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Symbols Archive
A collection of Symbols archived for your reference
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26th-Aug-2005 01:51 pm - Anglo Saxon Runes

The Anglo-Saxon runes are a much later development of the Elder Futhark. In addition to the first three Aetts of that alphabet, the Anglo-Saxon set adds a fourth Aett. This is listed below:

Fourth Aett

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Ac
Great potential, power. That which grows. Long time endurance.
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Calc
Container, cup. Conclusion of process. Connection to the "unattainable".
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Cweorth
Sacredness, cleansing, transformation. Liberation.
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Gar
The centre of time and space. Beginnings; new order or arrangements.
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Ior
The World Serpent. Dual natures. Unavoidable problems and hardships.
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Os
Speech, song, language. Communication, information.
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Stan
Stone. Obstruction. Play, playing.
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Ear
Soil, Earth. Death. The unavoidable end of all things. Speeding the arrival of the end.
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Yr
The bow made from yew. The perfect combination of skills and abilities. Death. Divination.
26th-Aug-2005 01:11 pm - Miscellaneous
The following symbols are a mix of religious and occult symbols. Interpretation of some of these varies quite substantially. For example, most people would recognise the Catholic and Orthodox crosses of Christian religion. Is, though, the cross of St. Peter a "Satanist" symbol?

Certainly a lot of jewellery is sold with that idea in mind. The original source of the symbol however, dates from a Christian myth that the disciple Peter was captured while in Rome, and in respect to Christ, was crucified upside down. Under those circumstances, it can hardly only be a Satanist symbol (also see "Satanic" Symbols).

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fire.gif

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Air

Fire

Earth

Water

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Catholic & Protestant Cross

Orthodox Cross

Cross of St.Peters

Thor's Hammer

mercury.gif

female_venus_anti.gif

male_mars.gif

Bisexual

Female

Male

Pentacle

neuter.gif

thegoddess.gif

thegod.gif

Intersexed

The Goddess

The God

Inverted Pentacle

Thor's Hammer is a symbol of Astartu, a neo-pagan following based on Norse traditions and mythology (also known as the "Northern Path").

Pentagrams may or may not have circles around them. When they do have, they're called pentacle, as per the tarot suite. The versions I show here are Wiccan based, with interlocking bars. In that nonclamenture, the pentagram with with the point upwards represents The Goddess, and reversed, The God. The inverted pentagram has also been considered a Satanist symbol representing black magic or The Devil (see Satanist Symbols). That may well be, but consider that the Devil is masculine, so identification with both The God and The Devil makes sense. Also see a further description on the Gothic Symbols page.

Also see...

Ambrosia's Realm of Graphics
Ankh Links
Byzant Symbols - Library of Esoteric Symbols
Like A Cat Jewellery & Crafts: Symbols and Meanings
Pagan symbols (Gothagogo)
Pagan Symbols (Michelle's Magickal Realm)
Pagan Symbols in Christian Fiction
Symbols in Christian Art & Architecture
Wiccan/Pagan images and symbols
26th-Aug-2005 01:08 pm - Satanist

Which symbols are "Satanist" and which are not? Since I started to research the meanings of symbols for other people (see Laura'll find it) a good portion of the enquiries have been from parents afraid that their children, by wearing certain types of jewellery or sporting certain types of tattoos, are getting involved in "satanic" cults.

There are several attitudes towards such symbols:

Gothic
If it's cool, wear it. If it's related to Gothic, darkwave or death metal, it might just be cool (or maybe not).
Neo-pagan
Symbols can have many meanings. What matters is the intent placed upon the symbol, and the understanding of the practitioner. If other people choose to place other meanings on such symbols, that's their business.
Satanist
I wear what I damn well please.
Christian
It's all part of a conspiracy to corrupt our youth, and are "secret" signs of faith, just as certain songs, when played backwards, have secret messages. Regardless of what they believe, these people are being duped by Satan.

