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About This Quiz
As archaeologists unearth more and more items from ancient cultures, they also dig up ancient languages, codes and symbols that add mystery to the people who created them. These codes and symbols represent everything from knowledge and written language to entertainment and art. They give us insight into what the people of the time period valued and how they perceived higher powers. They show us the methods that were used for education, discipline and war. Additionally, some of the symbols found from thousands of years ago are still thought to have power or meaning in cultures around the world. They are doorways into different worlds that valued magic and mysticism before science was even a thing. They are attached to myths that explain origins and happiness and failure. They're ultimately the charms that our society needed to get from belief to knowledge.
From the Ajna to the Yin Yang, we've found 40 symbols that you might see all the time, but we're more interested in whether or not you know what they're called. Don't worry, we won't add any weak Dan-Brown-style similes, but we will give you cool information about what these symbols represent and where they came from. Start the quiz now to see just how much you know about these ancient symbols and images.
This is one of the oldest Celtic symbols. Do you recognize it?
Though Catholics will tell you that the shamrock was used to teach the Holy trinity, Druids who came before the Catholics will tell you that it represents the earth, sky and sea as well as the stages of life and moon phases.
This symbol is found on American money. What is it called?
The Eye of Providence
The Eye of Providence, also known as the All-Seeing Eye, represents the eye of God gazing over humanity. While there are many conspiracy theories surrounding this symbol, it actually originates from Christian iconography.
Though it is simple, this symbol is often thought of as the oldest religious symbol. What is it?
The Celtic cross
The solar cross
There are several different cross symbols from long ago. The Solar cross has appeared in Asian, European, American and Indian religious art. It represents the solar calendar, the way the sun moves and the solstices.
It may look like just a bunch of lines, but do you know what this symbol is?
Web of Wyrd
The Web of Wyrd comes from Norse mythology and contains every possible symbol on the runestones that are used for divination. Because it contains all of these symbols, the Web of Wyrd represents all of the past, present and future possibilities.
This might be a tough one, but can you guess what this symbol is?
The nine-pointed star
The ring stone symbol
It's called the ring stone symbol because most people who subscribe to and follow the Baha'i beliefs wear rings with this symbol stamped on it. The three horizontal lines are for the three worlds (God, God's manifestation and man), and the vertical line connects these worlds.
What is the name of this cross that looks like a cross on top of another?
The patriarchal cross is the symbol of power in Christian culture. This cross represents either a bishop or archbishop, and it can be found on the clothing and artwork depicting this rank within the church.
This Native American symbol looks intimidating. Do you know what it is?
Nearly every Native American tribe respects the bear as a highly regarded animal. The bear claw symbol represents protection and connection to bears. Generally, this symbol was worn and revered by those who wanted to be leaders.
Can you identify this symbol that was popular on jewelry in the 1990s?
While many know that the Yin Yang symbol is based on Chinese religion and philosophy, few realize what the colors represent. The Yang is the light portion, representing brightness and growth while the Yin is the dark portion, representing shadows and femininity.
Known throughout Christian religions as the emblem for the office of the Pope, the papal cross has three horizontal, perpendicular lines near the top. It represents the highest office of the Christian faith.
The Eye of Horus is also known as the Wadjet. It holds a lot of meaning and often symbolizes protection, power and good health. It is mostly seen in burial chambers of pharaohs as it was meant to keep them safe in the afterlife.
This intricate tree symbol has roots in Norse mythology. Do you know what it's called?
The tree of life
Not only does the tree of life represent new beginnings and fresh starts, but it also symbolizes immortality through reproduction. The tree itself may die, but it spreads its seed in order to gain immortality.
One symbol can represent three things at once. Do you know what this symbol is called?
The triple moon is also known as the triple goddess sign because it represents the maiden, the mother and the crone. In some cultures, it also represents the waxing moon, the full moon and the waning moon.
Do you recognize this wheel-like symbol with a six-pointed star in the center?
In Greek mythology, the goddess Hecate was connected to various magics, the moon and even necromancy. This symbol represents the power of both life and knowledge. The three altars holding up the six-pointed star represent the maiden, the mother and the crone.
The pentacle is often found in pagan beliefs. Each point on the star represents a different element: earth, fire, water, air, and the spirit. The circle that holds the star represents how all of these things are connected and needed for balance.
The ankh may be one of the most recognizable Egyptian symbols. Though the meaning of the symbol originated as life or living, it later evolved into meaning eternal life or immortality within the Egyptian culture.
The triskele represents different things to different cultures and has been found all over the world, including neolithic stones that were found in Europe and Ireland. The Celtic meaning for the symbol is a representation of the earth, sky and sea.
Also known as the faery star, do you know what this is called?
The heptagram goes by many different names, including the faery star and the elven star. This symbol represents different things depending on which path of paganism you subscribe to. It can represent the chakras or the days of the week, or even notes on a music scale.
A labyrinth itself is a maze, and this symbol represents life itself. Though humans have only one way into the world and one way out, we still have a path. For this reason, the labyrinth symbol represents the paths we take.
Can you identify this symbol that looks like a partial moon over a full moon?
Though many consider this to be a satanic symbol, it actually represents wilderness and a man's life and spirituality. The horned god himself is the one who takes people to the afterlife once they have died.
Though this symbol looks a lot like an ankh, it's not. Do you know what it is?
The Tjet is an ankh-looking symbol with arms on the sides. It is also known as the Blood of Isis or the Knot of Isis. It's clearly associated with the goddess Isis, but it's also a representation of female genitalia.
Can you name this early cross that was used in the Christian religion?
Combining the Greek symbols for "tau" and "rho," or "t" and "p," this symbol was actually an abbreviation for the word cross in Greek. It is sometimes thought to be representative of Abraham, who fathered Isaac when he was 100.
You may see this symbol on bumper stickers. Do you know what it's called?
This fish represents quite a few different myths in the Christian faith. Because the miracles of Jesus included fish, it has become an essential image in the faith. Additionally, the symbol is said to represent Jesus himself.
These two Greek letters next to each other have a significant meaning. What are the letters?
Alpha and Delta
Delta and Omega
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega is another symbol that is seen throughout Christian art and text. These two letters together represent Jesus as he said: "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" in "Revelations." The symbol also represents the eternity of Christ.
The anchor symbol is usually found in Christian theology. It is an adapted symbol that stands for the hope that followers have in Jesus himself. It is meant to show that Christians can always find power in him when they don't have said power.
The Star of David is a highly recognizable symbol in the Jewish faith. It is generally associated with Jewishness, and it can be seen throughout synagogues, artwork and illustrations dating back millennia.
The unicursal hexagram, or the six-pointed star that can be drawn with one line, is found under the spiritual philosophy of Thelema. It's a more contemporary religion that believes that love is the law.