Elite corporations are committed to increasing their profit margin, and will go to great lengths to do so: they will even turn to psychology and esoteric symbols to unconsciously sway people, co-opting ancient magic symbols previously used for benevolent purposes and subtly shifting their symbolism for use in logos to manipulate viewers for their own benefit.
Does the Mercedes Benz logo make you think “luxury,” “style,” “class,” and “comfort”?
Above: The Mercedes Benz logo, famous worldwide.
This may be what it means today, but for thousands of years it had a far different meaning. It was the “Triquetra” of the Druids and Celtics, who knew it’s great secret: The symbol’s natural shape has the ability to stimulate the human psyche and awaken spiritual powers within us when we look upon it.
The Triquetra was principally a ceremonial device in neolithic Europe, used in magic, ritual and religious incantation. Superimposing the Triquetra over the Mercedes logo immediately produces a very obvious parallel:
Left: Mercedes logo. Right: The Triquetra is the Latin tri (“three”) combined with quetrus (“cornered”). It was found on runestones in Northern Europe and on early Germanic coins.
The Triquetra has appeared in numerous Pagan works, starting with Pagan artwork and temples and later moving to Gothic cathedral walls. Mercedes has taken this logo and induced a semantic shift in the symbolism of the logo, disconnecting it from our inner quest for self and linking it to a product (in this case, a car).
It is, of course, conceivable that this is coincidence: some have argued that the Mercedes logo is in fact a “wheel-and-spoke” symbol, related to tires. This argument, however, is invalidated by the fact that the current logo was crafted from the merging of Daimler and Benz’ logos in 1926. Daimler’s logo, before that merger, was a Triquetra without any recognizable parallel to a tire; it was only later on that the logo was altered to its current shape, well after the original embedding of the Triquetra.
The Triquetra can also be seen in another car company’s logo, that of Mitsubishi:
Left: The Mitsubishi logo, which goes back to 1870. Right: Ancient European Triquetra.
“Mitsubishi. “Mitsu” means “three” and “hishi” means diamond. Altogether the word means three diamonds, shown in the logo.
Coincidence is possible, of course, but unlikely: the founders of Mercedes and Mitsubishi understood the power behind these symbols and harnessed it to control consumers.
Psychologists and mythologists like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have long taught that symbols like this continue to have a pull on the human mind. They are deeply embedded in our cultural consciousness, with a meaning that is long forgotten but continues to affect us by circumventing logic and reason by tapping into a more primal source within us. Marketers have known the link of these icons to a consumer’s raw emotions for years, dating back to over a hundred years ago. Even if they themselves do not know the original meaning behind an esoteric symbol, they intuitively understand its affect on people and shift that feeling into their products and thus unconsciously associating these ancient symbols with their own products in the minds of consumers.
Once learned and associated, the symbol’s identity and the emotions it elicits become ingrained in the mind forever, drawing us in again and again, entering the deepest unconscious of our unsuspecting thoughts.
Above: The show Charmed reveals a human memory of the magic of the Triquetra logo and “power of three”—the exact same “magic” Mercedes has draped around itself.
The power of esoteric marketing is launching products to new heights; it demonstrates a complete mastery of geometry, poetry and prose. These ancients arts move people to action by stirring an unconscious, cultural feeling that manifests itself into people buying into the Triquetra logo- in this case, embedded in the products of Mercedes and Mitsubishi.
Secret Oil Company Logos
Let’s now look at another occult logo phenomenon in the auto industry—Oil companies and gasoline stations.
These are all familiar names. However, each one possesses an ancient, esoteric, mystically-charged logo, a ready-made symbol.
“See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life.”
—Henry Hill, Goodfellas
All of these logos have an inherent power in them due to the ancient symbols they co-opt: they are so effective at influencing people, in fact, that it may seem that the use of them transcends effective marketing into the realm of mind-control.