...which attitude you take, depends upon what you get out of each interpretation. This makes a big difference, as you can imagine.

For example, a pentagram to a pagan is mostly likely a symbol of the goddess, whereas to a Christian it may be a "satanic" symbol (regardless of orientation). The inverted cross, is also touted as a "satanic" symbol, yet it's origin's have to do with St. Peter (see misc. symbols).

Part of the problem is the definition of "Satanist". There are practising Satanists about, but there are so many variations in beliefs and practices. Basically, though, there are three groups that you can divide them: "Hollywood" Satanists; Church of Satan; and Temple of Set.

The first type of Satanist essentially derives their ideas from the popular media, as in films, television, novels and the like. The trouble with this is that such reports and accounts are seldom authentic. Rather, they tend to be projections of fears upon a "negative", rather than a positive and real appraisal. Put another way, if you say that Satanists sacrifice babies, rape people and do other nasty things, then it's not likely that anyone who is a Satanist will stand up and contradict you. Rather, they'll be keeping a low profile so as to avoid flak.

However this is also the category that most Satanists will fall into. The romanticism that surrounds the image is an anti-authority one, and that's pretty appealing to any adolescent. It's also the home of "crazed loners", who will try real sacrifices and murders, on unclear beliefs (e.g. Richard Ramirez). While this attracts a lot of bad publicity, few people stop to think that most murders (in Western Society) are more likely to be done by people who are nominally Christian!

The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton laVey (1930-1997), who also wrote "The Satanic Bible". They worship no deity as such but consider Satan to be an archetype of autonomy and self-determination. The Church uses the Bahomet symbol as their emblem. As you can see, this resembles an inverted pentagram.

The Temple of Set was founded by Michael Aquino in 1975. An offshoot of the Church of Satan, it focuses on the Egyptian god of Set, who represents the principle of consciousness, especially independent intelligence.

Now both the Church and the Temple have their own sets of symbols. The best way of finding out what they are, is to visit their web sites (see list below).

So is a symbol a satanic one if a) a Christian says so; b) a Satanist wears it; or c) it appears in an old text? Maybe. Once again, definitions are at the heart of this label. A Christian might label any religion or belief not in accordance with their own version of Christianity as "Satanist" (though presumerably most Hebrews and Muslims are exempt from this). In that instance the label just means "non-Christian". Big deal.

To illustrate the problem, let me tell you the story of a friend. She was going to Belly-dancing classes, and wearing a variety of mock middle eastern accessories at the time. One day she was stopped in the street by a lay preacher who was hoping to convert her. What he didn't know is that she was raised a Baptist, and probably knew the Bible better than he did.

My friend was dressed in hippy/gypsy style, and this no doubt played up to his notions of the "new age". He saw the pendent she was wearing and demanded to know just what occult symbol it had on it! She told him the truth -- she'd bought it for $2 in an op shop, and it was a stylised camel surrounded by Arabic letters.

Unfamiliarity breeds contempt. When in doubt, try and find out from the source, not self-promoting experts.

Also see...

Church of Satan (The Official Web Site)
Culture, mentality and symbols
The Forsaken
Occult Signs and Symbols (Rudolf Steiner)
Occult Signs and Symbols (Xian)
Pagan Symbols in Christian Fiction
Symbols in Christian Art & Architecture
Temple of Set (Official Web Site)
Xian expose of Masonic Symbols
26th-Aug-2005 01:05 pm - Greek

The following symbols come from Greek (and Roman) mythology. Most represent various gods and goddesses.

After the Romans conquered Greece, they started to import its culture wholesale, including the mythology. Many of the gods were syncretised with local (and Etruscan) one. Hence, many have two names: a Greek and a Roman one (e.g.. Hermes and Mercury).

