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Native Rock Art Symbols

Native Rock Art Symbols- Native Rock Art Meanings

American Native Rock Art is found predominantly in the Southwest United States of America. Utah, New Mexico and Tesco also contain a significant number of surviving occurrences. All are either pictographs: drawings or paintings made on rocks; or petroglyphs: images carved into the rock.
Native Rock Art found in the United States of America can date from as long ago as 3000 BC. Much of it is extremely ancient, while more recent examples contain symbols that are common to many tribes, and so it is hard to say much that is definitive about the peoples who made these images.
Some symbols stood for human character traits, like wisdom or far-sightedness, while others represent abstract concepts such as wealth or creativity. Other symbols told myths and histories that involved the tribe’s travels, achievements or successful hunting expeditions. Some, likely, serve as warnings.
Though some of these symbols were carved into stone, at least one belief system says that the stones themselves are bodies of the ‘stone people’. Legends hold that the symbols were burned into the stone people by the gods using lightning strikes.
Many large Native American rock carvings and pictographs still exist to this day, and are treated as significant cultural and historical artifacts in the United States of America.

Environment Native Rock Art symbol

Environment

The Environment symbol consists of five concentric circles, each within the other. It represents the environment, and in particular the relation of a person to his or her environment. I may also refer to the relation between a person and an institution.

Connection with Nature Native Rock Art symbol

Connection with Nature

The Connection with Nature symbol consists of four concentric circles, each within the other. It represents the relation of a person to the world of nature, particularly plants and things that grow from the earth. It can also represent the four stages of life.

Relationship Native Rock Art symbol

Relationship

The Relationship symbol consists of three concentric circles, each within the other. It represents distant relations. For example, those who are not immediate family but have the same family name or belong to the same tribe.

Relation of Two Native Rock Art symbol

Relation of Two

The Relation of Two symbol consists of two concentric circles, one within the other. It represents a relationship between two people, either through a family connection or through partnership.

Healing Native Rock Art symbol

Healing

The Healing symbol consists of a horizontal line, upon which sits an inverted wide U shape, creating a semi-circle between the two. The horizontal line extends beyond the connection point with the inverted U in each direction. From the median point of the horizontal base line emanate two horizontal lines at 45-degree angles that extend beyond the border of the semi-circle. The symbol represents healing or is used to signify that a person has healing powers.

Fertility Native Rock Art symbol

Fertility

The Fertility symbol consists of an inverted, wide U shape, within which are a series of short vertical lines. The symbol resembles a curved comb. It represents fertility and growth.

Development Native Rock Art symbol

Development

The Development symbol consists of a horizontal line, upon which sits an inverted wide U shape, creating a semi-circle between the two. The horizontal line does not extend beyond the connection point with the inverted U. The symbol represents development, particularly personal development.

Trustworthy Native Rock Art symbol

Trustworthy

The Trustworthy symbol consists of a horizontal line, upon which sits an inverted wide U shape, creating a semi-circle between the two. The horizontal line extends beyond the connection point with the inverted U. The symbol resembles a depiction of a sunrise. It represents stability, reliability and trustworthiness.

Inner Voice Native Rock Art symbol

Inner Voice

The Inner Voice symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle, external to which sit two V shapes, the apex touches the circular border, while the apertures face away and to the upper left and right. The symbol represents one’s inner voice.

Forgiveness Native Rock Art symbol

Forgiveness

The Forgiveness symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that is divided through the center by two horizontal, parallel lines that extend beyond the boundaries of the circular shape. The symbol represents forgiveness and new beginnings.

Patience Native Rock Art symbol

Patience

The Patience symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that contains a V shape, where the meeting of two diagonal lines is at the base point of the enclosing circles, and the end of each line extends beyond the circular boundary. The symbol represents patience and perseverance.

Faith Native Rock Art symbol

Faith

The Faith symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that contains a V shape, where the meeting of two diagonal lines is at the base point of the enclosing circles, and the end of each line touches the circular boundary. The symbol represents faith in a divine power.

