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Eternity symbols are as popular today as they’ve ever been. As a concept that has existed for millennia, and one that has enthralled humans forever, eternity has always fascinated us. Almost every religion promises eternal life, while lovers constantly promise that they will love each other forever.
With all this obsession over eternity, it’s natural that there are several symbols that are used to represent this concept. This article will outline some of the most popular symbols of eternity and why they’re significant.
Besides the infinity symbol, another highly mathematical and timeless figure that marks infinity and the whole of eternity is a circle.
Many symbols come from the circle, especially ones that convey the same meanings, and the shape itself stands for infinity and the never-ending nature of the world.
A circle is perfect in all its forms, and depending on how you look at it, the “cyclical” form can be the simplest or the most complex depiction of the repeating nature of the universe.
The circle implies that nothing new is under the sun, there is no end, and everything that keeps happening has happened before and will go on for all of eternity.
2. Christmas Wreath
Christmas wreaths are only used seasonally to highlight the Christmas spirit and, in turn, bring good luck and fortune into our homes.
But we can’t deny that the wreath symbolizes eternity and the never-ending nature of the holiday season.
No matter what time of the year, we’re always fantasizing about the holidays, and just like the circular wreath, it’s a never-ending process.
In Christianity, the wreath is decorated as a circle, with Oak leaves or Evergreen trimmings to make it look like the perpetual loop of life itself. So, in that same regard, a Christmas wreath celebrates the cycle of life and unwavering faith.
3. Shou Symbol
In Chinese culture, the Shou symbol/character is used to signify eternity and long life. The symbol consists of straight lines resembling a map of a hedge maze.
It’s said to be derived from the supposed fruit of immortality, the Peach. Also, the symbol is associated with the Chinese god of longevity, Shou Hsing.
The symbol is heavily used in Chinese scrolls, sculptures, and architecture. Thanks to its classic yet timeless design, the Shou symbol can also be worn as protective amulets or inscribed in homes for good luck.
4. Nyame Nnwu na Mawu
The Adinkra symbol of Nyame Nnwu Na Mawu is a brave and outstanding testament to the unbreakable faith of a loyal devotee.
When translated, this says: “God won’t die for me to die,” implying that similar to the Omnipotent, who cannot be vanquished, neither will my faith nor my devotion falter.
Although it implies immortality, if taken literally, there’s still some truth and a deeper connection to eternal faith with this symbol.
It might be an exaggeration, but it’s empowering and embodies the everlasting nature of God and his creations.
5. North Star
As an essential component in navigation and astrology, the North Star (or Polaris) has always been instrumental in guiding us.
As a symbol with spiritual and functional significance, that’s been around since the dawn of time, the North Star is an eternal and everlasting guide.
Popular in Hinduism, the North Star of “Druva Tara,” symbolizes wisdom, guidance, and immortal life.
According to legend, the Star is Prince Druva. Prince Druva redeemed himself and impressed Lord Vishnu with his virtues. As a reward, he was turned into the North Star to live forever.
Sacred to the Hindus, the Kalash is a symbol used to represent abundance and immortality. It’s used in weddings and childbirth rituals. It pleases Lord Ganesha and Gauri Devi, who then grant boons of fertility and good fortune.
The Kalash is prepared by filling a copper pot with holy water and covering the top with a husked coconut and mango leaves.
The holy water is a representation of the elixir of life, Amrita, and the pot is a symbol of the Earth or the Mother Goddess.
Although not much is known about the Kanatitsa, it’s an ancient Bulgarian symbol consisting of several triangles touching each other at their vertices.
The symbol is common in many drawings and apparel. It’s associated with immortality, abundance, and protection from negative spiritual energies.
8. Willow Trees
Willow Trees are an apt symbol of the abundance of the natural world and how life always finds a way.
The Willow tree is prominent in many cultures because of its innate ability to grow back whenever cut down or develop roots quickly from a single cutting or sapling.
It’s also referenced in Chinese culture as a poignant symbol of life, death, and rebirth.
