Meaning and origin of symbols and signs page 4 (P - U).

On this page there is a list of symbols, signs, amulet and talisman with their meaning and origin. Because there are so many symbols I have divided the content on multiple pages. On this page you can find the description of the symbols whose names start with P to U, the rest of the symbols are on the next pages.


© 1998-2016 Hein Pragt

Meaning and origin of symbols (P - U)

Pachamama symbol
Pachamama symbol. The Pachamama is a well known goddess in Central America and her name means mother earth. She is a fertility goddess who exercises authority over planting and harvesting, she also causes earthquakes. In some regions, people honor her by pouring some water on the ground or a bit of beer on the floor before they drink the rest. Rituals to honor Pachamama take place all year, but are especially abundant in August. On the night before August 1, families prepare to honor Pachamama by cooking all night, food, candles and incense offerings are then buried under the ground.
Padma sambhava symbol
Padma sambhava symbol. Padma Sambhava is one of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism, and his image is worn by many Tibetans as a protective amulet. For some devout Tibetans, he is the second Buddha. Padmasambhava means "Lotus-Born" was a sage guru from Oddiyana, northwestern Classical India. Padmasambhava is said to have transmitted Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, Bhutan and neighboring countries in the 8th century AD. He was known for defeating demonic powers so his image is very suitable as a protective amulet.
Pi disk symbol
Pi disk symbol. This symbol originated in China and is a lucky charm. It's a simple, round and flat disk of jade with a hole in the middle. This is the Chinese symbol of heaven, called pi disk that protects the owner in difficult times. If one thinks that there are problems coming up, he will rub his fingers on the disc until the danger has passed. The tradition of the pi disk is centuries old and goes back for five thousand years ago. In a tomb dating from the fourth millennium BC about 24 pi discs were found that were placed on the body as protection of the dead. In old China, true jade was valued far above gold or silver. Apart from being rare, beautiful and indestructible (which links it with immortality), it is also of great mystical and spiritual significance. Modern disks are cheap but the but the old versions are often very expensive.
Pink triangle symbol
Pink triangle symbol. The origin of this symbol is in the Nazi regime during and before World War II. Gay men who were captured by the Nazis and were put into concentration camps were given a pink triangle on their clothes. In the seventies, the pink triangle was used by the gay movement itself, the symbol became a kind of badge of protest. The great popularity of the pink triangle came in the eighties, after the activist group Act Up used it as a logo.
Pentagram symbol
Pentagram symbol
Pentagram symbol. The pentagram is the five-pointed star and one of the most potent, powerful, and persistent symbols in human history. It has been important to almost every ancient culture, from the Mayans of Latin America, to India, China, Greece, and Egypt. It has been found scratched on the walls of Neolithic caves, and in Babylonian drawings, where it marks the pattern the planet Venus. For Pythagoras and his followers the pentagram was a sacred symbol of the physical and mental harmony and it was the sign of health. According to Pythagoras, the five points of the pentagram each represent one of the five elements that make up man: fire, water, air, earth, and psyche. Currently, the most common religious uses of the pentagram are by Wiccan, Neopagan, and Satanic groups. In most Wiccan and Neopagan traditions, its symbolic meaning is derived from Ceremonial magick and nineteenth century occultism.
Phoenix symbol
Phoenix symbol. This is a symbol which stands for rebirth, resurrection and immortality. The Greeks believed that the Phoenix was able to be reborn from its own ashes again and again (every 500 years ). The phoenix made a nest cypress branches and rather preparing to lay eggs, the phoenix was preparing to die. While sitting in the nest, the bird created a great deal of heat, and set itself on fire from its own heat with the cypress serving as kindling. After three days, the phoenix emerged from its own ashes The Christian faith saw the phoenix is the symbol of the resurrection.
Psilist symbol
Psilist symbol. Sometimes we discover a new symbol or logo that is composite of several existing symbols, often combining the meanings. The symbol of Ruigoord consists of the letter psi from the Greek alphabet which the symbol is the infinity symbol as a symbol of infinity and eternal life, and the interplay of opposing forces and cosmic smile a symbol for inner for all non science peace. Ruigoord Foundation is a foundation established in 2000 in the city of Amsterdam.
Pluto symbol
Pluto symbol. This is the sign for the planet Pluto in astrology. Its symbolic meaning is: primal, power and powerlessness, transformation and rebirth. Pluto represents spiritual change, development and political power.
PX symbol
PX symbol. This is the monogram of Christ, the monogram is composed of the Greek letters X and P, which are the first letters of Christ. The oval circle, the egg is the symbol of birth and new life.
