The infinity symbol holds a deep meaning for spirituality, love, beauty, and power. The mysticism of our past and the possibility for an eternal future give the infinity symbol a sense of awe and wonder.
In a world filled with distraction and complications, the infinity symbol represents a sense of simplicity and balance. It reminds us to be conscious of where we are and the endless possibilities we have before us.
But what is the infinity symbol meaning? What are the origins of infinity?
The history of infinity is a beautiful look into the curious mind of a human being. How we have pondered this idea for thousands of years and we’re no closer to the answer now as we were a millennia ago. And yet we are still fascinated by the idea and symbolism of infinity.
In this article, we hope to give you a better understanding of where the infinity symbol came from, what it means in different cultures and why you might want to incorporate the symbol of eternity in your life.
Where did the word infinity come from?
The English word for infinity is taken from the Latin word 'infinitas' which means unboundedness or endless.
What Does Infinity Mean?
Infinity is eternal. Infinity cannot be measured. If you could, it would cease to be infinite. In a finite world, where almost everything has a pre-determined end, the concept of something lasting forever is almost magical.
In short, infinity is something which cannot be measured. It is everlasting. Infinite...
The Meaning of Infinity in Modern Times
Infinity Symbol Meaning in Spirituality and Meditation
Infinity holds a significant meaning in faith, spirituality, and religious beliefs. Infinity is mentioned in Christianity, Daoism, Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), Buddhism, and many more.
What’s fascinating about the meaning of infinity in religion, is every faith seems to come to a similar conclusion. Life is infinite. Our time on earth may be finite but our souls exist forever.
In meditation, the symbol of infinity is used to remind us of balance, focus, harmony, peace, and oneness.
The infinity cross represents The Eternal Being, otherwise, known as God. Religious people will wear an infinity cross to show their love for God and the everlasting promise to their faith or religion.
Infinity Symbol Meaning for Love
In ancient India and Tibet, infinity represented the dualism and unity between male and female. For couples, this is a beautiful analogy.
The balance of forces between a man and a woman.
When it comes to intimate relationships, we like to believe the love between a man and a woman holds no bounds. For better or for worse.
This beautiful analogy has given birth to gifts such as infinity bracelets, earrings, watches, and other infinity jewelry. These pieces are often worn by couples as a physical representation of two souls connected in eternal love.
Double Infinity Symbol
The double infinity symbol is an elegant design often incorporated in wedding decor, flower arrangements or stationary at weddings, engagement parties or anniversary celebrations.The double infinity symbolizes an eternal bond between two people. The two symbols are intertwined representing togetherness and commitment.
Many couples exchange double infinity jewelry in the form of a bracelet, necklace or simply as an engraving on their wedding bands.
Infinity Heart Symbol
The infinity heart represents endless love. It’s given from one partner to another as a display of their love and commitment. The infinite heart is a popular gift for Valentine’s Day as a special reminder of your eternal love.
Celtic Knots and Infinity Symbolism
Celtic Knots are also known as endless knots or mystic knots. The intricate knots interweave and overlap to give the illusion of no beginning and no end. An infinite loop. Each Celtic Knot represents something different but the primary symbolism is the unending cycle of life.
Some Celtic Knots are incredibly complex while others are an exact replica of the symbol for infinity.
Swedish Malin Symbol
As a Swedish company, we’re proud of the fact that one of the most popular tattoos in the world is the Swedish Malin Symbol. The Swedish Malin is an infinity symbol with an arrow breaking the center. It means in order to grow, you must experience setbacks and challenges.
While the symbol is not related to Swedish culture as such, the origins of the Malin can be traced back to Sweden.
The Popularity of Infinity Symbols in Fashion
In fashion, the symbol for infinity is often aligned with elegance and simplicity. The beauty of the symbol lies in its minimalism. The infinity symbol adds an accent of sophistication and can be worn with any outfit or look.
In some cases, the symbol of infinity is used to inspire an outfit without the figure-of-eight design. The best example of this is the infinity scarf made popular by Calvin Klein.
In the last few years, the infinity symbol has grown in popularity. The symbol appears mostly in jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets and… watches :). Infinity tattoos are also really popular and can incorporate an individual's special meaning or symbolism.
The Meaning of Infinity for GYLLEN Watches
Our elegant watch collection incorporates the infinity symbol. We have replaced the number 8 with a sleek figure-of-eight. We are obsessed with the beauty and elegance infinity and time.
Our company motto is infinite possibilities.
We tend to forget we are not going to be around forever.
Take a step back and appreciate.
Time is our most valuable commodity and, while our time on earth is finite, the possibilities are endless.
We want to inspire woman who wear a GYLLEN timepiece to seize every moment.
Our time on this planet is not infinite. If it was, time wouldn’t be special. Cherish each moment and the time you have with those around you.
Every time you look down at your GYLLEN watch, be mindful of the infinity symbol. Use it as a reminder to relax...
Take a deep breath.
And focus on the present.
Life is full of infinite possibilities and you have unlimited potential.
If you’re looking for the ultimate gift to show a female friend or loved one how much you care about them, why not give the gift of time.
Our GYLLEN watches come in six exquisite designs featuring your choice of yellow gold, rose gold and white gold.
But which gold do you choose?
- White gold represents a strong bond or friendship.
- Yellow gold represents fidelity which is why it’s often given as a wedding or engagement rings.
- Rose gold represents passion and true love.
The History of the Philosophy of Infinity
Ancient Egypt and The Ouroboros
The oldest and most famous depiction of infinity is the Ouroboros (Uroborus) adopted by the Greeks in 400 AD.
