In my previous article I wrote about how the ‘logo’ can be interpreted in various ways. This is important to know, because the sender of a logo has always a certain goal in mind. In most cases, this is done by means of (hidden) symbolism. Certain geometric shapes or images have a deeper meaning and they increase awareness for the sender, and create (usually unconsciously) a desired effect for the recipient.
Before I explain symbolism behind famous and less famous logos, there are a number of issues I want to deal with first. This will help you to understand things faster. I like to write in English. The Latin word ‘Anglicana’ means ‘English’ and is derived from the ancient Egyptian ‘Ankh’. Everything goes back to a far past, as you will see. I write about topics that are not related to logo design, at first glance. Topics that are today regarded as outdated, or taken not seriously by modern science. However, when you’re aware of this knowledge, you will recognize it all around you, and recognize that select groups of people indeed attach great importance to this knowledge. What knowledge is then used in logos and names, art, music, architecture, media, sports, clothing design, religion, (cultural) year celebrations, etc.? I will show you the basics and hopefully it will get you so excited that you will keep on searching!
We go far back in time, because valuable knowledge is deeply rooted. Modern science would have us to believe that humanity is intelligent with the most sophisticated technology than ever, yet ancient writings seem to have it more often on the right. I dive into history and present you the Seven Liberal Arts, seven subjects who were part of the curriculum in Antiquity and the Middle Ages (think in terms such as Egypt, Pythagoras, Plato and Neoplatonism). The liberal arts are divided into the Trivium of language courses and the Quadrivium of arithmetic courses.
The Trivium consists of:
1. Grammar: the knowledge (science to observe the magical effect of a word/logo);
2. Logic: the concept (to understand the meaning of a word/logo by logical reasoning);
3. Rhetoric: the wisdom (the art of eloquence and to act accordingly).
The Quadrivium includes:
4. Numerology (the significance of the number);
5. Geometry (geometry in space);
6. Music/Harmony (geometry in time);
7. Cosmology (geometry of space and time).
By the way, on the website of Wikipedia I read: “The Dutch word ‘Trivial’ is derived from the word ‘trivium’. Initially meant to be used ‘basic’, ‘elementary’, then in the sense of ‘ordinary’ and ‘insignificant’. Ha, interesting.
That ancient civilizations were aware of the Seven Liberal Arts much earlier than the Egyptians and Greeks, is evidenced by the fact that this knowledge is incorporated in the remains of long before that time. Megalithic monuments (art) objects, wall paintings, myths and legends are found on each continent. They refer with their symbolic forms or images to a comprehensive science in which nature was studied, and our relationship with the stars and the influence they had on our physical world. That science is called the ‘Prisca Theologia’, also known as the Hermetic doctrine. Why was this knowledge so important that gigantic construction must have been established? Why do we see the same symbols everywhere? Was this done to worship someone/something, or did they know that the consciousness of humanity flows in a wave movement and it was important that some knowledge had to be transferred in a way that was able to resist time?
I mention that wave motion again. The vibration which I wrote about in my previous blog. Everything is vibration, everything in the world around us makes part of a big sound and light show. But how to explain the significance of logo design on the basis of a wave shape?
Each wave motion (energy) has a predetermined length and height. This is easiest to explain by means of an example that everyone knows, but few people are aware of: the ecliptic, the path of our sun throughout the year. There is a horizontal line which gives balance to the ecliptic, the equator. When the sun would be every day perpendicular focused to the equator, we would have no seasons. How are these achieved? One half of the year, the sun moves between the Equator and Tropic of Cancer. The first quadrant in which the sun rises in power, we call Spring and the quadrant in which the sun is sinking, we call Summer. Together they form the positive half of a circle. The other half of the year the sun moves between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. The third quadrant in where we really feel that the nights start to dominate the day is Autumn, and the fourth in which we once again see the light, we call Winter. Together, both the negative half of a circle. In one wave of a whole year, there are only two days when the sun splits the day into 12 hour of daylight and 12 hour of night: March 21 and September 23rd. Such a day is an ‘Equinox’ called (from the Latin ‘Aequus-nox = equal night). A day of maximum range (June 21 and December 21) is called a ‘Solstice’ (from the Latin ‘solstice’ = sun stands still). These four days are very important and you will see them regularly pass by in my articles to come. When we put the four quadrants together, they make up a complete circle and the equinoxes and solstices create in this way a symbol recognizable to anyone; the cross.
