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divine authority

The image at right represents the Keys of St. Peter, an emblem of the Catholic Church which represents the divine authority invested in the apostle Peter before the death of Christ. As such, they are emblems of papal authority in the Catholic church.

A symbol that appears frequently in Christian art and in the arms of the Popes, the crossed keys were formerly an emblem of the Roman God Janus and the Mithraic Zurvan, both gods of time and keepers of doorways, and removers of obstacles.

It is this symbolism that led to the folk legend of Peter as the bureaucratic keeper of the “pearly gates”of heaven.

St. Peter receiving the Keys

Zurvan with the “Keys of Time”

The keys as an emblem of Papal authority

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A variation of the oshe Shango, a symbolic double-bladed axe representing the divine weapon of the Yoruban Orisha Shango (Also spelled Chango, Xango).

Shango was once a Yoruban king, now the Orisha of thunder, drums, and dance.  He is one of the Seven African Powers, revered in Santeria, Candomble, and Palo.  Shango is syncretised with the catholic Saint Barbara in the Lukumi religion (Santeria)

Related Symbols:

Eleggua fetishMjolnir- Thor's hammer


The Knot of Inanna is a stylized bundle of reeds, an emblem of the Babylonian goddess Inanna.

This symbol was early written form of the name of the goddess, whose name was composed of two characters, the post and the ring of rushes..

It is related to the tyet knot of Isis. As a symbol of divine authority, it is the ancestor of the crozier, a staff carried by Catholic bishops.

Inanna with the ringposts

Related Symbols:

Knot of Inanna



The Crook and Flail are the emblems of the Egyptian God Osiris. They were the symbols of divine authority carried by Egyptian Pharaohs in State ceremonies.

The crook and flail are Shepherd’s tools -one of the epithets of Osiris was “Good shepherd.”As symbols of kingship, they were fashioned into elaborate scepters used in the coronations of Pharoahs.

The crook and flail originally belonged to a minor agricultural deity, Anedijti, and were later adopted by followers of Osiris. Originally emblems of crops and livestock, they later became symbols of purification and divine guidance.

Osiris with Crook and Flail
Related Symbols:
NemyssTrisula (Trishula)Throne of isis