Saturday, February 28, 2009

Once the Ocean was the home of Paradise.

Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."
This is the only statement I have ever seen that makes it clear that there were those in Pagan belief who deemed the Kingdom of Heaven was not only in the sky, or in the stars, or in the underworld, but was also in the sea. Given this understanding the figure of the Mermaid takes on many more shades of meaning. She was the angel of the water realm, the Oceanic valkyrie come to the shore, or the wreck, to take the dead and dying to their place in the afterlife. She was a promise of rebirth. She was perhaps the Peri, or Houri, of an under the Sea paradise as well.
I think such literal interpretation (to think that we go to the oceanic underworld upon death) of religious symbolism was mainly a mistake of the layman, and perhaps a comfort to simple folk, such as sailors. I think the symbolism of the mermaid suggested an under water heaven, but that this was not what was really intended to be understood from her. Much as an egg may symbolize the pre-cosmic bang universe, without meaning the universe hatched from an egg literally.
I ran into a wonderful article today that draws together much of the understanding I had already gleaned, but hadn't had time to organize into an article. The whole article is at this site:

That the Celts believed in an oceanic underworld, or after life is suggested in the Lebor Gabala Erenn, when the bard Amergin refers to "the cattle of Tethra" which in the Tochmarch Emire, Cuchulain explains "the cattle of Tethra" as a kenning for fish, and the sea as the plain of Tethra. In Immacallam in Dá Thúarad, the poet , Nede, reffers to "the mighty men of Tethra." To me this seems to say that the fish and the mighty warriors are one and the same, the worthy dead, as are forever feasting in Odin's hall.

Obvious symbols for the soul are small, light, elusive creatures such as the wren, the mouse or bat, and likely we can include the fish now. So we see the fish is not only the Virgin Mother Goddess (virgin because fish are seemingly asexual), but also the soul she births into life.

The Triquetra

1. Triquetra is a word derived from the Latin tri- ("three") and quetrus ("cornered"). Its original meaning was simply "triangle" and it has been used to refer to various three-cornered shapes. Nowadays, it has come to refer exclusively to a certain more complicated shape formed of three vesicae piscis, sometimes with an added circle in or around it.
2. The Triquetra symbol right is actually composed of three Vesica Piscii, the holy symbol of the Pythagorean Christos. It is composed of three ‘almond-shaped’ icthyi, each with a height to width ratio of 1.73205, which is the square root of three. This ratio gave rise to the Divine number 153 (the complete mathematical ratio being 265:153, the ratio of whole numbers under 1000, which approximated the square root of 3.) 153 is the number of fish Jesus caught in the Gospel of John 21:11. When one considers that there are three Vesica Piscii in the Triquetra, the following calculation has surprising results:153 x 3 = 4594 + 5 + 9 = 181 + 8 = 9

3. The Vesica piscis has been the subject of mystical speculation at several periods of history, perhaps first among the Pythagoreans, who considered it a holy figure. The mathematical ratio of its width (measured to the endpoints of the "body", not including the "tail") to its height was reportedly believed by them to be 265:153. This ratio, equal to 1.73203, was thought of as a holy number, called the measure of the fish. The geometric ratio of these dimensions is actually the square root of 3, or 1.73205... (since if you draw straight lines connecting the centers of the two circles with each other, and with the two points where the circles intersect, then you get two equilateral triangles joined along an edge). The fraction 265:153 is a ratio of whole numbers under 1000 which approximates the square root of 3 (though 362:209 and 989:571 are actually closer approximations). The number 153 appears in the Gospel of John as the exact number of fish Jesus caused to be caught in a miraculous catch of fish, which is thought by some to be a coded reference to Pythagorean beliefs.
4. Ichthys was the offspring son of the ancient sea goddess Atargatis, and was known in various mythic systems as Tirgata, Aphrodite, Pelagia or Delphine. The word also meant "womb" and "dolphin" in some tongues, and representations of this appeared in the depiction of mermaids. The fish is also a central element in other stories, including the Goddess of Ephesus (who has a fish amulet covering her genital region), as well as the tale of the fish that swallowed the penis of Osiris, and was also considered a symbol of the vulva of Isis.Along with being a generative and reproductive spirit in mythology, the fish also has been identified in certain cultures with reincarnation and the life force. Sir James George Frazer noted in his work, "Adonis, Attis, Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religion" (Part Four of his larger work, "The Golden Bough") that among one group in India, the fish was believed to house a deceased soul, and that as part of a fertility ritual specific fish is eaten in the belief that it will be reincarnated in a newborn child.Possibly before Christianity, the fish symbol was known as "the Great Mother," a pointed oval sign, the "vesica piscis" or Vessel of the Fish. Also, in ancient Greek, "fish" and "womb" were denoted by the same word ("delphos"). Its link to fertility, birth, feminine sexuality and the natural force of women was acknowledged also by the Celts, as well as pagan cultures throughout northern Europe. Eleanor Gaddon traces a "Cult of the Fish Mother" as far back as the hunting and fishing people of the Danube River Basin in the sixth millennium B.C.E. Over fifty shrines have been found throughout the region which depict a fishlike deity, a female creature who "incorporates aspects of an egg, a fish and a woman which could have been a primeval creator or a mythical ancestress..." The "Great Goddess" was portrayed elsewhere with pendulous breasts, accentuated buttocks and a conspicuous vaginal orifice, the upright "vesica piscis" which Christians later adopted and rotated 90-degrees to serve as their symbol.There are several hypotheses as to why the fish was chosen. The most probable is that it is a reference to the scripture in which Jesus miraculuously feeds 5000 people with fish and bread (Matthew 14:15-21, Luke 9:12-17, and John 6:4-13). The ichthys also may relate to Jesus as a "fisher of men," or an acronym of the Greek letters ICTYS (Iota Chi Theta Ypsilon Sigma) to the statement of Christian faith "Iesous Christos Theou Hyios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior".Though there is no direct evidence, the ichthys may simply be an adaptation of the mystic/mathematical symbol known as the Vesica Piscis. The length-height ratio of the vesica piscis, as expressed by the mystic and mathematician Pythagoras, is 153:265, a mystical number known as "the measure of the fish." In the biblical story in which Jesus aids his disciples to catch fish, Jesus catches exactly 153 fish.The name ichthys was also associated with Adonis, the central character in one of the 1st-century mystery religions (specifically, the version used in Syria). Like many other mystery religions, the religion of Adonis adopted certain mystic aspects of Greek philosophy, which may have included the Vesica Piscis of Pythagoras. In astrology, an astrological age is determined by the constellation in which the Sun appears during the vernal equinox. Since each sign on the zodiac belt shifts an average of one degree in 70 years, while 360/12 = 30, each astrological age lasts 70 x 30 = 2,100 years. The astrological age of Pisces coincided with the birth of Jesus Christ — approximately 2,000 years ago. Babylonian mythology tells of two fishes that pushed ashore a giant egg, from which emerged the fertility corn-goddess Atargatis and her lover-son Ichthys, who dies and is reborn annually. The myth of Ichthys and the sign Pisces later became connected with Christianity. Directly across the zodiac from Pisces lies the sign of Virgo, symbolizing the virgin grain goddess of ancient Greece and also connected with the Virgin Mary of Christian mythology, whose birthday is liturgically celebrated on September 8, when the sun crosses the midpoint of the sign Virgo.

