What Does the Kolovrat Symbolize Mean?

The kolovrat symbol is an ancient symbol believed to be of Slavic descent that was meant to have a positive connotation to it. The symbol is considered a representation of the sun and represents the cycle of life.

The Kolovrat is an ancient symbol believed to be of Slavic descent that represents positivity. The symbol has 8 rays to visually represent the sun and the never-ending cycle of life from birth to death then rebirth. The symbol has however undergone various variations with negative connotations. The symbol is often confused with the Swastika which has a negative concept.

The Kolovrat like any symbol is an interesting symbol believed to be of Slavic descent. The symbol, despite its intended positive concept, has been used for both good and bad. But what are its origins?

The Kolovrat is an Indo-European symbol similar to other variations. This is why it is assumed to be a type of Swastika by many.

The symbol has 8 rays bending on one side in a counterclockwise direction. This symbolizes the sun and the rotation of the world. In modern times, the symbol is used by the Slavic culture. But what are its origins? And what does it symbolize?

The symbol has many variations in different cultures other than the slavs such as the Indians, Buddhists, the neo-Nazis, and neo-pagans.

Origins of the Kolovrat

The Kolovrat is an ancient symbol believed to have originated about 12,000 years ago. The symbol was meant to have a positive connotation, but acquired negativity as it was viewed as its variation which is the Swastika. The symbol was first discovered in Eastern Europe in an ivory statue. While the symbol is ancient, the name Kolovrat was coined in the 20th century.

The Kolovrat is believed to be of Slavic origin but there is no evidence to support this theory. Nowadays, the symbol has been tainted. Neo-Nazis and neo-pagans are often seen wearing a variation of this symbol known as the Swastika which is viewed as a symbol that has been ruined and laced by negativity.

Despite this, the symbol continues to be respected in many Eastern cultures. The Kolovrat symbol features eight arms that are bent. The arms are considered to be facing an anti-clockwise direction.

Unfortunately, this symbol that was intended for positivity was adopted by Nazi extremists. The Nazi symbol is based on the Kolovrat symbol and is a variation of it. The major difference is that the Swastika has 4 arms while the kolovrat symbol has 8 arms.

Features of the kolovrat

The old Slavic word “kolo” means a circle and a wheel with rays bent to one side. The kolovrat rotates with the sun in a counterclockwise direction. The talisman symbolizes a constant rotation of the sun and symbolizes the cycle of life. The Kolovrat symbolizes how the Slavic mythical gods interact. In ancient times, it was believed that life was a never-ending cycle because of the constant movement of solar rotation. This is visually expressed in the 8 rays of the talisman.

Kolovrat jewelry, unlike other pagan jewelry, had a sacred meaning and served as a protection to those that wore them. These Kolovrat amulets contained the natural elements; fire, air, and seasons of the year. Collectively, these elements were meant to represent the eight rays of the talisman. An amulet with a Kolovrat symbol was believed to bring about strength and protection to its owner and discourages their enemies in battle.

Number of rays on the kolovrat talisman

The Kolovrat has complex amulet symbolism. Each number of rays has its own designation.

  • 8 rays connected at a middle point; denote strength
  • 4 rays symbolizes the element of fire
  • 6 rays; symbolized protection

The Kolovrat clockwise or counterclockwise

The Kolovrat symbol has rays that can be directed either clockwise or counterclockwise. Clockwise means, along with the sun, while counterclockwise means, against the sun’s path. In ancient times, a person would choose their own Kolovrat amulet depending on what they wanted to get.

The clockwise Kolovrat direction symbolized a connection with the world of light deities, peace and protection from the Slavic gods. If the symbol was counterclockwise, then it was assumed to have a dark connection to the underworld. This could serve as a defense against witches and enemies during battle.

If the rays on the kolovrat talisman faced the sun, the symbol is called ladies, which comes from the goddess of Lada. The 8 rays are enclosed by a circle and balance female harmonies. This gave strength and female wisdom to the owner of the amulet.

Materials used in the manufacture of Kolovrat talisman

In Slavs culture, amulet embroidery were of greater importance. The amulet was decorated with clothes, accessories, and household items. The amulet can then be hung on the crib or placed in a red corner.

The Kolovrat amulet could be made from different materials such as wood and gold.

This was enough to capture the essence of the kolovrat to obtain protection from divine deities. Slavic symbols were also found embroidered in clothes, and carved on household items.

What does the Kolovrat symbol mean?

To the Slavic people, the Kolovrat was very important. The symbol was considered to be a representation of the sun. The symbol is inscribed on some Slavic graves to symbolize eternal life. Despite its origins- in the Slavic people, this symbol has since spread into different cultures and eras. It has undergone a major transformation with different variations now in existence, some positive while others like the Nazi Swastika negative.

 In ancient times, the Slavs regarded life as a continuous never-ending cycle caused by the constant rotation of the sun. Kolovrat symbolizes the movement of the Sun to show how Slavic ancient gods interacted. The god of light Pelen and the god of darkness Veres were always in a never-ending battle. Pelen represented dryer and more pleasant weather while Veres represented the winter weather. Veres would always steal cows from Pelen causing a rift between them.

Like many pagan jewelry, the Slavic Kolovrat amulet was made from elements such as wood, gold, silver, and copper and was adorned to bestow strength, protection on the Slavs and to discourage their enemies during battle.

The never-ending battle between good and evil

In ancient times, people believed that every time there was a sunset, there was a struggle between light and dark forces. The Slavs considered the forces of darkness as evil and the forces of light as good. But since there was always a sunrise, they believed it to be a sign of victory by the light forces. This is why the Slavs believe in all the solar symbols; Kolovrat, Alatyr, Star of Russia, etc.

Traditionally, the symbol indicated the never-ending battle between the Slavic gods- Perun and Veles. Pelen, the head of good and light forces, represented fire, thunder, and lightning. Veres was the god of the underworld and darkness. The never-ending cycle of conflict between the two was because Veres would always sneak into Peres’ world to steal cows during the dryer and warmer seasons.

The cycle of life; life- death- rebirth

Another representation of the Kolovrat symbol was the cycle of life. Just as the sun rises and sets, providing life to all creatures. Life on earth is also a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Illumination

The symbol also represents truth and lies. As one steps out of the abstruse nature of lies then, one’s eyes are opened to the truth. They are then considered to be illuminated.

Symbol of Power

The symbol is believed to represent both worldly and spiritual powers. Each turn and ray of the kolovrat symbol wheel represents a cycle of life in our world. The amulet gave spiritual and worldly power to all that adorned it.

The kolovrat symbol has been preserved over the years. It is frequently used in embroidery, paintings, ceramics, and decorative elements to beautify buildings and temples. The Kolovrat is associated with solar deities. The symbol when enclosed in a circle is characteristic of the slavs while the modifications in rays and its many variations are inherent in Ukrainian and Serbian embroidery.

The image symbolism coincides with the Ursa Minor and Ursa Major which is a constellation of the starry sky that represent all the four seasons.

Conclusion

Despite the controversy surrounding the Kolovrat symbol, it continues to be a well-loved symbol, especially in Eastern Europe. Originally, the symbol symbolized the never-ending cycle of life and death and it was meant to give strength and protection to the one who wears it. Through the years, however, the symbol has evolved to represent both positive and negative concepts.

Due to its almost similar resemblance, it is mostly confused with its variation, the Swastika symbol. But despite this, the symbol is still embraced by the Slavic people as a symbol of their cultural heritage. This symbol is embroidered on clothes and painted on paper.

Kolovrat Jewelry

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