Unalome Symbol Meaning + FAQ About Tattooing & Placement Of This Sacred Yantra

You've likely seen the Unalome symbol numerous times and perhaps wondered what is the Unalome symbol meaning and what is its spiritual significance. The mesmerizing spirals and swirls make for a beautiful tattoo or artwork, but the meaning behind the Unalome symbol is what makes it so special.

If spiritual symbols intrigue you, you're gonna love this one! Read on for my in-depth explanation of the Unalome symbol meaning and learn how you can harness its potent energy for yourself. 


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What does the Unalome symbol represent? 

In short, the Unalome symbol represents the path to freedom, spiritual awakening, and contentment. Unalome symbolizes our spiritual and life path and reminds us that our journey will not be quick or straightforward, but we must stay focused on our goal.

Unalome symbol meaning: the design

An infographic that describes the Unalome symbol design and meaning of the different parts of the design.

Like most other spiritual symbols, each part of the Unalome carries a specific visual representation of the symbol's meaning. Each aspect represents a different part of your spiritual growth.

  • The spiral – At the base of the symbol, the spiral represents the beginning of your spiritual journey. It is the state before you awaken spiritually; our being is purely in the earthly realm, and illusions, blockages, emotions, and dramas cloud our minds.
    We all can remember a time in our lives when we felt like we were spiraling and everything was out of control. Eventually, we find direction and begin the path toward self-discovery. This pivotal period leads to the next part of the symbol.
  • The loops – The spiral turns into a swirl (or loops) in the middle of the symbol, starting big and getting smaller. These loops show how life is full of sharp bends and unexpected turns, and it is these challenges that allow us to grow.
    The loops remind us that spiritual and personal growth is never linear. When we accept this, we can enjoy the process rather than desperately seek to reach our desired destination. 
  • The straight line – At the end of the swirl, the loops become smaller and gradually turn into a straight line. The path appears less winding and unpredictable, and the ups and downs of life are no longer so extreme. As a result, our minds become clear, we become more aligned with ourselves, and we cultivate a deeper connection with the divine, entering higher states of consciousness. 
    Therefore, the line at the top of the symbol represents the last stages of our end goal. This part, in particular, can serve as a reminder to have hope and faith when we're in the tangles of the loops and spiral.
  • The dots – Above the straight line are three dots, which represent completion and enlightenment. By this stage, we have successfully escaped the cycles of suffering. As we are no longer controlled by our minds or stuck in the challenges of the earthly plane, we experience a profound sense of inner peace.  

The history of the Unalome symbol 

The Unalome symbol has origins in both Hindu and Buddhist religions. While the meaning of the Unalome is similar in both cultures, each religion has its interpretation of it.

In the Hindu religion, Unalome represents the third eye of lord Shiva, the Hindu God. Shiva is also known as the Destroyer, as the Hindu religion states that he can remove obstacles from people's lives. Thus, in Hindu culture, the Unalome meaning relates to becoming free from obstructions and challenges and reaching a state of ‘Moksha' (enlightenment).

In Buddhist culture, the Unalome symbol meaning represents the Buddhist path to enlightenment. The Buddhist symbol relates to the Four Noble Truths; it teaches that life is full of suffering (dukkha) but when we follow the eightfold path, we can free ourselves of all pain and misery. 

Unalome with lotus meaning 

An image of a Unalome symbol with a lotus flower.

Aside from the traditional Unalome symbol described above, there are other variations, each of which alters the meaning of the Unalome. The most common variation is with a lotus flower, which sits above the straight line at the top, often replacing the dots. 

The spiritual lotus flower is a well-known Buddhist symbol representing finding the light within the darkness. In nature, a lotus flower grows in muddy, murky water hidden from the sun. Even without sunlight, the lotus flower still emerges and blossoms into a beautiful plant. 

So, the Unalome lotus flower represents overcoming challenges. It reminds us that, like the lotus flower, we too can rise from the mud and blossom into the best versions of ourselves, despite the challenges we have faced in the past or are currently facing.   

