In today’s post, we are bringing you symbols of courage and bravery across cultures around the world. What represents courage? Which color speaks to your confidence and bravery? The answer to these questions and more are here on this list. Read on to find out.
Mjolnir, The Ancient Viking Symbol of Bravery and Power
An ancient Viking symbol that is still quite popular among modern Scandinavians today, Mjolnir is the hammer of Thor, the god of thunder in Norse mythology.
It is considered a symbol of power and courage because Vikings believed drawing the symbol on their bodies or carrying/wearing a Mjolnir as an accessory granted them the power and courage of Thor, one of the mightiest deities in Norse religion.
Today, it still is a very popular symbol among the people who would like to represent their Norse roots and is used commonly in jewelry pieces, especially as necklaces.
Lotus, the Flower That Represents Courage
The Lotus flower is one of the most prominent symbols of the old world that can be traced back to several religions and cultures like Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient Egyptian religion.
While it came to represent various things in different cultures throughout history, it is considered to be a symbol of strength and courage, more or less, in every culture and/or religion.
And there is a beautiful reason behind this. The lotus is a plant that starts every day in dark and muddy waters. It rises above the water to reach the sunlight and bloom into a beautiful flower.
This daily struggle of the lotus flower to reveal its “inner” beauty, the beautiful flower inside the bud, is a perfect analogy for a Buddhist person’s struggles to reach enlightenment by overcoming obstacles in their lives on a daily basis.
It is also what makes the lotus a mesmerizing symbol of courage and resilience.
Wolves As Symbols of Bravery
Wolves are the next item on our list of symbols of courage and bravery.
Wolves are well known for their courage as they are strong animals that can take down prey much larger than themselves.
Wolves are an important element of symbolism in several mythologies including Norse, Turkish and Baltic mythologies. However, they are of special importance to North American tribes.
Indigenous tribes of North America considered wolves as symbols of courage.
In the past, wolves were hunted by these tribes because they were seen as a threat to their livestock, but also because they were symbols of power. For example, a wolf skin was used to make ceremonial robes for tribal leaders.
On a side note, the wolf also represented the ability to travel long distances, which is an important skill for hunters of these tribes.
Griffins As a Symbol of Courage, Valor And Royalty
Griffins are ancient mythical creatures that were thought to have the body of a lion and the head, wings, and legs of an eagle. They were often depicted as guardians or watchmen in both Eastern and Western cultures. In some legends, griffins were said to have fiery breath.
Griffins are/were believed to be guarding treasure chests which might be considered a sign that they are brave enough to face any challenge without fear.
Over time, griffins became a more common symbol of valor, courage and bravery and a popular item of choice for the heraldry and banner designs of European nobles.
Golden Fish, Asian Symbols of Courage and Bravery
Golden fish represents courage in several Asian cultures. Buddhists consider the golden fish a symbol of courage because of its willingness and ability to wander freely in the water while facing the danger of being eaten by a bigger fish.
The courage symbolism attached to golden fish in Chinese culture is a little bit different than the Buddhist faith.
It is assumed that the Chinese people associate the golden fish with the carp, a species of fish that they believe has become the celestial dragon after overcoming the difficulties of the Yellow River by swimming upstream against the current.
Lion As a Symbol of Courage, Leadership And Power
Lions have been used throughout history to symbolize leadership, power, strength and bravery.
They are of special importance for African cultures. In ancient Egypt, they were a representation of the goddess Sekhmet often depicted in hieroglyphics.
Lions are also the national animal of several African countries including Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
It is believed that a lion will always fight to defend its territory, family and pride. Thus, a lion’s roar can be interpreted as an expression of courage in the face of danger.
In ancient times, some people thought that lions were noble animals that fought for what they believed in. For all these reasons, lions became a symbol of courage and bravery in many cultures.
Since they are considered the king of the jungle, they are also popular symbols of power, royalty and leadership.
Red, The Color That Represents Courage and Confidence
Being the color of fire and blood, red symbolizes courage, bravery, passion and love.
In ancient times, red color was associated with the gods and it was a symbol of power and royalty. In Christianity, it represents martyrdom.
It is considered a lucky color in some Asian cultures while in others it is seen as a sign of danger or anger. Red also has a significant meaning in Islam where it represents sacrifice.
There is no strict logic behind its association with courage but it might be because of the idea that blood is what gives life to people and animals alike. So to shed one’s blood means to show courage and bravery for something they believe in.
On a side note, people wearing red are known to be confident and bold/courageous people.
This wraps up our piece on courage symbols. If you enjoyed reading it, you should definitely have a look at our articles on symbols of strength here and symbols of rebirth here. Thanks for reading on Symbols and Meanings.