Lesson Seven

                                 Symbols 

 

 

 

Hi my dear Faery friends, 

I hope you had a good time creating your own sacred space and finding your own power center in your home.

For this lesson we are going to have a look at different symbols that you can use to deepen your connection with Faery, but also to decorate your sacred space if you like.

This chapter of the course will be much shorter and just a brief overview of the different symbols that you can use in your Faery work, please know the whole world is full with symbols and you can also create your own. For this chapter I only chose a few, and many from the Celtic tradition, but you can do your research from every culture.

 

The first symbol I want to talk about is obviously the Faery star, or also called the Elven Star. It is a seven pointed star. It becomes more and more popular. It can be seen as the human figure (like the Pentagram) but with wings. It represents seven essential qualities, corresponding to the seven directions, that are needed for faery work. The founders of the Elf Queen’s Daughters, who in the 70s were the first to adopt this star to represent the elves, or the elven Otherkin.

 

 

Emily Carding associates it with the following correspondences :

 

- Knowledge, East, Air

- Connection, Above, Stars

- Trust, North, Earth

- Honor, Within, Sun

- Magic, Below, Moon

 -Joy, West, Water

- Inspiration, South, Fire

 

Emily Carding’s book „Faery Craft“ is based on this symbol and might be an interesting read for you.

The number seven is a sacred number for the Fae. The septagram is also important in Western Kabbalah, where it symbolizes the sphere of Netzach the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, the seven days of the week, and the seven colors of the rainbow.

In folklore we can note that people who were taken into Faery, it was often for a period of seven months or seven years.

Other associations for this symbol are :

 

- The Sun

- The Forest

- The Sea

- Magic

- The Moon

- The Wind

- Spirit / Connection 

or

 

– Power, Personal Will and Determination

– Unconditional Love, Wisdom and Growth

– Knowledge and Intelligence

– Harmony and Tranquility

– Powers of Mind and Science

– Devotion and Honesty

– Magic

 

According to Morgan Daimler each point can also be symbolic of seven qualities to nurture for good relations with the Fae:

 

- Hospitality

- Generosity 

- Kindness

- Compassion

- Courage

- Politness

- Adventuresomeness 

 

I use this symbol to enter the Faery Realm by drawing it either on a piece of paper or just up in the air to open a portal to the Otherworld. I also like to have this symbol up on my altar as I work constantly with the Fae. 

While I did a quick research for this symbol I found a few other associations as well, there is no right or wrong, go with the associations that make sense to you.

In a later lesson I will also give you a Tarot Spread based on this Symbol. 

The Faery Star can be a bit tricky to draw, so I give you a quick step by step guidance :

 

First draw a circle and mark seven points on the outline.

Then you just have to follow the arrows and ta da here is your Faery Star.

 

                                                                                          Awen

 

 

Awen represents divine inspiration, but can also represent the balance between female and masculine energy. Other representations are Land, Sky, and Sea, or Body, Mind, Spirit, or Underworld, Upperworld, and Middleworld. But it can also be associated with Nature, Knowledge, and Truth, or Love, Wisdom and Truth. 

The Awen symbol is often associated with modern druids. According to a 19th century Welsh dictionary, the word itself is formed by combining the two words, aw, meaning 'a fluid, a flowing', and en, meaning 'a living principle, a being, a spirit, essential'. So Awen may be rendered literally as 'a fluid essence', or 'flowing spirit’.

Awen is a gift given from the Cauldron of Inspiration of Cerridwen. 

I use this symbol in spells or rituals to let inspiration flow through me, to help me when I feel stuck in creative endeavors. 

You can simply draw it on paper, carve it into a candle, you can use pebbles to create this symbol. Let it be filled with the light of the sun to activate it. 

If you do a little research you can find a lot about this symbol. 

 

                                                                                Celtic Shield Knot

 

The Shield Knot is a symbol of protection. This knot was often placed near ill people or on battle shields for warding off the evil spirits or any other danger. It can be made in several designs, either very simple or more complex, but its uniqueness lies in its four distinct corners. A Shield Knot is usually shaped as a square or appears to be a square within a circle. I used this symbol in protection but also in healing spells. 

 

                                                                                        The Great Glyph

 

 

John Matthews introduced this symbol in his book „The Sidhe: Wisdom from the Celtic Otherworld„.

You can also find this symbol in the "Tarot of the Sidhe" deck by Emily Carding. It is on the back of the cards and can also be found in each of the Major Arcana cards. 

It represents a  gateway to Faery, or the Otherworld, it is a symbol you can use in your meditations and journeywork into the realm of the Sidhe. 

Emily Carding suggests a beautiful exercise, or meditation with this symbol in her book „Faery Craft“ which I will share with you here. 

 

Exercise 

Paint an image of the great glyph yourself on a canvas or a big piece of paper if you have no possibility to get a canvas. You might want to light a candle on either side of the image. 

Find a comfortable position and become calm and quiet. 

Allow the symbol to become ingrained in your vision. When you can see the symbol in your mind’s eye, close your eyes and see the spiral becoming a tunnel stretching out before you, through which you can pass.