5. The fish symbol was often drawn by overlapping two very thin crescent moons. One represented the crescent shortly before the new moon; the other shortly after, when the moon is just visible. The Moon is the heavenly body that has long been associated with the Goddess, just as the sun is a symbol of the God. The link between the Goddess and fish was found in various areas of the ancient world: for instance, in China, Great Mother Kwan-yin often portrayed in the shape of a fish; in India, the Goddess Kali was called the "fish-eyed one"; in Egypt, Isis was called the Great Fish of the Abyss; in Greece the Greek word "delphos" meant both fish and womb (the word is derived from the location of the ancient Oracle at Delphi who worshipped the original fish goddess, Themis. The later fish Goddess, Aphrodite Salacia, was worshipped by her followers on her sacred day, Friday. They ate fish and engaging in orgies. In later centuries, the Christian church adsorbed this tradition by requiring the faithful to eat fish on Friday.) In ancient Rome Friday is called "dies veneris", or Day of Venus, the Pagan Goddess of Love; in Scandinavia, the Great Goddess was named Freya; fish were eaten in her honour; in the Middle East, the Great Goddess of Ephesus was portrayed as a woman with a fish amulet over her genitals.

6. In the recitation of the Rosary, corresponding to the recitation of three beads, the prayer of the Ave Maria is repeated 153 times."There is way to much on the number 153 to sumarize here but a little searching can tell you more if you are interested. 153 is also used in the construction of the Great Pyramid (pyre - amid, being fire within).
I think it is safe to say the three fish is a uniquely feminine form of the trinity. Related as it is to the dying and resurecting Gods, and their mothers or lovers, we see also the implication of both reincarnation and spiritual rebirth, the immortality of spirit, and spiritual evolution. When it also includes a circle we have a slightly different meaning in that the circle represents the void from which the three are springing into life. The three that come from the one are God the daughter(our personal God), God the traveler into time and space(us), and the soulmate... perhaps.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Who Am I?

I am the girl who looked at the continents and knew they were once much different, even though my teachers told me otherwise.

I am the girl who believed both Darwin and Creationism were correct.

I am the girl who embraced the philosophy of the sixties - peace, love and freedom - enough to make them my lifelong ideals.

I am the girl who believed that magic was real, and suspected that there was a scientific basis, at the time undiscovered, that would explain the why behind magic.

I am the girl who wanted to be a horse, so she could run like the wind, and claim her freedom, and show everyone our divine origin.

I am the girl who discovered very old junk heaps in the forest, and uncovered their treasures.

I am the girl who liked to jump. Who jumped so high it felt like flying.

I am the girl who would stand beneath a snow-covered tree with a friend and shake the snow down so we were frosted with beautiful, melting crystals.

I am the girl who would peer into the ocean depths, from my father's boat, and watch the jellyfish, and mackerel.

I am the girl whom birds trust to come, and eat seed from her hand.

I am the girl who made snowmen, and snow angels.

I am the girl who once skated on ice so thin and clear, that I could see the goldfish swimming beneath my feet.

I am the girl who could move absolutely in silence.

I am the girl who could become invisible.

I am the girl who made potions out of old cranberries in the springtime.

I am the girl who thrilled to the sound of frogs in the spring.

I am the girl who collected frog spawn... who has held it in her hands.

I am the girl who held a dragonfly nymph on her hand as it hatched, unfolded it's wings and finally flew.

I am the girl who would collect driftwood and make a fire on the beach. Then would dig up clams from the mud and cook them in an old coffee can on my fire on the beach.

I am the girl who surfed in the ocean July 17, 1983. The girl who learned how powerful the sea can be.

I am the girl who adored men.

I am the girl who loved her mother, and especially loved her Grandmothers.

I am the girl who loved the scent and beauty of waterlilies.

I am the girl who never wanted to be a man.

I am the girl who loved wild roses.

I am the girl who drew horses.

I am the girl who knew she was magical.