graphic structure was used in the earliest known
runic alphabet, but was usually carved . In the
antiquity this structure was a graph for the staff of Poseidon
(Greece) or Neptune (Rome). It is usually drawn
with the addition of barbs or flukes as a fish-spear, . Sometimes it has appeared as an iconic sign
for paddle on
prehistoric rock carvings and similar pictorial representations. In
pictorial reproductions of hell from the Middle Ages the sign was occasionally used to signify the spears used by the
smaller devils or the Evil One, Satan himself, to torture and
torment the poor human sinners in the hellfire.
The sign is related to both the element of water and its opposite, the element of fire (the polarity of meanings of elementary graphs). This also implies that it is related to thunderstorms with their combination of falling water and striking fire, , the lightnings, which together with its enormous accompanying sound, the thunder, is the ancient gods' primary expression of their power. Compare with in Group 47.
This sign, like , is used in comic strips together with crossbones, exclamation marks, and ideograms for lighting and defecation, as signs for curses or great wrath.
There are several signs for staffs of thunder and lightning, held in the hands of gods on sculptures, pictures and hieroglyphic representations. Different types of staff signs are shown in entry Poseidon got his trident staff as a weapon given to him by the three sons of Uranus
Compare with , the sign for Pisces, and with that of the planet Neptune, , both of whose structures are similar.
In both the French and the British system of hobo signs means work or here they give you food if you work.