Hippie signs and symbols are primarily
spiritual because hippies are generally interested in spiritual matters.
All hippy signs and symbols are about achieving peace and balance in one way or another. Communion with nature or spirit is inherent and they come from a variety of spiritual traditions.
Easily, any one or more of these symbols can be found in the home of a hippie. Jewelry with these symbols is prolific especially with the symbol as a pendant/amulet.
Flower of Life
The flower of life contains all the patterns of creation within it thus providing the underlying structure of life. Its complex series of circles is similar to the molecular patterns that form in crystals. Historically, its representation can be found as far back as the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, Egypt. It has also been found in Phoenicia, Assyria, India, Asia, and the Middle East. New Age adherents believe that it symbolizes connection with the Universe on a soul level, a portal to other dimensions and worlds and alignment of energies with a higher vibration.
Spiral of Life
The spiral of life is Celtic and pre-Celtic. Examples of it are found etched in the stone in the Newgrange site from the Bronze Age in Ireland. It has been a consistent symbol in Celtic art. The Celts know it as the triskele. The spiral is a largely positive symbol. As Christianity took on significance in the 5th century, A.D., it came to represent the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Christians of Celtic descent continue to use it as a symbol of faith. In general, it represents eternity, change, and movement of the universe.
Tree of Life
The tree of life is found in a number of different cultures and religions across the world (including Turkish, European, Chinese, and Norse culture, as well as, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islamic Faith, and Jewish Mysticism). In Christianity the tree of life is found in both Genesis and Revelations. In cultural and spiritual traditions it has healing and life-giving properties. The tree of life is a symbol of the interconnection of all life and connection to all the elements (air, earth, fire and water).
This symbol is essentially a 5-sided pentagram with a circle around it. During the Enlightenment Pythagoras assigned the elements earth, water, air, and fire to the four lower points and spirit to the topmost point. This arrangement indicates the correct ordering of the world, with material things subject to spirit. The symbol has been used in ancient Chinese and Japanese religions, and in Japanese and Ancient Babylonian culture. It is well-known as a Wicca symbol and to wear it is to say that you respect the earth.
The lotus flower is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Its symbolism derives from the fact that it emerges from muddy waters and blooms clean and pure. Hindus often used it as an example of divine beauty with unfolding petals that suggest the expansion of the soul. The lotus flower in Buddhism represents enlightenment as adherents journey out of the darkness into transformation. It also emphasizes the importance of detachment and purity of the body, speech, and mind as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.
Om originated from Hinduism but is now common to Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism. It is also written as Aum. In the Hindu Mandukya Upanishad, “Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it”. The sound of Om is used as a mantra in meditation to reach deeper levels of meditation.
The ahnk is an Egyptian symbol that appears in the hands or near almost all Egyptian deities found in archaeological digs from Mesopotamia to Persia. In tomb paintings gods are depicted with ahnks conferring life on dead mummies. The ahnk was often carried by Egyptians as an amulet. The ahnk symbol is also used to represent the planet Venus. It’s meaning is eternal life and regeneration. Today, it is often carried by people as a sign of eternal life and spiritual wisdom.
The hamsa is ancient going as far back as Mesopotamia and Carthage. It is quite common in the Middle East – found in both Arabic and Hebrew culture. The Hamsa is the Arabic word for “five” and represents the five digits of the hand of God. The hamsa hand is spelled many different ways (hamesh, hamsa, chamsa, and khamsa). In all religions and cultures it is a protective amulet. Included in the hamsa symbolism is an eye. It’s purpose is to ward off evil directed at the wearer. Wearing the hamsa also brings good fortune onto the owner.
In the 1950s the peace sign was designed as the logo for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. An American university student, Philip Altbach, who was an active member of the Student Peace Union at the University of Chicago had a heap of the Nuclear Disarmament buttons shipped over to the United States, after talking the Student Peace Union into adopting the symbol. Thereafter the sign represented a wider “peace” message and was also adopted by anti-war and counterculture activists in the US and elsewhere.
The original version of the smiley face was created by Harvey Ross Ball. Originally made in 1963 as a morale booster for The State Mutual Life Assurance Company it was used on posters, buttons, and signs. It was not trademarked or copyrighted at the time. In the early 1970s, brothers Bernard and Murray Spain, used the image, added the slogan “Have a Happy Day” then copyrighted the new version in 1971. By the end of the year more than 50 million buttons sold with countless other products. Of course, it’s meaning is apparent. Be happy.
The concept of yin and yang originates in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics. The symbol represent the primal opposing and complementary forces found in all things in the universe. Yin, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night. Yang, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. The yin yang is a spiritual reminder that balance between the light and the darkness provides the most helpful approach to living a meaningful life.
Can you think of any other hippie signs and symbols? Do you have anything to add to the descriptions next to the symbols in this article? Please comment. I would love to hear your answers.