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SYMBOLS and their MEANING

 

See also Halloween Symbols

 

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Recent additions: Alchemy, Theosophy and Om

 

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Occult symbols are fast replacing Christian symbols in our culture. Many are used by people who trust occult powers rather than God. Therefore it is important for Christians to recognize them. This list will help you. Use it to warn others, especially Christian children who intentionally wear and display them because they are popular. But keep in mind that some of these symbols have double meanings. For example, the pentagram has been used to transmit occult power in all kinds of rituals for centuries, but to Christians the same shape may simply represent a star - a special part of God's creation. The image of a fish may mean a sign of the zodiac (astrology) to some, but to Christians it has meant following Jesus and sharing the message of His love. We will continue to delight in the cross, while recognizing that others use the same image to represent their dark forces.

The bottom line is: pray for discernment and ask God to guide you. Then take time to read the warning at the bottom of this page.

Finally, we want to encourage you, not to pass judgment on those who happen to wear these symbols, but to seek God’s will and discernment so that we might all honor Him with our lives. Remember, "each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block. . . in our brother's way." (Romans 14:12-13)

Symbols and their meaning

  ALL-SEEING EYE: A universal symbol representing spiritual sight, inner vision, higher knowledge, insight into occult mysteries. Watch out!  

EYE IN PYRAMID: Masonic symbol for the all-seeing eye of God - an mystical distortion of the Biblical God. You can find it on the $1 bill. See the Franklin Institute website.  

ALCHEMY: This simple 17th century "sign" illustrates the blending of geometric shapes -- circle, triangle, square -- representing the various "elements" needed for spells and magic. It's interesting to note that some of the more popular occult computer games also involve "elements" needed for magic and spell-casting. (I'll try to explain more later)
  AMULET: A magic charm (such as this little Navajo bear earring), worn to bring good luck and protection against illness, accidents and evil forces. Don't believe it!
ANARCHY: Popular among school aged children today, this symbol for anarchy fits the message that pervades the most popular video games, role-playing games, movies and television. The lines of the "A" often extend outside the circle.
  ANKH: An Egyptian cross symbolizing a mythical eternal life, rebirth, and the life-giving power of the sun.
  ANGEL: Symbol of good and evil spirits in religions around the world. This picture shows a Tibetan guardian angel. For a comparison between Biblical angels and occult angels see Chapter 8 in A Twist of Faith. For a summary, read Touched by an Angel.
  BAT: A symbol of good fortune in the East, it represented demons and spirits in medieval Europe.
  CIRCLE (sacred hoop, ring): An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and female power. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space.(See next item) Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the "world serpent" forming a circle as it eats its own tail. (See serpent)
  CIRCLE (quartered): The sacred circle filled with a cross, four equal lines pointing from the center to the spirits of the north, east, south, and west -- or to the basic element: earth, water, air (or wind), and fire. In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the medicine wheel and plays a vital part in major rituals. Many contemporary pagans consider it their main symbol for transmitting the energy of the goddess.
  COMPASS (MASONIC): The Masonic symbol of the compass and the T-square represents movement toward perfection and a balance between the spiritual and physical which resembles Egyptian and oriental mysticism. The compass (used to form circles) represent spirit. The ruler (part of a square) represent the physical. Some public schools pass out pencil cases and other gifts decorated with this emblem.
  COW: It symbolized the sky goddess Hathor to Egyptians, enlightenment to Buddhists, one of the highest and holiest stages of transmigration (reincarnation) to Hindus.
  CRESCENT MOON: A symbol of the aging goddess (crone) to contemporary witches and victory over death to many Muslims. In Islamic lands, crescent can be seen enclosing a lone pentagram.
  CROSS: While anyone--even pagans--now use the cross as decoration or as an occult symbol, Christians must continue to treasure the cross of Calvary. But be careful what kind of cross you wear - and what message you communicate to others.

INVERTED CROSS: Represents Satanism and its mockery of Christ.

