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SWEETSWORDS 110 [Sign of Jonah ]

SWEETSWORDS 110 [ Sign of Jonah ]


Jesus tree the evergreen
Jesus tree the immortal unseen
Jesus tree the masiha Mahabot
Jesus tree the divinity from earthly Mariam pot
Jesus tree the longest living man
Mentioned in the AL QURAN the divine pen
As Jesus son of marry daughter of Imran
As Jesus prophet of ALLAH the guide for human

Poga Say's in a foolington maze

Mariam flower the immortal bud
Mariam flower is the botanical mud
Mariam flower that relives the labour pain
Mariam flower that forever remain
Mariam flower which begets the Jesus fruit
The earthly tree with heavenly root

The Ne Science Na Laynn Say's The sandal that went beyond science
To become the symbol of all ology
The sandal of blessed foot
That went beyond the heads of all psychology
That sandal is the NA LAYNN SHARIF
The blessed diagram that contains and controls
The chaotic cosmos from all the satanic mischief
That sandal is the Na Laynn
With its two leather straps
What grows to become the eight infinite sign
With its vertical iron studs and circular metallic rings
The sandal that holds all the cubical diagrams
And all the circular drawings
That sandal belongs to my lord MUHAMMAD Sallel La Hu Alahi Wa Sallim
The Sandal that went beyond science went beyond knowledge of all ALIM and MU ALLIM

The spinning turban Say's With infinite ? and minus =
With the beginingless sum and startles sequel
With the mim functional solar six i bind the pesh functional galactic nine
With aum symbol and yin yang sign
With the Fibonacci function i bind the heavenly footstool
With phi function rope i bind the earthen whirlpool
With this charming word i bind you oh Prophet of ALLAH
La Illa Ha Illel La
I bind you with numbers so i maybe counted at the day of JUDGEMENT
And i being the homeless claimant
Sallel La Hu Alahi Wa Sallim
I bind you with pi functional golden ration
And the phi functional NURANI MIM
I bind you with mim functional oceanic nautilus and phi functional transcedental nebula
I bind you with this kalimah La Illa Ha Illel La

Awaluddin Marrifathullah Say's to understand the symbols
I asked the neon sign maker
He said i have seen every street lamp
Comes in by symbol of mim functional marker
I have seen they all come by circular light upon the straight line post
i have seen the unifying mim functional Muslim exorcist
And the cross functional dualistic satanic ghost

Silent Sanyasi Say's
The scientific path and Ne Science ways
To repeat the backward AUM
To gain the Arabic grammar by Sanskrit norm
To understand the ABJAD i asked the mathrameru Alim
He said learn the ZIKR by numbers to gain the lateral ALI LAM MIM
Learn the numbers and add them by rounding the footstool with the cube of KAABA
And you will gain the measure of the floating boat of MANU and the flying stootstool of the BRAMMAH
It is when every vegetation stands and shout the dumb tree dialogue about botanical MIM
It is when very leaf branch and trunk becomes the signature of
MUHAMMAD Sallel La Hu Alahi Wa Sallim
It is when the tree writes abot the lines and waves of the silent sound
It is when the tree writes about the pi functional philosophy of the phi spinal round
It is when the tree signs the treaties with the water of life
The mim functional philosophy of men and wife

Mr Barzakh : Jesus is the sneeze of Adam what GOD kept in the jar
The unmutilated test tube baby in this mutant SANSAR
He is the organic element from original heavenly Adam
He is the divinity made in the earthly womb
He was all peace so detached him self for hidden jihad training
The day he returns is the day of rage and reckoning
With the full of fury anger and fear
He will punish the wicked and comfort the sufferer
That will be the day you will witness miracles of Christ
The day every wrong doers  will be robbed by the very righteous heist

Mrs Be Aql Khan Usta : Buddhist Sutra and christian enigma
Hidden years of Jesus life in the land of Brahma
Even then and there
He fought Indian evil cast in the holy war
In the fitting jihad he fought like Muslim
He fought the evil race therefore Brahman and Kshatriya tried to kill him
But the poor Sudra's and rich bikkoos
Rightly guided Brahmans and just Jews
All loved him apart from hated Satan
And most loving heart is heart of an Indian
They sheltered him in the birth place of mother Ganga
There he learned the way of sat chit Sanga
From fourteen up toward his forty
He admired Indian ugliness and Indian beauty

