Secret Meanings: Symbols of Faith (Part II)

Beauty and meaning are not mutually exclusive.  Within the most intricate and lovely designs and patterns lie hidden symbols and meanings.  In the case of crosses, these symbols act as a sort of secret communications between the wearer and their faith.

Our new blog series looks at the meanings and histories behind these symbols.  In cased you missed Part I of our Secret Meanings: Symbols of Faith series, you can catch up here.

Iota Chi

medallion, cross medallion, carnelian With its six-armed snowflake-esque design, it can be easy to overlook the meaning of the Iota Chi symbol.  In Greek, “Jesus Christ” translates to IHCOYC XPICTOC – and so, the first initials of His first and last names are overlapped to become the Iota Chi design.

Oftentimes, as within our Iota Chi Medallion, the symbol appears within a circle.  The circle, naturally, represents eternity.  This placement of the Iota Chi within a circle serves as a reminder that “Christ offers eternal life.”

Iota Chi also serves as the heart of the Greek Baptismal Cross design, “consisting of the Greek Cross with the Greek letter “X”, the first initial of the title “Christ,” this Cross is a symbol of regeneration, hence, its association with Baptism.”   This symbol is featured on our Cross Medallion (pictured right).


cross, latin cross, true vine latin cross, handcrafted jewelry, symbolsIf there’s one thing to be learned from this blog series, it’s that not all designs are purely ornamental.  When looking at a piece like our True Vine Latin Cross (pictured right), it would seem as though a “plain” cross was given decorative Byzantine design detail.  While the design is beautiful, it also serves as a symbolic detail.

In John 15:1-8, it reads “I am the true vine, ye are the branches…”.  As Seiyaku writes, “Even those of us without ‘green fingers’ know that it’s the branches that bear fruit. Jesus (the vine) mediates between God and man.”

The vine, which connects the tree to the fruit, represents that bond between man and God – through the vine, the branch’s fruit (faith and love) is nurtured and nourished; it grows and ripens.


Perhaps the best-known of Christian symbols, the angel is a common figure in art, literature, and other works.  The word “angel” is derived from the Greek word “angelos,” or “messenger,” which essentially sums up the angel’s meaning as a symbol.
Angels are the spiritual messengers that interact with humans on God’s behalf.  As messengers, they bring important news and communications to Earth.  The angels depicted on our Angel Cross (pictured right) serve as messengers presenting the central cross (or gemstone) as a light to enlighten the world. Angels also “watch over and protect us from harm (Ref. Matthew 18:10)”

However, unlike their cherub-esque depictions, angels themselves are noncoporeal, bodiless spirits.  Their depiction as physical beings is simply a way to make an ethereal symbol tangible.

Seiyaku: Iota Chi –
Drawn by His Light: Symbols Based on Letters and Words –
Christian Symbols Often Used for Banners, Worship, and Chrismons –
Orthodox Church Symbols –
Christian Symbols and Their Meaning –
The James Avery Faith Collection –
Seiyaku: Vine Cross –
OCA: Angels and Evil Spirits –
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