Symbols of Motherhood/Mother and What They Mean

Motherhood, a profound and timeless experience, is encompassed by powerful symbols that capture its essence. 

These symbols hold deep meanings, representing the profound connection between a mother and her child and the qualities that define motherhood. 

In this article, we embark on a journey to explore these symbols, uncovering their rich and profound significance.

Let’s delve into the hidden meanings behind Motherhood symbols and discover the universal emotions they evoke.

motherhod symbol

Explore the table below for a glimpse into the profound symbols of motherhood and their concise yet meaningful interpretations. 

1.Mother GoddessRepresents the divine and nurturing aspect of motherhood.
2.Lakshmi YantraSymbolizes abundance, prosperity, and maternal blessings in Hinduism.
3.Virgin MarySignifies purity, compassion, and the motherly love of Mary in Christianity.
4. Mother and Child MotifDepicts the tender and unbreakable bond between a mother and her child.
5.  Heart SymbolRepresents love, affection, and the deep emotional connection of motherhood.
6.LiliesSymbolize purity, beauty, and the nurturing qualities of a mother’s love.
7.TapuatRepresents the cycle of life, motherhood, and the interconnectedness of all beings in Native American cultures.
8.BreastfeedingSymbolizes the nourishment, bonding, and nurturing connection between a mother and her child.
9.Infinity SymbolSignifies a mother’s everlasting and boundless love for her child.
10.Tree of LifeRepresents the interconnectedness of all life and the cycle of birth, growth, and renewal.
11.PelicanSymbolizes selflessness, sacrifice, and the maternal instinct of providing and protecting.
12.DoveRepresents peace, purity, and the gentle nature of maternal care.
13.NestSymbolizes safety, warmth, and the nurturing space a mother creates for her offspring.
14.SunSignifies life, warmth, and the radiant energy of maternal love.
15.CarnationsSymbolize love, admiration, and gratitude for a mother’s nurturing and selfless love.

Now, get ready to dive deeper into each symbol as we unravel its rich and insightful meanings.

  1. Mother Goddess
Mother Goddess symbol

The embodiment of divine femininity, the Mother Goddess is a potent symbol of motherhood. She represents the nurturing, creative, and life-giving aspects that mothers possess. 

Found in numerous ancient cultures and mythologies, the Mother Goddess personifies fertility, protection, and fundamental maternal qualities.

Throughout history, civilizations have worshiped different deities associated with motherhood. In ancient Egypt, the Mother Goddess was revered as the epitome of femininity and magic. 

Also, in Greek mythology, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, exemplified the Mother Goddess archetype. Demeter’s love for her daughter, Persephone, was boundless.

The Mother Goddess symbol reminds us of the innate ability of women to create and sustain life and the importance of motherhood in our world.

  1. Lakshmi Yantra
Lakshmi Yantra

The Lakshmi Yantra holds great significance in Hindu mythology as a symbol of motherhood. As a motherhood symbol, the Lakshmi Yantra embodies a mother’s nurturing and providing nature in ensuring her children’s well-being and abundance.

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is revered as the divine mother who blesses her devotees with material and spiritual abundance. 

The Lakshmi Yantra is a sacred geometric representation of her divine presence and visual aid for meditation and devotion.

The intricate design of the Lakshmi Yantra consists of geometric patterns, including squares, triangles, and lotus petals. The lotus petals represent purity and divine beauty, while the squares represent stability and groundedness. The triangles embody the dynamic balance between creation, preservation, and dissolution.

Devotees of Lakshmi often use the Yantra as a focal point for meditation and prayer. By gazing upon the Yantra and chanting sacred mantras, individuals seek the blessings of the divine mother for abundance, prosperity, and overall well-being.

As a symbol of motherhood, the Lakshmi Yantra emphasizes the nurturing and caring qualities of a mother’s love.

  1. Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary

The Virgin Mary is a significant Christian figure and is revered as the mother of Jesus Christ. She represents the ideal of a loving and compassionate mother, inspiring countless believers.

Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus holds immense importance in Christian theology. Her unwavering faith, humility, and willingness to fulfill her divine purpose testify to the qualities of a devoted and nurturing mother. 

Throughout Christian art and iconography, the Virgin Mary cradling the infant Jesus is a powerful representation of maternal love and devotion. This iconic portrayal evokes a sense of tenderness, protection, and the deep bond between a mother and her child.

Many individuals turn to Mary as a motherly figure, seeking her guidance, comfort, and maternal intercession.

