Yu-Gi-Oh!: Occult Symbolism for Children

Yu-Gi-Oh! is an international phenomenon that captivates millions of fans worldwide. Primarily aimed at children and teenagers, the card game and its related productions contain many occult symbols and references taken from secret societies. This article looks at the symbols used and their occult origin. is a Japanese manga created by Kazuki Takahashi. It has spawned into a franchise that includes television shows, trading card games, video games and movies. This worldwide phenomena has reached millions of fans across the world, but it is still widely unknown by “outsiders”. I came across Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie while randomly switching channels on a Saturday morning. I have to say that the entire production was of a rather mediocre quality (hence the movie’s horrible reviews). I’ve however noticed that it caters to actual adepts of the card game and not to “outsiders”, as many of the scenes simulate card duels using actual cards of the Yu-Gi-Oh! deck. So I did not understand much of the dialogue about spells and monsters during the movie, but I still found the plot and the symbolism of storyline quite startling. Further research into world of Yu-Gi-Oh! only confirmed my doubts: Yu-Gi-Oh! is permeated with secret society symbolism, notably of the Ordo Templi Orientis, an occult Brotherhood popularized by Aleister Crowley.


 The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) is a hermetic order modeled after Freemasonry and German Illuminism and teaches its initiates the secrets of the Mysteries, gnosticism, sex magick, Kaballah and the Thelema.

Aleister Crowley and the OTO


“The OTO was officially founded in the 19th century by two high-ranking Freemasons, Austrian industrialist Karl Kellner and German police agent Theodor Reuss, a member of Prussian intelligence. Kellner was also the founding member of the magical sexualis (sex magic) circle known as the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. In 1895 the OTO offered a series of three advanced degrees only to the highest Freemasons. This magical sexualis was at the heart of the OTO’s supposed “great secret” or “key to the mysteries”.
– Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

Its most influential figure, Aleister Crowley, was a practitioner of Black Magick and heavy drug user (including heroin), who enjoyed being called “the wickedest man in the world”. His controversial persona has helped popularized the O.T.O. and even made it part of popular culture. While he’s admired by rockstars (i.e. Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and referred to in movies (i.e. Bruce Dickinson’s Chemical Wedding) and books, Crowley’s influence goes further than mere tributes by admirers. The O.T.O. has been involved for decades in producing cultural products aimed to the masses.

“OTO members were also engaged in screen-writing for Hollywood movies (among the OTO’s numerous Hollywood operatives was an MGM producer who used the alias M. Balcon). OTO initiates authored mass market stories, especially science fiction, with subliminal, occult themes published in popular books and magazines.”

Although it is difficult to establish a direct connection between the staff of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the O.T.O., a mere viewing of the symbolism found in the franchise’s products is enough to conclude that it is heavily influenced by the hermetic Order and by Aleister Crowley life story and works.


Yu-Gi-Oh!The full-length motion picture Yu-Gi-Oh! Pyramid of Light was my first encounter with the franchise (you can watch it here). The story’s premise draws significant parallels with the O.T.O.’s doctrine and Aleister Crowley’s life story. The parallels are not only found in the movie’s focus on Egyptian magic and symbolism, but in many specific details that directly allude to the Order and Aleister Crowley.


The movie’s introduction takes place in the Great Pyramid of Egypt, where archeologists discover the tomb of Anubis. This discovery ultimately fulfills a 5,000 years old prophecy and triggers the coming of a “New Era” (i.e. New World Order). The first frame of the movie displays an ancient Egyptian relic on which are depicted the “ancient shadow games played by Egyptian kings”.

This Egyptian relic bears uncanny similarities with Crowley’s “Stele of Revealing”, a wooden funerary stele which became a sacred artifact to members of the O.T.O.

Although not an exact replica of the Stele of Revealing, the stele in Yu-Gi-Oh! contains many similar features, such as the general shape, the position of the two characters, the fire between them and the peculiar shape of the winged sun-disk at the top.

Aleister Crowley discovered the Stele of Revealing during his honeymoon in Egypt and believed that it represented the beginning of a new era, the “New Aeon of Horus”.

“In 1903, Crowley married Rose Kelly, and they went to Egypt on their honeymoon. After returning to Cairo in early 1904, Rose (who until this point had shown no interest or familiarity with the occult) began entering trance states and insisting to her husband that the god Horus was trying to contact him. As a test, Crowley took Rose to the Boulak Museum and asked her to point out Horus to him. She passed several well-known images of the god and led Aleister straight to a painted wooden funerary stele (the Stele of Revealing) from the 26th dynasty, depicting Horus receiving a sacrifice from the deceased, a priest named Ankh-f-n-khonsu. Crowley was especially impressed by the fact that this piece was numbered 666 by the museum, a number with which he had identified since childhood.
– Thelema 101 Source

The upshot was that he began to listen to Rose, and at her direction, on three successive days beginning April 8, 1904, he entered his chamber at noon and wrote down what he heard dictated from a shadowy presence behind him. The result was the three chapters of verse known as Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law. This book heralded the dawning of the new aeon of Horus, which would be governed by the Law of Thelema. “Thelema” is a Greek word meaning “will”, and the Law of Thelema is often stated as: “Do what thou wilt”. As the prophet of this new aeon, Crowley spent the rest of his life working to develop and establish Thelemic philosophy.”

Crowley’s discovery of a prophetic artifact in an Egyptian museum is also paralleled in Yu-Gi-Oh!, when Yu-Gi and his grandfather find a 5,000 year old prophecy in an Egyptian exhibit of a museum.

The entire movie is based on the discovery of the Millennium Items that give Yu-Gi great powers but also trigger the coming back of Anubis, the god of the Dead. These Millennium pendants are quite symbolic.

