Paganism has been around for generations and refers to a religion that encourages followers to pursue their own experience with the divine. Key pagan symbols such as the pentacle, elven star, and the triple moon represent important beliefs.
Modern Paganism uses many symbols in its practices. They are an integral part of their jewelry and tokens used in rituals. They connect their practices to essential ideas and elements. While some symbols depict ideas, others can represent elements.
Many religious symbols are commonly associated with Wicca and other Paganism today.
What Do The Pagans Worship?
Pagans are people whose religious and spiritual practices do not associate with the primary popular religions of the world. Their beliefs are different from religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism, to name a few.
Paganism often includes worship of nature and witchcraft, commonly known as Wicca. They recognize the divine force of nature and see the power in the cycle of birth and death. Most Pagans also strive to be eco-friendly.
Their rituals span a vast spectrum and include honoring deities, observing natural cycles like the moon, and celebrating rites of passage.
What Are The Different Types Of Pagans?
Many people think Paganism is one religion and often relate it to Wicca. However, there are many Pagan religions and further variants of each of them. Some of these traditions are more popular than others, depending on the size, publicity, and visibility.
Wicca is the most well-known Pagan religion. They call themselves witches, often leading non-Pagans to consider magick and witchcraft with Wicca. However, it is practiced by many other Pagan traditions.
Other Paganism religions are Asatru, Druidry, Germanic, Celtic, Egyptian, Mayan, Greek, and Roman.
Popular Pagan Symbols
Wicca and Pagan rituals originate from pre-Christian traditions. They are present in numerous religions across Northern and Western Europe and Africa. The vast influence of various cultures implies that every symbol derives meaning from different histories and traditions.
Air is the main natural element used commonly in nature worship. Air also symbolizes various spirits and elemental beings that connect with wind and harness the powers of wisdom and intuition.
When it comes to Wiccan rituals, the air connects to the soul and the ‘breath of life.’ The symbol consists of an upright triangle and a horizontal line across the tip. Air is also associated with the colors yellow and white.
Seax Wicca is a unique tradition founded by the author Raymond Buckland in the 1970s. The inspiration for this tradition lies in the Saxon religion of old, although it is not a specific reconstructionist tradition.
The tradition’s symbol depicts the moon, the sun, and the eight Wiccan sabbats. Buckland’s tradition stands out from the other initiatory and oathbound practices. The covens of Seax Wiccan are self-sustained and run by High Priestesses and Priests, which are elected.
Every coven enjoys autonomy and the liberty to make their decisions regarding the method of practice and worship. If the entire coven allows it, even those who are not members can attend these rituals.
The pentacle, commonly called the pentagram, is a distinct five-pointed star enclosed in a circle.
Each point of the star represents air, fire, earth, water, and spirit, whereas the surrounding circle symbolizes a protective womb. The pentacle has become a popular protective ancient Pagan symbol, which primarily helps ward off evil spirits.
The tip of the star denotes the essential element – the self or spirit. Then the rest of the elements move clockwise from the top in order of their density – fire, air, water, and the earth.
Since all five points touch the circle inside the pentacle, it is symbolic that all things are interconnected.
With its five points, this symbol also connects with beliefs surrounding the number five. It is a mystical number since humans have five toes, fingers, and senses. There is also an overlay of the pentacle with a human body over the star, where the head and each limb correspond to each point.
People wear the pentacle as protection while traveling and being connected to all the elements. Traditionally, it was placed on top of the doorway to protect the pagan homes from evil spirits.
The masculine deity in the Wicca religion is the Horned God. It represents sexuality, wilderness, and hunting.
Although the depiction of this deity can vary greatly, it mainly consists of an animal with horns or antlers. It symbolizes the union between human beings and the divine. In simple terms, the symbol is a circle with a crescent moon symbol on the side as horns.
Hecate’s Wheel is another popular symbol of Wicca traditions. It is popular among feminist practices as it depicts three aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
It is a labyrinth-like symbol with origins in Greek legends, where Hecate was a guardian of the crossroads, and she later evolved into a goddess of magic and sorcery.
A seven-pointed star, the Elven Star, also goes by Faery Star or Heptagram. The oldest meaning of the symbol originates from the Kabbalistic traditions, where it depicts the power of love as well as the sphere of Venus.
The symbol also represents the importance of the number seven, as people consider it sacred in numerous traditions and religions.
The Sun Wheel symbol consists of a circle that encloses a cross. Pagan religions used the four segments in this symbol to mark the solstices and equinoxes. It is also called the Pagan Cross, Solar Cross, or Odin’s Cross (in Norse culture).
There are also much more complex portrayals of this symbol in Wiccan religions that correspond with 8 Sabbats (or seasons) in the ‘Wheel of the Year.’
The Triple Moon is a unique symbol representing the moon’s three phases: waxing, completing, and waning. Sometimes known as the Triple Goddess symbol, the symbol also depicts the three phases of womanhood, known as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
It is a symbol of a Goddess in many NeoPagan and Wiccan traditions. The first crescent represents the waxing moon phase, which signifies new life, new beginnings, and rejuvenation. The middle circle symbolizes the full moon or when magic is most potent.
The last crescent moon denotes the waning stage, a time meant for performing banishing magic or sending things away. This design is also common in jewelry, with a variant consisting of a moonstone in the center disc, which gives added power.
There are numerous Pagan symbols from various cultures and regions. These symbols represent their beliefs, cultures, and traditions while still relevant today.
Interested in learning about other symbols from various religions and mythologies? Check out this article on various cult symbols.