25 Powerful Symbols of Letting Go

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By Anna Marikar

In life, sometimes the most powerful steps are the ones we take inward, towards acknowledging and releasing the burdens that have hindered our progress.

The conscious decision to let go is akin to blossoming; an unfolding of the spirit that invites fresh starts, new chapters, and a deeper connection with the essence of who we are. Embarking on this voyage of self-discovery and healing often calls for a beacon, a powerful symbol that resonates with our innate desires to grow and evolve.

Letting go, in essence, is a sacred ritual of releasing the grip on past pains, shame, guilt, and resentment that have accumulated over time.

It is a vigorous act of self-love, an invitation to personal growth and positive change, fostering inner peace and strength to traverse through difficult times and circumstances. 

symbols of letting go

Connecting with symbols of letting go can serve as a powerful tool in this transformative journey, providing a visual and spiritual touchstone to encourage mental and physical health. Across different cultures and times, these symbols have illuminated the path of forgiveness, hope, and renewal. By embracing these symbols, we align with the energies that facilitate a smoother transition into a period of renewal and new beginnings.

Symbols of Letting Go Tattoos

Holding onto tangible reminders can be a powerful tool to foster personal growth and healing. As we navigate through the waves of joys and sorrows, a permanent mark, like a tattoo, can keep us focused, guiding us towards resilience and new beginnings. 

Whether it’s to commemorate a significant transformation, or to inspire a daily commitment to release what no longer serves us, a tattoo with a symbol of letting go can be a deeply personal and empowering choice. 

It stands as a visual testament to your conscious decision to free yourself from the shackles of past pains and negative emotions, always encouraging you to move forward with an open heart. 

symbols of letting go tattoos

As you peruse through this carefully curated list of symbols, let your intuition guide you in selecting a representation that resonates deeply with your journey of letting go and embracing the new.

This permanent emblem can potentially serve as an everyday inspiration, a gentle nudge reminding you of your capacity to renew, to grow, and to flourish anew.

Table of Contents

1. White Tulip

The white tulip is more than just one of the most beautiful flowers; it is a potent forgiveness symbol, representing purity and the peaceful embrace of a fresh start.

When one chooses to let go of negative emotions and open their heart to the possibilities of a new beginning, the white tulip serves as a gentle reminder to nurture an open and forgiving heart.

Incorporating this symbol in simple ways, such as in your phone backgrounds or as a small tattoo, can serve as a daily nudge to foster a positive attitude.

white tulip

2. Lotus Flower

An ancient symbol with roots tracing back to various cultures, the lotus flower embodies purity, enlightenment, and rebirth.

Its growth, breaking through the murky waters to blossom into a stunning flower, mirrors the journey of personal transformation— shedding negative feelings and emerging as a beacon of inner strength and positivity.

lotus symbol

The lotus is a popular choice for meditation spaces and vision boards, encouraging individuals to remain grounded and focused amidst difficult circumstances.

Related: 25 Spiritual Buddhist Symbols For Self Love

3. Oak Tree

Steadfast and resilient, the oak tree is an emblem of inner strength and stability. Ancient Celtic symbols often revered the oak tree for its ability to withstand challenging environments.

oak tree symbol

Engaging with this symbol, perhaps through creative writing or meditation, encourages one to cultivate a resilient spirit, capable of weathering the storms of life with grace.

4. White Dove

Throughout history and in different cultures, the white dove has remained a powerful symbol of peace, hope, and purity.

Often associated with the Holy Spirit in Christian tradition, it exemplifies forgiveness and a release from the burdens of past pain and trauma.

Embracing the white dove as a spirit animal or incorporating it in small tattoos or artworks can be a source of inspiration to foster peace and harmony within oneself.

Related: 50 Amazing Olive Branch Tattoo Designs With Meaning

5. Celtic Knots

Celtic knots, intricate and endless, are revered symbols from ancient Celtic culture.

These loops, with no start or finish, encourage us to perceive our journey as a continuum, where the end of one chapter seamlessly connects to the beginning of another. As a symbol of letting go, they encourage us to release old patterns and fears, fostering an open heart ready to embrace new cycles with grace.

Consider adding Celtic knots to vision boards or as a piece of intricate jewelry to remind oneself of life’s continuous flow and the potential for renewal.

