Yellowjackets Cult and Symbol, Explained

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Simone Kessell as Lottie in YELLOWJACKETS Season 2. Photo Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME.

“Yellowjackets” is full of mysteries about the team who survived the plane crash in 1996 and their adult counterparts in the present day. There’s, of course, the looming threat of cannibalism, which will at least determine who makes it out of the woods. Then there’s the fate of Shauna’s baby, which is still up in the air. But there’s also the cult that Lottie — who became the Antler Queen in the 1996 timeline — seems to be running in the present day, based on some of the more mysterious and mystical things the girls experience in the woods.

Ahead, we break down everything we know about the cult — and the symbol that seems to be at the center of it.

What Is Lottie’s Cult on “Yellowjackets”?

Lottie’s cult kidnaps Nat in the season one finale as she’s considering suicide inside her motel room. The kidnappers take her somewhere seemingly in the middle of nowhere and handcuff her to a bed in their compound. However, Nat outsmarts her jailer and runs into the compound, where she sees Lottie doing a very Antler Queen-esque ritual with some of the people gathered there.

In the second episode of season two, Lottie tries to convince Nat it’s all above board and not a cult. “We are an intentional community turning suffering into strength so we can be our best selves,” Lottie says. Their weird ritual was just creative therapy. They don’t all wear purple; they wear heliotrope. And they kidnapped Nat because they didn’t want her to die. Still, we see Lottie using her powers in ways that seem at the least unsavory. She reams out Lisa for giving her the wrong powder in her smoothie.

Some fans also speculated that adult Travis, who dies during season one, has a connection to the cult. But Lottie tells Nat that while she was there when Travis died, his death wasn’t connected to the cult itself.

Juliette Lewis as Natalie in YELLOWJACKETS holding a postcard with the Yellowjackets rune and symbol on it

What Does the “Yellowjackets” Symbol Mean?

Both the cult and the girls’ time in the forest have something troubling that connects them: the symbol or rune that pops up everywhere. It was on the postcards that were sent to the adult Yellowjackets to scare them, it’s on jewelry worn by the cult members, and Travis made one the day he died. The survivors of the plane crash first see the symbol carved in a tree near the cabin where they find refuge, and it’s also carved into the floor of the attic. The Yellowjackets are drawn to it, and Lottie draws it on the glass in the cabin.

The symbol itself resembles a stick figure of a girl, impaled on a hook and flipped upside down. The show has yet to say what exactly the symbol means, but fans have lots of theories.

Some have guessed it’s supposed to be “hobo code.” Homeless people historically have used coded drawings to pass information along to each other, and the code could have been made to warn people to stay away from that cabin. Others think the symbol is more directly linked to cannibalism. Some also think it’s actually a map out of the wildness, or some sort of equation that would help the survivors find civilization. Another theory speculates there is really some dark, evil force in the woods and the symbol is protection from it.

The symbol, the cult, and their connection remain a mystery for now, but we can’t wait to learn more.

New episodes of “Yellowjackets” premiere on Fridays on streaming and Sundays on Showtime.



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