The explanation of the symbols will come shortly, but first we must understand why these symbols are so effective. The effectiveness of these symbols depends on an understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of the “collective unconscious”. This idea, in brief, posits that humans have a genetic memory of ancient memories of humanity; a remembrance of the same rites of passages, ideas, images, etc. and so forth. These memories are shared and often take form as symbols; examples include suns symbolizing warmth, or skulls symbolizing death. He calls these embedded symbols “archetypes”, and they are a part of our makeup. According to Jung, we know them not from personal experience but from the thousands of years of experience from our ancestors.
These corporate logos, then, take advantage of these archetypes. They lie at the core of every one of us, and the big oil corporations obviously seem to know this. Let’s take the shell symbol for example, which is the logo of the Shell Oil Company:
Top, From Left to Right: Shell corporate logo; Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”; Aphrodite in a sea shell from Amisos, now in the Louvre. Bottom, From Left to Right: Shell design in architecture on NYC building; ancient shell coin. shell atop a doorway on a bank in Buffalo, NY; shell design inside the LDS Church.
Seashell: Seashells are almost universally loved, strewn along beaches like sea jewels that children (and even adults) collect daily. Few realize, however, that for a great deal of human history shells played a vital role for man; they were used in everything from money to art. Stone Age people used seashells to adorn their jewelry, homes and boats. In tropical countries, many tribes used shells as money. The Incas buried seashells with their dead. Throughout history, architects and artists have incorporated shell motifs and symbolism into their work. Gothic cathedrals and the famous Alhambra in Spain are one example. Shells have been found to decorate deities in the ruins of Pompeii:
Above: The ancient people of Pompeii, Italy adorned their holy figures with shells.
As a result of these ancient uses, shells are embedded in our collective unconscious as a positive symbol.
In Greek and Roman myth shells were the mystic symbol of prosperity and regeneration and, in their association with the sea, the source of fertility. We all came from the sea, as we all came from our mother’s womb; the shell thus became symbolic of the mythic birth of the goddess (i.e., Venus, Aphrodite, etc.).
For this reason, the shell was representative of the Female Deity in pagan worship, and was associated with:
- all things we think of when we think of the sea romantically
In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of love and fertility, was said to be created from the foam carried ashore atop a scallop shell. Many paintings of Venus depict a scallop shell to identify her. One example is Botticelli’s classically inspired The Birth of Venus or “Venus on the half-shell.”
Decorative shellwork rises to prominence in the 17th century, whenEuropean nobility, inspired by palaces like Medici’s Bobole Gardens in Florence and the Villa d’Este outside Rome, commissioned artists to recreate similar marvels on their own estates. The seashell and other sea themes are the most prevalent motifs in French Rococo Style.
The seashell is linked to Spain’s famous Way of St. James (a.k.a. “the road to Santiago”) which has existed for thousands of years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem.
“The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of James, son of Zebedee, and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of St. James to the apostle’s shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes..”
Above: Scallop shells, symbol of “El Camino de Santiago” (Way of St. James) pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain.
While many are familiar with the Way of St. James, few remember that it was actually constructed over the ruins of a much older, now-forgotten holy pilgrimage route. This older route was a fertility pilgrimage, undertaken by young couples hoping to bear children, and the scallop shell, true to its ancient meaning, is believed to have been carried by the pilgrims on this route. The Christians continued this tradition in part, but dedicated the road to St. James.
Above: Evolution of the Shell logo over the past century.
Thus, the Pagan seashell symbol is part of us, our “collective unconscious.” It has positive connotations to us, just like the next symbol we’re going to take a look at, the diamond:
Top, From Left to Right: Corporate Sunoco logo; diamond symbol atop outdoor stairway at Reid Hall, Manhattanville College; Temple of Borobudur diamond. Bottom, From Left to Right: esoteric Masonic design found in the books by René Guénon; letter of the ancient runic alphabet called “ingwaz”; diamond-lattice pattern in Chan Chan, Peru; outside floor tiling, West porch, Reid Hall, Manhattanville College; Navajo rug, stylized diamond pattern with designs in red, gray, tan and black.
