Magical symbols are mostly found in modern Paganism. However, most of these symbols are ancient since many traditions use them as part of a ritual or in magic, both black and white.
For instance, ancient people used white protective magic to feel safe and secure, and ward off evil and bad luck. Black magic was used to curse or hurt others.
Diverse spiritual paths have various glyphs used in spells and amulets. Here are some powerful symbols from different backgrounds and belief systems:
Magic Symbols and Meanings
The pentacle comes in many forms. The name has its origin from the Greek word “Penta” – ‘pendant’ suggesting an ornament to be hanged around the neck, sewn on the chest of one’s garment, or flat objects that are placed flat on the ground or altar.
Other definitions have described it as a talisman, or any other magical symbol in the shape of a pentagram enclosed in a circle with protective symbols drawn on it. Another universal pentacle is the six-point form from the seal of Solomon.
In the past, they are tools worn on the neck to protect the wearer from outside forces during a ritual performance or while going about one’s daily activities. The Pentacle helps an individual to focus his or her will.
Some users believe that a circle placed around a pentagram symbolizes the connection between the five elements- air, fire, earth, water, and spirit. The symbol is most commonly by Wiccans, also known as practitioners of modern witchcraft.
Based on Norse mythology, the Valknut or knot of the slain warrior is made of three interlocking triangles. The symbol appears on many runestones that date from the Viking Age in connection with the cult of the dead.
Especially relation to Odin, the Norse god of war and death, and also a powerful magician and shaman, known to ferry the spirits of the dead to the underworld and bring them back to the land of the living.
According to legends, Odin and his attendant spirits use magic or ‘seidr’ to render men helpless by altering their victim’s mind. Therefore, experts have explained the Valknut as Norse magic that symbolizes altering the course of events or power over life and death.
The symbol is mostly used by practitioners of Odinism and Ásatrú to represent the warrior’s death-sacrifice and a symbol of pledging oneself to die in battle.
A sigil is a unique symbol created to express and manifest a desire. These signs originated from Indo-European paganism and referred to a pictorial signature of a demon or angel that the magician might summon during in ceremonial magic.
Pages of such Sigils are found in the grimoires, magical training books such as The Lesser Key of Solomon. The sigils are considered as the real name of the spirits, giving the magician a measure of control over the spiritual beings.
In modern times, a Sigil is used as a message to the subconsciousness by creating an image or a sign that represents the creator’s desired outcome. They are designed for magic by incorporating regular ritual format with other elements of practical magic.
Also known witches’ marks, Apotropaic signs that are scratched on buildings or fabrics as prevention from witches. These marks hold the same power as amulets and talismans which are used against the evil eye.
Apotropaic marks were commonly found near places where witches are known to enter. For instance, the symbol was seen in places such as churches and the Tower of London. At times, the double “V” which signifies Virgin Mary- Virgo Virginum– is used as a protection against spirits.
One of the most ancient symbols is the circled dot, also known as circumpunct. The ancient sign is made of a circle with a point at its center. In the solar system, it symbolizes the Sun while the alchemist uses it to symbolize gold.
In religion, however, the circled dot means spirit (Ojibwa). It can also stand for a ‘Nazar’ – a circled dot-shaped amulet used for protection against the evil eye. The Freemasons also use it to signify an entered apprentice or as a sign of nature’s generative principles.
Moreover, Gnostics believe the circled dot is the most original aspect of God. Besides, the Pythagoreans and Greek philosophers use it as a representation of God, the beginning of creation, and eternity.
In magic, the circumpunct represents ‘consciousness’ of man. The dot in the middle connotes a person’s origin or source while the circle itself symbolize life experiences that one has seen through one’s soul.
The Rose Cross
Also known as Rose Cross and Rose Croix, the ‘Rose Cross’ is associated with the Rosicrucian order, a form of Christianity that was based on western esoteric tradition. The sect was founded by alchemist and Qabbalist, Christian Rosenkruenz.
The Rose Cross is a cross with a red, white or golden rose at its center. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn also used it in a spiritual protection process known as ‘The Ritual of the Rose Cross.’ Moreover, the Golden Dawn movement regard the symbol as sacred, as it reconciles divinity and manhood. They consider it extremely important to wear the symbol over one’s heart during any key assignment as it is ’the key to Sigils and Rituals.’
The Pentagram is unto Wiccans as the cross is unto Christians. The symbol has a long-varied history, with different belief systems and cultures. It is the shape of a five-pointed star, and it has many magical associations.
Pentagrams originated in ancient Greece and Babylonian, but it’s still commonly used by people who practice Neopagan faith. The symbol is associated with Freemasonry as well as other faiths.
The pentagram is one of the most used magical symbols by Pagans and Wiccans who believe it represents magic and magical workings. Some use it as a talisman or connection to the spirit world, especially in rituals to focus energy and call forth protective and magical energy.
The Dragon’s Eye has its origin in ancient German symbols. It is the shape of an isosceles with a ‘Y’ in the middle. It can also be an equilateral triangle pointing downward, a ‘Y’ in the middle connects the three points of the triangle. Experts suggest that the ‘Y’ suggest that man has a choice to choose between good and evil.
Believers in the power of the Dragon’s eye use it as a symbol of protection by reciting the stipulated incantation to it. The sign symbolizes the balance of power, love, and wisdom.
The Magic Circle
Practitioners of ritual magic mark out a circle of space to contain energy or as a form of magical protection during a ritual. This sphere or field may be drawn in salt or chalk or merely visualized. Magic practitioners aim to form a protective barrier between them and the spirits they summon.
In ceremonial magic, some practitioners mark the four cardinal directions of the circle with four candles indicating protection by the four archangels; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. Alternatively, the candles are placed between the quarters during the ceremony. For instance, in the north-east, north-west, and other quarters, while an incantation is chanted.
Wicca practitioners usually draw a magic circle that is around nine feet in diameter. However, the size can vary depending on the situation or believes of the caster.