What does this symbol look like to you?
May 22, 2018 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I got myself this neat pendant, but I'm a little worried someone might look at it and think it means something it doesn't. When you look at it, what do you think it means? Spoilers inside.

It's actually a Discordian Mandala, and I got it because HAIL ERIS! , but it's also just a neat little design, and I really hope it doesn't mean white-power or something, or if everyone's first thought on seeing it is "Oh, pentagrams. She must be a Wiccan" or "Is that an ISIS thing??"
posted by The otter lady to Religion & Philosophy (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The thing about most white power symbolism is that it's rarely subtle and it's pretty easy to indicate that you're not a racist through basically any other iconography that would counter that impression. To me that looks like some sort of rose or mandala pattern and not like anything crypto-racist.
posted by jessamyn at 6:06 PM on May 22, 2018 [11 favorites]

It definitely looked like a modern stylized mandala to me, which is I guess exactly what it is. Possibly also something lotus-y or rose-y, but nothing overtly bigoted or associated with christianity. I think you're good.
posted by Mizu at 6:06 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

A rose. It’s pretty. Enjoy it!
posted by kimberussell at 6:06 PM on May 22, 2018 [14 favorites]


I don't recognize it as anything in particular other than a pleasant geometric design. You'll be fine.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:07 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I looked at the photo before clicking through and thought it was a stylized flower of some sort.
posted by lalex at 6:07 PM on May 22, 2018 [10 favorites]

I am someone who spends a lot of time looking at symbols people wear and wondering about their significance and I would not read anything into it except perhaps that you might be into some sort of less-prevalent religion or into hippie spiritualism etc. I might consider Wiccan practice as one of the options but it doesn't read as clearly anything unless you know what a Mandala is, to me at least.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Looks like a rose to me.
posted by 4ster at 6:27 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought it evoked the image of a lotus, but I’ve been primed with a lot of Buddhist concepts lately.
posted by matildaben at 6:30 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

It reminds me of Persian/Islamic patterns like this one but also the Tudor rose. I don't think it looks like a pentagram or even Celtic.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:40 PM on May 22, 2018

I clicked on the photo first before even reading any of the other comments and instantly thought it was a rose.
posted by cooker girl at 6:43 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

My first thought was “mathematical secret society”. Take that for what you will.
posted by corb at 6:43 PM on May 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

That last thread you linked just goes to show that some people will freak out about literally anything, so there is certainly someone out there who is going to freak out about this pendant, too. Fuck 'em! Wear what you want.
posted by crotchety old git at 6:43 PM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

My first impressions were:


"stylized Jewish Star of David"

posted by Murderbot at 6:44 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought “rose” too.
posted by Secretariat at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2018

Tudor Rose.
posted by wwax at 6:58 PM on May 22, 2018

I thought "rose," as well.

ISIS...why even...?
posted by praemunire at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2018

My first impressions were "it's a flower" and "I guess they like math".
posted by phoenixy at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I would presume it was a stylised flower.
posted by fever-trees at 7:23 PM on May 22, 2018

Rose or lotus
posted by brilliantine at 7:24 PM on May 22, 2018

Another vote here for stylised rose.
posted by andraste at 7:26 PM on May 22, 2018

It says lotus to me, which says Buddhism, not Discordianism.

I guess this is signifying all kinds of different things to people. Under any other circumstances, I'd say this would be a pretty lousy emblem of your religion if all it does is sow confusion as to what it represents.

However, in this case, 👍
posted by aubilenon at 7:33 PM on May 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

There's a thing called the "Flower of Life" that it reminds me of, a little bit (images). It has connotations of yoga for me; maybe it's a logo for some yoga pants brand or something. I think you're safe :)
posted by dbx at 8:23 PM on May 22, 2018

Stylized rose.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:27 PM on May 22, 2018

If I encountered someone wearing the pendant and if noticed it at all (big, big "if") and if I was further pressed about it, I might guess it was something either a) about math or b) from some kind of science fiction franchise, and I would never, ever ask about it for fear of having to feign interest in either one for the next half hour. Something nebulously New Age would be my next guess, in which case I would also ignore it but with a greater sense of urgency.

Also, it's pretty!
posted by wreckingball at 8:59 PM on May 22, 2018

Rose Mandala.

I haven't seen it associated with anything unsavory the way some Norse/Futhark stuff has with white nationalism. The worst I've seen is hippy/yoga fanatics.
posted by loquacious at 9:05 PM on May 22, 2018

I would totally wear it. It’s pretty!
posted by leahwrenn at 9:12 PM on May 22, 2018

Thanks everyone! :) I really appreciate it!
posted by The otter lady at 9:33 PM on May 22, 2018

My first thought was rose, and Margaery Tyrell. I would assume you were a nerd who is probably into fantasy/sci-fi at the very least, but I'm not sure if that's 'cause of the design or just 'cause of some stereotype that I have about who wears big symbolic-looking pendants around their neck. I would also remain open to that not being the case.
posted by spicytunaroll at 9:37 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I instantly recognized it as the Discordian mandala, as you said, so it should be nicely obvious to followers of the Best of All One True Religions.

... That's gorgeous. I want one. I have a carved Hand of Eris, but not a mandala. (I do not need one; I have Discordian jewelry that I don't wear because I basically don't wear jewelry; I don't need more pretties to clutter up boxes and get lost just before I want to wear them for something official and religious. But it's lovely; thanks for showing it off.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:58 PM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought it was the Carpenter Brut logo at first, because Carpenter Brut is excellent.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:54 AM on May 23, 2018

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