A peculiar t-shirt by the clothing company Crooks and Castles, depicting the symbol of the pyramid with the all-seeing eye and bearing the subtitle “all hail the ruling elite.”
Inverted esoteric and occult symbols are astoundingly widespread in the clothing industry. They are popular with consumers, and promoted by many seemingly non-associated companies. What’s behind this dark symbolic trend? An examination of the meanings, origins and effects of this symbology reveals why we should all take more care with what we wear.
Symbols are a powerful medium of communication, conveying instantaneous information in an easily accessible way. Every organization – be it governments, religions, schools, hospitals, corporations, etc. – uses symbols to represent itself. We are therefore constantly surrounded by symbols and have become accustomed to quickly grasp what they stand for without much thinking. Just think of The Red Cross, McDonald’s, or Starbucks, and you can probably immediately see their logo in your mind’s eye. Branding and repeated exposure to symbols accustoms us to them, and can impact our choices (for instance choosing to go with a reputable brand because of the logo displayed on the product as opposed to a generic product counterpart).
Understanding Esoteric Symbols
Many symbols throughout history have their roots in a universal language of sorts that conveys principles found in the universe. For example, symbols representing the Sun or various other stars and constellations, or sacred geometry symbols (such as the flower of life or the golden ratio) are common to ancient traditions and peoples across the world. Many of these symbols are esoteric in nature; their meaning being obscured to the masses and only accessible to those who have the correct level of understanding to grasp it. Those who don’t understand the hidden nature of certain symbols can perceive them as being mundane, nonsensical, or they can even be entirely misunderstood or misused.
Understanding the meaning of certain esoteric symbols goes hand-in-hand with obtaining knowledge of the esoteric. Esoteric knowledge is the hidden knowledge of life, knowledge that could open up our perception to the greater truth and reality behind our existence. But herein lies the problem – society nowadays shuns most things that are esoteric in nature. It is commonly taught to be wary of alternative religion, spiritual groups, and “cults.” It is also commonly taught to doubt the nature of spirituality and spiritual principles, as the focus is drawn more towards materialism and material philosophies. The media, schools, work environments, and social behaviors are in fact frequently mobilized to ridicule anything that is esoteric or that goes against the grain of the mainstream.
The Dark and Light Side of Esoteric Knowledge
Esoteric knowledge, when used wisely, can be tremendously beneficial. It is the knowledge of life and of the forces governing life. But just as everything in nature has its opposite, so there are also opposites within esotericism. The positive side of esotericism works towards the light and towards goodness in the world. It aims to help humanity reach its true spiritual potential, help to open up our perception to our greater destiny and capabilities as human beings. There is, however, also a dark side to esotericism, a side that works towards the exact opposite of this, fighting to keep humanity rooted in ignorance and low states and ways of being. It works towards keeping people enslaved by their desires and blinded to their true potential. The dark side of esotericism works to bring humanity down, while the forces of light work towards uplifting it. This struggle is frequently referenced in ancient folklore, mythology, and religions through the ages. Both sides of esoteric knowledge are extremely powerful, and aligning yourself with one side or the other can have great ramifications.
Placing oneself under the influences of the dark side means subjecting oneself to these darker influences and (willingly or unwillingly) becoming a participant in this process of being dragged down and enslaved by pleasures and negativity, blinded to reality, and limited in the ability to surpass this low way of being.
A c. 1760s illustration of The Churning of the Milky Ocean, a famous tale from the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. Depicted are the devas (gods, upholders of cosmic order; light) and the asuras (demons, disrupters of cosmic order; darkness) churning the Cosmic Ocean in a “tug-of-war” in order to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality.
Inverted Esoteric Symbols Used by the Media and Entertainment Industry
Paradoxically, those in power, in particular those controlling the media and the entertainment industry seem to be rather aware of esoteric symbols. But disturbingly, symbols that have once stood for goodness and light are used by those controlling mass media, entertainment, and fashion, in an inverted manner, making them therefore stand for the exact opposite: to control and enslave. For example, the esoteric symbol of a star pointing upwards (think of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man) represents the awakened man, while a star pointing downwards represents the opposite of that and is associated with diabolical forces. Inverted symbols, as well as symbols that represent dark forces or black rituals, are sadly used all around us in a repeated, and apparently deliberate manner to convey a message and to put people under the very influences these symbols draw their forces from. This in turn can either make these misunderstood symbols go viral, or it can have the effect of making people suspicious of all symbols and in the process turn against anything that has esoteric connotations, be they good or bad. Neither outcome is favorable, and the best course of action is to be knowledgeable about the visual information we are exposed to on a regular basis and what the agenda behind it is.
