The Sacred Chao is a symbol of Discordianism or Erisianism, which is a religion that worships Goddess Eris, also called Discordia, the Greek deity of chaos, discord and strife. Eris is the sister of the Goddess of order and harmony, Aneris (also known as Harmonia or Concordia) and they have a brother, Spirituality. The concept of Discordianism and its founding as a religion traces its history to the year 1958-59 when its holy book, The Principia Discordia was published.
The Sacred Chao symbol resembles the yin-yang symbol and consists of an image of circle divided into two parts, with a pentagon in one side and a golden apple in the other. The pentagon represents the Aneristic principle of order, while the golden apple of discord stands for disorder or chaos that is the Eristic principle. Together, the symbol represents Hodge-Podge, the balance between order and chaos that make up the entire universe.
As a symbol of Discordianism, the Sacred Chao represents the religion’s underlying philosophy that chaos is as valid an aspect of reality or existence as harmony is. Order and disorder are both man-made concepts that are often influenced by the preconceptions and beliefs of the observer. Enlightened Discordians claim that the world, in general, favors and promotes order without realizing that doing so only leads to more disorder and its catastrophic manifestations. Therefore, they stimulate chaos to maintain the crucial balance between order and disorder.
The symbol Sacred Chao was introduced as the key to illumination by the Apostle Hung Mung, an ancient Chinese sage. ‘Chao’ is pronounced as ‘cow’; so, the term ‘sacred chao’ may be seen as a pun on the ‘sacred cow’ status (unquestioned reverence) that the world gives to the principles of order and harmony, while it vilifies disorder.