The all-seeing eye, more commonly known as the Eye of Providence, is one of the most popular and prominent symbols in the world which has been around for many centuries. In this post, we will be examining the all-seeing eye, meanings attributed to it and the symbolism behind.
The all-seeing eye has been used for both secular and religious purposes over the years. The symbol is depicted as a single realistic looking eye inside a triangle or the top of a pyramid, surrounded by clouds, as well as a burst of sunlight.
The Eye of Providence can be seen all over the world, such as in the seals of many cities or the stained glass windows of various churches as well as on the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
The Eye of Providence and The Meaning Behind
The Eye of Providence, as mentioned before, is also known as the all-seeing eye, referring to the eye of God being able to see all. It would appear to be in direct relation to the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God.
The general implication here is that God looks down favorably upon all people or groups who use this symbol as a form of representation. It is supposed to symbolize how powerful and all-knowing God is and that he is always watching and will favor those carrying this symbol.
The Eye of Providence also uses a number of other symbols which are often seen as being significant, especially in the Christian religion. For instance, the triangle within which the Eye of Providence sits represents the Christian trinity. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Christian trinity is the belief that there are 3 totally distinct yet completely identical parts to God. According to the belief, the trinity consists of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit, all of which are the same, yet different as well.
As for the other elements used along with the eye element, the clouds and the bursts of light coming from the Eye of Providence and the triangle which it rests within are used to illustrate divinity, holiness, and God himself. As you can see, the Eye of Providence has its roots in Christian beliefs.
Additionally, in relation to these bursts of light, the symbol also represents a form of spiritual illumination or revelation. There are actually numerous crosses, pictures, paintings, and other symbols which also use these bursts of light in their imagery. There are many examples where this burst of light or the clouds can be seen. For example, in Latin, the word God used to be written surround by a burst of light.
Why the Name, the Eye of “Providence” ?
You might be wondering what the word “providence” itself means. Literally translated, it means “divine guidance.”
In other words, many believe that the Eye of Providence is a form of spiritual and godly guidance that good Christians must follow in order to be pious.
However, from the 18th century onwards, there were many who no longer believed in the Christian God. Therefore, after this time, the meaning of providence changed from the Christian God’s divine guidance to the guidance of whatever divine or higher power is out there.
The Eye of Providence and the United States
Perhaps one of the most famous and iconic representations of the All Seeing Eye is in America. The Great Seal of The United States, which is one of the most important symbols for the US, features the Eye of Providence. The image was designed back in 1792 and has been in use ever since then, specifically on the back of one dollar bills.
If you ask the people who designed this seal, the pyramid is supposed to represent strength, integrity, and endurance. The seal features the motto “Annuit Coeptis Novus ordo seclorum.” The translation for this is “he approves of this undertaking, a new order of the ages.” This officially signified the beginning of the United States of America.
French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
In 1789, at the height of the French Revolution, the newly formed National Assembly put forward the new Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
The Declaration also features the Eye of Providence as many people were Christian at the time. The symbolism here suggests that God is watching the revolution and also implies that there is divine guidance from God to get through the revolution and build a better France.
The Eye of Providence and Freemasonry
After 1797, the very mysterious order of the Freemasons started using the Eye of Providence as a public symbol of their strength, influence, and power. Now, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding the Eye of Providence, especially in relation to the Freemasons and their influence in building the United States and the US government.
Many people theorize that the US government received the seal and the Eye of Providence from the Freemasons, and therefore people believe that the Freemasons ran the show. However, it has been proven that the American seal featured the Eye of Providence a good 10 years before the Freemasons publically adopted it.
The Eye of Providence and the Eye of Horus
There have been many comparisons drawn between the Eye of Providence and the Eye of Horus. One thing is for certain, and that is the eye has been used in iconography and symbolism for thousands of years. It would seem as though the Eye of Providence might have taken some notes and key aspects from the Eye of Horus. Both of them represent a higher up and divine power that watches over both believers and non-believers. The symbols, besides being eyes, do not look all that similar, but they still seem to have some relation.
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