Skull & Crossbones on crucifix, secret meaning?

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posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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While at my in-laws for the Thanksgiving holiday I noticed something interesting. My mother-in-law has several antique crucifixes around the house. I was looking at one and I noticed a skull & crossbones at the feet of Jesus. Being an ATS tinfoil-wearing crackpot, I immediately took the crucifix off of the wall and examined it. I did a google search to see if I could learn the "significance" of this emblem and I found an almost identical cross on ebay. Here is the ebay item. I don't know how long that item will stay on their server so I will attach a photo and the item description below.




Here is the text from the item offered on ebay:



This most rare and unusual inlaid Crucifix is plated with chrome, probably over brass. It is inlaid with mahogany or ebony to which the Body of Christ and the other elements are nailed. On the back is the Sacred Heart of Jesus encircled with the Crown of Thorns, also in chrome. It is large, 5 1/4 inches tall, and 2 3/8 inches wide. It is European, and most likely was brought to this country by a nun, priest or religious brother. These Crucifixes were traditionally hung in the cell of a nun or monk, to remind them of the Passion of Christ, and to mediate upon the Four Last Things - Death and Judgement, Heaven and Hell. The Catholic Faithful occasionally treasured these Crucifixes as well, as an enhancement to their spiritual lives. At the top of the cross is a metal piece with the letters “INRI” in a scroll. These are the initials for the Latin phrase, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” This is what Pilate ordered to be placed on the cross while Christ was being crucified. Above Christ’s head is an elaborate halo. At His feet is the Skull and Crossbones that makes this an especially rare piece. Most inlaid crucifixes were made without the Skull and Crossbones. Quite often when they had them, people pried them off because they felt uncomfortable with them. The age and high quality of this Crucifix is indicated that the Body of Christ is solid and three-dimensional, not hollow in the back as most are. The skull and bones have many symbolic meanings. All Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the “Four Last Things - Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell”, so that they will live in a state of grace and prepare themselves for Heaven. The skull is a great reminder of human mortality. Jesus Christ was crucified on Golgotha - “the place of the skull”. There is a legend that Christ, the New Adam, who conquered sin and death, was crucified on the gravesite of the first man, Adam, who brought sin and death into the world through his disobedience to God. The skull is a symbol of Adam’s grave - antique prints of the Crucifixion often show a skull at the foot of the Cross. Most important of all, the skull and bones are placed beneath Jesus’ feet, to show that He triumphed over death and sin on our behalf. The Crucifix is in excellent condition, with occasional and very slight wear to the chrome finish. There are some slight defects that appear to be artifacts of the manufacturing process, rather than later damage. This piece has been very well-kept, probably treasured dearly. It is of European origin, and dates back to the 1920's or earlier. It was probably made in what is now Germany. This is a very rare item in great condition - it is an inspiration as well!


My mother-in-law said that she purchased hers in New Mexico and that it was very old, from when the Spanish first colonized in the Americas. On the back of hers was another symbol, a heart with a sword through it. She said she thought that meant the order like "sacred hearts" or something.

Anyway, I was hoping that there may be some people here at ATS who have a better understanding of the meaning of this symbol. My understanding is that it is a masonic symbol, part of the whole death rebirth initiation. If anyone cares to elaborate I would appreciate it, I don't really know that much about it. Also, if people are interested, I will try to get a picture of the back of the one at my mother-in-laws.

Oh, and before I forget. My mother-in-law has two of these. One has the skull and bones and the other doesn't (but it has a nail there, like it was removed). Also the "halo's" above the Christ's heads are different. One of the ones my mother-in-law has looks like a star with rays, the other one has an iron-cross type symbol, like west-coast choppers.




posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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I have one and I know no history on it other than it belonged to my namesake & godmother, my grandmother's sister who was a nun. It is my understanding that it was the cruxifix she wore with her habit back in the old days.

Mine is very old and I am afraid to clean it up because I don't know what to use and not ruin it. It definately shows signs of age and I believe the metal is brass judging from the tarnishing. The back of mine appears to have the sacred heart surrounded by the crown of thorns.

