The 'Eye of Providence
', or 'All Seeing Eye
' symbolism has some interesting associations outside of American icons.
It's genesis seems to be the 'Eye of Horus
'. Horus, as I'm sure many of you are familiar with, was an important Deity of the Ancient
Egyptian religion. He was a sky God as represented by his Falcon Head.
He was associated with both the moon and the sun, which were considered his eyes in the sky.
The sky God watches man from his eyes in the sky.
This belief later became symbolised by the Eye of Horus, an icon of power and divinity.
This is an ancient concept, that God watches from on high. Originally it was meant to be taken literally as Horus (later merged with Ra) was in the
sky and the Sun.
God became dissociated with the falcon and Egyptian religion, but retained the concept of living, over-seeing and/or governing from the sky. In the 17
century for instance God appears in art simply as an eye in the sky.
Quo Modo Deum translates as 'This is the way of God'.
This representation of the Eye of Providence was common in the 17 century, and it is also at this time that it takes a new association, the
The eye of Providence was part of the common cultural iconography of the 17th and 18th centuries. When placed in a triangle, the eye went beyond a
general representation of God to a strongly Trinitarian statement
In 1782 it was adopted as-is (with the triangle) as a US symbol and put on the other side of the 'Great Seal'. It was put above the incomplete
pyramid representing progress to come.
I find it to be quite the coincidence that two major Egyptian symbols, both representing power and authority, are replete throughout western
The latest form that it seems to have taken is the "Big Brother" Orwellian concept.
And is now becomming less and less metaphorical and more literal as our privacy is becomming but a memory.
[edit on 24/11/2008 by Good Wolf]