mythology

rings with deep meaning

14 Magical Rings – In History and Fiction

14 Magical Rings – In History and Fiction

“One ring to rule them all,

One ring to find them,

One ring to bring them all

And in the darkness bind them.”

Tales of magical rings date back to antiquity, and probably even before recorded history.

1. King Solomon’s Magical Ring

According to legend, the famous king Solomon had a very valuable gold ring. It was not only precious, but also magical. Using the power of the ring, Solomon summons a full register of demons and takes authority over them. Out of all the king’s treasures, this ring is regarded as the most mystical.

Legend has it that the one who finds the ring will become the ruler of the world. 

king solomon's ring

2. Ring of Gyges

According to the Greek philosopher Plato, the Ring of Gyges was a magic ring that made its wearer invisible. When given a ring, a shepherd named Gyges becomes invisible and anonymous. Through his invisibility he seduces a queen, kills the king, and takes the kingdom. This poses the moral question of whether a person with such a power would misuse it for evil deeds.

Ring of Gyges

3. Ring of the Nibelung

“Der Ring des Nibelungen”, four music dramas (grand operas) by German composer Richard Wagner, that were based on the classic Norse myths and German heroic poetry.

Wagner made a lot of changes to the story in order to make it suitable for his four operas. The story tells of a hoard of gold which is being guarded by the Rhinemaidens. The dwarf Alberich steals the gold and uses some of it to make a ring which makes the owner powerful over all the world. When Wotan, the chief god, steals it from him, Alberich puts a curse on the ring. The ring will bring death to whoever has it. The ring goes through the hands of several characters, all of whom die in the end. 

Ring of the Nibelung

4. The Kingmoor Ring (also Greymoor Hill Ring)

The Kingmoor Ring was found at Greymoor Hill, near Kingmoor by a young man who came across it in the ground.

The inscription on it reads:

᛭ᚨᚱᛦᚱᛁᚢᚠᛚᛏᛦᚱᛁᚢᚱᛁᚦᚩᚾᚷᛚᚨᚴᛏᚨᛈᚩᚾ / ᛏᚨᚿ

The inscription amounts to a total of 30 signs, its meaning has not been fully deciphered but it is believed to be of magical nature – likely a spell of healing or regeneration.

The Kingmoor Ring

5. Howard Carter’s Ring of Protection

Howard Carter was the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. At the time, everybody was surprised because of the fact that the curse of King Tut’s tomb did not affect the archaeologist. Carter said that his ring protected him against all harmful influences. The ring was adorned with geometric symbols which were placed and balanced according to the principles of esoteric knowledge. The design was meant to protect a person from danger, curses, and black magic. Today, the ring is known as “the ring of Ra” and it is believed that it was originally designed by the people of the lost city of Atlantis. According to the same theory, Egyptians are regarded to be the descendants of these people. 

Howard Carter’s Ring

6. Draupnir

In Norse mythology, Draupnir is a gold ring possessed by the god Odin with the ability to multiply itself: Every 9th night, it duplicates itself by creating eight perfect copies, each one of the same size and weight as the original.

Howard Carter’s Ring

7. Genghis Khan’s Ring

Genghis Khan, the great Mongol ruler, knew how to take advantage of magic. In the 12th century, he reigned over the great Mongolian Empire and some believe this is due to a powerful magic ring. The ring had a ruby engraved with a magic Indian symbol and it was worn by both Genghis Khan as well as by his nephew. Some claim that this symbol actually comes from Hyperborea, the long lost continent. As for the ring of Genghis Khan, many Asian archaeologists are still looking for it.

Howard Carter’s Ring

8. The One Ring (“The Lord of the Rings”)

Probably the most famous fiction ring of all times, it is a central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. It is a solid gold band that looks like any ordinary ring, until cast into fire; once in flames, glowing inscriptions appear on it. Also it can change in size by its own will. The Ring’s primary power was control of the other Rings and domination of the wills of their users. Granting the wearer invisibility, the One Ring also used to strengthen the wearer’s power.

The One Ring

9. Green Lantern Ring

Green Lantern’s ring, considered to be one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Depending on the skill and willpower of the wearer, it can do almost anything if the wielder’s willpower is strong enough. It has the ability to affect and use forces like gravity, radiation, heat, light etc. Most commonly, a Green Lantern Ring is used to shoot energy beams, fly, translate all languages, and create green light energy constructs.

Green Lantern Ring

10. Sorcerer’s Apprentice Ring

The title character and his mentor use the rings to focus their magical powers. Like magical wands in other fantasy fiction, magic rings function as instruments for sorcerers to channel their powers with magic inside the ring. It projects electromagnetic energy into the physical world. The magic ring gives the sorcerer who wields it better advantages.

Sorcerer's Apprentice Ring

11. Dracula’s Ring

It first makes an appearance in Son of Dracula (1943), where it was worn by John Carradine. Then the ring made its way to Bela Lugosi’s finger in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Later Christopher Lee wore it in other Dracula movies. This extravagant signet ring with a blood-red ruby set into it, was designed with the arms crest of Dracula’s lineage. Crest rings traditionally reflect the pride and dignity of a family name and history.

