Today the world is going crazy for all things Knights Templar. They have never been so popular. Everywhere you turn there’s a new book, poster, t-shirt and even mug with their illfamed red cross on a white background. But this wasn’t their only symbol, and we came across that there was even dandier truth to be found behind this enigmatic imagery and believe it or not, it had not one thing at all to do with Dan Brown.
We begin our quest with a intimate symbol to some people – the ankh. Today there are millions of people walking around with this distinguishable and exceedingly primary symbol on chains around their necks. Even Christians adorn themselves with the image, thinking it to be a normal cross. And yet the significance of the symbolism implied by this seemingly unobtrusive little object is very profound.
This enigmatic symbol of Egypt represents in it is simplest interpretation ‘eternal life’ and was often times found in the names of Pharaoh’s such as the notorious Tut-ankh-amun. The symbol is many times depicted being held by a god to a Pharaoh, giving him life, or held by a Pharaoh to his people, giving them life – this basically set detached the immortals, from the mortals, for anybody wearing or carrying the Ankh had gained or hoped to gain immortality. Those keeping the ankh were the great magicians, the ones capable of altering reality – they had the power of the Otherworld through the device which symbolised the access to the Otherworld. So what elements of this ankh give it this special power?
The Ankh is technically known as the Crux Ansata. It is a simple T-Cross, surmounted by an oval – called the Ru. The Ru is many times seen as the portal or gateway to another dimension such as heaven, in essence, the Otherworld. The ankh hence becomes the symbol of transition from one plain to another. It outlived Egyptian domination and was widely used by the Christians as their firstborn cross, but in this symbol holds a clue to the mystery of the serpent.
One reputation intricately linked with the ankh and quintessentially the Tau cross is Thoth or Taautus – a reputation no dissimilar to the alchemists and Greeks Hermes or the biblical Enoch, both of whom were transported to other worlds in ways similar to progressed altered states of consciousness.
Amazingly Thoth was said by Eusebius to be the originator of serpent worship in Phoenicia and this will prove to be of worth. Sanchoniathon called him a god and says that he made the basi effigy of Coleus  and formulated hieroglyphs. This links him with Hermes whom we cited previously. Thoth likewise devoted the linked species of dragons and serpents; and the Phoenicians and Egyptians followed him in this superstition.
This Thoth could very well be a memory of the introductory group who originated the worship of the serpent after the flood or end of last ice age approximately 12000 years ago. Thoth was deified after his death (a time that not a single soul knows, if without doubt he existed) and given the title “the god of health” or “healing”. He was the proto-type for the serpent-linked healer Aesculapius and identified with Mercury who bore the serpent entwined caduceus. All healers, all wise, all teachers, all saviours and all affiliated with the serpent for their powers. Indeed, it was as the healing god that Thoth was symbolized as the serpent – whereas he was commonly represented with the head of an Ibis and Baboon.
The Letter or Symbol ‘Tau’ is the primary letter of Taautus, Tammuz and Thoth and is thought to be the ‘Mark of Cain’, who himself was called the “son of serpents.” In a lot of respects it is likewise linked with the ancient swastika, so well-known to us now from Nazi imagery.
The ancient symbol of the swastika is plainly a stylised spiral as may be shown from the galore depictions all over the world of swastikas made up of spirals and snakes. It likewise shows up in the spiral fashions of the labyrinths and mazes. The word labyrinth comes directly from the ancient Minoan Snake Goddess culture of Crete, where the swastika was employed as a symbol of the labyrinth and is linked etymologically with the “double headed axe” – which is none other than the Tau Cross. Similar labyrinthine shaped swastikas have been found in the ancient city of Harappa from the 2000 BC. As the labyrinth is viewed as a womb of the Mother Goddess, and a symbol of the snake, there is little wonder that these two symbols became fused. However, labyrinths were likewise seen as places of ancient serpent initiation. In ancient Egypt the labyrinth was synonymous with what was called the Amenti – the snake like path taken by the dead to journeying from death to resurrection. It was Isis, the serpent queen of heaven, who was to guide the souls through the twists of the Amenti. The path towards the centre, leads towards treasure.
