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Is the "Sign of the Horns" a manifestation or an act of 'Avodah Zarah? What if someone uses the gesture as a pop culture reference (eg., heavy metal), or just jokingly - or even mockingly about either that culture or even mocking 'Avodah Zarah?

If it's an act of 'Avodah Zarah to use it even in the most casually associated case above (some form of dark-themed heavy metal, eg.), does that make the sign itself inherently 'Avodah Zarah, or can it be used for other purposes (cf. ibid - #Sports)?

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you mean something like this? – Shmuel Brin Jun 4 '12 at 18:58
@ShmuelBrin Yup. – Seth J Jun 4 '12 at 19:11
Why do you think this might be Avodah Zarah? Can you add that to the question? – Charles Koppelman Jun 4 '12 at 20:35
@CharlesKoppelman, I always assumed it had something to do with Satanic (as interpreted by Christians and Christian-influenced Westerners) worship of some sort, although according to another section of the Wikipedia entry it seems to be more about superstition, which may be less of an actual 'Avodah Zarah problem (or not, hence my question still). – Seth J Jun 4 '12 at 20:47
Per Wikipedia, the origin of the mano cornuta, or "horned hand" originally referred to one of two things: 1) it was used to ward off the evil eye (Ayin Hara) or 2) to make aspersions about one's wifes modesty (in Renaissance writing, a "horned man" is a term for a cuckold, see Shakespeare). In the 1970s, Ronnie James Dio, singer of Black Sabbath, started using it on stage, in reference to prior Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne's similar use of the peace sign. – Noach MiFrankfurt May 9 at 0:57

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