Hand of Eris

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The Hand of Eris

The Five-Fingered Hand of Eris (also known as The Hand of Eris or, within a Discordian context, simply The Hand) is the name given to "two opposing arrows converging into a common point".[1] The "canonical" example is shown at right, but the passage quoted goes on to say: "It may be vertical, horizontal or else such, and it may be elaborated or simplified as desired".

The concepts represented by The Hand are of considerable importance to Discordians, but due to the simplicity of the symbol and the widespread applications of its meaning, The Hand appears in many other contexts as well, albeit often without awareness or implication of Discordian connections.

Discordian symbolism[edit]

The Hand is one among several symbols commonly used in Discordianism. One significant component of Discordian philosophy addresses the issue of conflicting or opposing forces—sometimes in a state of balance or equilibrium, and other times not. It is this interaction between forces which The Hand represents.

Other uses[edit]

Astronomical symbol[edit]

Proposed symbol for Eris.

A particular form of The Hand (shown at right) has been proposed for use as the astronomical and astrological symbol for the dwarf planet Eris.[2] This form of The Hand and other proposed symbols are used informally in certain circles; however, it is unlikely that Eris will be assigned an official symbol by the IAU, since graphical symbols are rarely assigned to minor objects in modern times. [3]

Mathematical contradiction[edit]

The Hand is one of several symbols sometimes used to designate the conclusion of a mathematical proof by contradiction. In this setting, it is usually drawn horizontally, with little or no adornment, as \rarr\!\larr, \Rarr\!\Larr, or some minor variant thereof. While less compact than some of the alternatives (such as the blitz or crosshatch), The Hand has the advantage of being visually suggestive of the core concept of this method of reasoning: The conflicting conclusions are represented by the two arrows, and in order to avoid an impasse, one set of assumptions must give way.


  1. ^ Malaclypse the Younger. Principia Discordia, pg. 00021.
  2. ^ http://discord-society.livejournal.com/121192.html
  3. ^ Keiron Le Grice: Discovering Eris: The Symbolism and Significance of a New Planetary Archetype. Edinburgh 2012, ISBN 978-0863158674

See also[edit]