of the design of the "Sikh national flag", the Nishan Sahib. A double edged sword (also called Khanda) is placed at the top of a Nishan Sahib flag as an ornament or finial.
In terms of symbolic importance, the lotus has achieved a status that has seldom been equaled by any flower. Its beauty, perfume and central place in many belief systems has made it a true monarch of the botanical world. It would be highly difficult to enumerate all the symbolic meanings of the lotus, so this article will provide a basic overview along with a few specific examples of cultures where the flower holds special significance.
Juicy, sweet and a perfect messy handful, mangoes have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. They have been a culinary staple in everything from spicy condiments to sweet pastries to alcoholic beverages, and their importance doesn’t stop there; the mango is a highly symbolic fruit, particularly in India, where it plays a role in numerous religious and cultural traditions.
The menorah (Hebrew: מְנוֹרָה [mənoːˈɾaː]) is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand made of gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.
Muladhara or root chakra is symbolised by a lotus with four petals and the color red. This center is located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. It is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat.
According to the Abjad system of Isopsephy, the word Bahá' has a numerical equivalence of 9, and thus there is frequent use of the number 9 in Bahá'í symbols. The most commonly used symbol connected to the number 9 is the nine-pointed star; there is no particular design of the nine-pointed star that is used more often than others. While the star is not a part of the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, it is commonly used as an emblem representing "9", because of the association of number 9 with perfection, unity and Bahá’.
Harr Nishaan or Nishaan Sahib " हरि " " ਹਰਿ " is an official copyrighted symbol of Ravidassia religion. The Harr nishan can be found on top of the Ravidassias Bhawans or on the flag, every year the Harr Nishaan is changed on the auspcious day of Guru Ravidass Jayanti (Birthday). The Ravidassias, especially of Punjab,proudly hoist flags with the print of insignia „Har‟ on top of their religious places, and on vehicles during processions on the occasion of Guru Ravidass‟s birth anniversaries and other festivities.
Olives have been cultivated by Mediterranean peoples for at least five thousand years, and are still a major staple of cuisines in the region. This article will address not just the olive itself, but the oil produced from it and the tree from which it grows, since the symbolic meanings of all three are interconnected.
The Patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross, the religious symbol of Christianity. Similar to the familiar Latin cross, the Patriarchal cross possesses a smaller crossbar placed above the main one, so that both crossbars are near the top. Sometimes the patriarchal cross has a short, slanted crosspiece near its foot. This slanted, lower crosspiece often appears in Byzantine Greek and Eastern European iconography, as well as Eastern Orthodox churches.
When it comes to natural phenomena, there are few things more intangible (for lack of a better term) than rainbows: you can’t pick them up in your hand like a rock; you can’t hear them like a thunderclap or a strong wind; you can’t feel them on your skin like rain; and you can’t remove things from them like fruit off a tree. Nonetheless, the rainbow is one of the most ubiquitous natural phenomena known to humanity. Artists have painted them, poets have written about them, and nearly every culture has assigned them powerful symbolic meanings, no matter where on the planet those cultures were located.
Sahasrara (Sanskrit: सहस्रार, Sahasrāra), or Sahastrara, is the seventh primary chakra, according to Hindu tradition.
The Sahasrara is described as having 1,000 multi-coloured petals which are arranged in 20 layers, each of them with 50 petals. The pericarp is golden and a circular moon region is inscribed on it with a downward pointing triangle.
The "new-era" Scientology symbol is an "S" curving through two triangles. The "S" stands for Scientology. The top triangle represents a set of Scientology factors — knowledge, responsibility and control. Collectively the first three factors make up the KRC triangle. The lower triangle consists of the ARC triangle of affinity, reality and communication.
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies (or jinni), or to speak with animals. It has the properties of both amulets and talismans.
The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In late medieval England and France, this emblem was considered to be the heraldic arms of God (and of the Trinity).
It's not much of an exaggeration to say that snakes are the most symbolically charged members of the entire animal kingdom. All across the world, snakes have occupied the entire spectrum between reverence and hatred. What is particularly notable about snakes (although not unique by any means) is that they can be both admired and feared in the same culture without one symbolic facet canceling out the other. Whether they're seen as the embodiment of evil or as the repository of ultimate wisdom, the cultural importance of these creatures cannot be overstated.