The snake adorning Athene in ancient Greece is shown with a swastika skirt. The same is true of Astarte or Asherah and Artemis. There is Samarran pottery dating from 5000-4000 BC from Mesopotamia showing a female and swastika, where the females hair swirls with Medusa type serpents. The swastika is also shown as two serpents crossing each other.
In Norse myth, the hammer of Thor , Mjollnir, is almost connected with the swastika and is found to be a prominent motif in Scandinavian art from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. It is found on swords and Anglo-Saxon cremation urns and on some Viking items. It was seen as a protector versus thieves, remindful of the fact that serpents were known to guard treasure. As Thor’s hammer was likewise seen as a Tau cross it is surely related to the mysteries of the serpent. It was employed by Thor to lop off the head of the sacred ox, which he applied as bait to catch the Midgard Serpent, which encircled the globe in the symbol of the Ouroboros, eating it is own tail. This was Thor supplying a head as sacrifice to the serpent to undertake and gain immortality in the mead – the drink of the gods. He was using the serpent, to catch the serpent. It was the cessation of the ceaseless cycling of the Midgard Serpent that Thor attempted and in this way, he beat time itself.
Thor’s intent was to gain a cauldron huge sufficient to take the mead for the immortals and he necessitated to prove his worth by fishing for the serpent. He had power over the serpent as the slayer, with the swastika or Tau cross. There is proof to prove that the myths of these Scandinavians and the Hindus are related, as the story of Thor and the Midgard Serpent closely resemble the battle among Indra and Vritra, showing a mutual origin. Vritra is the great serpent, which lies at the source of two rivers (the positive and negative or male and female), as the Midgard Serpent lies underneath the sea (of the mind). Indra slits open the belly of the serpent to release the waters and consequently fertility back to the land. Both gods, Indra and Thor, are related to the weather, both are warrior gods with a thunderbolt as a weapon and both slay the dragon. The swastika of the serpent is a mutual motif in both cultures. Eventually the Christians steal both pagan myths and place St. Michael and St. George in their place – both having the red serpent cross to replace the swastika.
The cross is likewise found in the legends of Thoth or Taautus who was said to have symbolized the four elements with a simple cross, which originated from the oldest Phoenician alphabet as the curling serpent. Indeed Philo adds that the Phoenician alphabet “are those formed by means of serpents . . . and adored them as the supreme gods, the rulers of the universe.” If Thoth, Hermes and even Enoch are the supposed inventors of the art of writing then there is little wonder that they are so almost linked with the serpent.
Bunsen in the 19th century thought, “the forms and movements of serpents were used in the invention of the oldest letters, which represent gods.” This symbol of the four elements was altered somewhat and became the Egyptian Taut, the same as the Greek Tau, which is where we get the name Tau Cross from – a simple T.
The T or Tau cross likewise gives it is name to the Bull in the Astrological sign of Taurus – note here the two constituents of the Tau and the Ru being brought together. In fact the Druids (or “adders” after the snake) venerated the tree and the snake by scrawling the Tau cross into tree bark.
In the Middle Ages the Tau cross was applied in amulets to protect the wearer versus disease.
Amongst the innovative Freemasons the Tau has a good deal of meanings. Some say that it stands for Templus Hierosolyma or the Temple of Jerusalem, others that it signifies concealed treasure or means Clavis ad Thesaurum, ‘A key to treasure’ or Theca ubi res pretiosa, ‘A place where the precious thing is concealed.’
It is specially essential in Royal Arch Masonry where it becomes the ‘Companions Jewel’ with a serpent as a circle above the cross bar in place of the Ru and forming the Ankh with the Hebrew word for ‘serpent’ engraved on the upright and likewise including the Triple Tau – a symbol for concealed treasure.