Anyway, when I originally received it the skull and crossbones were new to me and made me very curious. I received the same explanation from my older family members as is written in the Ebay description. It is no big deal and I assure you not masonic in any way in this use of the symbol (or there is no way my godmother would have owned it, she was a an extremely devout nun and a masonic symbol would definately not be part of her few possessions.

Mine was made in France (It is stamped on the base of the back but it is so small I had to use a magnifying glass to see that) and I suspect due to the condition my godmother was not the original nun to have possessed it, but more likely that it had been passed down. I'll never really know though.

I find the one on Ebay in way to good condition to be as old as stated but who knows. I also find it odd that it is suppossedly chrome (from the 1920's? - does that make sense?).



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 09:38 PM
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Can anyone say skull and bones society?



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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Originally posted by informatu
My understanding is that it is a masonic symbol, part of the whole death rebirth initiation. If anyone cares to elaborate I would appreciate it, I don't really know that much about it.


Having spent quality time in the Secret Societies forum of ATS, I feel quite confident in saying that the Catholic Church is anti-Masonry.
I believe a Catholic who becomes a Mason faces excommunication.

From what I've read, the Protestants use the cross, instead of the crucifix, so this crucifix is unlikely to be of Protestant origin.
You can read more here, be aware it is a Word document that needs to be downloaded:
cross vs, crucifix

[edit on 28-11-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Who's to say, that there isn't a sect of the Skull & Bones society in the Church, dealing with religion only?

Think about this for instance.

One of the easiest ways for the Pastor of a Church to get information about possible "sinners" to out in his prayers, is that his wife is usually part of the gossip circle, usually at the top. You know, the preacher/pastor is always up there saying "I can sense someone's here who's having trouble with debt, there's something about a loan you can't repay"? Well, that's how he does it, gets his wife to go around listening to all the gossip & telling him, so he can turn it around & use it as "he's heard from God" speak.

Well, back to what I was saying...what if this is part of the Skull & Bones, so they have a way to spy on the church & what's going on in your church, so they know who all the tax cheats, the sex cheats, etc are, so they know how to control the control mechanism that is the church?

The church, the government, schools & colleges, society in general, are all in one way or another a control mechanism, if you think about it. Reasoning behind that statement....if you learn from an early age, that stealing is bad & being a model citizen is good, you follow a certain criteria & profile, so they won't have to lock you up. If you learn to pray, put your nose in the Bible, & not associate with "people of the World", then you learn to keep your blinders on & not see what the people with power are really up to, etc.

I think you get the point I was making. Skull & Bones is out there, & they're a major player in the control of the World, who knows exactly how long they've been around, in one form or another.

If I were you (this is to those 2 people who have those crosses) I'd look into your relatives background, as much as possible, & dig deep, very deep & see what you can find. I'd be interested to hear what you find, drop Me a message on here. =)



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 12:23 AM
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Well,
I have known my mother-in-law for almost 10 years now, and I'm positive the story that she told me is correct about her purchasing these in New Mexico years ago. My wife even remembers the trip. Anyway, she purchased them as Catholic symbols because she was raised Catholic. She has many church related items and objects de art from the church. When I noticed the skull and crossed bones she was the first one I asked about it. I thought she would know the significance. She said she never noticed the little symbol before, and I believe her, it is really small. Also, we have a very open relationship, and she wouldn't hesitate to share an interesting revelation with me. I did read further on the internet and found out that the translation of the place where Jesus was crucified (Golgatha) is literally "the skull". Perhaps this is somehow related to the symbol?



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 12:56 AM
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I hope this link could be helpful a lot of info and simular claims: Papal Bonesmen



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 01:33 AM
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This should answer your questions.




Q: A friend of mine has a crucifix with the strangest thing I have ever seen. There is a small skull with crossed bones on the crucifix, about an inch below the figure of Jesus. What does this mean?

A: There is a non-biblical tradition that Adam was buried on Calvary. That tradition probably reflects St. Paul’s reference to Jesus as the “new Adam” (Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:45).

Some people see Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection as counterbalancing Adam’s sin. At times a tradition may be more eager to make a theological point than a historical one. The skull and bones you saw represent Adam.

The word Calvary is related to the Latin word for skull-shaped. Perhaps for that reason the Romans used this spot (immediately outside Jerusalem in Jesus’ day) to execute criminals.



www.americancatholic.org...



