Sixteen Rebirth Symbol (Meaning and Symbolism in Ancient Times)

The Significance and Meaning of Rebirth Symbol

Rebirth is an old idea in nearly all belief systems, myths, and religions. For example, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, Gnosticism, and Buddhism are among the religions that believe in reincarnation, in which the body dies, but the spirit lives on.

Plants that perish in the winter come back to life in the spring, rebirth symbol after death, as we learned over time through agriculture.

Human beings saw themselves in this natural cycle, believing that humans, like animals, are reborn after death.

You don’t have to believe in spiritual or religious reincarnation to enjoy the importance of these powerful symbols; almost everyone can connect to the concept of rebirth.

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What are the different types of Rebirth Symbol?

Here are the most important symbols and their symbolic meanings in ancient times:

The New Moon, the Ouroborus, the Snake symbol, the Scarab Beetle, Blue Morpho butterfly, the Lotus flower, the Phoenix, the Dharma wheel, the Starfish, Water, Easter eggs, Triskete (Norse Mythology), the Tree of Life, Strawberries, Inanna, and so on.

The New Moon

Many cultures associate different phases of the moon with other spheres of daily life.

For example, the new moon phase indicates rebirth, new beginnings, and renewal. In contrast, the full moon phase represents attaining the pinnacle of one’s potential and vitality, and the crescent moon phase signifies ends and letting go.

When it’s daytime on Earth, the new moon steps into new beginnings when the moon’s dark side orients towards us, and it passes the sky synced with the sun. As a result, it is impossible to see it with our naked eyes.

Photo by Rok Romih from Pexels

The only time it can be viewed without technology is during a solar eclipse.

The new moon day is regarded as lucky in Hinduism, and some people give offerings to their forefathers on this day. A new moon begins and ends each month on the Hindu lunar calendar.

The Ouroboros Symbol or Snake Biting its Tail as Rebirth Symbol

The Ouroborus is one of the oldest rebirth symbols, a snake or dragon eating its tail, as Greek and Egyptian mythology depicted it. The Ouroborus is regarded as a death and rebirth symbol. A snake or dragon dies by devouring itself, yet self-fertilization allows it to rebirth.

You could find images of the Ouroborus biting its tail on gravestones throughout the 17th or 18th centuries, indicating the deceased’s reincarnation.

The Ouroborus has also been utilized as a gnostic and alchemical symbol to represent the idea that things never genuinely vanish but rather change and are destroyed only to be recreated.

This symbol is said to derive from ancient Greeks and later Egyptians.

The Snake Symbol in Ancient Cultures As Rebirth Symbol

Because snakes have the incredible ability to shed their old skin, they believed the creature was rejuvenating itself in ancient Greek mythology. The snake shedding its worn-out skin links to rebirth and renewal. 

The ancient Greeks even considered them sacred and used them to worship Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. Likewise, in Japanese culture, white snakes are regarded as messengers to the human realm, moving between the Underworld and Heaven.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The Greek god Asclepius, who bears a snake on his stick, is said to cure illnesses and heal the physical body in Greek mythology.

Snakes are frequently featured in jewelry designs with their scaly skin, giving a unique touch to the piece. Colorful gemstones like emeralds, sapphires, and rubies are widely used to decorate their eyes. Snakes will inspire you to let go of your old self and be reborn.

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The Scarab Beetle in Ancient Egypt

Since the dawn of time, numerous cultures have revered the dung beetle, sometimes known as the scarab beetle, as a rebirth symbol, new beginnings, and everlasting life. For example, in ancient Egyptian mythology, the scarab beetle was identified with Khepri, the God of the Sun. 

Khepri has the body of a man and the head of a dung beetle. This beetle was regarded as a symbol of immortality and rebirth, like the sun rising, which sets only to rise again the next day. The scarab beetle’s Egyptian name means “to be made” or “to come into this world.” 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

The scarab beetles are revered as sacred creatures, and they were seen on tomb walls, sculptures, and amulets in ancient Egypt. Often they are depicted in combination with the rising sun.

Scarab beetles shape dung into the shape of a ball to utilize as food and form a chamber in which to lay their eggs. Therefore this ancient Egyptian symbol represents a rebirth for the people of Ancient Egypt.

