The Merkaba Symbol – Origins and Symbolic Meaning

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There are numerous symbols in sacred geometry, which have a deep, metaphysical meaning and in this article, we’ll be discussing one of the most important: the Merkaba symbol.

Also spelled ‘Merkabah’, this symbol is a sacred Jewish geometrical symbol, consisting of two opposing three-dimensional triangles.

The Merkaba symbol has very interesting mathematical properties and is heavy with symbolism. Since ancient times, it’s been used in decorations and art as well as in spiritual and religious contexts.

If you’re interested to know more about it, keep reading as we delve deeper into the history and significance of the mysterious Merkaba symbol.

Origins of the Merkaba Symbol

merkaba symbol

According to the prophet Ezekiel, Merkaba, meaning ‘chariot’ as stated in ancient Hebrew texts, was used as an object for visionary contemplation among ancient Jewish mystics. Merkaba mysticism started to flourish during the 1st century AD in Palestine. However, somewhere between the 7th and 11th century it was centered in Babylonia.

While it’s not clear exactly when the Merkaba symbol came into use, it’s likely around 100 – 1000 CE as found in the Bible in the book of Ezekiel. In fact, the symbol has been mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible around 44 times.

The main part of Merkaba literature was created during 200-700 CE, but there are references to it in the literature of Chassidei Ashkenaz, a mystical and ascetic Jewish movement that took place in the middle ages. From all the evidence that has been found so far, it can be deduced that the symbol has been around for thousands of years.

Merkaba Symbolism and Meaning

The word ‘Merkaba’ is actually made up of three words: ‘mer’ meaning light, ‘ka’ meaning spirit and ‘ba’ which means the body. When these three words are put together, they mean the union of the spirit and one’s body, surrounded by light. The word merkaba is believed to be an Egyptian word (see our article on the ba) but it’s also found in Hebrew.

Merkaba pendant

Merkaba by Zakay Glass Sculptures

  • Energy Field

Believed to be an extremely powerful and sacred symbol, the Merkaba is made of 2 tetrahedrons which spin in opposite directions, thus creating a three-dimensional energy field surrounding every person. The idea is that every single person in the world has this energy field around them regardless of whether they’re aware of it or not.

  • Divinity and Purity

The symbol represents pure and divine energy while constantly harmonizing, spinning, balancing, moving and flowing in all four directions ceaselessly. The energy field created by the Merkaba is said to extend beyond one’s body and according to certain beliefs, it surrounds even the planets in the solar system.

  • Femininity and Masculinity

The triangle on the bottom of the Merkaba is symbolic of femininity and it rotates counter-clockwise. The top symbolizes masculinity and spins in a clockwise direction. The two spin in opposite directions and all this happens simultaneously. Therefore, it’s said that the symbol is a combination of opposing energies: feminine and masculine, cosmos and the earth.

  • Balancing Energies

These energies come together in perfect balance, the union of which results in the activation of protection and light around the body which transports one’s awareness to much higher dimensions. The symbol also reminds people of the potential power that can be yielded when they find balance and unite their own energies. Therefore, understanding how to work with this symbol makes it possible for one to manifest all one’s desires.

  • A Divine Vehicle

The Merkaba symbol is quite similar to that of a star. It’s said to be a sacred, divine vehicle made of light and designed in such a way as to connect or transport the body and spirit to higher realms. It completely surrounds the person and can be activated using breathing techniques and meditation. Simply put, the Merkaba will support you no matter where you wish to go in life.

  • An Approach to the World

In Jewish culture and religion, the Merkaba represents a multi-layered approach towards the world, the ecosystem and the nature of humans. Chassidic Jews see the symbol as a way of contemplating how to become a better person. This symbol is very similar to another religious Jewish symbol known as the Star of David.

  • The Merkaba in Meditation

Much like the Sri Yantra, the Merkaba is also used for meditation. When used for meditative purposes, the Merkaba is said to be a source of enlightenment and power which helps people to realize their full potential. This allows them to connect not only to the goodness inside of them but also to their higher beings. The field of love, light and goodwill that surrounds the person can extend to other people, surrounding them with the same healing energy.

The Merkaba is also a highly powerful symbol used in meditation to transcend other realities and dimensions. During meditation, visualizing the Merkaba shape surrounding you is said to increase your own vibration. However, visualizing the symbol is easier said than done and takes quite a bit of practice but it’s not impossible. Once you’ve practiced it a few times, it should be much easier to do.

The Merkaba in Jewelry and Fashion

Due to its unicity and various interpretations, the Merkaba is highly popular as a jewelry design and also on clothing items. Designers often incorporate the symbol into pendants, earrings, bracelets and charms available on the market with new designs being made every day.

People who opt for Merkaba jewelry or clothing do so because it symbolizes a higher level of consciousness, love, healing and enlightenment. It also makes for gorgeous jewelry items but it’s quite difficult to print on clothing since the image is three-dimensional. However, when looked at from a 2D perspective, it’s still possible to appreciate all the various facets of this symbol.

No matter how you choose to wear Merkaba jewelry or clothing, just contemplating it is said to give you a deeper connection with body, spirit and light.

In Brief

The Merkaba symbol is still very popular not only for spiritual purposes but also as a fashion statement. It was and still continues to be a highly revered symbol in Jewish mysticism and Christianity but is also used in many other religions as well.