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The solar cross is probably the most ancient spiritual symbol in the world, appearing in Asian, American, European, and Indian religious art from the dawn of history. Composed of a equal armed cross within a circle, it represents the solar calendar- the movements of the sun, marked by the solstices. Sometimes the equinoxes are marked as well, giving an eight armed wheel.
The cross in its most simplified form (shown above) is known in Northern Europe as Odin's cross, after the Chief God of the Norse pantheon. It is often used as an emblem by Asatruar, followers of the Norse religion.
The Celtic cross is a symbol of the Celtic Christian Church, borrowed from the pre-Christian Celtic Pagan emblem of the God Taranis:
The Lauburu (four heads), a traditional Basque emblem, is also a form of solar cross
Gnostic Serpent Wheel
It represents the eight Aeons of Gnosticism. It is a emblem of the cycles of time and is a symbol of the Gnostic messiah- the eighth Aeon who brings awakening and restores unity. It is closely related to the eight-spoked catholic baptismal cross- the Sunday of the resurrection was for early Christians an eighth day, and symbolized regeneration.
This cycle was represented for some Gnostics by the serpent, who was associated with the "self-begotten" Deity by virtue of its ability to "give birth to itself" by the shedding of its skin.
Wreath and Staves
The sigil is the identifying symbol of one of the earliest Druid reconstruction organizations, Reformed Druids of North America. It is strictly a modern symbol, having no root in historic Druidry.
A common symbol of the ancient Assyrian/Mesopotamian Sun God Shamash. It is often referred to as the "Seal of Shamash," and appears near images of the God, or to represent his presence when worn by Kings or in inscriptions. The Seal of Shamash is a typical solar symbol, and probably represents the Sun Wheel, or solar calendar, much like the Celtic Cross or the Pueblo Zia. The four arms most likely represent the solstices and equinoxes, which were extremely important calendar days in ancient agrarian cultures.
Star of Ishtar
A symbol of the Mesopotamian Goddess Ishtar (Anath, Astarte, Inanna). The eight points represent the movements of the planet Venus associated with this Goddess.
Flower of Life
The Flower of Life, a symbol most commonly associated with New Age permutations of Sacred Geometry, is a curiously universal emblem, appearing in religious contexts all over the globe.
The oldest example can still be seen at the Temple of Osiris at Abydos (one of many geometric arrangements of circles found there), it can also be seen in early Phoenecian, Assyrian, Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and later medieval art. The example at the Osireion, with its multiplicity of vesica pisces shapes, may represent the 'eyes' of Osiris- a symbol of the omniscience of the god.
The six-fold "see" pattern used as a basis for the larger pattern is often referred to on its own as the seed of life:
This delicate net of overlapping circles arranged in a six-fold pattern is called the "flower of life" because it contains a number of other shapes within its deceptively simple pattern, leading some to call it the "blueprint of creation." By connecting points in the pattern, a multitude of patterns and shapes can be traced, including a tree of Life, pentagram, and various representations of three dimensional objects.
Adinkra symbol for humility and modesty. (Oddly labled as "arrogance, pride."
Adrinkra (sometimes, andinkra) symbols are small, symbolic pictures used to decorate colorful patterned cloth by fabric designers in Ghana .
Adinkra symbol for loyalty and readiness to serve.
This symbol is ubiquitous on Buddhist and Shinto temples all over Japan . Its name is tomoe, meaning turning or circular, referring to the motion of the earth. The tomoe is related to the yin yang symbol, and has a similar meaning, representing the play of forces in the cosmos. Visually, the tomoe is made up of interlocked flames resembling tadpoles.
The most common tomoe emblem has three flames (triple, or 'mitsu' tomoe), but one, two, or four are not uncommon. A mitsu (triple) Tomoe reflects the threefold division of Shinto cosmology, and is said to represent the earth, the heavens, and humankind. It is often associated with the Shinto war deity Hachiman.
The swastika used in Buddhist art and scripture is known as a manji (whirlwind), and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. It is derived from the Hindu religious swastika, but it is not identical in meaning.
The Manji is made up of several elements- a vertical axis representing the joining of heaven and earth, a horizontal axis representing the connection of yin and yang, and the four arms, representing movement-the whirling force created by the interaction of these elements.
