This article aims to unravel some of the confusion around the many symbols of Wicca. One symbol speaks a thousand incarnations, and this can sometimes be a little tricky to fathom. Here we will discover the underlying nature of what these Wiccan symbols represent, so you can find the ones that fit your spiritual path.
The symbols associated with Wicca have caused a lot of confusion, especially when compared to Christianity. For instance the Horned God is often seen as Satan. No wonder most people are either confused or scared, as most information can be quite contradictory. Passed down like Chinese whispers through many groups at different times within its history.
Here we can see the trajectory of the associated meanings of the symbols, leading to a greater understanding and deeper wisdom of the craft, we will begin to see the beautiful unfolding story of this truly magical practice.
The Pentacle is the most recognizable, most powerful, and most revered symbol in Wicca. Used as a powerful talisman for protection and manifestation, displayed within Wiccan homes, and carried as jewelry when traveling.
Often mistaken for the pentagram, the pentacle is a symbol of the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Aether, as well as North, South, East, West, and the spirit world, within each point of a star, encircled within the universe.
Some believe the circle is the representation of the ability of a witch to contain and control all of these elements as well as being contained within the universe.
Use the Pentacle when spell casting to direct the energy of the intention, to protect your surroundings both in the physical and spiritual realm. Decorate and protect your altar with this energy when manifesting, and on a daily basis to encapsulate the energy of the everlasting power that it contains.
The pentacle is a powerful manifestation tool and in Wicca, it is known as a portal to the other world and holds the symbolic frequency of all creation, as the opened section in the middle of the Pentacle is said to represent the womb of a woman.
It is also known that the star within the pentacle is that of Man; the head upwardly pointing to the stars or the divine connection to source, two arms, and two legs. It tells us that we are a direct reflection of the stars.
Celestial Power: Some see the pentacle as a star overlaying the full moon making it represent the heavens and celestial energy. It can be used in this aspect to invoke universal and moon energy.
The Triple Goddess
The triple goddess represents the triunity of the feminine side of the deity. Intuitive, creative, and magical. She is considered to be the ultimate creator of the Universe and birthed the ‘God’ into existence when she set the universe in motion.
The feminine goddess of Wicca, the triple goddess is a symbol of the three separate stages of womanhood: The Maiden, Mother, and Crone. She is the Lady of all Love and the great fertile giver of life. She is, in Wiccan lore, the lover of all, yet she is wed to none, and her sacred color is white.
You will see many incarnations of goddess forms, such as Selene, Goddess of the Moon, Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic and motherhood, and Diana, goddess of the hunt. They all represent various aspects of the stages of womanhood and are interwoven within the energy of the Triple Goddess.
The Horned God
This is a symbol that has been most misunderstood and feared, although the horned God is not a form of Satan or evil in any way, he is the symbol of the wild man and the hunter. Strong, sexual and magical, rooted in nature and the wilderness. He is the masculine aspect of the all-encompassing life force.
In Greek mythology he is known as Pan, In English folklore he is known as Herne and to the Welsh; God Bran. The mythology of the Wiccan Wheel of the year is reflected through the cycles of birth, death and rebirth, with the Horned God dying each Autumn and being reborn in the Spring. Growing strong throughout the Summer and co-creating with the Goddess only to die again, and thus the cycle continues.
The Horned God is not meant to be represented as evil or as the devil, as Wicca doesn’t follow the teachings of Christianity. It is a symbol of the true nature of Man, through the Godhood and is part of a duality similar to the Buddhist teachings of Yin and Yang.
Together with the goddess it makes the universal energy of creation and represents the dark parts of all that is. This is not to be confused with evil energy, rather see it as duality and there cannot be light without darkness.
The undercurrent of the Horned God Energy is seen in the wilderness, in nature and the wild forces that may look scary but are a necessary part of the codes of life and death.
When using the energy of both the triple Goddess and the Horned God you may hear them being referred to as the Lady and Lord of Wicca. The wholeness of the sacred feminine and sacred masculine when used in divine unity, is a powerful entity.
