Spiritual symbols are images or designs with a symbolic meaning or significance in a particularly spiritual or religious context. They often represent beliefs, values, or rituals and can serve as a reminder or representation of the divine, spiritual, or supernatural. 

These symbols can be found in various forms, including, but not limited to, geometric shapes, animals, natural elements, and religious artifacts. They are used in different ways depending on the context, such as in religious ceremonies, meditation, or as personal talismans. 

Here is a list most common spiritual symbols across cultures, along with their meanings:

Om/Aum

“Om” or “Aum” is a sacred sound and symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is considered to be the sound of the universe and is believed to be the primordial sound that existed before creation. In Hinduism, it is seen as the sound of the divine and is often chanted as a mantra during meditation or prayer. The symbol is often represented as a representation of the syllable “Aum” written in Sanskrit script.

Lotus flower

The lotus flower is a powerful spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is seen as a symbol of purity, spiritual enlightenment, and rebirth. The roots of the lotus are in the mud and represent the material world, while the blooming flower symbolizes the spiritual world and the path to enlightenment. 

In Hinduism, the lotus is associated with the god Brahma and is seen as a symbol of creation and the universe. In Buddhism, the lotus is a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings and is used to represent the path to enlightenment. 

Cross

The cross is a widely recognized spiritual symbol, particularly in Christianity. It represents the crucifixion of Jesus and the belief in his resurrection. The cross symbolizes salvation, hope, and the triumph of good over evil. It also symbolizes sacrifice, as Jesus gave his life to forgive sins.

For Christians, the cross serves as a reminder of the central tenets of their faith and is often used in religious ceremonies and worship. In addition to its religious significance, the cross has also been used to symbolize compassion, love, and strength. It is often used as a symbol of hope and comfort in times of trouble or crisis.

Star of David

The Star of David is a six-pointed star recognized as a symbol of Judaism and Jewish identity. It is also known as the Shield of David and is named after King David of Israel, considered one of the most significant figures in Jewish history. The Star of David is composed of two overlapping triangles representing the connection between God and humanity and the meeting of heaven and earth. 

Ankh 

An ancient Egyptian emblem for life and immortality is the Ankh. It has a cross-like design with a loop at the top that resembles a key. The Ankh is also called “the key of the Nile” or the “key of life.”

In ancient Egyptian religion, the Ankh was seen as a powerful symbol of the life-giving force of the Nile river, which was considered the source of all life in Egypt. It was also associated with the gods, particularly Osiris, the god of the afterlife, and was used as a symbol of protection and good luck.

Mandala

In Sanskrit, the word “mandala,” which means “circle,” originates. It is frequently portrayed as a geometric pattern of intricately patterned squares and circles. Hinduism and Buddhism use mandalas as symbolic representations of the cosmos in their religious practices.

Mandalas are often created to physically represent the soul’s inner journey toward spiritual growth and enlightenment. The mandala’s symmetrical patterns and intricate designs are thought to help focus the mind and promote inner peace and balance. In Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas are a spiritual tool for meditation and self-reflection.

Yin Yang 

The yin-yang symbol is a circular symbol representing balance and harmony in Chinese philosophy and culture. The emblem consists of a circle divided into two halves, one-half black, and the other half white. 

The black half of the yin-yang symbol represents the yin, the passive, dark, and feminine aspect of existence. The white half represents the yang, active, light, and masculine aspects. The two halves represent the complementary and interconnected nature of all things in the universe and how each aspect of life is dependent upon and influenced by the other.

Numbers

Most auspicious spiritual numbers are numbers that are considered to bring good luck, fortune, and prosperity in various cultures and traditions. Auspicious numbers are often used in many important life events such as weddings, business openings, or the naming of a child.

For example, the number 8 is considered to be an auspicious number in many cultures, particularly in China and other Asian countries, due to its similarity in pronunciation to the word for “prosperity”. 

Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian design, symbolizes the eye of the god Horus. In ancient Egyptian mythology, Horus was the deity of the sky, defense, and healing, and his eye was revered as a potent sign of safety and wellness.

In ancient Egyptian religion, the Eye of Horus was considered a symbol of protection and was often used to ward off evil and bring good health. It was also seen as a symbol of the restoration of the king’s power, as the story of Horus and his eye was linked to the account of the king’s coronation.

Chakra

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel” or “vortex.” In Hindu and Buddhist spirituality, the chakras are believed to be spinning wheels of energy located along the spine, from the base to the crown of the head. Each of the seven main chakras is associated with a different body area and aspect of physical, emotional, and spiritual life.

Respecting Spiritual Symbols

For those who hold spiritual symbols sacred, they may have deep personal and emotional significance, and the use or misuse of these symbols can be hurtful and offensive. Respecting spiritual symbols can also promote a sense of unity and solidarity within a community, as well as promote greater understanding and respect between different cultures and communities. 

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Last Update: February 14, 2023