If you’d like to nurture your femininity and become a force to reckon with, you might be trying to identify some symbols of femininity and their meanings. There are quite many symbols that people have been using for centuries to depict the qualities associated with portraying feminine attributes.
In this article, we’d like to explore some of the most common symbols for femininity and their meanings. We will also discuss how these symbols represent female strength and power and how to use them to empower yourself.
In Summary: Society uses a variety of symbols to symbolize femininity. These include mythical figures such as venus and the triple goddess triquetra; animals such as cats and elephants; plants such as the lotus and the rose flower; clothing such as dresses, skirts, and heels; and items such as jewelry and makeup.
Importance of symbols in representing and defining femininity
Different cultures and societies have used feminine symbols to:
- Represent and Define femininity: They can help women understand and express ideas and emotions about being a woman or feminine. That includes having traits such as sensitivity, gentleness, courage, compassion, nurturing, and compassion.
- Express a feminist’s ideas and values: Feminists use feminine symbols to fight or advocate for gender equality. It also reminds them of their past struggles, achievements, and future goals.
- Define what it means to be a woman today: Feminine symbols remind women to be confident, strong, and independent. Women can also use these symbols to express their unique styles and personalities.
Different Feminine Symbols Throughout Nature
Nature is a good place to find inspiration and beauty. While this is the case, several things have been used to symbolize femininity throughout history and in different cultures. Here are a few you should know.
- The Moon
It is one of the most powerful symbols of femininity. Cultures around the world connect it to female goddesses for centuries. Some of the things the moon represents are:
- The moon’s phases are cyclical to women’s menstrual cycles
- Tenderness and comfort in times of need
- Mother figure
- The way women are in tune with their emotions
- Strong intuition
The lotus flower has different meanings in various cultures. For instance, The lotus flower in Buddhism signifies spiritual awakening and purity. It’s also a symbol of prosperity, beauty, and fertility in Hinduism.
Some cultures also associate the flower as a symbol of femininity due to its delicate and beautiful appearance. People compare it to a woman’s soft skin, fertility, and motherhood, especially since it can grow in harsh conditions. If you want to start fresh, this would be a good symbol to use.
Rose flowers have been associated with several things, including celebrations and ceremonies. They add elegance to different occasions, such as weddings and anniversaries. People also use them as a sign of love, appreciation, and affection. People also associate these flowers with innocence and purity.
Hence, the reason why they are a common symbol of femininity. Women see it as a delicate and beautiful flower representing romance and femininity.
Cats are the second most popular pets around the world. People domesticate these animals in homes to help hunt rodents and other small animals. In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as gods and goddesses. The Egyptians would even mummify them after these animals died.
They are also a symbol of femininity in many cultures because they are independent and mysterious – which are traits associated with femininity.
Although the population of elephants is declining, these animals have played an important part in many cultures. People used them for war, to carry soldiers, and trample over their enemies. Others also used them to carry crops, haul logs, and entertain.
The elephant is also a symbol of femininity because of their caring and nurturing nature. They also symbolize strength, wisdom, and power.
For centuries, cultures worldwide have associated the butterfly with our ability to transcend physical reality and emerge as something new and beautiful. The butterfly is also a reminder that change can be good; even though it may be scary initially, it can lead to something wonderful.
They also symbolises femininity since they represent the changing phases of a woman’s life – from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Further, butterflies are beautiful, graceful, and delicate – an attribute of being feminine.
Lionesses have been revered as powerful and regal animals. Egyptians used to worship them as goddesses. They were also a symbol of honour and chivalry in mediaeval Europe.
These animals also represent strength, power, and femininity since they are protectors of the price. While being fierce and brave, they remain loving, gentle, and royal, which are attributes we can give to a woman.
Goddess Symbols of Femininity
- Spider Grandmother
The spider grandmother is a native American figure in Hopi and Navajo tribes. She’s often depicted as an older woman with spider-like features, such as multiple arms and the ability to spin webs.
Different cultures view her as a symbol of wisdom, perseverance, and creativity. She is also a strong feminine symbol as she teaches women the power of creating and sustaining life. Her figure also shows that women have important jobs in society and that we should honour and respect them.
Gaia is a common figure in Greek mythology, known to represent the earth’s personification and the mother of all life. Her symbols include the earth, matrons, fruits, grains, a cornucopia, and a sickle.
As a symbol of femininity, Gaia represents motherhood, fertility, and maternal energy. The ancient Greeks viewed her as a protective figure of the earth and all its creatures.
Other things she represents include:
- Environmental consciousness
- Green movement
The word ‘Umay’ is a Turkic word meaning placenta or afterbirth. She was a Turkic goddess associated with different roles, including looking after children and being the guardian goddess of mothers.
Umay – automatically becomes a feminine symbol because of her nurturing and protective nature. In the modern era, feminist movements in different parts of the world adopt her relevance as a symbol of power and resilience.
- Goddess Durga
Durga was a powerful goddess in Hindu mythology, often depicted as a warrior with multiple arms, each holding a weapon while riding on a tiger or lion. According to the Durga mythology, the gods created her as a weapon to defeat the demon Mahishasura.