Related: Celtic Cross Tattoo Meaning And 21 Design Ideas

6. Adinkra Symbol Nkyinkyim

Originating from the Akan of Ghana, Adinkra symbols encapsulate complex life concepts in simple visual forms.

As an emblem of wisdom, understanding, and life’s philosophies, integrating these symbols into your daily practice can provide profound insights into one’s journey.

They are often seen as powerful tools for facilitating spiritual growth and can be used creatively in artworks or as small tattoos, fostering a sense of connection with ancient wisdom and guidance on the path of letting go and personal growth.

The specific Adinkra symbol that represents letting go or detachment is called “Nkyinkyim.”

adinkra symbol Nkyinkyim represents twisting, adapting and letting go

This symbol represents dynamism, versatility, and adaptability. In the context of letting go, it can symbolize the ability to adapt and change, to not remain rigidly attached to old patterns, beliefs, or experiences.

It encourages individuals to be flexible in life, to learn how to bend and not break, and to embrace the ever-changing dynamics of human existence with grace and resilience.

Using the Nkyinkyim symbol as a reminder or a tool can encourage you to let go of preconceived notions and to flow with the currents of life, adapting and growing with each new experience.

See also Mpatapo below at number 15

7. Butterfly

The butterfly, a universal symbol of transformation and resurrection, inspires a journey marked by grace, beauty, and new beginnings.

As a butterfly tattoo, it holds the personal narrative of transformation, an intimate reminder of one’s capacity to evolve and adapt, transforming negative experiences into beautiful, new creations.

butterfly symbol of letting go

It symbolizes the powerful way in which we can transcend difficult circumstances, fostering positive energy and a vibrant, open heart.

8. Crescent Moon

The crescent moon, observed in various cultures, symbolizes the cyclic nature of life, new beginnings, and the promise of growth.

It encourages individuals to release the past and look forward to a fresh start, illuminating the path with hope and clarity.

crescent moon symbol of letting go

Consider incorporating this symbol into your nightly ritual or creative writing exercises to foster a deep connection with the phases of personal growth and the opportunities that each new cycle brings.

Related: The Symbolic Meaning of Sun and Moon Tattoos

9. Birch Tree

In Celtic culture, the Birch tree holds the promise of new beginnings. Its white bark symbolizes purity and protection.

As a symbol of hope, it encourages individuals to remain steadfast, especially during difficult times, reminding us to stand tall and graceful amidst adversities.

birch tree symbol of letting go

Engaging with the energy of the Birch tree, perhaps through meditation or outdoor experiences, can cultivate resilience and a spirit ready to embrace a new chapter with optimism and courage.

10. Bats

In various cultures, bats have been recognized as symbols of intuition, rebirth, and letting go of what no longer serves us.

Despite their often-misunderstood nature, bats navigate the world with a keen sense of their surroundings, embodying adaptability and transformation.

This nocturnal creature teaches us the art of discernment, guiding us to release old habits, negative feelings, and burdens that have weighed down our spirits.

bats a symbol of letting go

Embracing the bat as a symbol of letting go can be an empowering practice, reminding us to trust our inner guidance system and take flight into new territories of personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Whether portrayed in creative writing or featured on vision boards, the bat serves as a powerful reminder to let go gracefully, embracing the potential for renewal and fresh beginnings that lie ahead.

11. Daffodil

A sign of spring, the daffodil is a radiant symbol of new beginnings and renewed vitality. Bursting forth with a bright and cheerful disposition, it represents the joy and hope that comes with casting off the shackles of the past and stepping into a time of growth and renewal.

daffodil symbol of letting go and new beginnings

The daffodil encourages us to embrace the present moment, shedding the layers of past mistakes and negative experiences to reveal our true, radiant selves.

daffodil symbol of letting go and new beginnings

Incorporating this vibrant flower into our lives, perhaps through gardening or floral art, can serve as a joyful reminder to foster a positive attitude and welcome the fresh starts with an open heart and an optimistic spirit.

This flower invites us to take a deep breath, realign with our inner joy, and embark on new adventures with a spirit brimming with hope and enthusiasm.

Related: 26 Beautiful Flowers with Meanings of Self Love

12. Hourglass

The hourglass, a timeless representation of the transient nature of time, serves as a potent reminder of the constant flux and evolution that characterizes our journey.