It was also the symbol for St. Anthony – later to become the symbol for the Knights Templar of St. Anthony of Leith in Scotland. St. Anthony lived in the 4th century AD and is credited with establishing Monasticism in Egypt, and in general the story goes that he sold all his possessions after hearing from the Lord and marched off into the wilderness to become a hermit. On his travels he learned much from respective sages in Egypt and grew for himself a big following. He was sorely tempted by the devil in the form of ‘creeping things’ and serpents. In one episode he follows a trail of gold to a temple, which is infested with serpents and takes up residence, requiring little feed for sustenance other than bread and water. He is said to have lived 105 years and due to this longevity he is credited with protective powers.
The Order of the Hospitalers of St. Anthony, who would later take much of the Templar wealth, brought galore of Anthony’s relics to France in the 11th century. Previously they were said to have been secretly deposited someplace in Egypt just after his death and then later to have found their way to Alexandria. All of this is a symbolic representation of the truth. The truth in fact is that the mystery of these stories found their way to Alexandria, which was a mixing bowl of the occult, esoteric, Gnostic and mystical world and from there it disseminate into Europe by way of such movements as the Templars, Rosicrucians and later the Freemasons – consequently the reason for finding the symbolism in the ‘Companions Jewel.’
The Taut or Tau symbolizes the creating four parts of the universe. It is the centre of all this creation, it is the spark in the cycle, the very centre of all. Next the symbol of the solar-serpent was added, a simple circle or the oval Ru. This loop above the T cross-created the Ankh, the symbol of eternity. The snake in a circle eating it is own tale is symbolic of the sun and immortality.
Eventually the symbol of the moon was added to this, turning it into the sign for Hermes or Mercury and showing the Caduceus/Serpent origin. No wonder that this, the most perfective and simple of symbolic gadgets became the symbol of the early Christians; no wonder that, even altho there were no cross-beam crucifixions, Christ was never the less symbolically crucified on a symbol of eternal life, a symbol of the serpent.
This symbol became the mark or sign, which would set the believer isolated for saving. In Ezekiel this is the mark that god will know, the mark on the forehead. As Deane points out the Ezekiel passage (9:4) must read, “set a Tau upon their foreheads.” or “mark with the letter Tau the foreheads.” The early Christians baptized with the term “crucis thaumate notare.”  They baptized with the symbol of the snake.
Is this the initial mark of Cain, who we have found elsewhere to be of the serpent tribe?
The idea of this sign or mark is widespread once discovered. In Job 31:35 we read in our modern Bibles “I sign now my defence – let the Almighty answer me” which will have to the right way read, “Behold, here is my Tau, let the Almighty answer me.” He then goes on and says “Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.”
This remarkable idea of wearing the Tau cross on the shoulder as a sign would later become portion and parcel of the crusader Templars markings. Also the Merovingians (said by a great deal of to be descended from Jesus and a sea serpent or fish god – the Quinotaur or Quino-Tau-r) were supposedly born with a red cross amidst their shoulder blades. The Tau cross is likewise strangely used by those practicing sacred geometry as a “marker” for buried treasure, whether physical or spiritual.
This buried treasure is veritably the centre. The point in our minds and hearts where we find the initial self. This firstborn centre (heart means centre) was seen to be connected to the Universal Mind and only by accessing this centre of ourselves could we access the Universal Mind or God. This in turn stops time, we become one with all and we believe we are immortal. The Tau marks this place, either on the forehead or in the chest (between the shoulders), revealing to others those who may access the point in time where God resides. The word Temple from whence Templar derives has another meaning – tempos merely means time. The unfeigned Temple is that place which has power over the cycling energy of the serpent. The true Temple, like the one on our brow, is within us.
1 Coelus was the Roman personified god of the heavens and is identified with Uranus of the Greeks.
2 Labyrinth means double headed axe just like the Hammer of Thor and that Thor’s name is linked with that of Thoth.
3 John Bathurst Dean in Worship of the Serpent Traced Throughout the World and its Traditions Referred to the Events in Paradise (1830).
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