Unalome with moon meaning 

One of the most common female Unalome symbols is a half-moon at the bottom below the swirl. In the Buddhist religion, this Unalome represents finding enlightenment in the darkness, as the moon is associated with truth. The moon also represents calm, feminine energy and finding harmony in life.

Unalome with sun meaning 

Another Buddhist Unalome variation is with a sun above the top line. The sun represents masculine energy, action, brightness, and clarity of the mind. 

An Unalome with a moon and a sun is both a male and female Unalome. This particular symbol embodies both masculine and feminine, representing a balance of yin and yang and darkness and light.

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How do you use the Unalome symbol?

There are many places you can put a Unalome symbol such as decorative art on your wall, or on your body as a tattoo.

Many spiritual seekers and yogis use the Unalome symbol to help them stay on track when times become challenging. The calming, grounding energy of this spiritual symbol can also help us better deal with the stressors and struggles of daily life by evoking inner peace and trust in ourselves and the universe.

If the Unalome meaning resonates with you, here are two ways that you can use it:

1. Unalome as a visualization aid in meditation or yoga practice

One of the best ways to use Unalome in its sacred form is as a focal point when you practice yoga or meditation. In a seated position, close your eyes and envision the Unalome symbol, mentally detailing all the different parts of the image. Alternatively, you can meditate on a photo of the Unalome symbol.

2. Unalome as decorative art

Like the om symbol, the Unalome design makes for beautiful wall art. Placing the Unalome sign on your wall will serve as a regular reminder of your life path and bring you grounding and calm energy to help you overcome whatever challenges come your way. 

For example, if you experience a disheartening setback, looking at the loops of the Unalome symbol will remind you that life is full of ups and downs. As long as you keep going, you will eventually reach enlightenment or your end goal, whatever it is.   

Are Unalome tattoos disrespectful?

In recent years, Unalome tattoos have become incredibly popular. But as a sacred symbol, you may wonder if it is ok to get an Unalome tattoo. It is perfectly ok to get a Unalome tattoo if you are on a path of spiritual development. Getting a Unalome tattoo can remind you to stay focused and keep moving forward.

First, Unalome tattoos did not originate in the West but with Sak Yant, a traditional and sacred tattoo performed in Thailand and more commonly known as bamboo tattoos. 

However, you don't have to travel to Thailand to get a Sak Yant Unalome tattoo or be a Buddhist or Hindu. However, you should note that it can be seen as disrespectful if you get an Unalome tattoo purely for aesthetic purposes without understanding the true spiritual meaning.

Still, Unalome tattoos are not offensive if your intention for getting one is for a visual metaphor of this meaningful symbol. It can also help you navigate the challenges and suffering you will encounter along your life's path. 

Unalome tattoo designs vary greatly, and different body placements will determine the exact meaning and representation of the symbol. For example, placing it above the waistline and ensuring it faces upwards (with the spiral at the bottom and the line at the top) is recommended. 

If placed the opposite way, it can reverse the meaning, representing descending into lower states of consciousness, something you certainly do not want! For this reason, you should avoid getting a Unalome tattoo on the inside of your lower arm as the positioning of the symbol will change whenever you bend your elbow. Interestingly, the Hamsa hand also has different meanings, depending on whether the hand is facing up or down.

Takeaway on Unalome symbol meaning

Unalome is a significant symbol in multiple Eastern religions, symbolizing enlightenment and spiritual devotion. But even if nirvana is not something you are seeking, the Unalome symbol meaning is still relevant. 

This sacred symbol reminds us that ups and downs are unavoidable and that we will reach our goals and dreams as long as we persevere. So, whether you want to advance in your spiritual or personal life, consider placing an Unalome symbol in your home!

FAQ about the Unalome symbol

Which way should a Unalome tattoo go?

The Unalome symbol should have the spiral at the bottom because it represents the beginning of your spiritual journey. That journey continues upward toward enlightenment, represented by the dots at the top of the straight line.

How do you pronounce Unalome?

Unalome is pronounced una-lome (rhymes with cone).

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Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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