Symbols - What does heaven look like
The pointed finger is a symbol used in alchemy, and many classic paintings, as well as being used on old gravestones. It represent the person's relationship with the spiritual world - in a sense where they are [or were if they are dead] on the spiritual path. In its simplest interpretation, which we will take first:
- A hand with the index finger pointing upward symbolizes a 'hope of heaven', the person reaching out to the spiritual world.
- A hand with the index finger pointing down represents their Higher spirit reaching down for the soul. The implication being that the person is not yet on the path and is being 'searched for', as they are in a state of innocence [or ignorance if you prefer].
- A hand with the index finger pointing but level means the person is on the path and is proceeding along it - in process as it were. There is the added implication that they know where they are going - know their Destiny
But there is a lot more to the symbolism if we then delve deeper. In the first place there is a clear link with the symbolism of As above so below. As such if two hands are shown, the meaning is different from that where only one hand is used.
There is also added symbolism according to whether one finger is used or two. Thus if the fingers, or the finger and thumb in any way form a V, then this has quite different and very significant meaning - see the V sign symbolism.
The final connection is derived from the early Mystery religions and especially that of the Egyptians.
J E Cirlot - Dictionary of symbols
In the Egyptian tongue, the term designating the hand was related to that for the pillar and for the palm. In esoteric doctrine, the position of the hand in relation to the body and the arrangement of the fingers, convey certain precise symbolic notions. According to the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs. the hand signifies manifestation, action, donating and husbandry. An eye in association with a hand - as for example in some oriental mythic beings - symbolises 'clairvoyant action'.
The pillar [if it has a capital] and the palm tree, the palm tree in particular, are the symbols for an enlightened person - one who has had their crown chakra opened. In effect, someone who has achieved either ecstasy, nirvana, or annihilation.
The five fingers are then used to represent where the energy has got to in terms of the level and layers and the chakras - complex this I know, but there is a sort of correspondence working here between spiritual ascent and the ascent of energy up the spine. The index finger thus represents the top most level and layer.
This is where we get the thumbs up signal from - because it means we have broken through and are an enlightened being - success! Although these days it has a much more generic meaning, the use of the thumbs up signal in the olden days would have been pretty rare, as it would have indicated that one had become a 'god' - and most 'gods' prefer not to advertise the fact.
Thus the more general meanings tie in with the more precise meanings. A Pointing finger is an indication of where on the spiritual path one is, symbolically shown by one's ascent through the levels and layers.
Other symbolic hand symbols include:
- Hands holding a chain with a broken link symbolizes either the death of a family member or the loss of someone spiritually - 'never break the chain'. The symbol of Infinity is often used to mean our Higher spirit, thus linking symbols means the close connectivity that exists between all our Higher spirits.
- A handshake represents a farewell to earthly existence - either death or annihilation. If the sleeves of the two hands are masculine and feminine, the handshake symbolises the Mystic marriage.
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- 101 Zen stones - Fingers
- Ancient Egyptian - The symbolism of Min
- Bruno, Giordano – On Magic - Healing with the thumb
- Dürer, Albrecht - Symbolism - Mary with child
- Else Roesdahl - About the sagas
- Mutus Liber 08
- Paul Devereux - Sacred Places - Symbols
- Pauli, Wolfgang - Letter 28th September 1952
- Schuré - The Great Initiates – 'Remolding' in order to attain mastery
- Spencer, Stanley - Symbolism 06 - Sunflower and Dog Worship 1937
- Symbolism - Korean mystic shamanism – Costume: Finger pointing
- Symbolism - Korean mystic shamanism – Costume: Pipes
- Zoroastrian - Symbols and concepts - Belts
- Zosimos of Panopolis - The Mushaf as-suwar - 5th Book of Magnesia picture 6
- Zosimos of Panopolis - The Mushaf as-suwar - 7th Book of the Mercuries picture 22
- Zosimos of Panopolis - The Mushaf as-suwar - 7th Book of the Mercuries picture 3