Hand Symbolism & Beliefs Part 2
Hand charms and amulets against the Evil Eye. Hand signs. Symbolic imprints on the arms of avatars. Hand Signs in Religious Art.
[Be aware: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our webpage] In line with its votaries, the hand of the crucified Jesus is believed to own occult virtues. When worn as an amulet it is alleged to be an all-round good-luck charm. Prayers are said along with its presence on one’s individual. One prayer associated with this specific amulet is as follows: “I carry a likeness of your pierced hand as a fervent image of your infinite kindness. Thou who has identified such suffering, attain out your hand with a blessing. Thy pierced hand conjures up this humble prayer that I may call on Thee to grant me peace and happiness. Amen.” Generally, charms in the form of arms, and in any pose–whether or not made from metallic, stone, or inscribed–had been usually carried to ward off the “Evil Eye,” or the ietattura as it is known as in Southern Italy, or ain al-hasad, the “Eye of Envy,” by the Arabs. The ancient Sumerians referred to it as IG-HUL, “Eye Evil.” The Evil Eye is an historic perception and never with none metaphysical substantiation. From the metaphysical standpoint, eyes radiates power and the standard of this drive is tainted by the desire and character of its emanator. Like all forces, the ability flowing from the eyes could bless or curse others. There are a lot of examples of amulets with a single eye on the palm of the hand. It’s believed that this attracts the Evil Eye in accord with the Legislation of Attraction and absorbs its malevolent influences. As a way to counteract the malignant rays emanating from the eyes of adverse individuals, the Hamsa Hand, or the Hand of Fatima charm was invented by the Arabs to re-direct these individuals’ willful attention and malefic glances. Fatima was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammed and Khadijah. She was said to be a very virtuous girl, and it is believed that the charms representing her embody all of her stable virtues and would protect and convey good fortune to its bearer. The fingers of the Hand of Fatima symbolically signify the 5 pillars of Islam: 1) observance of the Ramadhan fast; 2) pilgrimage to Mecca; Three) alms-giving; 4) observance of the day by day prayers; 5) profession of faith. The correct hand is used to symbolize the Hand of Fatima, for it’s the hand of honor, in contradistinction to the left, which is the “unclean hand.” In most Jap cultures it is taken into account rude and inappropriate to offer things with the left hand. Like the Arabs, the ancient Egyptians used a symbol called “the great Hand” for numerous protective functions, considered one of which is to ward off evil magnetism. Most hand amulets seem with a single eye on the palm. There are cases of this in various cultures. Amulets were not of value only to the living, but to the “dead” as effectively. In ancient Egypt, an amulet known as dejebaui, or “two-fingers” had been typically placed among a mummy’s swathings to assist the deceased one to ascend and journey on the boat of Ra to the afterlife. This amulet depicted the index and middle fingers and was usually made out of black basalt, green stone, or obsidian. During the enunciation of a pledge the correct hand is commonly raised in the air. This originated in historic customs where the raising of the hands were used to invoke the presence of the gods. Raising the best hand whereas making a pledge is due to this fact, tantamount to saying, “In the identify of God . . .” One other version is to position the appropriate hand on a holy book while uttering an oath. The significance is similar to the above. In the West, many hand-signs have been made in style with its constant use throughout the centuries. As an example we have the V-sign with the index and middle finger raised while the others flexed and clasped by the thumb. This signified victory and triumph. Similar to this is the Mano Cornuto, where only the index and little finger are raised, and the rest folded onto the palms. This represents horns, the devil, and the powers of evil. In the Orient, though, this sign is said to have the power to ward off demons. Kuan Yin is often depicted with this mudra. The Hung Society of China uses it as a sign of membership and also to signify “Man,” who embodies both Heaven and Earth. In Italian witchcraft, the Mano Cornuto represents the crescent moon of the goddess Diana. Another prominent hand sign is the Mano Fica, or figa, the sign of coitus where the thumb protrudes between the first and second fingers of the stone island jacket hood closed hand. It is of historic origin The Romans and Etruscans were effectively accustomed to this sign having made photographs of it. Lika Mano Cornuto, the latter sign is a popular amulet against adverse forces. Crossing the index finger with the center finger additionally has a sexual significance. It symbolizes the