Wicca Goddess Symbols

Goddess symbols and Wicca symbols are almost interchangeable. Virtually every Wicca symbol relates to the Wicca Goddess or God, in its core meaning.

And since Wiccans primarily honour the Goddess, Her symbols are often used by Wiccans. So the Crescent Moon, the Spiral, the Circle and so on are common Wicca symbols.

Still, on these pages I've attempted to separate symbols which refer primarily to the Goddess from those used primarily as Wiccan.

In other words, the Goddess symbols on this page are used to represent the Goddess by more traditions than Wicca.


Goddess Symbols in Wicca Spirituality

Why are Goddess symbols important in Wicca Spirituality?

Spirituality is concerned with the meanings behind things. And symbols are like gateways into deeper reality. When you work with a symbol, you begin to see beyond it, to the Divine Herself.

In Wicca Spirituality, we celebrate the Great Goddess through her symbols. When identifying the Goddess any of these symbols can be used.


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Traditional Goddess Symbols



A list of common Goddess Symbols in alphabetical order . . .

  Apple
Bitch
Black

Circle
Cowrie Shell
Crescent Moon

Darkness
Double Spiral
Earth
Elder
Eye of Maat
Hecate's Wheel

Labyrinth
Moon
Ocean
Rose
Serpent
Shell

Silver
Snake
Spiral
Triple Moon
Triple Spiral
Vesica Piscis

Apple

goddess-symbol-pentacle-appleThe apple has long been associated with the worship of the Goddess.

Note the story of Eve and the Serpent (one of the eternal Goddess symbols). When Eve ate the apple, she was taking in Divine wisdom - the knowledge that she is Divine. Thus she would become immortal.

The apple seems to have always been associated with death and eternal life.

Walker writes,

"Graves [in Greek Myths, vol. 2] points out that the whole story of Eve, Adam, and the serpent in the tree was deliberately misinterpreted from icons showing the Great Goddess offering life to her worshipper, in the form of an apple, with the tree and its serpent [the sacred guardian] in the background." (Barbara Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p 49.)

Naturally a jealous God - who wants to be the only god - would outlaw such knowledge of one's divinity! But since it is Truth, He couldn't keep it hidden forever. So when it came out, He decided to keep us so busy with survival and pain that we wouldn't have time to notice our divinity.

It worked pretty well!

Luckily the Goddess is more compassionate, and not threatened by others being empowered. She gave us plenty of hints along the way, to remember.

One of these is the apple. Cut in half, its seed bed - the most potent part of the fruit - reveals the sacred 5-pointed star within the circle of apple skin.

This is the pentacle - the expression of One Divinity as all facets of the world. (See also Wicca Symbol - Seed, and - Pentacle.)

It can't be coincidence that it was an apple which woke Isaac Newton up to a new insight into reality!

The Goddess is still working to wake us up to the knowledge of our own sacred essence. And the process is picking up momentum, thank goodness.

Because the Goddess is the Divine manifest. She is "dead" or "sleeping" as long as we are ignorant of Her. When we wake up, the Goddess will truly by Alive.

Think of this next time you eat an apple. -spirituality-goddess-symbols

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Bitch

goddess-symbol-black-dog Black dogs are common as witches' familiars.

Dogs were associated with various goddesses, such as Artemis, Athena, and Sarama. Not only as icons, but as the Goddess Herself - beginning with the Great Bitch Sarama, through Greek Artemis, to Roman Diana and Lupa.

The Scythians who worshipped Artemis were called her Hunting Dogs. Her priestesses were her Sacred Bitches.

To be a Bitch is to be a Goddess-identified woman, a priestess of Divine Mother.

Such a woman is naturally unlikely to take a lot of guff. Especially from people who's only motive is to make her obedient. So a Bitch is a strong, independently-minded woman. This is thought of as a bad thing only by those who value subservience. wicca-goddess-symbols-winking_witch

There is evidence that to be called a "son of a Bitch," far from being a curse, may have signified a man who had a strong pagan mother, or who was a spiritual son of the Goddess.

. . . Which made it a natural curse once Goddess worship was outlawed, just like "pagan," "heathen," and so many other words.