Mr Barzakh Fitrath Ullah : To Know the hidden meaning of christian crucifix
I asked the Musalman marine by the river of Styx
He told me it is the united bridge with the glowing arc
Glows by the Nurani light between cathode and anode at the Poolsirath dark
He said cross is the plus sign what begets all union
It is the sign of Jesus at his last mission
Because Jesus was not crucified nor did he die
Rather he was taken alive to sky by ALLAH most high
Yet he will act as the crossing for the united bridge of the river of Styx
At the last hour he will call the Christians to write theirs upon the Islamic appendix
He will call to stand with Muslims and fight the Antichrist DAJJAL
Mr Barzakh Fitrath Ullah Say's To understand the Christan head-wear crucifix
I Asked the Muslim footwear NALL


A Christmas Cross-Examination
by Nancy Coker
This time of year millions around the globe decorate trees and homes in celebration of the birth of their savior, a savior whose death on a wooden cross will also be memorialized come spring. Baby Jesus will be tucked into his crib under Christmas trees sparkling with ornaments. How interesting that both his birth and death are remembered with such similar structures, a tree for his birth, a cross for his death -- which he promised was not really death but eternal life.

While his birth into earth life is celebrated with glitter and gold, today his birth into spiritual life is mourned and symbolized by the cross or crucifix. Early Christian crosses were decorated with flowers and wreaths like our modern Christmas trees, to commemorate the joys of eternal life. And it was not a human form that was first depicted on the cross, but that of a sheep; possibly a representation of Aries the ram, as the Arian age was just passing over to the Piscean. Not till hundreds of years later was Jesus, the lamb of God., portrayed on a wooden cross.

There are innumerable meanings and interpretations of the symbol of the cross: some say it's to remind us about a savior, some say it's a story about the death and rebirth of the sun, while others say it describes the coming to birth of the cosmos and consciousness. One thing is certain, the symbol of the cross was everywhere in antiquity. Present in ancient cultures of Asia, Europe, North Africa, as well as the Americas, the crux ansata, or cross of life (the ankh), was carried in the hands of Egyptian pharaohs for centuries, and statues in the British Museum show Assyrian kings wearing jewelry with a cross on it. The Buddhist wheel of life is composed of two crosses superimposed and its eight points are still preserved in the cross of the Christian Knights Templar. The swastika (a kind of circling cross) has been discovered in early Asian and Native American cultures. There are easily more than 50 versions of the cross, as it was a key image inspiring reverence for almost all peoples.

In the beginning of H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, she tells of the coming to birth of the cosmos as a cross story. First she depicts a circle of divine unity, a ground of infinite being and she calls it Be-ness. Periodically this becomes active, which she illustrates as a circle with a central point. The minuscule dot is the potential for manifesting the entire universe of duality; it is the nucleus, the umbilicus issuing from the source of life. The ensuing birth of the universe through the center point is described as happening in stages, as the horizontal diameter or Mother Nature dynamized by the vertical diameter, spirit, forms a cross within the circle of Be-ness. The appearance of these two may be seen as the metaphysical equivalent of the current "big bang" myth, and echoes the trajectory of an avatar, a word which means literally crossing over down. Spirit unites with matter at the center point, and the limbs of the cross symbolize their differentiation and separation, creating a symbol both of unity and diversity. In this way of thinking deity is not identified with spirit, but with something much larger than spirit, something so all-encompassing it can have no opposite, and may be what Pascal had in mind when he wrote that Divinity was like a circle with its center everywhere, its circumference nowhere. Thus, the cross within the circle symbolizes the story of the periodic birth of the universe, periodic because it eventually will be indrawn into the dot, then breathed back out to be born again.

On the human level, the crucifix may represent spirit falling into matter in the shape of humanity, as descent into form is a kind of death to spirit. Form restricts spirit (as well as focuses its action) as spirit enlivens form. Each of us is a breathing example of this mystery as our bodies form the shape of a cross, our hearts being the central dot. Like the point in the circle, the center of any cross is its heart, the place where deity lives. And just as the dot in the cross is a portal through which spirit and matter are born, our heart acts as a kind of doorway, a threshold into more subtle dimensions. In a sense, our inner divinity is crucified when we are born into the earth planes, as our material dimensions limit infinite expression -- to be freed again when we cross over into the spiritual planes. In the Christmas story, we are told that the wise men brought myrrh to the baby Jesus. In those times myrrh was used to embalm the dead -- an odd gift unless read symbolically, that the birth of the human baby was a death to the inner spirit of Jesus, a form of death to divinity. Some say this was the real crucifixion.