The pendants consist of an Eye of Horus inside a triangle, which is probably the most recognizable Illuminati/secret society symbol found today. The Eye of Horus in a triangle is found on the lamen of the O.T.O. Crowley also liked to wear it as a hat.

While Yu-Gi-Oh! is hypnotizing children with flashing lights and Eyes of Horus everywhere, why not sell them a bunch of crap while we’re at it?

Derivative Products


Speaking of derivative products, the movie also promotes must-have trading cards and even this card dealing thingy.

Back to the movie, the clash between Yu-Gi and Anubis, the two opposing forces represented by the upward and downward triangle of their pendants, is also represented as a clash on the astral plane.

Unicursal Hexagram


In occult symbolism, the union of an upward and downward triangle creates a hexagram (also known as the seal of Solomon in some circles), which represents the union of two opposing forces. Aleister Crowley’s adaptation (or appropriation) of this symbol is the “unicursal hexagram”. It is a hexagram or six-pointed star that can be traced or drawn unicursally, featuring one continuous line rather than two overlaid triangles.

“The unicursal hexagram is so-called because it can be drawn unicursally- that is, in one continuous movement. This is significant when forming figures in ritual magick, where a continuous line is preferred to an interrupted movement.

The symbol was devised by the Golden Dawn, and later adapted by Aleister Crowley as a device of personal significance. It is often worn by Thelemites as a sign of religious identification and recognition. The unicursal hexagram was created for the purpose of drawing the figure in one continuous movement, as the other magical polygons are created- the pentagram is one example. This is significant in ritual magick when invoking and banishing hexagrams must be made. Crowley’s adaptation of the unicursal hexagram placed a five petaled rose, symbolizing a pentacle (and the divine feminine), in the center; the symbol as a whole making eleven (five petals of the rose plus six points of the hexagram), the number of divine union.”

With those explanations in mind, let’s look at some Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards.

The unicursal hexagram is symbol considered to be sacred by members of the O.T.O. and is used in actual Black Magick rituals. Should it be in children’s games?

Some characters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! adventures bear some revealing names and characteristics.

Other Characters in Yu-Gi-Oh!



Alister is named after Aleister Crowley.

“Alister, known in Japan as Amelda, is one of the main antagonists in the Waking the Dragons (or Doma) story arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime, which is known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters in Asia. He does not exist in the manga. His dub name was based on Aleister Crowley, the British occultist who created the Unicursal Hexagram, the symbol used for The Seal of Orichalcos. The obscurity of this fact is most likely what helped it slip past the censors.”
– Yu-Gi-Oh! Wikia Source.

Dr. Vellian Crowler

Named after you know who.

Maximillion Pegasus

This character has an Eye of Horus as a left eye, which is extremely symbolic in occult realms.

“Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, was called “Horus who rules with two eyes.” His right eye was white and represented the sun; his left eye was black and represented the moon. According to myth Horus lost his left eye to his evil brother, Seth, whom he fought to avenge Seth’s murder of Osiris. Seth tore out the eye but lost the fight. The eye was reassembled by magic by Thoth, the god of writing, the moon, and magic. Horus presented his eye to Osiris, who experienced rebirth in the underworld.
– Dee Finney, Dreams of the Eye of Horus

As an amulet the Eye of Horus has three versions: a left eye, a right eye, and two eyes. The eye is constructed in fractional parts, with 1/64 missing, a piece Thoth added by magic…

The Egyptians used the eye as a funerary amulet for protection against evil and rebirth in the underworld, and decorated mummies, coffins, and tombs with it. The Book of the Dead instructs that funerary eye amulets be made out of lapis lazuli or a stone called mak. Some were gold-plated.

It was called the “all-seeing Eye.” Other attributes associated with it are terror and wrath. According to some myths, the eye took on a personality of its own, swooping down out of the sky to right wrongs.”

“The Elohim transfer the divine image into proper seed forms of the Shekinah creation which are reprogrammed and regenerated by the Eye of Horus placed upon the face of the elect who are the Brothers.”
– J.J. Hurtak, Keys of Enoch

In Conclusion

Although Yu-Gi-Oh! is a world-wide phenomena with a huge fan base, it goes unnoticed by those who are unfamiliar with the franchise. An educated look at the imagery used in Yu-Gi-Oh! reveals the heavy influence of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema and its inherent symbolism. As seen above, the O.T.O. has been historically involved in the making of Hollywood productions and bestseller books to apparently propagate its philosophy in popular culture. Is Yu-Gi-Oh! part of that plan? The presence of symbolism that is considered sacred and extremely powerful by occultists in a product that is intended for children is rather disturbing. Isn’t this what we call “indoctrinating the youth”? It has been proven that the minds of men must be captured at a young age in order to influence their thinking over the course of their lifetime. Are the youth being prepared for the “Aeon of Horus”?

“By means of the newly burgeoning genre of science fiction, the OTO was able to shape the vision of America through predictive programming, which forcasts an ‘inevitable future,’ thereby influencing everything from the architecture of our cities to the design of our automobiles and conception of what constitutes ‘progress and liberation’ in the future. (…)
– Michael A. Hoffman, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

The OTO’s ability to transform America consisted in the linkage of this brazen lying with science and science fiction, molding media and medicine in their image and likeness and creating a new ‘Thelemic’ religion for the masses”

Occult Brotherhoods have often denounced the indoctrination of the masses by religious institutions ….are they any different?

Original source: http://vigilantcitizen.com/?p=3300

From films, architecture and music, Vigilant Citizen exposes and explains the hidden occult symbolism behind much of modern culture