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Creativity is an essential aspect of the human experience, allowing us to think originally, open the mind, and find solutions to our problems. All around us are examples of creative thinking – from the screen you’re reading this on, to the symbols used to represent words.
Across the globe, there are symbols that represent creativity, many stemming from ancient times. These symbols demonstrate the importance of creative thinking and energy and the need to nurture and inspire creativity.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular symbols of creativity, and the ability of the human mind to come up with original ideas.
One of the most recognizable symbols of creativity, the lightbulb represents originality and new ideas. It’s a symbol of invention and even of intelligence. Light has always been associated with knowledge and understanding, while darkness has always represented the unknown. The image of a lightbulb, therefore, signifies that there is understanding, which results in creativity and ideas.
The sun is one of the most symbolic objects of all, symbolizing concepts such as life, strength, power, inspiration, and self. It also represents creativity and inspiration, and is therefore a powerful symbol for creative types.
The sun’s association with light links it to wisdom, intelligence, and understanding, much like the lightbulb. It’s also the source of all life, allowing humans, plants, and animals to grow and thrive.
Ananse Ntontan – Spiders Web (Adinkra Symbol)
This Adinkra symbol features a wheel-like image with seven spokes. The name Ananse Ntontan means the spider’s web, with Ananse being a popular character in West African mythology.
Ananse is a messenger of the Supreme Being. It’s constantly weaving its web, which is made of energy and covers all creation.
The symbol of Ananse Ntontan represents wisdom, creativity, and the complex nature of life. It also represents good judgement, making the right decisions, and taking decisive action. In terms of creativity, the symbol represents original thoughts, problem-solving, and using one’s imagination to create something unique.
A modern symbol, an explosion of colors signifies the freedom of creativity and original thought. As the colors run into each other, it creates original patterns and shades that hadn’t existed before.
An explosion of colors also signifies bravery, courage, and fearlessness, as it can be difficult to push the boundaries and think in an original way. There are no rules in creativity, only a person’s ability to think outside of the box. While seemingly simple, this can be difficult, and as Henri Matisse once states, creativity takes courage. There is always the possibility of things going wrong. All these concepts are perfectly encapsulated by the image of an explosion of colors.
Awen is an important Celtic symbol, representing creativity, imagination, and aesthetic sensibility. The word Awen means the essence or poetic inspiration in the Celtic language.
The symbol itself is quite minimalistic, featuring three tapering lines set within a circle, pointing upwards towards three dots and leaning towards each other.
For thousands of years, the Awen has been a source of inspiration to artists, such as writers, poets, and musicians. It’s believed that Awen would turn into a muse and instigate creativity among artists.
Due to these associations, the Awen symbol remains one of the most potent symbols of creativity from the ancient world.
An ancient symbol full of profound symbolism, the lotus has held value in numerous cultures and religions, including ancient Egypt, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
The flower is renowned for its ability to remain pure and untouched despite being rooted in mud and being surrounded by a murky environment, and for appearing each morning but then submerging itself into the water at night.
This has led the lotus to represent factors such as purity, enlightenment, spirituality, detachment and resurrection. The lotus represents creativity because of its associations with spiritual growth.
The thunderbolt can sometimes be seen as a symbol of creativity, as it represents a quick moment of inspiration. Sometimes creativity hits us suddenly and unexpectedly, much like a thunderbolt. It’s in those ‘aha’ moments that we are inspired and display our aptitude for coming up with original ideas.
In Slavic mythology, Veles was the god of earth, waters, livestock, and the underworld. He is associated with music, magic, cattle, and the harvest. He is also the guardian of the Heavenly Gates, which separates the spiritual land of the dead from that of the living.
The symbol of Veles features two main parts: a downward pointing triangle below a horizontal line with two upward pointing lines emanating from its ends. Some speculate that this is a stylized version of horns, due to Veles’ association with cattle.
The symbol represents creativity, truth, honesty, and determination.
Also known as the creativity symbol, the fountain symbol features a y-shaped symbol with ram-like horns. The symbol represents creative energy and a flow of new ideas.
Water has always been a symbol of refreshment, inspiration, and of life itself. The fountain takes these concepts further, adding creative energy to the mix.
Svadhishthana – Sacral Chakra
Also known as the Sacral chakra, the Svadhishthana is the second primary chakra, and is located in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the abdomen. It’s known as the center of creativity.
The Svadhisthana chakra determines an individual’s dreams, desires, imagination, and creative potential. The chakra is represented by a six-petaled lotus, with a white crescent moon at its center along with the vam mantra.
Also known as the tassel flower, emilias are bright, colorful flowers that look like tassels. They come in a range of shades, with the most popular being red, orange, and purple. This flower represents creativity and originality.
Also known as the grape hyacinth, muscari looks like the hyacinth flower, except that it has round fragrant grape-like flowers instead of the small, open flowers of the hyacinth. Muscari symbolizes power, creativity, and mystery.
Sometimes called vervain, verbena features a cluster of tiny flowers grouped close together. Verbena comes in a range of colors, including shades of purple, blue, and red. These flowers represent creativity, happiness, healing, and romance.
Lupinus have stiff towering flowers that come in several shades, such as yellow, pink, purple, and blue. Beautiful flowers that grow in the wild, lupinus represent creativity, happiness, imagination, and positivity.
While the above list features the most popular symbols of creativity from different parts of the world, there are others that can also be said to signify creativity. Some of these include the image of an apple falling from a tree (referencing Newton’s apple which sparked his creative thinking and original ideas), a spark, a thought bubble, and a seedling. After all, creativity is a dynamic concept, and there are always creative ways of coming up with new symbols of creativity.