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This ostentatious symbol served as a name for the musician Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) for more than five years after a publishing dispute with his recording company (Warner Brothers) left him unable to use the “Prince” moniker- which happened to be his given name. Adapted from the alchemical symbol for soapstone (by the addition of a circle) as illustrated in a Dover Clip Art Book, the symbol was most likely chosen for its resemblance to the planetary symbols of Mars and Venus, making it a particularly fitting symbol for the androgynous artist.

The glyph was unpronounceable and caused much consternation in popular media, who took to referring to him as “The Artist formerly known as Prince,” a mouthful eventually shortened to the acronym “TAFKAP.”

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hallowsA fictional symbol described in the Harry potter series, the Deathly Hallows.  It is popular amongst fans of the series and can be found on tattoos, stickers, jewelry and other products.

In the books, it is a symbol worn mainly by wizards engaged in the search for the three “deathly hallows,” a set of magical tools.  These are an “Elder Wand,” (vertical line) the “Resurrection Stone,” (circle) and the Cloak of Invisibility.  (triangle) Together, these are rumored to make the owner invincible or immortal.

 

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Unification Church

The symbol of the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon (commonly referred to by the derogatory term “Moonies”), a group often accused of cult-like tendencies. According to church literature, the different parts of the symbol have various meanings:

“The center circle symbolizes God, truth, life, and light. Those four elements reach out or radiate from this origin to the whole cosmos in twelve directions. The number twelve indicates the twelve types of human character. Historically, the number twelve has been important in God’s dispensation; for example, Jesus had twelve disciples. The significance of the symbol, then, indicates that truth (the Principle) is able to spread out in twelve ways. According to Father, the structure of the heavenly kingdom is also patterned after this basic system; i.e., twelve tribes and twelve character types. The outer circle represents the harmony of giving and receiving action, the principle of the cosmos.”

The central wheel in this emblem is related to the kuruma, or carriage wheel, a traditional Japanese heraldic symbol.

Related Symbols:

Related resources:

  • Cults
    Get the skinny on the often controversial, sometimes dangerous New Religious Movements- including Scientology, Moonies, Hare Krishnas, The Branch Davidians, and Aum Shinrikyo. As many viewpoints as possible will be explored.
  • Religion resources
    Resources for the study of alternative religion and belief. A gallery of Gods and Goddesses, Calendars of holidays, symbols, sacred texts, prayers, and more.

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New Age, Religious Movements:

Operating Thetan Scientology cross sarc
CoST Op. Thetan Scientology Cross Scientology Unity Cross Process Church
Raelian Church Raelian Church Hand of Eris Sacred Chao Unification Church
Raelian Raelian Hand of Eris Sacred Chao Theosophy Unification
Barbury Mu Chalice Well Choku Rei
Eckankar Crop Circle Mu Glastonbury Atlantis Cross Choku Rei
Reiki "Prioy of Sion"  
Healer Priory of Sion  EN

 

Music, television, and Pop Culture:

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Heartagram Zoso Seal of Lucifer Triqueta
“Questioning” “The Artist” Heartagram Zoso Sigil of Lucifer Charmed
shallows  coming soon!  sservice
Deathy Hallows  Bob Dobbs  Alcoholics Anonymous

 

Non-religious, cultural, universal:

Banner of Peace
Romany “Grail Cross” Solomon’s knot Culture Unitarians labrynth
Bee Phi sborjgali2
Bee Unicorn Phi Borjgali Tryzub

 

Hate groups/Racial Identity*:

Swastika Cable Tow Neo Nazi triskele h h h
Swastika Black Sun Neo Nazi

*Please note: the appearance of a symbol on this list is not meant to imply that a symbol is of itself inherently racist or hate-oriented. please use contextual clues and discernment when researching symbols.

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This bizarre looking symbol appeared one morning in 1991 on the lawns outside of England’s Barbury Castle. The Barbury crop circle is not so much a circle as a triangle (or two dimensional rendering of a tetrahedron, as has been suggested) with three circular symbols at each point. This symbol, which measures some 36,000 feet across at its widest point, has never been seen before; neither the meaning or origin of this symbol are known.

