Protection symbols have been used for centuries to ward off evil and enhance good fortune. From the Eye of Horus in ancient Egypt to the Hamsa Hand in the Middle East, these symbols have played an important role in human history and continue to hold significance today.
In this article, we'll explore the meanings and origins of some of the most well-known protection symbols from around the world. And, we'll and examine their enduring power and relevance in modern times.
If you'd like to make your own protection symbol, as opposed to using the time-honored symbols we're exploring in this post, please have a look at my article on how to create a sigil.
Related Post: The 7 Best Crystals For Protection
The hamsa hand is a palm-shaped amulet that's particularly popular in North Africa and the Middle East. It's also known as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Miriam, or the Hand of Mary. The hamsa hand can be worn or hung with the fingers pointing up or down.
Modern interpretations of the hamsa hand suggest that its five fingers represent the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and spirit) that correspond to the first five chakras, starting from the root chakra at the base of the spine and moving up to the throat chakra. The eye in the center of the hamsa hand is then associated with the third eye chakra, which is located in the center of the forehead and is associated with intuition, perception, and spiritual insight.
The hamsa hand has various meanings, depending on the culture or religion its represented in. However, its most universal symbol is that of unity and protection. In every representation, the hamsa hand is a means of protection from evil, especially the evil eye.
The Eye Of Horus
The Eye of Horus, also known as the Wedjat Eye, is an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents protection and healing. It takes its name from Horus, the god of the sky, who lost his eye in a battle with his uncle Set. His eye was magically healed by the god Thoth. Hence, the symbol of the Eye of Horus was born.
The Eye of Horus is a stylized eye with a distinctive "teardrop" shape and markings that resemble a falcon's eye. Ancient Egyptians used the Eye of Horus symbol in various contexts, believing it possessed protective, healing powers. It was an especially popular symbol to wear as an amulet. In fact, the Eye of Horus was even used in medical practices for its healing properties.
According to Egyptian mythology, Horus' left eye represented the moon and his right eye (called the Eye of Ra) represented the sun. The Eye of Horus, or the left eye, represents the healing and restorative powers of the moon. It's also associated with the goddess Wadjet, the protector of Lower Egypt.
Triple Goddess Protection Symbol
Amidst the ebb and flow of life, there's a powerful force that weaves through the world, a force that's both nurturing and transformative. This force is embodied by the Triple Goddess, a deity of divine feminine power and wisdom, whose influence touches all aspects of existence.
As the Maiden, the Triple Goddess represents the youthful, vibrant energy of life. She's the springtime of the world, a symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts. With her boundless enthusiasm and endless curiosity, the Maiden encourages us to embrace the world with open hearts and minds.
As the Mother, the Triple Goddess is the giver of life, the one who nurtures and protects all that she creates. She's the warm embrace of the summer sun, the bounty of the harvest, and the endless wellspring of love that flows through the world. With her compassion and generosity, the Mother teaches us to care for one another and to cherish the gifts that life bestows upon us.
And as the Crone, the Triple Goddess is the wise elder, the one who has seen the passing of countless seasons and the turning of countless cycles. She's the stillness of the winter forest, the darkness of the night sky, and the quiet whisper of intuition that guides us through the trials and tribulations of life. With her wisdom and experience, the Crone helps us to navigate the challenges of existence and to find the strength and courage to face the unknown.
Together, the three aspects of the Triple Goddess represent the cycle of life, death, and rebirth that touch us all. They remind us that we're never truly alone, that we're all part of a greater whole, connected by the same thread of existence.
Wearing or keeping this symbol close to you, invokes the power of the Triple Goddess who looks over the cycles of life.
The Horned God
The Horned God is the consort of the Triple Goddess in Wiccan and Neo-Pagan traditions. Together they form a duotheistic theological system; In other words, they're two parts of the same whole - polarities that can't exist without each other.
While the Triple Goddess represents the divinine feminine principle, the divine masculine is embodied by the Horned God. The Horned God and the Triple Goddess are not opposing energies. Rather, they're honored as equal partners.
The Horned God is protector of the natural world and of those who seek to live in harmony with nature. He's the deity of the earth, the hunt, and the cycles of life and death. He embodies the primal force of nature, fierce and untamed. He's the lord of the wilderness, the guardian of the animals and the spirits that dwell within it.
As the seasons turn and the earth shifts, the Horned Man moves through the land, shaping its rhythms and guiding its cycles. He's the a god of fertility and growth, of the green things that spring forth from the earth, and of the wild beasts that roam free.
But he's also a god of death and decay, of the bones and the dust that return to the earth to nourish new life. He's a reminder that we're all connected to the earth and each other, and that we must care for and protect the world around us.
Nazar Boncugu - Evil Eye
What we unfairly refer to as the "evil eye" in Western culture, is really called "nazar boncugu" in Turkish, where this symbol of protection comes from. Nazar translates to "to look" or to "gaze" and boncugu roughly translates to "bead" or "pearl."