Growth Native Rock Art symbol

Growth

The Growth symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that is divided through the centre by a solid, horizontal line that extends beyond the boundaries of the circular shape. The symbol represents growth and wealth.

Human Transformation Native Rock Art symbol

Human Transformation

The Human Transformation symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that is divided through the centre by two solid lines, one vertical and the other horizontal, that create a central cross and extend beyond the boundaries of the circular shape. The symbol represents the crosshairs or targeting system found on a telescopic sight. It represents the four stages of human life and the changes that one goes through throughout life.

Attraction Power Native Rock Art symbol

Attraction Power

The Attraction Power symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle that is divided through the centre by a solid, vertical line that extends beyond the boundaries of the circular shape. The symbol represents attraction, understood as a talent or ability, and using it wisely.

Observation Native Rock Art symbol

Observation

The Observation symbol consists of two solid, parallel, vertical lines – each of which ends with a small, unfilled circle at its base. The symbol represents strong powers of observation.

Energy of Silence Native Rock Art symbol

Energy of Silence

The Energy of Silence symbol consists of a long, horizontal line, with a small circle that sits above and does not touch the line. The symbol represents calmness and meditation.

Positive Spirit Power Native Rock Art symbol

Positive Spirit Power

The Positive Spirit Power symbol consists of a solid, vertical line, which ends with a small, empty circle at its base. The symbol represents the positive and creative power of the human spirit. It signifies selflessness.

Prophecy Native Rock Art symbol

Prophecy

The Prophecy symbol consists of two solid, parallel, vertical lines – each of which ends with a small, empty circle at its base. At the median point of each line is another circle, which is intersected by the line it sits upon. The symbol represents prophecy and the good that can come of far-sightedness. It can also indicate danger and warn others to avoid certain paths.

Charity Native Rock Art symbol

Charity

The Charity symbol consists of a large, round U shape, in which the opening or aperture is facing upwards towards the left. Moving from the center of the U shape is a solid diagonal line that moves downwards from left to right. Intersecting the diagonal line around its midpoint is a second U shape, parallel to the first. The symbol represents charity and the ability to spread joy and happiness.

Strength of Divide Native Rock Art symbol

Strength of Divide

The Strength of Divide symbol consists of a large, round U shape, in which the opening or aperture is facing upwards towards the left. Moving from the center of the U shape is a solid diagonal line that moves downwards from left to right. The symbol represents sharing and an ability to share with others.

Compassion Native Rock Art symbol

Compassion

The Compassion symbol consists of a large, round U shape, in which the opening or aperture is facing downwards towards the right. In the center of the aperture is a solid diagonal line that moves downwards from left to right. The symbol represents compassion and the overcoming of prejudice.

Wise Influence Native Rock Art symbol

Wise Influence

The Wise Influence symbol consists in an X shape, where the diagonal line moving downward from left to right is slightly longer than the line that moves upwards from left to right. At the base is a short horizontal line that sits between the two diagonal lines of the X. The symbol represents wisdom and influence, but may also be used as a warning against one trying to influence and control others.

Leadership Native Rock Art symbol

Leadership

The Leadership symbol consists of a horizontal base line with a central vertical line, forming an inverted T shape. On either side of the vertical line, and sitting on the horizontal, are two V shapes. The symbol signifies that a person has the ability and the wisdom to lead others.

Inner Power Native Rock Art symbol

Inner Power

The Inner Power symbol consists of a tall, thin rectangle that, at its center and upper quarter, is intersected by two wide V shapes that extend beyond its borders. The symbol represents inner strength, a prerequisite for the virtues of courage and bravery.

Willingness to Succeed Native Rock Art symbol

Willingness to Succeed

The Willingness to Succeed symbol consists of two wide, inverted V shapes that sit parallel, one beneath the other, apexes pointing upwards. The symbol represents ambition and a willingness to succeed.