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 02:08 AM
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Thanks for the input Dulcimer.
I read something like that earlier today, and it struck me like a "swamp-gas" explanation. I mean, if they meant to represent Adam, why not use just a skull? Why not use a fig-leaf? Why use the same symbol used by pirates and the Thule society? It just strikes me as odd. Obviously, I am not content with the explanation because it seems too convoluted.

Okay, put on your tinfoil hats folks, 'cause here comes some good ole fashion speculatin':

What if the symbol was put there purposely, by a secret society? What would they tell all the little old nuns putting these things together? "Um, that? Oh yeah, that's just a symbol so that I can communicate to my illuminati brethren that I have infiltrated your order, carry on!" I mean, of course they would have a cover story. I imagine this thing was questioned immediately by nuns, friars, etc. So some bishop told them the malarky about Adam and Calgary. I realize that the Catholic religion has a lot of "tradition" that is not explicitly mentioned in the bible, but Adam being buried at Calgary just seems more "out there" than "Hey, isn't that the jolly roger?"

I am hoping that SOMEONE on here could give me some more juicy bits of speculatin.' I've only been here a short while, but ATS seems like the best place to find someone who can explain this. If someone here can't come up with a good conspiracy I'll consider it a false lead. Oh, by the way, did you notice that the ebayer mentioned they thought this was made in Germany? I'm going to look more into that connection.

[edit on 29-11-2005 by informatu]



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 03:44 AM
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Originally posted by SpartanLeonidas
One of the easiest ways for the Pastor of a Church to get information about possible "sinners" to out in his prayers, is that his wife is usually part of the gossip circle, usually at the top. You know, the preacher/pastor is always up there saying "I can sense someone's here who's having trouble with debt, there's something about a loan you can't repay"? Well, that's how he does it, gets his wife to go around listening to all the gossip & telling him, so he can turn it around & use it as "he's heard from God" speak.


Okay then, now I have another reason to support the prohibition on Catholic priests marrying.


Then again, they don't need gossip, they have the confessional and can get it straight from the horses mouth.



If I were you (this is to those 2 people who have those crosses) I'd look into your relatives background, as much as possible, & dig deep, very deep & see what you can find. I'd be interested to hear what you find, drop Me a message on here. =)


As I already stated mine belonged to a pious and devout Catholic nun, from back in the days when that meant something. That generation of my family were off the boat and were from poor Irish Catholic family. I assure you the original possessors of these items took vows of poverty not power. They served God and man, not some secret society. All Catholics of those times recognized the symbol as exactly as stated.

The one on Ebay says it may be of German origin, (though it hardly looks antique compared to mine) but mine is definately made in France. The skull and cross bones represents death and the fact that it is on these antique crosses definately symbolizes the death of Christ overcoming death and original sin (that of Adam).

Believe me, when I first got mine, I had never encountered this and did extensive research into it's meaning, hoping for some great spiritual secret that had been forgotten. In the end, there is nothing to be found here, it is just as explained and merely something that has been forgotten and no longer used. But any older Catholic knows what it is and easily recognizes it. No big secret.

I'll also state for the record that this passed to me basically via a supernatural spiritual incident that I won't elaborate on, only to say that the person who had it after she died did not think that it should have passed to me of all people because of misgivings about my faith at the time, and the religious importance of it for the devout members of my family. I did not know it existed prior to being presented with it. He was very upset about the message he received to give it to me and struggled greatly with this, but did so anyway, only to find later that the entire incident was an undeniable sign from God for the entire family in the end. But that is more a story for the Spirituality Boards.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 04:20 AM
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Okay, I wasn't referring to the Catholic church, but yes that is another way to do it.

I was referring to the regular Christian churches, but go ahead & add whatever you want to it, I find it interesting that anyone would tell their deepest darkest secret to people like that.

I trust no one.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by SpartanLeonidas
Catholic church be damned....they're all sadists anyway


Was that necessarry? Fine, now that we know where you stand on Catholics, care to keep it civil?


The cross being discussed is a Catholic item. Let's get past your bias and discuss the item, not your views on Catholics.

