We have discussed the symbols of motherhood a few days ago in another post. But what symbols represent women in general? How were the females, whether divine goddesses or ordinary human beings, symbolized across cultures throughout history ? Let us get right into it. Here is our extensive list of symbols of femininity that will answer all of these questions.
African Symbols Of Femininity
Duafe, The Adinkra Female Symbol
The duafe is an Adinkra symbol that literally translates to “wooden comb” and is associated with femininity. The symbol represents feminine qualities such as love, patience, fondness, and nurturing.
The duafe symbol is shaped like a six-toothed comb with an oval placed on the center of the shaft. It is also used to symbolize good hygiene and grooming habits in African culture, which translates into status, rituals, and religious associations, making it a source of cultural identity as well.
Overall, the symbol represents feminine beauty as it was used by Akan women to comb and braid their hair.
Ancient Symbols Of Femininity
Triple Moon Goddess, The Divine Feminine Symbol
The triple moon symbol has been used by different cultures to embody femininity and represent fertility, feminine energy, wisdom, the cycle of life, and power. The triple moon goddess symbol features a full moon with a crescent moon on its right and left to complete the trio.
The trinity shows moons at different stages, including waxing, waning, and full, which is also reflected in the three stages of life for females – the maiden, mother, and crone.
The maiden (waxing moon) represents innocence and purity; the mother (full moon) represents fertility and love; the crone (waning moon) represents wisdom and courage.
There are a number of goddesses associated with the triple moon symbol, including Hecate, who is shown with three faces in ancient artifacts, and Diana, who is represented as the goddess of three aspects – hunting, moon, and the underworld.
Animal Symbols Of Femininity
Elephants are a symbol of feminine power and strength due to their sheer size and their focus on creating meaningful relationships, family, loyalty, and honor. These gentle creatures have large hearts and are exceptionally compassionate towards their pack members, who they are extremely protective of.
Elephants are also one of the few animals that get distressed when a family member passes away or if they are removed from their pack. They are known to be nurturing mothers that keep their babies with them for their entire lives, which is an important aspect of femininity embodied by elephants.
Cats are closely associated with feminine energy as there are parallels drawn between the animal and women; for example, an older woman who prefers the company of younger men is considered to be a “cougar,” while a strict female parent is known as a “tiger mom.”
Female features are also compared to those of cats; for example, angled eyes are known as “cat eyes.” The feminine association with cats has existed for centuries as even during the witch trials, cats were assumed to be the preferred companions of witches as they were considered to be capable of doing the witches’ bidding, and some witches were thought to possess the ability to transform into cats as well. Cats are overall considered to be mysterious, finicky, and unpredictable, which are the traits commonly associated with females.
Plants Representing Femininity
The lotus flower has a number of meanings in different cultures, including enlightenment, rebirth, purity, compassion, and fertility.
Due to its struggle to rise out of the dark, murky waters every day to reach the sunlight and bloom into a mesmerizing beauty, the lotus is one of the most meaningful symbols of strength and perseverance around the world.
It is that same struggle that makes the lotus also a very obvious and yet powerful symbol of rebirth.
So, how does it relate to femininity?
In Chinese culture, the lotus flower is closely associated with femininity and marital bliss, while in Hindu culture, it is associated with beauty, fertility, and the prosperity of the soul.
More specifically, the white lotus is considered to represent divine feminine energy as it is associated with the Buddhist goddess of guidance and protection – Tara and the Hindu goddess of wisdom, learning, and art – Saraswati.
Cherry blossoms are tiny pink flowers that bloom in spring on cherry trees, and they are considered a symbol of feminine beauty and energy in China.
They are also associated with feminine emotions such as love and passion. The cherry flower is assumed to be the personification of the feminine mystique, which covers beauty, dominance, and sexuality.
Greek Symbols Of Femininity
The moon is a symbol of femininity as it is linked to several goddesses who derive their feminine energy from the moon. The moon is associated with femininity because of its radiance that lights up the night sky and its power to control tides while also being associated with the female menstrual cycle.
In Greek mythology, a number of goddesses are associated with the moon, including Selene, the Titan goddess, who is considered to be the personification of the moon.
Several other Greek goddesses, including Persephone, Demeter, Artemis, and Hecate, are also associated with the moon since it is known to be a source of feminine power
Pagan Symbols Of Femininity
Ichthys Also Known As “The Jesus Fish”
While the ancient symbol has been popularly associated with Christianity as it was used as a secret sign to identify followers, the ichthys is originally a pagan symbol.
The symbol originated in Greek culture during the 1st century AD when it became associated with paganism as a representation of fertility and femininity. The shape resembles a fish, and the words for fish and womb are very similar in the Greek language.
The symbol became associated with female sexual organs, and it was linked to a number of fertility goddesses, including the pagan Great Mother and Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love.
The Spiral Goddess
The spiral goddess represents feminine energy, and the symbol is shaped like the female form with her arms in the air and a spiral at her core.
The silhouette with a spiral on her belly is commonly used in pagan religions, and it is also associated with Celtic religions as it has been found on ancient artifacts that are thousands of years old.
The goddess is worshipped as a symbol of fertility, the cycle of life, and femininity. The spiral represents the changing nature and cycle every woman goes through in her life which allows her to bring new life into this world.