Triple Symbol Meanings
For countless reasons, the phenomenon of three is a very big deal. And when I say phenomenon, I really mean it. The evidence of trinities, triads and triples run rampant in a myriad of cultures and spiritual beliefs. From the Christian trinity to the Celtic triquetra...the power of three is epic and it's rooted in our ancestral customs.
Why? Why does the number three demonstrate spiritual unity in such significant ways? Why not the number eight or twelve? Well, I have a few theories. Namely, the number three -- from a numerological perspective -- packs a powerful punch. The number three is all about balance. But not just any balance...it's evolved. Before three came along, there was the number two. Two is the ultimate expression of balance. Every number has a core meaning. Three is about evolutionary unity. It takes the balance established by the number two, then brings it together to create something beautiful. Three takes a triad of influences and energies and constructs them into a glorious balance. That balance works. It works on so many different levels. Here are some examples of how trinities work from cultures around the world...
Need more proof that three is all about evolutionary, cosmic balancing? Here's more:
In alchemical practice, there is a holy trinity of sulphur, mercury and salt. These elements make up the 'Great Work' in alchemy. The Great Work is the lottery - it's the grand poobah of ultimate unification of power. Alchemy's purpose is to strive for perfect harmony. That's what turning metal into gold is all about. It's not about getting rich with gold, it's about harmonizing that which is human, and creating conscious gold from within. Salt, sulphur and mercury are simply metaphors used to illustrate a perfect recipe for inner balance. Learn more about Alchemy Symbolic Meanings here.
Not only are their three deities that create cosmic harmonic in Greco-Roman mythology, but there is a foundational trinity representing each god. So the foundational triad is this: Heaven, Earth and Underworld. The three gods that rule over this core triad are, respectively: Zeus - God of Heaven, Poseidon - Overseer of Earth and Sea, Hades - Commander of the Underworld.
This trinity system is similar to the Greco-Roman mythological concept. There are three deities that are the scaffolding for universal structure. Brahma - Ruler of Creation, Vishnu - The Great Preserver and Shiva - The Destroyer. The idea here is that through these three forces, cosmic balance and unity is achieved.
Asian belief systems deem the number three as perfect. It cannot be added to, or reduced in any way. It represents the perfect structure upon which the universe is built. The Chinese culture utilizes the number three in the Great Triad which is: Earth, Human and Heaven.
Pythagoras was a wicked-keen philosopher and mathematician in Greece around 500's BCE. He associated symbolic language to the meaning of the triangle. In fact, he based an entire theory of perfect harmony based on the triangle. Each side of the triangle resonates with a fundamental quality. These three qualities are: Harmony, Unity and Diversity. If you think about it, these three qualities pretty much sum up our existence. We all require wholeness (unity). We all require balance (harmony) to be stable and whole. And to add a little sparkle to our lives, we need diversity - we need to know we are unique and different...like snowflakes...beautiful and special. All these qualities built into a triad represent full integration of the human condition.
It's all kinda crazy, isn't it!? I think it is, but crazy in a good way. Triple symbol meanings offer us structure in a world of perceived chaos and unknowns. Here again, this is why I'm so jazzed about symbolic meaning. Who would have thought something so simple and basic as a triangle, a trident (each protrusion of this weapon is symbolic of something depending on the culture) - or the number three would have such overwhelming, influential portent!?
If all this three business is overwhelming for you - just think of the triangle. It has equal sides. It is a self-standing structure with three parts. Without one side, that structure will crumble. There must be balance within three sides, three energies, three influences, powers, whatever. Maybe triple symbol meanings might become more real to us if we consider just a few visual representations. With that hope in mind, here are a few real-life symbols of the trinity and their meanings. Oh, and while we have triples in our mind - please understand these symbols are known by different names and meanings. I'm giving you the most common interpretations and origins of each triple symbol. So, if you know a symbol by a different name than what I've written...I'm not giving false info - I'm just covering the most referenced interpretation.
In conclusion, this article on triple symbol meanings is just the tip of the iceberg. I tried my best to cover the most accessible of this type of symbol. I also did my best to cover all the historical implications that are linked with the triad in various cultures. Please realize my word is not gospel. If you have questions, start researching. The internet is an amazing resource, but there are still vessels of knowledge called libraries. There are also great resources in people. You never know what kind of wisdom you can dig up outside the internet. I'm just saying - I know what I've written here is accurate, but as with all symbolic meanings - there is an element of opinion and subjectivity. Your opinion matters. Cultural opinion matters. These opinions will influence the meaning of any and every symbol you encounter.
Having said all that, I hope you enjoyed this article on triple symbol meanings.
Please be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for similar articles. You'll find access to Celtic symbols, triangle meaning, and tons of trinity symbol meanings.
As always, thanks so much for reading.
May you always stay trippy in a triple-kind of way. ;)
P.S.: Feel free to use the images of these triple symbols. They are public domain and copy-right free, so help yourself. :)
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!