This gravestone in Melaten Cemetery, Cologne, Germany is the resting place of Dr. Franz Leuffen, a medical doctor who wrote a book in the 1860s on the subject of post-mortems. He was also a high ranking Freemason which explains the reason for Masonic symbols on his headstone.
The top of the gravestone is adorned with foliage and a snake. Although religious groups consider it a symbol of sin and Satan, a snake also represents everlasting life. The sprig of Acacia, an evergreen whose leaves fall neither in summer nor in winter, is also symbolic of everlasting life.
Engraved letters beneath the snake are from the Greek alphabet and spell the word GNOSIS meaning inner knowledge.
A five-pointed star, also known as a pentagram, represents the five senses. This symbol has been adopted throughout the world with different meanings, one of which is a protection against evil.
During the Renaissance period in Europe, it was common to illustrate the Eye of God surrounded by a triangle to represent the Holy Trinity. The 25 radiating rays of the sun are used to symbolize the holiness of the Supreme Deity.