Related Symbols:

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Symbolism of Masonry and Sacred Geometry

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Masonic square and compass All seeing eye Cable Tow
Skull & bones Compass Eye Cabletow Pillars
47th Problem of Euclid Eagle of Lagash
A.A. Cancellarius All Seeing Eye 47th Proposition Double Eagle
Eastern Star Eastern star Ashlar Table Lodge Heart in Hand
Eastern Star OES Ashlar Knife and Fork Heart in Hand
keystone  
Cipher Beehive Keystone Triple Tau  Flower of Life
Heart in Hand Rosecross
Odd Fellows Point in Circle Rose Cross Golden rectangle

 

Logos, badges, and symbols of office

Eastern star Heart in Hand Emblem of the Martinist Order Eastern Star
A.A. OES Odd Fellows Martinist Eastern Star
Cancellarius

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The point within the circle is another of the many geometric symbols used in Freemasonry. It is also one of the more complex and interesting. The emblem is a very old one, a solar-phallic symbol used in ancient Egypt to represent the eternal nature of the sun god Ra. The lines which enclose the circle call to mind the akhet, the ancient ‘gate’ of the sun, a symol of rebirth and resurrection.

In the Masonic Lodge, the emblem is associated with St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, whose feast days fall on the summer and winter solstices.

To the Pythagoreans, the point and circle represented eternity, whose “centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.” The point and the circle can be expressed as the same substance as potential (the point or monad) and as fully manifest (the circle.)

Alchemically, the point in the circle represents the sun and philosophic gold.


The point and circle as the monad, from Achilles Bocchius’ illustration of Hermetic Silence

See also:

 

The Point in the Circle

The language of symbols

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This symbol, reminiscent of a yin-yang, is a Mayan emblem of unknown meaning.

In the nineteen-fifties, it was associated in New Age circles with the Mayan God-name Hunab Ku, although there remains little evidence to support the connection.

While the symbol is Mayan in origin, it is most often used in a New Age context, where represents the solar calendar, balanced forces, and universal harmony.

 

Related Symbols:

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Please note: images and text found in this dictionary are copyrighted and may not be copied, posted, or reprinted electronically or in print without prior permission. (Contact me here for fee schedule)

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Music and Pop Culture Symbols:

“Questioning” The Artist Formerly Known as Prince “The Artist” Heartagram Heartagram Zoso Zoso Seal of Lucifer Lucifer Sigil
Triqueta Triquetra

 

Druid & Celtic Symbols

Triqueta Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Celtic world tree
Triquetra Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Tree of Life
Brigid's cross Triskele Shield Knot
Brighid’s cross Celtic Knot Druidry Triskele Shield Knot Shamrock
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Druid Cernunnos, Herne
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Awen Spiral Cernunnos

More Celtic Symbols

All images copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Ankh Christian Ankh Jerusalem Cross Cross of Lorraine Cross Lorraine Vesica pisces Jesus Fish (Ichthus)

Trinity fish

Triqueta

Orthodox
Reverse cross Anchor Fish Anchor fish Alexamenos Serpent cross Sacred Heart Christogram
IHS IHS Alpha and Omega Alpha & Omega Chi-ro Chi Rho Crucifix Crucifix Messianic seal Messianic Halo Halo

More Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Magick, Occult, Satanic Symbols:

Baphomet Pentagram Necronomicon Chaos Chaos Mendes Goat Mendes Goat Hexagram Hexagram
Witch’s Knot Enneagram Hermetic Seal Unicursal hexagram Unicursal hexagram Ouroboros Ouroboros Sephirot Kabbalah
Mark of the Beast Mark of the Beast Hand of Glory Rose Cross Lamen GD Lamen Seal of Saturn Saturn Star of Babalon Babalon Seal Pentagram

More Occult Symbols

Wiccan/ Pagan Symbols:

Hecate's wheel Hecate’s Wheel Triqueta Triquetra Pentacle Pentacle Green man Green man Triple goddess Triple Goddess Pentacle Pentacle
Theban alphabet Witch’s runes Cauldron Horned God Triple crescent Triple crescent Elven star Athame Athame
Greenman Greenman Seax Seax Boline Besom Besom Witch's sign Witch’s Sign Pentacle Horned God

More Neopagan Symbols

All images/text copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Norse, Asatru, Romuva, and Eastern Europe:

Romuva Romuva Triple horn Odin’s horn Valknut Thunder Cross Shield Knot Shield Knot Helm of awe Helm of Awe
Hugin and Munin Hugin and Munin Mjolnir- Thor's hammer Mjolnir Runes Runes Sleipnir Sleipnir Gungnir Gungnir Solar cross
Irminsul Irminsul Jumis Jumis Nidstang Nidstang Yggdrasil Yggdrasil Triceps Wolf's Cross Wolf’s Cross

