Goths are often attracted by esoterism and the connected symbols, often worn as amulets or tattooed on the body. But what are their meanings??
Here's the list of the main symbols and their explanations:
(infos taken from http://www.ancient-symbols.com/ and http://www.celticsymbols.net/ and http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/)
Also known as the Key of Life, the Ankh takes the shape of a cross with a loop on top, resembling a key. In the ancient language of Egyptians, the ‘ankh’ meant ‘life.’ It is considered one of the earliest and most popular hieroglyphic symbols from ancient Egypt. It is said that the loop on the ankh symbolized the feminine or the womb, while the cross symbolized the masculine or the penis. When the two are put together, life is formed. Many believe that the Ankh is also a symbol for water and air, which are life-giving elements. Because of this, many water vessels were formed in the shape of an Ankh.
Many early Egyptian artworks depict this sacred symbol being worn or held by gods and kings. Used as an amulet, the Ankh was believed to be able to grant the wearer long life and health. Ancient Egyptians even put ankhs in tombs to give energy to the resurrected spirit. It is said that the symbol can even carry on its power to anyone within a certain proximity to it. As such, it is believed to be a conduit for life or power that stems from the universe. The Ankh can also be used as a strong protection against evil, decay and degeneration.
EYE OF HORUS:
The ancient civilization of Egypt gave birth to numerous powerful symbols that are still used even today, including the beautiful Eye of Horus. With curved lines around a solid iris, this mystical symbol brings protection, royal power and even good health. It is said that the eye was a symbol for the goddess Wadjet or the Whole One. Records state that Wadjet was believed to have risen from the image of a cobra rising up. Through the years, this goddess has been associated with others such as Bast, Mut and Hathor. Archeological findings even reveal that the symbol was used in mummies and funerary amulets, to ward off evil and protect kings even in death. It is also believed that the Rx symbol used in the medical profession has its roots based on the Eye of Horus.
Today, the symbol is still being used to ward off evil and to provide protection against illness and disease.
Upright pentacles and pentagrams are among the most widely used religious symbols. They have been used in many eras and by many cultures and religions of the world: by ancient Pagans, ancient Israelites, Christians, magicians, Wiccans and others.This simple symbol, composed of five, straight lines to form a star, harks back to 3000 BC in Mesopotamia, where Sumerian pentagrams were said to connote the word “UB,” meaning “corner” or “angle.” The mystical meaning of the pentagram surfaced in Babylonian times, wherein the five points of the shape was said to refer to Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Venus. Through the centuries, this five-pointed star has been used by several religions: the Hebrews used the symbol to represent the Truth and the five books of the Pentateuch; the Druids referred to the pentagram as the Godhead and the Christians said that the five points represented Christ’s five wounds.
The power of the pentagram is still used and felt today. Five, for instance, has always been considered a magical number: we have five fingers and toes on each extremity; we have five common senses; we have five initiations in our lives (birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death). The pentagram also contains the golden mean or ratio: a symbol of beauty and perfection. As such, it is believed to be a powerful symbol for protection against evil or conflicts. It can also be used to promote good and beautiful energy in a person or environment.
The pentagram may be inverted with one point down. The implication is of spirit subservient to matter, of man subservient to his carnal desires. The inverted pentagram has come to be seen by many pagans as representing the dark side and it is abhored as an evil symbol. Fundamental christians, indeed, see any form of pentagram as such. However, these are recent developments and the inverted pentagram is the symbol of Gardnerian second degree initiation, representing the need of the witch to learn to face the darkness within so that it may not later rise up to take control. The centre of a pentagram implies a sixth formative element - love/will which controls from within, ruling matter and spirit by Will and the controlled magickal direction of sexual energies. This is another lesson of initiation.
Up until medieval times, the five points of the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. It was a symbol of Christ the Saviour. This is in stark contrast to today where the pentagram is criticized by modern Fundamentalist Christians, as being a symbol of evil.
The church eventually chose the cross as a more significant symbol for Christianity, and the use of the pentagram as a Christian symbol gradually ceased.
The word Merkaba is actually composed of three separate words: Mer, which means light, Ka, which means spirit and Ba, which means Body. Put together, these three words connote the union of spirit with body, surrounded by light. The symbol, which takes the shape of a star, is believed to be a divine vehicle made entirely of light and designed to transport or connect the spirit and body to higher realms. Ancient Jewish texts reveal that the word is also the Hebrew for chariot, and the bible reveals that the word Merkaba itself is found in the Old Testament a total of 44 times.
It is said that the symbol is composed of two star tetrahedrons, which consists of counter-rotating fields of light and energy that surrounds each person. This energy extends beyond the body. Some believe that even planets have this Merkaba energy field around it.
Used in meditation, the Merkaba can become a source of power and enlightenment. It can help a person realize his full potential and connect with the goodness in him, as well as the higher being. This field of light, love and goodwill can also extend to others, thereby enveloping them in the same healing energy. The Merkaba can also be used to transcend to other dimensions and realities.
At its most basic, the Celtic knot symbolizes the sign of the Cross. If you look closely at knots with crosses, you will find that the knots hide the crosses between the knot’s ribbons.
Of these, the triquetera knot or the Trinity knot is the most famous. You can spot it in typical Celtic jewelry. According to many schools of thought it is a Celtic symbol of the three forces of nature - earth, air and water, or the three earthly domains - earth, sea and sky.
Others suggest that it symbolises the triple aspect of the Goddess, i.e. Maid, Mother and Crone.
The shape of the symbol, in fact, consists in three interlocking pointed ovals known as vesica piscis, which represent the birth canal and are frequently found in Celtic symbols of the Divine Feminine (see Sacred Well, Sheela-Na-Gig).
This symbol was later incorporated in Christian art as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. At its most basic, the Celtic knot symbolizes the sign of the Cross. If you look closely at knots with crosses, you will find that the knots hide the crosses between the knot’s ribbons.
The Triskele another sacred symbol to the Celts, represents the eternal rhythm of life and, like the Triquetra, the three-fold nature of the Goddess.
Celtic knotwork, or interlacing, is found on most ancient Celtic stone carvings and crosses. It is also a central decorative feature of the famous Book of Kells, the work of 7th Century Christian monks. In this consecrated form, though the original pagan symbolism is ‘converted’ to Christian symbolism the beauty of the intricate and perfect interlacing is equally powerful.
THE 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.
PS. These aren't the only existing meanings of these symbols. I just took the most reliable ones, but you can make a reasearch yourself for other meanings ^__^
If you can suggest other common symbols, I'll be glad to add them! Just write it in the comments :P