Gypsy Symbols: an important element for Travelers

Before talking about gypsy symbols, it may be good to remember who these men and women are, with a way of life very different from ours.

The Gypsies are in fact a people with a nomadic lifestyle, a rich culture and a fascinating history. Throughout history, these travelers were discriminated against, mistreated and sometimes even expelled from the places they passed through.

When we hear “gypsy,” many of us think of simple acrobats, nomads like any other, and sometimes even crooks and thieves.

Sometimes, this term is even used to designate illegal or derogatory behavior, a wandering lifestyle specific to certain delinquents. However, nothing could be further from reality.

The word “gypsy” actually refers to a very specific ethnic group known as “Romani” (which is actually called Roma).

Today, the Romani are a very diverse people who occupy every continent. Obviously, their culture developed through contact with each people they met, thus giving rise to the subject that we will explore together: gypsy symbols.

Contents :

The Sahasrara (or chakra wheel)

The medal of Saint Christopher

The solar wheel

Fortune tellers

The music

Drawing of the Chakra wheel symbol, a symbol of unity for the Roma.

1st gypsy symbol: the Sahasrara (or chakra wheel)

The Sahasrara symbol (also known as the Chakra Wheel) was publicly adopted by the Gypsy people in 1971 during their very first world congress. (You can see it on the official Roma flag ).

This symbol, both in its appearance and in its name, resembles the Hindu symbol of the crown chakra... and this is no coincidence!

The chakra wheel was actually chosen to highlight the common heritage and roots of Gypsies around the world. These people originate from a region of northern India (from which they were expelled, which pushed them towards a nomadic lifestyle).

In the Indian language, Sahasrara means both “thousands” and “infinite”.

When we look at it more closely, the chakra wheel is in fact formed of a lotus flower with countless petals. For Indians, this flower is synonymous with prosperity, joy and spirituality.

Basically, the “thousand petals” of this gypsy lucky symbol also represent the connection between man and the divine as well as the unity that should result from it.

Hindus even see a connection with the god Brahma, the great creator of life. That said in passing, this idea is no longer very present among Gypsies who, in the vast majority, have converted to Christianity.

Final consideration about the chakra wheel: its wheel shape.

As its name suggests, this gypsy symbol is indeed circular, thus representing the traveling character of its people. Some also see it as a nod to the famous caravans.

Fresco of Saint Christopher carrying the Christ child.

2nd gypsy symbol: the medal of Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher is known to all Christians as the patron saint of travelers.

This illustrious man lived in the 3rd century, and died as a martyr under the blows of Roman persecution.

Depicted in the form of an imposing man carrying a traveler's staff and a child on his shoulder, the legend of Saint Christopher tells us more about him.

One day, when he had to cross a river, he saw a young child who also wanted to cross. The man decided to help him, carrying him on his shoulder.

Later, history tells us that this child was neither more nor less than Jesus Christ himself!

In short, Saint Christopher is often cited as one of the fourteen "helping saints", a group of fourteen particularly "effective" saints (this term is not very well chosen, but you get the idea) who are recommended to pray to those who are suffering from serious problems.

You will often see Saint Christopher medals like this hanging on car mirrors. This is neither a coincidence nor simple folklore.

Indeed, it is commonly accepted that Saint Christopher protects travelers, whether they travel long distances or, on the contrary, make their daily journey. (How many accidents happen on the way home? Much more than we can imagine...)

With such attributions, it is not surprising that the figure of Saint Christopher has become a prominent gypsy symbol.

When we also know the great religious fervor that can animate Travelers, all this seems even clearer to us.

Drawing of a solar wheel in orange on a black background.

3rd gypsy symbol: the solar wheel

The sun wheel is a symbol that divides, even within the gypsy community.

Some associate it with paganism and even witchcraft. It is true that certain esoteric movements, notably Wicca, claim to do so.

Others refuse to use it because of its resemblance to certain symbols used by fascist regimes, particularly the Nazis.

In reality, these two arguments are based on a bad resonance: it was not the Gypsies who were inspired by these people... but quite the opposite!

Since the dawn of time, travelers have used the sun wheel to represent the succession of days, seasons and the passing of time.

This gypsy symbol, as its name suggests, represents the Sun and its rays.

Closely linked to a bubbling masculine energy, this star perfectly translates the energetic, impetuous and sometimes even passionate character of the Gypsies.

In fact, the sun wheel has been used in certain occult practices for a very long time.

The Greeks honored Apollo, the sun god, with “prudence and piety.”

The Celts gave honey, a very precious commodity at the time, as an offering to anyone linked to this great source of heat and light.

The Egyptians often placed a solar disk above the heads of their deities, indicating that they were linked to solar energy.

All these civilizations, undoubtedly, are directly or indirectly linked to gypsy culture.

Tarot cards and a crystal ball of gypsy fortune tellers, next to a guitar pendant

Make the gypsy mysteries your own

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4th gypsy symbol: fortune tellers

Roma, Gypsies, Bohemians or Manouches: if there is one aspect of gypsy culture that has intrigued more than one, it is clairvoyance.

Throughout their history, these people have been associated with fortune tellers, magic, the zodiac and divination.

The original tradition, the people who practiced this kind of art were almost always women. The Gypsies called them “ drabardi ”.

These clairvoyants were subject to numerous rules, in particular that of only practicing for “gadji”, individuals outside the community.

In short, since the Middle Ages, fortune tellers have used different tools, each less practical than the other.

It is indeed quite complicated to take an entire clairvoyance office with you during your travels. Objects that are too bulky should therefore be avoided.

Faced with this constraint, gypsy clairvoyants specialized in a type of divination, which later became their trademark: the drawing of tarot cards.

Integrating their culture over the centuries, cartomancy has been so anchored in the essence of this people that today we can speak of a true gypsy symbol.

If you also want to try tarot practice, here is a complete deck of cards that will allow you to make your first readings!

Two musicians of gypsy origin who play in the metro.

5th gypsy symbol: music

It is sometimes said that Gypsies have no music of their own. The reality is a little more complex than that.

Like all bands around the world, they played music to express themselves and communicate more easily with the people around them. So they know the music, that’s clear.

The question becomes more complicated when we understand that, by the diversity of the members who compose it and especially by their geographical distance, the Gypsies have not developed homogeneous styles of music that all would share.

In fact, there are almost as many gypsy musics as there are clans.

We can notably cite:

  • Hungarian gypsy music
  • Gypsy jazz
  • The traveling brass bands of the Balkans
  • The flamenco of travelers from Spain
  • And many more: to discover more, here are some pieces of gypsy music to listen to

In conclusion, if we cannot talk about music specific to the Gypsies, it is not because there is none… but on the contrary because there are too many!

Lucky charms featured in this article

Medal of Saint Christopher

Medal of Saint Christopher

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Rider Waite Tarot Card Deck

Rider Waite Tarot Card Deck

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.