Besides cosmological and human interpretations, there is an astronomical story that tells of the great sidereal cross which fixes the four cardinal points of the equinoxes and solstices -- points completely invisible except to the mind's eye, yet commemorated by humanity for thousands of years. An equinox is the point of intersection between the plane of the ecliptic (the sun's path in the sky) and the celestial equator (the earth's equator projected in space), and occurs once in spring and once in the fall. The solstices occur each year when the sun is at its southernmost point (December 22 this year) and again when it is at its northernmost (approximately June 21).

The ancient Egyptians had the notion that the autumn sun needed to be propped up because of its declining light. They celebrated September 10 as the nativity of the supports of the sun. The shorter days proved the sun was getting weaker as it traveled down into the underworld. To them, the autumnal sun was the dying savior, and so they fashioned stakes to support it called stauros (in the shape of the tau). These were crosses not of death, but of sustenance, people were grateful for the light and warmth of the sun, and sought to uphold and buttress it. At the vernal equinox the stauros was changed to become a support for mankind, perhaps as part of the life-giving ankh.

Traditionally, the days prior to the winter solstice, as the sun seems to turn southward and downward, were said to be the time when all the powers of darkness, symbolized by Herod in the Jesus story and Kansa in the Krishna story, try to kill the lightbringer. At the winter solstice the sun seems to pause for about three days, before beginning its northward ascent. Anciently this was seen as a time for great rejoicing: a December birth story was celebrated in Rome hundreds of years before Jesus, because the S-U-N was reborn. Some say that each of us is like a sun and must travel a similar journey.

The cross is also a wonderful visual symbol of dualistic existence we have great difficulties with twoness, with opposites, perhaps because in our self-centeredness we usually experience them as conflicting rather than complementing. Part of Jesus' job was to deal with the problems of twoness, and there are many paintings showing crucified Jesus as the mediator between two thieves (one repentant, one not), between the sun and moon, between heaven and earth. The Bible seems to concur that his role was to be a bridge, an intermediary between God and humanity.

The cross hides a mystery: its essence seems to point to the crossing from one realm to another, from mortality to immortality, from earth realms to spirit worlds, and back again. If we consider that during our lives we cross many thresholds as we mature, the pattern of crossings preserves a story of progressive awakenings and changes of consciousness.

Modernly the cross is associated with suffering and dying but, like the Christmas tree and the stauros, it is also about sustenance and being reborn and says something about how to live our lives each moment. It asks us to constantly help midwife the birth of the new, which of course means allowing the old to cross over and out -- and the way we know it's time is when we're suffering. Suffering is telling us that our crucified spirit needs resurrecting, not just once, not by just one person, but by all of us all of the time.

The cross is a universal symbol, and the Winter Solstice is a timely moment to stop and reflect on it. As we prepare to decorate our Christmas trees we might remember those two trees in Eden, one of knowledge (of good and evil, of twoness) one of eternal life. The unity represented by the tree of life is still waiting for us to discover. The tree we decorate and the cross we bear still root us in duality, but they suggest to us that the way to eternal life is through sacrificing or crucifying twoness to oneness. Our Christmas tree can also remind us of the world tree whose center, like the axis of the earth, extends upwards to the pole star and, like the cross, can be a ladder or pillar pointing towards the heavens leading us home.

(Reprinted from Sunrise magazine, December 1995/January 1996. Copyright © 1996 by Theosophical University Press)


The Secret Wisdom of Symbols
By Phyllis Immink
Symbols are very much a part of our daily lives -- the letters of the alphabet, numbers, names, corporate and national emblems, and religious and secular rites, for instance. There seems to be an inherent propensity in human nature to make and use them. The sacred sciences of antiquity were all recorded in symbols that sum up certain occult principles and therefore form a mystery language. Most symbols condense a number of meanings into one and can be interpreted in either a cosmic or a human sense. The keys to the symbols which unlock the nature of things will give us some answers to the questions we ask: What is life? Where did I and the world come from? Where am I going? What really is the true nature of things?

Some of the ancient geometric symbols addressed cosmogonical questions. The circle, for example, can represent space -- not empty space, but the space referred to in Genesis as "the waters of space." Beyond this is infinity, which cannot be expressed by any form or shape. The perimeter of the circle indicates infinity in that it is beginningless and endless. If we put a point in the middle of this circle of space, we have the first stirring of spirit. The Pythagoreans would refer to this point as the Logos.

The circle can be equated with the egg, a sacred symbol in the cosmogony of every people, representing the entire cosmic process by which worlds and living beings are born. It contains the positive and negative forces which together produce manifested life. When the circle is shown as a spiral, it represents evolution, eternal change and growth. The circle with a horizontal diameter signifies divine Mother Nature. When the horizontal line is crossed by a vertical line, we have the symbol of Father Nature added, the two together forming a cross and representing the manifested universe. Generally, a vertical line stands for spirit, and a horizontal line matter.