As the sands flow steadily from one chamber to the other, it mirrors the ceaseless cycle of growth and change that we undergo as individuals.

hour glass symbol of letting go

Embracing the hourglass as a symbol can inspire us to utilize our time wisely, focusing on personal growth and the pursuit of goals that nurture our spirit.

It encourages a conscious decision to evolve, leaving behind outdated beliefs and stepping into a new chapter brimming with opportunities and learning.

Featuring the hourglass in artworks or as a piece of statement decor can encourage a continual reflection on the transformational power of time and the potential for positive change that lies within each passing moment.

13. Autumn Leaves

With a vibrant display of colors that gradually give way to the shedding of leaves, autumn stands as a powerful representation of the cycle of life and the beauty in letting go.

It serves as a gentle reminder to release the dead weight, the accumulated burdens and attachments that no longer serve our purpose.

This natural process of shedding allows for the nurturing of inner strength, creating space for new experiences and growth to flourish when the time is right.

autumn leaves symbol of letting go

Engaging with this symbol, perhaps through walks in nature during the autumn season or crafting with autumn leaves, can foster a deep appreciation for the rhythms of life, encouraging us to let go gracefully, trusting that in doing so, we make way for fresh beginnings and renewed vitality.

It embodies the wisdom that in releasing what is no longer needed, we make room for new life and opportunities to emerge, fostering a spirit ready to embrace the cycles of change with grace and poise.

Related: Adult Coloring Pages for Autumn With Inspirational Quotes About Change [Free Printables]

14. New Moon

The new moon marks a period of initiation and new beginnings. It stands as a powerful symbol of releasing the old and embracing the potential held in the fresh canvas of the night sky.

This phase of the moon encourages individuals to let go of outdated patterns, negative emotions, and anything that hinders personal growth and happiness.

The new moon offers a sacred space to set new intentions, to dream anew, and to align with the energies that foster renewal and rejuvenation.

Integrating this luminous symbol into our lives through new moon rituals, meditation, or simply gazing upon its mystical presence in the night sky, can cultivate a sense of hope and a readiness to embark on new adventures.

It beckons us to turn a new page, fostering a spirit of excitement and anticipation for the wonderful possibilities that lie just beyond the horizon.

Related: 6 Powerful New Moon Rituals: A Guide to Embrace the Energy of New Beginnings

15. Knot of Reconciliation Mpatapo

The Knot of Reconciliation aka Mpatapo is a powerful symbol of forgiveness and mending bridges. Often depicted as an intricate and unified pattern, this ancient symbol embodies the complex yet beautiful process of coming back together, healing divides, and fostering unity.

In the context of letting go, this Adinkra symbol serves as a reminder that sometimes, the path of personal growth involves revisiting past grievances with a new perspective and an open heart, ready to mend and reconcile.

knot of reconciliation Mpatapo adrinka symbol

Engaging with this symbol can facilitate the release of resentment and the cultivation of forgiveness, allowing for the healing of old wounds and the forging of stronger bonds.

It encourages individuals to take the brave first step towards reconciliation, nurturing relationships and fostering a community characterized by understanding and compassion. Whether utilized in artworks, tattoos, or meditative visualizations, the Knot of Reconciliation holds the potent energy of healing and renewal, guiding us towards a future marked by harmony and mutual respect.

It encourages us to let go of the burden of holding onto grudges, embracing instead the liberating power of forgiveness and the promise of a harmonious future.

Related: The Deep History and Meaning of the Claddagh Symbol

16. The Color Blue

The color blue, often associated with the calming expanse of the sky and the depths of the ocean, is widely seen as a color that symbolizes letting go.

It encourages individuals to release negative feelings and immerse themselves in the serenity and tranquility it evokes.

color blue symbol of letting go

Embracing blue can foster a state of calm introspection, aiding in the process of releasing what no longer serves us and inviting a fresh start. Whether incorporated into your surroundings through paint, clothing, or art, engaging with the color blue can be a therapeutic experience, facilitating moments of peace and reflection, and nurturing a mindset open to new possibilities and positive change.

It invites individuals to take a deep breath, to release, and to open up to the expanses of new beginnings, much like the endless sky and sea that it represents.