When facing left, it is the Omote (front facing) Manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the Ura (rear facing) Manji. In Zen Buddhism, the Manji represents the ideal harmony between love and intellect.
International Banner of Peace
The symbol and the idea for the International Banner of Peace were both composed by artist, mystic, and activist Nicholas Roerich. Drawn from various historical symbols, the figure was meant as a cultural equivalent to the Red Cross. The banner, meant to be flown over cultural landmarks, was conceived as a symbol of the "Roerich Pact," a treaty between nations designed to protect historical, cultural, and artistic heritage. The circle represents the unity of human culture; the three circles represent art, science, and religion- the three main vehicles of culture.
The pact, signed in the presence of Franklin Roosevelt, guarantees the protection of cultural sites even in times of war- museums, scientific institutions, schools, galleries, and the like are to be considered neutral and protected even during conflicts.
The Ouroboros is a greek word, and means "tail swallower." The ouroboros is usually depicted in the form of a snake swallowing its tail, and is usually circular, although it is sometimes depicted in a lemniscate shape. The ouroboros originated in Egypt as a symbol of the sun, and represented the travels of the sun disk. In Gnosticism, it was related to the solar God Abraxas, and signified eternity and the soul of the world.
In alchemy, it represents the spirit of Mercury (the substance that permeates all matter), and symbolizes continuous renewal (a snake is often a symbol of resurrection, as it appears to be continually reborn as it sheds its skin.), the cycle of life and death, and harmony of opposites. A double ouroboros (two creatures swallowing one another) in alchemy signifies volatility.
The Ouroboros appears in many other cultures and settings as well...the Serpent Jormungandr of Norse legend, who encircled the world, and guarded Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, is often depicted as an ouroboros.
The Aztec serpent God Queztacoatl was depicted similarly, and Chinese alchemical dragons have both similar shapes and meaning.
Golden Dawn Cross
With the Rose Cross Lamen, the rayed cross is one of the main symbols of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an eighteenth century occult society. The symbol is a kabbalistic emblem (as well as a reversed seal of Jupiter). The upper cross represents the inner order of the organization, as well as the three supernal sefiroth of the Tree of life; the lower triangle represents the outer order, and the three central sefiroth. The rising sun within the triangle represents the sefirot Tiphareth, resurrection and rebirth.
The Rose Cross originated as a Christian symbol in the first century, and was later adopted as the primary emblem of the Rosicrucians, an esoteric secret society that originated during the Renaissance.
The rose symbolized the redemptive power of the blood of Christ; the symbol as a whole illustrated the triumph of spirit over matter. A deeper, hidden significance of the symbol is the union of the rose of Mary with the Cross of Christ, the union of the divine feminine with the divine masculine.
Chalice Well at Glastonbury
This is a simplified image of the design that graces the cover of the Chalice Well at Glastonbury , designed in the nineteenth century by archaeologist Bligh Bond. Crafted of wrought iron and wood, it depicts the vesica pisces, a symbol of the divine feminine, and Excalibur, the sword of the legendary King Arthur, who is believed by some to be buried at Glastonbury .
The wellspring at Glastonbury is considered to be one of England 's most Holy sites. The well itself dates back over two thousand years, and was sacred to both early Pagans and the Christians who later built an abbey on the site. Today, the well is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Pagans alike, many of whom believe the red, iron rich water has healing and miraculous properties. The vesica Pisces theme is repeated in the shape of the pool at the base of the hill, where the water from the spring flows.
An old legend holds that after the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea travelled to England and hid the Holy Grail on the premises, accounting for the water's red hue. Modern Neopagans who use the site equate the waters with the menstruum of the Goddess.
The Emblem of Seax-Wicca, an Anglo-Saxon influenced branch of Wicca, symbolizes the sun, moon, and the eight Sabbats, or holy days.
Wheel of the Year
The eight-pointed Wheel of the Year symbol marks the important holy days, or Sabbats, in the Wiccan Ritual calendar. It is derived from the sun wheel, or solar cross, a pre-Christian European calendar marking the Solstices and Equinoxes.
Hecate's wheel is an ancient Greek symbol, and is an emblem of the Moon Goddess Hecate (Diana Lucifera), and her triple aspect. It is generally used by practitioners of Hellenic Recon or Dianic Traditions