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male_mars.gif

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Aphrodite (Venus)

Ares (Mars)

Artemis (Diana)

Attis

Cybele

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xdionys.gif

xhades.gif

xhecate.gif

xhera.gif

Demeter (Ceres)

Dionysus

Hades (Pluto)

Hecate

Hera (Juno)

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xmercury.gif

xhestia.gif

xiris.gif

Hermes (Mercury)

Mercury

Hestia (Vesta)

Iris

Athena
(Minerva)

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Pan

Persephone
(Prosperine)

Poseidon
(Neptune)

Tiresias

Zeus (Jupiter)

Attis and Cybele are figures from the mystery cult of Cybele, that was imported to Rome during the 2nd Punic War, in order to fulfil a Sybilline prophecy. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, who was abducted by Hades until her mother threatened to halt the seasons (after which she was permitted to return to the world of the living for non-winter months). Hestia is a goddess of the home and hearth, and is memorable for her Roman priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, who tended an eternal flame. Tiresias was a blind seer who's sex was changed several times by the gods. Iris was handmaiden to Hera (wife of Zeus), but also a goddess of the rainbow, and with Hermes, was also a psychopomp (i.e. they could travel to the underworld and back with impunity).

Also see...

Links List
26th-Aug-2005 12:59 pm - Gothic

Part of the Gothic scene is the recurrent use of occult and religious symbols as jewellery and decoration. Some of this comes from an overlap with certain forms of Heavy Metal, where mock-devil worship pervades.

The list below sows the more common symbols used. If you can't see a particular symbol here, or on the other sample pages, please go to the Symbols Search page and follow the instructions on it.

The Ankh

Most popular of goth symbols is the ankh. This is an ancient Egyptian symbol representing eternal life. It is said to be taken from a simple sandal strap. Regardless of that, it is also a symbol representing the Goddess and the God and a neo-pagan symbol. If we abstract the symbol out to a regular circle on top of a "T" the derivation becomes clearer.

The circle (or yoni) represents the Goddess; the vertical line (or lingum) represents the God, and the horizontal bar is the "scroll of knowledge". Join them together and you get an ankh. I prefer to use this as a personal pagan symbol to the pentagram, as it is less obvious to the uninformed.

The Eye of Horus

Another Egyptian symbol. Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, was called "Horus who rules with two eyes". His right eye was white and represented the sun, his left eye was black and represented the moon.

Horus lost his left eye in a battle with Seth, his brother who had murdered their father Osiris. The eye was reassembled by Thoth, and Horus then presented it to Osiris, who experienced rebirth in the underworld.

Worn as jewellery fashioned of gold, silver, or wood -- the eye served to ensure safety, protect health, and give the wearer wisdom and prosperity. It was called "the all seeing eye" and other attributes associated with it are terror and wrath.

Five Pointed Star

This is also known as a Pentacle or a Pentagram. For neo-pagans this is symbolic of the four elements: air, water, earth, fire + spirit. See the qualities page for details. Pythagoras held the number 5 to be the sum of the feminine element (2) and the masculine element (3), so it is also symbolic of a union of masculine and feminine. The symbol also has meaning in Taoism, Hinduism and Islam.

The overlapping arms (which does not appear in all versions) shows how each part is interconnected with the others. The circle around the star represents unity, the self, and wholeness.

One mode of understanding is that the pentagram shown as above (with one point at the top) represents the Goddess, and inverted (with two points at top) the God. Of course the inverted pentagram in Christian belief represents the Devil -- not surprising since the versions of Pan and The God were used to represent such.

The Labrys

Less common than either the ankh or the five pointed star. This represents a double sided axe and is representative of the Goddess. It is also a symbol of the gallae, who used small versions of the labrys to cut themselves while dancing into a frenzy.

Also, it is also a symbol of feminism and lesbianism. I have a pair of silver labrys earrings. They look real cool.

Also see...

Androgynous Paroxysms of Thought
Culture, mentality and symbols
The Forsaken
The Gothic Milieu (Introvigne)
Pagan symbols (Gothagogo)
A Study of Gothic Subculture - What Is Gothic? - Common Culture
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