Pagan and Wiccan Symbols

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20 Magical Pagan Symbols

Beautiful witch making the witchcraft
Use symbols on candles or for other magical workings. marrio31 / Getty Images

In modern Paganism, many traditions use symbols as part of ritual, or in magic. Some symbols are used to represent elements, others to represent ideas. These are a few of the more commonly used symbols in Wicca and other forms of Paganism today.

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Air

Air Symbol
Air is associated with communication, wisdom or the power of the mind. Patti Wigington

Air is one of the four classical elements, and is often invoked in Wiccan ritual. Air is the element of the East, connected to the soul and the breath of life. Air is associated with the colors yellow and white. Interestingly, in some cultures a triangle sitting on its base like this is considered masculine, and is connected to the element of Fire rather than Air.

In some traditions of Wicca, Air is represented not by the triangle, but by either a circle with a point in the center, or by a feather or leaf-like image. In other traditions, the triangle is used to mark the association of degrees or initiation rank -- typically first degree, but not necessarily. In alchemy, this symbol is sometimes show with the horizontal line extending beyond the sides of the triangle.

In rituals, when the element of Air is called for, you can use this triangular symbol, or use a feather, incense, or a fan. Air is associated with communication, wisdom or the power of the mind. Do an outdoors working on a windy day, and allow the powers of air to aid you. Visualize air currents carrying away your troubles, blowing away strife, and carrying positive thoughts to those who are far away. Embrace the wind, and let its energy fill you and help you achieve your goals.

In many magical traditions, air is associated with various spirits and elemental beings. Entities known as sylphs are typically connected with the air and the wind - these winged creatures are often related to powers of wisdom and intuition. In some belief systems, angels and devas are associated with air. It should be noted that the term “deva” in New Age and metaphysical studies is not the same as the Buddhist class of beings known as devas.

Read more about the magic, mythology, and folklore of air and the wind: Air and Wind Folklore.

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Ankh

Ankh
The ankh is a symbol of eternal life. Patti Wigington

The ankh is the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal life. According to The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying, the ankh is the key to life.

One theory is that the loop at the top symbolizes the rising sun, the horizontal bar represents feminine energy, and the vertical bar indicates masculine energy. Together they combine to form a symbol of fertility and power. Other ideas are far more simple - that the ankh is a representation of a sandal strap. Some researchers have indicated that it was used as a cartouche of a king's name, and others see it as a phallic symbol, due to its shape and structure. Regardless, it is seen universally as a symbol of life everlasting, and is often worn as a symbol of protection.

The ankh is featured on funerary artwork, in temple carvings, and in reliefs excavated from ancient Egypt. It is traditionally drawn in gold, which is the color of the sun. Because the ankh is a powerful symbol -- and because Egyptian influence spanned far beyond the country's original borders -- the ankh has been found in many places other than Egypt. Rosicrucians and Coptic Christians used it as a symbol, despite the fact that it was shrouded in mystery for centuries. Even Elvis Presley wore an ankh pendant among his other jewelry!

Today, many Kemetic recon groups and devotees of Isis invoke the ankh during rituals. It may be traced in the air to delineate sacred space, or used as a ward against evil.

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Celtic Shield Knot

Celtic Shield
The Celtic shield knot is used for warding and protection. Patti Wigington

The Celtic shield knot is used for warding and protection. Shield knots have appeared in cultures around the world and have taken a variety of different forms. They are almost universally square in shape, and the knotwork of the design ranges from simple to complex. In the Celtic version, a series of knots is formed. In other cultures, such as the early Mesopotamian era, the shield is simply a square with a loop at each of the four corners.

Fans of Celtic artwork occasionally get variations of this piece as tattoos or wear them as talismans of protection. In modern Celtic reconstructionist groups, the shield knot is sometimes invoked as a ward to keep negative energy away. In some traditions, the corners of the knot are meant to represent the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, although it's important to note that Celtic spirituality is usually based upon the three realms of earth, sea and sky.

If you're interested in following a Celtic Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading: Reading List for Celtic Pagans.

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Earth

Earth Symbol
Earth is a symbol of fertility and abundance. Patti Wigington

In the four classical elements, earth is considered the ultimate symbol of the divine feminine. In the spring, at the time of new growth and life, the earth quickens and grows full with the beginnings of each year's crop. The image of Earth as Mother is no coincidence -- for millennia, people have seen the earth as a source of life, a giant womb.

