25 Symbols of Truth Universal to All Cultures

Symbols of truth and honesty can be found in all cultures, religions, and mythologies. Some common symbols of truth include the sun, the color blue, the eye, the sword, and the scales of justice.

Every culture and religion has had its own set of truth symbols, but what is remarkable is how some objects were universally seen as such, even if two cultures never communicated with one another.

A good example of this is the coin or the torch.

Each of the symbols below is different from one another because each one represents a different type of truth.

Some symbols represent the Divine Truth, while others suggest the truth people agree upon.

In other cases, some symbols represent a particular aspect of truth: the truth stays the same, that the truth shines, or that truth itself can be measured.

This property of the truth to have so many facets and understandings makes it a fascinating subject in the world of mythological and religious symbolism.

The Sun

The sun serves as a symbol of truth and honesty due to its unwavering presence in the sky and ability to illuminate everything in its path.

The sun is a consistent, life-giving force, that never changes. People live and die, empires come and go, but the sun, just like the Divine Truth, always remains the pure and constant.

In various cultures and mythologies, the sun is associated with deities of truth, such as the Egyptian sun god Ra, who embodies creation, light, and truth.

Furthermore, the sun’s daily cycle of rising and setting symbolizes the eternal nature of truth and the idea that the true light of day will ultimately prevail over the dark deception of the night.

Thus, the sun stands as a powerful and enduring symbol of truth and honesty across nearly every civilization, mythology or religion.


In both art and mythology, mirrors often hold an ambivalent nature, since they can symbolize a variety of concepts: vanity, truth, knowledge or even magic.

A mirror is very commonly a symbol of truth and honesty because it reflects reality without distortion, representing the capacity of the human mind to perceive the world and engage in self-contemplation.

Mirrors can also be interpreted as symbols of wisdom and knowledge, where a clear mirror signifies clarity of spirit, while a dusty mirror symbolizes a spirit clouded by ignorance.

Relief Carvings

A relief carving, a type of artwork where shapes are sculpted to stand out from a flat surface, can symbolize truth based on the depth and vividness of the forms it portrays.

When a relief carving is full of life and detail, it reflects the true emotions or ideas it aims to represent, capturing their essence and power.

In contrast, a shallow or weak relief may symbolize falsehood or lack of meaning, as it fails to evoke the same level of emotional or intellectual impact.

This means that relief carvings can be seen as metaphors for truth that one can touch and feel, with their detail and depth serving as proof of the sincerity and strength behind the message the relief carving wishes to convey.

The Torch

A torch is a symbol of truth and honesty because it has long been associated with providing light and guidance in darkness.

Just as a torch illuminates the way and reveals hidden paths or obstacles, truth and honesty bring clarity and understanding to situations that may be clouded by deception or uncertainty.

The torch also represents the sharing of knowledge, as its flame can be passed from one torch to another, symbolizing the transfer of truthful information and the importance of open communication.

In many cultures and mythologies, torches have been carried by truth-seeking figures or deities, further solidifying their association with these virtues.

The Tree of Knowledge

The biblical Tree of Knowledge, found in the Garden of Eden, represents the human quest for knowledge and moral discernment.

As described in the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but they eventually succumbed to temptation, leading to their expulsion from the Garden and the introduction of sin into the world.

The Tree of Knowledge is a powerful symbol of truth because it embodies the desire for understanding and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. It signifies the innate human curiosity to seek answers and uncover the truth about the world and our existence.

Furthermore, the consequences of Adam and Eve’s actions emphasize the responsibility that comes with gaining knowledge and highlight the importance of using truth and wisdom in ethical and moral decision-making.

In this context, the Tree of Knowledge serves as a powerful symbol of truth, as it highlights both the significance of seeking knowledge and the responsibility that comes with possessing it.

The Acorn

The acorn, as the seed of the oak tree, is typically considered a symbol of fertility and growth because it holds the potential to generate new life.

The mighty oak tree, known for its longevity and strength, originates from a tiny acorn, neatly expresses the idea that something small and seemingly insignificant can give rise to greatness.

While the acorn is generally associated with fertility and growth, it can also be considered a spiritual symbol of truth.

This connection arises from the characteristics of the oak tree, which is often viewed as a symbol of wisdom, stability, and integrity.

In various cultures and mythologies, the oak tree has been linked to gods or deities associated with truth and knowledge, further extending the symbolism of the acorn.

The acorn, as the origin of the revered oak tree, represents the idea that truth and wisdom are essential for growth and progress, both for a person and a community as well.

Athena’s Aegis

Athena’s shield, the Aegis, is a symbol of truth because it bears the image of the Gorgon, sometimes Medusa herself, which has the power to reveal the true nature of its opponents.

When enemies are confronted with the shield, they are petrified by the reflection of their own inner selves, exposing their evil intentions and revealing the truth about their character.

Without the Aegis, Perseus would not have been able to defeat the Gorgon. The deeper meaning of this mythological confrontation is to show the importance of wisdom, quick-wittedness, and truth in overcoming challenges.

