Infinity Symbol Meaning & Symbolism

Infinity Symbol Meaning & Symbolism

Life on Earth is full of limits, but infinity is the idea that some things are without limits. The infinity symbol can therefore be a powerful way to indicate that you’d like something, like your love for your partner or your child, to last forever. It might also awaken your curiosity about the mysteries beyond the boundaries of your usual experiences.

How to Make an Infinity Symbol

An infinity symbol looks like a number 8 on its side — the kind of 8 that’s drawn with one unbroken stroke, resembling an hourglass, rather than the kind of 8 that’s two distinct circles stacked on top of each other.

127+ Abundance Quotes
127+ Abundance Quotes

A good way to remember it is that an hourglass measures time, and eventually the sand runs from the top of the hourglass to the bottom, meaning that you’ve run out of time. However, an infinity symbol turns the hourglass on its side, and infinity means you’ve gotten away from constraints like the limits of time.

How to Make an Infinity Symbol Icon on Your Computer

If you’re using Microsoft Word on a Windows PC, you can find an infinity symbol by going to the Insert tab and then going to the Symbol menu. It’s in the Mathematical Operators subset.

There’s also a keyboard shortcut for typing an infinity symbol. On a PC, you hold down the Alt key and then type 236 on the numeric keypad.

Alternately, you can copy and paste an infinity symbol from a website or document that has one. Infinitysymbol.net is one source. You can also get an infinity symbol to copy and paste right here: ∞

Meaning of the Infinity Symbol

Meaning of the Infinity Symbol

The infinity symbol simply means there is no limit. It’s often seen in the context of math problems to indicate a quantity that cannot be measured or an ongoing process that continues indefinitely.

Outside a mathematical context, the infinity symbol can be used to represent spiritual or emotional longings for something that will last forever or not be subject to other earthly limits. Common human desires represented by the infinity symbol include everlasting love, permanent commitment, and unlimited freedom.

Origins of the Infinity Symbol

Origins of the Infinity Symbol

Britannica reports that the infinity symbol was first used to mean something that is limitless by English mathematician John Wallis in 1655. The graphic is also known as the lemniscate, and it had been used for decorative purposes prior to that. It is unclear why Wallis chose this graphic to represent this mathematical concept.

Previous mathematicians in ancient Greece, like Plato and Aristotle, shied away from embracing the notion of infinity. However, infinity wound up being a crucial part of the mathematics of calculus. Wallis also served as the editor of the mathematical work of Isaac Newton, one of the inventors of calculus.

The need to convey limitlessness also extends outside the domain of mathematics. The infinity symbol has since come to appear in metaphysical contexts, such as on Tarot cards including Strength and The Magician. In this sense, the infinity symbol can refer to infinite potential and wisdom.

The metaphysical side of the infinity symbol has also been identified with the Ouroboros, a primal image of a snake or dragon eating its own tail. While the Ouroboros can be seen as a symbol of fertility, it also refers to a sense of being internally complete enough to fertilize and give birth to oneself.

Varieties of the Infinity Symbol

The infinity symbol can appear in different variations, some of which combine it with other symbols. These variations on the infinity symbol may show allegiance or advocacy for a particular cause in addition to looking cool, so be sure you know what the infinity symbol variation you’re considering represents before you get it tattooed on your body.

Rainbow infinity symbol

Rainbow infinity symbol

While there has been conflict over what symbol best represents people who have autism, the rainbow infinity symbol is coming to be preferred over the puzzle piece because it depicts them as people to be accepted rather than a puzzle to be solved. More broadly, the rainbow infinity symbol represents neurodiversity, the idea that neurological differences such as autism are not deficits.

Cari Ebert, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in autism, noted on her blog that additional variations of the infinity symbol beyond the rainbow infinity symbol are also used to represent autism, such as the gold infinity symbol and the red infinity symbol.

Double infinity symbol

Double infinity symbol

A double infinity symbol is one infinity symbol on top of another, resembling a complicated knot. It’s sometimes referred to as the infinity x infinity symbol. This represents two people each making an eternal commitment to each other.

Infinity symbol with heart

Infinity symbol with heart

A heart with an infinity symbol inside it may be interpreted in a couple of different directions. It can simply be used to mean a love that has no end between two people.

However, some view the heart with an infinity symbol as referring to a love that is unlimited in other ways. It can therefore be used as a symbol of polyamory, which holds that a person can have romantic love for more than one partner at a time.

A common saying in the polyamory community is that love is infinite, but time and energy are not. That said, the heart with an infinity symbol can mark your quest to find your limits on your own terms.

Swedish Malin symbol

A Malin symbol, which originated in Sweden, is an infinity symbol that has a broken arrow at the center. Gyllen, a Swedish watch manufacturer that incorporates infinity symbols into its watch designs, explains the Malin as follows: “It means in order to grow, you must experience setbacks and challenges.”

Infinity Symbol Tattoos

Infinity Symbol Tattoos

The variations of the infinity symbol described above could make for good infinity symbol tattoos, presuming you know and thoughtfully endorse what the variation you’re considering represents. However, with tattoos, the potential for creativity is truly infinite!

Some ideas for personalizing an infinity symbol tattoo are as follows:

  • Incorporating an anchor into at least one side of your infinity symbol can represent an intention to pursue practical stability along with the less physical dimensions of your committed bond.
  • Instead of drawing the infinity symbol with just a plain line, draw it with a line of text that incorporates the names of your loved ones, like your partner or your children.
  • An infinity symbol formed with a line of text could also say an inspirational word or phrase.
  • Form the line of the infinity symbol with a tiny repeating graphic, like birds, flowers, or musical notes.
  • Put your and your partner’s initials inside the loops of the infinity symbol.
  • Paint an imaginative or peaceful scene inside the loops of the infinity symbol.
  • Make the infinity symbol into a snake or dragon eating its tail, like an ouroboros symbol.
  • Incorporating the symbols of your religion into an infinity tattoo can represent your commitment to your faith. If you’re Christian, a cross can be formed from two perpendicular infinity symbols. If you’re Hindu or Buddhist, some infinity tattoo designs incorporate lotus or Om symbols.

Visual examples of infinity symbol tattoos are available at FashionLady and Wild Tattoo Art.

Infinity Symbol Jewelry

Infinity Symbol Jewelry

If you’re not ready for the infinite commitment of a permanent tattoo on your skin, you might be happier with some infinity symbol jewelry. Examples include the following:

Conclusion

As much as people complain about life’s limits, perhaps they’re often a little afraid of what it might feel like not to have them. The infinity symbol can represent intense desires that are not easily fulfilled on Earth, as well as ideas too big to easily wrap your mind around.

However, embracing this mystery and power may also encourage you to broaden your perspective past your mundane concerns to infinity and beyond!

Eva Sylwester

Eva Sylwester has been fascinated with the interpretation of dreams since middle school. She got a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Oregon in 2007. After that, she began exploring astrology and other new frontiers in spirituality. In her approach, the goal of dream interpretation is to help the dreamer articulate their own intuition. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, United States.