Learning Way Native Rock Art symbol

Learning Way

The Learning Way symbol consists of three connected V shapes, joined to create a shape similar to an extended letter W. At the base of the shape is a long, horizontal line. Between the base line and the three V shapes, two enclosed triangle shapes are created. The symbol represents the path of learning and the opportunities that come from being willing to learn.

Knowledge Power Native Rock Art symbol

Knowledge Power

The Knowledge Power symbol consists of two connected V shapes, joined to create a shape similar to the letter W. At the base of the shape is a long, horizontal line. Between the base line and the two V shapes, an enclosed triangle shape is created. The symbol represents the power of knowledge and how knowledge is the key to a better life.

Prophetic Ability Native Rock Art symbol

Prophetic Ability

The Prophetic Ability symbol consists of a narrow V shape with a vertical line that arises from the central connective point, to form a downward-facing arrow shape. The symbol represents a spiritual person who has powers of far-sight and divination.

Time to Change Native Rock Art symbol

Time to Change

The Time to Change symbol consists of a right-facing, narrow chevron that is intersected at its center by a vertical, solid line. The enclosed shape of a triangle is created between the vertical line and the apex of the chevron. The symbol signifies that the time has come to change, and that only through change is success possible.

Good Attitude Native Rock Art symbol

Good Attitude

The Good Attitude symbol consists of a vertical line, to the right of which is a narrow chevron, the solid lines of which are long, the apex of which meets the line at its center. The symbol represents a good habit or practice and advocates for its continuation.

Open Minded Native Rock Art symbol

Open Minded

The Open Minded symbol consists of a short diagonal line moving downwards from left to right, which meets a larger diagonal line moving upwards from left to right. The symbol resembles a check mark. It represents one who is open to new ideas and experiences.

Focus Ideas Native Rock Art symbol

Focus Ideas

The Focus Ideas symbol consists of a Y shape that is intersected around the middle of the central vertical line by a V shape; parallel to the V shape that makes up the top half of the Y. The symbol resembles the flight of an arrow. It represents truth and the realization of one’s creative ideas.

Creative Power Native Rock Art symbol

Creative Power

The Creative Power symbol consists in a wide, inverted V shape with a solid, vertical line emanating from the central apex to form an inverted Y. The symbol represents creative power and the spiritual expression one can create through use of material objects. It also represents future events, and advocates for following intuition and engaging with brand new situations.

Wedding Native Rock Art symbol

Wedding

The Wedding symbol consists of two wide V shapes, one above the other, connected by a solid vertical line. The symbol resembles a squat arrow shape. The symbol represents marriage, though it can also refer to any lasting partnership.

Spiritual Attitude Native Rock Art symbol

Spiritual Attitude

The Spiritual Attitude symbol consists of two parallel vertical lines, both of which curve at the top of the symbol until they intersect and cross each other. At this point, the intersecting lines resemble the tail of the Christian fish icon. The symbol represents a spiritual attitude, meaning that one has faith in a particular religious belief system.

Strong Inner Guidance Native Rock Art symbol

Strong Inner Guidance

The Strong Inner Guidance symbol consists of two parallel vertical lines, both of which curve at the base side until they intersect and cross each other. At the base, the intersecting lines resemble the tail of the Christian fish icon. The symbol represents faith in one’s own abilities and independent spirit.

Good Faith Native Rock Art symbol

Good Faith

The Good Faith symbol consists of two parallel horizontal lines, both of which curve on the right hand side until they intersect and cross each other. On the right side, the intersecting lines resemble the tail of the Christian fish icon. The symbol represents who chooses to rely on others, and can suggest that person to be gullible or easily taken in.

Family Native Rock Art symbol

Family

The Family symbol consists of two parallel horizontal lines, both of which curve on the left hand side until they intersect and cross each other. On the left side, the intersecting lines resemble the tail of the Christian fish icon. The symbol represents family and suggests that one can always rely on family for assistance.