technology of life and by affiliation a very good end result in a single’s hopeful expectations, in one’s enterprise possessing an ambiguous upshot. Jacket Another sexual gesture rather more specific is the repeated insertion and withdrawal of the forefinger of the fitting hand (the phallus) right into a circle formed by the thumb and index finger of the left hand (the vulva). The pose of the left hand in the above gesture is also an “O.K.” sign. One of the outdated superstitions states that the sexual act brings good luck, good fortune, and prosperity. Maybe due to its connection to fertility rites the place the vitality aroused and launched throughout sexual ceremonies in open fields is believed to empower crops to grow abundantly. This belief can also be one of the explanation why phallic and coital amulets have been carried on one’s particular person. Such charms have been thought to result in lucky circumstances to the wearer. Sexual amulets made out of metallic, bone, and wood were very fashionable in the classical worlds of Greece and the Roman Empire. A hand signal that’s mainly used by the sacerdotal priesthood of the Christian Churches, is the Mano Pantea. This is the sign of benediction posed by extending the thumb and first two fingers. The ring and little fingers are folded onto the palms. This mudra could be seen in the assorted paintings and murals of Jesus, the Saints, and priests. In Latin international locations, the Mano Pantea can also be often used as an amulet against the “Evil Eye,” when thus employed it is normally covered with other protective symbols as reinforcements. An upraised thumb represents the erect phallus and is an indication for life, success, prosperity, and acceptability. In contrast, the downward pointing thumb denotes defeat and is the veto signal of condemnation or the demise sentence. The middle finger solitarily extended is one of the obscene gestures vulgarly referred to as, “up yours.” It signifies the command to perform an unnatural or perverse sexual act. The famed Buddhist temple, Borobudur within the island of Java was constructed in the form of a mandala–a symbolic diagram of the cosmos. It is built in tiers, and at every level, there are numerous statues of Buddhas sitting in silent meditation. At each point of the compass the contemplative Buddhas assume a certain mudra. Those dealing with North bear the Abhaya (fearlessness) mudra, while those in the East present the Bhumisparsha (earth-touching) gesture. The Dana (giving) mudra is the hand pose of the Buddhas facing South, and the Dhyana (meditation) mudra of those facing West. Other mudras in the precincts of the temple are also to be found such as the Vitarka (debate) and Dharmachakraprayartana (teaching) gestures. This careful orientation of mudra bearers to compass points is symbolic. It is expounded to the quaternary principles to be found in the micro- and macrocosm. Comprehensive teachings concerning these may be found in the esoteric elements of Buddhism and esotericism normally. Symbolic marks or imprints are often found on the palms of statues and icons of Buddhas and Avatars. These marks indicate the power, virtue, or attribute of these God-incarnates. In Hinduism, Shiva appears the most with these hand drawings. Many kinds of marks exist. Several are to be found on just the palms of Gautama (Shakyamuni) Buddha alone. These palmar designs probably originated from the special marks that do physically appear on the palms. Cheiromancy identifies several of these as the square, the grille, the island, the cross or star, etc. Arms had been revered by the Hindus for centuries. One of the Shivaic tantrik rituals of India gives the following liturgical adoration to the fingers of the hands: “Om Sham I bow to the thumbs Namah. Om Shim I bow the index fingers Svaha. Om Shum I bow to the middle fingers Vashat. Om Shaim I bow to the ring fingers Hum. Om Shaum I bow to the little fingers Vaushat. Om Shah I bow to the front and again of fingers Phat.” This chant is accompanied by particular mudras that purifies the delicate channels of the upper limbs. Not solely is that this ritual practiced in India but variations of it may be found in Bali as well. In the marriage ceremonies and sexual rites of Oriental cultures such as in Tantrism, Yoginis or Shaktis typically paint Yantras and other symbolical diagrams on the palms of their arms with henna or crimson dye. These diagrams normally have intricate floral patterns and are magical and hypnotic. They are used to attract, to mesmerize, and to empower themselves and their sexual partners. In Islamic mysticism, particular gestures are sometimes employed to assist produce an altered state of consciousness. Dervishes, as an example, pose their fingers in specific mudras and hand signs while dancing and whirling around on a single spot. Some Sufi sects would trace the 99 names of God on their bodies with their right hand whereas partaking in zikir, or recollecting and focusing