Throughout history many different symbols have been used to represent power, strength, and might. There has been a long-standing tradition of using animals as symbols of states or power, but it does not end there. We will take a look at the most popular and prominent symbols of power used in different cultures around the world.
NOTE: If you would like to read about symbols of strength as in “resilience”, please also check the following post:
Table of Contents
The Eagle as a Symbol of Power – The Lord of the Skies
The eagle has been used as a symbol of power for a long time. Ever since ancient days, the eagle has been considered as a great symbol of power, control, leadership, strength, authority, ferocity, courage, immortality, and protection.
In addition to that, the eagle represents wisdom, perspicacity, swiftness, ingenuity, divine wisdom, and keen protection in some cultures. People have revered the eagle and seen it as a symbol of power for so long because partly inspired by its ability to fly and soar high in the sky.
Aztec people used to draw eagles on the bodies of warriors who passed the tests of valor, courage and strength.
It is believed that the eagle gets its power from the heavens, and has connections with the divine gods, often being described as a messenger of the gods.
For instance, in Greek mythology, Zeus, who was considered to be the most powerful god, was often seen transforming into an eagle when he came down to earth.
There are also many other cultures and religions in the world that have used the eagle to symbolize power, such as the Romans and the Goths.
Some of the most famous examples of the eagle being used to symbolize power in terms of a powerful state in the modern world are the United States and Nazi Germany.
The Lightning Bolt, the Weapon of Gods as a Symbol of Power
Another great symbol of power used in the ancient world is the lightning bolt. In the ancient world, the lightning bolt was believed to be a weapon of force and a means of punishment by the gods.
This was especially the case when it came to male gods. The lightning bolt was often revered and feared as the gods would cast lighting down from the heavens to persecute or punish non-believers and wrong doers.
For instance, it was believed that both Zeus in Greek mythology and Thor in Norse mythology used lightning bolt to punish mortals.
The lightning bolt was very prominent in many different cultures including Roman, Greek, Norse, and Native American. Although the lightning bolt was feared and seen as a means of punishment from the gods, it is also known to be a positive thing in some cases.
People also viewed the lightning bolt as being a force that provided the land with water and created fertile soil in order to grow crops and sustain human life. In today’s modern world, the lightning bolt is often associated with supernatural powers.
The horse is another animal used as a symbol of power since the ancient times. While you might think that a horse is not powerful because they are “flight animals”, scared of the world, they were revered in the ancient world.
The use of the horse as a symbol of power was very widespread across cultures around the world for thousands of years. Today, in many cultures it is still believed that the horse is a symbol of the force of life, especially in terms of sustaining human life.
Many believed that the horse embodied all four elements of the universe; fire, air, earth, and water.
In relation to war, power, and fighting, the horse was often used to symbolize endurance, virility, valor, and domination. Armies would use the horse as a symbol to build morale within the ranks.
Although horses are not seen as a symbol of power in today’s world, per say, they still hold a special place in our hearts because of our special connection with them that existed since the very early ages. After all, horses have helped mankind with transportation, agriculture, and productivity in many areas.
The Fasces as a Symbol of Power and Authority
The fasces is another symbol of power that was often used in the ancient world. The fasces is a bundle of sticks or rods bound together and is often accompanied by some kind of axe.
This symbol of power originated in Etruscan culture but was then passed on to the Roman Empire.
For the Roman Empire, the fasces symbolized the power and authority of the magistrate or the emperor. The fasces is seen as the collective power of the governing body and its power, rule, and power of law.
Visually, the rods seem to represent various states and facets of an empire, and when all bound together it represents the power of the whole, with the axe emerging from the top symbolizing the ruling power.
The fasces has also been used as a symbol of power in modern times. For example, it can be seen displayed in the US House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, the fasces has also been associated with right wing fascist movements, as it was used by both the Italians under Mussolini and by Germans in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
Dragons, the Majestic Creatures as a Symbol of Power
Depending on where you go and whom you ask, dragons can be considered a symbol of great power, might, and perseverance, or a symbol of evil, and everything that is wrong with this world.
In medieval Europe dragons were feared and seen as evil beasts, destroyers of men.
Also, in the Christian Bible, dragons are often directly associated with the devil. However, this could not be more untrue for Eastern cultures such as ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures.
In ancient Asian cultures, dragons were viewed as a great source of strength, power, and might for people to fight hostility and defeat the enemy.
The Circle – A Symbol of Female Power
The circle is another symbol of power, one that we, as humans, seem to have forgotten about for the most part. The fact of the matter is that the circle was viewed as a symbol for female might, power, and intelligence.
In the ancient times, a circle represented the power which was innate in every woman. In today’s world, the circle is often seen as a symbol for unity, life, wholeness, and the circle of life.
These are the most common symbols of power used in various cultures across the world. Share the article if you liked it please, many thanks.