The Hidden Meaning of the Eye of God

Eye of God
The Eye of God, also called the Eye of Providence, is a well-known symbol. It has been around for centuries in religious and secular contexts and is present in many places. The symbol represents divine watchfulness and the Supreme Being taking care of the universe. It's a single eye enclosed inside a triangle with clouds or bursts of light surrounding it. 

What is the Eye of God?

The Eye of God is a single, realistic eye with one or more elements like a triangle, clouds, a burst of light, or all of them. The earliest depiction of the symbol goes back to the Renaissance period. 

Also called the All-Seeing Eye of God, the symbol has been used since ancient times. It signifies God’s omniscience and omnipresence and his powerful and protective character.

eye of god
The Eye of God

What Is The Eye Of God Called?

In Spanish, the God’s Eye is called Ojo de Dios and is a spiritual thing made by weaving on a wooden cross using yarn of several colors. They are common in Mexican, Peruvian, and Latin American communities.

Ojos de Dios reflects confidence in the all-seeing providence. Some people believe that the spiritual eye of the symbol has the power to see and understand things that are unknown to the physical eye.

eye of god
Two representations of Ojos De Dios art

Where Did The Eye Of God Come From?

In the Eye of Providence, providence signifies the divine guidance a god or deity offers. It is a symbol that has both religious and mythological associations.

Religious Contexts

According to historians, the Eye of God didn’t emerge from Christianity or Judaism but is associated with Egyptian mythology and symbols like the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra.

The Buddhist texts refer to the Buddha as the eye of the world. Regarding Hinduism, the God Shiva has a third eye in the middle of his forehead. 

However, the first recorded appearance of this symbol within a triangle shape dates back to the Renaissance. It was a part of the painting from 1525 – Supper at Emmaus done by an Italian painter Jacopo Pontormo. Made for the Carthusians, the painting depicts the Eye of Providence above Christ.

The triangle also symbolizes the Trinity in Christianity, while the eye depicts the unity among the three aspects of God. The clouds and light represent the holiness of God. 

It is a popular theme in art and architecture of the late Renaissance, seen in paintings, stained-glass windows, and emblem books.

Great Seal of the United States

The Eye of God became a part of the Great Seal of the United States, added to its back in 1782. It appears on the reverse of the dollar bill above the unfinished pyramid. There are Latin words written above it: Annuit Coeptis, which means: He has favored our undertakings.

There is a controversy that the dollar bill contains Masonic, religious or even Illuminati symbols. 

However, as per the Oxford Handbook of Church and State, the language used by Congress includes only the word eye, and it doesn’t have any religious significance. It simply implies that God is watching over America. 

Freemasonry Iconography

The Eye of God is also associated with Freemasonry. This secret fraternal organization emerged in Europe during the 16th or 17th centuries. 

The Masons have different religious beliefs or political ideologies. Still, they believe in the existence of one God or a Supreme Being they call the Great Architect of the Universe. 

The organization adopted this symbol in 1797, which has been a sign of the guidance offered by a higher force since then. 

eye of god
The Eye of God is used on U.S. currency.

What Does The Eye Of God Mean?

The Eye of God has been famous across many cultures, religions, and regions for centuries, and it has various meanings associated with the symbol.

God Is Watching

The symbol implies that God sees and knows everything, including the actions and thoughts of people. While people use the Eye of God symbol in religious contexts to depict ideas and beliefs, anyone who believes in the existence of a God or Supreme Being can use it. 

Protection and Luck

The Eye of Providence represents good luck and wards off evil, much like the Hamsa hand, which also includes an eye in the middle. 

Spiritual Guidance

It is also a reminder of higher knowledge, spiritual insight, conscience, and moral code.

Divine Protection 

According to Lutheran theology, the symbol refers to God’s preservation of the creation. As God created heaven and Earth, everything in this universe is under his guidance or protection.


Many people have faith in the threefold nature of God as per Christian theology, which is the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. The symbol has a triangle, as each side conveys one aspect of the Holy Trinity.

eye of god
NGC 7293 or Eye of God Nebula

What Is The Eye Of God Nebula?

Helix Nebula, also called Caldwell 63, NGC 7293, or Eye of God Nebula, is among the closest planetary nebulae. It is a phenomenon that is 650 light years away from Earth in the constellation Aquarius discovered by NASA.

The nebula formed with the explosion of a star that blew off the outer layer right before dying. It consists of molecular gas, dust, and ionized material that creates a complex pattern, like a blue and golden eye. A dying star is present in the heart of the Helix Nebula that evolves into a white dwarf.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our post on the Alpha and Omega symbolism.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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