Symbols have been used since the beginning of history to represent thoughts, ideas, and emotions. They are universal in nature with no language barriers.
Symbols can be used as a form of communication or they may simply be decorative.
Symbols are not always literal representations but rather stand for something else entirely.
Symbols of eternity incorporate beliefs about the material world, the heavens, gods, mythology, the afterlife, and of course, eternity itself.
They span across all cultures and religions of the world. People use them to express emotions such as love, beauty, trust, and hope. They can exist in art and design.
Many kinds of symbols depict eternity, and their meanings and origination are each a unique representation of their era.
Let’s look at some fascinating symbols of eternity and what their deeper meanings might be.
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Many people value the infinity symbol for its promise of endless protection, love, and beauty.
It is a reminder that despite challenges, struggles or opposition, balance, and simplicity is achievable.
Many crafting and tattoo designs have incorporated its design as works of art to convey such an expression.
Its primary allure is spiritual significance, and its characteristics may include:
In addition, the infinity symbol promotes your ability to make insightful and meaningful decisions.
Furthermore, the infinity symbol restores the balance between man and woman and light and darkness.
It can bring unity where there is separation and restore harmony in conflicted relationships.
The infinity symbol also takes on different attributes for different cultures.
In Chinese culture, for example, it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
The Endless Knot is also called the eternal knot or the mystical knot.
In Sanskrit (an ancient Indo-European language of India), it’s known as “srivatsa.”
The mystic knot began as a symbol of Lakshmi on Vishnu’s chest in India, Lakshmi is the Vedic goddess of riches, and this sign promises prosperity.
The Endless Knot is supposed to swallow its tail, symbolizing knowledge and compassion’s everlasting nature.
The endless knot is the sixth of the eight fortunate symbols in Buddhism.
When the Buddha gained enlightenment, the eight together are believed to have been brought to him with offerings.
The knot is also a symbol of knowledge and compassion, so these knots are common throughout India and Asia, in the forms of:
- Ornamental charms
- Crafts and apparel.
It appears in Celtic and Chinese symbology, with Tibetan Buddhism regarding it as the never-ending cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation.
The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol of eternity – specifically, eternal life.
You can often see ankhs associated with important Egyptian figures to preserve their immortality.
The Ankh has strong symbolism and references in the elements, namely its:
- Depiction of life
- The sun
All of these aspects are a part of its essence, and it was a way to preserve the dead, thus providing immortality.
Interestingly, the meaning of the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for the Ankh follows the same pattern and has specific meanings pertaining to life and beauty, including:
Many experts believe the symbol is a flexible material knot, such as fabric or reeds.
It is like an amulet worn around the neck because of the manner employed to tie it.
The fundamental role of Egyptian deities was to maintain life.
As a result, the Ankh was commonly portrayed in the hands of gods, symbolizing their life-giving power.
The Egyptians also thought that they could resurrect one another from the dead.
As a result, the gods were frequently represented in tombs delivering ankhs to people.
Ouroboros is an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity that dates back thousands of years.
It is usually depicted by a snake or dragon with its body in a circle and eating its tail.
The Ouroboros is frequently used as a metaphor for eternal concepts, including:
- Cycle of life
The snake shedding their skin represents a soul’s changing location.
The Ouroboros was used on magical talismans in Egypt until the Roman era.
A snake chewing its tail is represented in Gnosticism as the soul of the universe or a twelve-part dragon around the world with its tail in its jaws.
The snake Jörmungandr, one of Loki and Angrboda’s three children, became so enormous that it could surround the globe and grab its tail in its jaws, according to Norse mythology.
Every mythological belief shares the common theme that a creature similar to a snake or a dragon exists and encompasses the earth.
Armenia Wheel of Eternity
The Armenian wheel of eternity sign is common in Armenian architecture, especially on religious structures or governmental significance walls.
Despite its appearance, the original Armenian Wheel was a cross bent either to the right or left.
Due to its different uses for expression, its design started to change, and so the modern symbol looks more like a wheel.
The Armenian Wheel has been a symbol to guard Armenian warriors for centuries and even still today.
Popular belief states that the horizontal line depicts the material world, and the vertical line symbolizes the spiritual world and the universe.
The right side represents life and eternity, and the left side depicts death.
Together, they rotate eternally and represent the various aspects of life and death.
The Triskele sign is also known as the Triskelion, which consists of three intertwined spirals.
It is one of the earliest Irish emblems in existence.
Triskeles appear in ancient and modern Celtic art, representing the Celtic understanding of the six plains of existence:
Each category focuses on a different area of individual development, human evolution, and spiritual improvement.
It signifies rebirth since it consists of a single continuous line; the uninterrupted passage of time.
A Triskele depicts the process of continually progressing toward a level of consciousness that aims to achieve the ultimate human wisdom.
Another hypothesis claims that the triskele at Newgrange is supposed to depict pregnancy because it looks like a womb, and each spiral represents three months of pregnancy, a total of 9 months.