The Hopi peoples of the American Southwest indicated Earth not as a triangle, but as a labyrinth with one opening; this opening was the womb from which all life sprang. In alchemy, the element of earth is represented by the triangle with a crossbar.

The planet itself is a ball of life, and as the Wheel of the Year turns, we can watch all the aspects of life take place in the Earth: birth, life, death, and finally rebirth. The Earth is nurturing and stable, solid and firm, full of endurance and strength. In color correspondences, both green and brown connect to the Earth, for fairly obvious reasons. Learn more about the folklore and legends surrounding the element of Earth: Earth Magic and Folklore.

Try this simple meditation to help you attune to the element of Earth. To do this meditation, find a place where you can sit quietly, undisturbed, on a day when the sun is shining. Ideally, it should be in a place where you can really connect with everything that Earth represents. Perhaps it's a hillside outside of town, or a shady grove in your local park. Maybe it's somewhere deep in the woods, under a tree, or even your own back yard. Find your spot, and make yourself comfortable while you perform an Earth Meditation.

Some people believe that lines of energy, called ley lines, run through the earth. The idea of ley lines as magical, mystical alignments is a fairly modern one. One school of thought believes that these lines carry positive or negative energy. It is also believed that where two or more lines converge, you have a place of great power and energy. It is believed that many well-known sacred sites, such as Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor, Sedona and Machu Picchu sit at the convergence of several lines.

There are a number of deities associated with the element of Earth as well, including Gaia, who often embodies the planet itself, and Geb, the Egyptian god of land.

In the Tarot, Earth is associated with the suit of Pentacles. It is connected with abundance and fertility, with green forests and rolling fields. Invoke Earth for workings related to material wealth, prosperity, and fertility. This is a symbol to use when connecting with the comforts of home, the blessings of the hearth, and the stability of family life.

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Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus
The eye of Horus is a symbol of both protection and healing. Patti Wigington

The Eye of Horus is sometimes referred to as the wedjat, and represents Horus, the Egyptian falcon-headed god. The Eye was used as a symbol of both protection and healing. When appearing as the udjat, it represents the right eye of Ra, the sun god. The same image in reverse represents the left eye of Thoth, the god of magic and wisdom.

The symbolism of eyes appears in many different cultures and civilizations -- it's no surprise that the image of an "all-seeing eye" is common in today's society! In Reiki, the eye is often associated with knowledge and enlightenment -- the Third Eye -- and it typically is connected to the true soul.

The eye symbol was painted on the boats of Egyptian fishermen before they set out to cast their nets along the Nile River. This protected the boat from evil curses, and its occupants from those who might wish them harm. The Egyptians also marked this symbol on coffins, so that the person held within would be protected in the afterlife. In the Book of the Dead, the dead are led into the afterlife by Osiris, who offers the deceased soul nourishment from the Eye of Ra.

Learn about other gods and goddesses of the Egyptians: Deities of Ancient Egypt.

The notion of the "evil eye" is a universal one. Ancient Babylonian texts make reference to this, and indicate that even 5,000 years ago, people were trying to protect themselves from the malevolent thoughts of others. Use this symbol as one of protection against someone who might harm you or your loved ones. Invoke it around your property, or wear it on a talisman or amulet as a protective device.

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Eye of Ra

Eye of Ra
Like the Eye of Horus, the Eye of Ra is often used as a symbol of protection. Patti Wigington

Similar to the Eye of Horus, the Eye of Ra is one of the most ancient magical symbols. Also called the udjat, the Eye of Ra is sometimes invoked as a sigil of protection.

The symbolism of eyes appears in many different cultures and civilizations -- it's no surprise that the image of an "all-seeing eye" is common in today's society! In Reiki, the eye is often associated with knowledge and enlightenment -- the Third Eye -- and it typically is connected to the true soul.

The eye symbol was painted on the boats of Egyptian fishermen before they set out to cast their nets along the Nile River. This protected the boat from evil curses, and its occupants from those who might wish them harm. The Egyptians also marked this symbol on coffins, so that the person held within would be protected in the afterlife. In the Book of the Dead, the dead are led into the afterlife by Osiris, who offers the deceased soul nourishment from the Eye of Ra.

