Guide to Better Master Ancient Symbols of Strength and Perseverance

Last Updated on December 7, 2023

Since ancient times, people relied on symbols that represented strength and resilience to overcome hard times in their life. The perseverance symbols signify fearlessness, bravery, and endurance.

Perseverance is essential for life quality. It gives you the strength to deal with the inevitable challenges that life throws at you.

Mostly, the symbols in the jewelry, artwork, or talismans, boost and reinforce strength in times of need or during unpleasant times. In addition, they can serve as a reminder of your inner power and bravery, motivating you to reach your most significant potential.

In this article, we will show you some of the most famous symbols of strength and perseverance.

Key Takeaways

  • Symbolism of Strength: Ancient symbols of strength often convey resilience, endurance, and inner power. These symbols may be derived from mythology, folklore, or cultural traditions.
  • Cultural Diversity: Different cultures have their unique symbols representing strength and perseverance. Exploring symbols from various civilizations provides insights into diverse perspectives on these qualities.
  • Mythological References: Symbols may be associated with mythical figures or stories that embody strength and the ability to overcome challenges. These narratives often carry moral or inspirational lessons.
  • Talismanic Use: Many of these symbols might have been used as talismans or amulets believed to imbue the wearer with strength, courage, and the ability to endure difficulties.
  • Ancient Wisdom: The study of ancient symbols reveals the wisdom and values of past civilizations. These symbols often reflect the importance placed on qualities like fortitude and tenacity.

Eastern Symbols of Strength

SymbolCultureMeanings and Representations
Lotus FlowerBuddhismResilience, perseverance, courage, enlightenment
LionBuddhism, Old World CulturesStrength, dominance, wisdom, protection
DragonChina, East AsiaPower, strength, good luck, nobility, success
Golden EagleEurope & Near EastStrength, courage, fierceness, immortality, messenger of God

Lotus Flower symbol (Eastern cultures – Buddhism)

  • The Lotus flower, growing in murky environments, symbolizes resilience and perseverance in Eastern cultures.
  • In Buddhism, the Lotus represents courage and strength, thriving in challenging conditions similar to the obstacles one faces on the path to enlightenment.
  • The Buddha and Hindu gods are often depicted sitting on the Lotus, signifying transcendence over material suffering and the attainment of enlightenment.

RELATED: Lotus Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

Lion symbol of strength (Buddhist and Old World Cultures)

  • Lions are revered for their bravery, strength, and resilience in various cultures.
  • In Buddhism, the lion symbolizes strength, consistency, and wisdom, often representing the throne on which the Buddha sits.
  • Considered nocturnal in some beliefs, lions symbolize dominance over subconscious thoughts, with the night representing the subconscious mind.
  • In ancient Egypt, lions had the role of protecting the weak and banishing evil, exemplified by the lioness Sekhmet, a manifestation of Ra’s strength.
  • In Mesopotamian mythology, the lion is a symbol of the demigod Gilgamesh’s heroic exploits and superhuman strength.
  • Lion statues guarding shrines or temple entrances are a common symbol in places of worship, including Japan.
  • Lions appear on the national flags of several countries, such as Sri Lanka, Zambia, and Belgium.

Dragon symbol of strength (China and East Asia)

  • The dragon, a mythical creature prominent in East Asian culture, symbolizes power, strength, and good luck for those deemed worthy.
  • Dragons represent boldness, nobility, self-confidence, and success in various East Asian traditions.
  • Being compared to a dragon is considered the highest honor, signifying exceptional qualities.
  • In Imperial China, the emperor used a dragon emblem to signify dominance and strength.
  • Legend has it that the first monarch of China, the Yellow Emperor, transformed into an immortal dragon upon his death, ascending to heaven.

Golden Eagle Symbol of Strength (Europe & Near East)

The golden eagle is a symbol of strength because it is a massive, powerful bird of prey that does not have any natural predators. As a result, they can hunt and kill much larger animals than themselves, like deer, sheep, and wolves.

Because of their fearsome nature, golden eagles represent strength, courage, fierceness, and immortality across various cultures.

The messenger of God, is one of its known role. For the Ancient Egyptians, the bird was a symbol of Ra, and for the Greeks, a symbol of Zeus.

RELATED: Eagle: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

Greek Symbols of Strength

SymbolMythologyMeanings and Representations
PhoenixGreekRebirth, new life, strength, perseverance, spiritual totem
HorseGreek, Far East, North AmericaStrength, speed, youthful energy, intelligence

Phoenix Symbol of Strength (Greece)

As to how the Phoenix exactly started, is not certain. But, is usually akin with Greek mythology. The Phoenix is a legendary mythical firebird that bursts into flames when it dies and then rises from the ashes.