The use of the nazar boncugu is deeply rooted in Turkish culture. The concept of the evil eye is based on the idea that a person can cast a harmful gaze at someone, causing harm or bad luck'. The nazar boncugu can protect one from this.
The blue and white color combination of this protective symbol is significant. Blue has protective properties and is associated with the divine. Nazar Boncugu is an ancient symbol of protection and good luck, and many people use it to help ward off negative energy.
Hecate’s wheel, also known as strophalos of Hecate, is a symbol that represents the goddess Hecate, who's associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, night, light, magic, witchcraft, necromancy, and ghosts. Hecate embodies the deep and mysterious power of the dark feminine energy. She was also a guardian of the household and a protector of women, children, and travelers. Hecate is frequently referred to as a triple goddess, having three aspects: maiden, mother, and crone.
Hecate's wheel consists of a circle with a spiral maze around it. The circle symbolizes the moon, which is one of Hecate’s darker attributes. The spiral maze symbolizes the labyrinthine paths of life and the mysteries of the cosmos. The center of the wheel symbolizes the axis mundi, the point where heaven and earth meet.
Hecate’s wheel is used for various purposes, such as:
- Invoking Hecate’s power and protection in magic and rituals.
- Honoring Hecate as a patroness of witches and practitioners of the occult.
- Seeking guidance and wisdom from Hecate in times of uncertainty and change.
- Exploring one’s inner self and hidden potential with Hecate’s help.
Hecate's wheel is a symbol of her guardianship over the crossroads, where she can grant safe passage or block the way.
The practice of placing protective objects or symbols at crossroads and doorways is still prevalent in many cultures today, showcasing Hecate's enduring influence on liminal spaces.
The unicursal hexagram is a symbol that combines the shape of a hexagram, a six-pointed star formed by two overlapping triangles, with a continuous line that passes through all of the points of the star without lifting the pen from the paper. It was created by the English occultist and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley in the early 20th century. As such, it's closely associated with his system of magick, known as Thelema. If you've ever use the beautiful Thoth tarot, you'll be familiar with this protection symbol.
According to Crowley, the unicursal hexagram represents the unity of opposites. The upward-pointing triangle symbolizes the spiritual realm, and the downward-pointing triangle represents the material or earthly realm. The continuous line that passes through all of the points of the star represents the path of spiritual attainment, which Crowley called the "Great Work."
The unicursal hexagram is a popular symbol in various occult communities. It's used to represent balance, harmony, and the integration of different elements. It's sometimes used as a sigil in the practice of magick, particularly those related to Thelema or other systems of magick that draw on Crowley's teachings.
The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents life, immortality, and the afterlife. It's typically depicted as a looped cross, with the top loop representing the sun rising on the horizon, the horizontal arms representing the earthly plane of existence, and the vertical arm representing the divine realm.
In ancient Egyptian culture, the ankh was often carried by gods and goddesses as a symbol of their divine power. It was also commonly used as an amulet or talisman for protection, with the belief that it could help to ward off evil spirits, disease, and other forms of harm. The ankh was often associated with the goddess Isis, who was believed to hold the power of resurrection and was known for her ability to protect and heal.
Today, the ankh is still widely recognized as a symbol of protection and is often used in jewelry, and art. It's has also been adopted by various modern spiritual movements, including neo-paganism, New Age spirituality, and some forms of African diasporic religion. The ankh's enduring popularity as a symbol of life and protection reflects its deep roots in ancient Egyptian culture and its continuing relevance to many people today.
The Bagua mirror is a traditional Chinese protective talisman that's used in Feng Shui, a practice that seeks to harmonize the energies of a space in order to encourage better health, prosperity, and well-being.
The Bagua mirror consists of a round mirror with a series of eight trigrams, known as Bagua, arranged around the perimeter. Each trigram represents a different aspect of the natural world, such as wind, water, fire, and earth. People often place the Bagua mirror outside their homes or businesses, with its face pointing outward, to deflect negative energies.
The principle behind the use of Bagua mirror is "reflection." The mirror reflects negative energies back to their source to protect a space from harm. This reflective mechanism neutralizes any detrimental influences that may be present.
Chinese traditional culture continues to use the Bagua mirror today. It's known as a potent protection symbol that encourages health, prosperity, and well-being in homes, businesses, and other spaces.
Throughout history, various cultures and spiritual traditions have used the pentagram, a five-pointed star symbol. In modern Western esotericism, people commonly associate the pentagram with protection and frequently use it as an amulet or talisman.
The pentagram has one point facing upward and two points facing downward, with the remaining two points pointing outward. The upward-pointing triangle represents the divine or spiritual realm, while the downward-pointing triangle represents the earthly or material realm. The five points are often associated with the five elements - earth, air, fire, water, and spirit - and the five senses.
Many belief systems consider the pentagram a protection symbol, invoking spiritual or divine energies to safeguard the wearer from harm. Additionally, people use the pentagram as a tool for visualization and meditation, utilizing the five points to represent distinct aspects of the self or the universe.
