Greek Symbols

Greek Symbols Various symbols that are used today have their roots in Ancient Greece and its mythology. For example, the Minotaur was a creature that was part man and part bull. It lived at the center of the Labyrinth, a maze that was built in the palace of Minoan Crete by architect Daedalus and his son Icarus. Knossos is usually linked with the labyrinth. Another symbol is the double axe, or pelekys in Ancient Greek, is found in Minoan, Thracian and Greek religion and mythology.

Another popular symbol is the Asclepius wand or Asclepius rod, a symbol linked with astrology and healing through medicine. This symbol consists of a snake that is wrapped around a staff; the snake, shedding its skin, is a symbol of rebirth, while the staff is a symbol of authority, perfect for the God of Medicine.

Omphalos, in Greek, means “navel”, but it was used as an ancient religious stone artifact. According to Ancient Greek mythology, Zeus released two eagles from Mount Olympus to fly around the world in opposite directions; the eagles finally met at the center of the world, or the “navel” of the world. Omphalos stones were placed in various places around the Mediterranean to denote this; the most famous of all was the Oracle of Delphi.

The Cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty, is a Greek symbol of harvest abundance and prosperity. It consists of a horn – shaped basket filled with grains and fruits. According to Greek mythology, when Zeus was an infant, he was fed by a goat called Amalthea. Later, Zeus rewarded Amalthea by making her into a constellation (Capricorn), while she gave her horn to his nurses, telling them it would be an unending supply of everything they needed. This is why in Greek, the Horn of Plenty is called the Horn of Amalthea.

The bowl of Hygeia is the well – recognized international symbol of pharmacy. Hygeia was the daughter and assistant of Asclepius, God of Medicine and Healing. The symbol of Hygeia is a bowl of medicinal potion around which the serpent of Wisdom or Guardianship is wrapped. It is the same snake that appears in the Asclepius wand.

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