Tag Archives: history of astrological glyphs


Symbols Through Time

The astrological glyphs for the planets are well known across the world and often take a surprisingly large part in popular culture.  While modern thinkers have come up with interpretations of what those glyphs represent, what is it that they symbolize and what were they before they came to take shape as the symbols we recognize today?  Some of them are easily explainable, but others have taken on a different lineage than has been attributed to them by modern practitioners.

Evolution of the Moon

Today the Moon is symbolized by either a right-facing or left-facing crescent, obviously representing one of the most iconic stages of the lunar cycle.  Modern thinkers have associated this symbol with a crescent of receptivity, showing the mind and the evolving human spirit.


We know this symbol goes back at least to William Lilly’s day, though he seems to consistently use a left-facing crescent, which reflects the way the Moon looks during her waxing phase, wherein she is generally regarded as a benevolent planet.  This left-facing crescent is echoed in a 1506 translation of Abu Masar’s Great Introduction.


The earliest representation for the Moon can be traced to a 2nd century BCE tablet called the Bianchini planisphere which shows the patron of the Moon wearing a tiara with an upturned crescent which heralds to a lunar phenomenon called a Wet Moon where the “horns of the Moon” – or the crescent – is turned facing up.

Evolution of Mercury

Mercury’s symbol is shown by an upwards facing crescent on top of a circle which rests on a cross.  This is said to represent the mind as the crescent resting on divine spirit – shown as the circle – which stands firmly on the cross of matter. Continue reading