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Black

Black is a symbol of the Great Goddess as the pregnant Void or Chaos or Implicate Reality - the nothingness from which all form arises.

As such, black represents all that is dark, mysterious and unknown. It suggests all that is threatening, to those who are resistant to change. It also promises unlimited potential.

This is the face of the Goddess known as All Possibility.

Black is also the symbol of "undoing," going back into that Void. The dark season of winter, and death, and the unconscious.

So, what does this mean in terms of Black Magick? It has gotten a bad reputation, but what would it look like if we reclaimed the Black side of magick? (Read more on the real Black Magick.)

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Circle

The Circle is the quintessential Goddess symbol.

The Moon, the Earth, a lactating breast, a pregnant belly are all Circles. Life is a circle. Eggs and many seeds are, roughly, circular. The stars and the seasons and the Sun all travel in circles around the Earth - at least visibly. Chakras are also circular.

The Circle represents protected space, and sacred space. They also represent equal power-sharing . . . People who gather in Circles meet as equals, with no single person set apart or above the others.

Anything that contains a Circle reflects unmistakably an aspect of the Goddess.

See also Spiral.

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Cowrie Shell

The Cowrie Shell may be one of the original Goddess symbols. It has been a symbol of rebirth from at least 20,000 BCE. It represents the female Gate of Life - the yoni.

The Romans called Cowrie Shells matriculus, which means little matrix or little womb. (Barbara Walker, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects, p 508.)

The name Cowrie comes from Kauri, which was sometimes translated as Brilliant One, that is, the Shakti of the universe. Kauri was also known as Kali-Cunti, the Yoni, or Great Mother, of the Universe.

See also Shell, and Vesica Piscis.

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Crescent Moon

goddess-symbol-crescent-moonA Crescent Moon is the most obvious sign of the Moon.

Full Moon discs may be confused with other Circles, but Crescents are unmistakable, so they are used as very obvious Goddess symbols.

More specifically, Crescent Moons symbolize the waxing and waning phases of the Moon.

The word "crescent" derives from the Latin creare, which means to create. So the Crescent Moon is linked with the Creative Power of the Mother Goddess.

See also Wicca God Symbol - Horns.

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Darkness

Darkness in Wicca Spirituality is not a negative thing, as it is is Christianity. Darkness represents the Goddess, in Her Black aspect.

Darkness in the world represents rest, stillness, letting go, and death.

In our culture, these things are seen as signs of weakness, failure, and great fear. But in Wicca Spirituality, Darkness is honoured. It is a necessary and valuable part of the Cycle.

Without rest, how could we work? Without letting go, how could new things arise? Without death, how could we return to the One?

Although there is great cultural prejudice against the Dark - which is expressed, for one thing, as racism - the Dark half of the Divine is as sacred as the Light half.

It is the loving interplay between the dark and the light which creates form, that is, matter. This is the dance that gives birth to life.

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Double Spiral

goddess-symbol-double-spiralThe Double Spiral represents the dual purpose of life - the journey inward to your Essence, and then outward to the world.

It is weaving the Path Home, forever inward and forever outward, on each path coming closer to your Divine Essence. The Double Spiral is the Dance of Life, inhabiting both planes of existence simultaneously.

This is an expression of the Goddess manifesting as physical life, and physical life realising its Divinity.

goddess-symbol-yin-yang The double spiral is related to the yin-yang symbol - the Taijitu - which depicts the balance and the interwoven nature of the worldly realm and the spiritual realm.

There are at least five common forms of the Double Spiral. The one above is the one most commonly used in Wicca as Goddess symbols.

See also Spiral.

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Earth

The Earth is more than a Goddess symbol, She is a Goddess.

The Earth is the physical expression of the Great Goddess - for Terrestrials, the primary one. The Earth is the body of the Goddess.

The Earth has been worshipped as Divine Mother probably as long as humans have been human. The most ancient figurines depict a lush nurturing Mother. And symbols of circles and spirals abound - symbols of the planet and the seasonal aspect of life on Earth.

The Earth is our Mother, in far more than a symbolic sense. We are literally made of the soil, the air, and the water of the Earth.

