The logo of the Church of Spiritual Technology, the Scientology-associated non-profit that maintains, archives, and controls the copyrights on materials written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

One of the aims of the CoST is to maintain a long-term archive of important Scientology texts located underground in Trementina, New Mexico. The above emblem is engraved in large scale in the ground over the vault, ostensibly to aid in the location of the vault in the future by returning initiates.

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The emblem of Eckankar, a spiritual group founded in 1965 by former Scientologist and Yoga initiate John Paul Twitchell. The philosophy of “Eck” follows that of numerous Eastern traditions that a divine sound current (“Om”) emanates throughout creation, becoming increasingly denser and entangled within the material. Mimicking the divine sound helps one to attune to that current and purifies matter, bringing one closer to the divine source.

The symbol itself is simply “Ek,” short for eckankar, a corruption of the words “Ek Onkar,” God is one or one essence; ‘omkar’ means, literally, ‘om creator’ and can be likened to the First Cause.

Omkar written in Sanskrit letters is what we commonly refer to as the “Om symbol.”

 

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A figure of a Minoan Goddess in the shape of a bee,* one of several portrayals found in the art and religious artifacts of ancient Minoan culture.

These artifacts are assumed to be related to the local Mother Goddess cult, but very little is known about Minoan religion.

*Or, a representation of the Melissae (bees), the priestesses of the cult.

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An image of a Serpent-bearing Goddess figure found in the remains of a temple in Knossos, Crete.She is one of several such figurines unearthed.

The name and purpose of the figure has never been deciphered, but she is associated with animals- mainly bees and snakes, and associated with the labyrinth and the labrys symbols.

See also: The Lady and the Serpent

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The Trinacria ( “Trincaria” means triangular), a three legged design resembling a triskele, is a symbol of the Isle of Sicily.” The three points represent the three capes of Sicily, also known as Trinacria in ancient times.

The gorgon in the center implies the protection of the Goddess Athena, the Patron Goddess of the Isle. (In early mythology, Medusa was the destructive aspect of Athena, and later, a monster slain by the hero Perseus, who adorned Athena’s shield.)


 

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Gorgon

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The labyrinth is a winding, maze-like path, often resembling a spiral. Labyrinths are found in many ancient cultures, and almost always have spiritual significance. Nearly identical labrynth patterns are found in neolithic art, on native American petroglyphs, and even in ancient Vedic sites. Ancient Minoan labyrinths were associated with the cult of the mother Goddess, and were possibly used in initiatory rituals.

Labyrinths carried into medieval times, where they were often laid on the floors of cathedrals. They were used as a sort of miniature pilgrimage- often, these ‘pilgrims’ traveled the path on their knees while praying continuously. Labyrinths have seen a kind of revival. They are common today both in churches and Neopagan sanctuaries. (It is estimated that there are now more than fifteen hundred labyrinths in churches in the US alone.)

Greek Labyrinth

 

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Man in the Maze

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MinotaurThe Minotaur was the legendary monster of Cretan mythology, a hybrid man-bull creature, the offspring of Pasiphae, the wife of the King of Minos, and a bull.

The minotaur lived at the center of a great labyrinth. According to legend, Minos demanded tribute from the Athenians in the form of seven pairs of male and female virgins, who were sacrificed to the Minotaur. This practice was ended by the hero Theseus, who, aided by the daughter of Minos, was able to slay the monster.

The minotaur and his labyrinth are generally viewed as symbolic of internal conflict and the struggle with one’s animal nature.


The Minotaur

See Also: Minotaur Gallery

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Gorgon

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The labrys is a double headed ritual axe. It is found in ancient Minoan depictions of the Mother Goddess, where its symbolism is related to the labrynth. The word “labrys” is Minoan in origin and is from the same root as the Latin labus, or lips.

Similar symbols appear on Norse, African, and Greek religious objects, where it is most often a feminine symbol, most likely lunar in origin.

Use of the labrys has been documented on medieval charms used to attract women.