In this context, the Aegis represents the power of truth as a weapon and a protector, enabling its bearer to triumph using wisdom and intelligence, rather than brute strength.

The Color Blue

The color blue is often seen as a symbol of truth due to its associations with the sky, heaven, and water, which evoke feelings of transparency, purity, and immateriality.

Out of all colors, blue is most commonly associated with the Divine, and in all cultures the Divine is also the holder of the Truth (or even the Supreme Truth itself).

Because of its associations with the divine, blue has thus formed an association with truth itself.

For ancient Egyptian culture in particular, blue was considered the color of truth, closely linked to the divine, death, and the boundary between the human realm and the beyond.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is a symbol of truth for Christians as he represents the synthesis of the fundamental symbols of the universe, connecting Heaven and Earth through his divine and human natures.

He embodies various other symbols, such as Fire and Air, through his descent into Hell and ascension into Heaven, as well as axis and center of the world, salvation, light and more.

 As the “way, the truth, and the life,” Christ is both the journey and the destination, uniting these diverse symbols and meanings.

For Christians, Christ holds the title of the king of all symbols due to his unique position, since as the Son of God, he embodies the meaning of every symbol.

He represents the ultimate embodiment of truth, light, and salvation, encompassing all essential aspects of the Christian faith in his life, teachings, and sacrifice.

In this way, Jesus Christ transcends individual symbols and stands as the supreme embodiment of truth and meaning for Christians.

The Coin

Coins, whatever their value, are a symbol of truth because of their power to represent either an idea society agrees upon, or because the metal of the coin itself has value.

Thus, a modern day $1 coin has sufficient purchasing power to buy a small snack, a sticker or a little toy because society in general has agreed that is the true value of a dollar.

From this perspective, a coin represents the truth people or society agree upon, rather than the absolute truth of divinity.

Similarly, a coin represents truth because it can be counterfeited. It is for this reason that coins and banknotes have evolved over time to contain many, many security systems that prevent counterfeiting and help authorities find fakes.

Additionally, the phrase “two sides of the same coin” illustrates the notion that there can be different perspectives or aspects of a single truth.

This metaphor highlights the complexity and nuance that can be found in truth, while still emphasizing that truth still exists, even if every person believes in their own version of it.

The Compass

The compass is a navigational instrument that provides direction and allows people to find their way by staying true to their intended path.

In addition, the compass embodies virtues such as prudence, justice, and temperance, which are all grounded in the pursuit of balance and accuracy.

Just like a compass, knowing the truth is essential to make ethical decision-making and righteous actions.

On top of this, the compass is a scientific device since its purpose is to produce correct and accurate measurements.

The Cube

As a three-dimensional figure with all sides equal in length, the cube embodies a sense of completeness and harmony, suggesting that truth is similarly unchanging and reliable.

The cube’s geometric simplicity is also connected with the concept that the truth itself is simple and uncomplicated. Each of the six faces of the cube is a perfect square, and every angle is a right angle. This structure suggests that truth is unambiguous, clear, and consistent, just like the cube’s form.

Furthermore, the cube is often associated with the element of earth in various philosophical and spiritual traditions, which represents stability, grounding, and a solid foundation.

As a symbol of truth, the cube reminds us of the importance of grounding our beliefs and actions in a reliable and trustworthy basis, just as the earth provides a stable platform for life to flourish.

The Diamond

A diamond is a symbol of truth due to its exceptional physical properties and the range of positive qualities it represents in various cultural traditions. The hardness, translucence, and brightness of a diamond have made it a symbol of perfection, reflecting the unwavering and unblemished nature of truth.

In Western tradition, the diamond symbolizes universal sovereignty, incorruptibility, and absolute truth, highlighting its association with strength, purity, and the highest form of integrity.

The diamond has been linked to virtues such as innocence, wisdom, faithfulness, and security.

In France, for example, the diamond was believed to banish anger and strengthen marital bonds, earning it the title of the “jewel of reconciliation.”

The belief that obtaining one diamond can lead to another in folktales signifies the self-generating nature of wisdom.

Additionally, the shape of the raw diamond can be compared to the cube, another symbol of truth, wisdom, and moral perfection.

The Jester

The jester or buffoon is often considered a symbol of truth because of the ability to challenge norms, speak truth to power, and reveal hidden realities through humor and satire.

One key aspect of the jester’s role is their ability to criticize and expose the flaws of authority figures, such as kings or nobles, without fear of punishment.

This freedom to openly critique and question those in power allows the jester to reveal truths that might otherwise be suppressed or ignored.

Furthermore, the jester often embodies the concept of the “wise fool,” a figure who, despite their seemingly foolish appearance and behavior, possesses a profound understanding of human nature and the world.

This paradoxical character highlights the idea that truth can be found in unexpected places and that wisdom may be concealed beneath a facade of foolishness.

The Eye

The eye is a symbol of truth because it is the primary organ seeing and understanding the world.

Thus, it is the eye that provides us with the information we need to make judgments and discern the truth.