The notion of the "evil eye" is a universal one. Ancient Babylonian texts make reference to this, and indicate that even 5,000 years ago, people were trying to protect themselves from the malevolent thoughts of others. Use this symbol as one of protection against someone who might harm you or your loved ones. Invoke it around your property, or wear it on a talisman or amulet as a protective device.
 

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Fire

FireSymbol
Fire is both a destroyer and creating force. Patti Wigington

In the symbolism of the four classical elements, fire is a purifying, masculine energy, associated with the South, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire destroys, and yet it also can create new life.

In some traditions of Wicca, this triangle is the mark of a degree of initiation. It is sometimes displayed within a circle, or Fire may be represented by a circle alone. The triangle, with its pyramid shape, is often symbolic of the masculine aspect of the Divine. In 1887, Lydia Bell wrote in The Path that, "...the triangle is our symbol for truth. As a symbol for the whole of truth, it holds the key to all science, to all wisdom, and its study leads with certain steps to and through that door wherein the mystery of life ceases to be a problem, and becomes revelation... The triangle is a unit, each part of the triangle is a unit, hence, it follows that every part manifests the whole."

In Elements of Witchcraft, Ellen Dugan suggests a focused fire meditation as a way of harnessing this volatile element. She associates fire with transformation and change. If you're looking at a working related to some sort of inner change and growth, consider doing some color-oriented candle magic. If you have access to any sort of flame -- a candle, bonfire, etc. -- you can use fire scrying for divination purposes.

In some Pagan traditions, Beltane is celebrate with a Bale Fire. This tradition has its roots in early Ireland. According to legend, each year at Beltane, the tribal leaders would send a representative to the hill of Uisneach, where a great bonfire was lit. These representatives would each light a torch, and carry it back to their home villages.

Fire has been important to mankind since the beginning of time. It was not only a method of cooking one’s food, but it could mean the difference between life and death on a frigid winter night. To keep a fire burning in the hearth was to ensure that one’s family might survive another day. Fire is typically seen as a bit of a magical paradox, because in addition to its role as destroyer, it can also create and regenerate. The ability to control fire - to not only harness it, but use it to suit our own needs - is one of the things that separates humans from animals. However, according to ancient myths, this has not always been the case. Learn more about fire mythology and folklore: Fire Legends and Magic.

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Hecate's Wheel

HecatesWheel
Hecate is connected to a maze which spiraled around like a serpent. Patti Wigington

Hecate's Wheel is a symbol used by some traditions of Wicca. It seems to be most popular among feminist traditions, and represents the three aspects of the Goddess -- Maiden, Mother and Crone. This labyrinth-like symbol has origins in Greek legend, where Hecate was known as a guardian of the crossroads before she evolved into a goddess of magic and sorcery.

According to fragmentary texts of the Chaldean Oracles, Hecate is connected to a maze which spiraled around like a serpent. This maze was known as the Stropholos of Hecate, or Hecate's Wheel, and refers to the power of knowledge and life. Traditionally, a Hecate-style labyrinth has a Y in the middle, rather than the typical X shape found at the center of most labyrinths. Images of Hecate and her wheel have been found on first-century c.e. curse tablets, although there seems to be some question about whether the wheel shape itself is actually Hecate's domain or that of Aphrodite - there was some occasional overlap of goddesses in the classical world.

Hecate is honored every November 30 at the festival of Hecate Trivia, which is a day that honors Hecate as a goddess of crossroads. The word trivia refers not to miniscule bits of information, but to the Latin term for a place where three roads meet (tri + via).

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Horned God

HornedGod
The horned god symbol represents masculine energy. Patti Wigington

The Horned God symbol is one often used in Wicca to represent the masculine energy of the God. It is a symbol of an archetype, as often seen in Cernunnos, Herne, and other gods of vegetation and fertility. In a few feminist Wiccan traditions, such as branches of Dianic Wicca, this symbol is actually representative of July's "Horn Moon" (also known as a Blessing Moon), and is connected to lunar goddesses.