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David (Hebrew מָגֵן דָּוִד; Biblical Hebrew Māḡēn Dāwīḏ [maːˈɣeːn daːˈwiːð], Tiberian [mɔˈɣen dɔˈvið], Modern Hebrew [maˈɡen daˈvid], Ashkenazi Hebrew and Yiddish Mogein Dovid [ˈmɔɡeɪn ˈdɔvid] or Mogen Dovid) is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism. Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles. The hexagram has been in use as a symbol of Judaism since the 17th century, with precedents in the 14th to 16th centuries in Central Europe, where the Shield of David was partly used in conjunction with the Seal of Solomon (the hexagram) on Jewish flags. Its use probably derives from medieval (11th to 13th century) Jewish protective amulets (segulot).
Swadhisthana, Svadisthana or adhishthana is symbolised by a white lotus within which is a crescent moon, with six vermillion, or orange petals. The seed mantra is Vam, and the presiding deity is Brahma, with the Shakti being Rakini (or Chakini). The animal associated is the crocodile of Varuna.
The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form or its mirrored left-facing form. Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments have been dated to the Neolithic period and was first found in the Indus Valley Civilization of the Indian Subcontinent. It occurs today mainly in the modern day culture of northern India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol.
In art, architecture, and traditional Christian symbolism, the quatrefoil is a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter. The word quatrefoil means "four leaves", from Latin quattuor, four, plus folium, a leaf. and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts.
Taegeuk (also rendered as Taeguk) is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese word taiji which is translated as "great polarity" and commonly associated with certain philosophical values. It is also the symbol that makes up the center of the South Korean Flag and the source for its name, Taegeukgi.
The tetractys (Greek: τετρακτύς), or tetrad, is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row, which is the geometrical representation of the fourth triangular number. As a mystical symbol, it was very important to the secret worship of the Pythagoreans.
Trefoil (from Latin trifolium, "three-leaved plant", French trèfle, Italian trifoglio, German Dreiblatt and Dreiblattbogen) is a graphic form composed of the outline of three overlapping rings used in architecture and Christian symbolism. The term is also applied to other symbols of three-fold shape.
The treasure vase or Urn of Wisdom (Tibetan: བུམ་པ, Wylie: bum pa) represents health, longevity, wealth, prosperity, wisdom and the phenomenon of space. Indeed, to disambiguate, "Space" (Sanskrit: ākāśa) is a rendering of the particular denotation of the element of the mahabhuta (Sanskrit; English: "Great Elements") and the Five Pure Lights.
The markings and geometrical design of Tuareg crosses and Tuareg jewelry in general translates into protective symbolism. "God is the center of the universe, we are one with God" and "no matter where you go God and I shall always be with you and protect you" are common Saharan interpretations.
The two goldfish (Sanskrit: Gaur-matsya; Tibetan: ག་, Wylie: gser nya), representing the state of fearless suspension in a harmless ocean of samsara, metaphorically often refer to buddha-eyes or rigpa-sight; symbolises the auspiciousness of all sentient beings in a state of fearlessness without danger of drowning in the Samsaric Ocean of Suffering, and migrating from place to place and teaching to teaching freely and spontaneously just as fish swim freely without fear through water.
The vesica piscis is a shape that is the intersection of two circles with the same radius, intersecting in such a way that the center of each circle lies on the perimeter of the other. The name literally means the "bladder of a fish" in Latin. The shape is also called mandorla ("almond" in Italian).
The Wheel of Law (Sanskrit: Dharmacakra; Tibetan: ཁོར་ལོ, Wylie: khor lo), sometimes represents Sakyamuni Buddha and the Dharma teaching, and also represents the mandala and chakra. This symbol is commonly used by Tibetan Buddhists, where it sometimes also includes an inner wheel of the Gankyil (Tibetan). Nepalese Buddhists don't use the Wheel of Law in the eight auspicious symbols.
In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin-yang (simplified Chinese: 阴阳; traditional Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīnyáng), which is often called "yin and yang", is used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.