Eye of God/Providence (All-Seeing Eye) Tattoo: Symbolism and Meaning


These days, it’s not uncommon for occult-inspired tattoos to be seen. These ancient symbols seem to resonate with many people and certainly have deep roots within many cultural and spiritual traditions around the world.

The all-seeing eye tattoo has definitely become more prominent and lends itself to many creative uses in tattoo design. The eye within the pyramid is certainly prominent on the US one dollar bill, but what does it mean?

Unraveling the Mystery

The all-seeing eye or the eye of Providence most often symbolizes being watched over by God. God is omnipotent and omnipresent. God is everywhere and the all-seeing eye represents God’s presence and power. It also represents God’s watchfulness over humankind.

Some eye of God tattoos actually enhance this by placing rays of light behind the eye. This represents God’s light and illumination. For some people, this may also represent their own spiritual awakening and some passing of wisdom from a divine source.

Also known as the eye of Providence, it was actually chosen by the founding fathers to decorate the one dollar bill in the US. It sits atop a pyramid of 13 different levels, which represents the original 13 states of the nation.

For the founders of the nation, the eye of Providence was symbolic of indelible ties to the Christian spiritual tradition. The all-seeing eye in this context symbolizes God’s watchfulness over the nation and its people as well as the founding of the nation being rooted in divine providence.

Illuminated Connections

Of course, if you happen to have a certain view of the world, it’s hard to talk about the eye of Providence without talking about shady connections to the so-called Illuminati.

Some people might think of it as a joke but there really did exist something called the Bavarian Illuminati. When secret societies were a popular pastime for the rich and idle, Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati group in Bavaria in 1776.

The stated goal of this shadowy society was to banish religious influence from public life, oppose superstition, and ensure that the power of the state was not abused. These are all pretty noble goals; in fact, the Illuminati was founded right in the middle of what we call the period of Enlightenment.

This incredibly influential period of Enlightenment throughout Europe was an awakening of scientific thinking and rationalism. Many prominent thinkers and philosophers saw that the best way forward for humanity was through the rigorous application of science to every area of life.

In practice, this meant rational government based on policy, the rule of law, and the uplifting of the scientific method to greater heights so that logic and reason could inform all aspects of life, including doing away with the ghosts of superstition and religion.

In fact, it’s a movement that was so powerful and revolutionary that it is still with us today and influences our thinking. The Illuminati didn’t last that long. All secret societies at the time were actually banned and the Illuminati disbanded not too long afterwards. Of course, in the decades following, many other secret groups were founded and supposedly had some direct affiliation with the original Bavarian group; however, this is all something of a grey area.

The really interesting part of all of this is that there are plenty of conspiracy-minded folk now who see a direct link between the all-seeing eye and the original Bavarian Illuminati. The thinking is that this secret group was actually founded so that they could control the world bit by bit, and the secrets of the Illuminati have been passed down through generations to the current secret incarnation of the Illuminati.

This modern-day secret society is all about ruling the world and counts the elite among its numbers. They are meant to be controlling the political agenda around the world and bringing about the so-called New World Order or One World Government.

The end game here is that this global government will bring about a new age of enlightenment where a monoculture is formed, one religion is permitted, most people are under a totalitarian boot, and the elites have their way with us. Some variations see the Illuminati cabal as alien reptiles that are here to take over us mammalian soft-bodies.

Whether you believe it or not, the all-seeing eye is supposed to represent this shadowy cabal of elites. And many people think that they are mocking us in full view by having placed the eye of Providence on the back of the US one dollar bill.

The Third Eye

The all-seeing eye is not just about conspiracy theories, though. The third eye is a concept that’s rooted in far-eastern spiritual traditions such as Hinduism. We are all supposed to have this spiritual third eye and when it opens up, we become enlightened.

In Buddhism, for example, enlightenment takes place when we follow the eightfold path and the four noble truths. If we can truly attain this state of mind through rigorous study and meditation, our third spiritual eye opens up.

The Evil Eye

You might have seen the so-called evil eye in Greek and Turkish imagery, such as in jewelry. It’s commonly represented as a blue eye that is surrounded by white circles. Wearing this eye is meant to keep evil spirits at bay.

As a tattoo, it is often represented as a single eye on the palm of a hand. And the great thing about it is that it’s not a religious symbol at all for those who don’t relate to any spiritual tradition. In fact, some tattoo artists can get really creative with this one and include lots of colors and swirling designs.

The Eye of Horus

The single-eye design actually goes right back to the ancient Egyptians. The eye of Ra, or the eye of Horus, is a simplified human eye, most often with a teardrop beneath it. For the ancient Egyptians, it symbolized royal power, protection, and health.

The god Horus was said to have lost his left eye to Seth during a battle. Hathor restored the eye for him and so the eye of Horus came to symbolize a restoration of the whole. It is entirely possible that this original meaning of the all-seeing eye was passed down into the Christian tradition and others.

Should You Get the Eye of God Tattoo?

There’s no doubt that the all-seeing eye can be a really inspired, attractive tattoo design. The great thing about the eye is that it can be stylized in so many ways and mean so many things, including good luck, spiritual awakening, enlightenment, the third eye, divine protection and omniscience, and conspiracy theories.

It can also be easily incorporated into many other tattoo designs, making it a truly flexible tattoo. In many ways, the all-seeing eye is a truly post-modern design. Even though it’s firmly rooted in the past, it has so many other associations and onlookers will often choose the meaning that makes most sense to them.

Whether you relate to a spiritual tradition, enjoy wearing an evil eye talisman all the time, or are into conspiracy theories of world domination, the all-seeing eye in whatever form you choose definitely has something for you.

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