Today, it is often used as a sign of identity and solidarity among lesbians.


Cretan Labrys

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The Gorgon were legendary monsters of Greek myth, the three fearsome sisters Medusa, Euryale, and Sthenno, the daughters of sea monsters with fearsome teeth and hair of serpents.

The gorgon Medusa, whose gaze could turn the living to stone, was slain by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her using her reflection in Athena’s shield to avoid looking at her directly. Afterward, her head adorned the shield (Aegis) of the Goddess Athena. Some scholars believe that the Gorgon was once a facet of the goddess Athena herself, in her destructive solar aspect.

The Gorgon’s head is frequently seen in use as a protective device on ancient shields and talismans.


The Gorgon Medusa

See Also: Gorgon Gallery

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To the ancient Greeks, the Omphalos was a stone carved in the shape of a beehive, in this instance covered with a net-like pattern of chains, marking the birthplace of the Cosmos.

Omphalos in Greek means “navel,” and may represent the plugging of the primordial waters of chaos.

The most famous Omphalos was found at Delphi in Greece, representing the center of the cosmos.  Similar objects have been found in temples in Rome, Iraq, Egypt, and Jerusalem.

 

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GorgonOrphic egg

 

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The Orphic egg is usually represented as an egg surrounded by a coiled serpent. The egg symbolizes the belief in the Greek Orphic religion that the universe originated from within a silver egg. The first emanation from this egg, described in an ancient hymn, was Phanes-dionysus, the personification of light:

“ineffable, hidden, brilliant scion, whose motion is whirring, you scattered the dark mist that lay before your eyes and, flapping your wings, you whirled about, and through this world you brought pure light.”

The image below depicts Phanes’ birth from the egg:

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Venus of WillendorfThe Venus of Willendorf is a small, carved stone figure of a woman, most likely a representation of a Goddess. It takes its name from the site where it was discovered in the early twentieth century in Willendorf, Austria.

The figure is dated between 22-24,000 BCE. The purpose of the statue cannot be determined because of its great age, but it is assumed to be a fertility charm or a representation of a goddess. Its most striking features are its exaggerated, voluptuous form, and its lack of a face- braids or decorative work continues all the way around the head. Faint traces of red ochre pigment suggest ritual use.

To date, hundreds of similar carved ritual figures have been discovered all over the world- their exact purpose can only be speculated about.

To see more Goddess Images, check out the Neolithic Goddess Gallery

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To the ancients, the four elements equated to the four qualities of the physical world. Likened to the modern concept of the four states of matter- Solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, but also to spiritual states.

The four elements in Alchemy are:

Air (Flatus) spacer Water (Aqua)
Earth (Terra) Fire (Ignus)

See also: The five Chinese elements

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  • Simon Magus A reputed sorcerer and a competitor of Christ. The word ‘magic’ derives from his name….who was this enigmatic character?

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A symbol of Discordianism, take-off of the phrase “sacred cow.” Pictured in the Principia Discorida, an anonymous satirical book that pokes fun at religion and magick, it is described:

“THE SACRED CHAO is the key to illumination. Devised by the Apostle Hung Mung in ancient China, it was modified and popularized by the Taoists and is sometimes called the YIN-YANG. The Sacred Chao is not the Yin-Yang of the Taoists. It is the HODGE-PODGE of the Erisians. And, instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, it has a PENTAGON which symbolizes the ANERISTIC PRINCIPLE, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the GOLDEN APPLE OF DISCORDIA to symbolize the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE.

The Sacred Chao symbolizes absolutely everything anyone need ever know about absolutely anything, and more! It even symbolizes everything not worth knowing, depicted by the empty space surrounding the Hodge-Podge.

This image is often worn or displayed as an emblem of recognition by Discordians.

