swan-separator

swan-final

The Swan

Throughout antiquity the Swan has represented the Universal Principle of One Life or Unity and Divine Wisdom.  Also known as the Swan of Eternity or Kalahamsa in the East, the swan is shown in reflection representing spirit and matter – as above, so below.

The Foundation was founded by the Theosophical Society in England and within the symbol of the Swan is the seal of the Society.  These symbols embody the Divine Wisdom of Theosophy, which the charity’s educational activities embrace – the Wisdom of the Ages.

ts-emblem-111

The Motto

The motto of The Theosophical Society is ‘There is no Religion Higher than Truth’.  Truth is the quest of every Theosophist, whatever their faith, and every great religion reflects in some measure the light of the one eternal and spiritual Wisdom.

ankh-png

The Ankh

The Ankh or Crux Ansata, is an Egyptian symbol of great antiquity.  It is made up of the Tau or T-shaped cross surmounted by a circle.  It may be seen, often held in the hand, in Egyptian statues and in wall and tomb paintings.  The Tau cross symbolizes matter in the world of form and the small circle here symbolizes spirit or life.  The Ankh therefore expresses the triumph of spirit over matter, of life over death, or good over evil.  It is the cross of Life, the symbol of Resurrection and Immortality.

interlaced-triangles

The Interlaced Triangles

The Interlaced Triangles The darker of the two triangles, which is downward-pointing, and the lighter triangle, which is upward-pointing, symbolize respectively the descent of the life of Spirit into matter and the ascent of that life out of matter into Spirit, the perpetual opposition between the light and dark forces in nature and in man.  The Triangles, looked at separately, symbolize the three facets of the manifestation which is known as the Trinity in various religions and personified in Christianity as Father, Son and Holy Ghost and in Hinduism as Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.  This symbol is known in Judaism as the Seal of Solomon, or Star of David, Sri Yantra and Satkona Chakram in the Indian tradition.  When the double triangle is depicted within the circle of the Serpent, the whole of manifested nature is represented, the universe bounded by the limitations of time and space.

ouroboros-png111

The Serpent

The Serpent has long been the symbol of spiritual Wisdom.  Christ adjured His disciples to be as ‘wise as serpents’ and what is known as the Uraeus (or sacred Cobra) seen on the forehead of a Pharaoh of Egypt denoted his initiation into the sacred rites where knowledge was gained of the hidden Wisdom.  The serpent swallowing its tail represents the ‘circle of the universe’, the endlessness of the cyclic process of manifestation.  The symbol of Eternity, without beginning or end.

om-symbol111

The Om Symbol

The Aum or Om Symbol can been seen as ऑ in Sanskrit or as ॐ.  It is a word of profound significance which stands for the creative Word or Logos, the ineffable Reality which is the source of all existence.  It is a sacred Word in Hinduism and Buddhism.

fiery-png

The Fiery Cross

The Fiery Cross with its arms of whirling flames is an ancient symbol which represents the tremendous energies of nature, incessantly creating and dissolving the forms through which the evolutionary process takes place.  In religions which recognize three aspects of Deity, it is associated with the Third Person of the Trinity, who is at once the Creator and the Destroyer – Shiva in Hinduism and the Holy Ghost in Christianity.  In the 20th century, the Nazis adopted this ancient holy symbol and perverted its meaning to a sign of hate and intimidation (which they called the Hakenkreuz or “bent cross”).  But the fiery cross or swastika continues to be used as a holy symbol all over the world, for example by the Jains of India, whose religion is devoted to harmlessness.

ts-emblem-111

The Theosophical Society’s emblem

The Theosophical Society’s emblem as a whole symbolizes the Absolute, both transcendent and immanent.  God transcendent – that is, in and beyond creation – (the sacred word AUM) overshadows the cycle of manifestation (serpent), energized by divine activity (fiery cross); and within this field of manifestation the linked triangles of spirit and matter enshrine the symbol of immortality (the Ankh), God immanent – that is, indwelling in all created forms.

All of these symbols have been used from ancient times to express profound spiritual and philosophical concepts about man and the universe.   This explanation gives only a slight indication of the great range and depth of meaning contained in the emblem of the Society. The study of its symbolism is almost inexhaustible.  Those who wish to pursue this study in greater detail are referred to The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon or toThe Secret Doctrine, by H.P. Blavatsky.

Links

swan-separator