Related: The Deep Spiritual Meaning Of The Color Blue

17. Angel Number 999

Angel number 999 is often interpreted as a signal of completion and the end of a cycle in a person’s life.

It heralds a time of letting go of the old to make room for new beginnings. When you encounter this angel number, it might be a nudge from the universe to release outdated beliefs, past pain, and anything that holds you back from realizing your true potential.

It signifies the closing of one chapter and encourages you to prepare for a new one that promises growth and renewal.

angel number 999 symbol of letting go closing the cycle

Embracing this angel number in your journey can be a powerful way to foster alignment with your higher self and to facilitate the process of letting go, moving forward with grace and purpose.

It serves as a reminder that every ending is a precursor to a fresh start, inviting you to step into a future brimming with possibilities and the potential for personal evolution.

You might integrate this angel number into your life by meditating on its meaning, or incorporating it into visual representations, like vision boards or artworks, as a symbolic commitment to embrace the new beginnings that await.

18. Dandelion

The dandelion, a simple yet profound symbol of letting go, embodies the delicate balance between holding on and releasing.

As the seeds detach from their source, being carried away by the gentle whisper of the wind, we are reminded of the beauty and freedom in letting go.

This act of releasing the seeds mirrors the process of letting go of negative emotions and past traumas, allowing them to be carried away, making space for new beginnings and positive change.

dandelion symbol of letting go

Integrating this symbol into your life, perhaps by physically blowing dandelion seeds as a ritualistic act of letting go, can be a beautiful, tangible representation of releasing what no longer serves you and embracing the promise of fresh starts and new growth.

19. Releasing a Balloon

The image of a balloon drifting into the boundless sky captures the essence of release, freedom, and surrender.

Just as the balloon ascends, leaving behind the earth, we too can let go of burdens, fears, and resentments that tether us, embracing a sense of liberation and lightness.

releasing a balloon symbol of letting go

Engaging with this symbol can be a conscious decision to release the grips of the past, allowing oneself to rise and expand into new realms of possibilities.

It serves as a reminder to release control, to trust in the journey, and to open up to the endless opportunities that come with letting go, stepping into a space of hope and newfound freedom.

20. Snowflake

Often associated with the iconic song “Let It Go”, the snowflake stands as a sparkling reminder of the liberating power of release.

Each unique, intricate snowflake carries the message of purity, transformation, and the potential for rebirth.

As a symbol, it encourages individuals to embrace their authentic selves, shedding the layers that conceal their true essence.

The snowflake, a delicate yet resilient entity, invites us to let go of pretenses and fears, embracing the world with openness and a willingness to forge a path marked by authenticity and personal growth.

snowflake symbol of let it go

Engaging with this symbol, perhaps through creative writing or integrating it into seasonal rituals, can be a gentle nudge to release inhibitions and to embrace life with a spirit of joy and wonder, ready to dance in the swirling snow of new beginnings.

21. Feather

The feather, often drifting gracefully to the ground or carried by the wind, is a serene symbol of lightness and freedom.

It embodies the gentle release of burdens, inviting individuals to let go of heaviness and to embrace a state of grace and ease. In many cultures, a found feather is seen as a sign from the spirit world, encouraging us to let go of worries and to trust in the guidance and support of the universe.

feather a symbol of letting things go

Engaging with the feather as a symbol can be a tranquil and healing experience, reminding us to release what weighs us down, be it guilt, resentment or past pain, to ascend to new heights of inner peace and spiritual growth.

Whether depicted in artwork, worn as jewelry, or used in meditative practices, the feather serves as a beautiful reminder to approach life with a lightness of being, ready to soar into new realms of possibility and joy with an open and receptive heart.

It embodies a call to trust in the flow of life, to release control, and to move gracefully with the currents of change, fostering a spirit that is unburdened and free.

Related: Symbolism of a Feather Tattoo: 70+ Designs and Meanings

22. Aquamarine

In the world of crystals, Aquamarine is revered as a powerful stone associated with the release and letting go.

Its tranquil blue hues resonate with the calming energies of the sea, encouraging individuals to release what no longer serves them, facilitating the cleansing of old emotional wounds, and fostering inner peace.