Greek Key (Meander Pattern)
The Greek Key is a pattern that is famous for its uses, such as with:
- Decorative art
- Governmental buildings
It dates back to ancient Greek and Roman-Byzantine cultures dating back as early as the 18th century.
Due to its widespread use in Greece, it is frequently associated with Greek culture and fashion.
While many believe the pattern shape to be that of a traditional key, others believe that the twisting body of the Meander River in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) is the source of the name.
The word “meander” directly translates into “to take an indirect path,” closely associated with the Greek Key and its pattern.
In Ancient Greek, it symbolized eternity and the eternal circle and flow of human life.
The nature of the pattern’s interlocking design attributed it to both unity and infinity.
Recent discoveries even suggest it was a tool used for ancient Greek gymnastics and martial arts during the Olympic Games and war.
Ancient Egyptian religion placed a high value on the Shen Ring.
The hieroglyphic term “shen” meant “encircle,” represented as a stylized rope loop in hieroglyphs. It was associated with:
- The sun
The Shen Ring was commonly worn by the vulture goddess Nekhbet and the falcon deity Horus to signify eternal protection.
Because the Shen Ring has no beginning or end, it symbolized eternity for this amulet.
Its round shape was connected with the sun, and it frequently featured in paintings accompanied by birds, such as the hawk, and portraying it emerging from the sun.
The Shen rings were believed to have the power to protect against diseases.
Magicians locked themselves inside a magic circle surrounded by symbols and names of “power” that was nothing but physical representations of the magician’s unconscious.
The symbols of power would allow them to fight against themselves and release energies that would shape depending on the performed ritual.
Tree Of Life
The tree of life shares different illustrations in many of the world’s mythologies and philosophies, and beliefs.
It connects all forms of creation, connecting:
- Tree of knowledge
- Beliefs in Buddhism
- Iranian mythology
- Ancient Mesopotamia
- Chinese mythology
The Bo tree is the tree under which the Buddha sat when he attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
It was a vital religious symbol often depicted as being attended by human or eagle-headed humanoids or Kings in ancient Mesopotamia.
In Iranian mythology, several illustrations of trees stress eternity and life, like Amesha Spenta Amordad.
Chinese mythology is a tree and a dragon’s power of immortality.
The tree produces a peach of immortality every three thousand years, and those who consume the fruit go on to receive immortality.
In Christianity, the tree of life appears at the beginning and the end of the bible. It grants immortality to those who eat its fruit.
Triquetra (Trinity Knot)
The triquetra is also known as a trinity knot, and it is most commonly found in:
- Irish jewelry designs
- Decorative crafts
- Engagement rings
Celtic paganism may identify with the knot as realms of the land, sea, and sky.
The symbol is also recognized by Wiccans and those with new age beliefs as the Celtic Triple Goddess sign.
It may be possible for the trinity knot to have a circle around it, which on its own is symbolic of eternity.
As such, together, they represent a love that lasts forever and never fades.
Due to its deep and somewhat spiritual significance, many people opt to get a Trinity Knot as a tattoo.
In certain cultures, the trinity knot takes the form of three female figures:
- The maiden
- The mother
- The crone
The maiden is symbolic of youth, innocence, pleasure, and new tidings.
The mother represents maternal love, maturity, and fertility.
Lastly, the crone incorporates both the maiden and mother but focuses on the wisdom learned from both of them.
A ‘ka’ statue is an ancient Egyptian statue that serves as a resting place for a person’s ka (life-force or soul) after death.
The ‘ka,’ together with the physical body and shadow, made up the five characteristics of a person:
- ka (life force)
- ba (soul)
- swt/sheu (shadow)
- ib (heart)
- ren (identity)
The ethereal parts of the soul were thought to be liberated from the body after death.
However, to roam the world freely, they need to return to a physical body and utilize it as a vessel.
The ka statues made this possible and permitted them to have a new home.
In Abydos, for example, hundreds of ka statues were erected for the dead to join in commemorating the resurrection of Osiris.
The design of the arms was occasionally made in the owner’s likeness to strengthen the spiritual link and keep the person’s memory alive for all time.
It was also used in a ritual that kept the deceased bodies from rotting, enabling them to travel freely in the afterlife.
“Merkaba” consists of three meanings; light, spirit, and body.
They form the communion between the physical body and the spirit, and the light is used to transport them to higher planes of existence or the heavens.
In fact, in ancient Hebrew, the word means “chariot.” It is commonly used for meditation purposes for power and to gain awareness.
The aim is for the user to reach down and obtain the best version of themselves, thereby reaching their full potential.
It, in turn, brings forth healing energies, and these healing energies can transcend other dimensions.
Many symbols of eternity have existed throughout the world, and although their meanings have shared similarities, they are unique in their origin.
The natural curiosity of the afterlife has led to endless searching, and some beliefs aspire to balance, freedom and power.
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