Have you ever seen a double-cross with an infinity symbol attached to it and wondered what it was? Well, wonder no more as we will be delving into that very symbol, the Leviathan Cross, also known as the Satanic Cross today. Here is everything you need to know about the origin and history of the Leviathan Cross along with the symbolism and meaning behind it.
The Origin of the Leviathan Cross Symbol, How Did It Come to Be?
One thing should be clarified here; the actual question about the origin of the Leviathan Cross should be “When was it adopted to be used as the Leviathan Cross?” as the symbol itself goes back to many centuries ago.
How so? Well, the symbol has been being used as the symbol for sulphur in alchemy for a long time before it became the symbol of Satan. There are no records indicating a date but it is probably very old as alchemy has existed as a discipline since the ancient times.
So, how did the sulphur symbol end up to be the Satan’s Cross?
The symbol became the Leviathan Cross, also known as the Satanic Cross, Satan’s Cross and Brimstone Cross along with some other names, when Anton LaVey, the founder of the ‘Church of Satan’ adopted it as the emblem of his church in 1960s.
It should be noted that, there are no accounts in history attributing the said symbol to Satanism before LaVey adopted it.
Confusion About the Cross of Lorraine (Double Cross of the Knights Templar) and the Leviathan Cross Symbol
Throughout history, the Leviathan Cross has been confused with the Cross of Lorraine, the Double Cross, which was used by the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar held flags bearing the Cross of Lorraine as they rode into battle. It is a historical symbol, which the 13th century Christians believed to be Christianity’s true emblem.
Interestingly, though there are no known instances of the Knights Templar using the Leviathan Cross, many believe it to be their creation.
There were even speculations that, under pressure from the King, Pope Clement V disbanded the Knights Templar because of Satanic practices. However, the Knights Templar symbol did not include the infinity sign at the bottom and that raises several questions as to the legitimacy of these claims.
It is also not to be confused with the ‘Pontifical Cross of Satan,’ the upside-down cross. There is much debate over whether the inverted cross is actually satanic or symbolic, as its origin can be traced to the crucifixion of St. Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
St. Peter expressed the desire to be crucified on an inverted cross, deeming himself unworthy of dying the same way Christ did.
Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan – Why Did He Name the Symbol the Leviathan Cross?
To understand how and why the symbol came to represent the Church of Satan, we need first to understand the concept of Satanism as employed by Anton LaVey.
LaVey possessed a charismatic personality, owing to which, he gained quite a bit of fan following. In 1966, he started the Church of Satan, which he intended to be a counter-religion for all those who, like him, wanted to reject traditional Christian morality.
A few years later, he published the Satanic Bible. In this version of the Bible, he wrote a ‘Satanic’ rendition of the Ten Commandments, the ‘Nine Satanic Statements,’ on top of which he placed the Leviathan/Satanic Cross.
Anton LaVey was the one to actually name the alchemy symbol the Leviathan Cross. The name holds substantial significance, which we shall discuss later.
LaVey’s main point of disagreement with Christianity was that it breeds conformity in humans by asking them to go against their nature. His sect of Satanism was secularized and atheistic. He did not believe in God or Satan’s existence and believed in and promoted a sort of ethical egoism.
In his own words, the foundation for beliefs was his observations as teenagers where he saw men bow their heads in prayers at church, only to see the same men attend burlesque shows on the weekends.
Satanism revolves around Satan’s worship, which is an entity representing absolute evil in several religions, including Christianity and Judaism. There are different groups within the church of Satan. Some preach normalization of ‘evil’ practices; others employ a wide range of magical and mystical practices, etc.
What Does the Satanic Cross Represent, What is the Meaning Behind the Leviathan Cross?
Satan’s Cross consists of a double-cross at the top and an infinity sign at the bottom. The double-cross, also known as the Cross of Lorraine, can represent multiple things.
In the context of its use as a representative of the Church of Satan, it symbolizes protection and the balance between humans. The infinity sign at the bottom represents the entire universe.
To put two and two together, the Church of Satan uses the symbol to mock the Christian belief and depict that humans are their own center of balance and do not need God or any other mythical creature to ensure balance in the universe.
In a way, the Leviathan Cross states that the existence of humans alone is the ultimate truth, which is the fundamental belief of the Church of Satan.
LaVey believed and taught that human values such as rebellion against injustice, self-assertion, fight against unjust authority, pure wisdom – one not defiled by external influences or teachings such as religion, and vital existence are, “His Infernal Majesty.”
In this sense, the Leviathan Cross can be interpreted as a direct representation of these values and beliefs of the Church of Satan.
Examining the Symbolism Behind the Satanic Cross Further
There are few things that are common in all sects of Satanism, including the travesty of existing Christian symbols and traditions, the rebellion against conformity, and the denunciation of the concepts of good vs. evil.
Keeping that in mind, we can deduce that the decision to use the alchemy symbol for sulfur to represent Satanism can be based on several reasons.
Sulfur was in antiquity, referred to as Brimstone, of which there are several mentions in the Bible, all in relation to the devil and hell. The concept of hell is one of the major foundations of Christianity.
- Revelation 19:20 – “…both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (the word both here refers to a false prophet and those that worshipped him)
- Revelation 14:10 – “…. and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy Angels…..” Revelation 20:10 – “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…..”
- Revelation 21:8 – “……and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…”
What better way to mock the concept of hell than to use the symbol of sulfur to represent the Church of Satan?
Sulfur is also one of the most essential elements for life on Earth. Spiritually, it represents the human soul. As discussed earlier, Anton LaVey’s Satanism was more or less a form of ethical egoism, where he believed every Satanist to be God. The use of the symbol for the human soul to represent the church can also be a direct announcement that there is no greater being than the human soul.
In alchemy, too, sulfur represents three main qualities, masculine, hot, and dry. These qualities are also associated with hell in many cultures.
The use of the symbol can also represent the acceptance of traits meant to scare worshippers into submission or conformity to Christianity’s beliefs.
The Leviathan is a biblical monster that is often associated with Satan. It goes by many names in different scriptures, including a sea serpent, sea monster, and even a multi-headed sea serpent.
In the Old Testament, the Leviathan is a multi-headed serpent that God kills to provide food for the Hebrews. In Isaiah 27:1, too, God destroys the Leviathan, a sea serpent, an enemy of the Israelis.
Put simply; it is a mythical creature that changes shape in the scriptures, but never characteristics. It is an evil monster that must be defeated to depict the triumph of good over evil, victory of God over Satan. Mocking God and religion in this way is probably the main reason why Anton LaVey renamed the symbol of sulfur as the Leviathan Cross/the Satan’s Cross.
That concludes our post about the Leviathan Cross symbol, its meanings and origins. We hope you enjoyed reading on Symbols & Meanings and if you’d like to read more symbolism articles, check out all articles on our ever-expanding blog through the main menu.