The diamond symbol occurs in every era, culture, religion, esoteric sect, and spiritual tradition. Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since very early times. Diamond is from the Greek word “adámas” or “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”, “untamed.”A diamond lasts forever, as we’ve learned from De Biers, and operative Freemasons incorporated the diamond pattern into the design of the buildings they constructed, including churches, castles, and cathedrals.
The diamond is both earthly and lasts forever, symbolizing eternity and a higher world state of being human can achieve- an apotheosis that culminates in gaining higher spiritual and physical ability:
- “the most sacred body” (wujud al-aqdas) and “supracelestial body” (jism asli haqiqi) in Sufism
- “the diamond body” in Taoism and Vajryana
- “the light body” or “rainbow body” in Tibetan Buddhism
- “the body of bliss” in Kriya Yoga
- “the immortal body” (soma athanaton) in Hermeticism
- “the superconductive body” in Vedanta
- “the radiant body.” in Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism
- “the Glory of the Whole Universe” and “the golden body” in the alchemical tradition
- “the astral body” according to alchemist Paracelsus
- “the immortal body ” (soma athanaton) in the Hermetic Corpus,
- “the solar body” in some mystery schools
- “the diamond body of the temple of God” in Rosicrucianism
- “the luminous body or being” in ancient Egypt
- “the indwelling divine potential” (fravashi or fravarti) in Old Persia
- “the perfect body ” (soma teilion) in the Mithraic liturgy
The “Diamond Body” or vajra deha is a Tantric term that describes the process of refining the physical body through the practices of hatha yoga. It is a continuous refinement of the body until it is so light and airy that it has become a spiritual form upon the earth. It is achievable only by surrendering the limited perceptions of the body and moving to a higher state of knowledge.
The process is metaphorically analogous to the intense heat and pressure needed to form a diamond; the physical body is pushed to such a degree that it is cleansed and refined to a stronger and purer form. In this system, the method is supposed to not only bring the practitioner to the ultimate level of consciousness but also give them magical powers, including immortality itself.
Famous Indian guru and metaphysical leader Sri Aurobindo called this “divine body” the ultimate stage of human evolution. He believed a kind of “deathless condition” resulting from transubstantiation of the fleshly body could be attained by meditation, effort and divine grace.
According to this doctrine, the seeds of this immortal form, the Diamond Body, lie in potential within us; all humans possess this transformative ability to morph into an eternal being. A parallel can be drawn with the transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly:
“Is it possible that the human body acts as a cocoon for a higher, more complex longer lived form which has the potential for immortality?”
—Dr Mitchell E. Gibson
This parallel was not lost to our ancestors, either: the diamond symbol in the form of a butterfly (see below) is common to native peoples indigenous to North America, Canada, and Mexico. Many of the Indian nations identify the butterfly with “immortality.”
Above: Native American butterfly symbol in the shape of a diamond.
The diamond butterfly motif conveys the element of rebirth, revitalization, and metamorphosis, encompassing all of these ideals and deeper symbolic meanings into one poignant symbol
Clearly, the diamond symbol has been with man for untold ages and thus holds a place in our “collective unconscious,” whether we realize it or not; it is one of the more powerful symbols in the human collective unconscious- Its presence in the Sunoco logo (as well, interestingly, in the Triquetra of Mitsubishi) is anything but coincidence.
TORCH / ETERNAL FLAME
Top, From Left to Right: Amoco logo; back of dime; steel gate around Yale’s Society of Book and Snake, the fourth oldest secret society at Yale University. Bottom, From Left to Right: Replica of Statue of Liberty’s torch; Statue of Liberty; TriStar pictures flame; Olympic torch.
Torch / Eternal Flame. The torch is, by modern standards, a rather antiquated technology, having been supplanted by electricity. For our ancestors, however, the torch represented light and life for thousands of years (and, symbolically, immortality and eternal enlightenment), a very positive symbol in the collective unconscious.
One of the most well-known is the Olympic torch. The Olympic torch is the torch of Promethus and thus the torch that gave fire to man, a very positive image in keeping with the torch’s symbolic meaning of enlightenment:
Above: Prometheus stealing fire.
Prometheus was a champion of mankind who stole fire from Zeus and give it to mortals. Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day.
