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The outer circle represents the harmony of giving and receiving action, the principle of the cosmos.”Medieval and Renaissance art made use of a number of emblems to symbolize death and mortality.
Symbols of resurrection common in Christian art became less popular as reminders of the impermanence of life and the punishments of hell became ubiquitous.
The most common symbols of mortality were the grim reaper and his scythe, the death’s head, and the hourglass, all appropriated from icons of Greek and Roman Paganism.
“The center circle symbolizes God, truth, life, and light.
Those four elements reach out or radiate from this origin to the whole cosmos in twelve directions.
The significance of the symbol, then, indicates that truth (the Principle) is able to spread out in twelve ways.
According to Father, the structure of the heavenly kingdom is also patterned after this basic system; i.e., twelve tribes and twelve character types.
The image of Chronos devouring his children seems macabre, but illustrates that the the Greeks believed the passage of time is so inevitable that even the gods were consumed by it.
The hourglass is another emblem of time, although hidden within is the promise of life- because the hourglass is reversible, it held within a promise of resurrection, a symbolism not lost on everyone- all of these emblems later became symbols of resurrection to Freemasons and Rosicrucians who grasped their true ancient meanings.
The skull was a frequent companion to ascetic desert saints in numerous Christian artworks, and was often paired with the book, a symbol of studiousness.