More than any other Goddess symbol, the Earth is the most apparent aspect of the Goddess.

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Elder

Elder is one of the many woods that have symbolic meaning in Wicca.

The Elder is sacred to the Goddess Hel - a Crone, Queen of the Underworld.

It is referred to in the Wiccan Rede, the expanded version.

You can find out about magickal woods in the herbals, Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, and Beyerl's Master Book of Herbalism.

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Eye of Maat

goddess-symbol-eye-of-horusThe All-Seeing Eye of Maat was the symbol of the Goddess Maat, as Goddess of law, morality, and justice.

The Egyptians believed that it was Maat who held the universe together. It was Her quality of order which maintained the world.

As Walker states, "The Mother-syllable Maa meant 'to see'; in hieroglyphics it was an eye." (Barbara Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p 294) Even the ancients knew that mother's had eyes at the backs of their heads!

The Eye of Maat, or Utchat, later became known as the Eye of Thoth, Eye of Ra, and is commonly called the Eye of Horus today. Although it became associated with male Gods, it is sometimes - confusingly - still referred to with the feminine pronoun.

The Eye of Maat is the origin of the Evil Eye superstition. The Goddess would not only judge, but mete out retribution. To those with a guilty conscience, the Eye of Maat became a source of fear.

See also Wicca Symbol - Evil Eye, and Wicca God Symbol - Eye of Horus.

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Hecate's Wheel

goddess-symbol-hecate-wheelThis stylized womb-like Labyrinth is a symbol of Hecate as Triple Goddess.

Of all the Goddess symbols on this page, this is one that refers to a specific rather than general Goddess - Hecate. Although it is likely that it is Her Triple Goddess, or Great Mother Goddess, aspect.

According to Wikipedia, "The symbolism referred to the serpent's power of rebirth, to the labyrinth of knowledge through which Hecate could lead mankind, and to the flame of life itself."

This symbol comes to us through the Greeks, who found it in the Chaldean Oracles. These are texts from the 2nd century AD, which were believed to have originated in Babylon (Chaldea).

Hecate's Wheels are not commonly used as Goddess symbols, even in Wicca. Apparently, it is used primarily by practitioners of Hellenic Recon or Dianic Traditions, but I have no confirmation of this.

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Labyrinth

goddess-symbol-labyrinth The Labyrinth is a symbol of death and rebirth.

Walking the Labyrinth is a mystical journey into the other realms, and back to Earth. It is a symbolic pilgrimage out of the small self, or busy mind, back Home to the Divine.

Unlike mazes, which were modeled on Labyrinths, you can't get lost in a Labyrinth. Despite the twists and turns, there is one path in, which is also the path out. Just like life.

The evidence seems to indicate that the Labyrinth was presided over by the Great Goddess. In Crete, the Labyrinth was dedicated to the Goddess Ariadne, and was created as a dancing ground in Her honour. (Karl Kereny, Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life.)

See also Hecate's Wheel.

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Moon

goddess-symbol-moon The Moon has been one of the most universal and ancient Goddess symbols.

The Moon has been worshipped in every religion, even though that fact has been obscured or corrupted through the domination paradigm that has ruled for a handful of millennia. For example, according to Walker . . .

"A primal deity of Persia was Al-Mah, the moon, whose name became the Hebraic almah, 'nubile woman': the word that Christians insisted on translating 'virgin' when it was applied to the mother of Jesus. …

As Manat, the old Moon-mother of Mecca, she once ruled the fates of all her sons, who also called her Al-Lat, the Goddess. Now she has been masculinized into 'Allah,' who forbids women to enter the shrines that were once founded by priestesses of the Moon." (Barbara Walker, Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects, p 345, 346)

The Moon is the eye of the Goddess, the Mirror that sees and reflects everything on the Earth. The Moon is also the Yoni through which all life is born.

See also Crescent Moon, Ocean, Triple Moon, and Wicca Symbols - Moon.

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Ocean

The Ocean is the Womb of the Earth Mother.

The Ocean is the symbol of the Ocean of the Mother's sacred and magickal blood. It is the primordial womb that gave birth to the universe when there was only the Darkness of non-form.

