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triangle

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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The alchemical/magical symbol for water is an inverted triangle, symbolizing downward flow. The downward pointing triangle is an ancient symbol of femininity, being a representation of female genitalia. One of the four alchemical elements, water has the properties cold and moist, and symbolizes intuition, the unconscious mind, and the enclosing, generating forces of the womb.

When paired with the fire triangle, or upward moving force, the Seal of Solomon is created. The water triangle is often represented by a chalice or cup; the symbol of water in tarot is the cup.

In Ritual magick and some Wiccan traditions, the elemental spirits of water are Undines.

Zodiac signs ruled by water are: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio.

See also: Tools of Magick/Tarot Hallows

The Four Elements

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Water chalice, from the tarot
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Related Symbols:
Crescent moonAquarius Vesica pisces
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The upward pointing triangle is the alchemical symbol for fire. One of the four classical elements, fire has the properties of heat and dryness, and symbolizes the “fiery” emotions- love, hate, passion, compassion, empathy, anger, etc., as well as spiritual aspiration- those actions of intent which bring us closer to the divine. Fire is represented in numerous cultures as the triangle, symbolizing rising force.

The symbolism of the upward-pointing triangle symbolizes rising energy. The element is sometimes represented by a sword or knife; when paired with the chalice of water, it is referred to as the blade.

In Paracelsian alchemical tradition, the elemental spirits of fire are salamanders.

The fire symbol is derived from the medieval magical Seal of Solomon.

Zodiac signs ruled by the element of fire are: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

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Fire triangle, Tibetan painting
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Related Symbols:
Coptic CrossAssyrian winged solar disk
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Related resources:

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The triangle of art represents the protected space outside the magic circle, into which spirits are compelled to appear in Solomonic ritual magic. Typically, the central circle is inscribed with the sigil (seal) of the spirit to be invoked. The usual form is of a triangle, circumscribed with various words of power, containing an inner, blackened circle. The purpose of the triangle is to contain the manifested entity. In some cases, the triangle is created as a physical object; sometimes, the central circle is replaced with a black scrying mirror.

Triangles from various grimoires

Related Symbols:

Alchemical SulfurFire elementStar of Babalon

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