Trident: More Than A Spear With Three Prongs

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Trident: More Than a Spear with Three Prongs


The research paper focuses on trident. This study explains the reasons that why we see trident as a symbol and how its condition through time has changed its symbolic meaning and philosophy.

Trident in Mythology

Myths may be classified as traditional stories that deal with nature, ancestors, heroes, and heroines or supernatural beings that serve as primordial types in a primitive view of the world. Myths appeal to the consciousness of a people by embodying its cultural ideals or by giving expression to deep and commonly felt emotions (Wolfson, 13-27). These accounts relate the origin of humankind and a perception of the visible world; the character, attributes, and functions of the ancient gods; and stories concerning an individual, an event, or an institution. The systematic collection and study of myths is termed mythology. Mythological research into the earliest literary records of the ancient world is essential for understanding the religions and philosophies of these peoples. Equally important, the study of mythology enhances our appreciation for the art and literature of the classical and modern eras.

It is no wonder that myths evolved in primitive cultures when people were faced with impersonal, inexplicable, and sometimes awesome and/or violent natural phenomena and the majesty of natural wonders such as the sun, the sky, the mountains, and the sea. In comparison with these wonders, humans felt dwarfed and diminished. As a result, they bestowed extraordinary human traits of power and personality to those phenomena that evoked human emotions most profoundly. The origin of the world, the miracle of birth, the finality of death, and the fear of the unknown compelled early humans to create deities who presided over the celestial sphere. In time, every aspect of nature itself, human nature, and human life was believed to have a controlling deity.


Neptune (Poseidon), the second most powerful god, ruled the seas, and Pluto (Hades) ruled the lower world. Pluto, the god of wealth, drove a black chariot powered by six onyx-black horses and was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog. When he was in a good mood, Poseidon created new lands in the water and a calm sea. In contrast, when he was in a bad mood, Poseidon would strike ( the ground with a trident and cause unruly springs and earthquakes, ship wrecks, and drownings. (

Trident As a Religious Symbol

The trident symbol (called "the devil's pitchfork''), from the fishing origins is most commonly associated with Poseidon, the god of the oceans and sea in Greek mythology. By hitting the earth with his trident, Poseidon created the horse and some water sources in Greece. It symbolises major gods among various occult groups. In India, it is linked to the Hindu "trident-bearer" Shiva, spouse of the skull-bearing goddess Kali. Shiva is recognised as the most powerful symbolic God in India. Due to His symbolic activity of enforcement and recreation, the words destroyer and destruction are often wrongly associated with Lord Shiva. (Sarma, 47-62)

Shiva is often worshipped in an symbolic manner, ...