9. Pine Trees
As a hardy species capable of withstanding low temperatures and lasting hundreds of years, Pine trees are a fitting portrayal of longevity and wisdom in the wild.
These evergreen trees can actually grow in different terrain and remain alive, without withering, during the entire winter.
Their persistence and virtues make them perfect symbols of an undying species destined to remain on this Earth forever.
The fact that Pine trees provide strong wood and have medicinal value solidifies them as a living example of virtues such as service, abundance, and the enduring nature of life.
In Christianity and other cultures, the rugged nature of Pine trees is celebrated as proof that there is victory over darkness.
10. Banyan Tree
The Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis), otherwise known as the Indian Fig Tree, is considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Hindus believe that many Hindu deities (such as Lord Vishnu and Shiva) reside in the Banyan Tree and will influence their lives.
The Banyan Tree can live for hundreds of years and create strong roots that run from the branches to the ground, anchoring itself to the Earth.
As we all know, Mistletoe is a crucial part of Christmas decorations, especially if you’re yearning to get a kiss from someone you have feelings for.
Although we don’t know exactly how this tradition came to be, what we do know is that this poisonous and parasitic plant does symbolize fertility, health, love, and protection.
Apart from this popular tradition, Mistletoe is regarded as a symbol of immortality and eternity because it’s a resilient species.
Although it grows as a parasite on woody trees, Mistletoe can survive harsh temperatures and sprout new shoots rapidly after it is cut or burned.
This feat depicts Mistletoe as a tough and everlasting plant species that are nearly impossible to destroy.
12. Tansy Flowers
Although perceived as beautiful flowers to the uninitiated, Tansy flowers are an immortal weed and a declaration of war against farmers. These seemingly harmless flowers are a symbol of immortality and animosity.
Derived from the Greek word Athanasia (meaning “Deathless”), Tansy flowers are said to have properties that can grant immortality. This may be why the ancient Egyptians used this flower to embalm bodies, so that they would live on forever.
Tansy flowers are impossible to get rid of because they can survive harsh temperatures and spread rapidly.
On top of that, they are poisonous, with the ability to put down cattle, horses, and small animals. So, despite plaguing the living, they are considered a symbol of eternal life.
13. White Wisteria Flowers
Even if they aren’t white-colored exactly, the often purple-colored White Wisteria flowers are a feast on our eyes and soul.
These beautiful blooms that blossom and hang like an abundant cluster of grapes are said to personify love and unending devotion. They prosper in Japan and other parts of East Asia.
So, with that positive outlook, White Wisteria flowers can signify unconditional love that never wanes and spans countless lifetimes.
As another hardy and tolerant crop, Amaranth is a solid example of prosperity, immortality, and eternal love.
These plants have many nutritional and medicinal benefits and were a staple in South American cultures during their rituals and diets.
Also, because of its natural ability to retain color long after it’s been cut, Amaranth is ideal for making dyes, beauty products, and decorations.
Because of this property, Amaranth was given the name “amarantos” by the Greeks, which translates to “eternal” or “does not wither.”
Formed over hundreds of years by small sea creatures known as Polyps, Coral is definitely one of the most valuable natural materials that are irreplaceable.
The ancient Greeks called Coral the garden of the sea. Coral represents perseverance, dedication, wisdom, and immortality.
Coral structures take hundreds of years to develop, and the creatures that inhabit or create these structures are said to be able to live forever under the right conditions.
16. The Infinity Symbol
Formed as a sideways figure-eight, the infinity symbol is also called the eternity or the forever symbol. The two circles forming the eight appear to have no identifiable beginning or end.
The symbol has its origins in mathematics when the mathematician John Wallis chose it to represent the concept of infinity.
Today, its meanings outside of mathematics are highly popular, and it’s commonly chosen for use in jewelry, fashion, tattoos, and another décor.
17. Endless Knot
Known as the eternal or endless knot, this symbol has its origins in India. The symbol has no beginning or end and is made with a single line that weaves in and out of itself many times. It’s a closed design featuring interwoven, right-angled lines that link and overlap to create a symmetrical design.
