The Illuminati has received a great deal of press in recent years, and celebrities, when seen wearing symbols associated with this nefarious organization (that may or may not exist), have come under intense scrutiny by those on the lookout. Any organization that holds secrets is bound to open itself up to possible criticism, whether its intentions are pure or evil. It is sometimes said that the true meaning of these symbols are revealed only to those who are worthy, to those who will use them for their true purpose.
Some businesses incorporate logos with symbols that have been associated with the occult and Illuminati, and as such are deeply distrusted by many members of the public. The symbolism can be seen within many architectural designs within the world, ranging from court houses and banks to temples and other religious sites. The intentions of many of the designers may never be truly known, but it is interesting when we look back through history and see how the orginal meaning of many of these symbols has been bastardized.
It is highly likely that there are people of less than good intentions, who want to use alchemical principles to achieve their own desires. Whether Illuminati founder, Adam Weishaupt, was one of those people, is still an area of great debate today. He started the organization in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence was signed, and Thomas Jefferson described him as an "enthusiastic philanthropist."
Occultists like Aleister Crowley never kept their intentions secret, using their knowledge to reach the pinnacles of power within their own and other organizations. It was for this reason Crowley earned the name the Great Beast.
Before we succumb to fear or paranoia, it is worth recognizing the more innocent origins of many of these symbols. Whether used for evil or good, there is no point in us freaking out and standing on street corners with placards. We have to stand up for our liberties, of course, it just pays to be wise about the battles we choose, as we may find ourselves fighting a potential ally.
The following may just help you be more discerning when meeting those who might be potential evil doers set on your destruction and imprisoning you, or saintly yogis with exactly the opposite intention but who make use of similar symbols.
5 5: The Ouroboros
A belief of those within many secret societies is that we come back to this world over and over again, that we reincarnate as a new body. This can be said for more innocent traditions such as Buddhism and Yoga, though.
The story goes that many of those in the shadowy organizations are extremely patient, allowing as much time as possible for their nefarious plans to unfold. They do what they can to hold on to their power and set themselves up so that in the next life they can reclaim their mantle of power. It is said that to them, the Ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail, is symbolic of their immortality and status as gods.
As a symbol of alchemy, according to psychologist Carl jung, it is said to represent infinity and wholeness. It is indicative of the assimilation of our opposite nature, our shadow. According to Jung, each of us has our darkness and light, and as we assimilate our dark aspects, we are born anew ad infinitum. It is the brave person who seeks to conquer the darkness within themselves.It does not mean that they do not fight evil in the world, but that they recognize how it is equally a part of all of us. Therein lies the deeper and less fearful interpretation of this symbol, one that hopefully it can be restored to.
4 4: The Pentagram
A body is discovered in the Louvre and inscribed around that body is a powerful symbol which has been used by many traditions throughout history - a pentagram. This is a scene from the highly successful movie, the Da Vinci Code. To many, the pentagram, and specifically the inverted pentagram, is one of the most blatant symbols of the Illuminati, and pictures of celebrities have been snapped purposefully to demonstrate this.
Throughout history it has taken on a number of different meanings to different organizations. Greek philosopher Plato was quite the fan of it, stating that its five points represented the number of Man, as well as the elements of earth, fire, water, air and ether. To the pagans, who still use it in ritual in our present day, it is a sign of protection.
In the Kabbalah, the star represents the upper parts of the tree of life associated with the qualities of justice, wisdom, mercy, understanding and transcendent splendor. This has been tied in to Freemasonry, an old society that quite possibly does have Illuminati members in its higher echelons.
Finally, from an astronomical point of view, the five pointed star represents Venus, which draws out this pattern in the sky over a four year period.
As you can see it has represented a number of different things to these different traditions, so to lump everyone under the single category of Illuminati may not be of the greatest help to our collective evolution.
3 3: The Swastika
There is no doubt that Adolf Hitler was an evil man set on world domination. Whether he was associated with the Illuminati directly is always up for discussion. As with any dictator, he did not accomplish his deeds on his own, and a debate continues to rage about the sources of money that allowed him to achieve success so quickly.
Within his organization were many who had been fascinated with mysticism and the occult, using it to accomplish these goals to achieve their means. To him, the swastika was a symbol of the pure Aryan, but he was gravely mistaken in this interpretation and has destroyed a universally respected symbol in many eyes.
The symbol of the Nazis of course, was a Swastika, with its wheel-like shape with four angled arms. If the arms are pointing clockwise it represents the Sun, and what was for the ancients, a masculine principle. If the arms are pointing anti-clockwise it represents the moon, the feminine principle.
The name itself comes from the ancient sanskrit word "swasti", which means "well being," something that Hitler was obviously not intending on proliferating. In Hindu symbolism it represents one of the 108 sacred symbols of the Lord Vishnu and adorns temples throughout India.
2 2: The Inverted Cross
The inverted cross has become a symbol associated tightly with satanism, and because it can be seen in catholic churches around the world, has linked that organization with satanism. The cross that Jesus was nailed to was upright, so the association with an inverted cross would seem like a rebellion against his memory. This is probably the intention of many satanists who wear it quite openly, or have it tattooed somewhere on their body.
If we were to wind back the clocks of history, these satanists would be making an altogether different statement. To the original christians it symbolized humility, believing that Jesus was far more evolved than they and that they should not be associated with the same form of crucifixion. It was originally St Peter who asked to be crucified in this way, upside down, hoping to make a statement to those who followed in his footsteps.
1 1: The All-Seeing Eye
Everyone in the United States passes around the most highly recognized symbol of the Illuminati every day. The All-Seeing Eye sits within the capstone of the pyramid depicted on every US dollar bill, and has done so ever since acknowledged freemason Franklin Roosevelt allowed it in 1935. Money is still named by many as the root of all evil, so to have a symbol associated with evil on its currency has done the government no good whatsoever.
The All-Seeing Eye goes all the way back to ancient Egypt, where it represented the eye of the god Horus. The founding fathers of the United States included it in the Great Seal and so has, in the eyes of conspiracy theorists, tarnished the name of many of them because of the Illuminati connection.
In its purest form, it simply was meant to mean that God was watching over those who related to it, whether Egyptian or american pioneer. Then of course we have Sauron, the all-seeing eye, watching over the land of Mordor in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. It makes you wonder what some of JRR Tolkien's most secret beliefs were.