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This ubiquitous image is most often referred to as the all seeing eye or “eye of providence.” The eye, usually depicted in the sky looking out upon the earth, is an ancient symbol of the sun, and historically has been used as a symbol of omniscience. The idea of the solar eye comes to us from the egyptians, who equated the eye with the deity Osiris; the human eye in its ability to perceive light was viewed as a miniature sun.

The use of the eye emblem to represent God was quite common in the Renaissance; often, the eye would be enclosed within a triangle representing the triune godhead. Such an emblem can be found in numerous examples of Christian art.

This emblem was eventually adopted by Freemasons as a symbol for the Great Architect.

A version of this symbol, elaborate onto the capstone of a pyramid (perhaps in a nod the symbol’s origins in Egypt) forms part of the Seal of the United States, accompanied by the slogan,

Annuit Coeptis , “It (Providence) has favored our undertakings.”

Eye surrounded by angels

Related Symbols:

Fire-elementSkull and Bones (crossbones)Eye of Horus

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This iconic image of three-legged toad Chan Chu jealously guarding treasure is regarded as a prosperity charm the world over. Chan Chu is a character from Chinese folklore, the companion of the Taoist immortal Liu-Hai.* Chan-chu was a mythical beast who provided the sage instantaneous transportation. As the legend goes, the toad frequently sought the cool darkness of wells, and could only be lured from such sanctuary with a string baited with coins. The symbolism of the well is probably an allusion to reflection, as Ch’an Chu is a personification of the moon, his three legs symbolic of its three phases. In some stories, she is the wife of an immortal who steals an elixr of immortality and is punished by being transformed into a toad. Small statuettes of Chan Chu are frequent components of Feng Shui prescriptions for prosperity and luck. These are traditionally placed inside the doorway of a home of business, facing inward.


Liu Hai with his companion

*In Japan, Liu-Hai is known as the shape-changing sage Gama-Sennin (Kosensei).

Related Symbols:

Maneki NekoManeki Neko


Keywords: Luck, prosperity, moon, money

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