Human development has always been dependent on healing.
In fact, most anthropologists believe the palliative arts pre-dated organized languages.
The historical record is filled with healing symbols from various religions and cultures.
To that end, we’re looking at 25 symbols of healing from around the world.
Some cultures traditionally used them to mark the location of a healer or doctor; others are still used today as meditation aids and healing talismans.
- What Are Spiritual Healing Symbols and How Are They Used?
- 25 Healing Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
- 1. Snake Coiled Around a Staff
- 2. The Spiral Sun
- 3. Serpents
- 4. Sei He Ki
- 5. Abracadabra
- 6. Cho Ku Rei
- 7. Shaman’s Hand / Hopi Healing Hand
- 8. Fire
- 9. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
- 10. Yin-Yang Symbol
- 11. Prema Agni
- 12. Lotus Flower
- 13. Sri Yantra
- 14. Eye of Horus
- 15. Rising Phoenix
- 16. Onyx
- 17. Dove
- 18. First Nations Medicine Wheel
- 19. Om Symbol
- 20. Chakra Symbols
- 21. Yemaya Goddess Symbol
- 22. Plants
- 23. Triskele Spiral
- 24. Hamsa
- 25. Raku
What Are Spiritual Healing Symbols and How Are They Used?
In a definitional sense, a healing symbol is a pictogram or graphical character used to promote mental wellbeing, spiritual balance, or physical health.
Since prehistoric times, humans have used healing pictograms both practically and spiritually.
Practical Uses of Spiritual Symbols
Local healers etched healing symbols into rocks or trees near their residences.
By the middle ages, doctors, apothecaries, and natural practitioners were using graphics in shop signs and promotional materials — a practice that remains common today.
Healing Symbols for Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Wellbeing
In many traditions, spiritual symbols are thought to hold supernatural, energetic, or vibrational powers, and people use them to enhance spiritual and physical healing. Common ways to incorporate healing symbols include:
- Painting the sign on artifacts for healing rituals and ceremonies
- Meditating in front of the symbol
- Visualizing the mark in your mind’s eye during meditation
- Wearing an amulet of the sign to promote ongoing healing and protection
- Using the symbol in artwork
25 Healing Spiritual Symbols and Their Meanings
Are you looking for spiritual symbols to use in healing rituals or meditations? Or maybe you’re interested in spiritual artwork or tattoo ideas.
We hope our list of 25 spiritual healing symbols is a source of inspiration that sparks a few ideas.
1. Snake Coiled Around a Staff
For centuries, a snake coiled around a staff has been a symbol of healing. It was originally associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios (aka Asclepius).
Over the centuries, Asklepios’s rod transformed into the caduceus, the universal symbol for treatment featuring two snakes coiled around a staff with two wings.
2. The Spiral Sun
The Anasazi peoples first used the spiral sun in petroglyphs, and several First Nations call it “The First Healer.” In fact, many shamanic belief systems see the sun as a natural healing entity.
The spiral represents eternity, and the rays symbolize the Universe’s movements and rhythms.
The spiral sun is thought to help people heal from physical and spiritual difficulties by connecting them with the ideal vibrations.
Many cultures associated snakes with healing, protection, and health — including the ancient Egyptians. In their mythology, Wadjet, a high-ranking protection goddess, was represented as a woman with the head of a cobra.
These days, serpents have a mixed reputation, but they’re still symbols of good health and fortune in many traditions.
4. Sei He Ki
Sei He Ki is one of the most significant and oldest Reiki symbols. It’s used to promote the unity between God and man and spiritual equilibrium.
People may meditate in front of the sign when wanting to balance their mental and physical health or connect with the universal life force.
“Abracadabra” is more than just a word co-opted by magicians. Historically, the phrase was associated with healing remedies.
It’s believed to derive from the Hebrew initials for “father, son, and the holy spirit,” and in that language, it means “I will create as I speak.” In Aramaic, it translates to “I create like the word.”
Whichever the case, healers told patients to wear amulets of the saying, with the word diminishing by one letter per line to form a triangle.
6. Cho Ku Rei
Cho Ku Rei is another Reiki symbol associated with healing. It enhances the power of a healing ritual, especially for physical ailments.
Many people carry around a Cho Ku Rei amulet or get a tattoo as protection against physical mishaps.
7. Shaman’s Hand / Hopi Healing Hand
A symbol of a spiral inside of a palm is known as a shaman’s hand, Hopi healing hand, or just a healing hand, and it comes from traditions established by First Nations peoples of the southwestern United States.
The spiral palm represents the universe, and the hand passes on protective and positive energy. Some folks believe it attracts good luck, wealth, and happiness; others use it as a therapeutic aid.
Humans’ ability to harness fire was seminal in our evolutionary development.
One of nature’s most powerful forces, it represents universal energy in that it has the power to both create and destroy. Fire was the catalyst for civilization; likewise, it has sparked countless travesties over the centuries.
Candles, flames, and fires also symbolize light — specifically, finding light in the darkness. That’s why it’s used in many rituals, religious ceremonies, and vigils.
9. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is the Reiki symbol for long-distance healing. It allows practitioners to send positive energies through time and space.
The symbol means: There is no past, no present, no future. The past, present, and future are here now. The Divinity in me salutes the Divinity in you.
Mainly, it’s used in meditations to help you release past traumas.
10. Yin-Yang Symbol
Evidence of the first yin-yang symbol — aka the Taichi symbol — dates back to 1400 B.C. Originally associated with Taoism, the yin-yang symbol represents harmonic equilibrium at its most basic level.