PXAO symbol
PXAO symbol. The PXAO symbol is also the monogram of Christ. The monogram is composed of the Greek letters X and P, which are the first letters of Christ. Complements the left and right of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, as a symbol of the beginning and the end.
Radioactivity symbol
Radioactivity symbol. This is a modern symbol that warns for dangerous radioactivity radiation. It can be found on doors, barrels and other containers for radioactive waste.
ring symbol
Ring symbol. In many cultures, the ring or circle is a symbol of perfection, completeness, femininity or the cycle of life. Exchanging rings dates back to the Pharaohs of Egypt, who saw the ring as a symbol of eternity, love and happiness, without beginning and without end.
Russisch kruis symbol
Russian cross. This is the so called eight armed cross used in the Russian Orthodox Church and it originally cam from Byzantium. Visually, this cross is an addition to the Latin cross with a small bar at the top with the inscription "INRI" and underneath a footrest. In addition, the symbolism of the cross is also explained as: the vertical bar represents the family of mankind from Adam to the end of time and the small horizontal bar symbolizes the invisible world of angels. The large bar represents the visible world and humanity. Jesus took all the sins of mankind itself, and thus embraced the whole creation, and freed it from sin.
sankfofa symbol
Sankfofa symbol. This is a symbol from West Africa and the original symbol of Sankofa is a bird with its neck in its back. The symbol stands for wisdom , knowledge and heritage. The word Sankofa is made up of three parts : SAN ( return ) , ko (go ) and fa (look , seek and take ) , look at the past , take it along you can use it, learn from it and then go into the future. The Sankofa symbol appears frequently in traditional Akan art, and has also been adopted as an important symbol in an African American and African Diaspora context to represent the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future. It is frequently appearing in modern jewelry, tattoos, and clothing.
Saturnus symbol
Saturn symbol. This is the symbol for the planet Saturn in astrology and the symbolic meaning is: shaping, demarcate, limit, structure and self-discipline. Saturn is called both the planet of destiny as the Lord of Karma.
Seal of Solomon symbol
Seal of Solomon symbol. This symbol is worn as an amulet for protection against all forms of danger, misfortune and evil. Inside the symbol there are two triangles placed crosswise, it is also known as the shield of David.
Scythe symbol
Scythe symbol. A scythe is a curved blade with a handle that is used to mow f.i. grass and corn. The Greek god Chronos and the Roman god Saturn are both gods of time (the word chronology comes from the Greek word chronos which means time. The scythe is symbolic of time and cuts the thread of life. In Western cultures, death is personified as the man with the scythe and depicted as a skeleton with a large scythe and black robe with hood.
Scallop symbol
Scallop symbol. The scallop is a Christian symbol and the symbol of Saint James. Since the Middle Ages, the shell is the symbol of St. James, the symbolism of the shell in general goes back further. There are pictures of shells known from Roman times, where the shell was a symbol of birth and rebirth. The scallop shell, typically found on the shores in Galicia, has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago.
Scarabee symbol
Scarab symbol. A scarab is a dung beetle that lives in dung heaps, and lays its eggs in dung. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the scarab as a symbol of the rising sun (Negod) because like the sun the dung beetle also rises out of the earth (as larvae) after he undergoes a metamorphosis and is both walking on the earth and flying to the sky. The scarab is common in Egyptian jewelry with a sun disk of gemstone. In addition, the wings are often the most beautiful colors. It is nowadays still a popular amulet in the form of pendant, earrings or brooch. The scarab was associated by the ancient Egyptians with reproductive potential, wisdom, renewal, resurrection and immortality.
Shamrock symbol
Shamrock symbol. This is a general happiness and luck symbol. It is also the emblem of Ireland and on St. Patrick 's Day ( March 17 ) it is worn by Irish people all over the world.
sheela-na-gig symbol
Sheela-na-gig symbol. Sheela na gigs are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are architectural grotesques found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain, sometimes together with male figures. Ireland has the greatest number of known sheela na gig carvings. Such carvings are said to ward off death and evil It is thought that Sheela's a remnant of the old religion by the Celtic and Christianity adopted them, it could also be that the figures are taken from similar Greek statues. They were probably fertility goddesses and even today women wishing to become pregnant visit a Sheela to ask if their wish may come true. Also it offered protection against evil and the devil. The legend says that it protects against the devil because the devil can not stand the sight of a woman's vagina.
Shen symbol
Shen symbol. The shen is a double beaten cord which ends in a straight line are tied together, without beginning and end. The shen is also a symbol of infinity, and offers protection. The shenring is often associated with images of the god of eternity Heh, sometimes the shen is depicted with a sun in the middle, as a symbol of the solar aspect. Paintings in Egyptian a bird like Horus is often depicted with the shen in their claws. The word is derived from the Egyptian Shenu that means circle.
