The symbol here of the cross has little to do with Christianity as we know it. If it were an Ankh, all would have been revealed long ago.
Tertullian, a Christian Father of the second and third centuries, writing to the Pagans, says: "The origin of your gods is derived from figures moulded on a cross. All those rows of images on your standards are the appendages of crosses; those hangings on your standards and banners are the robes of crosses...Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho, says that there exist not a people, civilized or semi-civilized, who have not offered up prayers in the name of a crucified Saviour to the Father and Creator of all things.
As for the symbol of the cross, it too was known the world over. Although Christians consider it one of their cardinal symbols, it is hardly unique to their religion.
The fact that among many nations it was customary to spread the arms in prayer has influenced the symbolism of the cross, which, because of its shape, has come to be regarded as emblematic of the human body.
There are four basic elements (according to both ancient philosophy and modern science), and the ancients represented them by the four arms of the cross, placing at the end of each arm a mysterious Qabbalistic creature to symbolize the power of one of these elements. Thus, they symbolized the element of earth by a bull; water by a scorpion, a serpent, or an eagle; fire by a lion; and air by a human head surrounded by wings. It is significant that the four letters inscribed upon parchment (some say wood) and fastened to the top of the cross at the time of the crucifixion should be the first letters of four Hebrew words which stand for the four elements: "Iammin, the sea or water; Nour, fire; Rouach, the air; and Iebeschah, the dry earth." (See Morals and Dogma, by Albeit Pike.)
To the Rosicrucians, Alchemists, and Illuminati, the cross was the symbol of light, because each of the three letters L V X is derived from some part of the cross.
The cross is also highly revered by the Japanese and Chinese. To the Pythagoreans the most sacred of all numbers was the 10, the symbol of which is an X, or cross. In both the Japanese and Chinese languages the character of the number 10 is a cross. The Buddhist wheel of life is composed of two crosses superimposed, and its eight points are still preserved to Christendom in the peculiarly formed cross of the Knights Templars, which is essentially Buddhistic. India has preserved the cross, not only in its carvings and paintings, but also in its architectonics; a great number of its temples--like the churches and cathedrals of Christendom--are raised from cruciform foundations.
In his article on the Cross and Crucifixion in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Thomas Macall Fallow casts much light on the antiquity of this ideograph. "The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship."
No one knows exactly when the cross became associated with Christianity. Early images of Jesus represented him not on a cross, but in the guise of the Osirian or Hermetic "Good Shepherd," carrying a lamb. Later, many different kinds of crosses were used as Christian symbols. They included the Greek cross of equal arms, the X-shaped St. Andrew's cross, the swastika, the Gnostic Maltese cross, the solar cross or Cross of Wotan, and the ansated cross, a development of the Egyptian ankh, also found as the Cross of Venus.
The cross was also a male symbol of the phallic Tree of Life; therefore it often appeared in conjunction with the female-genital circle or oval, to signify the sacred marriage. Male cross and female orb composed the Egyptian "amulet Nefer," or amulet of blessedness, a charm of sexual harmony.
The "Latin" or "Passion" cross, now the primary symbol of Christianity, was not shown in Christian art until six centuries after Christ. But long before the Christian era it was a pagan religious symbol throughout Europe and western Asia. Early Christians even repudiated the cross because it was pagan.
The double cross of the House of Lorraine is the origin of the phrase to ‘double cross’ someone, to manipulate them.
The ancient symbol of the circle and the cross I described a few chapters back, is still used today in the secret language. It is the one symbolizing the Sun’s progress through the 12 months and the 12 signs of the zodiac, the cross and circle with the Sun on the cross (see Figure 35). This has inspired the Celtic cross (see Figure 36), the logo of NATO, the world-army-in-waiting (see Figure 37), and the emblem of the CIA (see Figure 38). In the City of London financial district opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, I also found the symbol in Figure 39. It is a zodiac circle with a black sun at the centre.