  1. Mother and Child Motif
Mother and Child Motif symbol

The Mother and Child Motif is a universal symbol representing the bond between a mother and her child. It encapsulates a mother’s deep emotional connection, love, and care for her offspring.

Artistic depictions of the Mother and Child Motif can be found across cultures and throughout history. 

The image of a mother cradling her child in her arms conveys a sense of intimacy portrayed in various art forms, including paintings, sculptures, and reliefs. 

The Mother and Child Motif serves as a reminder of the profound bond between a mother and her child. It captures the tender moments of nurturing, comfort, and caring that define the maternal experience. 

In addition to representing the individual relationship between a mother and her child, It signifies the continuation of life, the passing on of traditions and values, and the intergenerational connection.

The Mother and Child Motif reminds us of the sacrifices that mothers make and the lifelong bond they share with their children.

  1. Heart Symbol
Heart Symbol

The Heart Symbol is a widely recognized symbol of love, affection, and emotional connection. It represents a mother’s deep and unconditional love for her child. 

The heart-shaped symbol serves as a visual representation of the love-filled bond that exists between a mother and her offspring.

The Heart Symbol has been used for centuries to convey sentiments of love, care, and compassion. Regarding motherhood, the Heart Symbol symbolizes the mother-child relationship’s emotional depth, warmth, and tenderness.

The Heart Symbol also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and selflessness inherent in motherhood.

In celebrating motherhood, the Heart Symbol is often used to express gratitude and appreciation for all that mothers do. It is a universal emblem of love, capturing the essence of a mother’s unwavering devotion and nurturing nature.

  1. Lilies
Lilies symbol

Lilies are rich in symbolism and have been associated with motherhood for centuries. The lily’s white petals symbolize purity and innocence, reflecting the idealized image of motherhood as a sacred and virtuous role.

In the context of motherhood, lilies represent mothers’ nurturing qualities, grace, and devotion.

The association between lilies and motherhood can be traced back to ancient civilizations and mythology. In Greek mythology, the lily was believed to have been created from the milk of the goddess Hera, who was revered as the mother of gods and mortals. 

In Christian symbolism, the lily has been linked to the Virgin Mary, considered the ultimate symbol of motherhood. 

The white lily, known as the “Madonna Lily,” is associated with her purity and divine motherhood. It represents her role as the mother of Jesus Christ and embodies love, compassion, and nurturing.

Beyond mythology and religion, lilies hold cultural significance in celebrating motherhood. They are often used as gifts and decorations during Mother’s Day and other maternal celebrations. The vibrant colors and fragrances of lilies evoke feelings of beauty, femininity, and appreciation for the love and care that mothers provide.

The symbolism of lilies extends to their representation of rebirth and renewal. As lilies bloom each year, they serve as a reminder of the continuous cycle of life, growth, and the nurturing role of a mother in guiding her children through various stages of development.

  1. Tapuat
Tapuat symbol

The Tapuat symbol, also known as the Celtic Triskelion or Triskele, holds deep spiritual significance and is closely associated with motherhood.

The Tapuat symbol features three interconnected spirals, with the name coined from the Greek word triskeles, which means three legs. Each spiral comes from a shared center and represents a different aspect: the past, the present, and the future. 

This symbolism highlights the timeless connection between generations and the continuum of life within the realm of motherhood.

The Tapuat symbolizes the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It reflects the nurturing and life-giving aspects and a mother’s strength and resilience. 

The interconnected spirals suggest the infinite love, protection, and guidance mothers provide throughout their children’s lives.

The Triskelion is often associated with the Divine Feminine concept, representing the universe’s nurturing and creative energies. The symbol serves as a reminder of the divine presence within mothers and their profound impact on shaping their children’s lives.

In addition, the interwoven spirals of the Tapuat signify the harmonious blending of different aspects of life, such as love, family, and growth. It encourages understanding the interconnectedness of all things and maintaining harmonious relationships within the family unit.

  1. Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding is a powerful symbol of nourishment, love, and connection between a mother and her child. It represents the intimate bond that forms through breastfeeding and the physical and emotional support a mother provides to her baby.

Breastfeeding is a natural and fundamental aspect of motherhood. It signifies the ability of a mother’s body to provide sustenance and nourishment to her child. This symbolizes the selflessness that mothers demonstrate in meeting their child’s needs.

Beyond its practical function, breastfeeding carries profound emotional and psychological significance. It fosters a sense of security and comfort for the baby as they experience closeness to their mother’s body and the warmth of her presence.

Breastfeeding is an act of love, care, and dedication, reflecting the unique role of a mother in providing for her child’s well-being.