More Norse Symbols

Egyptian & Egyptian Pagan Symbols:

Uraeus Uraeus Winged disk Ankh Ankh Isis throne Eye of Horus Eye of Ra/Horus Scarab Scarab
Lotus Uraeus Horus Lemniscate infinity Djed Feather of Ma'at Maat Sistrum Sistrum
Abraxas Abraxas Nuit Hathor Ba bird Akhet Coming soon! Flower of Life

More Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Greek, Roman Symbols:

Horned Hand Mano Fico Gorgon Gorgon Caduceus Labrys, sacred axe Labrys Minotaur Minotaur Venus of Willendorf Willendorf
Fasces Fasces Orphic egg Orphic egg labrynth Tetraktys Hygeia Lauburu Lauburu

More Greek & Roman Symbols

Assyrian/Babylonian, Phoenician, Syrian, and Zoroastrian:

Knot of Inanna Inanna’s Knot Assyrian winged solar disk Assyrian sun disk Star of Ishtar Ishtar seal Sign of Tanit Tanit Sign of Shamash Shamash seal Fravashi Farohar
“Dagon” Mesopotamian Tree of Life Mespotamia Simurgh Kerub Tetragrammaton Tiamat Tiamat

More Assyrian/Babylonian Symbols

Islam, Judaism, Sufism, & Baha’i:

Crescent and star Star & Crescent Magen David Magen David Hamsa Allah Allah Sufi winged heart Sufi YHVH YHVH
Druze star Druze Star Baha'i star Baha’i Menorah Menorah Baha'i ringstone Ringstone Messianic Star Messianic Nidstang Aaronic Blessing

More Middle Eastern Symbols

African, Rasta, Vodou & Santeria:

Akua’ba Veve Veve Eleggua fetish Eleggua Rastafarian lion of Judah Lion of Judah Veve, Agwe Agwe Chi-wara Chiwara
Exu; Candomble Riscados Rastafarian star of David Rasta Adinkra Gya Name Ethiopian Cross Ethiopian Cross Adinkra Adinkra

See more African Symbols

Taoist, Shinto, Buddhist, and Asian cultural symbols:

Maneki Neko Maneke Neko Buddha’s Eyes Torii Gate I Ching Endless knot Endless knot Om Mani Padme hum
Enso Enso Buddha's Foot Buddha’s feet Tomoe Tomoe Yin yang Yin Yang Manji Manji Dorje Dorje

See more Asian Symbols

Hindu, Jain, & Sikh Symbols:

Kalash Kalash Garuda Garuda Khanda Khanda Vel of Lord Murugan Vel Chakras Chakra Dharma wheel Dharma
Jain Hand Dancing Shiva Shiva Tattwas Tattwas Om Omkar Universal  Jain Jainism Sri Yantra Yantra

More Symbols of Eastern Religions

Alchemical & Astrological Symbols:

Scorpio Scorpio Venus Venus Mars Zodiac wheel Zodiac Greek Cross Water element Water
Salt Alchemical salt Fire element Fire Capricorn Capricornus Crescent moon Sun Red KingRed King Pluto

See more Astrological Symbols

Shamanic (Native American, Aboriginal, Neolithic):

Wasgo Dancing sorcerer Shaman Kokopelli Kokopelli Man in the MazeMan in the Maze Hunab Ku Zia sun

See more in this category

Masonic, Fraternal Organizations:

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Skull & bones Masonic square and compass Compass All seeing eye Eye Point in Circle Pillars Beehive
A.A. Cipher All Seeing Eye 47th Problem of Euclid 47th Proposition Eagle of Lagash Double Eagle Eastern Star Eastern Star

See more Masonic Symbols

Miscellaneous:


COST

Operating Thetan Op. Thetan Scientology cross Scientology Scientology Unity Cross Atlantis Cross
Raelian Church Raelian Mu Mu Raelian Church Raelian Choku Rei Choku Rei "Prioy of Sion" Priory of Sion Process Church
Swastika Swastika Cable Tow Black Sun Neo Nazi triskele Neo Nazi “Grail Cross” Sacred Chao Sacred Chao Unitarians
Romany Barbury Barbury Crop Circle Reiki Healer Chalice Well Glastonbury Unicorn Theosophy