She is also a representation of power, strength and femininity. As a symbol of femininity, she challenges the traditional notion of women being passive and weak; and portrays them as strong, capable, and independent. Her image also reminds women to embrace their power and encourages society to respect feminine qualities in different individuals.
Athena was an ancient Greek goddess, often depicted as a beautiful woman with grey eyes and golden hair. She is a symbol of wisdom, war, and crafts.
The goddess symbolises femininity and is a role model to many women since she is powerful and respected by all. She represents the ideal of a strong, independent woman who can hold her own in a male-dominated world.
- Spiral goddess
The spiral goddess is an ancient symbol used to represent a wide range of things in the natural world and the cosmos. She is a sign of life, death, and rebirth.
She mainly represents feminine power, fertility, the cycles of life, and celebration. Women use this symbol to remind themselves they should embrace their unique power and not hide it.
Symbols of Femininity in Art
- Venus Symbol
It’s an icon that represents the planet venus; however, historically, people used the symbol for different meanings and contexts. The symbol is depicted by a circle and a small cross below it.
Feminists and people who study gender usually use the Venus symbol to represent the female sex and gender. They also use it to celebrate womanhood, female empowerment, and solidarity. You can find this symbol on accessories, clothing, and accessories.
- Sheela Na Gig
Sheela Na Gig is an architectural figure made of stone, believed to represent a pagan goddess. Historians believe the carving was used in Ireland and the UK in the mediaeval times. The carving is depicted as a naked woman displaying an exaggerated vulva.
Historians believe people used the figure to ward off evil and guard themselves against demonic forces. Women’s rights and feminist groups use the symbol to represent sexuality and power in modern times. They also use it to empower women and challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes.
The symbol features a spiral with a series of dots and lines. Buddhists use it to represent the journey of life and the struggles people have to overcome to achieve inner peace and harmony.
Although people use it to symbolise enlightenment, the spiral can also represent femininity if the spirals are facing left. If the spirals are facing right, it could signify masculinity.
The Triskelion is a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals, known as one of the Celtic symbols. Initially, people did not use it as a symbol of femininity, but different groups and cultures have adopted it as one in modern times.
Cultures that use the Triskelion to symbolize femininity use it to represent the Triple Goddess, which consists of the maiden, mother, and crone. The maiden represents youthfulness, innocence, and new beginnings; the mother represents fertility, nurturing, and creation, while the crone represents wisdom, maturity, and endings.
Different cultures use the symbol to represent the various stages of a woman’s life and the unique qualities that each stage represents.
Duafe – meaning wooden comb in the Akan language, is an African artwork used to signify several things in different African cultures. The Asante women in Ghana use it to maintain their hair. They will also decorate it with beads, carvings, and other adornments and give it as a gift to a young girl.
The duafe represents beauty, love, care, and hygiene. People in the fashion and art industries use the symbol on clothing, jewellery, and other accessories to represent femininity and women’s empowerment.
- Venus of Willendorf
The venus of willendorf is a prehistoric statue found in Austria in 1908. It is a 4-inch statue of a woman with exaggerated breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs. These features represent a female body in a state of fertility.
The image also represents the importance of the female reproductive system and its life-giving power. In modern times, people use the figure to symbolize power and strength in motherhood and the female body.
- Celtic Motherhood Knot
The symbol is an ancient Irish culture symbol, a variation of the Trinity knot. It represents the unbreakable bond between a mother and child from birth. People use it to depict love, friendship, loyalty, and maternal love.
It can also symbolize femininity since it represents the nurturing and protective qualities of a mother, her strength, resilience, and endurance. Women can use this symbol to remind themselves that they are powerful, complex, and interconnected beings.
Modern Symbolism and Representations of Womanhood
Femininity has been evolving over the years, and so do the symbols that come with it. Here are some symbols we see in different cultures, media, and art.
We associate the pink colour with femininity since many brands use it to target women and girls. The color represents gentleness, love, and innocence. People use it in fashion to create a feminine and romantic look.
Other colours that are associated with femininity are:
- Light Purple
- Baby blue
Women wear high heels for practical and aesthetic reasons. These shoe types have been used for centuries since they add a touch of elegance to an outfit and elongate a lady’s legs. They are also a symbol of power and confidence.
Long hair has been a symbol of femininity and beauty for centuries. People view women with long hair as romantic and feminine. If you want to embrace your femininity, you can experiment with different hairstyles or keep your natural hair.
They are an excellent fashion choice since they add colour and appeal to any fabric. In modern times, these prints have become a symbol of femininity since they bring out the feminine side of attires.
Other popular symbols of modern femininity are:
- Skirts and dresses
- Red lipstick
Wrapping it up
As you can see, each symbol we mention in this article has a unique meaning and significance. Most of the symbols we highlight here have been used for centuries and remain relevant today.
Women can use them to signify transformation, growth, cycles of life, and nurturing qualities. They are also good reminders that femininity is a powerful force we should celebrate and honour.
We encourage our readers to understand the meaning and symbolism behind these symbols to gain a deeper appreciation of their feminine spirit and women’s role in the world.