Lack of Self-Confidence Native Rock Art symbol

Lack of Self-Confidence

The Lack of Self-Confidence symbol consists of two solid horizontal lines, the uppermost of which extends beyond the lower at on the right hand side, curving downwards towards the lower line. The symbol represents a lack of self-confidence but also recommends to others that a person requires encouragement.

Future Native Rock Art symbol

Future Decision

The Future Decision symbol consists of an inverted T shape, where a horizontal line forms a base to the symbol and a central vertical line rises from the center of that base. The symbol tells others that an important decision has been made.

Decision Taken Native Rock Art symbol

Decision Taken

The Decision Taken symbol consists in two parallel horizontal lines that are intersected by a single and shorter thin, vertical line. The symbol represents physical and spiritual endurance. It advocates for persistence and perseverance.

Resistance Native Rock Art symbol

Resistance

The Resistance symbol consists in two parallel horizontal lines that are intersected by a single and shorter thin, vertical line. The symbol represents physical and spiritual endurance. It advocates for persistence and perseverance.

Work Native Rock Art symbol

Work

The Work symbol represents work, as well as the energy that provides physical and spiritual meaning in life.

Health Native Rock Art symbol

Health

The Health symbol consists of a set of parallel horizontal lines, which are intersected by parallel vertical lines, forming an inverted T shape. A box or rectangle is created between the lines at the point where they meet. The symbol represents the energy of the spirit as it manifests in the physical world and the nourishment and maintenance of the material body by spiritual energy.

Acceleration Native Rock Art symbol

Acceleration

The Acceleration symbol consists of a right-facing arrow, of which the shaft is a wavy or meandering line. The arrowhead is triangular and shaded. It represents the acceleration of events, one’s plans, and significant personal development.

Wish Realization Native Rock Art symbol

Wish Realization

The Wish Realization symbol consists of a left-facing arrow, with a triangular, shaded arrowhead and long shaft. It represents the realization of one’s ambitions, wish fulfillment, and advocates for taking action.

Wisdom Native Rock Art symbol

Wisdom

The Wisdom symbol consists in an arrow, of which the shaft is a wavy or meandering line. The arrow moves at a slight diagonal and the arrowhead is pointing downwards and to the left. This represents wisdom and specifically a person who is wise and true to themselves. If the arrowhead were to point downwards and to the left, the symbol would represent far-sight and impressive powers of observation.

Friendship Native Rock Art symbol

Friendship

The Friendship symbol consists of two arrows which intersect to form an X shape. The heads of each arrow point upwards (at a diagonal) and each consists of a shaded triangle. The symbol represents friendship and the willingness of two individuals to work towards a common goal.

Learning Way Native Rock Art symbol

Learning

The Learning symbol consists in a wide bowl or U shape, in the center of which is a downwards-facing arrow. The arrow has a short, thin shaft which has a shaded, triangular head. The symbol represents learning, endurance and the path of truth.

Omnipresence Native Rock Art symbol

Omnipresence

The Omnipresence symbol consists in a horizontal line, above which (but without making contact) sits an upwards-facing arrow. The arrow has a short, thin shaft which has a shaded, triangular head. The symbol represents omnipresence and attentiveness. It may also suggest that one ought to become more attentive in his or her behavior.

enjoyment Native Rock Art symbol

Enjoyment

The Enjoyment symbol consists in a horizontal line upon which sits a tall triangle, or inverted V. With the triangle, and sitting on the horizontal line, is a small, unshaded circle. Its height is less than half the height of the triangle. The symbol represents enjoyment, or an intense taste for enjoying life.

Self-Confidence Native Rock Art symbol

Self-Confidence

The Self Confidence symbol consists in two inverted V shapes, joined centrally to look like the letter M. It represents truth, self-confidence, intuition and the ability to follow through on one’s decisions. In some Native American art, the symbol is extended beyond the two inverted V shapes to create a longer zigzag pattern.

