Since the dawn of mankind, much of humanities actions have been guided by two of its oldest and most basic instincts: a fear of the unknown, and the need to feel safe. Despite the separation created by different cultures, geographical locations, and eras, the desire to feel safe from both tangible and intangible forces beyond our control is clearly universal. Even behind the safety of both natural and artificial barriers, people still have a subconscious need to seek out a more personal means of protection. Something that grants them security and assurance no matter where they find themselves in the world. It’s from this necessity to feel safe from the unknown that has resulted in the creation of various protective symbols throughout history.
Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus, also known as the “All Seeing Eye”, is considered to be one of the most sacred symbols in Ancient Egyptian culture. It was believed that the eye was personified in the Goddess Wadjet, the patron and protector of all of Egypt. The Eye of Horus was said to protect anything that donned it from the evils of both the physical and spiritual realms. Funerary amulets were often included in the burial of pharaohs to protect them in the afterlife and were also painted on boating vessels to ensure safe travels.
Although it is seen as a protective symbol in many cultures, the Hamsa is predominantly believed by Jews, Muslims, and Christians to be a defense against the Evil Eye. The general consensus among the anthropological community is that the symbol predates Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some believe that it originated in either Ancient Egypt or Carthage. Its connection to Carthage is further amplified by its potential association with the Goddess Tanit, the chief deity of Carthage. Because of the various cultures and religions that have adopted it as a sacred protective symbol, the Hamsa is also referred to as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Merriam, and the Hand of the Goddess.
Mudras are symbolic rituals or gestures that are commonly practiced in both Hinduism and Buddhism. The Karana Mudra is mainly associated with Buddhism due to the Buddha commonly being depicted performing this gesture. This mudra, in particular, is believed to help expel demons as well as dispel negativity, anxiety, fear, and depression. It can also help enhance feelings of happiness which results in a more centered body, mind, and soul.
Seal of Solomon
The origins of the Seal of Solomon are deeply rooted in Jewish tradition/mythology, while also being fairly predominant in Islamic eschatology and western occultism. The depiction of the Seal of Solomon varies, some interpretations of it depict it as a pentagram, while other descriptions feature it as a hexagram which is also referred to as the Star of David. The symbol also has strong roots in Kabbalistic tradition as well as potentially having connections with alchemy. Generally, it is said that the Seal of Solomon is able to protect one from demons as well as exorcising and controlling them.