Symbols of horned beings have been found in cave paintings dating back thousands of years. In the 19th century, it became fashionable amongst English occultists to assume that all horned beings were deity images, and that the Christian church was trying to prevent people from worshiping such figures by associating them with Satan. Artist Elphias Levi painted a picture of Baphomet in 1855 that quickly became everyone's idea of a "horned god." Later on, Margaret Murray theorized that all the reports of "witches meeting the devil in the forest" were actually connected to British Pagans dancing around a priest who wore a horned helmet.

Many modern Pagan and Wiccan groups accept the idea of a horned nature deity as the embodiment of masculine energy. Use this symbol to invoke the God during ritual, or in fertility workings.

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Pentacle

Pent
The pentacle is probably the best-known symbol of Wicca today, and is often used in jewelry and other designs. Patti Wigington

The pentacle is a five-pointed star, or pentagram, contained within a circle. The five points of the star represent the four classical elements, along with a fifth element, which is typically either Spirit or Self, depending on your tradition. The pentacle is probably the best-known symbol of Wicca today, and is often used in jewelry and other designs. Typically, a pentacle is traced in the air during Wiccan rituals, and in some traditions it is used as a designation of degree. It is also considered a symbol of protection, and is used in warding in some Pagan traditions.

There is a theory that the pentacle originated as the symbol of a Greek agricultural and fertility goddess named Kore, also called Ceres. Her sacred fruit was the apple, and when you cut an apple in half crossways, you find a five-pointed star! Some cultures refer to the apple-star as the "Star of Wisdom," and so apples are associated with knowledge.

A pentacle has magical properties associated with the element of Earth, but it contains aspects of all the other elements as well. In June 2007, thanks to the efforts of many dedicated activists, the United State Veteran's Association approved the use of the pentacle for display on the headstones of Wiccan and Pagan soldiers killed in action.

Pentacles are easy to make and hang around your home. You can create one out of grapevines or pipe cleaners, and use them as symbols of protection on your property.

Although it's not something used in all Pagan traditions, some magical systems connect different colors to the points of the pentacle. As part of that, the colors are often associated with the four cardinal elements -- earth, air, fire and water -- as well as spirit, which is sometimes considered the "fifth element."

In traditions that assign colors to the points of the star, the point on the upper right is associated with air, and is typically colored white or yellow, and is connected with knowledge and the creative arts.

The next point down, on the lower right, is fire, which would be colored red, and associated with courage and passion.

The lower left, earth, is usually colored brown or green, and is connected to physical endurance, strength, and stability.

The upper left, water, would be blue, and represents emotions and intuition.

Finally, the top point would be either Spirit or self, depending on your tradition. Different systems mark this point in a number of different colors, such as purple or silver, and it symbolizes our connection to the One, the Divine, our true self.

How to Draw the Pentacle

To perform magic that cleanses or banishes things away, you would draw the pentacle starting at the top point, and going down to the lower right, then the upper left, cross to the upper right, and then the lower left and back up. To perform magic that attracts or protects, you would still start at the top point, but go down to the lower left instead, reversing the process.

Note: the symbol of the pentacle shouldn't be confused with the altar tool known as the pentacle, which is typically a wooden, metal or clay disc inscribed with the design.

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Seax Wica

SeaxWica
The symbol of Seax Wica represents the moon, the sun, and the eight Wiccan sabbats. Patti Wigington

Seax Wica is a tradition founded in the 1970s by author Raymond Buckland. It is inspired by the Saxon religion of old, but is specifically not a reconstructionist tradition. The symbol of the tradition represents the moon, the sun, and the eight Wiccan sabbats.

Buckland's Seax Wica tradition is unlike many oathbound and initiatory traditions of Wicca. Anyone can learn about it, and the tenets of the tradition are outlines in the book, The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft, which Buckland released in 1974. Seax Wican covens are self-sustained, and are run by elected High Priests and High Priestesses. Each group is autonomous and makes its own decisions about how to practice and worship. Typically, even non-members can attend rituals as long as everyone in the coven agrees to it.

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Solar Cross

SolarCross
Because of its association with the Sun itself, this symbol is typically connected to the element of Fire. Patti Wigington

The Solar Cross symbol is a variation on the popular four-armed cross. It represents not only the sun, but also the cyclical nature of the four seasons and the four classical elements. It is often used as an astrological representation of earth. The most famous variation of the solar cross is the swastika, which was originally found in both Hindu and Native American symbolism. In Ray Buckland's book, Signs, Symbols and Omens, it is mentioned that the solar cross is sometimes referred to as Wotan's cross. Typically, it is portrayed with a circle in the center of the cross-arms, but not always. There are a number of variations on the four-armed cross.

