Since ancient times, men have used symbols to which they attribute particular properties and which, sometimes, they wore or painted on their bodies in order to protect themselves from negative influences.
Despite everything, man has always lived in a material world so that, in order not to lose contact with his own spirituality completely, he needed visible and tangible feedback.
Think, for example, of the amulets or talismans that are still used today and that act as good luck charms (the former) and protectors (the latter): how can we not refer to the well-known Christian cross?
Ancient protection symbols
We live in a world dotted with symbols with the most disparate meanings that escape our primary sense or view; however, a more careful and curious vision is enough to magically discover that even our cities hide designs with cryptic and intriguing meaning and that have their origin in the amazing evolutionary path of our species.
Even today, we are used to using symbols that, for us, have a clear and univocal meaning but that, in reality, have been taken from very ancient cultures and whose ritual and symbolic value was actually very different.
For these reasons, in this article I will talk about ancient protection symbols still used in the esoteric field by defining them by historical and anthropological origin, because, to fully understand the real meaning of a symbol, it is essential to know its origins. Let’s see what the most powerful and iconic ancient protection symbols of all time are.
Tree of Life
A symbol of ancient origins, used by many cultures with different names, the Tree of Life represents birth and rebirth, exemplifying life itself in 4 recurring elements.
- The roots, stable and firm in the depths of the earth, represent the family and relationships.
- The leaves, healthy and numerous, bode well for a rich and stimulating life.
- The fruits, ripe and abundant, depict the opportunities offered by fate.
- The sun, often not represented, but essential for growth, the divine presence of which life itself is composed.
These 4 figures can be associated with earth, air, water, and fire. The trunk is the bridge between the earth and the sky, the low and the high, the good and the bad. It represents the path that everyone takes in life in search of God or, more generally, of their own spirituality.
In the Hebrew Kabbalah, this tree is concentrated in two basic concepts: Ein Sof and the Sephiroth. Ein Sof is the divine essence, the energy of the universe, and the Sephiroth are ten emanations of God. The 10 energy centers (Sephiroth) and the paths that derive from them make up the 32 ways of wisdom.
Talking about it in these terms is reductive and widely interpretable; the Tree of Life is an esoteric symbol of powerful and complex protection, which can be given in the presence of a new life or to guide and protect a soul in the paths of its existence.
Flower of Life
The Flower of Life is a geometric figure, a symbol and, at the same time, a pattern. Used since ancient times to indicate the whole of creation and the origin of everything. Its harmonious structure is made up of overlapping circles, all coming from a central circle, the source of life itself.
According to Drunvalo, there is nothing in the world that is not connected to the Flower of Life, from which everything comes. The Flower of Life is therefore soul and body, creator and container; inside you can find other esoteric symbols of protection such as:
- The Seed of Life,
- The Egg of Life,
- The Tripod of Life,
- The mystical almond,
- The Tree of Life.
The ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol also known as a key to life or a cross with a cross, symbolizes life and is a mysterious talisman that takes on different meanings based on the context in which it is used.
Even today, Egyptologists struggle to find an unequivocal answer to the meaning of the ankh, which could be a stylization of the womb as well as a symbolic representation of the rising of the sun; there are many theories, but it is generally recognized as a symbol of the union of the two cosmic principles, as a union between earth and sky.
The ankh is one of the most used esoteric symbols of protection, as an amulet that infuses health and life force and defends the spirit and body from any negativity.
Although it cannot be defined as esoteric, the lotus flower is present in many ancient cultures and has mysterious origins. It was brought to its maximum expansion by Buddhism, which considers it a symbol of purity, well-being, and regeneration. The lotus flower has the ability to grow even in stagnant waters, sinking its roots in the mud and keeping its natural beauty intact.
For this reason, it is universally recognized as the representation of those who manage to remain immaculate and pure despite the many difficulties and temptations of the world. Often combined with the famous Om, it can be used as a symbol of protection, purity, and harmony.
The pentacle is one of the oldest and most widely used esoteric symbols of protection ever. Famous for the simplicity of its forms and the strength of its symbolism, it is represented by a pentagram inscribed in a circle. The antiquity of this symbol is lost far behind in human history.
Contrary to what many think, the pentacle does not have a negative energy; on the contrary, in western culture, it represents microcosm and macrocosm, the whole act of creation, the whole, and was used as a sacred symbol in pagan culture linked to the goddess Venus. In many cultures, the ability to protect against negative influences is attributed to the pentacle.
The cross, a symbol of Christianity, certainly represents the greatest protection symbol that exists. Above all, wearing a T-shaped cross is usually associated with the Saint Francis of Assisi. Almost all critics know very well that the cross is a symbol of the sacrifice of Christ, who immolated himself like a lamb to defeat any trace of sin.
Hamsa or “Hand of Fatima”
Actually, the word hamsa, in the Arabic language, means five and represents the fingers of the human hand. Considered as a unanimous protection amulet, it takes away the evil eye and bad intentions, returning to mischievous, unpleasant situations. In practice, it is a hand that “blocks” evil, thus it is represented as if it were in the “stop” position.
The triquetra generally symbolizes and protects the family union, whose elements (generally three) are represented by the tips. It also represents all that is threefold and therefore birth, life, and death but also the body, mind, and spirit.
This is a symbol of Chinese origin which means the perfect balance between light and darkness, but it is also a symbol of protection for the spiritual union of couples.
This is generally known as a symbol of the medical sciences and of hospital organizations (and also of pharmacies). This symbol has Greek origins, being, in fact, the symbol of Hermes (the messenger of the Gods, also called Mercury); it symbolizes the vital energy (from the Greek kundalini) that rises up the spine and is represented by two twin snakes, one male and the other female.
How to use ancient protection symbols?
The best thing to do is choose a symbol that give can give you protection in the field you want it to. Feel if any of these symbols attract you and send you positive vibes. That’s the best way to choose the perfect one for you. You can wear it, keep it in your home, in your office, or in your car.
Do whatever feels best for you, but I highly recommend wearing something like a necklace if you need some personal protection, as this works wonderfully. If you need protection all over your home, hang it on a wall or place it where you can see it and let the energy and protective effects flow.
How to Cast a Protection Spell on a Necklace? [Step-by-Step]
Guide: How to Make a Talisman for Protection [7 Magickal Steps]
How to Charge a Talisman for Protection? [Different Methods]
Most Powerful Wiccan Love Symbols [And How To Use Them]
Do I need to consecrate them?
It depends! If you buy one online, I highly recommend to consecrate it as you don’t know the history behind it and how genuine its manufacture and processing was. But if you buy it in a local, physical store and it gives you good vibes and you feel comfortable with it from the very beginning, just wear it.
If someone you love gives it to you as a gift you and you feel this gift was made from a place of love, you can wear it too. But if someone you are not getting along with so well gives you a necklace or any other sort of item with ancient protection symbols, don’t wear it unless you cleanse it and consecrate it with your energy!