Breastfeeding also symbolizes empowerment for mothers as they embrace their ability to nourish and nurture their children.

In contemporary society, the symbol of breastfeeding has gained increased visibility and advocacy. 

It signifies the importance of supporting and normalizing breastfeeding as a fundamental aspect of maternal care. Thereby encouraging a greater understanding and acceptance of the unique bond and benefits that breastfeeding brings to both mother and child.

  1. Infinity Symbol
Infinity Symbol

The Infinity symbol, often depicted as a sideways figure-eight (∞), symbolizes the timeless and infinite love, devotion, and connection between a mother and her child.

The Infinity symbol represents mothers’ everlasting bond and unconditional love for their children.

A mother’s love knows no boundaries and endures beyond time and space. So, the infinite loop of the symbol embodies the eternal nature of a mother’s affection and care.

In the context of motherhood, the Infinity symbol also represents the continuum of life and the interdependence between a mother and her child. It symbolizes the endless cycle of nurturing, support, and guidance a mother provides throughout her child’s life.

The Infinity symbol can also represent the strength and resilience that mothers possess. Reflecting their ability to embrace challenges and overcome obstacles to protect and support their children.

Furthermore, the Infinity symbol can signify the connection between generations. It highlights the passing on of traditions, values, and wisdom from mothers to their children and beyond. 

Mothers have a big impact in shaping the lives of their offspring and the legacy they leave behind. In doing so, the symbol of Infinity reminds us of motherhood’s timeless and limitless nature.

  1. Tree of Life
Tree of Life symbol

The Tree of Life is a powerful symbol representing all life’s interconnectedness and the nurturing essence of motherhood. It symbolizes the cycle of birth, growth, and the eternal bond between a mother and her child.

The Tree of Life is a symbol in various cultures and traditions throughout history. It represents the deep roots that connect all living beings to our ancestors and future generations. In the context of motherhood, the Tree of Life symbolizes the nurturing qualities, strength, and resilience that mothers embody.

The branches of the Tree of Life extend outward, representing the growth and expansion of life. They symbolize the diverse paths and experiences that individuals encounter while remaining connected to the roots that provide sustenance and stability. 

In this way, the Tree of Life reflects the journey of motherhood, where mothers provide a nurturing foundation for their children to grow and flourish while allowing them the freedom to explore and find their unique paths.

The Tree of Life also signifies the cycle of birth and rebirth. Just as a tree goes through seasons of growth, shedding leaves and blossoming anew, mothers experience pregnancy, delivery, and their children’s continuous growth and development. 

The symbol serves as a reminder of the transformative power of motherhood and the infinite potential for new beginnings.

Moreover, the Tree of Life embodies the life-giving qualities intrinsic to motherhood, such as providing shelter, nourishment, and protection.

The branches and leaves of the tree provide shade and support, symbolizing the comforting presence and guidance that mothers provide throughout their children’s lives.

The Tree of Life is a symbol of unity and balance. Its roots delve deep into the Earth, while its branches reach towards the sky. This duality reflects the role of a mother, who holds the wisdom and experiences of previous generations while nurturing the dreams and potential of future generations.

  1. Pelican
Pelican Symbol

In traditional depictions, the Pelican is portrayed as a bird with a large beak and a pouch-like structure called a “brood pouch.” The Pelican uses this pouch to carry and provide food for its offspring. 

The act of regurgitating food from its own body to feed its young is a powerful symbol of self-sacrifice and maternal care. 

The Pelican symbolizes selflessness, nurturing, and sacrifice, making it an emblematic symbol of motherhood. It signifies mothers’ deep care and devotion for their children, willing to go to great lengths to protect and provide for them.

The Pelican’s selfless nature symbolizes the willingness of a mother to give selflessly for the well-being of her children. Its act of nourishing its young is a symbolic reflection of a mother’s nurturing role, providing sustenance and guidance throughout the journey of parenthood.

The symbolism of the Pelican extends further to encompass the theme of protection. Just as the Pelican guards its brood pouch and ensures the safety of its young, mothers are known for their fierce protectiveness and unwavering commitment to shielding their children from harm.

  1. Dove
Dove symbol

The Dove is a universal symbol of peace, purity, and love. It embodies gentleness, nurturing, and harmony, reflecting the maternal instincts and qualities that define the mother-child bond. 

The Dove has been associated with motherhood across cultures and throughout history. It is often portrayed as a bird of purity and innocence, known for its gentle and serene nature. 