Scarab beetle amulets were carried for protection and praying for long life, while burial amulets assured a person’s spiritual renewal. The symbolism of the scarab beetle is still well known in modern times.

Blue Morpho Butterfly Symbol 

The name “Morpho” derives from the Ancient Greek name that means “shapely one,” and Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

Even though famous artists’ works, like Martin J. Heade, depict this beautiful butterfly as blue in hue, the truth is that its wings reflect blue light. However, the butterflies themselves are not blue.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

This butterfly is said to grant desires, provide good luck, and deliver messages from spirits who have passed away. Its home is in South and Central America in their beautiful tropical rain forests. They say that the life of a human being and that of a butterfly mirror each other.

Until it grows into its final stage of development, the butterfly is constantly evolving and transforming. So people starting a new phase or chapter in their lives get butterfly earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

The Lotus Flower As Rebirth Symbol

The lotus flower has long been a highlight of Buddhist iconography as the most powerful symbol representing rebirth. 

Every day, the pink lotus flower emerges from the muddy waters and blooms before returning to the muck to begin the cycle of life the next day.

The lotus flower’s daily rebirth is an excellent metaphor for the Buddhist belief in achieving nirvana.

Photo by Will Mu from Pexels

Many people, not just Buddhists, revered this lovely flower. Some Eastern religions and Ancient Egyptians believed the lotus flower was a symbol of rebirth, life, creation, and the sun for Egyptians.

The lotus flower was incorporated into wall paintings and tombs by the ancient Egyptians because of its symbolic value. In addition, the Eightfold Path, a roadmap to enlightenment and reincarnation in Buddhism, is frequently portrayed with the lotus.

The Buddha sitting over a lotus blossom is a famous Buddhist symbol of nirvana.

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The Phoenix and its Connection to Rebirth Symbol

This mythical bird burns with bright colors and is a rebirth symbol, regeneration, and rejuvenation. The phoenix nests around itself and goes up in flames at the end of its life. But restores itself with a new life born from the ashes.

Several cultures have integrated the Phoenix into their mythology. Persians also have a bird called the Simurgh. A girl and boy phoenix signifies the Yin and the Yang in Chinese culture and presumes to provide harmony to the universe.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Minting the emblem of a phoenix into Ancient Roman coins to represent eternal wealth in Rome. As a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, noting highly of the Phoenix in Christianity.

This is also an analogy for how you must let go of specific characteristics to give birth to a new, more attentive self.

Phoenix tattoos are a modern way of honoring this mythological bird which is a rebirth symbol. It shows someone who has braved the fires of adversity and yet stayed strong and regenerated to restart their life in a better frame.

The Rebirth Symbolism of the Dharma Wheel

Otherwise called the Dharmachakra wheel, this Buddhist symbol is one of the most important. The Dharma Wheel, which represents the Buddhist life, depicts a never-ending cycle of rebirth.

Its roots trace to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, also known as the Wheel of Law. The wheel has eight gold-colored spokes that represent the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

With each rebirth, it inspires us to work toward gradual enlightenment. This suggests that while one is alive, one should try to live life to the fullest possible. Then, in the next life, they will be born with a higher status.

In Buddhism, the term dharma has two separate meanings. First, is to define law and the cosmic order. Second, is to determine Buddha’s teachings.

What does the Starfish Represent?

Just like a few other animals, the Starfish has the unique ability to regenerate its lost limbs. The limb can regrow when severed.

Native Americans revere the starfish for its resilience and endurance because of this attribute.

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

One Native American community’s name is after a species of Starfish. Because of its ability to regenerate, many people have chosen the Starfish as their spiritual guide in recent years.

People see the Starfish as a symbol of letting go of their old self and making room for new ideas and energies.

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Water and its Connection With Rebirth

Water has been the main symbol of renewal, purification, and healing since the dawn of time for human beings. This is due to its ability of washing away the grime and filth, to leave something spotless.

Baptism is a Christian ceremony that uses water to signify that a person has been ‘born again’ in Christ Jesus.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Many cultures in the Middle East and Asian cultures immerse in holy water to cleanse themselves of sins and physical illnesses.

Water plays a massive role in meditation rituals when cleansing the soul, mind, and spirit and mentioned in most creation myths as the essence of life.