From Her womb, was born night, and water, and eternity. From these were born light, and earth, and time.

All life comes from the sea, as the Wicca chant goes. Life on Earth began in the Ocean.

And when we moved onto land, the Ocean came with us, traveling within our cells.

The Ocean is the fluid which runs in your veins. The salt water of the Ocean lives in your sweat, flows in your tears, fountains in your sexual juices.

Mother Ocean purifies and rebirths everything that enters Her.

The Ocean is virtually interchangeable as a Goddess symbol with the Moon. The Moon's effects on the Ocean demonstrate their eternal interconnectivity.

See also Shell, and Wicca Symbols - Menstruation,

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Rose

The 5-petaled Rose everywhere was sacred to the Goddess.

In ancient India, the Great Mother was the Holy Rose. In Asia, the Flower of the Goddess was the red China rose. In Roman times, the Rose was the Flower of Venus. Even the Christian Mary is associated with the Rose.

Roses are symbols of the sacred Vulva of the Goddess. The Vulva is the gateway through which life is born, which is awe-inspiring enough, but that is not it's only meaning.

The Vulva also represents the ability of men to "plug in" to the Power of the Goddess, and access Her directly. (An event sadly long-forgotten by most.)

And lastly, it represents beauty and joy - the sheer physical pleasure of life on Earth.

See also Vesica Piscis

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Serpent

goddess-symbol-serpent The Serpent is one of the first Goddess symbols.

Serpents are mysterious creatures. They dwell in the dark inner Earth and sunlit outer Earth equally - crossing the borders between the worlds.

They move with the fluidity of water. In ancient times, it was believed that snakes never died of age, but shed their old skins and were reborn.

Serpents are ancient Goddess symbols, for all these reasons, and many more . . . They have been identified from time immemorial as the Consciousness and Will of the Divine, which creates all life and guides humanity to the realisation of its spiritual potential.

The serpent represents the Feminine Spiritual Energy. This is the Kundalini - the Goddess Within. This life energy lies essentially dormant in most people. It seems to awaken spontaneously, to some degree, in women during menopause and childbirth.

(This is my own theory; I have no objective verification of it as yet. But the signs are striking.)

The Serpent has a long and fascinating history of worship and supernatural struggle between the Gods and Goddesses. (The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets details this drama.)

Even in Gnostic Judaism and Gnostic Christianity, the Serpent was revered as Divine.

There is also a connection between the serpent and the mysterious and magickal DNA molecules. This Rainbow Serpent is worshipped in many forms, all over the world, by shamanic cultures.

The Goddess has been celebrated in the serpentine motions of bellydance, for millennia, despite efforts to stamp it out and defame the women who practiced it. This is a practice that is gaining great popularity again, as the Goddess becomes honoured once more.

See also Apple.

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Shell

Shells are common Goddess symbols. Not only because they represent the Ocean, but shellfish have similarities to the female Yoni.

Shells are sacred to the Goddess, Cowrie Shells in particular.

Although they are often used to contain incense or smudges, this is inadvisable. There are fire safety reasons for this, but also because putting fire elements into a Shell is an offense to the Goddess.

Read more at Sacred Scents.

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Silver

Silver shines with the white light of the Moon. Silver represents the Goddess in general, and the Moon Mother in particular.

Silver is therefore a yin metal.

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Snake

See Serpent.

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Spiral

goddess-symbol-spiral A Spiral is one of the ancient Goddess symbols, as a sign of Life. As such, it is also one of the primary Wicca symbols.

A Spiral is a created by a Circle moving forward, so to speak.

As the Wheel turns, you come around again, but not to the same point as before. You arrive at same place, but on a new level. Just as May 1900 and May 2000 are both spring, yet a different experience.

A spiral line uncoiling is "the movement of creation," according to Arthur Avalon in Shakti and Shakta. The Spiral represents the path of life - from your Essence, outward to the world. Or, depending on your perspective, from worldly existence to spiritual Essence.

