Some protective spiritual symbols found across the world include circles, pentacles, evil eyes, hamsas and runes. One of the most widespread symbols is the evil eye talisman, which is found across regions of Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The symbol is frequently seen in the form of a blue glass bead with a stylized white eye in the center. It is used to protect against a malicious glare thought to cause harm.
The hamsa or “Hand of Fatima” is another protective symbol found in Jewish and Muslim cultures. The symbol is in the form of a stylized hand with two thumbs, sometimes with an evil-eye talisman or Jewish star in the center. When worn as a charm or pendant, it is thought to shield the wearer from evil forces, while larger versions are hung in homes as protection.
One of the simplest symbols of protection is the circle: standing inside one is thought to guard a person against danger and evil energies. In Pagan beliefs, the pentacle, a five-pointed star within a circle, is used as protection against spells and charms and is often worn as a talisman.
Runes are another type of protective symbol. The Vikings used runes, a written language of symbols, not only to write poetry and record their history, but also to tell fortunes and provide protection. A “Y”-shaped rune with an extra line running through the notch at the top, known as an “algiz," is meant to protect the wearer and his loved ones from enemies.