Carvings of this ancient symbol have been found in Bronze-age burial urns dating back as far as 1400 b.c.e. Although it's been used in many cultures, the cross eventually became identified with Christianity. It does seem to appear fairly regularly in crop circles as well, particularly those that show up in fields in the British Isles. A similar version appears as the Brighid's Cross, found all over the Irish Celtic lands.

The concept of sun worship is one nearly as old as mankind itself. In societies that were primarily agricultural, and depended on the sun for life and sustenance, it is no surprise that the sun became deified. In North America, the tribes of the Great Plains saw the sun as a manifestation of the Great Spirit. For centuries, the Sun Dance has been performed as a way to not only honor the sun, but also to bring the dancers visions. Traditionally, the Sun Dance was performed by young warriors.

Because of its association with the Sun itself, this symbol is typically connected to the element of Fire. You can use it in ritual workings honoring the sun or the power, heat and energy of flames. Fire is a purifying, masculine energy, associated with the South, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire can destroy, yet it also creates, and represents the fertility and masculinity of the God. Use this symbol in rituals that involve casting away the old, and rebirthing the new, or for celebrations of the solstices at Yule and Litha.

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Sun Wheel

SunWheel
The sun is a symbol of power and energy. Patti Wigington

Although sometimes referred to as a Sun Wheel, this symbol represents the Wheel of the Year and the eight Wiccan sabbats. The term "sun wheel" comes from the solar cross, which was a calendar used to mark the solstices and equinoxes in some pre-Christian European cultures. In addition to being represented by a wheel or cross, sometimes the sun is portrayed simply as a circle, or as a circle with a point in the center.

The sun has long been a symbol of power and magic. The Greeks honored the sun god with "prudence and piety," according to James Frazer's . Because of the sun's sheer power, they made offerings of honey rather than wine -- they knew that it was important to keep a deity of such power from becoming intoxicated!

The Egyptians identified several of their gods with a solar disc above the head, indicating that the deity was a god of the light.

Naturally, the sun is linked with fire and masculine energy. Invoke the sun to represent fire in ritual or for associations with the direction South. Celebrate the sun's power at Litha, the midsummer solstice, or its return at Yule.

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Thor's Hammer - Mjolnir

Mjolnir
Patti Wigington

Typically used in Pagan traditions with a Norse background, such as Asatru, this symbol (also called Mjolnir) represents the power of Thor over lightning and thunder. The early Pagan Norsemen wore the Hammer as an amulet of protection long after Christianity had moved into their world, and it is still worn today, both by Asatruar and others of Norse heritage.

Mjolnir was a handy tool to have around, because it always returned to whomever had thrown it. Interestingly, in some legends Mjolnir is portrayed not as a hammer, but as an axe or club. In Snorri Sturlson's prose edda, it is said that Thor could use Mjolnir "to strike as firmly as he wanted, whatever his aim, and the hammer would never fail... if he threw it at something, it would never miss and never fly so far from his hand that it would not find its way back."

Images of Mjolnir were used throughout the Scandinavian countries. It was often found replicated at Blóts and at other rituals and ceremonies like weddings, funerals, or baptisms. In areas of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, small wearable versions of this symbol have been unearthed in graves and burial cairns. Interestingly, the shape of the hammer seems to vary a bit by region -- in Sweden and Norway, Mjolnir is portrayed as rather t-shaped. Its Icelandic counterpart is more crosslike, and examples found in Finland have a long, curved design across the bottom brace of the hammer. In contemporary Pagan religions, this symbol can be invoked to protect and defend.

Thor and his mighty hammer appear in a number of aspects of pop culture as well. In the Marvel comic book and movie series, Mjolnir serves as an important plot device when Thor finds himself stranded on Earth. Thor and Mjolnir also appear in Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, and the television series Stargate SG-1 includes the Asgard race, whose spaceships are shaped like Mjolnir.

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Triple Horn of Odin

Triple Horn of Odin
The triple horn is a symbol of Odin's power. Patti Wigington

The Triple Horn of Odin is made of three interlocking drinking horns, and represents Odin, the father of Norse gods. The horns are significant in the Norse eddas, and feature prominently in elaborate toasting rituals. In some stories, the horns represent the three draughts of the Odhroerir, a magical mead.