The same idea is represented by the equilateral triangle and the Trinity. The upper point of the triangle, in the same sense as the point in the circle, is the unity, the one life, from which springs a duality of spirit and matter which can be expressed as energy and substance, positive and negative, or force and matter. This duality manifests from a unity which contains both spirit and matter and which is the source of all. The two sides of the triangle denote duality, and the base of the triangle is the offspring of spirit and matter, being either the inner cosmos or man -- for in the process of manifestation, whether of human being, planet, or sun, these three forces over an immense period of time together emanate physical matter as we know it.

The cross symbolizes eternal life and is used in various religions with slight differences. The Christians took it from the Gnostics and Kabbalists, who took it from the Egyptians; also present in the Mediterranean area were the Latin or Roman cross and that of Buddhist missionaries from India. The cross of crucifixion actually signifies the incarnation of Divinity, the "Word (Logos) made flesh" -- crucified on the cross of matter. In his letters, St. Paul dwells much on the Christ in us being crucified, and many religions have the story of crucified saviors.

The oldest Egyptian cross, which was also the Greek cross, has both lines of equal length. The horizontal line represents the feminine or passive principle of nature, and the vertical line the energic side, a symbol of dual generative power. Siva, Jehovah, and Osiris are all symbols of the active principle in nature: forces that provide for the formation of matter, its destruction and/or regeneration.

One variation of the cross is the swastika. Swastika is a Sanskrit word meaning "well-being" or "auspicious," and there are said to be seven keys to its inner meaning. This symbol is found in India, China, Tibet, Thailand, Japan, the Americas, Greece, Rome, and among early Christians. In Scandinavia it was known as Thor's Hammer; in India as Vishnu's discus or as the Jaina cross; in Buddhism it is a "wheel" denoting eternal motion and stands for evolution. Representing spirit-matter, its central point is the god principle, and its four arms represent in succession birth, life, death, and immortality.

Another form of the cross is the Hebrew letter tau, the handled or ansated cross, called in Egypt the ankh, which ages before had been used there, and was placed on the breasts of their mummies. Used by the Romans, it represented immortality. It has also been found on the backs of some of the mighty statues on Easter Island. Its meaning is similar to that of the swastika, except that it represents a higher plane of being: the primordial movements and states of cosmic being.

In a mystical sense the tau is also the Tree of Life or World Tree said to span heaven and earth. From the most ancient times trees were connected with gods and mystical forces in nature. Every nation had its sacred tree. For the Buddhist, it is the Bo or bodhi tree (ficus religiosa) under which Gautama is believed to have reached enlightenment; in Mexico, the dark cypress; and the sycamore tree of Assyria and Egypt, where its cones were carried in religious processions. Other trees that have been used as symbols were the fir, oak, tamarisk, palm, and vine.

In Scandinavia the sacred tree was the ash, and in the Eddas the cosmic ash or Yggdrasil is the symbol of universal life. It had three roots: one in the god-world, one in the realms of matter, and one in Niflheim (cloud-world), the formative world of undifferentiated substance. The Hindu cosmic tree Asvattha symbolizes the universe in its intellectual and moral character, its leaves suggesting the mantras of the Vedas. It was described as growing upside down, the roots having their genesis in heavenly regions. The Zoroastrian Tree of Life is the gogard or gokard, among whose branches lives a serpent which cannot be dislodged. This is reminiscent of the Tree of Knowledge in the Hebrew Garden of Eden. In this context, the serpent is the embodiment of divine wisdom and the symbol of spirit. Because of its ability to shed its skin, it also may represent regeneration, rebirth, or cyclic time.

Another widespread symbol is the lotus, sacred to the Egyptians, Hindus, Buddhists, Chinese, and Japanese. Exemplifying the miniature as a part of the whole, it includes all the forces of the macrocosm in the microcosm, for the seeds of the lotus, even before they germinate, contain perfectly formed leaves -- the miniature shape of the plants they will become. The lotus, representing all the forces of nature, lives in the four elements -- its roots in earth, its stem in water, its blossoms in the air and the sunlight -- i.e., in earth, water, air, and fire. Its likeness appears on objects of every description in Asia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and also America where it is found decorating Inca vessels and frieze paintings at Chichen Itza. In India, a bodhisattva is shown announcing the incarnation of Gautama Buddha by presenting a lotus to Mayadevi, his mother-to-be. The same idea appears in Christian paintings of the archangel Gabriel handing the Virgin Mary a spray of white lilies. Both symbolize, not only the incarnation of a spiritual teacher, but also the birth of divine awareness within an individual.

