Developing the Original FMBR Symbol

By Bill Gough

When we started the Foundation, Virginia Gruye (Cates) and I decided we needed a logo to symbolize the essence of FMBR. At the time we had a member, Phil Gagnon, who was a commercial artist and also a sort of mystic. We brought him our suggestions for an FMBR Logo.

Time went by and finally he came back to us. He said the symbols that we had given him lacked the appropriate energy for the deeper meaning of the Foundation. He discarded them and presented one that he felt would represent the Foundation into the future. We accepted his recommendation and that became the current FMBR Logo.

Over the years people have commented to me on the meaning that the symbol had for them. In 1987 I went on a spiritual quest into Peru that had been organized by an FMBR Board member, Douglas Gillies. The trip was lead by a shaman who on one occasion took us to a small museum on a back road in a town that I don’t remember. Inside were many glass cases with ancient Peruvian artifacts. To my surprise in one of the glass cases was a small copper plate with the FMBR symbol etched onto it. I took a picture. Douglas and I pondered the meaning of the symbol and my finding it in this remote museum.

The triskelion symbol appears in many early cultures, including on Malta and at Newgrange, the megalithic structure in Ireland, which dates back to around 3200 BCE.  Variations of triskele appear on Mycenaean vessels, on coinage in Lycia and on statues of Pamplhylia (at Aspendos, 370-333 BCE) and Pisidia.

Triskelion  is a Greek word for three-legged:  This sign is associated with progress and competition, and originated in ancient Greece, where it for instance was used on coins. Nowadays one can find (3legs) on the coat of arms of the Isle of Man, the island between Great Britain and Ireland. The Isle of Man is inhabited by Celts, and (3legs) is related to  (3spirals), an early Celtic sign.

The symbol FMBR uses is based upon the Cosmic or World Triad and can represents many triads: Spirit, Mind, Body; Past, Present, Future; Power, Intellect, Love; Creator, Destroyer, Sustainer; etc. The Cosmic Triad was originally an oriental symbol that was adopted by Western Gnostics as an emblem of cosmic creativity, the threefold nature of reality, and the eternally spiraling cycles of time. The symbol has radial symmetry harmonically balanced around a common axis.

When we observe this symbol, we are taken with the concept of motion.  The symbol appears as if it is in constant forward motion. This movement is the vibration of consciousness which we experience as the world. Consciousness can be characterized as an interactive vibration of complex physical, mental, and spiritual forms. In Japan it was known as the maga-tama or mitsu tomoe — the world soul. In Bhutan and Tibet it is known as the Cosmic Mandala and represents eternity. It is related to the meaning of Triskelion Celtic symbol.