  DRAGON: A mythical monster made up of many animals: serpent, lizard, bird, lion... It may have many heads and breath fire. To mediaeval Europe, it was dangerous and evil, but people in Eastern Asia believe it has power to help them against more hostile spiritual forces. In the Bible it represents Satan, the devil.
  DREAMCATCHER: An American Indian magic spiderweb inside a sacred circle. After making dreamcatchers in crafts lessons in school, many children hang them on or near their beds. They have been told that these occult symbols will block bad dreams but allow good dreams to pass through the center. Don't believe that myth!
  ELEMENTS: The four basic elements to many pagans are earth, water, air (wind or spirit) and fire. Many consider the first two passive and feminine - and the last two active and masculine. In Wiccan or Native American rituals, the "quartered circle" (also the Medicine Wheel) represents a "sacred space" or the sacred earth. The four lines may represent the spirits of the four primary directions or the spirits of the earth, water, wind and fire.  

(This set of elements differs from those used in alchemy.)

  EYE OF HORUS: A favorite crafts project in schools, it represents the eye of Egyptian sun-god Horus who lost an eye battling Set. Pagans use it as a charm to ward off evil. (See All-Seeing Eye)

Notice that the picture shows a compound symbol - several symbols joined together to give a more complex meaning. It includes an unbiblical cross and, at the bottom, part of a face inside the rays of the sun. (See Sun)

  HEXAGRAM or SIX-POINTED STAR: When surrounded by a circle, it represents the "divine mind" (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. Many still use it in occult rituals. But to Jewish people, it is their Star of David.
  MANDALA: The Hindu term for circle. In Hindu and Buddhist meditations, it is used to raise consciousness. In meditation, the person fixes his or her mind on the center of the "sacred circle." Geometric designs are common. The center of this mandala shows a triangle with a bindu (dot) in the middle. The bindu inside the circle represents the blending of male and female forces.
  MASK: Used by pagans around the world to represent animal powers, nature spirits, or ancestral spirits. In pagan rituals, the wearer may chant, dance and enter a trance in order to contact the spirit world and be possessed by the spirit represented by the mask. The mask pictured represents the mythical Hindu elephant god, Ganesha, supposedly the father of Buddha.
  MEDICINE SHIELD: A round shield decorated with personal symbols and pictures of the animal spirit(s) contacted on a Spirit Quest or through a classroom visualization simulating an American Indian ceremony. Its basic image is often the form of the "medicine wheel" or quartered circle. (see Circle, quartered)
OM: Sanskrit letters or symbol for the "sacred" Hindu sound om (ohm or aum) called "the mother of all mantras. Apparently, the four parts symbolize four stages of consciousness: Awake, sleeping, dreaming, and a trance or transcendental state. 
 

 

PEACE SYMBOL or NERO'S CROSS: A broken, upside-down cross. To Roman emperor Nero, who hated and persecuted the early Christians, it meant destruction of Christianity. Revived in the sixties by hippies and others who protested nuclear weapons, Western culture, and Christian values, it now symbolizes a utopian hope for a new age of global peace and earth-centered unity. But many of heavy metal rock fans would agree with Nero and use it to mock Christ and His followers.

  PENTAGRAM or FIVE-POINTED STAR: A standard symbol for witches, freemasons, and many other pagan or occult groups. To witches, it represent the four basic elements (wind, water, earth and fire) plus a pantheistic spiritual being such as Gaia or Mother Earth.
  PENTAGRAM, INVERTED: The horned god to many contemporary witches, it represents Satanism when inside a circle.
  SERPENT OR SNAKE: Most earth-centered or pagan cultures worshipped the serpent. It represents rebirth (because of its molting), protection against evil, either male of female sexuality, rain and fertility, a mediator between the physical and spiritual world.... The list is endless, but in the Bible it usually represents sin, temptation, destruction, and Satan. (See dragon) The circular image of the serpent eating its tail links the mythical significance of the serpent to that of the sacred circle. A more streamlined version was pictured on all the official literature at the 1996 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).
  SPIRAL: Linked to the circle. Ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe.
  SQUARE: In contrast to the circle which often symbolizes the sacred and spiritual (including the "sacred" earth), the square represents the physical world. Like the quartered circle, it points pagans to the four compass directions: north, east, south and west. While the circle and spiral symbolize female sexuality in many earth-centered cultures, the square represents male qualities.
  STAR: See pentagram or hexagram.
 

