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Symbols Archive

A collection of Symbols archived for your reference

Posting Access:
Anybody , Moderated

Since I created the symbol reference page (back at the original Hecate's Grandchildren site) I received a number of enquiries about symbols and their meanings. I'm quite happy to research such things, and reply with (hopefully) an answer. However, as I decided to discontinue that web site, I needed to find another way to store the symbols I'd researched. I decided that a Live Journal community would be a clever way to do this.

Currently this community is only in the first stage of my transferring the images over from the old website. What I've done is "ported" the content of each page over as a post. However, this isn't the most efficient way of structuring the archive, as it's graphics heavy and each page takes a while to load. What I intend to do eventually is make one post for each symbol listed, and in that post list all the known meanings and names of the symbol. The symbols that match the names or area (e.g. Alchemy, Greek Mythology, et cetera) can then be displayed, simply by selecting the correct Entry Tag. I also need to "clean up" many of the links on the postings, which still point to the old website.

This is however, a tedious process, so it may take a while. In the meantime, I'll do the best I can to help you find the symbol and meanings thereof.

How to Search

  • Was it intended to have a meaning?
    Some things just have no intended meaning. It's human nature to see symbols in everything, regardless of its origin.
  • Origin
    Where did you first see this symbol? How was it used within that context? If this is in a magazine or book, see if there is a reference to the symbol within the text. Some symbols are just re-arrangements of earlier ones, and works of fiction or role-playing are seldom created in a vacuum.
  • Jewellery
    If it is a piece of jewellery that you're thinking of buying over the net (or have bought), check out the web site that advertised that piece and see if it give an explanation of it. Quite often such items are custom made, and any meaning it might have is what the maker or manufacturer places on it.
  • Check out Google
    An easy way to search for the context of symbols is use Google. Change to the Image tab and type the name (whatever you think describes the symbol) into the search. Scan the results. If you see a close approximation of the symbol, click on that image and this will take you to the page it appears in. If you're lucky, that may in fact be a page explaining it.
  • Check out this Community
    Look on some of postings here. Maybe the symbol you want is there. The easy way to look is to select an entry tag in the sidebar that matches either the name of what you think the symbol represents (e.g. alum), or the class of symbol it might be (e.g. alchemy). The result will be all the postings that match those tags. Otherwise, you can scroll through the community to see if the symbol is here. I have currently set the number of posts per page at only 2, as some of the posts are very graphics intensive.

If you still can't find a meaning for the symbol, I'll see what I can do. I'd ask you to do the following:

  • Make a comment to this guest book of this community (not the main journal).
  • In the comment, tell me the context in which you first saw the symbol
    (if you don't, I'll comment back asking this anyway, so it just slows the answer down).  
  • If you can, find an appropriate image of it on the web, either on your own site (if you have one, and maybe if you've scanned and uploaded a copy of the image) or somewhere else. Add a <A HREF="">link</A> to that image in the comment (or if you're adventurous, add an <IMG SRC=""link"> tag showing that image. Some sites block use of their images by third parties, so a simple link is more reliable.
  • If you can't find such an image, then describe it as accurately and as detailed as you can. Don't assume that if you merely name it, I'll know what it is.
  • Post the comment. I'll get an e-mail with a copy of your comment, and will begin searching.

If you do this, I'll see what I can do. Please note that I reserve the right to post the results of my search in this community's journal. If I can't find any result, I may post a version of the symbol anyway, and ask for comments from interested parties. That way, the list of Symbols and their known meanings, will continue to grow.


de Vries, A
Dictionary of symbols and imagery. 2nd, rev. ed. Amsterdam etc.: 1976
Dreyfuss, Henry
Symbol Sourcebook, 1972, McGraw-Hill
For an online version of this, check out SYMBOLS.com.
Lurker, Manfred
The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt, 1980, Thames & Hudson
Wilkinson, Richard
Reading Egyptian Art, 1994, Thames & Hudson

Also see...

Alchemical symbolism, imagery and music
Alchemical Symbols
Ambrosia's Realm of Graphics
Androgynous Paroxysms of Thought
Ankh Links
Byzant Symbols - Library of Esoteric Symbols
Culture, mentality and symbols
Download Alchemy & Hermetic Fonts
Egyptian Symbols and Definitions
The Forsaken
The Gothic Milieu (Introvigne)
Indigo Ray: Astrological Symbols
Like A Cat Jewelry & Crafts: Symbols and Meanings
Occult Signs and Symbols (Rudolf Steiner)
Pagan symbols (Gothagogo)
Pagan Symbols (Michelle's Magickal Realm)
Pagan Symbols in Christian Fiction
A Study of Gothic Subculture - What Is Gothic? - Common Culture
Symbols in books of alchemy
Symbols in Christian Art & Architecture
Wiccan/Pagan images and symbols