There are many symbols used by Pagans, and there is no one defining symbol of Paganism.
Some of the most frequently used symbols are pictured here. Each symbol has a wide range of meanings and interpretations. The final meaning of each symbol is left to the individual practitioner.
An example of multiple interpretations is theClick to enlarge the image if necessary.
This symbol represents the eight Sabbats of the Pagan year, including the solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters. However, for some people, this same symbol is the dharma wheel and represents the Noble Eightfold Path (one of the principal teachings of the Buddha), or the Eightfold Path of Gardnerian Wicca. 1
As you can now understand, it is impossible to judge a person's path by the symbols they use due to the multitude of interpretations of each symbol. Many of these symbols are also used in Christianity such as the triquetra and the pentagram. 2
This is a selection of the most popular Pagan symbols, but in no way does it encompass the hundreds of symbols utilized by Pagans. Explore more areas of the Library here on PaganPath and you will see more articles in the Symbols, Sigils & Alphabets section.
1. The Eightfold Path of Gardnerian Wicca
This has become "traditional writing" that has become so familiar to many of us that the original source is often forgotten. Gardner's Eightfold Path remains controversial and certainly not all Witches or Pagans follow Gardner or these "methods to enlightenment and bliss". When the Eightfold Path is used, they are often modified and altered by individual practitioners and groups. The original eight points from The Gardnerian Book of Shadows by Gerald Gardner, 1957, are as follows:
- Meditation or concentration, actually by the firm knowledge that you can and will succeed -- forming a clear picture in your mind or your requirements.
- Trance states, Clairvoyance, Projection of the Astral etc.
- Drugs, Wine, Incense.
- Dance, Performing Rites with a purpose.
- Chants, Spells etc.
- Blood control (Cords etc), Breath control.
- The Great Rite
2. Christian Symbols Ancient and Modern, by Heather Child, 1971.