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    A Guide To Feminine Symbols (With Meanings)

    representing the divine feminine
    Anna Myers
    A Guide to Feminine Symbols

    Looking at the innumerable differences between various ancient cultures, from tribes through to empires, some things have remained the same. Ancient cultures loved to use symbols in place of language to refer to universal concepts and feelings, as archetypes were often preferred to complex phrases while human language took its time developing fully.

    Symbols of femininity have been used throughout the history of humanity to represent the strength, vibrancy and energy of the divine feminine. Some have been known to display matriarchal energy, or represent the divine through femininity, or again, the natural power of femininity: what follows is a guide to the most popular divine feminine symbols, and their meanings through history.



    The moon universally represents the rhythm of the feminine cycle, with the phases of the moon symbolising power, mystery, and the dark side of Nature. Whereas the sun is described as a stand-in for male qualities and male energy, the Moon is the yang to the Sun’s yin and it rules our emotions, the tides of the ocean, and female cycles in both humans and animals. The moon is connected to fertility, a divine symbol of life and death through its link to the feminine menstrual cycle and the changing of the seasons. 


    Venus Symbol

    Going back as far as Greco-Roman mythology, and ancient Astrology studies, the most universal symbol of femininity is that of the Venus symbol, representing both the planet Venus and the goddess Venus. Associated with feminine qualities like love and passion, as well as fertility, with the circle drawn to represent the female womb. Other meanings of the Venus symbol are wholeness, integrity and magnetism, also commonly thought of as female traits. 



    Through a wide range of cultures and centuries of art and literature, the lotus flower has represented ideals of beauty, purity and feminine enlightenment for all of history. Often used in Egyptian hieroglyphics as a symbol of birth, rebirth, and blossoming anew with each sunrise, in Hinduism it’s considered an element of beauty, fertility and prosperity, and in Tantrism it is thought of as a symbol of spiritual perfection.



    Gaia (or Gaea) was a powerful primordial goddess in Greek mythology, seen as a cosmic force overseeing and nurturing Earth. Her representations often portray a motherly woman, symbolising fertility and the miracle of life. She is associated with fruits, grains, and Nature as a whole, representing Earth itself. The sky, the rivers, the sea, and the planet itself were created by the goddess, the original source of life, making her an archetype of feminine divinity and motherhood. 


    Venus of Willendorf

    The Venus of Willendorf, also called Woman of Willendorf or Nude Woman, is a Palaeolithic artefact found in Austria in 1908. This small statuette is known as a fertility figure, a good luck totem and a mother goddess symbol. Her breasts are emphasised as is her pubic region, which historians take to represent the process of childbearing. Despite differences in opinion regarding the functions and significance of the Venus of Willendorf and other unearthed Venus figurines throughout Europe, they are thought to represent the lifespan of women and its different stages through time.


    Spiral Goddess

    The Spiral Goddess is a symbol of feminine power, fertility, life cycles, celebration, and surrender: her hands, held up, represent the need to celebrate and let creativity rush through the body, towards progress and growth, whereas the spiral in her belly is a symbol of feminine cycles, birth, development and expansion. The spiral also represents the chakra’s outward flow, from the core to the external world, and the feminine energy flowing through her body. She is a popular Celtyic symbol and can be observed on ancient structures dating back thousands of years.


    Spider Grandmother

    Among many Native American tribes, Grandmother Spider is a goddess and the guardian of everything on Earth, using her magical powers to weave the fabric of time. She is also referred to as the “Great Teacher” and “The Creator of Life,” and her spider qualities are a metaphor for creation, feminine power, and bringing life to Earth. She is also related to the Moon, as she is thought to have created her, too. She is also considered a goddess of creation (and destruction, as the two go hand in hand) in Maya, Olmec, and pre-Toltec civilizations, and has been a symbol of life and wisdom for thousands of years.



    Associated with the Goddess Aphrodite in Greek times and the Virgin Mary in Roman Christian times, the rose has long symbolised love, beauty, innocence and the personification of the female divine and feminine virtues. There is also a long-standing tradition of flowers in art seen as

    symbols of female genitalia, with red roses seen as sexually charged and white roses seen as symbols of divine purity. 



    Umay is the archetype of the Great Mother and the feminine principle in the

    common ancient Turkic mythological system, and a highly revered female deity. She is a benevolent spirit, the patroness of children and women in labour, protecting them from  evil otherworldly forces. She personifies the forces of nature and fertility: Turkish myths taught that Umay could give women children, if only they tied a string to a cradle. She also brought people luck, food, and help, and was highly revered.  



    Orchids, pink ones in particular, symbolise feminine grace and strength: from ancient Greeks to modern civilizations, flowers and their connection to the divine feminine have long been documented and studied. As a gift for women, bouquets of orchids are an invitation to reconnect with one’s inner strength, and a celebration of feminine values like nurturing selflessness, empathy, care and appreciation. They also represent the beginning of life and a new chapter in life, often used in traditional weddings as symbols of blessings, beauty, and longevity. 

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