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If you enjoy watching television or binge-watching Netflix, you'll notice an upward trend in shows that revolve around magic. From The Librarians to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and several Netflix originals, magic-based television shows have made a comeback. That brings questions about spells and magic symbols that many don't know how to answer. To help demystify the world of magic, we've put together a list of 13 magic symbols you need to know and what those symbols mean.
What Magic Symbols Are All About
While there are definitely over 13 magic symbols, they all have some commonalities. Magic symbols are all meant to do something based on the intent of the user. Some practitioners use magic symbols, such as runes, as a magical language. Others use magic symbols to cast spells and some use them as protective sigils. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure you understand the meaning behind the magic symbol you're using if you want to get the outcome you desire.
To understand magic symbols, and their potential meanings, you need to understand that while most magic symbols are universal among magic practitioners, magic symbols can have different origins and have different uses depending on the magic is being practiced. For example, almost everyone, practitioners and non-practitioners alike are familiar with a pentagram. Someone wears it as a testament of faith but also as a protective talisman and, like most things Wiccan or pagan, got its start in Christianity.
Another magic symbol popular in movies is the Eye of Horus or the Eye of Ra. As the name suggests this is an image of an Egyptian-style eye. Whether worn as an amulet or carved on a rune the Eye of Horus is a magic symbol of protection and all-seeing divine power. Magic symbols can be a language, usually known as runes, that are of Norse origins and created by Father Odin. The word rune means secret and practitioners use them to cast spells and wards with no one the wiser.
13 Magic Symbols You Need to Know and Their Meanings
For movie watchers, understanding magic symbols can make a show more interesting. For those who are new to the art of magic, knowing what to use and when can create the spell or set the desired protection. Whether you are a believer in magic or just a history buff, the meanings of magic symbols are interesting. Below we've listed the 13 magic symbols we think are important to know and what they mean:
- Horned God
- Moon Phases
- Mars Sign
- Celtic Shield
- Witches Knot
The Horned God is sometimes depicted as a circle topped by what appears to be a crescent moon and is one of the few male magic symbols. The crescent moon, in reality, is a representation of the horns of a goat or another antlered beast. This magic symbol can mean strength, courage, or any masculine energy. The Horned God can be cast in spells of fertility or as a request for a successful hunt.
A Hexagram, also known as the Seal of Solomon or the Star of David, is actually two magic symbols. The upright triangle is the female symbol of water and the other triangle is the male symbol of fire. Both are elements of nature that are used in a variety of spells. In Christianity, the Hexagram symbolizes heaven and earth and can even be seen in the stained glass of churches. In magic, the Hexagram is used to call upon spirits or spiritual elements.
The Besom is another word for a broom. This is another magic symbol that is both male and female with the handle being the male and the bristles representing the female. There are several uses for the Besom in magic. Using it in a sweeping fashion can represent sweeping negativity and bad spirits from your home. Bristles up near a doorway are meant as a protective talisman when placed under someone's bed and offer the sleeper protection through the night.
The phases of the moon have always been important to people. Sailors have depended on it to change the tide. People swear that the cycle of the moon can alter one's behavior. As a magic symbol, the Moon Phases tell you when to cast certain spells. Spells meant for renewal should be done during the new moon, for change during the waxing moon, for bounty during the full moon, for a fresh start during a waning moon, and for peace and harmony during the dark moon.
Not only is the Mars Sign notably male and representative of the Roman god of war, it is also an aggressive magic symbol. There are many practitioners who believe in harming none and in a three-fold rule. That means that whatever you cast out will revisit you times three. The three-fold rule is to curb the impulse to cast in anger or out of spite. The three-fold rule is imagined to apply only as long as you are NOT using the Mars Sign. Using this magic symbol is thought to counter any magic cast against you.
The Celtic Shield is a popular amulet design and is Irish in origin. There are two meanings to this magic symbol. The first meaning is eternity, which is represented in the never-ending flow of the design. The second meaning is that of unbroken protection. People wear Celtic Shield amulets and have intricate tattoos today, and the same symbol can be seen in the medieval shields of knights.
This magic symbol is another one of Egyptian origin and has multiple meanings. If you look at Egyptian art and hieroglyphics, you will see the Ankh everywhere, especially being carried by those thought to be gods. The Ankh is a magic symbol of life, with the top rounded portion being the female and the lower straight portion being the male. The belief is that a person can wear an Ankh amulet to extend live or to protect from evil forces and aging.