Above: Image on the side of Rockefeller center. A torch down the middle, a man to the right, a woman to the left. This is all a clear reference to the doctrine of opposites.
The modern American dime has the torch of illumination. The Statue of Liberty holds a massive torch. When held up above the head, a torch symbolizes life and the regenerative power of flame. Many universities and colleges, in their symbols and emblems, celebrate torches. In England in the first half of the twentieth century, a torch was used as the road sign indicating a school, which is a place of enlightenment.
The ancient Greeks viewed fire as sacred and torch relays existed in ancient Greece first as nighttime religious ceremonies and later as quasi-religious sporting events. Today carrying a torch for someone can mean nurturing an enduring love or lust for someone out of reach.
The torch, then, is a very positive symbol meaning life and enlightenment in our spiritual unconscious; a deeper meaning that could be easily co-opted (and has been) by major corporations seeking to influence consumers.
Top, From Left to Right: Chevron corporate logo; U.S. Coat of Arms close-up; U.S. Coat of Arms. Bottom, From Left to Right: Castilla y León shield; shield atop the southern facade of Reid Hall at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY; ancient Roman shield.
A shield is a type of personal armor, meant to block an attack, either by stopping projectiles such as arrows or redirecting a blow from a weapon. Shields have been in use since prehistory, making them a very integral part of our collective unconscious. The shapes of shields vary, of course, depending on time and place; shield designs can be anything from round to square or scalloped. Often shields were decorated with a painted pattern or an animal representation and these designs developed into systematized heraldic emblems.
As a symbolic icon, the shield is a positive, defensive symbol that has connotations of spiritual defensiveness and fortitude.
“The symbolic significance of the shield amounts to a simple transposition of its defensive function to the spiritual plane.”
—Juan Eduardo Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols
The theory behind the spiritual defense is simple: Negativity in spiritual form can be just as damaging as physical harm. Fear, anger, depression, negative people/places, arguments, all of these can cling to us and cause problems over time. Spiritual cleansings reduce the harm that negative energy has on our lives.
One type of shield that is pertinent here is the coat of arms, especially considering it seems to be the type of shield depicted in the Chevron logo above. The coat of arms is a special type of shield because it was unique to families; many families passed down their unique coat of arms on their shields through many different generations, imbuing the coat of arms with a familial distinction in addition to its purely defensive one.
We don’t use shields today, but the shield has for thousands of years been used by humans all across the world. It thus holds a very powerful and positive place in our collective unconscious.
SOLAR HALO (Egypt)
Top, From Left to Right: Gulf corporate logo; Horus with solar halo; Horus with solar halo; Japanese flag; Bottom, From Left to Right: Horus with solar halo; Horus with solar halo.
Sun symbolism (also known as “sun worship”) can be found throughout recorded history and prehistory. The solar halo in particular is a very ancient symbol, used in reverence and memorializing by ancient cultures throughout the world, especially that of ancient Egypt.
The sun’s symbolism is quite obvious: the sun gives heat and light, both necessary to life. As a result of this extraordinary life-giving power, solar deities are often considered powerful and strong, even supreme (Ra in Egypt, for example); they carry different names and are associated with many different aspects.
The sun is depicted as a circle (i.e., the perfect circle) which, with no beginning and no end, has always signified eternity, or the eternal soul within. This brings sun gods like Ra an immediacy that Judaic gods do not have, a sense that the sun god is inside you. The sun is also a wheel or chariot, metaphors for your soul and its incarnation or manifestation in the world, as in these examples:
- Trundholm sun chariot of the Nordic deity, Sol, drawn by Arvak and Alsvid
- Greek Helios riding in a chariot (also Phaeton)
- Sol Invictus depicted riding a quadriga on the reverse of a Roman coin
- Vedic Surya riding a chariot drawn by seven horses
In ancient Egyptian symbolism, the sun is drawn as the “aten” symbol; its wings signify ascension, or the spiritual uplifting of the soul, the goal of human life. Its twin serpents depicted as perfectly symmetrical signify duality in perfect balance, the way in which to achieve this spiritual ascension:
In ancient Egyptian religion, the sun disk became a primary symbol of Ra, the sun. The sun disk was carved over the doorways of many Egyptian tombs and temples, and it appears on many papyri. The sun disk is often shown being carried on the wings and head of Horus.