18. The Ankh
The Ankh is one of the most well-known symbols of life, shaped in the form of a cross with a loop instead of the topmost bar. It’s an Ancient Egyptian symbol and can be found along with many Egyptian representations of royalty and deities.
The Ankh had several meanings, including being a symbol of health, fertility, nourishment, and eternal life. It was also used in various positive expressions and greetings such as:
- May you be healthy/alive
- I wish you long life/health
- Alive, sound and healthy
The symbol has widely been incorporated in modern day accessories and worn by celebrities like Rihanna and Katy Perry.
One of the most well-known symbols of eternity, the ouroboros features a snake (or sometimes a dragon) devouring itself by consuming its tail, thereby forming a circle.
While it held numerous meanings in the past and was used in various schools of thought, today it’s predominantly seen as a symbol of infinity. It also symbolizes eternal love, the cycle of life and death, and the concept of karma (what goes around comes around).
During Victorian times, the ouroboros symbol was often used in mourning jewelry as a symbol of eternal love between the deceased and those left behind.
20. Armenian Wheel
The Armenian wheel of eternity symbolizes celestial life in the Armenian culture. The wheel features six spokes emanating from a central point, all appearing dynamic in nature as though moving in one direction. The symbol can be left or right facing, based on personal preferences.
The Armenian wheel symbolizes the eternal motion of life and infinity.
The Armenian wheel has been found engraved on steles, and embossed on church walls, tombstones and many other historical monuments. Even today, the symbol is etched on the cradles of new born children to bless them with endurance and success.
The triskele is an ancient Irish symbol commonly featured in Celtic art. This symbol consists of three interlocked spirals representing popular triads, such as the three forces of nature (earth, water and sky), the three realms (spiritual, celestial, and physical), the three stages of life (birth, life, and death).
Because of the triskele’s dynamism and appearance of movement, it can be viewed as a symbol of the movement of time and eternity, the oneness of spirit, and unity.
22. Greek Key (Meander Pattern)
The Meander pattern is exactly that, a meandering pattern featuring geometric twists and turns. This pattern is commonplace in ancient and modern Greek motifs and was often used in architecture, pottery, mosaic floors, and sculptures.
The pattern signifies the never-ending flow of things, the concept of eternity, and the key of life.
23. Shen Ring
Since the circle has no end, it represents eternity in many cultures. In Western culture, the marriage ring comes from this idea of the eternal connection with the circle.
At first sight, the Shen ring looks like a circle with a tangent line at one end. However, what it actually represents is a stylized loop of rope with closed ends, which creates a knot and a closed ring.
The Shen ring symbolized eternity to the ancient Egyptians. Its associations with power like that of the sun make it a mighty symbol.
24. Tree of Life
An ancient symbol, the tree of life originated in the Middle East but can be found in a variety of cultures, including that of the Celts.
The symbol features a tree, with its branches and roots connected within a circle, signifying connection, family roots, fertility, growth, rebirth, and eternity.
As the tree ages, it continues to live on through new saplings which grow from its seeds, representing infinity and the eternal cycle of life.
25. Triquetra (Trinity Knot)
One of the most popular Irish symbols, the triquetra has many interpretations and meanings. The symbol features three interconnected arcs, with some depictions containing a circle at the center.
It looks complex but is a simple knot drawn in one continuous motion. It’s one of the most popular types of Celtic knots.
The triquetra has no beginning and no end. As such, it’s the perfect representation of eternity and eternal love.
However, in addition to this, it also symbolizes the Holy Trinity, and several other triads, such as the three domains, the three elements, the three stages of a woman’s life, and the triple goddess.
Symbols of eternity encapsulate the concept of forever in their image, making them among the most well-known and much-loved symbols.
These can be seen used in architecture, jewelry, fashion, décor, and much more. These symbols have lasted the test of time, and it’s safe to say that they will continue to be popular symbols to infinity and beyond.