Although this bird symbolizes rebirth and new life, it also represents strength, perseverance, and a spiritual totem.

According to historical records, ancient Egyptians believed in a bird god of rebirth named Bennu. Some believe there is a connection between these two mythical creatures.

Horse Symbol of Strength (Greece, Far East, and North America)

The horse has symbolized strength, speed, youthful energy, and intelligence across various cultures. In Ancient Greece, the horse represented wealth, power, and status.

Chinese symbolism has the horse symbol, being the most recurrent animal in their culture and arts after the dragon. Further, earlier Chinese traditions considers the horse’s strength more powerful than the one of a dragon.

The Native American tribes have various meanings, but a common association was with strength and power. Therefore, the majestic symbol representing perseverance, speed, strength, and youthful energy, is the horse.

RELATED: White Horse: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

Celtic Symbols of Strength

The Sacred Oak Tree – Dara Knot (Celtic symbol of strength)

“Dara” is taken from the Irish word “doire,” which means wood. Celtic culture relates the term to the meaning of the oak tree, which was considered sacred by the Druids.

The oak tree symbolizes strength, resistance, morale, and knowledge. It was one of the most beloved trees of the ancient Celts.

Oak trees can also live for over 300 years surviving lousy weather and adverse conditions like storms, hurricanes, and tornados. They’ve become living legends that incorporate centuries of wisdom in their bodies.

The roots of the oak tree grow down to the point where they are almost the same height as the tree, which is why it is nearly impossible to knock them down.

Ailm Symbol of Strength (Celtic culture)

Sacred Oak TreeStrength, resistance, morale, knowledge
AilmResilience, endurance, strength
GriffinCourage, leadership, wisdom, strength

The Ailm is another Celtic symbol of obscure origin, but it has a profound meaning. Additionally, the symbol closely associates with the Silver Fir tree. These trees are evergreen plants that survive any weather conditions and keep growing. This is why Alim was considered a symbol of resilience, endurance, and strength by Celts.

RELATED: Hawthorn Tree Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Connotations & More

Griffin Symbol of Strength (Celtic culture)

The Griffin is another popular mythological creature with differences existing in various cultures worldwide.

Celts often depicted the Griffin with the lion’s body, the wings and head of an eagle, and horse-like ears. It was believed to be extremely powerful, wise, and strong beasts.

The Griffin is a Celtic symbol for courage, leadership, wisdom and strength.

Middle Eastern and African Symbols of Strength

SymbolCultureMeanings and Representations
HamsaMiddle EastBlessings, femininity, power, strength, protection
PempamsieWest AfricaUnity, hardiness, readiness
TabonoWest AfricaUnity, hard work, strength, persistence

Hamsa Symbol of Strength (the Middle East)

Hamsa (Khamsah in Hebrew and Arabic) means five, a palm-shaped symbol popular throughout the Middle East. Sometimes accompanied by the evil eye, this palm of the right hand represents blessings, femininity, power, and strength.

The evil eye inside the hand, for some, protects against evil. Some people interpret it as the eye that sees everything and warns the person carrying the Hamsa against evil.

Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims used Hamsa to symbolize protection, luck, and inner strength. The Hamsa is called the Hand of Mary or Miriam by Jews, the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, named after the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.

Pempamsie, Adinkra Symbol of Strength (West Africa)

First, it is essential to define what Adinkra means, and it is a symbol from Ghana that expresses principles and concepts. Ghanaian people use Adinkra symbols on many things, like ritual objects and architecture, jewelry, pottery, and fabrics.

Pempamsie is a significant symbol of the Akan people. This word means in English “sew into readiness.” This ancient symbol looks like the links of a chain and represents the strength that you get with unity.

It can be interpreted as a group of people that is only as strong as their weakest link.

The Pempamsie represents constancy, hardiness, and readiness; it also reminds us that it is essential to be prepared for anything.

Tabono, Adinkra Symbol of Strength (West Africa)

Tabono is another Adinkra symbol shaped like four joined oars to indicate unbreakable bonds. The word tabono means ‘paddle’ and ‘oar’ in the Adinkra language.

This prominent symbol represents unity, hard work, strength, and persistence. The strength that Tabono gives is not physical power. Instead, it is a person’s self-control and emotional strength.

