The Sign of Silence

As children often make noise, an adult will often tell us in a hushed tone ‘shhhhh’, placing their index finger to their mouth. This hand gesture is a sign of silence. But its origins have an obscurity to them. This gesture can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, with this hieroglyph meaning children or child.

Hieroglyphic Symbol for Child

This gesture of the hand raised to the mouth may indicate a hungry child, or the desire for the child to be fed. Either way this sign was incorporated into a symbol of Horus, who as a child was known to the ancient Greeks as Harpocrates, the child Horus. 

Horus was often used to depict time, and is heavenly connected with the sun. In the fifth Egyptian dynasty, Ra the solar deity merged with Horus to create Re-Horakhty, the sun of the two horizons.


Horizon, the word can be broken down to mean Horus – eye – sun. Horus loses this eye to his evil uncle set. Horus’s eye is symbol of the Sun. Horus is the god of Upper Egypt were the sun will rise, but Horus loses his eye (the sun) to Set who is ruler of Lower Egypt, were the sun sets. Hence the SET-ting sun. Our word for hour is a direct descendent from the word Horus, in Greek it began as ‘Hora’, and eventually became hour in English. As Horus who is a falcon would fly over the sky, as he is a sky god, like the sun he would cross over the sky from horizon to horizon. 

The index finger which in palmistry is known as the Jupiter finger, which is located between his father Saturn (middle finger) and his symbolic mother Venus (thumb) to represent the son/sun of these two figures. As Horus is the child of Osiris and Isis, and is a symbolic representation of the sun. 

The ancient Greeks saw this hand gesture differently, they interpreted as a gesture of silence and secrecy. The reason for this is uncertain, they may have misinterpreted this hand gesture as a way of stopping our lips from moving, or as a potential plug for the mouth. Either way they adopted a new understanding of the hand sign.

The Greeks invented the god Harpocrates due to their understanding of the Egyptians culture. Harpocrates was still connected with the Sun, this is most likely were the phrase ‘Silence is Golden’. Golden like the sun. And as children are often mischievous like Harpocrates they must remain silent like the sun to appease their parents. 

Harpocrates developed wings and become Harpocratic Eros, which in turn become Cupid. Cupid is linked specifically with being a child, and the connection with wings suggests the influence of Horus’s falcon wings, that spanned the sky. representing the young morning sun. 



Triangle symbolism – an interpretation

The triangle is a particularly interesting symbol, not only does it play an important role in occult symbolism it has several layers of meaning that are hidden within it.

The equilateral triangle has been used to symbolise the four elements and in another sense the four suits in the tarot. The triangles with their points facing up are masculine and the triangles with the points facing down are feminine.

the four elements

In the above picture we see that air and fire are pointing up while earth and water and pointing down. The reason for this is that earth and water are earthbound. While fire and air are above the surface of the earth. The triangles for air and fire point to the sky, father sky, while earth and water triangles are pointing to the ground, mother earth. In John Marco Allegro’s The end of the road, he describes why we have father sky and mother earth and not mother sky and father earth. The reason being that the ancients saw the spermatozoa (sperm) in the form of rain that impregnated the earth who would bear the fruits that had been seeded from the sky. From this perspective we can understand why the triangles point as they do.

An incomplete triangle has only three sides, we get the equation of 2 divided by 3 = 0.666…

This is also called a chevron.


This could symbolise an incomplete initiation to a certain order, or most likely a mortal. As the  trinity of the three sided equilateral triangle symbolises perfection, as it is believed to be the first geometrical shape created by God. It is also a powerful number as it can be used in rhetoric  three examples are given, three has been widely thought to be a magical number.

Now let us apply this knowledge to the set square and compass symbol of freemasonry.

set square and compass

To analyse symbols within logos and architecture one must look for the simple shapes and lines that are within a symbol. If we look above we see two chevrons over each other. One masculine and one feminine  There is a G placed in between them. There is funnily enough three main reasons what the G stands for, For the layman – Geometry, for the initiated – God, and for the select few – Generative. Simply put sex, as this is the ultimate act of creation, the male and female overlapping is a symbol of sex. Interestingly enough we can apply this knowledge of triangle symbolism to gain a hidden understanding of what is meant.

female on top of female

Once you begin to see logos in this light it makes things very interesting. For example the Scientology logo.

male in male

This appears to have some homosexual implications. Perhaps I overstepped my boundaries in interpreting these logos, but I can’t understand why they would use these triangles in the way they do.

The star of David is another interesting symbol.

Star of David, Hexagram, seal of solomon

It has 6 triangles around a hexagon. Each triangle has 3 angles each of 60 degrees.

An equatorial triangle has three angles,

triangle equilateral

triangle equilateral

60, 60, and 60.

The angles within the hexagon are 120, if you fold each triangle into the hexagon you will find they fit perfectly.

hexagon with six angles, each 120 degrees

each triangle of the hexagram fits in perfectly into the hexagon

The sacred space inside the 6 triangles  is the seventh space. This is highly significant as 7 means divinity. Seven is seen throughout the bible as a number of completeness  which humans are short of divinity by a single digit. Notice that the hexagram has three triangles pointing up with three pointing down. I can only speculate but I imagine this has something to do with a ritual of some kind  that is only symbolised through the use of the hexagram. Which is made of two larger triangles  male and female in the act of creation, that creation being the seventh space. The hexagon which as it is at the centre of all of the space means that during the act of sex we take part in the act of creation, we become like gods.


Medieval Number Symbolism by Vincent Foster Hopper

The End of the Road by John M. Allegro

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