But the eye is often associated with the idea of “seeing” not just the physical world, but also the metaphysical or spiritual one.

In this context, the eye becomes a symbol of wisdom, discernment, and intuition.

Throughout various cultures and spiritual traditions, the eye has also been linked to the concept of the “inner eye” or “third eye,” which represents spiritual insight and the ability to perceive truths beyond ordinary human understanding.

This inner vision is often associated with enlightenment, self-awareness, and a connection to the divine or higher realms of consciousness.

The all-seeing eye, for instance, symbolizes divine omniscience and omnipresence, reinforcing the connection between the eye and the revelation of ultimate truth.


As a symbol, fire has two key properties: purification and illumination.

As a purifying agent, fire has the power to cleanse and refine, removing impurities and revealing the true essence of a substance.

This transformative nature of fire represents the process of discovering and uncovering truth by eliminating falsehoods and misconceptions.

Additionally, fire’s illuminating quality symbolizes the role of truth in providing clarity and guidance, allowing us to see through darkness and uncertainty.

In this sense, fire embodies the enlightening power of truth, which brings understanding and wisdom to those who seek it.

Ostrich feathers

In Ancient Egypt, the ostrich feather represented justice, righteousness, and truth.

While it was once believed that this symbolism originated from the uniform length of ostrich feathers, this detail is not particularly relevant.

The goddess Maat, associated with justice and truth, wore an ostrich feather on her head and presided over the weighing of souls.

The feather was also used as a fair weight on the scales of judgment. Symbolizing the goddess and her attributes, the ostrich feather denoted a universal order founded on justice.

Weighing scales

In many cultures and legal systems, scales symbolize the process of weighing evidence and determining the truth based on objective evaluation.

By ensuring that each side is given equal consideration, scales demonstrate the importance of unbiased judgment in the pursuit of truth.

Additionally, the accurate measurement provided by scales signifies the precision and reliability needed for discovering truth.

The Sword

The sword is a symbol of truth because of its political associations, since the sword was the instrument of kings and leaders, people who could impose their own truth upon others.

The sword has dual nature, one destructive the other constructive. When used to destroy injustice, crime, and ignorance, the sword becomes a positive force that establishes and maintains peace, justice, and truth.

In a similar interpretation, the sword is an instrument that can “cut through the truth”, since it destroys the ambiguous, the excess and the emotional leaving only the truth.

When paired with scales, the sword becomes particularly associated with justice, as it separates good from evil and punishes the guilty.

The sword sometimes appears to be the sole means of solving a problem and reaching a goal. But it may prove a deceptive weapon.

In ancient times, it was said that whoever could unravel the impossible Gordian knot would become the ruler of Asia.

With a single strike of a sword, Alexander the Great sliced through the knot. He later became lord of part of Asia, but his empire crumbled as soon as he died.

Thus, “cutting” through a problem is not the same as “solving” it, and is but a short term solution.

The sword thus also represents the idea that eagerness to achieve quick results overpowers wisdom, which looks to permanent solutions.

The Messenger Pigeon

A messenger bird, such as a pigeon or a dove, is a symbol of truth because it represents the reliable delivery of information from one place to another.

These birds were often used in medieval times to transmit important messages over long distances, making them synonymous with communication and trustworthiness.

Additionally, their ability to navigate accurately and return home after delivering their messages highlights their association with guidance and dependability.

The Well of Knowledge

Wells have been used as symbols of knowledge in various mythologies, including Norse mythology, where the Well of Mimir is a prime example.

The Well of Mimir is a source of wisdom and knowledge, guarded by the wise giant Mimir. Odin, the chief god, sacrificed one of his eyes to drink from the well, gaining immense wisdom and understanding.

This story highlights the well as a source of divine knowledge and the sacrifices required to obtain such wisdom.

In other mythologies, wells or sacred springs also represent knowledge or divine wisdom. For instance, in Celtic mythology, wells are seen as gateways to the Otherworld, where wisdom and inspiration can be found.

Similarly, in Greek mythology, the Castalian Spring at Delphi was believed to grant prophetic powers to the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, who could access divine knowledge.

These mythological wells and waters symbolize the depths of knowledge and wisdom, often requiring a journey, a sacrifice, or a spiritual connection to access their truths.

They serve as metaphors for the pursuit of knowledge and the transformative power of understanding.


In conclusion, symbols of truth and honesty permeate cultures, religions, and mythologies, offering valuable insights into the human quest for understanding and wisdom.

These symbols serve as touchstones for ethical behavior and moral values, reinforcing the importance of truth and honesty as cornerstones of human society.


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  • A dictionary of symbols by Chevalier, Jean
  • Dictionary of symbols by Chetwynd, Tom
  • A dictionary of dream symbols : with an introduction to dream psychology by Ackroyd, Eric
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  • Symbolism : a comprehensive dictionary by Olderr, Steven
  • Dictionary of mythology, folklore and symbols by Jobes, Gertrude
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Atlas Mythica

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