The esoteric organization of the Freemasons is one secret society that uses the symbol of the human skull and the crossed bones as part of its emblematic culture.
Members of the Freemasons use the skull and bones symbol during initiation ceremonies. As such, the skull and crossed bones emblem is representative of rebirth. This meaning can be linked to the crucifixion of Jesus, which took place at Golgotha, ?The Place of the Skull?, as represented by the emblem of the skull. The crossed bones on the other hand, represent the manner in which Jesus died, on the cross. Because Jesus? blood absolved the sin of his followers, the blood he shed during his death on the cross represents resurrection and everlasting life.
In addition, the Freemasons use this symbol of the skull and crossed bones to represent the transience of the material world. The Freemasons reject material wealth, and instead espouse the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth (similarly paralleled in the French revolutionary slogan of libert?, fraternit?, ?galit?). Members of the Freemasons also promote service to charity and to helping those who are less fortunate.
The use of the skull and bones symbol in the organization of the Illuminati is believed to be derived from the Freemasons. Members of the Mason group helped to build the foundation of the Illuminati, which was founded in the eighteenth century.
Based on the principles of immortality, omnipotence, transcendental illumination and omnicognizance, the term Illuminati refers most specifically to the Bavarian Enlightenment secret society, although it has been used more broadly to refer to a variety of secret societies, both real and fictional, as well as to refer to conspiratorial groups believed to govern global affairs.