upon God by means of constant chanting. In historic instances there have been the Mystery Schools that taught to the selected few the laws and secrets of Nature and the Universe. History has recorded numerous of these colleges and temples of esoteric data among which were the mysteries of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, Eleusis, Orpheus, Mithra, Asar-Hapi, and Odin. To state the mission and purpose of these metaphysical institutions we can do no better than to quote the eminent Freemason, Robert Macoy: “It appears that all the perfection of civilization, and all the advancement made in philosophy, sciences, and art among the ancients are attributable to those institutions which, under the veil of mystery, sought to illuminate the sublimest truths of religion, morality, and virtue, and impress them on the heart of the disciples. Their chief object was to teach the doctrine of one God, the resurrection of man to the eternal life, the dignity of the human soul, and to guide the folks to see the shadow of the deity, in the beauty, magnificence, and splendor of the universe.” Within some of these Mystery schools, when the candidate is first initiated and accepted as a neophyte, she or he is usually given an effigy of a human hand filled with symbolic pictures to contemplate. This hand is referred to as the Hand of the Philosopher, or the Hand of the Mysteries. When these symbols are understood, they provide the neophyte the keys to facilitate the transformation of their lower nature into divinity–from man to god. Regeneration, transmutation, and empowerment are the consequence of the applying of the laws and rules that these ancient symbols symbolize. Among the many secrets that they portray, they teach how one may commune with one’s Holy Guardian Angel, or one’s Higher Self. The practitioner of the secrets and techniques of the Mysteries endure a rebirth on account of the rising affect and expression of the higher Self in everyday consciousness. The Philosopher’s Hand may be regarded as an alchemical manual taking the conscientious student step by step by the alchemical course of. In Freemasonry, the Hand of the Mysteries is understood as the hand of the Master Mason. In some Masonic groups, this is the title for the highest of the three degrees to be found in the hoary and august fraternity. In this article now we have included three examples of these symbolical hands. The first illustration shown is a bronze hand to be discovered within the British Museum. This specimen in the Mano Pantea gesture, is covered with several important symbols among which are : a ram’s head, serpent, frog, vase, crocodile, turtle, cornucopia, scales, woman with baby, desk with loaves of bread, and a cane. It is supposed to be Egyptian in origin. The second hand is a painting redrawn by J. Augustus Knapp from an 18th century water colour, and is taken from Manly Hall’s “Secret Teachings of All Ages”; it was executed with the alchemical process in thoughts. On this illustration there’s a figure of a fish which symbolizes mercury–the principle of the Spirit within the microcosm. This aquatic creature is surrounded by the aspect of fire that represents the psychological facet of man, or the human soul. The remainder of the fingers individually confer with the assorted steps of the spiritual path of transmutation of the base nature of man into the resplendent gold of divinity. Kaballistically, the hand shows the mastership of the crowned thumb (the will) over the four worlds represented by the fingers. These four worlds are referred to as Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah, or the World of Archetypes, the World of Creation, the World of Formation, and the World of Manifestation. Atop of the fingertips in Knapp’s illustration are symbols representing the various components of the microcosm: the lantern, the Concrete Mind; the Sun, the Abstract Mind; the Star, Buddhi; the Crown, Atma. The little finger holds aloft a philosophical key, which reveals the secrets and techniques of the Mysteries. It additionally symbolizes the etheric physique, which is considered by Western Initiates as the important thing to occult development. The wings surrounding the hand is a sign for transcendentalism–the things of the Spirit as opposed to matter. The eyes, on the other hand, indicate the divine facet of omniscience unfolded in the Master Mason after having discovered and applied the “Lost Word.” Hindu versions of the Hand of the Mysteries are diagrams known as Hastakara Yantra. Like their Western counterpart, these hands have various symbolic images depicted on them. Among other things they illustrate the relationship between man and the cosmic forces. Like Hindu yoga, in Feng Shui, or Chinese geomancy, there are 5 elements: Water, Wood, Earth, Fire, and Metal. In Chinese palmistry the little finger is associated with air, the ring finger with fire, the middle finger with earth, the forefinger with water, and the thumb