Gothic Symbols


Have you ever noticed gothic symbols in jewelry or clothing?

How common are these symbols?

Are they really that important?

Goth symbols are a great way to elevate your goth wardrobe or décor. You can find a variety of symbols associated with the goth scene, and they all provide something slightly different when it comes to their meanings and histories.

In this article, we’ll show you some of our top favorite goth symbols. Read through this information and be sure to pay special attention to the history and meaning of each one. With the help of this info, you can understand which symbols might be best suited to your goth needs.

Read on to find out more!

1. Ankh

The ankh is similar to the shape of a cross. However, instead of being straight at the top, it is rounded with a slight oval shape.

History: Although no one knows the origin of the ankh, it can be dated back to ancient Egypt. It was an extremely important symbol used by the ancient Egyptians and became closely linked with their life on the Nile.

Meaning: This symbol is used to represent eternal life. It is also known as the Key of Life because of this.

2. Baphomet

Baphomet is a goat-headed deity who has androgynous features. The figure is usually positioned in a cross-legged seated style and often has one hand up and the other down. Sometimes, this figure is decorated with upside-down crosses.

History: Originally worshipped by the Knights Templar, Baphomet has been used in dark practices and occult magic for centuries.

Meaning: The original meaning of the symbol was order and balance. However, the association of this symbol with the occult has changed the meaning over time, and it is now more closely related to sex magic and fertility.

3. Bat

Bats may be realistic or may simply look like the general shape of a bat. In goth styles, bat wings are the most important part of this symbol.

History: Bats have been around as animals for a long time. However, they have been used for goth purposes since they were associated with vampires.

Meaning: Bats are often used to represent the unseen because of their use of echolocation. They are also sometimes representative of death as well as rebirth due to their relationship with vampires.

4. Celtic Knot

Celtic knots come in a variety of styles, but the most common features a triangular shape with three points. The shape is made up of a line that overlaps and loops through itself in an endless spiral.

History: The Celtic knot can be traced back to the 7th century and even earlier. It was used by the Celtic people and had some connections to the Druids as well.

Meaning: These knots are meant to represent eternity, which can be taken in either a positive or a negative way, depending on the user.

5. Cross

Crosses are shaped like a lowercase letter t. They can be as simple or as intricate as needed, and they may include other design elements surrounding them in some instances.

History: The cross dates back to paganism. When Christians began taking over pagan religions, they adopted the cross and began using it as their primary symbol as well. It is related to the ankh.

Meaning: A regular cross symbolizes the life and death of Christ. An upside-down cross represents demons and Satan.

6. Grim Reaper

Grim Reapers usually look like skeleton figures dressed in black, hooded cloaks. They are almost always depicted carrying a scythe.

History: The Grim Reaper is often considered to have come from plague doctors during the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Although somewhat disputed, this theory is one of the strongest for the origin of this figure.

Meaning: This symbol is usually used to represent the cycle of life and death. It can also be used to show that the wearer is not afraid to look death in the face.

7. Hexagram

Hexagrams can also be described as six-pointed stars. They may be made up of a simple outline, or they might have more designs in the interior of the star as well.

History: This symbol was originally a part of Hindu traditions and was related to the heart chakra. It was altered slightly and became more closely related to Judaism instead.

Meaning: In occult usages, this symbol is related to the elements; combining the four elements creates the six-pointed star. However, in modern usage, this symbol is most commonly related to the Star of David.

8. Pentagram

Pentagrams are five-pointed stars that are surrounded by a circle. They can be intricate or simple, and they can be made of a variety of materials.

History: This symbol can be traced all the way back to ancient Sumeria. It was also used as a symbol of wellbeing in ancient Greece and was also the symbol of ancient Jerusalem.

Meaning: Today the pentagram is very closely associated with the occult, and especially with Wicca. In this tradition, it usually represents the four elements as well as the element of the self.

9. Skull

Skulls may look like realistic human skulls, or they might be somewhat cartoonish. They are usually white, but they can be any color.

History: Skulls (with or without crossbones) have been used to represent death for centuries. This symbol can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

Meaning: The meaning of this symbol is simply death.

10. Snake

Snakes may look realistic or cartoonish. They may be black or can come in a variety of colors, and they may be designed to look frightening or not.

History: Uses of the snake as a religious or spiritual symbol date back to a time before recorded history. Snakes figure into myths, legends, and religious texts from dozens of cultures.

Meaning: Snakes often represent creativity and fertility. They can also represent healing or eternity, which makes them a good choice for goth purposes since they are also often associated with pain or even death.

11. Spider

Spiders can also sometimes be cartoonish or can be realistic. They may be paired with spider webs, or they may be used as symbols on their own instead.

History: Spiders are found in the legends and religious texts of Greece, Rome, Asian cultures, African cultures, Native American cultures, and more.

Meaning: Spiders are usually associated with trapping their victims. However, they can sometimes be related to hunting in a positive way, as well as to creativity for their ability to weave intricate webs for themselves.


Did you find a symbol you like the sound of? Remember that you should brush up more on the history and usage of any symbol you choose before you dive into wearing it.

Why is it important to understand the meaning and history behind these symbols before you use them? The most important reason is because some of these symbols could have meanings you don’t want to associate with yourself. They may be anti-religion, or they could be used as hate symbols by some groups. Still others might be considered appropriative of the cultures they come from.

By doing your research, you can make sure you choose a symbol that works for you and is right for your situation at the same time.

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