The forty-four story Gulf Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (the former corporate headquarters of the Gulf Oil Company) is shaped like an Egyptian pyramid! The tower is named for the Gulf Oil Corporation, which was one of the leading multinational oil companies of its time, and which has the Egyptian sun symbol as its logo.
The symbolism is very apparent in the Gulf logo; for those who are skeptical or unconvinced, however, we need only look to the Gulf Tower in downtown Pittsburgh. The top of the tower is built in a “stepped pyramid” fashion, like the Egyptian temples; a connection that takes Gulf’s logo from the realm of coincidence to the realm of likelihood.
The connotations of the sun oas an immensely positive symbol remain strong in the collective consciousness, and many artists, authors, and composers have put the beauty and warmth of the sun in their work. The Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh created landscapes that expressed his joy with bright sunshine. The American poet Emily Dickinson wrote a poem called “The Sun,” in which she described the rising and setting of the sun. The Russian composer Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov included a beautiful song, “Hymn to the Sun,” in his opera The Golden Cockerel.
With all of this in mind, Gulf Oil uses the sun symbol in its logo because man is attracted to the sun and its power, and has been for millennia. Somewhere deep inside you, you are in awe of, and you have love for, the tremendous power of the sun.
Top, From Left to Right: Mobil Oil Corporate logo, the Pegasus; Pegasus flying, Greek Bronze, 300-268 BC; Parthian era bronze plate depicting Pegasus (“Pegaz” in Persian), excavated in Masjed Soleyman, Khuzestan, Iran. Bottom, From Left to Right: Bellerophon and the Chimera, edge of an Attic red-figure epinetron (thigh-protector used by a woman when weaving), ca. 425–420 BC (photo by Marsyas); Ancient Greek Silver Stater, Pegasus Coin Pendant Circa 480 – 450 BC; ancient Greek coin from Corinth c 360 BC.
The Pegasus is one of the most famous mythological creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine horse, white in color, and has symbolized speed, power, and swift transport since prehistory. Additionally, Pegasus symbolizes the immortality of the soul, serviing as a carrier and protector of the spirit in journeys to the astral plane.
Pegasus is closely linked to various Greek gods like Poseidon / Neptune (emotion); Athena / Minerva (heavenly wisdom); Zeus / Jupiter (guidance and creativity).
From the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, the Pegasus was a symbol of wisdom and especially of fame. In the 19th century, he became a symbol of poetry and a muse from which poets draw inspiration.
The Pegasus symbol itself is a unique combination of horse and wing symbolism; horses are a potent symbol from almost every world religion and mythology. Many view the horse as a symbol of strength, virility, and lust; wings, on the other hand, represent prayer, contemplation, and the soul’s ability to transcend the weight of earthly burdens.
The Winged Horse or Pegasus, then, symbolizes the heightened power of man’s natural forces, an innate capacity for spiritualization and for inverting evil forces into good. As a Christian and religious symbol, the Pegasus was adopted from the attribution as the mount of Apollo, the God of pure light, beauty and truth to be included in the symbolic fauna of Christ.
Left: TriStar Pictures logo is a Pegasus. Right: Reader’s Digest Pegasus.
To summarize, it is clear that the big oil companies have used powerful and iconic ancient human symbols for their logos. They all have done so for the same reason: Because these corporations have always known that it’s easier to attract humans to their products by draping themselves in ready-made symbols of power and positivity, than to start from scratch.
The shell (Shell), diamond (Sunoco), torch (Amoco), shield (Chevron), sun (Gulf), and pegasus (Mobil) are all ancient symbols that we, as an ancient race, recognize—not in our conscious minds, but in our “collective unconscious.”
In Part II we will look at the Texaco logo, which is yet another corporate logo (oil company logo) that’s patterned after another ancient emblem, the pentagram (also known as “pentacle.”)