Positivity Native Rock Art symbol

Positivity

The Positivity symbol consists in a wide bowl or U shape. It represents one who for whom positivity is a key personality trait, due to that person living in a way that represents and embodies truth.

Firmness Native Rock Art symbol

Firmness

The Firmness symbol consists in a wide bowl or U shape, which houses an inverted V shape in its center. It represents a steadfast personality, someone who is firm in their pursuit of the truth and values honesty. The steadfast individual pays close attention and is hard to fool.

Diplomacy Native Rock Art symbol

Diplomacy

The Diplomacy symbol consists in two V shapes, joined centrally to look like the letter W. It represents diplomacy, and the ability to consider and marry differing perspectives. More V shapes can be added to represent the enjoining of further points of view to a diplomatic solution.

Judge Native Rock Art symbol

Judge

This Judge symbol consists in a wide V shape, where the ends of the thick, diagonal lines bend outwards and away from the central apex. The Judge symbol represents a person who is a fair judge, and who is able to see disagreement from opposing perspectives.

Calm Native Rock Art symbol

Calm

The Calm symbol consists in a wide, inverted V shape. It contains within the thick, diagonal lines a short, horizontal line which does not extend to meet the inverted V. The Calm symbol depicts a closed mouth, and the symbol represents a quiet or calm person who is a good listener.

Charisma Native Rock Art symbol

Charisma

The Charisma symbol consists in a star shape, made of thin, intersecting lines. Depending on perspective, it may be six shorter lines that emanate from a central point, or three larger lines that intersect. From this perspective, there is a central, horizontal line, while the other two move diagonally across it. The Charisma symbol represents a magnetic personality, or a person’s special aura.

Wealth Native Rock Art symbol

Wealth

The Wealth symbol consists in a narrow V shape comprising two thick, diagonal lines. It contains a series of thin, horizontal lines which connect on either side and become wider as they move further from the inverted apex. The Wealth symbol represents spiritual development and wealth – both inner wealth and external abundance.

Talent Native Rock Art symbol

Talent

The Talent symbol consists in a downward-facing arrow with a wide V-shaped head and long, thin shaft. Near the top of the vertical line of the shaft are two smaller wide V shapes depicting fletching or flights. The Talent symbol represents spiritual development and the need to nurture and develop one’s talents.

Self-Development Native Rock Art symbol

Self-Development

The Self-Development symbol consists in a wide V shape comprising two thick, diagonal lines. It contains a series of thin, horizontal lines which connect on either side and become wider as they move further from the inverted apex. The Self-Development symbol represents spiritual and individual development.

Joy Native Rock Art symbol

Joy

The Joy symbol consists in an inverted T shape, with a thin, horizontal base line and a long, vertical line meeting the median point. Two slighter lines emanate from this same point, they are significantly smaller and sit at a 45 degree angle to the longer horizontal and vertical lines. This symbol represents spiritual energy and the triumph of joy over suffering.

Vitality Native Rock Art symbol

Vitality

The Vitality symbol looks somewhat like an upturned comb, consisting of six vertical lines, connected at their base by a thicker line which extends slightly beyond the outside left and right vertical lines on each side. The Vitality symbol represents spiritual energy and vitality.

Time Native Rock Art symbol

Time

The Time symbol consists of four small circles arranged in a horizontal row and connected by three short, thin lines. The symbol might be mistaken for a string of beads or pearls. The first and third circles are shaded, while the second and fourth are outlined. The symbol represents spiritual energy and time. Whether it suggests that time should be taken, or given, is context dependent.

Immortality Native Rock Art symbol

Immortality

The immortality symbol consists in an X-shaped cross, which is flanked by inward-facing chevrons of which the lines are an equal width as those that constitute the cross. Above and below are inward-facing arrows, with thin shafts and shaded heads. The symbol represents spiritual energy, immortality and eternal life.

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