Fruits have also taken on symbolic connotations in various cultures’ stories and mythologies. Because strawberries are the first fruits to mature during the season, certain Native American tribes equate them with spring and rebirth. The Seneca people considers strawberry as a symbol of good health.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Easter Egg and its tie to Ancient Egyptians

The influence of pagan holidays and festivals, heavily influencing the founding group of the Church. Integrating pagan customs like lilies, eggs, and rabbits into Christianity in their efforts of conversion.

The Egyptian Celebration of Isis has had a significant influence on modern Christian Easter. The themes of rebirth, resurrection, and trinity run through Isis, Osiris, and Horus’ tales.

Image by Hans from Pixabay

Christians color the Easter eggs crimson to represent the blood spilled by Jesus at his crucifixion. The egg’s outer shell represents the sealed tomb where Jesus Christ lay to rest, and cracking the eggs shell represents Christ’s resurrection.

As one Easter story goes, Roman Emperor Tiberius invited Mary Magdalene to a feast. “Christ is risen!” she said, pointing to a few eggs on the table. Emperor Tiberius claimed that Christ’s resurrection was as unlikely as the crimson egg he had just handed over to her. The egg turned a vivid red color when Mary Magdalene grasped it.

Nowadays, it is tradition for Christians to exchange red eggs on Easter in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Color Green

Green is the tone that most people identify with rejuvenation, freshness, hope, regeneration, and nature. Akin with the spring in Japan is green, as a season of rebirth and renewal.

Image by Leopictures from Pixabay

Green is related to the rising sun in China, which fades into darkness before reappearing. In Hinduism, green is the color of Anahata, or heart chakra, and considered the center of life.

RELATED: Green Chakra Meaning

What is the Triskele?

The Triskele is a symbol with three interlacing spirals, that are usually akin with the concept of infinity.

The depiction of the Mother Goddess is also a common feature in Celtic art. The Triskele is an old Celtic sign that represents rebirth, the afterlife, and the sun.

Image by Hans from Pixabay

It’s a Norse symbol of life and childbirth in relation to the Neolithic “tomb” in Newgrange, as the sun ends a spiral over three months.

Similarly, the Triskele indicates nine months, which is how long it takes for a child to be born. Because this sign is a continuous motion, it represents the passage of time.

The Tree of Life

Honored as new life-givers somewhere before 7000 BCE, according to some evidence. Acadians in Turkey considers pine tree as sacred from roughly 3000 BCE.

It is an interpretation of a symbol of rebirth and life in many ancient cultures.

Many civilizations around the world consider certain trees to be spring symbols. This is because they signified the ending of wintertime and the arrival of new life and fresh starts.

Photo by Emma Gossett on Unsplash

The Ancient Celts regarded the Life Tree as sacred. It was a significant emblem in Celtic culture because it symbolized balance and harmony.

They believed it possessed magical properties, so they would leave only one tree remaining in the center when clearing their land. It was a big crime to take down this tree because it was where they held all their key gatherings.

RELATED: Tree of Life Meaning Through 11 Cultures


Quite a few myths talk about the uneasiness of death and the circle of birth and rebirth. It isn’t for the faint-hearted and requires a lot of bravery; however, you must overcome it to be reborn as a wiser, more intelligent version of yourself.

The mythical story of Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of love, rebirth, war, and justice, takes place in Ancient Mesopotamia. She is the queen of Heaven and relates to Venus.

Inanna’s descent and return from the Underworld, or Kur, is the most popular myth. Here, she attempts to seize possession of Ereshkigal’s realm, which belonged to Inanna’s older sister, the goddess of the Underworld.

Her voyage, however, is not without its obstacles, as she is guilty of deadly pride and overconfidence by the judges of the Underworld. Therefore, Inanna’s persecution is death.

Ninshubur, Inanna’s second-in-command, begs the gods to bring her back from the dead three days later. Except for Enki, they all refuse. Rescued and brought back from the dead by two sexless creatures is Inanna.

As the animals drag Inanna back to the living, the Underworld’s guardians drag her husband, Dumuzid, in to fill her place.

Considering Inanna as a rebirth symbol and symbol metamorphosis since she became a greater version of herself after her voyage to the Underworld ended with her death and being rebirth.

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