Widespread Inverted Esoteric Symbols in the Fashion Industry
Taking a look at the fashion industry is an interesting example of this. Let’s look at one of the most popular brands of clothing in North America: Urban Outfitters (UB’s). UB’s target market is teenagers and young adults. Their style frequently pushes the boundaries with clothing that is trendy in the hipster community and that is often provocative. Currently (winter-spring 2014) their website features a wide selection of graphic tees. Surprisingly, a vast number of these T-shirts depict esoteric symbols, but many of which are inverted and are referencing sinister things, which can have the effect of invoking negative influences, even if this may not be the wearer’s or designer’s conscious intention. Many of their tees also contain images of death, skulls, and decay, as well as other disturbing subliminal messages. Their collection is actually pretty tame, all things considered, but it still goes to show that the use of these symbols in mainstream fashion brands is pretty widespread and concerning.
Below is a myriad of brands offering graphics that include the infamous Masonic symbol of the pyramid and the all-seeing eye—an ancient esoteric symbol that has been co-opted, inverted and has now become synonymous with a reputed secret cabal, often called the ‘Illuminati’, which some believe are pulling the strings behind society. The pyramid and the all-seeing eye have essentially become the logo representing this group. If you are by chance interested in purchasing your very own illuminati-themed t-shirt, here are some examples:
Rather peculiar that this is so popular, isn’t it? The above collection does not even scratch the surface of all the available styles and designs of the pyramid and the all-seeing eye clothing. These are T-shirts sold in nearly all the major online and physical retailers around the world. The above images contain products sold on: Ebay, Etsy, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, Charlotte Russe, Coma Fashion, Keep, ModCloth, Ferus New York, Rakuten, PacSun, Nasty Gal, Pink Ice, Singer 22, Svpply, tillys, Zappos, Zazzle, and Zumies. So is it a coincidence that they’ve all chosen to feature this symbol or is there more to it?
An interesting thing to note here is that for the most part these symbols tend to be disguised, or incorporated into a “cool” design with a certain feel. Thus an inverted cross can be inserted as an upside-down letter “T”; upright crosses are also often depicted alongside words like “sin” or money thereby linking a religious symbol for many with things that are of a darker nature; the pyramid with the eye can become a part of an intricate geometrical design, and Tarot cards symbols are made casual and cool, etc. Some are even so well disguised that it is doubtful that the people purchasing them are even aware of what it is they are donning on. Look at this dress/shirt from a Just Cavalli line of clothing:
At a first glance nothing seems out of the ordinary. Just an ornate shirt. When you zoom in however, you can notice that there is something odd in the design:
Notice the tiny upside down pyramid with the eye hiding at the very top? And the demon right below it? You may also notice several more vague images resembling demonic faces and the goat’s head, a symbol often used as synonymous with an upside-down pentagram and Satan. Why are these symbols there? Why do they appear to be hidden in plain sight?
And while many brands promote the use of inverted esoteric symbols and related subliminal messages in a subdued and underlying way, some brands are much more forward and upfront about it, and appear to in fact glorify the use of these symbols and what’s behind them.
Let’s look at UNIF, a Hollywood clothing company, as an example. First of all, the company’s logo is the pyramid with the eye. Strange choice for a logo, isn’t it? The company’s products appear to be loaded with various inverted esoteric symbols and subliminal messages. They have a theme going on of matching religious symbols with something sexualized or obscene, and of course each product conveniently features (sometimes very prominently) the all-seeing eye in the pyramid. Let’s have a look:
What Is Behind the Use of Inverted Esoteric Symbols in the Fashion Industry?
So what exactly is inspiring these designs? Why are the entertainment and fashion industries, particularly in the form of clothing being promoted to teenagers and the 20 or 30-somethings demographic, so fixated on using powerful esoteric symbols, but inverted? Is it all a coincidence? No doubt many people become influenced to feel that these symbols are cool and therefore unknowingly pick them up to include in their clothing line or in their closet, and then unconsciously help to spread their use because it is ‘hip’. But how were these arcane symbols introduced into popular culture to become hip in the first place? To think that the consistent use of inverted esoteric symbols as well as perverted religious depictions across so many popular shopping destinations is all just a big coincidence would be a bit naïve. What are the probabilities of almost every popular online clothing store promoting the all-seeing eye symbol by chance?
One also has to wonder the purpose of this saturation of powerful symbols amongst high fashion and mundane day-to-day clothing? Is it perhaps to accustom people to these images? Is it meant to make them commonplace? Nothing out of the ordinary, or “no conspiracy here!” type of commonplace? Or, if the symbols used are indeed powerful, as they have been used for millennia to represent certain influences or to attract certain forces with their use, what does that mean when we don an article of clothing featuring such symbols on, especially when they are inverted from their original positive meaning?
With this in mind, it’s important to be educated and vigilant about what you wear and to understand the meaning of these symbols that have now become so widespread in the fashion industry and in consumer products, so that you don’t unwittingly attract and promote negative influences in your life and become a participant in the apparent agenda that is promoting the use of these inverted symbols to unsuspecting shoppers.