Abbot – The Spiritual Meaning of the Abbot Symbol

Abbot - The Spiritual Meaning of the Abbot Symbol

Abbot is a title given to the male leader of a monastery. While the title is more likely used within the Christian religion, there are also people with the same title in the Buddhist community, too. The meaning is the same in both religions, but the symbolism is different. For example, a Christian Abbot will usually have a staff, while a Buddhist Abbot does not.

Abbots will help to guide and mentor people through their spiritual journeys. So, if you have ever seen one in a meditation or through a  synchronistic event, they may be trying to help guide you in some way.

Throughout this brief article about Abbots, we hope to enlighten you about the different aspects and symbols you may come across with their meanings. Then, hopefully, you will be able to decipher the meanings of your messages in a more comprehensive way.


The word Abbot comes from the Aramaic word Abba (father) in the New Testament.  Some people say that the word means Daddy or Dad. However, others think that there is more to it. This article here says that Abba means “Father, I will obey you.”

Either way, a male figure who you look up to for guidance is the common theme.

The Spiritual Meaning of the Abbot Symbol

As you have seen in the etymology of the word, Abbots are guides. They help you with things that you may be unsure of in spirituality. However, there are two other aspects of an Abbot that you may see:

  • Staff or crozier. – An Abbot will always have a staff (or crozier) with them. That is a symbol of authority and guidance, much like that of a shepherd leading and protecting their herd. 
  • Robes or habit. – The robes that an Abbot wears are often black or white and symbolize their vow of poverty and simplicity. They also act as a reminder of his service to God.
See also  Agnihotra and its Spiritual Meanings

These leaders are wise and compassionate, helping people with spiritual leadership and guidance. They are selfless and humble people who encourage others to follow them on the same path toward a deeper faith in their spiritual practices.


If you have ever seen an Abbot in your meditation, know they are there to help, guide, and remind you to be humble and selfless. Seeing the crozier should make you consider your current path, seek alternate routes, and seek guidance. If you see the robe alone, take time to think about the simple things in life and be thankful for what you already have.

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