Symbol Q & A

I get a lot of email with questions on a variety of symbols.  Some of it is very interesting, so I’ve decided to start sharing a select few.  Last names will be redacted for privacy and safety.  If I post your query here and you would like it removed, just drop me a line.

Questions, complains, and grammar corrections can be sent to symboldictionary AT gmail DOT com

Messages are sorted newest first.  If you don’t see your question here, check the comments below before submitting your own.

Note: I cannot address questions about the meanings dreams, unusual marks on the body, or coincidental occurrences.

Q  Heavy metal

Luis asks

Hi, i need to get some info on 3 symbols i medium i went to saw on visions. I tracked down them and i have them here:

I too have here a list with a lot of symbols from the same topic but i really don’t know what the topic is about:
Click to enlarge

can u point me in the right direction, maybe even give some explanation about the 3, especially the first one.

Thanks and God Bless you.

 

 The emblems you’ve linked are all alchemical notations.  The three specifically are for tin, antimony, and arsenic.  All are metals.  Antimony and arsenic are often used in alloys with tin or lead, and by themselves are poisons.  Hope this helps!

 

Q: The Celtic symbol for…

Paul writes:

Hi
Is there an actual Celtic symbol for “Wisdom”? It seems quite varied across different websites. Also, is there a Celtic symbol for “Warrior”, preferably “Young Warrior”?

I understand the symbols have limited or vague meanings which can represent a number of things but can you offer any advice or point me in the right direction.

Thanks

Krystle writes:

Hey I am looking to get a tattoo of the celtic symbol that resembles inner strength, but every website I go to is showing a different design, which one is the actual design?

 

The short answer is that these symbols generally do not exist.  We get regular requests for symbols for motherhood, strength, sisterhood, healing, love, etc.  These are all ideas that would have been completely abstract and foreign to early Celts, at least in the context of symbol designs.

I suspect the notion that there are such symbols stems in part from modern usage of emblems and in larger part from the efforts of tattoo and jewelry artists.  Around the nineties there was an explosion of Celtic knot themed jewelry, each knot being mapped to a very specific modern idea.  (This wasn’t restricted to the poor Celts, there were also similar things done with Native American and other cultural symbols.)  To this day you can walk into any new age gift shop and buy a “celtic love knot” pendant, etc.  The reason these vary so widely in design and description, however, is that they are just invented bunk.

I’m trying not to be pedantic about it, but most of the requests we get are intended for tattoos, so I want to be as clear as possible before steering anyone toward an irreversible decision!  I cannot emphasize enough: if someone presents to you a pretty Celtic knot design as an emblem of love, friendship, etc., they are trying to sell you something.  Many folks are taking Celtic knot clip art books and assigning fanciful meanings to random designs that were originally used as filler ornaments on books and tombstones.

If you want a true Celtic emblem to honor a specific ideal or heritage, there are a few that could be used without too much stretching.  Celtic animal symbols can be used for their equivalent qualities – a boar for boldness or courage, etc.   Just keep in mind that many modern ideas won’t have any truly authentic emblem.  There just are not any genuine ancient Celtic symbols of brotherhood/sisterhood, mother & son, etc.  If you wish to assign a personal meaning to a design (as in, “I chose this beautiful Celtic knot to honor my Mother’s Irish heritage/the love I have for my sister/to remind me to be courageous/etc.”) , go for it- it will have your personal imprint and will be unique and meaningful to you.

So, keeping in mind that the Celts would never have used them in this fashion, some Celtic symbols and their meanings

Q: Ring with symbols

Hi , i have a golden ring quite long , but still i can not find out what is representing or what the symbols mean , Please anyone help …
on the one side there is hand with a heart inside the hand, on the other side there is an eye , in between all this there is some kind of symbol (like a book but not exactly ) with 2 swards going inside and letters F(left) T (right) and L above all this ….

Sounds like you have an Odd Fellows ring.  The “FTL” stands for friendship, truth, and love.   You can read a little about the heart in hand symbol here.  Wikipedia has a good overview of the Odd Fellows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Odd_Fellows

{ 167 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa E. Beckwith March 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Hello!

I have recently started meditating and I keep envisioning two distinct symbols associated with negativity. I have looked everywhere but cannot find anything close. Am I just crazy?

One symbol looks just like a backwards 1 (with out the line on the bottom) so just a vertical line with a small line attached to the right side top slanting about 45 degrees.

The other symbol is also a vertical line but on the top right side is something that looks like a small infinity sign or a side ways 8 which is also slanting down about 45 degrees.

If you know of anything like this please let me know. It’s driving me cray. :)
Melissa
MelissaEBeckwith@gmail.com

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