When used in spell casting call upon the Goddess and God as a pair, to work with relationship or marriage problems, as well as humanitarian work aligning the world back into harmony. And just as we try to raise the sacred feminine, we must remember that the sacred masculine is just as important and together they create the most magical tool of all: Love.
The Witch’s Knot
The witches knot is a symbol that can be drawn continually without ever having to take the pen from the paper, offering protection and binding powers to whatever desired intention. Also known as the witch’s charm or magical charm. This symbol is used by witches both in symbolic and physical form.
Using rope to tie up and bind spells, especially in protection spells. The magic used by weaving the intention is called imitative magic, bringing down the intention from the spirit realms, into the physical. Witches often use this knot to create powerful spells such as:
- Binding the winds: Used to halt the winds needed in navigation, shutting down all paths from unwanted guests by seas. The spell can only then be broken by cutting all threads of the knot.
- Protecting the home: years ago the witch’s knot was scratched into the walls above the doorways of houses to offer protection.
- Jewelry: used by many witches as talismans of protection, made by wrapping up wire or engraving the symbol.
Use this symbol by drawing it on paper or on the body during spells chanting the words:
“I bind this knot as the keeper all of the energy, too seal the safety of my path.
Until the cord becomes undone.
As so it is and so it is.”
The Celtic Knot
The Celtic knot is seen in many forms; one of the most iconic in Wicca is the triquetra which translates to ‘three-cornered’ or ‘triangle’. This symbol is also a representation of the triple goddess. The knots representing the three stages of womanhood and the circle representing the moon and the womb. It is also a reminder of the threefold rede of Wicca.
Christianity also adopted this symbol after neopagan times as the trinity knot. As you can begin to see, the influence of Christianity has its roots buried deep within pagan rituals.
The Witch’s Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the year is split into eight parts and represents Wiccan celebrations according to the flux in nature throughout the year, these are:
|Northern Hemisphere||Southern Hemisphere|
|Samhain||October 31||April 30 / May 1|
|Winter Solstice / Yule||December 21/22||June 21|
|Spring Equinox / Ostara||March 21/22||September 21/22|
|Beltane||May 1||October 31 / November 1|
|Summer Solstice / Litha||June 21/22||December 21/22|
|Lughnasadh / Lammas||July 31 / August 1||February 1/2|
|Autumnal Equinox / Mabon||September 21/22||March 21|
The wheel of the year is set into eight parts and represents infinity and the wholeness of each individual power of seasons within Mother Earth. The wheel of the year is also encircled like the pentacle, as a sign of being held within the universes throughout its ebbs and flows.
It is a reminder that we are always whole no matter whether we are in darkness or in light. Using the wheel of the year is a great way to connect back to nature and to honor Gaia, the Goddess of the natural world.
Gaia was a greek goddess, the heart of the Earth, and her Love was so strong it was able to spring life into existence (the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess).
Honor Gaia by keeping the Earth around you clean, plant trees, flowers, and use the earth to plant seasonal vegetables and herbs. Witches understood a long time ago, that the body is a reflection of the earth and by using the seasonal harvest and honoring the day and night in its stages, was most beneficial for the body.
Part of the path of Wicca is using the undercurrent energies of the planet.
Alchemists encapsulated the meaning of the symbols in a hierarchal form, with the more spiritual ascending elements toward the point into the spirit world, these are air and water, whereas the more physical elements were at the bottom of the pentacle, earth and fire.
Just like everything in nature, the duality of all things also lies within the elemental forces. The elements also have corresponding links to masculine and feminine energy alongside whether the element is war, cold, dry or moist. This can be a great indicator when using the elements in your rituals or spells. Such as light, dark, warm and cold all hold different energies.
The feminine signs of the elements – Earth and water are cold, dark, passive and dark. Whereas the masculine elements – fire and air, are warm, light and active. These are represented in either upward or downward points on the triangular symbols placed within the pentacle.
The elemental masculine signs point upwards toward the spirit and the feminine triangles point down toward the Earth.
- Air and earth are opposites and have the crossbar.
- Water and fire are also opposites and lack the crossbar.
