In witchcraft, symbols like the ones you’ll see here are essentially broad ideas condensed into a single image. For those who use them in magic and spell work, the idea is that by drawing or carving that symbol into a candle or drawing it on paper, you’re creating a channel or opening for magical energy to fuse into the object you put the symbol on.
For those who practice a more atheistic form of witchcraft, the idea is that the act of drawing or carving that symbol channels all your focus and energy into that concept, helping you clarify your goals or find direction.
Whether you’re using them to channel magical energy or focus your own mental energy, they are an essential part of witchcraft that can be used for just about any purpose. In this list, I focus on 10 wiccan symbols that are often used to channel different kinds of power or strength.
How Do You Use Wiccan Symbols?
Witchcraft is, at its core, about empowering yourself to take charge of your own life and learning to listen to and trust your own intuition. This means that you can use these symbols in whatever way feels right for you. However, if you want some guidance or inspiration about how to incorporate them, you can try sigil magic.
Sigil magic is essentially the process of making the symbol into something tangible (a sigil). The idea is that the magic—or the meditative power, for the atheist witches—comes from the creative process itself. The basic process involves creating the sigil, meditating on it, and then destroying it.
Create Your Sigil
A popular way to do this is to simply draw it on paper. However, you can also carve them into candles or jewelry, incorporate them into a painting, or even build them out of wood or other materials. Choose whatever option appeals to you. The paper method is popular mostly because it’s the most readily available. However, more elaborate craft projects can give you more time to focus on the meaning behind the symbol and your intention for it.
Charge Your Sigil
Once created, it’s common to stare at the sigil in a state of deep meditation. This is when you would refine your intentions and clarify what you hope to achieve with it. For spiritual traditions, this is the process that charges or activates the sigil. For atheist witches, this is the process that gives you clarity and understanding, helping you to uncover your intentions or find direction in whatever issue you’re working through.
This step could last days or weeks if you want it to. During that time, you’d keep the sigil with you and make time to meditate on it each day.
Destroy Your Sigil
When you’re done with the meditative, charging phase, the final step is to destroy it. You can do this by ripping, breaking, burning, or whatever method makes sense. In witchcraft, the idea is that you have charged the sigil with all this powerful energy. You’ve guided that energy by setting your intention. Now, you need it to release the energy back out so that it can get to work. For atheist witches, this step creates a sense of finality or of independence—you’ve gained the wisdom or strength you hoped to get from it and now no longer need it.
Whether you use that process or forge your own, here are 10 wiccan symbols of power and strength you can start with:
The triple moon represents the three stages of the moon: waxing, full, and waning. Unsurprisingly, it also represents the phases of life and is strongly associated with feminine energy, as the moon often is.
Many witches time their spell work according to the phases of the moon. The new and waxing moon represent a time for new beginnings, growth, and rejuvenation. The full moon signifies potency and power. The waning moon is a time for cleansing, banishing things that you no longer want in life.
In that way, all three phases of the moon are associated with a different kind of strength: the strength to grow, the strength of maturity, and the strength to let go and move on. As a symbol of feminine strength, it’s linked with intuition, empathy, and wisdom. Use it when you need strength from within or are feeling unmotivated and uninspired.
This labyrinth or maze symbol is associated with the Greek goddess, Hecate, of the crossroads. It’s thought to represent transformation and renewal, or the winding journey of self-discovery and divine knowledge in general. Use it to channel a more intellectual kind of power, the strength to confront a difficult truth inside yourself, to make a difficult decision, or to succeed in an intellectual pursuit.
The Eye of Horus
Coming from the ancient Egyptian tradition, the eye of Horus is drawn as a falcon eye and represents indestructibility and wisdom. Horus, the god of the sky, lost his eye in a battle with his brother. When the eye was recovered, Horus offered it to his father, Osiris, in hopes that Osiris would restore Horus’s life in exchange.
As a result, the eye represents sacrifice, restoration, and healing. Ancient sailors would often paint it on the bows of ships as a way to protect the boat from storms and other dangers. It was thought to heal anything it looks upon. Use it when you need that healing power, the strength to recover from pain or injury, whether physical or emotional.
The triquetra has been found in ancient artwork but its original meaning outside of the Christianized meaning of the holy trinity is unclear. Because it’s been found all across Europe, it likely took on many different meanings.
Today, it most often represents the unbreakable unity of earth, sea, and sky—the three realms of the world according to Celtic belief. Some modern pagans interpret it as the unbreakable unity of mind, body, and soul, or of past, present, and future. In either interpretation, you can use it when you need that strength of connectedness or bonding; when you want to feel solid, whole, and cohesive.
Aegishjalmur, or the helm of awe, is one of the most powerful symbols of perseverance and protection in the Norse tradition. The eight tridents, sometimes surrounded by a serpent, symbolize a defensive kind of strength—being on guard and ready to prevail over an enemy or challenge, no matter where it’s coming from. Use it to channel courage and readiness to take on anything.
In Norse pagan traditions, Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor, is a commonly worn amulet for both protection and strength. According to Norse beliefs, Thor’s hammer never missed and never failed. With it, the god of thunder and lightning could strike anything he aimed at, as firmly as he wanted. Use it when you have a specific goal in mind, something you’re determined to succeed at.
In alchemy, air is one of the four core elements of the world, along with water, fire, and earth. In witchcraft, it represents the breath, which sustains life but also allows for communication and expression. Use it when you need the strength to express something difficult to articulate, when you’re anticipating a difficult conversation, or when you have to give a speech or presentation.
This is another of the four elements in alchemy, one that is strongly associated with feminine strength (i.e., the water of the womb). As a result, it’s associated with nurturing and used often in healing or cleansing spells. Because water is associated with continuous movement, it’s also used to channel a fluid kind of strength, the strength to adapt or to move past a difficult moment in life.
Fire is a purifying symbol in wiccan traditions, most strongly associated with a masculine energy. It contains both the power to destroy and the ability to nourish new life. It’s most commonly associated with transformation or change as well as an unbreakable willpower.
Fires, especially bonfires, are used in many rituals or spells to bring about something new or for a more destructive kind of purification—one that burns away decay and negativity—in contrast to the healing, nurturing kind of purification of the water symbol.
Use it during a period of personal growth or during a major life change, especially more difficult or anxiety-inducing ones like starting a new job, moving to a new town, or ending a relationship. It can be used whenever you need transformative power—the strength to let go of negative or destructive things in your life and to make room for newer, better things.
In alchemy, earth is considered the element most strongly associated with survival and endurance. The earth is the source of food, shelter, and other resources. It strengthens and invigorates. It also represents home or a safe, nurturing space. It’s the place we come from, the place that nourishes us so that we can grow, and the place we return to when we die. Use it when you need a grounded, stable kind of strength—the strength to endure.
Witchcraft has become a powerful feminist tool for empowerment since the 19th century. Incorporating these symbols, pulled from a variety of different pagan traditions, is a great way to connect with that history and add a little witchy power to your life.