If you’ve ever taken a look online for some tattoo inspo, you’re probably familiar with the ‘all-seeing eye’. This tattoo, sometimes called the eye of god or the eye of providence, has become one of the most sought after designs in recent years.
If you’re thinking of adding the eye of providence to your existing sleeve (or even if you want one as your first tattoo!), you may have your reservations. Is it closely related to the occult?
What is the real meaning and symbolism behind the all-seeing eye, and is it really an appropriate image to have stamped on my skin forever? (spoiler alert: it’s probably fine).
If these are a few of the questions swirling around your brain right now, you’ve come to the right place. Stick with us to learn everything you need to know about the eye of providence, and find out if this iconic image is the right tattoo design for you.
What Is The Eye Of Providence?
The all-seeing eye is a symbol that depicts an eye, usually surrounded by a triangle with rays of light expanding outwards from the center.
Most people recognize it from the US dollar bill, and it can also be seen in films, music videos, clothing, artwork, and tattoos.
Eye Of Providence Origins
The all-seeing eye is nothing new. In fact, its origins can be traced back to Egyptian times.
In Egyptian mythology, the single-eye design was born with the eye of Horus. This symbol, characterized by a single outline of a black eye, often with a teardrop beneath it, represented protection, healing, and well-being in ancient Egyptian religion.
The concept also appears in Hindu and Buddhist doctrine. Shiva, a God in the Hindu triumvirate, has an all-seeing eye in his forehead, which emerged to create order, bring peace, and save the world from catastrophe.
The Buddha himself is also often referred to as the “the eye of the world”, and it’s a common belief in Buddhism that people can develop ‘eyes of wisdom’ that see beyond life on earth.
As it appears today, the eye of providence symbolizes the eye of God watching over humanity. The rays of light or glory that stem from the triangle represent God’s providence (his protective nature and spiritual power).
With the origins of the eye of providence rooted in religion, care, and wellness, how did this symbol come to develop such negative associations?
Eye Of Providence And The Illuminati
Conspiracy theorist or not, you’ve probably heard of the illuminati. It’s almost impossible to talk about the all-seeing eye without mentioning its connection to these groups (and yes, they do exist!).
The illuminati began with the formation of the Bavarian illuminati in the 1700’s. This society aimed to rid the world of religious influence, protect the states power, and reject superstition.
It’s safe to say these rather honorable goals were probably not the shady, satanic happenings you imagined.
Other secret societies also emerged alongside the Bavarian Illuminati. Many conspiracy theorists bellieve that these groups were on a mission to dominate society, introduce a new world order, and overthrow the modern-day political agenda.
It’s these beliefs that began the associations with the illuminati and the all-seeing eye, with the eye representing the omniscient, unparalleled power of these groups to control us and enforce a new world order.
Today, the Illuminati is used as an ‘umbrella term’ for a series of shady organizations. Some believe the illuminati are power-hungry reptiles taking seats in government and monarchies. Others believe they’re bankers, general elites, or even Beyonce (yes, that really was a thing).
Satanism And The Eye Of Providence
From a symbol of health and wellness to a hallmark of the shady elites, it’s no surprise to learn that the eye of providence also has some connotations with satanism and the occult.
Many conspiracy theorists argue that the eye of providence has its links to satanism. However, these associations are pretty loose.
The ‘All-Seeing Eye’ is a masonic symbol. For years now, conspiracy theories have emerged claiming that the freemasons are, in fact, satanists. They’ve even been accused of secrecy and murder, but there’s no hard evidence to confirm this.
What you believe is up to you. However, you should know that the eye of providence is far from being a satanic symbol.
The Evil Eye And The Third Eye
The eye of providence also has some associations with the evil eye, a design commonly seen in Greek and Turkish jewelry. The eye usually appears on necklaces, and it’s typically green or a sapphire blue color.
If a person carries an evil eye with them, it’s believed that they’ll be protected from disaster and negative energy, allowing them to attract more positive experiences into their life. Pretty nice, huh?
It stems from a curse in Greek culture that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The curse states that if someone is jealous of you, they’ll have the power to send you a glare that can ruin your life. Talk about giving someone the evils.
If you want your eye of providence tattoo to represent something positive, this is a great interpretation to choose. It’s also an excellent choice if you don’t like the religious associations that go hand-in-hand with its symbolism.
Now, you’ve probably heard of the third eye. The third eye is a concept that stems from the God Shiva, who we discussed earlier. Shiva’s third eye, which sat in the center of his forehead between his eyes, represents wisdom and enlightenment.
It’s said that when we can ‘open’ our third eye, we reach enlightenment, and see beyond the banalities of the physical world. This then triggers a spiritual awakening.
This is one of the most popular interpretations of the eye of providence, and many people choose it as the meaning for the all-seeing eye tattoo if they feel that they have achieved, or want to achieve, enlightenment.
Should You Get The Eye Of Providence Tattoo?
Something to consider: anything can mean anything. It’s true.
The eye of providence has come to develop many different meanings over the years. Some meanings come with hard evidence, others are mere conspiracy theories heard through the grapevine.
This may be annoying to some, but for many, it presents a real artistic opportunity. The eye of providence can mean whatever you want it to.
Your tattoo could represent protection, healing, or a spirtual awakening. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you could get a design representing its connections to the Illuminati or the occult.
In fact, in today’s world, the eye of providence is so open to interpretation that it can mean whatever you want it to. It’s not an offensive symbol, and it’s certainly not one that will brand you a satanist (unless you want it to, of course).
The beautify of this freedom isn’t just limited to meaning and interpretation. Because the eye of providence has become such a versatile concept, it means that tattoo artists can be as creative as you want them to be with your design.
You could opt for an eye of providence that resembles the one on the US dollar bill, or you could create a variation oozing with color and other symbolism.
The choice is yours! Arguably, the eye of providence has become one of the most versatile tattoo designs in history – it’s no surprise it’s such a popular tattoo design, in sleeves and on its own.
There is definitely nothing simple about the eye of providence. It’s a symbol that has been shrouded in mystery, negativity, and judgement.
The truth is, its meaning is rooted in something much brighter. With a long history of protection, happiness, and general good vibes, the eye of providence or the ‘all-seeing eye’ doesn’t have to be the shining beacon for conspiracy theorists across the globe.
Its history tells us that it’s much more versatile and upbeat than most people think, and this makes it a great tattoo choice for everyone, regardless of their religion or personal beliefs.
If you’ve been on the fence about adding an eye of providence tattoo to your collection, or taking the leap and making it your first piece of ink, we hope you’ve arrived at a much calmer state of mind. Remember: anything can mean anything, and the eye of providence is a prime example.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does The Eye Of Horus Tattoo Mean?
An eye of horus tattoo represents protection, sacrifice, and healing – three of the most common associations with the Horus. These originated in ancient Egyptian mythology.
What Does The Eye Symbolize?
In an eye of providence tattoo, the eye can symbolize anything from clairvoyance and omniscience to enlightenment.
What Is A Hamsa Tattoo?
A Hamsa tattoo is used to symbolize the hand of God. It’s not the same as an eye of providence tattoo, but it does often feature an eye in the center of the hand, which symbolizes inner strength and judgment.
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