The Eye of the Triangle
The Eye of the Triangle, symbolises in Christian temples; the Trinity and God’s omnipresence and divine Providence. The symbol that depicts an eye, often enclosed in a triangle and surrounded by rays of light, represents divine providence; whereby the eye of God watches over humanity.
Historically, it was inherited from the pharaonic Egypt, as preserved in Persian writings; that Christians collected in Alexandria, Egypt.
In the 18th century, with the appearance of “speculative freemasonry”; the Masons immediately adopted this symbol, calling it the “Luminous Delta” or the “Eye of Providence”. It represents the “Grand Architect of the Universe”, that created everything and everyone – the “Supreme Surveyor”.
It is also linked with the apocryphal Illuminati, a secret group of elite individuals; allegedly seeking to control global affairs.
It appears on countless churches and Masonic buildings worldwide, features on the reverse of the American one-dollar bill; as well as the Great Seal of the United States.
The Eye of the Triangle – Tradition
This tradition that can be seen in most Christian temples, has its origin in the first apostolic preachers of Christianity. It was inherited from the pharaonic Egypt, as preserved in Persian writings; that Christians collected in Alexandria, Egypt.
The central radiant Sun god “Ra”, was replaced by the “Eye of Divine Providence” enveloped in a “Luminous Delta”; an aura of glory covering the triangle.
The equilateral triangle for the ancient Egyptians, represented the “Osirian Triad” of Osiris – Horus – Isis.
Note. The Osiris myth is the most elaborate and influential story in ancient Egyptian mythology. It concerns the murder of the god Osiris, a primeval king of Egypt, and its consequences. Osiris’s murderer, his brother Set, usurps his throne. Meanwhile, Osiris’s wife Isis restores her husband’s body, allowing him to posthumously conceive their son, Horus. The remainder of the story focuses on Horus, the product of the union of Isis and Osiris, who is at first a vulnerable child protected by his mother and then becomes Set’s rival for the throne. Their often violent conflict ends with Horus’s triumph, which restores maat (cosmic and social order) to Egypt after Set’s unrighteous reign and completes the process of Osiris’s resurrection.
The myth, with its complex symbolism, is integral to ancient Egyptian conceptions of kingship and succession, conflict between order and disorder, sexuality and rebirth, and especially death and the afterlife. It also expresses the essential character of each of the four deities at its center and many elements of their worship in ancient Egyptian religion, were derived from the myth.
Below: Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, Cannaregio district, Venice. Symbolism over the front portal.
For Christians, it became the “Holy Trinity” of Father-Son-Holy Spirit. Viewed as one indivisible Being, incarnated by the eye or sun of Egypt, it is often replaced by the name of God, Jehovar and generally broken down into four Hebraic letters: Iod-He-Vau-Heth.
It is through the equal sides and 60-degree angles that the equilateral triangle (as the most perfect type of triangle), symbolises the Most Holy Trinity; or, rather three Hypostases, emanating from the unique Logos expressed by the Sun of Egypt, or “All Seeing Eye”. It is a way of saying that “the Absolute rules over the entire Universe. God keeps watch over humanity.
Trinity and the Triangle.
In our world, the presence of the Trinity and the Triangle (three angles), is practically universal; as it is found in most traditional religions or faith systems.
- The Hindi Trimurti: manifested by Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.
- In ancient Egypt, apart from the Osirian Triad, there is the Memphite Triad of Ptar-Nefertum-Sekmet (Father-Son-Mother) Also the Theban Triad of Amon-Khonsu-Mut; the primordial gods of this civilisation’s pantheon.
- In Persia: Ahura Mazda-Vohu Manu-Asha Vahista (Master Sage-Good Thought-Best Rectitude)
In the 18th century, with the appearance of “speculative freemasonry”; the Masons immediately adopted this symbol, calling it the “Luminous Delta”. (Note. Speculative Freemasonry: expansion of the masonic movement, by men outside the Stonemason’s craft and refers to the application of “Operative Freemasonry” for moral and intellectual purposes).
Their symbol sometimes contained a “G” instead of the eye; representing the “Grand Architect of the Universe”, that created everything and everyone – the “Supreme Surveyor”. Occasionally, the freemasons, replaced the triangle by three dots (each at the points of the triangle).
This, signifies the “Past-Present-Future”, rather than the full triangle representing “Eternity or the Eternal God”.
The number three is considered to be one of the most significant of all numbers:
- The number 3, was said to be Moses’ inspiration in his construction of the Ark of the Covenant.
- St Paul, in his letters to the Corinthian’s, wrote that it is explicit in the proportions of the human body.
- It was said to have inspired the proportions of Soloman’s Temple in Jerusalem.
Please see my other related posts, in the category of: History and Architecture
For those interested in the mysterious, mythical or dark side of Venetian history and culture; I have put together a list of links below to those posts that include elements of Christian Symbolism, Sacred Geometry, Kabbalah, Freemasonry and Alchemy, which I hope to expand.