SUN AND MOON JOINED AS ONE: A universal pagan expression of the merging of opposites. Like the Yin Yang, the marriage of  the male sun and the female moon represents unity in diversity, compromise instead of conflict, and conformity to a new consciousness where all is one. 

(See The Marriage of the Sun and Moon)

 

  SUN and SUN SIGN: The sun was worshipped as a personified, life-giving deity in Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and other major civilizations of history. The more common symbol is the familiar face in the center of the sun's rays. (This will be explained in our report on the Teletubbies. (See sun symbol below the picture of the Eye of Horus) A dot or point in the center of a circle symbolizes the blending of male and female forces. (See air, which also represents spirit, among the symbols for Elements) Hindus call the midpoint in a circle the bindu - the spark of (masculine) life within the cosmic womb.
  SWASTIKA: Ancient occult symbol of the sun and the four directions. Revived by Hitler, it represents racism and the "white supremacy" of neo-nazis.
THEOSOPHY: A simplified version of the symbol behind the occult beliefs of UN leader Robert Muller (his World Core Curriculum became a worldwide pattern for global education) and education leader Shirley McCune (see  Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio. Notice the anch in the center. The more elaborate version inserts a variety of other symbols such as the OM, pentagram, cross, etc. (Because of its dark occult meaning and similarity to some of the complex magical signs used in alchemy and masonic rituals, we prefer not to post it.)
  THUNDERBOLT: In ancient mythologies from many cultures (Norse, Roman, Greek, Native American, etc.) the lighting bolt would be hurled by male sky gods to punish, water, or fertilize the earth or its creatures. Navaho myths linked it to the Thunderbird, the symbol of salvation and divine gifts. On many children's toys, it represents supernatural power. Double bolts, popular with contemporary skinheads, symbolize Nazi power.
  TOTEM: Carved, painted representation of power animals or animal-human ancestors. To American Indians in the Northwest, who believe that all of nature has spiritual life, the animals in their totems poles represent the spiritual powers of animal protectors or ancestors.
  TRIANGLE: Associated with the number three. Pointing upwards, it symbolizes fire, male power and counterfeit view of God. (See pyramid) To Christians, it often represents the Trinity. Pointing down, it symbolizes water, female sexuality, goddess religions and homosexuality.
  UNICORN: To many New Agers, it means power, purification, healing, renewal and eternal life.
  WHEEL: A universal symbol of or cosmic unity, astrology, "the circle of life," evolution, etc. The pagan sacred circle plus any number of radiating spokes or petals form the wheel - a Wheel of Life to Buddhists, a Medicine Wheel to Native Americans, a Mandala to Hindus. It symbolizes unity, movement, the sun, the zodiac, reincarnation, and earth's cycles of renewal. Pagans use it in astrology, magic and many kinds of rituals. (See Medicine Wheel and Circle)
  YIN YANG: A Chinese Tao picture of universal harmony and the unity between all opposites: light/dark, male/female, etc. Yin is the dark, passive, negative female principle. Yang is the light, active, positive principle. Since it represent monism (all is one) and pantheism (all is God), it opposes Christianity, which shows us that there is only one God (monotheism), and only in Christ can we be one. This picture the yin yang on two earrings and a ring illustrates the popularity of this symbol today. It fits the consensus process and the vision of global unity.
  COMPOUND SYMBOL: Many New Age groups make up their own personal, and often universal, symbol by combining the symbols of various religions. You may recognize the symbols surrounding the pentagram as (clockwise) the Hindu mantra "ohm," the yin yang, the world triad (a Gnostic emblem of cosmic creativity and the spiraling cycles of time) the Celtic cross, and the hexagram.

 

Links to websites showing the use of above symbols:

Site Map of the Great Seal

A More Perfect Union

 

  LIZARD: Its "sun-seeking habit symbolizes the soul's search for awareness." To the Romans, who believed it hibernated, the lizard meant death and resurrection. p. 58  
  FROG: A symbol of fertility to many cultures. The Romans linked it to Aphrodite, the Egyptian to the shape-shifting goddess Heket who would take the form of a frog. To the Chinese, it symbolized the moon -- "the lunar, yin principle" bringing healing and prosperity.58
  Toad: Linked to witchcraft and other occult practices.