From times immemorial, knowledge superior to that of our present age has been preserved in symbol, sacred allegories, and myths. They formed a secret wisdom handed down from person to person and from age to age. There appears to be a system of symbols common to all religions around the world. According to H. P. Blavatsky, there never was, nor can there be, more than one universal religion, for there can be but one truth concerning the Divine. The symbolism of every people reflects the same spiritual principles, and the symbolism of all mythologies has a scientific foundation and substance reflecting spiritual potentialities.

(From Sunrise magazine, August/September 1996. Copyright © 1996 by Theosophical University Press)



``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


The Sign of the Cross


"Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor's sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor."
-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 - 386

Self-described "Torah-true Jews" to this day wear tefillin ("phylacteries") on their foreheads and arms as a sign of their identity and devotion. This practice stems from Deuteronomy 6:4-8:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: And thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising. And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes.
Compare those words with the words of St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (d. A.D. 386)

Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ; but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it upon thy forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act.
God speaking, through Ezechiel, to the remnant of Israel (and don't forget that the Church is "Israel"!), tells the faithful:

And the Lord said to him: Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem: and mark Thau upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and mourn for all the abominations that are committed in the midst thereof. (Ezechiel 9:4)
Crossing one's self is good public witness! Do not be ashamed of it! To be ashamed of the sign of His Cross is to be ashamed of Him!
The Catholic Sign of the Cross is absolutely ancient, rooted not only in the Old Testament but the New (Apocalypse speaks of those who have the sign of God in their foreheads -- and those who have the sign of the Beast in their foreheads). When Catholics undergo the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bishop (sometimes a priest) seals the sign on our foreheads with holy chrism. St. John of Damascus wrote

This was given to us as a sign on our forehead, just as the circumcision was given to Israel: for by it we believers are separated and distinguished from unbelievers.

to "cross oneself," "sign oneself," "bless oneself," or "make the sign of the cross" all mean the same thing
Crossing one's self recalls this seal, and the invocation that is said while making this holy sign calls on our God -- the Father, His Son, and the Holy Ghost -- and is a sign of our of belief; it is both a "mini-creed" that asserts our belief in the Triune God, and a prayer that invokes Him. The use of holy water when making this sign, such as we do when we enter a church, also recalls our Baptism and should bring to mind that we are born again of water and Spirit, thanks be to God.

Because of what the Sign indicates -- the very Cross of our salvation -- Satan hates it, and our using it makes demons flee. Make the Sign in times of temptation and confusion for great spiritual benefit!

The Sign of the Cross is made thus: First choose your style:

Option A. With your right hand, touch the thumb and ring finger together, and hold your index finger and middle finger together to signify the two natures of Christ. This is the most typical Western Catholic practice.
Option B. Hold your thumb and index finger of your right hand together to signify the two natures of Christ
Option C. Hold your thumb, index finger, middle finger of your right hand together (signifying the Trinity) while tucking the ring finger and pinky finger (signifying the two natures of Christ) toward your palm. This is the typically Eastern Catholic practice.
Option D: Hold your right hand open with all 5 fingers -- representing the 5 Wounds of Christ -- together and very slightly curved, and thumb slightly tucked into palm

touch the forehead as you say (or pray mentally) "In nomine Patris" ("In the name of the Father")
touch the breastbone or top of the belly as you say "et Filii" ("and of the Son")
touch the left shoulder, then right shoulder, as you say "et Spiritus Sancti" ("and of the Holy Ghost"). Note that some people end the Sign by crossing the thumb over the index finger to make a cross, and then kissing the thumb as a way of "kissing the Cross."

An optional prayer to pray after signing yourself in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is this one, said to be favored by St. Benedict:

By the Sign of the Cross, deliver me from my enemies, O Lord.
Note that Eastern Catholics (and Orthodox) go from right shoulder to left and end sometimes by touching their right side, above the hip, to symbolize Christ's being pierced by the sword. The Bridgettine nuns in their Myroure of our Ladye write of the mystical reasons for the Latin practice, and how it summarizes the Incarnation, the Passion, and the Ascension:

And then ye bless you with the sygne of the holy crosse, to chase away the fiend with all his deceytes. For, as Chrysostome sayth, wherever the fiends see the signe of the crosse, they flye away, dreading it as a staffe that they are beaten withall. And in thys blessinge ye beginne with youre hande at the hedde downwarde, and then to the lefte side and byleve that our Lord Jesu Christe came down from the head, that is from the Father into erthe by his holy Incarnation, and from the erthe into the left syde, that is hell, by his bitter Passion, and from thence into his Father's righte syde by his glorious Ascension. (Catholic Encyclopedia)
With the Sign, we send a visible sign to the world and follow the advice of St. Ephrem of Syria (died A.D. 373):

Mark all your actions with the sign of the lifegiving Cross. Do not go out from the door of your house till you have signed yourself with the Cross. Do not neglect that sign whether in eating or drinking or going to sleep, or in the home or going on a journey. There is no habit to be compared with it. Let it be a protecting wall round all your conduct, and teach it to your children that they may earnestly learn the custom.