Special: “Da Vinci Code” Symbols:

Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose of Venus "Prioy of Sion" Ankh Phi
Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose Priory of Sion Ankh Phi
Golden Rectangle Jumis Fire element Water element Hexagram
Greek Cross Golden Mean Jumis Fire Water Hexagram

Religious symbols glossary

Symbol glossaries by subject:

Adinkra Symbols

Astrological and Alchemical symbols

Crosses Druid/ Celtic symbols

Egyptian symbols

Hand Gestures

NeoPagan/ Wiccan Symbols

Norse/Asatru symbols

Star Symbols Symbols of Eastern religions- Jain, Sikh, and Hindu symbols

Symbols of Magick and the Occult

Symbols of the Middle East- Sumerian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Islamic symbols

Taoist, Tibetan Buddhist, and Shinto symbols

Tattoo Symbols

Tribal and Shamanic symbols

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Symbolism of Masonry and Sacred Geometry

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Masonic square and compass All seeing eye Cable Tow keystone
Skull & bones Compass Eye Cabletow Pillars Keystone
Mosaic Floor 47th Problem of Euclid Eagle of Lagash Ashlar
Point in Circle Mosaic Floor All Seeing Eye 47th Proposition Double Eagle Ashlar
Tau V.I.T.R.I.O.L Heart in Hand
Tau V.I.T.R.I.O.L Odd Fellows Triple Tau Cipher Beehive
Vitruvian Man Rosecross
Death Vitruvian Man Rose Cross Tetraktys Flower of Life Golden rectangle
Phi
Phi

Logos, badges, and symbols of office

Eastern star Heart in Hand Emblem of the Martinist Order Eastern Star
A.A. OES Odd Fellows Martinist Eastern Star Cancellarius
Hourglass Heart in Hand
Knife and Fork Heart in Hand

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Skull and Bones (crossbones) Masonic square and compass All seeing eye Cable Tow Emblem of the Martinist Order
Skull & bones Compass Eye Cabletow Pillars Martinist
47th Problem of Euclid Eagle of Lagash Ashlar
A.A. Cancellarius All Seeing Eye 47th Proposition Double Eagle Ashlar
Eastern Star Eastern star Heart in Hand Table Lodge Heart in Hand
Eastern Star OES Odd Fellows Knife and Fork Heart in Hand Beehive
Rosecross
Cipher Point in Circle Rose Cross Triple Tau Flower of Life Golden rectangle
keystone
Masonic Keystone

 

47th Problem of Euclid

 

Related Symbol Pages:

See Also:

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Skull and Bones (crossbones) Masonic square and compass All seeing eye Cable Tow Emblem of the Martinist Order
Skull & bones Compass Eye Cabletow Pillars Martinist
47th Problem of Euclid Eagle of Lagash Ashlar
A.A. Cancellarius All Seeing Eye 47th Proposition Double Eagle Ashlar
Eastern Star Eastern star Heart in Hand Table Lodge Heart in Hand
Eastern Star OES Odd Fellows Knife and Fork Heart in Hand Beehive
Rosecross
Cipher Point in Circle Rose Cross Triple Tau Flower of Life Golden rectangle
keystone          
Masonic Keystone          

 

47th Problem of Euclid

 

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See Also:

“From the roots of his hair to the bottom of his chin is a tenth of a man’s height; from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is one eighth of his height; from the top of the breast to the roots of the hair will be the seventh part of the whole man. ”

~ Notebooks of Leonardo

Although made famous Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci, the figure known as the Vitruvian Man is actually named for the man who created him, the Roman architect Vitruvius. Vitruvius, a proponent of the Sacred Geometry of Pythagoras, designed temples based on the proportions of the human body, believing them to be perfect. This perfection, wrote Vitruvius, was evidenced by the fact that the extended limbs of a perfectly proportioned human fit into both the circle and the square.

According to Pythagorian tradition, the circle represents the spiritual realm; the square, material existence, so the human body represented the perfect marriage of matter and spirit, which was is reflected in its proportions.

Leonardo was one of many artists who attempted to depict Vitruvius’ perfect man, and the only one who succeeded; his version is considered the most accurate depictions of the human body.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, one of the most well known images in the world.

An earlier attempt at rendering the perfectly proportioned man, by Cesar Cesariano.