As Walker so eloquently phrases it, a Spiral represents "death and rebirth as movement into the disappearing-point of formlessness, and out of it again, to a new world of form." ( The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p 491)

The Spiral is one of the most common natural shapes, seen in nature from galaxies to sea shells to the pattern of a falcon's dive.

Spirals have been primary Goddess symbols since the late Paleolithic, where they were marked on tombs.

See also Double Spiral, Triple Spiral.

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Tree

Trees are Goddess symbols by way of the Tree of Life, or World Tree. The Tree of Life was associated with the Great Mother Goddess, from which all life arises.

The quiet generosity of trees had been worshipped throughout time. Trees are the source of much that is necessary to life. In days before the One Jealous God, prayers were offered to trees in thanks for their gifts, and asking their forgiveness.

Trees symbolise the all-nurturing Goddess, as well as She Who Reclaims Life. Most of the major Gods were martyred on or in connection with some version of the Tree.

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Triangle

Three's, of course, in any configuration represent the Feminine Divine. In relation to the Goddess such symbols have taken many forms over the millennia - Triple Spirals, Three-Pointed Stars, Trefoils, Triquetra, etc.

But simple Triangles are still a Goddess symbols, motherhood symbols, and women's symbols.

The upward-pointing Triangle represents the Goddess in her Triple form - Maiden, Mother, Crone.

A downward-pointing Triangle, called a Yoni Yantra, represents the Goddess as Creatrix and the Goddess Within.

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Triple Moon

goddess-symbol-triple-moon The Triple Moon is one of the Triple Goddess symbols - the Divine Feminine as Maiden, Mother, and Crone as the Moon in her waxing, full, and waning phases.

So the Triple Moon symbolises all the aspects of female Power united: intuition and psychic insight, creative energy, wisdom and mystery.

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Triple Spiral

goddess-symbol-triple-spiral The Triple Spiral, or Triskele, is believed to be one of the ancient Goddess symbols of the Celts. It represents the Triple Goddess, and in particular is associated with the Celtic Goddess Brighid.

The Triple Spiral is sometimes also used to represent the three realms of land, sea, and sky.

See also Spiral.

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Vesica Piscis

goddess-symbol-vesica-piscis The Vesica Piscis is the 6th level of Sacred Geometry. It is also one of the common multicultural Goddess symbols.

And not without reason. In Sacred Geometry, the Vesica Piscis is considered to be the source of literally all creation. As Charles Gilchrist writes, "The Vesica Piscis is literally the womb of the universe . . . the ever unfolding Mother of Sacred Geometry."

Apparently, humans of every culture would agree. According to Walker, the Vesica Piscis was "a worldwide ancient synonym for the yoni, or vulva." (Barbara Walker, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects, p 16.)

"Yoni" refers to both the vulva and the womb. It has always signified a gateway between the worlds. This represents the feminine Creative power of the Goddess, the Mother of all . . . even the Gods.

Vesica Piscis means "vessel of the fish." This refers to the sea-water fragrance of the vulva.

Walker continues, "One of the Hindu titles of the Great Goddess was "a virgin named Fishy Smell, whose real name was Truth."

It is in Her honour that fish were eaten on Friday (Freya's Day).

The Vesica Piscis was so synonymous with what is most sacred, that even the Christians used it to confer sanctity on Christian figures and places of worship.

It is likely these connections which brought the fish to be a symbol of Christ, ironic as that is.

Note: Vesica Piscis can be pronounced several ways. VESS - ick - a PIE - sis is a common version.

See also Cowrie Shell, and Rose.

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Goddess Symbols As Wicca Symbols


These items that are listed above are Goddess symbols representing the Great Goddess - that is, the One Feminine Divine of which all other goddesses are only aspects.

Specific Goddess symbols for individual Goddesses can be found by researching them by name. Wikipedia is a great resource for Goddess symbols. This link will take you to Wikipedia's deities list, from which you can access information on tons of individual Gods and Goddesses with symbols, attributes, history, etc. Although not necessarily from a Wiccan perspective. (This link opens a new window.)

And each of these Goddess symbols are also often used as Wicca symbols. If they represent the Goddess all symbols can be Wicca symbols.

Symbols of the Gods can be found through this link.


With Bright Blessings,

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