Much appreciated.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 05:02 AM
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Yes, My views of Catholics are My own. Certain people here will disagree, & that's a given, however I will say what I want.

Whether the cross was a Catholic item or not, is irrelevant. The Catholic church has been in on some of the worlds most heinous crimes against humanity.

Did you know the Pope helped Hitler? Did you know that the Catholic church was for the majority, responsible for stealing away education from the masses during the Middle ages, or Dark Ages? Did you know they're the reason the Bible was not written correctly, leaving out important & significant stories? Did you know, that the Catholic church has stolen more money from the poverty stricken communities by telling them to give to God, instead of putting food on their table? That the Catholic church teaches against birth control, just so the people keep breeding out of control, so they have more people to enslave into their control mechanism?

On top of this, did you know, that the Catholic church, told priests to have sex with little boys, so they wouldn't break the vow of abstinance by not having sex with women?

Why would any sane person take marriage advice from a man of the cloth in the Catholic church who can't even get married? Who more than likely has never been married?

Sorry, but I have My opinion & you have yours. By the way, the title of that last post was a joke, you ignorant woman (I'd use other language, but I feel like remaining a member here) & if you can't take a joke, then you're a sad miserable individual. Your response showed exactly what kind of anal retentive person you immediately jump to when something you don't like is said about something you're a part of, or were a part of at one time. I, however at least ask questions before jumping down someones throat.

Life is what you make of it, taking all considerations of what life experiences you've lived & what life experiences you've gone thru, making choices along the way is something you have to sort thru & everytime a critical fork in the road is reached, ask yourself not which way do I turn, but which way don't I go.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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Just to clarify the warning you earned. It has nothing to do with your opinion of the Catholic Church, as I was just about to applaud you for backing up your opinion before seeing this...


Originally posted by SpartanLeonidas
Sorry, but I have My opinion & you have yours. By the way, the title of that last post was a joke, you ignorant woman (I'd use other language, but I feel like remaining a member here) & if you can't take a joke, then you're a sad miserable individual. Your response showed exactly what kind of anal retentive person you immediately jump to when something you don't like is said about something you're a part of, or were a part of at one time. I, however at least ask questions before jumping down someones throat.


You can attack any entity on the planet or hold inflammatory opinions about same, barring of course other members of this community. I recognize you were making a valid point about expression, but a personal attack on another member is never valid. The warn will roll off on it's own in time. Hang in there.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 09:58 AM
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Okay Rant, I don't think I did much that would deserve a warning here at all. I held back what I really wanted to say & I was as polite as I possibly could be, considering I was attacked for posting an opinion in joke form in the title of My post.

I'm a smartass & was expressing Myself in a smartass comment, & I used to be like Relentless is, with how I referred to her. I used to used to jump to the defense of all things religious, until I opened My eyes. I am more spiritual than religious now, & I don't enjoy talking to people who are blinded by the blinders they choose to wear.

Seeing as how I could've been a totally nasty, cruel, & complete jackass there, I think I held back quite a bit. I was attacked first dude, just glancing of the blow & striking a counter-blow.

The Catholic church has been the biggest part of all things conspiracy throughtout the beginning of it's existance, & I appreaciate that at least I didn't get attacked by a moderator for that opinion. I hate ignorance, & jump to stand for what's right in this World.

Nothing was originally meant to hurt anyones delicate feelings in the first place, but knowing from personal experience, if you can't take a joke, you've got issues. I should know, I had the issues for the first half of My life, thanks to religion & the blinders I was wearing. Sorry, I used to get upset when someone would say your mom wears combat boots & kicked their ever loving ass. Now I just say yeah, & she could kick your ass.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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You should take pics of the two crosses that your mother in law has and post them too, maybe get more information as to where they are from. The halo I think is more interesting than the skull and bones itself. The popes are buried in coffins with a skull and bone on it also. I don't think that its anything more than a symbol of death, and whats the crucifiction if not a symbol of death. The 'bones of adam' story is intersting.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Okay, look, I don't want to create an anti-Catholic or any other kind of attacking thread here. I just wanted to explore the possibility of a secret "guiding hand" involved in these crucifixes. I found a good website that has this type of crucifix listed as a "German" crucifix. There are several examples on this page as well as some explanations of the symbols. If you scroll down to the middle of the page and look at the middle picture it is pretty obvious that there is an "iron cross" in Jesus' halo. Here is the picture of that.