Related Symbols:

47th Problem of Euclid

Related Links:

Related resources:

  • Vitruvian Man View more artist’s renderings of the Vitruvian Man.

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One of the most common symbols of Freemasonry is the symbol of the crossed compass and set-square. The compass and square are architect’s tools, and symbolize God as the architect of the universe, among other things.

As measuring instruments, the tools represent judgment and discernment.

The compass, which is used to draw circles, represents the realm of the spiritual- eternity. It is symbolic of the defining and limiting principle, and also of infinite boundaries.

The angle measures the square, the symbol of earth and the realm of the material. The square represents fairness, balance, firmness, etc., which is reflected in phrases such as “on the square” and “squared away.” Something that is squared is something that is stable, a foundation for building upon.

Together, the compass and square represent the convergence of matter and spirit, and the convergence of earthly and spiritual responsibilities. The two symbols together form a hexagram, the union of earth with the heavens, matter and mind, etc.

Hexagram

A personification of Geometry with square and compass(Laurent de la Hyre)

Related Symbols:

HexagramSkull and Bones (crossbones)Vitruvian Man

Related resources:

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The flaming chalice was originally the emblem of the Unitarian Church. The symbol was designed in the nineteen forties, and officially adopted in the seventies as an official symbol of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

According to Church literature, the chalice symbolizes generosity, the flame symbolizes truth, and the chalice and the flame together form a cross, symbolizing the Church’s Christian roots.

However, no particular meaning is considered canonical. According to the designer, artist Hans Deutsch, “No one meaning or interpretation is official. The flaming chalice, like our faith, stands open to receive new truths that pass the tests of reason, justice, and compassion.”

The design likewise is flexible, the most common being enclosed within a double circle representing the twin heritage of the Church.

The original design

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The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of many “Marian apparitions” or ‘miraculous’ manifestations of the Virgin Mary, an icon of the Roman Catholic Church. She is especially venerated in Mexico, where she is said to have appeared to the impoverished native

farmer Juan Diego in the early sixteenth century. According to legend, as Juan was on his way to mass one morning, he was distracted by the sound of music emanating from nearby Tepeyac hill, some say in the location of a shrine to the Aztec goddess Tonantzin.

Pausing to investigate, he saw a vision of a glowing clouds, encircled by a rainbow. On the top of the hill appeared a young woman dressed in Aztec clothing, who told him she was the Virgin Mary, and that she desired a church on the site. Juan hurried to tell his Bishop, (The Spanish Bishop de Zumárraga) who was skeptical, asking for proof. Juan returned to the hill, where he discovered Spanish roses growing in the snow. Gathering them up, he returned to the Bishop, who was startled to discover the image of the Lady on Juan’s cactus-fiber cloak

A Basilica was built on the spot two years later, which still displays Juan Diego’s mantle with its renaissance-style image of the virgin. The image of the Lady of Guadalupe is said to be the most recognized catholic image in the world.

Related symbols:

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Please note: images and text are copyrighted and may not be copied, posted, or reprinted electronically or in print without permission. (Contact me here for fee schedule)

Want everything on one page? (Caution: slow loading)

Music and Pop Culture Symbols:

“Questioning” The Artist Formerly Known as Prince “The Artist” Heartagram Heartagram Zoso Zoso EN
Triqueta Triquetra

 

Druid & Celtic Symbols

Triqueta Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Celtic world tree
Triquetra Shield Knot Claddagh Triqueta Green man Tree of Life
Brigid's cross Triskele Shield Knot
Brighid’s cross Celtic Knot Druidry Triskele Shield Knot Shamrock
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Druid Cernunnos, Herne
Cauldron Welsh Dragon Celtic Cross Awen Spiral Cernunnos

More Celtic Symbols

All images copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Christian & Gnostic Symbols:

Ankh Christian Ankh Jerusalem Cross Cross of Lorraine Cross Lorraine Vesica pisces Jesus Fish (Ichthus) Trinity fishTriqueta Orthodox
Reverse cross Anchor Fish Anchor fish Alexamenos Serpent cross Sacred Heart Christogram
IHS IHS Alpha and Omega Alpha & Omega Chi-ro Chi Rho Crucifix Crucifix Messianic seal Messianic Halo Halo

More Christian & Gnostic Symbols

Magick, Occult, Satanic Symbols:

Baphomet Pentagram Necronomicon Chaos Chaos Mendes Goat Mendes Goat Hexagram Hexagram
Witch’s Knot Enneagram Hermetic Seal Unicursal hexagram Unicursal hexagram Ouroboros Ouroboros Sephirot Kabbalah
Mark of the Beast Mark of the Beast Hand of Glory Rose Cross Lamen GD Lamen Seal of Saturn Saturn Star of Babalon Babalon Seal Pentagram

More Occult Symbols

Wiccan/ Pagan Symbols:

Hecate's wheel Hecate’s Wheel Triqueta Triquetra Pentacle Pentacle Green man Green man Triple goddess Triple Goddess Pentacle Pentacle
Theban alphabet Witch’s runes Cauldron Horned God Triple crescent Triple crescent Elven star Athame Athame
Greenman Greenman Seax Seax Boline Besom Besom Witch's sign Witch’s Sign Pentacle Horned God

More Neopagan Symbols

All images/text copyright Jennifer Emick/Symboldictionary.net, except where otherwise noted

Norse, Asatru, Romuva, and Eastern Europe:

Romuva Romuva Triple horn Odin’s horn Valknut Thunder Cross Shield Knot Shield Knot Helm of awe Helm of Awe
Hugin and Munin Hugin and Munin Mjolnir- Thor's hammer Mjolnir Runes Runes Sleipnir Sleipnir Gungnir Gungnir Solar cross
Irminsul Irminsul Jumis Jumis Nidstang Nidstang Yggdrasil Yggdrasil Triceps Wolf's Cross Wolf’s Cross

More Norse Symbols

Egyptian & Egyptian Pagan Symbols:

Uraeus Uraeus Winged disk Ankh Ankh Isis throne Eye of Horus Eye of Ra/Horus Scarab Scarab
Lotus Uraeus Horus Lemniscate infinity Djed Feather of Ma'at Maat Sistrum Sistrum
Abraxas Abraxas Nuit Hathor Ba bird Akhet Coming soon! Flower of Life

More Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Greek, Roman Symbols:

Horned Hand Mano Fico Gorgon Gorgon Caduceus Labrys, sacred axe Labrys Minotaur Minotaur Venus of Willendorf Willendorf
Fasces Fasces Orphic egg Orphic egg labrynth Tetraktys Hygeia Lauburu Lauburu

More Greek & Roman Symbols

Assyrian/Babylonian, Phoenician, Syrian, and Zoroastrian:

Knot of Inanna Inanna’s Knot Assyrian winged solar disk Assyrian sun disk Star of Ishtar Ishtar seal Sign of Tanit Tanit Sign of Shamash Shamash seal Fravashi Farohar
“Dagon” Mesopotamian Tree of Life Mespotamia Simurgh Kerub Tetragrammaton Tiamat Tiamat

More Assyrian/Babylonian Symbols

Islam, Judaism, Sufism, & Baha’i:

Crescent and star Star & Crescent Magen David Magen David Hamsa Allah Allah Sufi winged heart Sufi YHVH YHVH
Druze star Druze Star Baha'i star Baha’i Menorah Menorah Baha'i ringstone Ringstone Messianic Star Messianic Nidstang Aaronic Blessing

More Middle Eastern Symbols

African, Rasta, Vodou & Santeria:

Akua’ba Veve Veve Eleggua fetish Eleggua Rastafarian lion of Judah Lion of Judah Veve, Agwe Agwe Chi-wara Chiwara
Exu; Candomble Riscados Rastafarian star of David Rasta Adinkra Gya Name Ethiopian Cross Ethiopian Cross Adinkra Adinkra

See more African Symbols

Taoist, Shinto, Buddhist, and Asian cultural symbols:

Maneki Neko Maneke Neko Buddha’s Eyes Torii Gate I Ching Endless knot Endless knot Om Mani Padme hum
Enso Enso Buddha's Foot Buddha’s feet Tomoe Tomoe Yin yang Yin Yang Manji Manji Dorje Dorje

See more Asian Symbols

Hindu, Jain, & Sikh Symbols:

Kalash Kalash Garuda Garuda Khanda Khanda Vel of Lord Murugan Vel Chakras Chakra Dharma wheel Dharma
Jain Hand Dancing Shiva Shiva Tattwas Tattwas Om Omkar Universal  Jain Jainism Sri Yantra Yantra