Shou symbol
Shou symbol. The origin of the Shou symbol is the Taoist philosophy and its centuries old. It is displayed in various ways and the sign is often used in combination with other symbols depicted in Asian art. Originally it means "long life" and it occurs as an amulet, on clothes, on furniture, on pottery and art and a lot of wedding gifts. The four arms around the center stand for: nobility, strength, responsibility and awareness, the center stands for wisdom.
Shula symbol
Shula symbol. Shula Aum represents the holy lance of Lord Murugan and its protective effect. The point is wide, long and sharp, and indicates that acute discernment and spiritual knowledge should be broad, thorough and penetrating.
Sfinx symbol
Sfinx symbol. The symbol of the sphinx is a mythical creature that appears in different cultures and does not look the same in every culture. The Egyptian sphinx is half man (head), half-lion (body) and the Greek sphinx half woman (head) half eagle (body). The Sphinx was used as a watchman in Ancient Egypt. In Greek mythological the sphinx occurs in the Oedipus myth and the sphinx had wings and was female. In India, the sphinx is called purushamriga (Sanskrit = human-animal).
Sistrum symbol
Sistrum symbol. The sistrum was a musical instrument formed as a sticklike wooden or metal object, with a frame and small metal disks that rattled when the instrument was shaken by hand. The head of Hathor was often depicted on the handle. The horns of the cow were also commonly incorporated into the design. The sistrum is also associated with Bast , the goddess of dance and joy.The instrument made a soft tinkling sound that would please the gods and goddesses . It was shaken in short, rhythmic up and down movements to generate music for religious processions and ceremonies. The distinctive shape of the instrument is found in many contexts ranging from small mortuary objects to the columns of temples, such as those at the Temple of Hathor in Dendera.
Snake symbol

Snake symbol
Snake symbol. The snake is an animal whose symbolism has many contradictions. In many cultures it is a symbol of the underworld and Hades, probably because he lives in secret and hides in holes in the ground. But sometimes it is the symbol of eternal life because the animal is changing its skin. Death and life are united in this animal in such a unique way that there is hardly any culture which does not use the snake as symbol. Also the snake is an international symbol for medicine, by means of the Aesculapius symbol (snake twisted around a rod). This symbol is often seen on the car of a doctor or on the window of a pharmacy. This origin of this symbol is the ancient Greek culture where the god of medicine, Asclepius was depicted with a snake staff.
Spider symbol
Spider symbol. In England, a small spider that is often called a money spinner or a money maker will bring misfortune when its killed inside the house. A spider amulet has the same meaning and such amulets, made of gold or silver, were quite famous in ancient Rome, where they were worn to enforce trading success. In parts of the United States is believed that killing a spider brings misfortune. In many countries it is believed that if one shares the room with a large house spider, this will bring prosperity and happiness.
Spiraal symbol
Spiral symbol. The spiral is a symbol of the journey of the inner life and soul to the outside. Its meaning is also: allowing to grow, expansion and cosmic energy, depending on the culture in which it was used. The Celts used it as the symbol of the sun.
sn symbol
sun symbol
Sun symbol. The origin of these symbols of the sun is the Egyptian and Greek culture. During the Middle Ages, this symbol was also used for the Earth, because the Christian church believed then that the Sun revolved around the Earth. The point in the middle represents the union of male and female forces, but it can also mean a spiritual focus on the center circle. There is also the statement that the dot is the sun is surrounded by the circle representing the orbit of the planets. Spiritually the sun is a sign for: deepest essence, true nature, self-consciousness and spirit. The Sun is a celestial body, and in many cultures is one of the oldest symbols for life. Although the Sun is not a real planet, it will be considered so in astrology.
Sun moon symbol
Sun & Moon symbol. This is a combination of the two symbols of the sun and the moon, the origin is not entirely clear, but in many ancient cultures, the sun and the moon are mythical symbols. There are several meanings to the combination of sun and moon, this symbol indicates that everything has a dark and a light side. In Chinese characters, the meaning of brightly together. In some cultures, it uses the sun as a representation of the god and the moon as a representation of the goddess . Together they are the symbol of duality and the balance between the masculine and feminine.
Swastika symbol
Swastika symbol. The swastika symbol (Crux Dissimulata) is an ancient symbol that symbolizes the four winds and the accompanying spirits. It is a fire and sun symbol that initially comes from Asia, but was also used later by the Germans. This sign has been the source of the swastika in the Second World War, a good example of how an originally positive symbol later became a negative symbol.