An Athame is an interesting magic symbol because it is not just a symbol but an actual item used during certain rituals. Practitioners use an Athame as a representation of cutting. An example of this would be cutting the love of a past love away from you or releasing the thoughts of an ex from your mind. A Boline is used when there is physical cutting to be done, such as cutting a cord or carving symbols into candles.
The Witch's Knot is a female magic symbol and has several meanings. The most well-known meaning is one of protection, especially if the knot is drawn in a continuous line against male witchcraft. History suggests that people used the Witch's Knot for weather spells, love spells, and to bind and create strong magic circles. In olden times, you could find this symbol carved on doors to ward against evil people and evil spells.
Signs Used Together
The next four magic symbols are often used together, are important in circle casting, and have astrological ties. The affinity of each one belongs to a specific astrological sign that has deeper meanings regarding love and friendships. Another important point to make about elemental magic is that using these signs does not mean you will ever be able to control the element in question.
The magic symbol of Air is an upright triangle with a line through the top. Astrologically and magically, Geminis, Libras, and Aquarius' have an Air affinity. You cannot control air, but you can work on controlling how you verbalize your thoughts and seek higher levels of knowledge. Air is a male magic symbol belonging to the North and the season of Winter, and those with this affinity work their best magic in the middle of the night.
Cancers, Scorpios, and Pisces' have a water affinity. The magic symbol of water is an upside-down triangle and a feminine symbol. What those with this affinity need to focus on in their lives, and when working magic, is emotions and learning to listen to intuition. Water belongs to the East, the season of Spring, and the best time for magic related to water is sunrise.
The Fire magic symbol is an upright triangle and corresponds to the zodiac signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. This is another male sign, and those with a fire affinity need to work on controlling their fiery tempers and tapping into their creativity. Fire belongs to the warmest season of the year, Summer, and naturally finds its place in the South. The best magic time for Fire is high noon.
If you guessed that the magic symbol of Earth is an upside-down triangle with a line through the bottom, you would be correct. This last symbol is feminine and goes with the last group of zodiac signs: Tauras, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth elementals might have a harder life and need to be courageous even when things are difficult. Earth belongs to the renewal of Spring, sits in the East, and does the best magic at sunrise.
If you combine these four magic symbols, you get a pentagram. The top point would be Spirit, which is everything combined. The left and right would be Fire and Air, and the bottom points would be Water and Earth. Fire is also known as transformational magic and often requires candles and smudging. Water symbolizes the womb and is magic used to pull negativity away from you.
The magic symbol of Air means the breath of life and represents our very soul. Practitioners use feathers and incense when doing rituals that require Air. Mother Earth bears the magic symbol of Earth and is used in magic focused on abundance and fertility. Herbs, dirt, and flowers are common components of this magic. In most movies and television shows, elemental magic, whether white or black, is the type that is most often portrayed.
Understanding the 13 magic symbols is a good start to learning the basics. Magic symbols have a rich history that goes back to a time when most people were illiterate and sought ways to keep their history. Egyptians used magic symbols to tell the story of their gods and goddesses. Pagans and Wiccans have pulled Christian symbols into their world and given those symbols different meanings. Even deciding whether the spell is dark magic, elemental magic, white magic, voodoo, or hoodoo can change the meaning and intent of a magic symbol.
Learning about the origins and history of magic can reveal a lot about magic symbols, their meanings, and their uses. We think a great read is The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic. You can find this on Amazon.
Every culture has its own variation of magic symbols, and sometimes a knowledge of magic is unnecessary to feel a connection to a certain symbol based on your ethnicity. Those of Irish descent might like the symbolism of a Celtic Shield. Others with a Middle Eastern background could feel an attraction to an Ankh amulet or the Eye of Horus. There are some magic symbols that make for great and unique tattoos. Even the elemental magic symbols can have meaning for someone who doesn't practice magic.
Some women wear the symbol of the Triple Moon. The Triple Moon represents the maiden, the mother, and the crone; or waxing, full, and waning. Or, women in the same family may have just a portion of the triple symbol to show where they are in their life. Hectate's Wheel has a similar meaning but also means crossroads and entrances. There are people who associate this magic symbol with overcoming a difficult crossroad in life. Regardless of why you are interested in magic symbols, there is a vast history waiting to be explored and many connections to be made.