According to the Gylfaginning, there was a god named Kvasir who was created from the saliva of all the other gods, which gave him great power indeed. He was murdered by a pair of dwarvse, who then mixed his blood with honey to create a magical brew, the Odhroerir. Anyone who drank this potion would impart Kvasir's wisdom, and other magical skills, particularly in poetry. The brew, or mead, was kept in a magical cave in a far-away mountain, guarded by a giant named Suttung, who wanted to keep it all for himself. Odin, however, learned of the mead, and immediately decided he had to have it. He disguised himself as a farmhand called Bolverk, and went to work plowing fields for Suttung's brother in exchange for a drink of the mead.

For three nights, Odin managed to take a drink of the magical brew Odhroerir, and the three horns in the symbol represent these three drinks. In the prose eddas of Snorri Sturlson, it is indicated that at some point, one of the dwarf brothers offered the mead to men, rather than to the gods. In many parts of the Germanic world, the triple horns are found in stone carvings.

For today's Norse pagans, the triple horn often is used to represent the Asatru belief system. While the horns themselves are certainly phallic in symbolism, in some traditions the horns are interpreted as containers or cups, associating them with the feminine aspects of the Divine.

Odin himself is portrayed in a number of pop culture sources, and his drinking horn often makes an appearance. In the movie The Avengers, Odin is portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and drinks from his horn in a ceremony honoring his son, Thor. Odin also appears in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.

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Triple Moon

Triple Moon
The triple moon is used as a symbol of the Goddess in some Wiccan traditions. Patti Wigington

This symbol, sometimes called the Triple Goddess symbol, represents the three phases of the moon -- waxing, full, and waning. According to Robert Graves' The White Goddess, it also represents the three phases of womanhood, in the aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone, although many scholars have questioned Graves' work.

This symbol is found in many NeoPagan and Wiccan traditions as a symbol of the Goddess. The first crescent represents the waxing phase of the moon -- new beginnings, new life, and rejuvenation. The center circle is symbolic of the full moon, the time when magic is at its most potent and powerful. Finally, the last crescent represents the waning moon -- a time to do banishing magic, and to send things away. The design is popular in jewelry, and is sometimes found with a moonstone set into the center disc for additional power.

Invoke this symbol in rituals such as Drawing Down the Moon, or in workings involving lunar goddesses.

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Triple Spiral - Triskele

Triskele
The triple spiral, or triskele, is found in many Celtic traditions. Patti Wigington

The triple spiral, or triskelion, is typically considered a Celtic design, but also has been found in some Buddhist writings. It appears in a variety of places as a three-faceted spiral, three interlocking spirals, or other variations of one shape repeated three times. One version is known as the Three Hares triskelion, and features three rabbits interlocked at the ears.

This symbol appears in many different cultures, and has been discovered as far back as on Lycaean coins and pottery from Mycaenae. It is also used as the emblem of the Isle of Man, and appears on regional banknotes. The use of the triskele as a symbol of a country is nothing new, though -- it has long been known as the symbol of the island of Sicily in Italy. Pliny the Elder connected the use as Sicily's emblem to the shape of the island itself.

In the Celtic world, the triskele is found carved in Neolithic stones all over Ireland and western Europe. For modern Pagans and Wiccans, it is sometimes adopted to represent the three Celtic realms of earth, sea and sky.

If you're interested in following a Celtic Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading: Celtic Reading List.

In addition to the complex Celtic knotwork often seen, Ogham symbols are found and used in a number of Celtic Pagan paths. Although there are no records of how Ogham symbols might have been used in divination in ancient times, there are a number of ways that they can be interpreted: Make a Set of Ogham Staves.

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Triquetra

Triquetra
The triquetra is found in many Celtic traditions. Patti Wigington

Similar to the triskele, the triquetra is three interlocking pieces that represent the place where three circles would overlap. In Christian Ireland and other areas, the triquetra was used to represent the Holy Trinity, but the symbol itself far predates Christianity. It has been speculated that the triquetra was a Celtic symbol of feminine spirituality, but it has also been found as a symbol of Odin in the Nordic lands. Some Pagan writers claim that the triquetra is the symbol of a triple goddess, but there is no scholarly evidence of a connection between any triune goddess and this particular symbol. In some modern traditions, it represents the connection of mind, body and soul, and in Celtic-based Pagan groups it is symbolic of the three realms of earth, sea and sky.