More Symbols of Eastern Religions

Alchemical & Astrological Symbols:

Scorpio Scorpio Venus Venus Mars Zodiac wheel Zodiac Greek Cross Water element Water
Salt Alchemical salt Fire element Fire Capricorn Capricornus Crescent moon Sun Red KingRed King Pluto

See more Astrological Symbols

Shamanic (Native American, Aboriginal, Neolithic):

Wasgo Dancing sorcerer Shaman Kokopelli Kokopelli Man in the MazeMan in the Maze Hunab Ku Zia sun

See more in this category

Masonic, Fraternal Organizations:

Skull and Bones (crossbones) Skull & bones Masonic square and compass Compass All seeing eye Eye Point in Circle Pillars Beehive
A.A. Cipher All Seeing Eye 47th Problem of Euclid 47th Proposition Eagle of Lagash Double Eagle Eastern Star Eastern Star

See more Masonic Symbols

Miscellaneous:


COST

Operating Thetan Op. Thetan Scientology cross Scientology Scientology Unity Cross Atlantis Cross
Raelian Church Raelian Mu Mu Raelian Church Raelian Choku Rei Choku Rei "Prioy of Sion" Priory of Sion Process Church
Swastika Swastika Cable Tow Black Sun Neo Nazi triskele Neo Nazi “Grail Cross” Sacred Chao Sacred Chao Unitarians
Romany Barbury Barbury Crop Circle Reiki Healer Chalice Well Glastonbury Unicorn Theosophy

 

Special: “Da Vinci Code” Symbols:

Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose of Venus "Prioy of Sion" Ankh Phi
Vitruvian Man Fleur de Lis Rose Priory of Sion Ankh Phi
Golden Rectangle Jumis Fire element Water element Hexagram
Greek Cross Golden Mean Jumis Fire Water Hexagram

Religious symbols glossary

Symbol glossaries by subject:

Adinkra Symbols

Astrological and Alchemical symbols

Crosses Druid/ Celtic symbols

Egyptian symbols

Hand Gestures

NeoPagan/ Wiccan Symbols

Norse/Asatru symbols

Star Symbols Symbols of Eastern religions- Jain, Sikh, and Hindu symbols

Symbols of Magick and the Occult

Symbols of the Middle East- Sumerian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Islamic symbols

Taoist, Tibetan Buddhist, and Shinto symbols

Tattoo Symbols

Tribal and Shamanic symbols

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Please pardon our Dust…the bulk of the symbol dictionary should be posted by the end of the month.  If there is something in particular you would like to see first, please let me know here. This IS the original, authentic Visual Glossary of Religious Symbols published in 2001 and formerly hosted by About.com.  This site will be the permanent home for the glossary, and we will continue the regular additions and updates.

How to use this site

If you are looking for a symbol you’ve seen but can’t identify, try the visual indexes at right.

If you want to browse symbols by genre, faith, or type, try the categories. If you want to view related symbol ideas,  try searching by tag (ie, star, circle, magic, etc.)

Feel free to suggest tags. If you don’t see the symbol you’re looking for or have other comments or questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, either through the comment form below, or email:

symboldictionaryATgmail.com

You may also use the comment forms on any relevant page and check back for your answer. 

If you are interested in publishing excerpts, or would like to use one of two images for a project, please drop me a line- I do grant permission in most cases- however, copying without permission or attribution is not allowed.

Use of materials offline for personal use, classroom use, etc., is almost always permitted.

How to cite this site:

Emick, Jennifer, [page title], http://symboldictionary.net [retrieval date]

If using an excerpt:

Copyright Jennifer , 2005-2009, [page title, linked to relevant page]

A Note on Copyright

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~~Jennifer


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Atheism throughout history has, understandably, been a pretty private affair. In recent years, however, the rise of the atheist/agnostic “freethought” movement has brought active disbelief into the public arena, creating not just a camaraderie of unbelievers, but a sometimes actively anti-religious movement.

A number of atheist, pro-science, and related emblems have been proffered as symbols for nonbelievers, but none have any real consensus so far. I’ve compiled a brief, by no means exclusive list of some of the more popular emblems below.