Aquamarine has a long history as a stone that encourages honest communication and the expression of one’s true feelings, aiding in the release of bottled up emotions and fostering reconciliation where necessary.

aquamarine crystal for releasing and letting things go

Integrating Aquamarine into your daily practice, whether as a piece of jewelry or a stone to meditate with, can serve as a constant reminder of your commitment to personal growth and healing. Its soothing energies invite you to dive deep within, to explore the areas of your life that might benefit from release and renewal, guiding you towards a state of balance and harmony.

As a tool for letting go, it encourages you to flow with the water-like grace it embodies, fostering a state of fluidity and openness to the new beginnings that await.

23. Rain

The gentle patter of raindrops, a nourishing force of nature, stands as a profound symbol for washing things clean and facilitating the process of letting go.

In many cultures, rain is seen as a form of cleansing, a natural way to purify the earth and encourage growth and renewal. Similarly, it can symbolize the cleansing of the soul, washing away the dust and grime that clings to us, hindering our progress and weighing down our spirits.

Connecting with the symbol of rain can also mirror the release that comes with shedding tears, a physical manifestation of letting go of pent-up emotions, fears, and sorrows.

Just as the rain rejuvenates the earth, tears can bring about a sense of release and relief, clearing the way for a fresh perspective and a lighter heart.

rain a cleansing symbol of letting things go

Engaging with this symbol, perhaps through meditation or mindful walks in the rain, can be a cathartic experience, encouraging individuals to let their own ‘rain’ wash away the burdens of the past, fostering a sense of purity, rejuvenation, and new beginnings.

It serves as a gentle reminder to allow yourself the space to release, to cleanse, and to emerge anew, ready to embrace life with a cleansed spirit and an open, receptive heart.

24. Wave

Staying with the water theme, the wave, a magnificent force of nature, stands as a powerful symbol of release and letting go.

Its ceaseless ebb and flow mimic the natural rhythms of life, reminding us of the transient nature of our experiences, feelings, and circumstances.

The wave embodies both strength and surrender, as it rises in a crescendo of power before gracefully receding, letting go of its mighty stance to become one with the ocean once more.

Drawing upon the symbolism of the wave encourages individuals to embrace the cycles of growth and retreat in their own lives.

It teaches the important lesson of releasing control, of surrendering to the natural flow of life, and of letting go with grace and poise.

the wave symbol is a symbol of letting things go

Just like a wave, we too can learn to rise with might and power, yet recognize the moments when letting go and retreating is necessary for renewal and regeneration. Engaging with this symbol can be a powerful tool for fostering resilience and adaptability, reminding us to flow with the currents of life with an open heart, ready to embrace the new opportunities that come with each rising wave. It serves as a potent reminder that in the act of letting go, we create space for fresh beginnings and new tides of abundance and joy.

25. Phoenix

The Phoenix, a mystical bird revered in various cultures, stands as the epitome of renewal and the ultimate symbol of letting go.

Rising from its own ashes, the Phoenix embodies the transformative power of letting go and being reborn anew.

This ancient symbol serves as a potent reminder of the cycles of death and rebirth, encouraging individuals to release their old selves, the baggage that weighs them down, to pave the way for rebirth and personal growth.

phoenix symbol

Engaging with the Phoenix symbol inspires hope and resilience, offering a vivid representation of the potential for new beginnings that lie within the process of letting go. It reminds us that, just as the Phoenix rises with renewed strength and beauty from its ashes, we too have the innate capacity to reinvent ourselves, to rise from the ashes of past pains and failures with renewed vigor and grace.

As a tattoo, a piece of art, or a meditative symbol, the Phoenix can serve as a daily reminder of your resilience, your capacity for renewal, and the infinite possibilities that await in your new chapter of life.

It encourages you to approach each day with the courage to let go of what no longer serves you, to embrace the flames of transformation, and to soar into your future with hope, grace, and an unyielding spirit of renewal.

let it go

The journey of letting go is not a one-time event but a continuous process, a commitment to nurturing one’s soul and embracing the beauty of the present moment.

Engaging with these powerful symbols of letting go can facilitate a deeper connection with the self, encouraging a positive outlook and a resilient spirit ready to embark on new adventures. Let these symbols guide you, uplift you, and be your allies as you traverse the path of spiritual growth and transformation, leaving behind the heavy baggage and stepping into a vibrant, new chapter of life, filled with boundless opportunities and joys.

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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