When the Sign is Made
A partial indulgence is gained, under the usual conditions, when piously making the Sign of the Cross

Catholics should begin and end their prayers with the Sign of the Cross and should cross themselves when passing a church to honor Jesus in the Tabernacle, upon entering a church, and after receving Communion. The sign is made, too, in times of trouble or fear (e.g., when receiving bad news, in times of temptation, when hearing an ambulance or fire truck go by), when passing a cemetery or otherwise recalling the dead, when seeing a Crucifix -- any time one wishes to honor and invoke God, or ward away evil, fear, and temptation.

Just for information's sake, the "Distaff Gospels," a collection of old wives tales collected ca. 1470, relate the following in its fifteenth chapter.

If in the morning, when getting up, a person crosses themselves and washes their hands before leaving the house, the devil will not have the power of harming him or her. Otherwise, whatever the work is done on that day will not be profitable.

...About that, Geffrine Tost Preste said that the devil sits on the table of whoever does not say grace before eating, then eats and drinks there.

Other Signs of the Cross
There are other signs of the Cross that Catholics make, too. One is made by tracing a small Cross with the thumb of the right hand on people and things. This sign is especially used by parents when blessing children by tracing the sign on the children's foreheads..1 Sometimes the sign is traced by the thumb on a book of Sacred Scripture and then kissed before reading. The sign is also carved onto loaves of bread before cutting, etc.

Another sign is the large sign made in the air by bishops and priests when blessing persons or material objects.

Yet another is the series of three small Crosses traced by the thumb of the right hand -- one small Cross on the forehead, one small Cross on the lips, and one small Cross on the breast -- just before the Gospel reading at Mass. The sign on the forehead is to show that we believe the Gospel, the sign on the lips is to show that we respect the Gospel and desire to spread the Good News, and the sign on our breast is to show that we love the Gospel and want it kept in our hearts. 2

Make the Sign of the Cross and make it often! Teach it to your children -- even the tiniest of children. If they're infants, take their hands and make the movements for them! Making the Sign should feel as natural as breathing...

1 The use of "bless" here refers to a parental blessing -- i.e., a prayer for God's grace for a child. Priests alone have the power to bless in the name of the Church and with the power of the Church, to bless liturgically, to bless objects rendering them sacramentals, etc.

2 When passing by or upon entering a church, many Mexicans make this form of the sign (with the thumb laid over the index finger to form a cross) -- on the forehead, lips, and mouth -- while praying the words, "Por la senal de la Santa Cruz, de nuestros enemigos libranos Seρor Dios Nuestro" -- "By the sign of the Holy Cross deliver us, Lord, from our enemies." This is followed by the regular sign of the Cross outlined above (whose words in Spanish are, "En el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espiritu Santo, amen") and the kissing of the Cross made by the thumb laid over the index finger. They refer to the first sign as "signing oneself" ("signarse") and the second action as "blessing oneself" ("santiguarse").

Back to Being Catholic
 The Secret Language of Symbols
A Guide to The Structure of Spiritual Emblems  
  Related Subjects:
• The Tree of Life
• The Solar Cross
• Symbol Dictionary

Related Subjects
• Gnosticism
• Rosicrucianism
• Thelema
• Ritual Magick
• Tarot
• Geomancy
There is a secret language we all recognize, but few are fluent in- the language of symbols. Symbols surround us in myriad forms and form an inextricable part of our daily lives, yet unlike our spoken languages, schooling in symbolism is left to the individual initiative. Even in religious teaching, symbols are presented as emblems of belonging, mere historical artifacts one wears to identify with one's faith.

Many of the symbols we take for granted today as static signs of religious or secular life were created long ago, representations of the movements of earth and heaven, symbols of the seasons, and representations of cosmic and earthly deities. Over time, they have acquired layers of increasingly complex meaning, and this evolution of meaning tells us much about how we developed our ideas about the nature of life and the universe. Signs used in modern magick and Western religious traditions share a common ancestry that dates before the creation of writing. These symbols are powerful because they are archetypal- even cultures that do not share language share an innate understanding of symbols. In this article we'll explore the evolution of symbolism by examining the basic elements that make up more complex symbolism.

