An ancient symbol of omniscience and divine providence, the Eye of Providence represents the eye of God, the singular divine power that has created the entire universe. The symbol shows a human eye enclosed in a triangle. In Christianity, the triangle represents the Holy Trinity and as such, the Eye of Providence symbolizes the divine entity looking over humankind and providing it benevolent guidance.
At times, the Eye is also depicted as surrounded by clouds or bursts of light. Both of these images are representative of holiness and divine glory and so, here too, the symbol signifies that the Almighty is keeping a watchful eye on His creation.
Contrary to these beliefs, there are some people who believe the symbol to represent the eye of Lucifer or Satan whose supernatural powers influence what happens in the world.
Besides being prevalent in Christianity, this concept of ‘All-seeing eye’ can be found in several other religions and cultures. For instance, the Buddhists refer to it as the ‘Eye of the World’; in Caodaism, it represents the image of God; and the Egyptian revere the Eye of Horus as a symbol of power and protection.
The Eye of Providence is also a very important freemasonry symbol that typically has a semi-circular glory under the eye and may not always be enclosed in a triangle. The Freemasons refer to the all-powerful God as the ‘Grand Architect of the Universe’ and the symbol is used to remind every Mason to be mindful of his thoughts as well as deeds that are being observed by God at all times.
Another notable use of the Eye of Providence symbol is seen on the Great Seal of the United States where it appears on the reverse side, with the eye positioned on top of an unfinished pyramid.
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