The Dove’s graceful presence and soothing cooing sounds evoke a sense of calmness and tranquility, mirroring the peaceful and nurturing environment that mothers create for their children.

The Dove’s soft white feathers and delicate features embody mothers’ nurturing and comforting qualities, fostering a sense of security and emotional well-being.

Furthermore, the Dove represents the purity and selflessness of a mother’s love. It signifies the unconditional and nurturing love that mothers have for their children.

The symbolism of the Dove extends beyond individual mother-child relationships. It also embodies the universal desire for peace and harmony, reflecting motherhood’s collective nurturing and caring nature that transcends boundaries and cultures.

  1. Nest
Nest symbol

The Nest is a powerful symbol of maternal care, protection, and the creation of a nurturing home for offspring. It represents the safe and secure environment that mothers build to support the growth and development of their children.

A bird intricately crafts a nest to serve as a shelter for its eggs and hatchlings. The Nest’s structure and materials symbolize the mother’s commitment to warmth, protection, and comfort.

The Nest embodies the essence of home, where a mother’s presence brings a sense of belonging and safety.

Just as a nest provides a sanctuary for birds to lay their eggs and nurture their young, mothers offer physical and emotional nourishment. The Nest represents the nourishing qualities of a mother’s love, care, and guidance, providing the foundation for a child’s growth and well-being.

Additionally, the Nest symbolizes the transformative journey of motherhood. It represents the nurturing stages, from the delicate act of incubating eggs to the fledglings leaving the Nest to embark on their travels. 

The Nest reminds us that motherhood is about providing immediate care and equipping children with the skills and confidence to navigate the world independently.

The symbolism of the Nest can also be interpreted as a reflection of the intergenerational bond between mothers and their children.

  1. Sun
Sun symbol

The Sun symbolizes light, warmth, life-giving energy, and maternal nourishment. It represents the nurturing and illuminating qualities that mothers embody, providing guidance, support, and unconditional love to their children.

The Sun has long been revered as a symbol of vitality, renewal and the source of life on Earth. Its radiant energy brings warmth and light, sustaining all living beings. 

The Sun is often associated with strength, warmth, and protection. In the same way that the Sun’s rays envelop the Earth, mothers create a nurturing and protective environment for their children. The Sun symbolizes the persistent presence and steadfast love that mothers radiate.

Moreover, the Sun represents the guidance and enlightenment that mothers provide. Like the Sun illuminates the world, mothers guide their children, helping them navigate life’s challenges and discover their path. 

The Sun’s association with life-giving energy and fertility is another aspect of its symbolism of motherhood. Just as the Sun’s warmth nurtures the growth of plants and sustains life, mothers nurture and nourish the development of their children. 

They provide the necessary emotional, physical, and intellectual support for their children to flourish and thrive.

In addition, the Sun symbolizes the universal and timeless nature of a mother’s love. The Sun rises and sets, marking the passage of time, yet its essence remains constant. Similarly, a mother’s love endures through the years, transcending time and space. 

  1. Carnations
Carnations symbol

Carnations are revered as a symbol of love, admiration, and affection, making them significant flowers in the context of motherhood. They represent the deep bond between a mother and her child and the gratitude and appreciation we feel for the nurturing and selfless love that mothers provide.

Carnations have been associated with motherhood for centuries and hold a special place in various cultures. These beautiful flowers are often gifted to mothers as a gesture of love and appreciation on Mother’s Day or other occasions honoring motherhood.

The symbolism of Carnations concerning motherhood is multifaceted. They represent the pure and unconditional love that mothers have for their children. Carnations’ delicate petals and fragrant aromas embody the tenderness and affection that mothers shower upon their little ones.

Carnations are also seen as a symbol of maternal strength and endurance. The flower’s resilience and ability to bloom even in adverse conditions mirror mothers’ unwavering commitment and determination as caregivers.

Pink Carnations symbolize a mother’s undying love and gratitude, expressing appreciation for the care and nurturing she offers. White Carnations signify purity, innocence, and the deep bond between a mother and child. Red Carnations represent admiration and deep affection, honoring a mother’s profound love and devotion.

Additionally, certain cultures believe that Carnations possess healing properties and provide protection for both mothers and children.


Symbols of motherhood hold deep meaning and significance, representing the profound bond between a mother and her child. From ancient goddesses to modern motifs, these symbols embody love, strength, protection, and wisdom. 

They transcend cultural boundaries, speaking to the universal emotions and experiences that connect us all. May these symbols be a constant reminder of the profound love and selflessness that define the timeless bond between a mother and her child.

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