Five symbols that don’t mean what they used to

Symbols are a very prominent part of the world’s culture. Over time, their meanings have changed significantly, what many may see as evil used to be good. Human’s have evolved and so have symbols. Most would say humans have evolved for the better. Will languages and modern day symbols also evolve for the better? So far, it doesn’t look like it.

In 2017, Facebook reported that five billion emojis were sent every day through Messenger alone. According to ScienceMag, the very first ideogram dates back to over 100,000 years ago. For reference, the modern form of humans only predates that by 100,000 years and civilization didn’t come into fruition until 94,000 years after the scribbles were discovered. As time has progressed, markings have evolved. Many of today’s ideograms’ native connotations are now bygone. 

The word Ichtys is actually greek. It wasn’t until around the 16th century that Christians adopted this word into their culture. (Photo Via PNG Images Under Creative Commons License)

The Ichthys: At the height of the Roman Empire and Christian persecution, the Ichthys (more commonly known as “The Jesus Fish”) was a way for Christians to communicate with each other in secrecy. It was used to mark locations where clandestine meetings were to occur and were especially common in catacombs. However, the Ichthys pre-exists Christianity. Its origins lie in Pagan beliefs, but because it was well known and more discreet than the crucifix, it became the symbol of choice.

Swastika: Before it was corrupted by Hitler in 1920, the Swastika was a very commonly used symbol among religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and many others. It is still used throughout many parts of the world in attempts to reclaim its original meaning; however, most feel it’s too late.

Bluetooth: The Bluetooth logo was created through the combination of the Nordic rune for H and B. It is named after the 10th-century Scandinavian king, Harald “Blatand” Gormsson. Harald was known for being able to unite an array of different nations during his rule, similar to how Bluetooth connects us with many peripheral devices.

Peter the apostle, who was crucified upside down, was the first pope. (Photo Via Dreams Time Under Creative Commons License)

The Petrine Cross: In the modern-day, the Petrine cross (or inverted crucifix) is often seen as one of the biggest anti-Christian symbols out there. Yet, very few are aware of its origin. In the year 64 CE, during the ruling of the Roman emperor Nero, a man named Peter was crucified. In the Christian faith, Peter is believed to be one of Jesus’s 12 disciples and was the very first pope. When it came time for him to die, Peter requested to be hung upside down so that his death would take longer. He did not feel that he was worthy to die the same way as Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Before it was a symbol of evil, it was a very powerful pro-Christian symbol.

It is actually the inverted pentagram the is considered evil. It is seen as representing a goats head. (Photo Via PNG Item Under Creative Commons License)

The Pentagram: A symbol that is now most commonly associated with Satanism, Wicca, and Masonry can be traced back to pots from 3500 BC Mesopotamia. As time marched forward, it was adopted by the Hebrew religion and used to symbolize Truth. The five points of the star were said to represent the first five Hebrew scriptures. In ancient Greece, Pythagoras felt that it symbolized perfection. The Pentagram was also used by people of the Celtic Druid and Gnosticism religions, as well as ancient Christianity. The Christians believed that it was meant to be symbolic of the five wounds of their savior Jesus Christ. It is also said that it is the symbol of The Feast of Epiphany or the birth of Jesus.

Somewhere between the 5th and 15th centuries, the Pentagram became known as “the endless knot.” It symbolized truth and was used to ward demons. Then began the crusades. A group of military monks united to form The Knights of Templar. They incorporated the Pentagram (which is said to be very heavily connected to the Temple of Solomon) into their architecture. Legend has it that there are still some Knights’ graves that are marked by the star.

In 1303, King Louis IX believed that the order was working against God. This led to the Inquisition and is where the Pentagram began to obtain its evil ideologies.