Also, on this website, the person credits someone with pointing out that these crucifixes are used for funerals and called "coffin crucifixes."


COFFIN CRUCIFIX
The middle crucifix (above) is called a 'coffin crucifix'. It was placed on the inside lid of the coffin,
and later given to relatives. Andy (Canada) - Thanks for the information, Andy - RW


That would help explain the dark imagery of these crosses. However, it still strikes me as odd. I mean, the INRI at the top is fairly common across the board, but these seem to be the ONLY style of crucifix that have the skull and crossbones on them. I've now looked at hundreds of crucifixes online and these are still unique in that aspect. I'm just wondering when and where this originated.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 01:57 PM
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I have found that the skull and crossbones is also prevalent in the Eastern Orthodox (typically found in Russia and regions with Cyrillic script) on their three tiered cross. They claim a slightly different meaning than the bones of Adam. They say it shows the triumph of Christ over death. Here is an image of the cross.

On an interesing side-note, I personally know a high-level mason and I have seen him wearing a pin in the shape of this cross. I know his religious affiliation is American protestantism though, so I don't have any idea what the significance of this is to the masons. (PS If you are a mason, PLEASE do not accuse me of misinformation, I am merely pointing out an interesting link. Besides, I don't know enough to purposefully mislead.)

I found this discussion of the death's head on another board, but the author cites no sources. I will have to explore further. I found the info about the Prussian Hussars already, but will look into the ossuary stuff more.



The skull and crossed thighbones is an ancient symbol of mortality, coming originally from the days when powerful families, monasteries and other organisations which wished to encourage a "group mentality" would share out the bones of all their dead in a structure called an ossuary, a subterranean tomb or shrine using the bones themselves as a building medium.

The lesson of the skull-and-crossbones is you too will die. As such it has uniquely been championed by both men of religion and by humanists and atheists.

Life is short, so repent and be saved. Or, Life is short, so enjoy yourself while you can. Or even, Life is short, so make this world worth living in for others.

The motif occurs in paintings and engravings of great men from the Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century. In the medical textbook De Humani Fabrica of Vesalius, it even occurs in a poignant illustration of a skeleton contemplating mortality itself.

It has particularly been associated with Germany's tradition of Romantic poets and intense young men in the cast of Goethe, to an extent which in England would have been considered morbid. Its apogee comes in the decoration for the hearse of Emperor Frederick the Great, the motif in silver bullion on black velvet: this was adopted by the 7th Hussars as their insignia, worn on their bearskins, helmets and caps. It was in remembrance of these old Prussian traditions that the death's head or Totenkopf was used after the First World War by roving bands of Freikorps men and, later, by the Stabswache of the NSDAP which were to become that ignoble institution, the Schuetzstaffeln or SS, the very antithesis of chivalric honour.


Anyway, it does seem that a skull and bones makes quite a good international symbol for mortality. That could be all that this amounts too...
but isn't it much more fun to wear tinfoil?



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 07:43 PM
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Well, I can't find any pics of one like mine, though it is very similar to the German ones, even though it was made in France. The halo does not have that same symbol though, there seem to be quite a few variations on that, as well as the sacred heart on the back. I think your linked article said the ones that were stamped are from the early 1900's, so I guess mine just looks so much older than the ones in the pics cause it was in fact worn as part of the nuns habit back then. I believe they were worn around the waist as part of a a full 15 decade Roasary with their habits.

I would love to clean it up but I don't know how to get the tarnish off without jeopardizing the wood, which shows signs of wear as it is.

P.S. My earlier comments to a pot calling the kettle black were more about keeping the thread on topic than being sensitive.


[edit on 11/29/2005 by Relentless]



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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I got a warning from that encounter. The whole reason I got defensive is because I felt it would've been politer to drop Me a U2U in private to say something instead of what I felt was an attempt to shame Me in a public forum.

I'm at -26 now, when I was almost to 500 points on the board. Oh boy.

I still say the Skull & Bones symbol is something that's fishy & looks too much like a secret society under the cover of a church.





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