Society in Detroit
Description of the Emblem of the Theosophical Society
The Emblem of the Theosophical Society is composed of a number of symbols, all of which have been used from very ancient times to express profound spiritual and philosophical concepts about man and the universe. They are found in a variety of fors in the great religions of the world and their universality is further shown by their appearance in widely separated cultures.
Each symbol studied separately will yield a wealth of understanding. Taken together, as in this emblem, they suggest a vast evolutionary scheme embracing the whole of nature, physical and spiritual, and their study may lead the serious inquirer to contemplate some of the deepest mysteries of existence.
Partly because of their antiquity and partly because of the difficulty of establishing their origin, the symbols cannot be interpreted with a narrow precision. The interpretation here offered is to be taken as suggestive of the truths they seek to convey rather than as an exact statement of their meaning.
The Ankh: In the centre of the two interlaced Triangles is what is known as the Ankh (or the Crux Ansata). This comprises a circle surmounting the Tau Cross (the type of cross which follows the shape of the letter 'T'). The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol of great antiquity and it portrays the resurrection of the spirit out of its encasement of matter, otherwise expressed as the triumph of life over death, of spirit over matter, of good over evil. This concept of the 'Resurrection' is found in all the great religions
The Interlaced Triangles: They are often called the Double Triangle (or the Seal of Solomon or the Star of David in Hebrew) and are surrounded by a serpent. This combination of the triangle and the surrounding serpent symbolizes the created universe wherein creation is limited in time and space.
The Serpent: Apart from the significance of surrounding the triangles as mentioned above, the serpent itself has always been a symbol of Wisdom. The Hindus call their wise men 'Nagas' (a word meaning serpent). Christ adjured His disciples to be as 'wise as serpents.' 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 Swastika: is another of the numerous forms in which the cross is found. It is the Fiery Cross, with arms of whirling flame revolving (clockwise) to represent the tremendous energies of nature incessantly creating and dissolving the forms through which the evolutionary process takes place.
Aum: Surmounting the emblem is the sacred word of Hinduism in Sanskrit
characters, the three letters representing the Trinity. There is also the idea
of the creative Word of Logos sounding throughout and sustaining the universe.
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.' The emblem as a whole symbolizes the Absolute, God, transcendent and
immanent. God transcendent-that is, in and beyond creation-(the sacred word AUM)
overshadows the cycle of manifestation (serpent) energized by the divine
activity (Swastika); 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 form.
Motto of the Theosophical Society: Surrounding the emblem runs the motto of the Theosophical Society, 'There is no Religion Higher than Truth.' Truth is the quest of every theosophist, whatever his/her faith, and every great religion reflects in some measure the light of the one eternal and spiritual Wisdom.