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People search for symbols of hope to inspire them that positive outcomes will happen even though they are encountering difficulties and challenges in life. The good news is that there are a lot of signs, objects, and animals that can represent hope. With that said, here’s a look at the most popular symbols of hope.
Symbolism: Hope, strength, resilience, security
Sailors use an anchor to secure and keep a boat or ship safe, especially during bad weather conditions. Because of its capability to restrain a boat’s movement from venturing into dangerous waters, anchors can symbolize strength, security, and hope. Remember, anchors can also provide hope that the boat will survive the harsh weather.
The symbol has strong roots in Christianity, where it was adopted as a symbol of steadfastness and hope. The reason for this is that hope is an anchor of our souls. Another Christian meaning of the anchor is hope in Jesus. In fact, Christians use the anchor as a way to display their hope and faith in Jesus Christ during the second and third centuries, a time when Romans persecute Christians.
Symbolism: Hope, guidance
Also known as Star Knowledge, the eight-pointed star is a Native American symbol of hope and guidance. Eight is a vital number in the Native American culture because it represents balance. The outer circle of the eight-pointed star symbol, on the other hand, symbolizes protection. The symbol was used to mark incoming events based on celestial alignments because it was seen as providing hope for the future.
Symbolism: Faith, love and hope
The shamrock, also known as the three-leaf clover, grows abundantly in Ireland, and is one of the most famous symbols of the country. In terms of its meaning, the shamrock has three leaves, which symbolize hope, love, and faith. Because the plant grows abundantly, the Celts also use this symbol to signify abundance, productivity, prosperity, and fertility.
Symbolism: Potential, hope, resilience, growth
A butterfly is one of the most symbolic insects. Its ability to transform from a caterpillar into a magnificent winged creature represents hope, potential, and resilience. It’s often used as a metaphor for hope and growth.
This beautiful insect is a symbol of hope in the Native American culture, believed to be able to deliver messages or wishes to the Great Spirit. For them, if a person catches an elusive butterfly, whispers a wish, and let it go, the wish will be granted. The main reason is that the butterfly is grateful for its freedom.
All in all, people worldwide have used the butterfly symbol to represent life, hope, change, and endurance.
Symbolism: Hope, growth, regeneration, abundance
In Celtic culture, due to its antlers, it’s believed that a deer is a supernatural being. A deer’s antlers will fall off once a year, and they will grow back during spring. Because of this natural event, the Celtics consider the deer’s antler as a symbol of regeneration, abundance, and hope. As a symbol of hope, the deer’s antlers can remind us that failing is a natural process in life, but we can always get up, learn from our mistakes, and become stronger.
Symbolism: Hope and rebirth
An Easter lily is one of the most popular flowers that symbolizes hope. The reason for this is that it starts from an ugly bulb and has a very slow-growing process. Even so, the bulb will turn into a majestic plant with radiant white flowers after three or more years.
In Christianity, an Easter lily symbolizes hope and rebirth. The reason for this is the flower’s shape which can represent a trumpet, blown to inform the people of Jesus’ resurrection.
Symbolism: Hope and new beginnings
Birch trees exude great beauty even after their leaves have fallen off, and they are the first trees that grow back their leaves at the beginning of spring. For this reason, birch trees are often used to symbolize new beginnings and hope.
Symbolism: Hope, resilience, strength and peace
The Ginkgo tree is one of the oldest living species of trees known to exist, and it is widely known for its antiquity and resilience. Because of these characteristics, this tree has become a symbol of hope, strength, and peace in Chinese culture. In fact, the Ginkgo tree often appears on various cultural products of China and is always associated with a positive view of the future. Eventually, Chinese monks introduce the tree to the Japanese, and it became a popular symbol in tea gardens and temples.
Symbolism: Peace and hope
The olive branch has long been associated with peace and hope. Apart from its Biblical roots, where the branch was seen as a symbol of hope and God’s promise in the story of Noah, the olive branch was used by the Greeks as a symbol of peace and victory. Today, it remains a foremost symbol of peace and by extension, of hope.
Symbolism: Life, death, rebirth and hope
The phoenix is a legendary bird, variations of which can be found in several ancient cultures. The bird’s life is cyclical, in that after a certain period it bursts into flames but is reborn from the ashes. The phoenix has been used as a symbol to signify life, death, and rebirth. However, the phoenix symbol can also be used to represent hope. Remember, this creature will rise from the ashes after burning up and so provides hope that you too can rise again after a loss or devastation.
Symbolism: Promise, hope and LGBTQ rights
A rainbow often appears as perfect arcs during or after a rainstorm, which implies that good things come after the darkest storms. As such, a rainbow is a perfect symbol of hope because it signifies that better days will come if we can endure the dark days. The symbolism of the rainbow has its roots in the story of Noah in the Bible. Accordingly, the rainbow after the flood was a sign of God’s promise that there would be no such events again. In the modern world, the rainbow also signifies gay rights and is a popular LGBTQ symbol.
Symbolism: Positivity, happiness, joy and hope
Yellow is a positive and uplifting color, and it represents joy and happiness. Yellow is also the color of the sun, which always appear after dark. For this reason, a lot of people use the color yellow to symbolize hope and warmth. Despite being a warm and uplifting color, yellow can also have negative meanings. Some people use yellow as a symbol of deceit, jealousy, and dishonesty. But we love the positive aspects of this color and how it looks when added to your wardrobe.
Symbolism: Peace, salvation and hope
A dove is a symbol of peace and purity because of its white color and gentle nature. But the dove can also be used to represent hope. In Assyrian culture, the dove is portrayed as the companion of the mother goddess Ishtar, and it symbolizes the promise of salvation and hope.
In the biblical story about the Great Flood, Noah released a dove to search for a sign that the flood has subsided. At first, the bird wasn’t able to find anything. On its second try, the dove returned with an olive branch, giving people hope for a better tomorrow. Come to think of it, this story alone has given rise to three of the most popular symbols of hope (rainbows, doves, and olive branches!).
Symbolism: Enlightenment, hope and freedom
Ever wonder why the Statue of Liberty is holding a torch up high? The reason is that a torch can represent hope and enlightenment. To explain further, a torch is used to light up a room filled with darkness. This symbolizes bringing understanding to ignorance, light to darkness, and freedom to the enslaved.
Symbolism: Faith and hope
A blue Iris is a gorgeous flower that provides a warm and cheerful color even during winter. Its name was derived from the Greek word Iris, which means rainbow. Because of these reasons, a blue Iris can symbolize hope and faith.
A lot of signs, words, and objects can represent the positive feeling that good things will come, and you can use these symbols of hope to express that optimistic point of view. However, keep in mind that symbols can have multiple and opposing meanings. For example, the color yellow symbolizes hope and happiness, but it can also represent jealousy and dishonesty. For this reason, you have to be careful when using symbols, especially if you’re trying to express your ideas clearly.