In some modern Wiccan and pagan traditions, the pentagram is used as a symbol of initiation. By working with the symbol, one can gain a greater understanding of their place in the universe.
Triquetra - A Protection Symbol
A triquetra is an ancient symbol that consists of three overlapping and interconnected arcs, sometimes known as a Vesica Pisces shape, that creates a tri-pointed symbol.
Essentially, the symbol resembles a three-cornered knot, as all internal arcs look as though there is no beginning or end. The name itself translates to ''three-cornered,'' but the meaning runs far deeper, dating back to pre-Celtic origins. However, the concept of three, also known as the power of three which is embedded in the name, is the most important aspect of the ancient symbol. Because the number three is associated with the interconnectedness of all things the triquetra has earned a reputation for having protective powers.
The three arcs of the triquetra are often interpreted to represent different concepts such as the three elements of nature (earth, air, and water), the three aspects of the divine (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), or the three stages of life (birth, life, and death). The symbol has been used in various cultures throughout history and continues to hold significance today.
Aegishjalmur, also known as the Helm of Awe or the Helm of Terror, is a runic symbol from Norse mythology. It's believed to have protective, magical properties and is often used in Icelandic magic and other forms of Scandinavian folklore.
The symbol consists of eight spiked tridents radiating out from a central point, forming a circular shape. In some depictions, the central point may also be surrounded by a circle of runes. The name "Aegishjalmur" is said to refer to the power of the symbol to strike fear into one's enemies and protect the wearer from harm.
In Norse mythology, the Aegishjalmur is associated with the god Odin and his magical powers. Odin used the symbol to protect himself and his warriors in battle, as it had the power to put enemies to sleep or make them forgetful.
Today, the Aegishjalmur is sometimes used as a protective symbol in Icelandic magical practices. It's also popular among some modern pagan and neopagan groups. It's sometimes worn as a talisman, protective amulet or tattooed onto the skin for protection.
The Triskele, also known as the Triskelion, is a symbol consisting of three spirals or three interlocked legs that radiate from a central point. The term "triskele" comes from the Greek word "triskeles," which means "three legs." It's been found in various cultures throughout history, including ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Celtic cultures.
In Celtic culture, the Triskele is often associated with the triple goddess, which represents the three phases of life: maiden, mother, and crone. It's sometimes associated with the elements of earth, air, and water or with the three domains of land, sea, and sky.
The Triskele is a symbol of motion, progress, and energy. It represents the interconnectedness of life and the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. It's is also used as a protection symbol, with the three spirals representing the triple aspect of the goddess and the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.
The spiral has been a significant symbol of spiritual development and self-discovery since ancient times. It's been used in ritual art, dance, mysticism, shamanism, magic, and witchcraft.
The spiral symbol has a long and diverse history across many cultures. Its meaning as a symbol of protection varies depending on the context in which it's used.
In general, the spiral is often associated with the cyclical nature of life, growth, and evolution. It's a symbol of continuous change and transformation, representing the journey of life and the challenges and opportunities that come with it. The spiral can also represent the inward journey of self-discovery and spiritual development.
The spiral can be used to help guide individuals through the twists and turns of life's journey. In some cultures, the spiral is associated with the concept of the labyrinth or maze, which is seen as a protective structure that can help individuals navigate through life's challenges.
In ancient Celtic culture, the spiral was often used as a symbol of protection and was believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and negative energy. Similarly, in Native American culture, the spiral was associated with the journey of life and was seen as a protective symbol that could guide individuals along their path and keep them safe from harm.
Protection symbols have played a significant role in human history, culture, and spirituality. Whether it's the ancient symbols from the East or the newer ones from the West, they all share a common purpose of offering protection and guarding against evil forces.
By wearing these symbols or placing them in our homes and workplaces, we can harness their powerful energy. Protection symbols serve as a reminder that we're not alone. We have the power to attract positive energy and repel negative energy.
Whether used for personal or communal protection, these symbols are a testament to our innate desire to seek safety and peace in a world full of uncertainties.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Greek symbol of protection is the evil eye, also known as mati or μάτι in Greek. It is believed to offer protection against the evil eye curse, which is said to cause harm or misfortune. The evil eye symbol is often depicted as a blue or green eye'. It's commonly worn as jewelry or displayed in homes and businesses.
There are several symbols that can be associated with family protection across different cultures and belief systems. One such symbol is the Celtic knot, which represents the interconnectedness of family members and the strength that comes from this connection. The tree of life is another symbol that is often associated with family protection, representing the deep roots and strong foundation that families provide. Additionally, the hamsa hand is a symbol of protection and good fortune that is often used to protect families from harm and negativity.
There are several symbols that can be associated with family protection across different cultures and belief systems. One such symbol is the Celtic knot, which represents the interconnectedness of family members and the strength that comes from this connection. The tree of life is another symbol that's often associated with family protection, representing the deep roots and strong foundation that families provide. Additionally, the hamsa hand is a symbol of protection and good fortune that's often used to protect families from harm and negativity.