Although commonly referred to as Celtic, the triquetra also appears on a number of Nordic inscriptions. It has been discovered on 11th-century runestones in Sweden, as well as on Germanic coins. There is a strong similarity between the triquetra and the Norse valknut design, which is a symbol of Odin himself. In Celtic artwork, the triquetra has been found in the Book of Kells and other illuminated manuscripts, and it often appears in metalworking and jewelry. The triquetra rarely appears all by itself, which has led some scholars to speculate that it was originally created for use just as filler material -- in other words, if you had a blank space in your artwork, you could squeeze a triquetra in there!

Occasionally, the triquetra appears within a circle, or with a circle overlapping the three pieces.

For modern Pagans and NeoWiccans, the triquetra is just as often associated with the television show Charmed, in which it represents the "power of three" -- the combined magical abilities of three sisters who are the show's main characters.

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Water

Water Symbol
Water is a a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Patti Wigington

In the four classical elements, water is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. In some traditions of Wicca, this symbol is used to represent the second degree of initiation. The inverted triangle itself is considered feminine, and is associated with the shape of the womb. Water can also be represented by a circle with a horizontal crossbar, or by a series of three wavy lines.

Water is connected to the West, and is typically related to healing and purification. After all, holy water is used in nearly every spiritual path! Typically, holy water is regular water that has had salt added to it -- an additional symbol of purification -- and then a blessing is said over it to consecrate it. In many Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it.

Many cultures feature water spirits as part of their folklore and mythology. To the Greeks, a water spirit known as a naiad often presided over a spring or stream. The Romans had a similar entity found in the Camenae. Among a number of the ethnic groups of Cameroon, the water spirits called jengu serve as protective deities, which is not uncommon among other African diasporic faiths: Legends and Folklore of Water.

At the time of the full moon, use water scrying to aid you with divination. In Elements of Witchcraft, author Ellen Dugan suggests doing a focused meditation to communicate with water spirits such as undines.

Use water in rituals involving love and other fluid emotions -- if you have access to a river or stream, you can incorporate this into your magical workings. Allow a current to carry away anything negative that you wish to be rid of.

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Yin Yang

YinYang
The yin yang represents balance and harmony. Patti Wigington

The Yin Yang symbol is more influenced by eastern spirituality than contemporary Pagan or Wicca, but it does bear mentioning. The Yin Yang can be found all over the place, and is perhaps one of the most commonly recognized symbols. It represents balance - the polarity of all things. The black and white parts are equal, and each surrounds a dot of the opposite color, showing that there is balance and harmony within the universe's forces. It is the balance between light and dark, a connection between two opposing forces.

Sometimes the white portion appears at the top, and other times it is the black. Originally believed to be a Chinese symbol, the Yin Yang is also a Buddhist representation of the cycle of rebirth, and of Nirvana itself. In Taoism, it is known as the Taiji, and symbolizes Tao itself.

Although this symbol is traditionally Asian, similar images have been found in the shield patterns of Roman centurions, dated back to about 430 c.e. There is no scholarly evidence as to a connection between these images and the ones found in the Eastern world.

The Yin Yang might be a good symbol to invoke in rituals calling for balance and harmony. If you seek polarity in your life, or are on a quest for spiritual rebirth, consider using the Yin Yang as a guide. In some teachings, the Yin and Yang are described as a mountain and a valley -- as the sun climbs over the mountain, the shady valley is illuminated, while the opposite face of the mountain loses light. Visualize the shift in sunlight, and as you watch the light and dark exchange places, what was once hidden will be revealed.

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Wigington, Patti. "Pagan and Wiccan Symbols." ThoughtCo, Jul. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/pagan-and-wiccan-symbols-4123036. Wigington, Patti. (2017, July 4). Pagan and Wiccan Symbols. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/pagan-and-wiccan-symbols-4123036 Wigington, Patti. "Pagan and Wiccan Symbols." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/pagan-and-wiccan-symbols-4123036 (accessed September 21, 2017).