The symbol represents the idea that great success is possible if they are willing to make sacrifices, have a strong will, and work hard. The Tobono is mentioned widely in West Africa through architecture, pottery, and fabrics.

The Sphinx (Ancient Egyptian Symbol)

SphinxStrength, dominance, intelligence
Djed PillarStrength, stability, immutability, eternal life
Scarab BeetleStrength, vitality, fertility, resilience, immortality
  • The Sphinx, with a king’s head and a lion’s body, symbolizes strength, dominance, and intelligence.
  • It represents the pharaoh as the “link between people and the gods” and is described in Egyptian and Greek cultures as a fierce guardian of royal tombs and temples.

Djed Pillar (Egyptian Symbol)

  • The Djed pillar, shaped like a column with a rectangular base tapering to a smaller capital, symbolizes strength, stability, immutability, fertility, resurrection, and eternal life.
  • Known as “the backbone of Osiris,” it is associated with Osiris, the god of the dead and resurrection in ancient Egyptian religion.

Scarab Beetle (Egyptian Symbol)

  • The Scarab Beetle is a prominent symbol representing physical strength, vitality, fertility, resilience, transformation, and immortality.
  • Associated with Khepri, the Egyptian sun god linked to resurrection, scarabs were placed on the deceased for protection and good luck in the afterlife.
  • Scarab amulets are worn for strength, courage, and protection, serving as a good luck charm against life’s challenges.

RELATED: Beetle: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

Native American Symbols of Strength

SymbolTribe/RegionMeanings and Representations
BearVarious tribesStrength, courage, health, family
WolfVarious tribesLoyalty, intelligence, guidance, communication
B’alam (Jaguar)Mayan, AztecDivinity, confidence, leadership, ferocity, royalty

Bear Symbol of Strength (Native American culture)

  • The bear, the largest terrestrial predator, symbolizes not only physical strength but also leadership, courage, and authority.
  • In Native American tribes, the bear represents health, strength, energy, courage, and family, embodying independence, strong will, and endurance.
  • The bear symbol holds high regard in Native American communities, offering comfort and strength, especially to those who live alone or seek personal reassurance.
  • Some view the bear as a powerful totem, while dreams featuring bears are seen as symbols of strength and independence.
  • In certain cultures, consuming bear meat is believed to impart infinite strength and intelligence, making a person unbeatable.

Wolf Symbol of Strength (Native American culture)

The Native Americans revered the wolf symbol perceived as a powerful, loyal, and intelligent animal.

They call on the wolf spirit animal to guide them through life, especially when things get tough and the future appears dark.

According to them, the wolf is the most gifted hunter and possesses the most mystical powers of all the land animals.

Attributed to humans, wolves, are social animals who communicate through body movement, sound, and touch.

Many people who wear wolf totems are seeking direction in difficult times.

The native tribes revered the wolf as a powerful animal, connected with the creation of Earth. And according to the Pawnee tribe’s legends, the first creature to die.

B’alam Symbol of Strength (Mesoamerican and Mayan Cultures)

  • In Mayan culture, the logogram “B’alam” symbolizes the jaguar, considered the god of the underworld, controlling night and day as well as celestial forces.
  • Jaguars, as one of the largest feline species and apex predators in the New World tropics, symbolized strength in Mayan culture, embodying ferocity, divinity, confidence, and leadership.
  • In the later Mayan civilization, the name B’alam became associated with many monarchs, signifying the jaguar as a symbol of royalty.
  • The jaguar holds significance in Aztec tribes, representing strength, and was revered as a sacred animal across various pre-Columbian cultures, symbolizing strength and power.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a symbol of strength and perseverance?

One of the most popular symbols of strength and perseverance is the lotus flower. Besides this symbol, Dara Knot and Alim (Celtic symbols), Pempamsie, and Tabono (West Africa).

What can symbolize good luck and protection?

Hamsa symbols sometimes have the evil eye inside the hand. That eye is a protection against evil for some people. The dragon symbolizes power, strength, and good luck in Chinese culture for those worthy of it. In Egyptian mythology, its purpose is for good luck charm.

What animal is a symbol of strength?

Animals that symbolize strength are a bear, Golden eagle, lion, jaguar, horse, and wolf.

What symbolizes a fresh start?

The Phoenix symbolizes a fresh start because it bursts into flames when it dies and then rises from the ashes. Although this bird symbolizes rebirth and new life, it also represents strength, perseverance, and a spiritual totem.

RELATED: Phoenix: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

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