The circle represents the union of the two polarities; duality. It is the story of the Wheel of Fortune, the Circle of Life, the divine Wheel (the Wheel/Will of God), the Rota (Latin for Wheel), the Torah (Judaism) and the Tarot (esoteric card game). The circle has “a go(o)d side where you live, and a (d)evil side where you die. ‘Live’ spelled backwards is ‘Evil’, you see? Without one, simply the other can not exist. It is important to know both sides of a story, so that you understand the total picture and make up the balance for yourselves. This is what is meant in Buddhism with the ‘Middle Way’: avoid the two extremes and it will result in vision, knowledge, peace, understanding, enlightenment and Nirvana. The diagram below shows examples of polarity. And you know immediately how Pepsi Cola got its logo.
I will give three examples on the basis of the circle, with which I can explain the meaning of many logos with hidden symbolism. The circle includes:
1) the year;
2) the day;
3) the human body.
Above I already largely explained the ecliptic, how the sun sheds his light on the Earth. Seen from Earth, the sun makes a complete tour among the stars while he travels through the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. These twelve signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini (the four Spring marks), Cancer, Leo, Virgo (the four Summer Signs), Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius (the four Autumn Signs), Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces (the four Winter Signs). Yes, indeed, we are now engaged in astrology. The word “astrology” means ‘astro-logos’: the language of the stars, the language of light. So this could be very good the language of radiation/vibration/energy. If you understand this, the world around you could be explained much better. The following illustration shows how the constellations are placed during the year.
The circle is divided into twelve partitions. Our clock has twelve hours, so each part (each constellation) stands for two hours (12 x 2 = 24 hours). Note in the above image the place of the sign of Aries; it starts on the left side of the Equator. This is done because we see the sun rise in the East and set on the right in the West. Now compare the place of the seasons with time during the day:
– Left: the year begins with the Spring and Aries marks the beginning of a fruitful new year. The day starts in the morning when the sun rises around 6 a.m.;
– Above: the year is experiencing its longest day on Midsummer Day and Summer officially begins. Daily starting at 12 o’clock noon;
– Right: the year repents, the sun will lose considerable momentum, the sun falls … in Autumn, the Fall! See here that the Seventh constellation begins, and ‘seven’ is the Sine wave (wave motion) at even ‘: S-even. The S is itself a wave! The seventh sign Libra holds the year in balance. The sun now goes down and the evening starts at 18 am;
– Below: Midwinter Night, the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. The cold and dark days of winter break. The day has the same story; it is 0.00 a.m. midnight; cold, dark and please stay inside.
Also in the Kybalion (based on the Hermetic tradition) you can find the theme ‘As above, so below’. This shows that it was known since time immemorial that relationship exists between the macrocosm, the universe, and the microcosm, the human body. They specifically investigated the relationship between the signs of the Zodiac and the human body, and also from old medical illustrations of the “Zodiac Man/Adam Kadmon’, it is shown that the human body is indeed under the influence of the stars. The drawing shows how the body can be placed inside the circle. The head begins in the sign of Aries, which is self-evident; because when we awake in the morning it is at first in the head. Anatomically you see that reflected in our brain; we have large brains (CerebRAM = Ram) and small brains (CereBELLem = Bull = Taurus, the second constellation). Then it goes through the two arms/hands of Twins via Cancer to Leo where the heart is. The heart, the warmest part of our body, is exactly the period of the hottest month of the year (August) and of course the hottest time of the day: between 2 and 4 p.m.. The two kidneys are in the scales of Libra, the genitalia in Scorpio. Sagittarius (half man, half horse) takes the hips (hippos = horse) for his account. Eventually, the two feet reflect the constellation of Pisces. Notice that the main body parts/organs are in the morning/afternoon/early evening, and we can see the least activity in the winter/night/legs.
On these topics is to learn much more. I lifted just tips of the veil and will fill the circle with more details. Astrology for example, was formerly called the ‘Mother of all Sciences’, and it appears that many (if not all) studies are in communication with each other. A simple example: the word ‘anatomy’ and ‘etymology’ both have the ‘atom’ in it, so there is a clear link between the human body, language, physics and chemistry. But we also see it reflected in religion, because the ‘atom’ was in ancient Egypt known as the god Atum.
Then everything leads back to the belief that all is one ultimately, as in a kind of religion? ‘Religion is science, and science is religion well explained’ is a quote of the Rev. Robert Taylor. To correlate often opposing forms of religion is called ‘syncretism’, and I think that is urgently needed today. I find it particularly interesting that just logo design is something that people, regardless of their religious background, attracts and connects.
Thank you for reading!