Star of David symbol
Star of David symbol. The Star of David (in Hebrew: Magen Dawid) is a hexagram in a combination of two triangles. The triangle with the point facing upwards would symbolize the masculine, the triangle with the point down the female. According to tradition it dates back to the six-pointed star from the time of David and Solomon, and would once have graced the temple in Jerusalem. In the Middle Ages it was already used in Jewish art. In the Arab mysticism was a seal of King Solomon.
tafkap symbol
Tafkap symbol. This symbol stands for "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince". When the famous artist Prince in 1993 could no longer use his artist name because his record company had the rights to the "stage name Prince”, he chose an unpronounceable symbol as its name. He then refused to use the name Prince as long as the rights to the "stage name" and his music remained with his former record company Warner Brothers. As a substitute for the unpronounceable symbol they called him “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” The fantasy symbol contains male and female signs along with the alchemy symbol for saponite.
Tand symbol
Tooth symbol. A sharp tooth or claw of an animal is a valuable amulet because it would possess the power of the previous owner It also gives the one who wears it extra physical strength and is a symbol of strength and courage.
Tau symbol
Tau symbol. The Tau symbol has the shape of a capital T, and is an ancient symbol of Egypt. Its symbolic meaning is: wisdom, power, life, healing and fertility. It was often worn for protection and it would especially help against skin diseases and injuries. Today it is a symbol of people who see themselves as followers of St. Francis of Assisi . The Tau is also seen as the cross of Christ, Francis signed his writings with Tau.
Tefillin symbol
Tefillin symbol. Tefillin are two small black boxes with black straps attached to them; Jewish men are required to place one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm each weekday morning. Tefillin are biblical in origin, and are commanded within the context of several laws outlining a Jew's relationship to God. The text that is inserted inside the two boxes of Tefillin is hand-written by a scribe, and consists of the four sets of biblical verses in which Tefillin are commanded (Exodus 13:1-10, 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21). Because each pair of Tefillin is hand-written and hand-crafted, it is relatively expensive, and a will costs several hundred dollars.
Toxic poison symbol
Toxic poison symbol. This symbol is a warning for poison and it dates from the time of the Templars around the year 1100. Templars did not use this symbol for poison, but as a recognition symbol, the symbol has been used many centuries in different ways and for different purposes. The best known is probably the pirate flag, but since 1850, the symbol used to denote the danger of toxic substances.
Trident symbol
Trident symbol. A trident is a fork or spear with three teeth and a traditional weapon for fishing, and in that form was the trident was the attribute of the Greek sea god Poseidon. Also the gladiators in ancient Rome were armed with a trident and fishnet. In Hinduism, the trident (trishula) is one of the attributes of the god Shiva. The devil is also often depicted with a trident. The trident is very popular nowadays (like devil horns) as a sign that one is naughty and challenging.
Tiki symbol
Tiki symbol The origin of the Tiki or fetus symbol is Polynesian and is very popular among the Maoris of New Zealand. It resembles a human fetus in the shape in which it is in the womb. According to tradition, the first tiki was made ??by the father of the goddess of childbirth Hineteiwaiwa for his daughter. It's a huge effort to make a tiki and each amulet takes certainly hundreds of hours of manual labor because nephrite, which it is made of, is very hard. Old tiki 's are extremely rare, modern tikis are often carved from green stone. There are also imitations of green plastic, but these are hardly to be taken seriously as amulet.
Trishula symbol
Trishula symbol. Aum Trishula represents Shiva's trident and the royal scepter of Shiva Dharma. The three modes are for desire , action and wisdom.
Triskele symbol
Triskele symbol. The triskele or triskelion is an ancient Celtic symbol representing the three circles of life or three objects (Land, Sea and Air). Each part goes from outside to inside, where they meet at the origin.
Triquetras symbolTriquetras symbol
Triquetras symbol. This symbol is called a triquetras which is Latin for triangular. This symbol represents the Holy Trinity in Christianity . As the symbol of the Christian fish symbol , this can also be seen as three crosswise placed fish.
Tumi symbol
Tumi symbol. The Tumi symbol dates back to Inca times. It is an image of the monarch Maymlap, the patron of medicine and health. According to the legend the Tumi symbol contains good forces transferred to the wearer.
Thors hammer symbol
Thors hammer symbol. This symbol represents the magic hammer of the Norse thunder god Thor. Thursday is derived from the god Thor's day. The symbol has both a positive and a negative meaning, it was used to bless marriages and as a protective symbol of married couples, but in recent years it is also used by Swedish far-right youth as a symbol of their group. For most people however, the meaning is positive.
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Last update: 20-02-2018

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