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Ten Magical Symbols and Their Meanings.

Updated on July 12, 2015
Horned God symbol.
Horned God symbol. | Source

Horned God

The horned god is a deity found in Wicca and some other pagan traditions that represents the male aspect. Generally, he is considered to be associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting, and the life cycle. The horned god may be given various names and depicted differently depending on the tradition but is always shown as having either antlers or horns on his head. He is sometimes shown as having the head of a beast such as a goat or deer.

The horned god can be called upon in magic and spiritual work concerning fertility, sexuality, courage, strength and any time that a masculine energy is needed.

Athame symbol.
Athame symbol. | Source

Athame

An athame is a knife that is used in rituals, celebrations and spells. Generally they are not used for cutting other than if it is needed as part of a ritual or spell. An example of this would be to carve symbols onto a candle during a spell.

Traditionally athames have a black or natural wood handle. They can also be used in casting magical circles and in directing or focusing energy.

Altar symbol.
Altar symbol. | Source

Altar

Altars are used in many pagan traditions including Wicca and can be thought of as a focal point for all your magical work, devotion and as a symbolic representation of your inner self. You do not need to have a large or fancy table or space in order to create an altar, any flat surface where you can safely leave items such as candles, statues, crystals, incense and other symbolic items is fine. There is no right or wrong way to decorate your altar as it is a very personal representation of your individual path. However many people agree that it is an appropriate place to keep tools such as athame and bolines and that offerings to the god and goddess can be placed there. Items that symbolise the deity and elements are also often featured.

Salt symbol.
Salt symbol. | Source

Salt

Salt is a powerful absorber of energy that will hold on to energy so that it can be used in magic. Salt can also be used to remove negative energy from a room or space and in purification. Salt is commonly mixed with sand and then used to form magic circles and will protect those within it. It can also be sprinkled across thresholds, for example the front entrance of your house, or even around the entire edge of your property to help in warding away negative energy.

Crystals that are to be used in healing can be cleansed using salt water and if you have access to some, clean sea water can also be used. Other tools can be purified in this way and some people like to add salt to a cleansing bath taken before performing a ritual. Any form of salt can be used in this way; however some forms such as processed table salt can have other chemicals added including sodium fluoride or iodine. These could potentially have an effect on the salts workings

Wand symbol.
Wand symbol. | Source

Wand

A wand is used for channelling and directing energy. They are generally made from wood and can be decorated in a wide range of styles of left plain. A wand may be chosen based on the magical properties of the wood that it has been made from, for looks or because a person feels drawn towards it. It is also possible to make a wand yourself, which enables you to customise it to your exact wishes and means that your energy and intent can be implanted into the wand as you create it.

A wand should never be borrowed or lent to anyone else and should be thought of as an extension of the owner. If you buy a wand it should be cleansed in order to remove the energy of anyone else that may have been in contact with it previously.

Broom (besom) symbol.
Broom (besom) symbol. | Source

Broom

A broom is often known as a besom in magical circles and is mainly used for the sweeping of ceremonial spaces before a ritual. The besom is used not only to physically clear and clear the space but to additionally clear any negative and stale energy that has accumulated in the area.

You can buy a ready-made besom or like wands, you can make one for yourself. They can be made with a range of natural materials and birch and willow are common choices.

Magic Circle symbol.
Magic Circle symbol. | Source

Magic Circle

A magic circle is a circle marked out by a practitioner in order to create a safe space to practice magic or perform a ritual within. The circle is intended to contain the energy needed for their magical work as well as protect them and the ritual from any other energy and negativity from outside. Creating a magic circle is often known as casting a circle or circle casting.

A magic circle can be purely visualised or it can be physically marked using chalk, salt, herbs or other materials. If these are being used they may be chosen based on the magical properties that they also possess either in protection or to correspond with and benefit the ritual that will be taking place.

Peace symbol.
Peace symbol. | Source

Peace

This symbols representing peace is also sometimes drawn with the circles slightly overlapping. It can be used at any time you wish to attract or illustrate peace and harmony of all. For example: the symbol could be carved into candles to be used in a spell, written in a book of shadows or placed within your home.

Magic symbol.
Magic symbol. | Source

Magic

Magic is the ability to produce change by connecting with the natural energies of the Earth and universe. Energy exists within and joins all things and manipulating this can bring about changes in the physical plane. S.L. MacGregor Mathers of the Order of the Golden Dawn described it by saying "Magic is the science of the control of the secret forces of nature.".

Magic is an art form that can be learnt through dedication and practice even if you do not have a natural talent for it. The power of magic comes from within the person as well as the energy that t harnesses. It should be practiced with great respect and care at all times.

This symbol is also sometimes used to represent magical strength.

Fertility symbol.
Fertility symbol. | Source

Fertility

Fertility can be thought of as the natural ability to produce offspring. This can apply to human and animal fertility and reproduction as well as matter such as the fertility of the soil and how this has an effect on crops that are grown or on animals that graze that land.

There are many pagan and nature based rituals and practices that can be performed to help enhance or to celebrate fertility, whether that is human fertility, animal fertility or to ensure a good healthy crop for the year. Maypole dancing is one well known example and is performed to welcome spring and bring good luck to farmers for the coming year.

© 2015 Claire

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    • Elderberry Arts profile image
      Author

      Claire 2 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you both :)

      DzyMsLizzy, where you live can have an impact on how you work. I used to live by the sea so could easily collect shells, sand or use seawater and now cannot. Salt on its own is perfect fine but I always think that if something feels right to you, then it is right for your personal practice. If you feel drawn to collect some earth and mix that with your salt then I would say try it out and see how you feel' Also as you said the sand will be present naturally in the ground to aid you even if you don't. Thank you for sharing.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Thank you for this educational piece. Much appreciated by this novice.

      I would ask, regarding the 'mixing' of salt and sand...what about where we live? The ground IS very sandy earth. I have usually just sprinkled salt about the area, or over the items I wish to cleanse.

      (I do use table salt, but I only buy plain salt, not the iodized kind.)

      Voted up, interesting and useful; shared and pinned as well. ;-)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Useful grouping of symbolism here, for anyone in any Pagan religion. Makes a great guide, great job!