Early symbols

atheism symbolOne of the earliest symbols is not a symbol of disbelief per se. The Humanist movement’s “happy human,” designed by Denis Barrington in 1965 for the International Humanist and Ethical Union. The little figure symbolized the humanist philosophy of people over religious dogma, and while popular with atheists, is not an explicitly atheist symbol.

atheism symbolThe earliest explicitly atheist symbol I’m aware of is the open-atom logo of the American Atheists, designed in the early sixties to place an emphasis on scientific curiosity and empirical thinking. While adopted early, it is not popular overall as it is trademarked by the organization.

The “evolve fish,” aka, the “Darwin fish,” a satirical jab at the ubiquitous “Jesus fish,” is one of several popular recent symbols:

atheism symbol

The “invisible pink unicorn” symbol was intentionally designed as an atheist identification symbol. The image alludes to a common argument against belief, contained within the mathematical symbol for an ‘empty set.’  The first mention of the IPU appeared in the mid-nineties on Usenet, from author Steve Eley:

 

atheism symbol“Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can’t see them.”

 

atheism symbolSo far, the real contender has been the “flying spaghetti monster,” which began as a variation of the “IPU” argument, but proved irresistible once reports of “miraculous appearances” of the parody deity began to roll in. FSM merchandise is abundant, and includes car medallions, t-shirts, posters, and more.

Other noteworthy images include the atheist ” Scarlet A” symbol, designed by Richard Dawkins for the “OUT” campaign, which encourages Atheists to be more outspoken:

atheism symbol

The circle/A emblem, somewhat resembling the Anarchist “A” symbol:

atheism symbol

The empty set (circle/slash) with or without cross (aka the “Bad Religion” logo), ghost, or other object representing religion:

atheism symbol

I any case, the issue is far from settled, at least as far as consensus goes.

 

Some of the recent debates:

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The Tau or Tav means “cross,” and is the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is numbered 300 in the Greek and 400 in the Hebrew numerical alphabet. The tau corresponds astrologically with the planet Saturn and the concept of finality. The mark was associated with the absolution of sin and may have been the original “mark of Cain” of the Old Testament. In the Hebrew kabbala, the Tav represents the completion of creation and is an emblem of infinity. In the visions of Ezekiel, it is the sign etched on the foreheads of priests and initiates. The Greek Tau is associated with the letter Theta, an emblem of death originally symbolized by a cross in a circle or a skull.

It is assumed the the biblical symbolism of the Tau stems from the ancient cult of Tammuz, a vegetation god whose annual death and resurrection was commemorated by ritual mourners who marked their foreheads with the cross. Tammuz, like Christ, was associated with fishing and shepherding. The Tau cross takes the shape of the letter of his name, and is one of the oldest letters known. The custom of marking the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign of mourning dates back to these rituals.

The Tau was adopted as the emblem of the Franciscan order of monks, and during the renaissance it was used in religious paintings to denote monks, pilgrims, and wandering hermits. The Tau was a special symbol of Saint Anthony, considered the progenitor of monasticism, and may have referred to the “T” in the word “Theos,” God. In magic, the Tau represents a supplicating posture. Ritual robes are typically referred to as “Tau robes” due to their shape, going back to the traditional pattern of monastic robes.

Esoterically, the Tau represents a gate or opening, symbolic death. In the Victorian magical Order of the Golden Dawn, the Tau was the “sign of the Enterer,” a posture that symbolized the opening path of the Kabbalistic tree of life, connecting the sphere of Malkuth (earth) with that of Yesod (the moon). It was strongly associated with the World or Universe card in the tarot, and emblematic of the cross of life juxtaposed on the sphere of matter- a symbol of death as initiation.

The tau cross is often used as a variant of the Latin, or Christian cross.

An arrangement of three Taus in a spoked formation is an emblem of the Royal Arch degree of Freemasonry, symbolizing the Temple of Jerusalem. The Triple Tau is said to actually comprise only two letters, for the Greek phrase “Templum Hieroslymoe,” with the H as a pictographic stand-in for the Arch of the Temple entrance; the Tau likely reflecting the death-and resurrection symbolism of the Masonic initiation.

The Greek “Hiero,” or “holy,” is also the root of the word “Hierophant,” an initiator. To add a further layer of symbolism, the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek eta (H) is cheth, a gate. Cheth/eta enumerates to 8 or 800, with the Tav 400, making it truly a double Tau.

A tau cross displayed alongside a rope with knots symbolizes the vows of the order. A tau displayed with crossed arms is called the “Franciscan Shield.”

 

Related Symbols:

Ankh

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