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  • Mandira Antar

Tattoo symbols / The eye

Updated: Jul 16


The symbol of the eye is not just about vision. It is a symbol of a "door", a symbol of inner sight, wisdom and understanding. What we see is not all that is, of course. It is also what we feel even though we cannot see. We are not just physical creatures but also part of an energetic field from which we are affected and which we do affect. Thoughts, feelings, intentions, motivations create waves of energy that affect everything that we are connected to. So the eye as symbol is the "organ" that perceives all, that comprehends beyond our five senses.



It might create fear in us, thinking that there is a power that knows all, and therefore decides what is good or not, punishes or rewards us. Sounds like the Christian way of perceiving the eye symbol.


The truth is though that the eye is a part of us all. We all have this ability to sense the true essence of whatever is. We just have to clear our inner vision from our beliefs and conditions. It sounds simple but it is not.



In Greek folklore there is the meaning of the "evil eye" that someone can "give" to you and make you ache or suffer, just by looking at you with a bad intention or jealousy. The same stands in Islam ( aka al-'ayn), India, Jews and many more religions and cultures.


In other occasions we say that the eyes are the "door of the soul", that can mirror our true psyche. The one that can perceive beyond the obvious feels like magic to us.


I wonder sometimes where do faith comes from if not from the belief that we can believe in that which we cannot see.







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Eye Symbol Myths and Facts


The basic myth behind the eye symbol comes of course from Egypt.



Horus was the Egyptian God, depicted with the head of a falcon, son of Osiris and Isis. He was conceived in a magical way after his father was murdered by his evil brother Seth.


Horus fought with his uncle to take revenge for the death of his father Osiris. During the fight he lost his left eye which was shattered into 64 pieces.


The 63 pieces where gathered by Goddess Hathor or God Thoth (the God of wisdom). The eye of Horus represents protection, rejuvenation, healing and royal power. It also represents the moon and its phases.


The eye of Horus is a very well known protection sign until today and has been used as an amulet from the beginning of its conception.






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Israelits and Mesopotamians both believed in the eye as a strong symbol, either an auspicious or an evil one.


For almost every ancient civilization the myth of creation stands on the battle between the two opposites, the good and evil, the chaos and order. Through this battle / collision everything is created. This duality dwells in every human being, in nature and all around us.
 


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  • The Eye of Providence (or All-Seeing-Eye) often depicted in a triangle/pyramid or above it, with rays of light surrounding it. This symbol is very much associated with the American Dollar, Freemasonry or the Illuminati and is a very powerful and ambiguous symbol. Many myths have gathered around it causing awe and fear that it has magical powers and symbolizes enormous strength.



  • Argos Panoptes was a giant with a hundred eyes according to Greek mythology, serving Goddess Hera as a guardian of Io who was Zeus's lover. Argos was killed by Hermes after Zeus send him to rescue his lover, and as a gift for his sacrifice Hera spread his eyes to her loving sacred birds, the peacocks!!

  • Cyclopes the three giants with one single eye on their forehead, sons of Gaea and Uranus, were sent to imprisonment to Ades until Zeus freed them in order to win the war with his father and the Titans. As a gift the Cyclopes gave him his thunder, his basic weapon and symbol of his strength. They also are the creators of Poseidon's trident.

  • The Eye of Shiva - his third eye - was created when Goddess Parvatti closed both his eyes as a play, which caused darkness and chaos. After that, the creation of his third eye restored the light and order around the world while being a powerful weapon that nobody could defeat.

All the aforementioned, are some examples of the symbol of the eye through ages and cultures. There are thousands more, but I chose some that i believe could assist you in perceiving the basic energy that comes with the eye symbol.


 


Illustration card with meanings of the symbol of the eye, mandala design by Mandira
Eye Symbolism Illustration by Mandira Antar


The Inner Eye (