Often when prowling the Internet for pagan stuff, I come across images that relate to conspiracy theories on the Internet that claim various holidays, aspects of American culture and society, and American institutions, are linked to paganism, the occult, and Satanism or Satan. The material usually comes from American right-wing Christian sources, probably the same lot who falsely believe that America was once a conservative paradise.
Here are some claims made by the conspiracy theorists, with factoids about the meaning of the symbols included:
- The Washington Momument is modelled around the Egyptian obelisks; Obelisks are often seen as phallic symbols and in Egypt they were said to resemble the petrified rays of the sun-disk, and is associated with the sun-god Ra, and by extension sun worship. Obelisks are also said to represent carnal power and might.
- The Medal of Honor and Medal of Valor are designed around the pentagram and contain the goddess Minerva or Liberty in the centre; it should be noted that these medals were first designed in the 18th-19th centuries, before Satanism was founded, and the crowned figure is meant to refer to the Statue of Liberty, not to any goddesses. Five-pointed stars of any variation are common in America, and the pentagram often represents the five elements.
- The Statue of Liberty is linked with the Babylonian/Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, or Astarte, who was a goddess of sex, war, love, and life; some point to the rays on her crown as borrowed from Mithras, a god of light and the sun worshipped in Rome (and in Iran as Mitras); funny enough I see the same rays on a statue of Attis, the Phrygian god of vegetation, life, death, and rebirth (see here)
- That Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holidays are founded on pagan ceremonies and often associated with various gods, which is actually true (as I’ve already covered).
- Mars, the Roman god of war, battle, and agriculture, can be seen on the entrance of the US Capitol Building. They also claim that Mars is a likeness of Baal, storm god of the Canaanites. Oddly enough, conspiracy theorists say Mars was referred to by the Egyptians as Osiris, the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead.
- The dime used to feature the Greco-Roman god Mercury, the messenger god and a god of the underworld.
- The mall in Washington DC is supposedly laid out so that the gardens and streets resemble an owl, which according to them represents a goddess or demon called Lilith, who was associated with the night; other conspiracy theorists point to the owl as referring to Moloch, a Canaanite deity associated with fire and child sacrifice.
- The White House sits at the apex or bottom point of an inverted pentagram, which is associated with Satanism; though Satanism was not laid out until 1966.
- The Statue of Freedom, which sits on top of the Capitol Building, is claimed to reprsent either Athena (Greek goddess of strategy and wisdom), Minerva (her Roman counterpart), Libertas (the Roman goddess of liberty), or Isis (the Egyptian mother goddess of fertility and magic); the actual statue resembles a native American woman armed with a sword.
- The Great Seal on the back of the $1 bill: The eye is said to refer to the All-Seeing Eye of Masonry, but is also claimed to refer to Lucifer or the Antichrist, it is also said to represent the Eye of Horus or Ra, which was a agent of action, protection, and wrath, and a symbol of divine providence; the pyramid shape itself is said to come from Egypt, where their shape is thought to be representative of the rays of the sun; pyramids also represent the primordial mound from which it was believed the earth was created.
- There’s a claim that the Freemasons worship a goat-headed demon called Baphomet, and guys like Jack Chick claims the Freemasons are Baal-worshippers and that Baphomet is a symbol of Baal-worship
- There’s also a claim that the Pentagon is the centre shape of a pentagram, which is associated with paganism and Satanism. There’s also a claim that an owl statue at heart of the inner grounds of the Pentagon represents the god Molech, or some pagan goddess (possibly either Lilith or Athena).
Wow, that was a lot.
A lot of conspiracy theories point to the Freemasons and Masonic symbolism, but I am not interested in Freemasonry, just the stuff supposedly tied to paganism, Satan, Satanism, and the occult.
A lot of conspiracy theories can easily be refuted, but I’m not here to promote anything as true or false.
Now, I don’t know about you, but all this actually sounds kinda cool. For starters, the Obelisk (one of my favourites) being not just a sacred phallic symbol, but related to the sun, and carnal power and might sounds like an awesome concept. It celebrates both nature and sexuality in an amazing way, and I could picture intense power and energy flowing through the obelisk. Second, the Statue of Liberty being Ishtar. I happen to be something of a fan of that goddess, and now we have Ishtar being a goddess of war, sexuality, love, life, and now freedom on top of that. That kicks so much ass. Third, the medals of honour. Put it this way: the medal of honour is a pentagram, and supposedly an award from a goddess. That is fuckin’ cool. Incidentally, the obelisk, medals of honour, and the Ishtar statue of liberty are my three favourite conspiracy subjects. Then you have those holidays I mentioned earlier, holy days for celebrating life, the seasons, and in some ways indulgence.
In general, the idea of their being gods and spirits everywhere is also kinda cool, and it sort of reminds of places in Asia, such as India and Japan, where there often gods and sacred symbols present in cities as a reminder of the presence of nature and the gods. That, and I always thought this pagan stuff was quite cool and appealing, and I saw as somewhat embracing of all the wonderful things that Abrahamism would reject and vilify.
Did you know that America as it is now grew out of Renaissance Europe and its thinking, which was essentially a rebirth of Greco-Roman values? Apparently, in this sense, the American endorsement of individualism, and the pursuit of personal pleasure and happiness are actually embedded in a pagan way of looking at the world (especially that of Greece), and these values also appear in the philosophy of Satanism. Celebration of sexuality, esteem of nature, drama, and non-religious music do appear as vestiges of the same pagan thought, or at least when they appear in America. That is awesome if you ask me.
However, in America, this pagan way of life would be challenged and almost quashed by puritanism from England, which largely stifled pagan expressions until the 20th century, when America emerged as a large and powerful economy, in which more “decadent” pursuits were possible. Puritanical morality had fought back for a while, and these days America is often battling between two sets of ideas/ideals or ideologies: a more Christian puritanical thought, and a freer pagan thought. This instantly reminds me of the conflict of order versus freedom (or Law versus Chaos).
All-in-all, I think the pagan America envisioned by conspiracy theorists much cooler than the puritanical “One Nation Under Christ” they’d rather have. It’s more exciting for one, and this pagan stuff is much more fitting for a Land of the Free, considering the American endorsement of individualism, the pursuit of personal happiness and pleasure, and the celebration of life and sexuality. Makes me want to identify as a pagan in some way, alongside my philosophical Satanism and chaos belief.
(Fun fact: Merriam-Webster defines pagan as (1) a member of a polytheistic religion, and (2) one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods; an irreligious or hedonistic person.)