with chi or metallic as mentioned before. This system differs from the Hindu yogic mudra tradition. Initially, in yoga philosophy the fifth element is akasha or space, which although correspond to chi, does not relate to metal at all. Based on mudra teachings, Angutha or the thumb corresponds to fireplace, Tarjani or the forefinger to air, Madhyam or the middle finger to akasha, Anamika or the ring finger to earth and Kanishthika, or the little finger to water. In this work on mudras, we will stress more on the Hindu yogic assignment of the elements to the fingers and thumb. The application of elemental mudras along side the elemental tattvic tides is a great tool in elemental magick. Hand Signs in Religious Art Hand indicators are an important a part of life. They’re used to convey silently but powerfully the intention and ideas of their person. Humanity has for ages utilized sign languages. It originated at a period of Man’s evolution when he was incapable of communicating his abstract and concrete thoughts with words and phrases lingually. He was solely dependent upon gesticulations as a media for expressing his emotions and passions. This primitive type of communication remains to be being utilized by modern man in certain situations and expediency. Not surprisingly, the intelligent classes of anthropoids also make use of hand-sign movements such as the beating of the chest in expressing anger or authority. The fictitious Tarzan could not resist aping this gesture from his Darwinian guardians. Certain specific hand indicators are to be discovered everywhere in the world. Many cultures preceding and succeeding the Christian era share frequent gestures that categorical explicit concepts. It has been advised that these gestures all have comparable basic ideas or significance due to their appearances in similar contexts. This is understood by their repeated portrayal in the many paintings, sculptures, and drawings of the past accessible for our scrutiny and study. Mediaeval Christian art of saints, prophets, and the Holy Trinity, and the gods and devas of Egypt, India and the South American Indians are often depicted with related hand positions. Contemporarily, we find school children perpetuating certain traditional signs that have their origin in religion and pagan practices. As an example, crossing the fingers as a sort of prayer so that they could also be free from chastisement when interrogated of their wrong behavior–this may be a corrupted form of the ecclesiastical use of the Sign of Benediction. There are many professions that make use of signs only known to their members or affiliates. For example, merchants, masons, tramps, gamblers, prostitutes–all have signs known only to themselves with which they signal one another. Because of the profuse use of signs and gestures by the Italians in their everyday life, anthropologists imagine that these descendents of Romulus and Remus will not be able to perform a satisfactory conversation in the event that they had been prevented the usage of gesticulation. Occultists consider that almost all gestures or hand signs that are found in religion and in society have a common origin in the prevalent Mystery Schools of the past where they had been used in a ceremonial setting. Fashionable Freemasonry as one among the numerous descendents of those Occult Temples of Wisdom and Knowledge still perpetuates this custom of hand signs in their initiatory rites. Like the Freemasons, secret societies within the Orient also have ceremonies where esoteric indicators are employed. Considered one of the secret associations of China, the Hung Society, have certain signs and gestures with which communication is carried-out among the affiliated members–not only in the ceremonies but in everyday life as effectively. The aforementioned society, likewise, have plentiful mudras or signs representing the ideas of their philosophy. In its doctrines, the 5 components of Taoist esotericism are signified by poses which are also to be found elsewhere around the globe. The mystical Dervishes, established by the Sufi Rumi, apply hand signs for occult functions. They invoke the Divine Presence by utilizing these indicators that corresponds with the ninety nine names of God of their dance rituals, as already alluded to previously. Artists of all ages have secret codes and teachings with which they unveil in their artwork. In archaic times it was a dangerous matter to openly publicize occult and spiritual teachings that religions steeped in fundamentalism have been dramatically opposed to for these teachings threatened their political construction and lessen their worth within the eyes of an evolving humanity. It’s for that reason that the Mystery and metaphysical schools established by the ancient sages went underground and operated clandestinely. They promulgated their teachings by indicators and symbols that acted on one stage as their calling card.
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