However, it also symbolizes the idea of contrary forces interconnecting, complementing, and giving rise to one another. In some traditions, the Taichi is a reminder that universal energy creates order out of chaos.
11. Prema Agni
Prema Agni is a Buddhist symbol usually drawn on one’s back. It helps open your sacred heart.
In some schools of thought, people who wear Prema Agni amulets or tattoos get and give love much easier. It’s also associated with healing a wounded heart or spirit.
The symbol has seven primary points that stand for:
In other sects, the Prema Agni spiritual healing symbol also represents unity and peace.
12. Lotus Flower
Lotus are special because they must rise through the mud to become beautiful flowers. Their journey is one of struggle and purification.
They’re regarded as a natural and powerful symbol of rebirth and perseverance. Using lotus imagery during meditation can go a long way in healing hardships.
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13. Sri Yantra
Sri Yantra is a pictorial image of interlinked triangles with a perfect Pi (3.14) ratio. It’s revered as the “ultimate fractal of healing” and the graphical representation of the “OM” (aka “AUM”) sound.
Tradition holds that it popped into the head of a yogi who lived over 5,000 years ago as a symbol to help heal the heart and mind.
14. Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian emblem. It represents protection, restoration, and health. The symbol is associated with the story of Seth, the God of Chaos, who took Horus’ left eye.
As the story goes, Horus’ eye was miraculously repaired and became a protective talisman from that point on.
15. Rising Phoenix
The rising phoenix is a mythical symbol that’s meaningful to many people who’ve emerged stronger from a struggle. With their vibrant feathers, phoenixes are said to live up to 1,000 years.
At death, they burn up in flames, and a baby phoenix is born from the ashes. As such, it represents healing, rebirth, and starting over.
A polished onyx has long been considered a protective charm in Indian and Persian traditions.
Many people have onyx jewelry, and others carry a small chunk of the stone in their pocket or purse to shield them from danger and misfortune. Some folks also believe it enhances courage and spiritual wisdom.
The dove officially became the international symbol of peace in 1949 when delegates of the World Peace Congress chose the bird as the assembly’s mascot.
But for thousands of years prior, it served as a symbol for rebirth and regeneration in many cultures.
18. First Nations Medicine Wheel
Alternatively known as a sacred hoop, medicine wheels are a part of several Native American belief systems. A typical medicine wheel is a circle divided into four sections.
It can represent elements of nature, stages of life, seasons, or animals and plants, depending on the ceremony, ritual, or healing practice. Medicine wheels can be drawn, crafted, or worn as a pendant.
19. Om Symbol
“Om” is a sacred sound in Buddhist and Hindu belief systems. It represents the soul and voice of the Universe and is frequently used to initiate meditations, rituals, incantations, and prayer sessions.
Most people recite the sound while in the presence of the Om symbol, as it enhances emotional concentration and healing. To state it another way, Om helps to erode negative energy.
20. Chakra Symbols
In Sanskrit, the word “chakra” means “disk” or “wheel” and refers to the energy centers in your body. These wheels or disks of spinning energy each correspond to specific nerve bundles and major organs.
Your chakras need to stay open or balanced to function at their best.
Although some schools of thought identify hundreds of chakras, there are seven main ones. They start at the base of your spine and extend to the crown of your head. Each has an associated symbol.
- Muladhara (Root Chakra): An upside-down triangle (earth), within a circle (universe), within a square (rigidity), encompassed by four petals (four states of awareness — ego, consciousness, intellect, and mind)
- Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra): Circles (cyclical nature of life) connected to lotus petals (rebirth)
- Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra): An upside-down triangle (absorbing energy from the three lower chakras) in a circle (the Universe) surrounded by ten petals (types of air and energy); in some renditions, there is something in the middle of the triangle
- Anahata (Heart Chakra): Twelve lotus petals (12 qualities of the heart) with two triangles in the center, one pointing downwards and one upwards (divine feminine and divine masculine); connects the lower and upper chakras
- Vishuddha (Throat Chakra): A downward-facing triangle encompassing a circle (gathering of knowledge) inside 16 lotus petals and a circle (16 vowels of the Sanskrit language)
- Ajna (Third Eye Chakra): A downward-facing triangle (knowledge and lessons of the six lower chakras) inside a circle supported by two lotus petals (connection to the divine)
- Sahasrara (Crown Chakra): Divine circle (universal unity) and a lotus flower (prosperity and eternity)
21. Yemaya Goddess Symbol
Yemaya is an important orisha — or spirit — in the Yoruba religion prominent in several western African countries.
She is linked to the moon and cleanses away sorrow. Yemaya is motherly, strong, and protective, making her a supreme healer in the tradition.
Some plants, like aloe vera and various herbs, have proven palliative properties. Throughout human existence, trees and plants have represented growth and regeneration — two concepts intimately connected to healing.
23. Triskele Spiral
An ancient Celtic symbol, the triskele spiral comprises three connected coils. It speaks to the belief that everything happens in batches of three (i.e., “third times the charm”).
The spirals can represent various things, including land, sea, and sky; sun, gods, and human; birth, death, and rebirth.
Muslims call it the Hand of Fatima; Jewish people refer to it as the Hand of Miriam; plus, it’s an important symbol in certain Indian and Buddhist traditions, too.
Regardless of the name, it serves the same purpose in all cultures: protecting wearers against the evil eye or illness.
Raku is also known as “the completion symbol” in Reiki and is used during the final healing stages. Some refer to it as the “fire serpent” and use it to seal bodily energy. The Raku symbol and associated wavelength are effective at healing small areas.
If you’re searching for a symbol for healing, we hope you found this list useful. May you use them in good health — both mental and physical.