The symbols of western magic, astrology, and alchemy are based on a common symbolic 'alphabet,' composites created from smaller symbols. Knowing how to recognize these smaller units will allow you to decipher many of the larger symbols whenever you encounter them. Knowing the secret system behind these symbols can provide an incredible amount of insight into even the most inscrutable signs.

The basic building blocks of symbolism

The Circle is the most common and universal signs, found in all cultures. It is the symbol of the sun in its limitless or boundless aspect. It has no beginning or end, and no divisions, making it the perfect symbol of completeness, eternity, and the soul:

The circle is also the symbol of boundary and enclosure, of completion, and returning cycles. The circle most familiar to us is that of the wedding ring which encircles the finger associated in ancient times with the heart. The wedding ring symbolizes not just a pledge of eternal ove, but the enclosure of the heart- a pledge of fidelity.

The circle reflected represents the dyad, the introduction of duality, and represents creation and manifestation. The symbol of the dyad is known as the 'vesica pisces,' or fish bladder, because it appears as a fish.

The equal armed solar cross is another universal symbol, which can be found in every culture with a knowledge of the passage of time. It is the first truly theological emblem, marking not only the points of the solar calendar, but the juxtaposition of the realm of the material with the realm of the divine.

The cross is in this case actuality two separate signs-

First, a vertical axis, representing man, the body, and our upright posture. The vertical line symbolizes the path from earth to heaven and the realm of spirit, symbolizing the dual nature of man, who embodies the spiritual and the temporal.

The vertical axis equates directly to the human spine and to the tree of life, as well as to the axis mundi, the great pole around which the constellations of the zodiac revolve. These seemingly disparate ideas share a common idea- they link the earth and heavens. Thus is the concept of the connection between earth and heaven established- and also the divinity of man, who alone is built on this axis.

The horizontal axis, represents the path from birth to death, beginning to end, and linear time.

This axis represents life on earth as a binary, linear process- life to death, beginning to end, and the dual nature of human existence evidenced by our symmetrical shapes: left and right, male and female, good and evil. These ancient concepts are embodied even in our language- our good, "righteous" side, and our dark, "sinister" side. (sinister having the original meaning "of the left hand")

Both axis are also representations of the sexual nature of man, the vertical line representing the solar phallus, and the horizontal, the receptive, female earthly nature. Many early solar temples (such as stonehenge) are not only solar calendars, but reprentations of the earth awaiting fertilization from the masculine energies of the sun. (The appearance of the rays of the solstice on these ancient solar altars represents the copulation of the gods)

The cross, then, is the symbol of humanity- when the two axis are combined in a cross shape, they represent the cube of space, the four elements, and the binding together in man of matter and spirit. (The old geometrical puzzle of 'squaring the circle' is a hidden reference to the continual difficulty of reconciling spiritual and material concerns.) A cross within a circle forms a solar cross or a horoscope wheel, both symbols of spirit and matter. A horizontal bar within a circle is the alchemical symbol for salt, pure material existence in its most exalted state. The equal-armed cross is often disguised in religious art as a four petalled flower, a cube, or a scepter. Examples of this cross in it's simplest meaning will be found in primitive swastikas and sunwheels; the more complex spiritual meanings in the symbols of alchemy, the Templars' equal armed cross, and the symbol of the crucifix. Because of the inherent nature of this symbol as representational of both the sun and the divine in man, the cross is commonly associated with redemptive solar deities. (Read more about the Dying God archetype here)

The Tau cross is a later variation, with a horizontal bar balanced atop a vertical bar, creating a "Tau," or "T" shape. With its exaggerated vertical axis, the tau cross is associated with sacrifice of the lower, base nature, and emphasizes the earth/heaven connection. Some examples of the Tau cross are the cross of Attis, the egyptian Ankh (surmounted by a loop or circle), and the Norse Irminsul.


The arc found in more complex symbols, especially planetary symbols, represents ascension or striving. The arch has been a traditional element of architecture and often figures in commemorative monuments of triumph and achivement. The sigils of the planet Saturn and Jupiter, for example, combine identical symbols with very different results, using the arc in conjunction with the cross. In the sigil of Jupiter, the arc of aspiration rises above the struggle of matter and spirit, and symbolizes bounty, triumph, expansion, and success. Saturn's sigil places the cross above the arc- ascension subverted by the material struggle, and a symbol of Saturn's power to limit and confine:

The crescent represents the powers of the moon- reflective and receptive. (An example of this symbol taken to its highest symbolic meaning would be the Holy Grail) A reversed crescent often represents emptiness and illusion.

