About the Olias symbol

olias-welcomehome4The symbol used by Holeman in his piece called Welcome Home was designed by Jon Anderson. Holeman discusses both the symbol and his work based upon it at his site awakenvisions.com:

The symbol (based on the “Olias” symbol) represents the concept of oneness of God and diversity (creation) and acts as a reminder of our path back to God through finding our oneness and embracing our diversity. The symbol is based on the “Olias” symbol of musician, Jon Anderson, combining the circle, square and triangle [the specific version of the symbol appears to be the work of the artist David Roe who designed and illustrated the album cover and gatefold sleeve] – the symbols of the fundamental dimensions of consciousness from oneness to diversity. They are all actually part of the same oneness. There are many paths back home, all unique to the individual who finds their way back, but all have one thing in common – the way back home is through TRUTH, as it was the distortion of TRUTH that made us seem lost and away from home.

While doing image searches for the symbol I came across a photograph of a headstone with an engraved symbol that caught my attention. The image, found at flickr is shown below:

The resemblance of the tripartite geometrical design in this engraving to the Anderson design is striking, the principle differences being  a. In the headstone design the triangle is enclosed in the circle whereas the triangle in the “Olias symbol” has points which extend beyond the circle,  b. The base of Anderson’s square appears to sit upon the base of the triangle while the two are distinctly separate in the engraving, and c. In Anderson’s symbol all of the three shapes are broken; it’s essentially two nearly-symmetrical halves held together by a few threads (though the connection at the very top appears to be more substantial). The shapes are unbroken in the headstone figure.


Sites that I’ve seen discussing the Anderson design have not been particularly informative. One called it a medicine wheel. It looks nothing like the Native American medicine wheels I’ve seen — an aerial photograph of a large one with a group of people congregated at the end of the path leading to the circle is shown in the sidebar — but does have some resemblance to the Greek medicine wheel shown at right–source: www.greekmedicine.net.

The intersecting square and triangle of the “Olias symbol” (I don’t know if it actually  has a name) also make a five pointed figure most of which is contained within a circle. This may suggest the pentacle symbol, an encircled pentagram, which is frequently associated with paganism. It is a fundamental Wiccan symbol, for example.*

Update: On 21 December 2009, I received a link in comments from Winston at yesfocus.org which clears up some of the mystery.

The symbol found on the gravestone above is one of the symbols used by an organization called the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, earlier called The Rosicrucian Society. The Society was originally the Dutch branch of the Rosicrucian Fellowship founded by Max Heindel in 1909. I am not aware of any relationship between Jon Anderson and this organization. The site http://goldenrosycross.org/ or Lectorium Rosicrucianum gives the meaning of the symbol on it’s page on Symbolism (There are no URL extensions. Just choose the link in the sidebar.) as follows:

  • The Circle symbolizes eternity, infinity, or the microcosm.
  • The Triangle symbolizes the three great powers which emanate from the Logos: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The Square symbolizes the foundation for the construction of the new human being.

Two other symbols employed by the organization, the “rose and cross” and the pentagram, are also discussed on the same page.





The two images directly above are from http://members.shaw.ca/bbogdan/blog_images/wicca/pentacle.htm.



*The encircled pentagram with the single point facing downward, however, is a symbol more often associated with Satanism. Below is the official insignia for the Church of Satan, the Sigil of Baphomet.



12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Churchill
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 19:48:16

  2. doc
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 01:14:57

    Thanks Winston. I’ll add this important information to the piece. – Jim

  3. mariah
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 09:16:38

    me being a witch is awsome as long as u dont tell any one you will be safe…

  4. K.B.
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 11:24:06

    Interesting post! I once asked Jon if the symbol has something to do with the The Rosicrucian Society and he didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was talking about, so I guess that the answer was No.

  5. shadowolf
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 05:21:19

    Hi K.B., Sorry for the very long delay in response. I’ve been away from the site for a few months. Thanks for the input. Perhaps it was an independent design. I never thought Jon did that intentionally, but he might have seen the design in a book or something and not recalled the source of the image which came to him. — Cheers, Jim

  6. kyani
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 14:56:34

    im a witch and proud of it i dont understand why you would hide mariah

  7. Theano of crotona
    May 07, 2012 @ 16:24:09

    The symbol is very similar to a symbol for the famous philosopher’s stone of alchemy, which appeared in a 17th century manuscript. Here’s more information about it:



  8. doc
    May 08, 2012 @ 01:08:02

    Theano, Thank you. Yes, the resemblance is striking. The “Olias” symbol might easily be taken as a stylized version of the Philosopher’s Stone symbol. However, the central circle of the latter is absent in Anderson’s figure.

  9. adolfo diaz
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 09:43:34

    queridos amigos, esta noche vere a jon en cordoba (argentina) no dudo que sea una experiencia fantastica,como toda su obra musical ,por supuesto para mi olias es lu mejor de jon….

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  11. Carlos
    Jul 25, 2015 @ 14:24:16

    Wasn´t the encircled star the symbol of Rush?

  12. doc
    Jul 25, 2015 @ 17:50:23

    The Starman emblem, adopted as a logo after its appearance on the cover of the 1976 Rush album 2112.

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