If you meet any beings on your journey, remember to be polite and respectful, and to act only with truth and honor and be grateful for any gifts or wisdom received. 

Afterwards you may wish to make notes or drawings of any further gateway symbols received.

The glyph can work both ways, so you may find beings coming through to greet you. 

 

                                                                                      Solar Cross

 

 

This symbol is an equal-armed cross within a circle. We can use this symbol to represent the crossroads between the worlds. For visiting the Faery realm you can use this symbol in your journey work, as crossroads are a meeting point for humans and Fae to get together. 

Otherwise this symbol represents the four elements of air, water, fire, and earth and the center represents the self, or it can also represent the four directions east, south, west, north.

Another main symbolism within the Solar Cross is the marking of the solstices and the equinoxes.

Other meanings are that of the stages of the day: morning, noon, evening, midnight and the meeting places of the divine energy, of self, nature, wisdom and divinity.

 

                                                                                                    Spiral 

 

 

In Celtic belief the spiral is tough to represent the sun or the radiation of ethereal energy. It symbolizes the universal pattern of growth and evolution, and can also represent the goddess, the womb, fertility and life force.

The Spiral can be found in plants, like the fern for example, or in minerals, or fossils like the ammonite. Otherwise it can also be found in weather patterns, or in human physiology, think of a few examples yourself where you might find this symbol.

The double spiral is a symbol of balance and represents death and rebirth.

 

 

                                                                                Triskelion or Triskele

 

 

The Triskele is an ancient Celtic symbol. The name can be translated to „three legged“, and it appears as legs in motion. It is a symbol of cycles, the journey of life, death, and rebirth, a symbol of motion. 

The number three is a magical number and we can find it many times in Faery lore. We can also see it in triple-formed goddesses such as the Morrigan, Hekate, Brigid, or the three Nornes. 

In Fairy tales we often come across the three wishes, or three guesses in riddles. Another significance are the three colors of red, black, and white, which we will explore further in a future lesson.

 

                                                                                            Triquetra

 

 

Triquetra derives from Latin and simply means „three-cornerd“. Like the Triskele it represents the triple deities, but it also represents mind, body, and soul, or creation, preservation, and destruction. Other meanings are thought, feeling, and emotion, or the lunar phases; waxing, waning, and full moon. Other Trio meanings are :

earth, air, water – three forces of nature

maiden, mother, crone

past, present, future

Only to name a few…what else can you think of ? 

 

 

                                                                                              Tree of Life

 

 

The Tree of Life is an intricate representation that links every root below to every branch above, depicting the network of natural bonds that links all Life together. In the Norse tradition, the Tree of Life led to nine different worlds including the land of Fire, the world of the dead Hel, and the land of the Aesir, Asgard. Nine was an important number in both Norse and Celtic cultures. • The upper and lower worlds are connected by the Tree of Life. The trunk connects branches and roots with each other. Therefore, it is associated with the mortal world. A large proportion of a tree is underground so according to the Celts, the roots of the tree reached into the underworld whereas the branches grew to the upper world. This connection also enabled the Gods to communicate with the Tree of Life.

The tree symbolized strength, wisdom and longevity. It also represented rebirth. Trees shed their leaves in the autumn, hibernate in the winter, the leaves grow back in the spring and the tree is full of life in the summer.

 

Ogham

The Ogham is mostly known as a divination tool, but you can also use it to represent the energy of the trees in your rituals, or your Faery work. You can carve the symbols in your candles, draw them, or carve them in stone or wood. I spent the last year creating a Ogham course here on my homepage. If you are interested in the meanings and how you can use them in your magical work take a look here, there you can find many informations about this ancient system.

 

Runes 

Runes are also used as a divination tool, but again the symbols are also a powerful tool in magical work. I am no expert when it comes to runes, and because they are so powerful I would suggest, if it is something you are interested in, to do a very thorough research about their meanings and usage. It will not be enough to only buy a set of runes with a small guidebook to use the runes in your magical work. 

In case you want to look further into this topic, here is a nice list with different books you can explore : https://norse-mythology.org/runes/the-best-books-on-the-runes/

 

Nature 

Find symbols and meanings in the clouds for example.

Observe different patterns in nature, and see how this can relate to symbols and their meanings.

A four-leaved clover brings good luck and the ability to see Faery. The four leaved clover is also used in ointments to see through glamor, which the faeries use to disguise themselves. And when you look at a four-leaved clover from above it reminds of a solar cross.

 

This is just a brief overview of a few symbols, maybe you want to do further research on your own at this point. 

Symbols are not a necessity in Faery Work or Craft, but it might be helpful to have a focus point on this path we are walking. 

 

Your Faery Homework

Practice to draw all the different symbols and work with the ones you feel most drawn too, also pay attention to the colors you use, what does color mean to you ?

 

- Find different symbols in your natural environment

 

- Create a special piece with a symbol, this can be a painting, glass engraving, wood burning, needlepointing, a mosaic, or anything else you can think of, there are no limits. 

 

- Try the exercise with the Great Glyph from Emily Carding

 

- Research the symbols on your own to find out more about their meanings.