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See also: Discordians at Alternative Religions

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The Hand of Eris is a symbol of the Discordian religion, symbolizing Eris, the goddess of chaos and discord. Pictured in the Principia Discorida, it is described:

“The official symbol of POEE is here illustrated. It may be this, or any similar device to represent two opposing arrows converging into a common point. It may be vertical, horizontal, or else such, and it may be elaborated or simplified as desired.
The esoteric name for this symbol is The Five Fingered Hand of Eris, commonly shortened to The Hand.
NOTE: In the lore of western magic, the top curvy bit is taken to symbolize horns, especially the horns of Satan or of diabolical beasties. The Five Fingered Hand of Eris, however, is not intended to be taken as satanic, for the “horns” are supported by another set, of inverted “horns.” Or maybe it is walrus tusks. I don’t know what it is, to tell the truth.

This image is occasionally worn as an emblem of recognition by Discordians.

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See also: Discordians at Alternative Religions

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The Symbol of Scientology consists of the letter “S” interlaced with two triangles. According to Church of Scientology literature, each triangle represents three inseparably linked concepts.

The triangles are the “KRC” triangle, (Knowledge, Responsibility and Control) and the “ARC” (Affinity, Reality and Communication) triangles, representing concepts intrinsic to the dogma of Scientology.

The S, of course, stands for “Scientology.”

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Rose Cross Lamen

See also: Scientology at Alternative Religions

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This bizarre looking symbol appeared one morning in 1991 on the lawns outside of England’s Barbury Castle. The Barbury crop circle is not so much a circle as a triangle (or two dimensional rendering of a tetrahedron, as has been suggested) with three circular symbols at each point. This symbol, which measures some 36,000 feet across at its widest point, has never been seen before; neither the meaning or origin of this symbol are known.

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A typical illustration of the Egyptian deity Kneph (soul-breath). Like the Greek pneuma, and the Hebrew Ruach, kneph represented the life-force. It was the breath of Kneph who brought both the gods and man to life.

In Alchemy, the kneph variously represented the holy spirit, the state of volatility (mercury), or the creative force.

In Freemasonry, the kneph was the cosmic egg, the state of potentiality.

In Aleister Crowley’s Thelemic symbolism, the kneph represents Hadit, the “fire in the heart of matter,” the upward-rising force of kundalini.


Masonic Kneph


Kneph in Alchemy

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Sun DiskChnoubis
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Maori amulets are traditionally carved from whale-bone or nephrite (a jade-like stone), although modern copies in jadeite and cow-bone are common.  Some of the more popular motifs are illustrated below:

The images below are popular representations of mythical bird-headed beings from Maori mythology called Manaia. Manaia are spirit guardians and messengers of the gods, and are depicted in many forms, from large wood-carvings to small amulets.

This design is called Hei Matau, after traditional heirloom fish hooks. It is worn as an amulet of protection, especially on water. The hei matau (literally, ‘fish hook necklace’) and Manaia figures have some overlap and are often indistinguishable:

hei

The figures below are varieties of the koru, which represents the unfurling shoots of the koru, a vine native to New Zealand. The latter intertwined is called pikorua:

korukoru

These generally have meanings of renewal, interrelatedness, growth, and kinship. The pikorua is sometimes given as a friendship gift.

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Inuksuk

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The particular eight-pointed star (or octogram) pictured here is unusual in that it has multiple meanings, depending on context. The original emblem of two overlapping squares, often with a circular ornament, is called a rub el hisb (Arabic, quarter-group), an ornament used to mark the end of passages in the Q’uran. This symbol, like all symbols related to Islam, is not official nor heavily symbolic.

An identical glyph serves as the emblem of the Melchizedek priesthood of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, who view it as a continuation of the priesthood of biblical patriarchs. The emblem is patterned after a similar glyph found in a medieval depiction of Melchizedek, but is of relatively recent usage in Mormonism. The star in this context would most likely have been a symbol of renewal and rebirth through baptism.

A mosaic illustration of Melchizedek with eight-pointed star

A Mormon commemorative badge

Decorated Roub al Hizb from the arms of Turkmenistan

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Magen DavidBaha'i star

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