The circular symbol depicts a serpent, or dragon, devouring its tail. While the Ouroboros was adopted by the Greeks in 400 AD, the symbol actually dates back to Ancient Egypt in the 14th century BC.
Many believe the Ouroboros symbolizes infinity, and it does in a way. However, what Ouroboros represented at the time was the cycle of birth and death also known as the circle of life.
The Ouroboros is first depicted on one of the shrines enclosing the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. The symbol continues to show up throughout the Ancient Egyptian times and into Roman times. During this era, the Ouroboros often appears in magical talismans and emblems.
The Ouroboros in Alchemy, Gnosticism & Kundalini
The Ouroboros appears in the alchemical text which is an ancient branch of natural philosophy. In this depiction, the Ouroboros is half black and half white which is said to represent Gnostic duality.
This idea mirrors that of the famous yin and yang where opposite forces within ourselves and the universe are linked.
In Gnosticism, the symbol of the serpent devouring its tail represents eternity and the soul of the world.
"The divine power, Kundalini, shines like the stem of a young lotus; like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body"
It’s incredible to think the Ouroboros and its link to the idea of eternity was carried over thousands of years to people and cultures around the world.
Ancient Greek Meaning of Infinity
The earliest recorded philosophy or idea of infinity dates back to the Ancient Greek, Pre-Socratic era, 610 – 546 BC. Greek Philosopher, Anaximander, was the first person to develop the idea of Cosmology. Anaximander believed the universe originated from the Apeiron which means infinite or limitless in Greek.
Anaximander’s philosophy was how the aperion or eternal motion of time cause opposites such as hot and cold or night and day, to be separated from each other as the world came into being.
He went further to note that the world itself is not infinite but that it would one day be destroyed, back into the aperion to give birth to new worlds. This is how life lives on forever.
While the philosophy of infinity was first developed by Anaximander, the first use for mathematical infinity comes from another Greek philosopher, Zeno of Elea sometime around 415 BC. To this day mathematicians are puzzled by Zeno’s theories of motion and infinity.
Early Indian Meaning of Infinity
Around 4 - 3 BC, Early Indian mathematicians studied what’s known as Jain mathematics which classifies numbers into three sets: enumerable, innumerable, and infinite.
By studying Jain, mathematicians noted two types of infinite numbers:
- Asaṃkhyāta - countless / innumerable
- Ananta - endless / unlimited
Infinity Meaning in Cosmology
The theory of infinity in cosmology can take you down a seemly limitless rabbit hole. Philosophers and astronomers have long debated whether or not the universe is finite or infinite. How many stars are there in the universe? Can they be counted? Where does the universe begin and end? How many galaxies are there and where do they end?
These questions have been asked for centuries. The first published theory of a limitless universe came from Thomas Digges in 1576. Nowadays, astrophysicists, astronomers, philosophers, and everyone in between, theorize and romanticize about infinity and the possibilities of an infinite universe.
In numerology, the number 8, represents wealth and power. The number holds such great power, it requires discipline and hard work to effectively harness its true potential.
What Does The Infinity Symbol Mean?
So, infinity seems like a simple concept, right? Yes and no. The symbol of infinity holds deep meaning to many cultures. It cannot be easily defined.
Instead of providing you with just one meaning, we have broken this section up to represent the many ideas, cultures, and beliefs to whom the infinity symbol holds meaning.
First Use of the Infinity Symbol
With the theory of infinity closely linked to mathematics, it makes sense a mathematician was the first to use the infinity symbol. Between 1643 and 1689 John Wallis served as a chief cryptographer for the British Parliament.
In 1655 the symbol of infinity was first introduced by Wallis as a notation in one of his calculations. 1/∞ is infinitesimal which is so small it cannot be measured. If we think about that concept in relation to our place in the universe, the earth can likely be measured as 1/∞!
Wallis’ work is credited as being one of the inspirations for the development of calculus and inspired many great mathematicians and philosophers including Sir Isaac Newton.
In Newton’s famous De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas from 1699, he writes about equations with infinite numbers.
Infinity vs Lemniscate
The lemniscate origins can be traced back to the Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, Proclus around the 5th century AD while studying the cross-sections of a torus. In his studies, Proclus noted as the cross-sections intersected, they took on a figure-of-eight shape. Proclus called this shape a horse fetter as the shape resembled two horse hooves joined together.People often make a connection between the symbol for infinity and the lemniscate symbol. While these symbols both incorporate a figure of 8 aesthetic, they were used in a different context and at a different time in history.
So, while the lemniscate symbol dates back before the infinity symbol, it was identified as part of a much larger shape. The lemniscate was made famous by James Booth sometime in the 19th-century when he developed the Booth’s Curve or Hippopede of Proclus.
Today, the lemniscate closely represents the symbol of infinity and therefore the two are recognized as being variations of the same shape.
When Was the infinity symbol first used?
The infinity symbol was first used in 1655 by cryptographer for the British Parliament, John Wallis, to notate 1/∞ which is infinitesimal is so small it cannot be measured.
What does the infinity heart symbol mean?
The infinity heart represents an endless or infinite love. This is usually represents a close bond between friends, family or partners.
What does the double infinity symbol mean?
The double infinity symbolizes an eternal bond between two people. The two symbols are intertwined representing togetherness and commitment.
What does the Swedish Malin symbol mean?
The Swedish Malin is an infinity symbol with an arrow breaking the center. It means in order to grow, you must experience setbacks and challenges.