Meaningful Symbols of Rebirth and Renewal

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The notion of rebirth and renewal is an important theme. As a central part of many religious traditions and cultures throughout history, the idea of rebirth has been taught through a variety of symbols. Whether pulling from nature or myths within religious texts, these symbols reflect the mystery of the endless cycle of life and death.

The theme of rebirth and renewal is a part of many cultures and faiths. It is a part of nature, with plants dying in winter and blooming again in spring. Since ancient times, people have also believed in a similar pattern for human beings. 

The mystical concept of rebirth also has many associated symbols, although they can vary across time, religion, and culture. 

What Thing Symbolizes New Beginnings?

Numerous symbols of new life, beginnings, and birth and their meanings are:


Trees become the origin point of various myths about creation in different cultures. Trees represent birth in many cultures, like Celtic, Greek, and Norse, since they provide shade and nourishment after planting.

Similarly, the tree of life symbol also denoted immortality and rebirth. People found the oldest one in 7000 BC in Turkey. It was in an image of a pine tree found in the Acadians in 3000 BC, symbolizing life and rebirth. 

The tree of life stood as a symbol of spring in all ancient cultures. Spring marked the end of the winter season and led to the rebirth of flowers and plants. People worshiped trees in this season as they brought new life through seeds.

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The tree of life is a common symbol of rebirth in many cultures and religious traditions.

Lotus Flower

Another prominent symbol of rebirth and regeneration in different cultures is the lotus. The flower emerges from muddy waters and blooms during the day. Still, when it gets dark, the lotus closes, retreats into the water, and repeats the same cycle daily. 

Every culture mentions the lotus flower, and almost all of them connect it to the concept of rebirth. Buddhism uses it to depict the Eightfold Path, a guide to reincarnation and enlightenment. The symbol for nirvana is also Gautam Buddha meditating on a lotus.

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The lotus flower is a common symbol of rebirth in Buddhism.


Uranus is a cosmic symbol that is associated with rejuvenation and rebirth. It also is associated with the Greek god Uranus, who symbolizes new beginnings, awakening, revolution, and innovation.

Greek mythology considers Uranus a creator god, implying that he can give life to many things. The ancient Greek people used to look to the planet for guidance to renew their spiritual side.

He also symbolizes the new strength needed for a new journey, career, economic rejuvenation, or creativity.

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Named after the Greek god, the planet Uranus symbolizes new life and rebirth.

New Moon

While the full moon is symbolic of reaching the peak potential or energy, and the phase of the crescent moon represents ending and letting stuff go, the new moon phase is associated with new beginnings and rebirth. 

This is the phase in which the moon’s dark side turns toward the earth and crosses the sky with the sun during the daytime, making it impossible to see with the naked eye. The new moon symbolizes potential, renewal, and the beginning of a new life cycle. 

rebirth symbols
Since the new moon is the beginning of a new lunar cycle, it is a symbol of rebirth and renewal.

Buddhist Symbols Of Rebirth And Renewal

The eternal knot, or the endless knot, is among the Eight Auspicious Symbols in Buddhism. It is also an important symbol in Hinduism and Jainism. The endless knot also has cultural significance in other places influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.

The iconography of the knot symbolizes Samsara, which refers to the endless cycle of suffering that comes from birth, death, and rebirth.

The Dharma Wheel depicts the unending circle of birth and rebirth in Hinduism and Buddhism. Also called the Wheel of Law or Dharmachakra, the symbol includes eight spokes of gold color connected to the Buddhist noble Eightfold Path. 

The first sermon of the Lord Buddha, called “Turning the Wheel of the Dharma,” also represents the teachings of Buddha. 

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Buddhism views all of life as cyclical, and therefore, has many symbols of rebirth and renewal.

Rebirth Symbols In Greek Mythology

The Greek symbol of rebirth is the mythological bird phoenix. It has colorful feathers, a tail, and a lifespan of 500 to 1,000 years. When a phoenix is near death, the bird creates a nest around which it combusts into flames.

The bird also burns and then dies along the branches and twigs used in making the nest. What remains is its ashes, but the legend doesn’t end there. A small phoenix rises from the past ashes and remains and lives a new life.

This cycle continues for an infinite time, making the phoenix a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and the fresh start of a new life. It is also a famous metaphor for the need to eliminate negative qualities to ensure the emergence of a new and more mindful person.

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The phoenix is one of the most well-known symbols of rebirth.

Rebirth Symbols In Native American Culture

Starfish are known for their ability to regenerate limbs and symbolize rebirth. In case a limb of a starfish tears or gets cut, it grows the limb again. The Native Americans regarded starfish with importance due to this ability. They worshipped the creature for its immense strength and immortality. 

Today, people adopt the starfish as a spirit animal because of its ability to regenerate. They see it as an inspiration to help let go of their old selves and pave the way for new and improved thoughts or actions.

Native Americans also considered butterflies a symbol of transformation, rebirth, resurrection, and joy. They also thought butterflies were a way to communicate with the loved ones that they had lost.

Celtic Rebirth Symbols

The triskele, a triple spiral Celtic symbol, consists of 3 interlocked spirals and links to infinity. It is a classic Celtic art that depicts Mother Goddess. The triskele also symbolizes rebirth, the afterlife, and the sun.

As per the Neolithic tomb in Newgrange, it is also a symbol of pregnancy in context to the sun completing a spiral every three months. The triskele represents nine months, the time taken for childbirth. It symbolizes a continuous line or the continuity of time.

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An image of the triskele, the Celtic symbol for renewal.

Egyptian Symbol Of Renewal

The most prominent ancient Egyptian symbol of death and rebirth is Ouroborus. It originated in ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology and depicted a snake or dragon eating its tail. The snake-like creature dies since it eats itself but gets reborn by self-fertilization. 

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Ouroboros was present on gravestones, symbolizing the dead person’s reincarnation. It was also a gnostic and alchemical symbol to depict things that don’t disappear but change and get destroyed to be recreated.

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The Ouroboros symbolizes the endless cycle of death and life.

The theme of rebirth is prominent in numerous cultures, faiths, and religions. Similarly, there are also great symbols to represent the concept of rebirth. People continue to use these symbols of rebirth and renewal, from trees to starfish, the moon to Uranus, and the lotus flower to triskele.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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