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 Magic and Their Meaning

Symbols of magic list

Magic comes in many different shapes and forms depending on which ancient religion or culture choose to look at. However, magic is always enchanting, beautiful, powerful, and potentially horrible ...

Zen Symbols and Their Meanings

Zen symbols list

Zen symbolism is at the core of most of the ancient Chinese religions and is alive and well to this day. Popular across the world, Zen is also often somewhat misunderstood. What exactly is Zen, ...

Eternity Symbols and What They Mean

Symbols of eternity and their meanings

Eternity is a concept that has existed for millennia, and one that has enthralled humans forever. It’s a concept that fascinates us. Almost every religion promises eternal life, while lovers ...

Symbols of Victory and What They Mean

Symbols of victory and meanings

There are many symbols of victory that exist, used to inspire and motivate people to fight the good fight, work towards big goals and achievements, and overcoming spiritual or psychological ...

Symbolism of Nose Rings Explained

Symbolism of nose rings explained

Among the oldest types of jewelry in the world, nose rings are common accessories worn by women across the globe. While in the West, the trend of wearing nose rings is somewhat new, in other parts ...

Show next