What is the Wheel of Chaos Symbol?

Chaos Symbol
The wheel of chaos, or the symbol of chaos, originates from Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion stories. However, the chaos symbol has its roots in Greek mythology. People who dabble in chaos magick use the wheel of chaos in their practices. 

The wheel of chaos symbol is an eight-spiked wheel with arrows pointing outwards. It has been created by combining two or more symbols. The Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck features this symbol on the Eight of Wands card. 

What Does The Symbol Of Chaos Mean?

The wheel of chaos resembles an eight-pointed star, the wheel of the year, the star of Venus, and the Eastern Dharmachakra.  

The wheel of chaos has other names, such as the chaos star, arrows of chaos, arms of chaos, the chaos cross, and the symbol of eight. It represents a series of small changes that ultimately lead to a greater shift in life’s path. This theory is also known as the butterfly effect

The chaos symbol implies several possibilities and changes. However, pop culture considers it a sign of evil (Satanic symbol) since chaos means disturbance. The wheel of chaos doesn’t symbolize destruction or negative energy as portrayed in movies. It has a positive and powerful meaning. 

chaos symbol

History and Origin

Michael Moorcock said he created the symbol when working on The Eternal Champion in the early 1960s. It is the first book in the Eternal Champion series. The symbol soon became a part of pop culture. It was used in video games, movies, modern rituals, cult classics, and more. 

The Deities & Demigods reference book for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), a fantasy role-playing game by Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), first printed the wheel of chaos symbol and used it commercially. However, they removed it from the later editions due to copyright issues. 

The 1987 edition of Stormbringer RPG (role-playing game) by Chaosium used the symbol of chaos. Games Workshop (GW), a UK-based mini wargame producer, began using it freely in the Warhammer fantasy games. The wheel of chaos can be found in the Warhammer 40,000 games and its associated miniature figurines. 

chaos symbol
Moorcock’s work The Eternal Champion

Use of Chaos Symbol

Several bands use the chaos symbol, including Chimaira, the American metal band. Many video games continued to use the symbol in some form. A few alternative designs were also created. The Five-Fingered Hand of Eris and Chao of Discordianism are two examples. 

chaos symbol
Sacred Chao symbol

Chaos as a Sigil 

The spiritual use of chaos symbol pertains to magick and sigils. You can create a chaos sigil for health (healing), love, protection, wealth, and curse others. It belongs to chaos magic and should be handled with care. 

Chaos magic was developed in the 1970s in England. It is inspired by oculist Austin Osman Spare and combines traditional occult with post-modern practices.

Belief is the core of chaos magic. A person can achieve their dream by believing in it. The psychic energy of a person’s belief will manifest their dreams into reality. Rituals and symbols aid this process. 

Star of Chaos

The star of chaos is the chaos star symbol designed in a rune style. It is called an Insigil. It symbolizes the increase and spread of power 8x times.

The emblem is a teiwaz rune representing the God Tyr (God of Mars). According to a legend, Tyr bound the Fenris wolf to protect the Cosmic Order but had to sacrifice his right hand to save other gods. 

The symbol thus represents sacrifice, establishing justice, and restoring order. Technically, it is a symbol of order but called the star of chaos as it polarizes and creates multiple forces from a single point. Order and chaos are interdependent and cannot survive without the other. Hence, the design became popular. The star of chaos implies the restoration of order in chaos. 

The star of chaos provides the qualities of a warrior but is also a source of spiritual growth, enlightenment, and freedom. 

Arrows of Chaos

The symbol of chaos is also known as the arrows of chaos. Eight arrows shoot outward in different directions in the symbol. Arrows have a special significance in mythology. Many gods carry a bow and arrow. They have power, reach long distances, and are also used for communication. 

In the arrow of chaos, the power generated at the central point is divided into eight parts and pushed into the universe using the arrows. They have a singular purpose of going from one point to another and don’t change direction. The arrow tips point outward to symbolize this process.

chaos symbol
Arrows of Chaos symbol

Is the Chaos Symbol Copyrighted?

No, the chaos symbol is not copyrighted. A name, design, color, logo, etc., cannot be copyrighted. A logo/design should be entirely creative and new to be eligible for copyright. Since the chaos symbol is created using older existing symbols, it is not considered a creative product. 

What Does Chaos Mean in Alchemy?

Chaos in alchemy comes from Greek mythology. The ancient Greeks considered chaos gods a deity without myth, a location (a space between hell and heaven), the first goddess (who gave birth to other goddesses), and an element. 

Chaos is a chief element of the philosopher’s stone and represents emptiness and matter. Paracelsus, Heinrich Khunrath, and Martin Ruland the Younger mention chaos in various texts. It also forms the basis of chaos theory.

chaos symbol
A depiction of the philosopher’s stone symbol in alchemy

Elements and Powers

Chaos was the starting point or the beginning of Greek mythology. It’s where everything began. It is also where the fusion of elements occurred and resulted in the creation of life. The Greek philosophers called the chaos element a primeval Mud of the Orphic Cosmologies, the one that is real and gives life. 

The wheel of chaos symbolizes multiplying power, restoration of order and justice, velocity, and spiritual freedom. The symbol is commonly found in pop culture and used in chaos magic. It can be used as pendants, tattoos, designs on T-shirts, sigils, etc.  

If you found this article helpful, check out our post on death alchemy symbols.


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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