Ancient Symbols

Symbols have been used since ancient times to communicate various meanings, abstract ideas and concepts. They can be found in every corner of the globe.

 

Every culture and religion have relied on symbols to express various ideas, and oftentimes, the same symbol can have different meanings depending on the context and era it’s viewed within. For example, a cross can be a mathematical symbol, but it can also represent medicine or Christianity, which is why context is paramount when decoding symbols.

 

What’s most interesting about symbols is that a symbol’s meaning isn’t inherent but is learned culturally. Take the Swastika – an ancient Eastern religious symbol tainted by Nazi Germans. Today, it’s viewed as both a symbol of hate and a symbol of protection, proof that symbols are dynamic, changing with time and context. 

 

Symbols continue to be everywhere in modern society, some of them ancient and others repurposed. They can be found in architecture, jewelry, fashion, literature, politics and businesses. Understanding the meanings of symbols is like learning a new language. They convey whole ideas, conversations, values and philosophies.  Our series of articles on ancient symbols explore the origins and importance of popular symbols, while highlighting their symbolism and modern relevance.

Symbols of Democracy – A List

List of democracy symbols

One of the most common types of government in the modern world, democracy is reflective of people’s will.The word democracy is derived from two Greek words demos and kratos, meaning people and ...

Symbols of Balance – A List

Symbols of balance list

Throughout history, the concept of balance appears in different philosophies and religious beliefs. Aristotle introduced the Golden Mean philosophy, where he described moderation as virtue and ...

Symbols of Adventure – A List

Symbols of adventure

Many of us travel the world in search of adventure and new experiences. Originally a Middle English word, the term adventure was derived from the Old French aventure that translates as fate, ...

What Does 108 Mean in Yoga?

108 meaning in yoga

From sun salutations to mala beads to Upanishads and Tantras, the number 108 has presented itself as a significant number in Yoga. 108 and Yoga are so intricately connected that it's viewed as a ...

Symbols of Unity – A List

Unity Symbols

Unity is one of the keys to maintaining lasting harmony and peace. As the famous quote goes, “We’re only as strong as we’re united, as weak as we’re divided”. Here’s a look at the different ...

Symbols of Grace – A List

grace symbols

Through literature and popular culture, we have formed different ideas in our minds about the meaning of grace. The word grace was borrowed from Latin gratus, meaning pleasing, and has become ...

Symbols of War – A List

Symbols of war

In a cosmic sense, every war entails combat between light and darkness, and good and evil. Mythological wars, as the one waged between Zeus and the Titans, Thor against the Giants, or Gilgamesh ...

Crown – Meaning and Symbolism

crown

When you think of a crown, you probably imagine someone with royal blood - a king, queen, a prince, or a princess. This doesn’t come as a surprise because this traditional head adornment has been ...

Show next