Dracula’s Ring

12. The Yellow and Green Rings (The Chronicles of Narnia)

In “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew”, yellow and green magic finger rings were created to respectively transport people to and from the Wood between the Worlds. These rings were created by the magician “Uncle Andrew” with the help of magical dust from Atlantis.

Yellow and Green magic rings

13. The Mandarin’s Rings

The Mandarin is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books. He is one of Iron Man’s most destructive enemies. The Mandarin is a badass athlete with tremendous skills in various martial arts. His principal personal weapons are the 10 rings which he wears on the fingers of both hands. The Mandarin learned how to make the rings respond to his mental commands. On his left hand he wears Ice Blast, Mento-Intensifier, Electro-Blast, Flame Blast, and White Light. On his right hand, Black Light, Disintegration Beam, Vortex Beam, Impact Beam, and Matter Rearranger.

Mandarin's Rings

14. Singing Ring (The 10th Kingdom)

And last but not least, the most adorable ring in all ten Kingdoms! A singing engagement ring from the movie “The 10th Kingdom”, that grands a lifetime love guarantee!

Singing ring

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two green serpents crawling

Legendary Snakes & Snake – like creatures

Legendary Snakes & Snake – like creatures

two green serpents crawling

The snake is the universal and most complex of all the symbols embodied in animals, as well as the most common and probably the most ancient of them.

The snake and dragon are often interchangeable, and in the countries of the Far East, no distinction is made between them at all. The symbolism of the snake is multifaceted. It can personify both masculine and feminine energy, life and death, destruction and resurrection. 

Snakes represent light and darkness, good and evil, wisdom and blind passion, cure and poison, guardian and destroyer, spiritual and physical rebirth. In almost all Gnostic schools, the serpent was understood either as a symbol of the Upper world, or as a chaotic principle.

This duality of symbolism, forcing people to balance between fear and worship, contributed to the fact that the snake appears sometimes as the progenitor other times as an enemy, or in some cases simultaneously a symbol of good and evil. 

Here are some examples of famous snakes, snake-like creatures and symbols: 

King Snake ring, Mayari jewelry

The cunning serpent of the Garden of Eden

In the story of Genesis, the snake is portrayed as a trickster that tempts Eve into stealing from the forbidden fruit tree, telling her that “when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  And as we know it didn’t end so well… 

Snakes as a Symbol of Medicine

The Rod of Asclepius (aka The Staff of Asclepius) is a snake-entwined rod, said to be wielded by Asclepius, the Greek god associated with healing and medicine.

*do not confuse it with the famous staff of the god Hermes (or Mercury), the caduceus.

Why the snake is often used as a symbol of healing? This is partly due to the ancient belief that the snake sheds its skin to regain youth and guards the secret of eternal life. 

Medusa (the most famous of the Gorgons)

In Greek mythology, the fearsome Medusa had living venomous snakes on her head instead of hair and turned anyone who looked at her to stone.

Dangerous and powerful Medusa is often seen as a protective symbol due to her ability to destroy her enemies. 

Lernaean Hydra

The Lernaean Hydra was a snakelike water monster with many heads. For every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow two serpent heads. Was slayed by Heracles (aka Hercules) as part of his Twelve Labors.

Jormungand

In Norse mythology Jormungand, is a powerful sea serpent and the middle child of the god Loki. The serpent grew in the sea until his body encircled all of Midgard, and he was able to grasp his own tail in his mouth. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök (the end of the world) will begin. 

Kundalini

An example of a positive symbolism of a snake is the concept of kundalini, which in tantric tradition is represented by thr serpent.

Kundalini energy is called “serpentine power”, it is a symbol of inner strength, psychic energy, it represents our infinite potential of being. This energy lies dormant at the base of the spine, until it is awakened. It is sometimes depicted as a coiled snake with heads at both ends. 

 

Ouroboros

Ouroboros is a serpent represented with its tail in its mouth, continually devouring itself and being reborn from itself. The oldest-known ouroboros appeared in ancient Egypt ”it refers to the mystery of cyclical time, which flows back into itself”.

Quetzalcoatl

Quetzalcoatl, or “Feathered Serpent” (mix of bird and rattlesnake), was an ancient Mesoamerican deity. The god of wind and rain, as well as learning, agriculture and science, also associated with the morning star, Quetzalcóatl was the creator of the world and humanity. Also, according to the legend he discovered and introduced corn to the Aztecs.

Snakes in ancient Egyptian culture

The Uraeus is a symbol for the goddess Wadjet. She is a very ancient deity of lower Egypt,  the serpent goddess, a mother-figure to kings. The most common Egyptian snake symbol was the Uraeus (the hooded cobra, usually depicted raised up and ready to strike). It appeared on the Pharaoh’s crown and became his sign of sovereignty. So the raised cobra meant protection against disorder and it was also a symbol of divine authority. 

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Nāgas

The Nagas is a race of large serpentine creatures that can often be found in the mythologies of Hinduism and Buddhism. They are described as powerful, splendid, wonderful and proud semi divine creatures. Nagas are potentially dangerous but often beneficial to humans. 

Perhaps the most famous naga in the Hindu tradition is Shesha, who is often portrayed along with Vishnu. Their domain is in the enchanted underworld called Naga-loka filled with gems, gold and other treasures.

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