7 Common Motherhood Symbols and Their Meaning

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Symbols referring to different aspects of womanhood, specifically motherhood, have been in use since ancient times.  These motherhood symbols carry deep, fascinating significance. If you are curious to know more about the various motherhood signs and symbols, keep reading as we cover the most common motherhood symbols from around the world.  

Lakshmi Yantra

lakshmi yantra meaning

This symbol is common to the Hindu culture. Yantra is Sanskrit for the word symbol and Lakshmi is a Hindu deity. The term Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Lakshay, which means purpose or aim.

Lakshmi Yantra represents striking beauty, good luck, light, and fortune. Collectively, she is the mother of all kindness. She is also known to have a golden form adorned with a garland of gold. This deity has a golden sheen, lives in a lotus, and symbolizes purity. It is said that, when the goddess Lakshmi first sprang up from the ocean, she carried a lotus in her hand. To this day, Lakshmi Yantra is associated with the lotus flower. This goddess embodies riches, great wealth, beauty, grace, happiness, splendor, and charm.

Lakshmi facilitates enlightenment and spiritual growth. When you focus on this symbol and all it stands for, you engage the Lakshmi vitality.

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Triple Goddess Symbol

Triple moon symbol

The triple goddess sign is familiar to Wiccans and Neopagans. This figure consists of a full moon sandwiched between a waning crescent moon on the right, and a waxing crescent moon on the left. It is a trinity of three deities united into one mother figure.

Sometimes, this sign is referred to as the Mother Goddess. Interestingly, each stage of the moon that makes up the triple goddess symbol co-relates with stages of life as a woman. The full moon characterizes the woman as a caring mother, while the two crescent-shaped moons on either side stand for a crone and a maiden.

Some of the goddesses characterized by this symbol are Demeter, Kore, and Hecate. Here’s a breakdown of the triple goddess symbol:

  • The mother (full moon): The mother denotes responsibility, love, fertility, nourishment, patience, and gratitude. Some cultures argue that she also represents self-care and control. 
  • The maiden (crescent moon): She embodies new beginnings, purity, pleasure, creation, and naivety. If you focus on the maiden, you enhance your spiritual, creative, and sensual vigor. 
  • The crone (fading moon): Just like the fading moon, the crone stands for endings, death, acceptance, and wisdom. With every beginning, there has to be an end. The crone implores you to accept that there can be no births and fresh beginnings where there are no death and endings.

The triple goddess sign also stands for the life cycles namely life, birth, and death. It also focuses on rebirth. In addition to this, the triple goddess symbol connects with females, womanhood, and the divine feminine. 

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Triple Spiral

Celtic spiral knot

This is an old Celtic symbol whose other names are the Triskelion or Triskele. This symbol’s name is coined from the Greek word triskeles, which means three legs. The symbol has three interlocking spirals, which appear to be coming from a shared center.

A fascinating point to note is that any figure composed of triple protrusions may represent something similar to what the triple spiral represents. Similar to the triple goddess symbol, the triple spiral symbol characterizes the three phases of womanhood which are maiden, mother, and crone.

The triple spiral represents many of life’s trios. For instance, it can depict the three trimesters of human pregnancy: life, death, and rebirth; or father, mother, and child. In some communities, the Triskelion signifies the past, present, and future.  

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Celtic Motherhood Knot

Celtic mother knot

Also termed the Celtic’s mother’s knot, this figure consists of two hearts interwoven into a knot. The knot is bound in a way that there’s no start or finish. Clearly, this symbol shows the deep eternal love between a mother and her child. 

If you look at the symbol closely, you will notice that one heart is lower than the other. The lower heart represents the child, while the upper one is the mother’s. To make the symbol more illustrative, a dot is often added inside the hearts. One dot represents one child, whereas more dots stand for more children.

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The Circle

Circle symbol of motherhood

As simple as the circle looks, it is an important symbol with deep implications. To motherhood, it symbolizes fertility. This meaning arises from the perception of a rounded belly during pregnancy, the female chest, and navels. All these have circular shapes and play an important role in bringing about life and nurturing it. 

The circle shape has no beginning and end, which perfectly depicts the infinite life cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. It also represents family ties and closeness. All this wrapped up in the warm and caring embrace of a mother. 

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Turtle

Turtle symbol of motherhood

The turtle symbol, common to North American culture, is the oldest symbol depicting motherhood. You must have heard of the ancient folklore of how the turtle saved humanity from a great flood. It might be true since the turtle is the symbol for Mother Earth. 

Just like how the turtle carries its house on the back, so does Mother Earth carry humanity’s weight. The turtle also produces many hatchlings at a go. For this reason, it rightly symbolizes fertility and the continuity of life. 

Turtles have thirteen segments on their underbellies. Although these sections are simply parts of a turtle’s body, they hold meaning. They represent the thirteen lunar cycles of the moon, and as we know, the moon is often associated with feminine energy and vibrancy. 

What’s more, if you look closely at a turtle’s shell, you will find that it has twenty-eight marks on it. These marks represent the twenty-eight days of a woman’s cycle. 

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Crow Mother Kachina

Crows are associated with magic and lots of life’s secrets. In Hopi culture, they carry the power for growth and transformation. The crow mother kachina is seen as the guardian of all children. During winter, a crow mother kachina is said to appear carrying a basket of sprouts.

This is symbolic as it stands for seed germination, even in winter. To add to that, the crow mother is a loving and gentle mother who carries abundance within her. She stands for warmth and flourishing crops.  

Conclusion

Signs and symbols are a part of humanity with different cultures having different emblems. If you are a mother, you may find it easy to relate to some of the above-mentioned symbols.

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