The Seven Deadly Sins were created by Evagrius Ponticus, a nomadic Greek monk, around 370 AD. The sins are greed, pride, wrath, lust, envy, gluttony, and sloth. In modern times they are associated with the Bible, but they are not listed therein. The seven deadly sins have been used in modern literature and film and are known throughout the world.
Symbol of desire, want in excess, and selfishness.
Greed is sometimes symbolized by a frog. The frog is called greedy because it lives both on the land and in the water. Another animal associated with greed is the wolf. In China and Europe, the wolf was considered to be greedy and ravenous. The fox is also a symbol of greed. In Western society, the dollar sign is a symbol of greed. Greed is one of the three poisons in Sanskrit along with delusion and aversion. Also, the color yellow, which is the color of gold, symbolizes greed.
Symbol of arrogance and self-love.
Some symbols for pride include peacocks, especially when they show their beautiful tail feathers. There is a saying “proud as a peacock” that has been used as early as the 1200s. In medieval iconography, a knight upon his horse was a symbol of pride. Horses themselves are also a symbol for pride. Purple is a symbol for royalty and the people of the highest rank. Purple also symbolizes pride.
Symbol of fury, rage, and hate.
Bears symbolize wrath. The Celtic goddess Artio was a bear goddess who was fiercely protective. A mother bear is very protective of her cubs and gets very angry if she is separated from them. Dragons also can symbolize wrath as they are the embodiment of untamed nature. The color red is associated with wrath. When a person is in a rage they are said to be “seeing red.” The phrase “caught red-handed” means to be caught perpetrating a violent crime.
Symbol of desire, longing, and craving.
The cow is a symbol of lust. This probably stemmed from the goddess Hathor who was associated with lust and was a cow goddess. Serpents are also associated with lust. The serpent was the reason for the destruction of the Garden of Eden. The snake brought lust into the Garden when it tempted Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge. The snake represents sexual desire in the Abrahamic tradition. The color red is associated with lust as is the color blue. In Christianity, blue is associated with the original sin.
Symbol of malice, hatred, jealousy, and rivalry.
Envy can be symbolized as a dog. A lean dog is envious of others’ food. Snakes in astrology are a symbol of envy. If a person dreams of a snake it is believed that they are jealous. Bats are also a symbol of envy as they fly under the cover of darkness. Green is the color associated with envy. There is a popular saying that people are “green with envy.” This saying dates back to the 7th century BC. Yellow is also associated with envy.
Symbol of self-indulgence, unrestraint, and debauchery.
One of the symbols of gluttony is a pig. Pigs represent overeating. Vultures and tiger sharks can also represent gluttony. Vultures usually fight each other over food and tend to quickly overheat. Tiger sharks will eat anything they come across, even other tiger sharks. Bacchus is the Greek god of gluttony and debauchery. His symbol can also represent gluttony. Hedone, the Greek goddess of pleasure and delight, can also be associated with gluttony. The color orange is considered stimulating to the appetite and is therefore a symbol of gluttony.
Symbol of laziness, apathy, procrastination, and indolence.
One of the obvious animal symbols for sloth is a sloth. In astrology, the sloth represents avoidance and lack of ambition. Goats are also a symbol of sloth. This might come from the term scapegoat where someone of convenience is accused of things they did not do. Using someone as a scapegoat is a lazy way to cast blame. Cuckoos can also be a symbol of sloth. They lay their eggs in other bird’s nests and let the other birds raise their young. The color blue can symbolize sloth. Blue is the color of daydreaming and laziness. The color black can also symbolize sloth. In India, the color black represents inertia.