A Warning Concerning Symbols

In the world of the occult, many symbols are imbued with power by the magician working in conjunction with the demonic spirit world. The wiccan leader Starhawk, founder of the Covenant of the Goddess, knows that well. "To cast a spell is to project energy through a symbol," she wrote in The Spiral Dance, her popular manual for witchcraft.

Since the occult use of symbols have spread like epidemic across the Western world, we want to exercise caution. Therefore, when we began to add pictures to the original list of symbols, we decided to leave out certain images – particularly satanic symbols that obviously represent evil. Though many were already familiar to children in public schools, we didn’t want to risk implanting those images on a child’s mind. (We will explain why in another note.) We also left out the theosophical symbol, some of the more complex masonic symbols, and other symbols typically used for magic and alchemy. To explain, let me share an important lesson I learned about five years ago.

I was speaking at a Bay Area Sunday School Convention (BASS) in California on the topic, "The Unholy Power of Charms and Symbols." Parents and teachers were still crowding into the small auditorium, when I began showing transparencies of simple symbols such as the yin-yang, the peace symbol, and the ankh. We discussed why these symbols were important to people long ago – and why their popularity has skyrocketed today.

Then we looked at more universal symbols such as the pentagram, the lightening bolt, the sun, and the circle -- including the Wiccan quartered circle, the Native American medicine wheel, and the Buddhist wheel of life. "Why are they considered universal?" I asked. "What mythical themes do they echo from around the world? Why are they so important to multicultural education?" (We will post a chapter from A Twist of Faith which answers these questions.)

Finally, we looked at compound symbols. (You can see an example at the end of the current list of symbols.) The day before the conference, I had been searching for a particular combination of symbols found in a Theosophical emblem. By the time I did find it, it was too late to put it on a transparency. Then I had made a foolish decision: I prepared to draw the occult image onto the transparency in front of the class.

Putting the clear transparency on the projector, I drew a large circle, then added two overlapping triangles (one pointing up, one pointing down), forming a hexagram. I began to fill in various single symbols: the pentagram, swastika…. Suddenly, something dark and heavy hit me in the chest. For a moment I lost both my balance and my breath, then, in a flash, I knew what was happening. I had unwittingly performed an occult ritual common to Buddhist and Native Americans traditions as well as to medieval alchemy. By the very act of drawing the symbols, I had invoked a spiritual entity.

Still in front of the crowd and the microphone, I cried out, "Forgive me, God! Cover me with your blood. In the name of Jesus Christ, I claim His victory over the evil one and cast it out of this place. Thank you, Jesus, my Lord and my King!"

I apologized to the audience, asking their forgiveness for imposing on them a ritual that brought forth this evil. Then we all thanked God for His lesson and protection.

As fast as the demonic entity came, it was gone. Among the people gathered around me afterwards was a woman who said, "I think I know what happened to you. While you were drawing that symbol, the man sitting next to me was moving his hands in strange ways and murmuring something as if he was casting a spell. He may have come to bring occult interference."

It didn’t surprise me. I have often encountered witches and New Agers who challenge me when I address these topics in public places. But God has always used it for good, giving me answers on the spot as well as ongoing opportunities to share with them God’s truth and wisdom.

Only God knows exactly what happened. But His Word is full of warnings concerning any participation in the works of darkness. If I opened the door to evil interference through my foolish demonstration, a servant of Satan could surely work with the evil one to enhance his work. God, who promises never to give Satan more reigns than His love allows, will still allow the painful consequences needed for our training in obedience.

Though we fellowship at a small, non-charismatic, non-denominational Bible church, God has often put me in places where I have had to help those who were trapped in occult bondage. Through these lessons, I have learned to look with sober caution at the power of evil. Yet, all the more, I praise my Lord for His continual protection and faithfulness

As our nation slides back toward paganism, God’s people need to understand the increasing influence, trickery, and cruelty of the evil one – while always thanking and following our God, whose power is far greater. Therefore, I plead with all of you to exercise great caution when confronted with any sign of Satan’s work. Please read the section on God’s armor, and remember that we leave the "breastplate of righteousness" behind when we go where He tells us not to go. For the armor that covers us is the very life of Jesus, our Lord. Walking with Him in His ways, we are always safe.
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You may want to study the following Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 10:18-22; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Deuteronomy 4:15-24; Deuteronomy 32:16-19; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

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