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Persian symbols
Persian symbols

The ancient Persian civilization developed a rich symbolic tradition profoundly influenced by Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. Persian and Zoroastrian symbols reflect the culture’s emphasis on spiritual themes like purity, nature, and good versus evil.
The Faravahar is one of the most recognizable Zoroastrian symbols. It depicts a winged disc surrounded by an angel holding plants. Representing God and order in the universe, it signifies spiritual protection and guidance. The Faravahar graced temples and holy texts as a sacred icon.

Fire plays a central role in Zoroastrian rituals and beliefs. Fire altars housed sacred flames tended by priests. Fire symbolizes purity, light, warmth, and the esoteric concept of atar, the inner spiritual fire within all beings. Depictions of fire altars appear throughout Zoroastrian art and architecture.

Water and plant life also carry deep symbolic import. Streams, trees, and flowering plants are linked to purity and nature’s bounty. Sacred Haoma plants were used to make priestly drinks designed to foster enlightenment. Verdant motifs featuring trees, vines and flowers adorn temples, weavings and manuscripts.

The Persian visual vocabulary incorporated mystic figures like the Simurgh, a benevolent griffin-bird symbolizing guidance. Myths describe it tending God’s sacred flame on high mountains. Lions represented strength, courage and divine favor for righteous rule.

Intricate patterns incorporated astrological signs and celestial symbols aligned with the faith’s calendar. The Sun and stars signified God’s protection, truth and the cosmic order. Month names paid tribute to prominent constellations.

These rich Persian symbols communicate the ancient ideals of Persian and Zoroastrian culture which celebrated nature, truth, spiritual protection and the constant spiritual struggle between good and evil which they believed shaped reality. Even today their symbology enlightens and fascinates.


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