The elements also have corresponding links to masculine and feminine energy alongside whether the element is war, cold, dry or moist. This can be a great indicator when using the elements in your rituals or spells.
The element of air represents the mind, intelligence, communication, dreams, psychic ability and inspiration. Air is the element of new beginnings, creativity and wisdom.
To use the air element in your spells or rituals, burn incense, throw herbs out into the air, hang objects and symbols from trees. The Magickal element of air is used in ritual for wind magick, divination, karma, and prophecy work.
Qualities: Warm, masculine and light.
Place on pentacle: Upper left.
Colors: Yellow, white and crimson.
Magickal Tools: Wand and sword.
Animals: Eagle, raven and spider.
Zodiac signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
Goddesses: Aradia, Arianrhod, Cardea, Nuit, Urania.
Gods: Enlil, Kheoheva, Merawrim, Shu, Thoth.
The Earth symbol represents stability, abundance and grounding. It is used in magic in burying rituals, as its receptive energy will keep your desired intention locked into the earth forever. It has slow ever-growing energy, great for a love spell that you want to last forever, not just for a hot second of passion (which a fire spell would be more suited).
It is a great symbol for herbalists and kitchen witchery (hang the symbol in your kitchen engraved from wood or stone) along with wealth and financial spells.
Qualities: Cold, dry.
Gender: Feminine (passive).
Place on pentacle: Lower left.
Colors: Black, green, yellow and brown.
Magickal tools: Pentagram, crystals, rocks, stone and soil.
Animals: Cow, bull, dog, ant, bear and wolf.
Zodiac signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
Moon: New Moon.
Goddesses: Ceres, Demeter, Gaea, Mah, Nephthys, Persephone, Rhea.
Gods: Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Mardyk, Pan, Tammuz.
The fire symbol is associated with strength, change, activity, passion, blood, and the life force of power. It is used for quick, powerful spells that spark the ignition to have an effected change straight away. It is used in rituals to purify energies, especially when using sage, bay leaf and Palo Santo (holy wood) and driving dark forces back to where they came from.
Fire is one of the greatest links to the spirit world as it has no physical form and can burn holes between the physical and spiritual realms. Fire is an active sign and is a great tool in motivation. Eating fiery foods such as chillies or coffee helps dispel procrastination.
Be careful when using the fire element in ritual not only with the quick powerful energy you may unlock too soon for you to handle, but also protect your home, self and surroundings by using fireproof containers and practicing larger rituals outside.
Qualities: Warm, dry.
Gender: Masculine (active).
Place on pentacle: Lower right.
Colors: Red, orange, gold.
Magickal tools: Cauldron, incense, candles, matches, paper.
Animals: Dragon, lion, snake, phoenix.
Planet: The Sun.
Zodiac signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.
Moon: Full Moon.
Goddesses: Brigit, Hestia, Pele, Vesta.
Gods: Agni, Horus, Prometheus, Vulcan.
The symbol of water is all about flow, movement, emotions, absorption, purification and the wisdom of the soul, in contrasts to air its intelligence is that of unconscious wisdom and the truth of all things. Use for spells and rituals by pouring sacred water over objects, using salt baths for purification. Divination, scrying and mirror work.
Qualities: Cold, moist.
Place on pentacle: Upper right.
Time: Twilight, dusk.
Colors: Blue, turquoise, green, grey, indigo and black.
Magickal tools: Chalice, cup, cauldron, goblet, mirror.
Animals: Crab, scorpion, fish, water snakes, frog, cat, turtle.
Zodiac signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Isis, Marianne, Mari, Tiamat, Yemaha.
Gods: Dylan, Ea, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon.
Symbols are the codes of life. They have mathematical and geometrical messages and have been used throughout most civilizations and religions. When we take a closer look at these magical portals, we begin to encapsulate the energy and frequency they hold.
They are sometimes overlooked as decorative logos of a religion or group. When we step closer to the wisdom they possess, we begin to understand the meaning of life and the Universe.
Using symbols within your craft is a powerful way of opening up portals of energy and can be seen as the key to the doors of other worlds. Choosing your symbol during spell casting is just as important as the herbs, oils, and colors.