In times of hardship, we often cling to those symbols of strength to pull us through - whether it is a person, a place, or a talisman that inspires resilience.

For thousands of years, humans remains steadfast in the use of these symbols, and we find them time and time again from ancient mythology to contemporary literature and culture. Come with us as we explore some of the most powerful symbols of strength and perseverance, whether it's the evil eye of the Ancient Egyptians or the oak trees of Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Perhaps, there is something to inspire and waken your own lion within.


Leading the pride, the lion is perhaps the most recognisable symbol of strength. A powerful ancient symbol, the 'king of the beasts' has been used for thousands of years from Ancient Greece and Roman traditions to Christianity, as well as a beloved character in one of the 20th century's most popular children's novels.

In strongholds throughout Greek and Roman empires, the lion has been built into defences, city gates, and temples, as a guardian. In both Greek and Ancient Egyptian traditions, the sphinx is a fantastical representation that includes the head of a woman, haunches of a lion, and wings of a bird and is believed to be a divine protector.

In Christianity too, the lion is a representation of strength. Found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 49, the lion is positioned as symbolic of kingship and divine force. More recently, the author C.S. Lewis wrote of the lion, Aslan, in 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'. Used as a literary tool to symbolise Christ himself, Aslan is a powerful symbol of good triumphing over evil.

Celtic bull

Known to the Celts as 'Hu the Mighty', the bull represents virility and power, a symbol of wilfulness and stubbornness. A common motif in Celtic mythology, this creature has been linked to the fertility of land and prosperity, and adorned the homes of these ancient peoples.

Today, the bull is still used as as a modern totem to symbolise strength and aggression; it can seen in the famous charging bull statue found on New York's Wall Street, and the logo for the basketball team, Chicago Bulls.

Lotus flower

The lotus is a meaningful source of inspiration, particularly in Buddhist traditions.

Emerging from the water with roots hiding below, this flower is most commonly associated with birth, resurrection, strength, and resilience, and in Buddhism symbolises the spiritual journey to enlightenment as the lotus rises from muddy waters as a pure flower.

Evil eye

Originating from an ancient belief that the eyes - the windows to the soul - are channels of energy, both positive and negative, the evil eye is one of the world's most popular symbols.

The 'evil eye' amulet itself is said to ward off the evil eye itself; a belief dating back 5,000 years that suggests those who receive the evil eye will experience misfortune or a curse. Pliny the Elder spoke of those who possess the evil eye as being able “to even kill those on whom they fix their gaze.” The nazar amulet is the symbol that protects against such harm, and its use is a superstition that has symbolised power and protection dating as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Oak tree

As far back as the Celtic Druids, the oak tree was worshipped at rituals and magical gatherings. It is suggested that the word Druid derives from the “knower of the oak tree”. Owing to its long lifespan - the oldest living oak in Temecula, California is believed to be over 2000 years old - the tree has come to symbolise longevity, stability, endurance, and strength.

Myths and legends around oak trees have been woven into the fabric of many cultures across the world. It is said that when Elizabeth I was declared Queen of England in 1558, she was sat underneath the famed oak tree at Hatfield House. A deeply auspicious symbol, indigenous to the British Isles, it was believed that this showed her as a strong, divine ruler with a deep-rooted claim to the English throne.


Interested in designing a piece to reflect your own symbols of strength? Get in touch at or book an appointment at our Hatton Garden workshop or via Zoom for a private consultation.