The triangle is one of the most easily recognized religious symbols in the West, most commonly associated with the Christian trinity or Freemasonry. The triangle is the simplest geometric shape, and also the first purely theological symbol. To the ancient pythagoreans, the triangle was, as the first complete polygon, the womb of number and the essence of stability.

The upward moving triangle is sometimes called the blade (the chalice and blade figure ceremonially in many ritual magic operations). It is a symbol of aspiration or rising up, male force, and fire. It is purely phallic in origin. The triangle represents aspiration, rising forcem and the male principal.

The downward pointing triangle is sometimes referred to as the chalice. It is the symbol of water (as it flows downward), the grace of heaven, and the womb. it is one of the most ancient symbols of female divinity, as a representation of the genitalia of the goddess.

When combined, the triangles of fire and water form a potent symbol of balance and divine union. In western tradition, it is called the Seal of Solomon, and the symbols for air and earth are derived from the reconciliation of water and fire in this symbol. The hexagram has an identical meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism as well, where it also represents the divine union, or perfect balance of male and female energies. Kabbalistically, it is the sign of resurrection and completeness- in Hebrew tradition, it is called perfect. Occasionally, this conjunction forms a diamond or lozenge shape.
Suffering and knowledge in ancient texts
(idea) by Alixtii (2.1 y) (print)    ?   1 C! Fri May 02 2003 at 3:11:05

I never thought this paper was that great, but I just won an award for it, and $50 to boot, so it couldn't have been that bad. Anyway, here it is, as written for my Western Traditions class, CORE 151.

The Calm Before the Storm: On the Dualistic Nature of Suffering and Knowledge in the Bible and Gilgamesh

The human mind thinks in binary. Why this should be so--if it is due to the symmetrical nature of the human body, with two hands and two eyes, or to our dual-sexedness, or some other reason--is a question, if it can be answered at all, that is best left to the cognitive scientists. Our conception of the universe is framed in concepts of true and false, is and isn't, yes and no; it is not surprising, then, that our most primal works, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible, reflect this, especially in matters of suffering and knowledge.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. (Gen 1.1)
So starts the Judeo-Christian Bible. What dualisms are implied by this short passage? Among them are before/now, heaven/earth, water/earth, void/being, darkness/light, and wind/calm. The dualistic nature of human thought is crucial to an understanding of the Bible, a view which is supported by journalist and scholar Elie Wiesel. Wiesel's account of the creation story focuses on many aspects of Biblical deixis, concepts such as you/me and then/now which must rely on a context to be meaningful. "In the beginning," Wiesel writes, "man oriented himself solely in relation to God--and all of creation defined itself in relation to man" (3).

The dualisms in Genesis are elegant, being absolutely crucial to the theme and moral of the story which is being told. Yet this type of dualistic thought holds its place in Gligamesh as well. Let us similarly take the opening lines of Gilgamesh:

Fame haunts the man who visits hell,
Who lives to tell my tale identically.
So like a sage, a trickster or saint,
Was a hero who knew secrets and saw forbidden places,
Who could even speak of the time before. . . . (Jackson 2)
Here we have a similar structuring of concepts. Dualisms evoked from this passage include hell/earth, forbidden/allowed, speech/writing, and before/after. (Of course, theoretically every noun or adjective in the passage presumes some dualism, such as fame/obscurity. However, the three cited are contrasts which are central to the themes, morals, and motifs of the epic.)

It could be argued that any passage written in English (or any other human language) would be subject to this type of analysis. Does this deconstruction of the Bible and Gilgamesh into dualisms reveal anything useful or significant about their respective meanings? I have already claimed that the dualisms cited are crucial to the theme and morals of the respective works. How this is so will be revealed as we consider the place of such concepts as knowledge, ignorance, happiness, pain, paradise, and the worlds of heaven, hell, and the Earth in the Bible and in Gilgamesh.

The placement of these concepts into their schemata problematic; it shall be the endeavor of this paper to achieve this in a coherent and plausible way that is capable of evoking meaning from and supplying meaning to the dualisms discussed above. Was Adam bored in paradise, as Elie Wiesel asserts (12)? Is ignorance bliss? What is the nature of human suffering? What does Gilgamesh have to do with anything? These questions have great relevance to our lives today, when we are increasingly bombarded by more and more information, when children grow bored much more easily. They bear much more relevance for people of faith, who are finding the need to question their faith in our pluralistic and often secular society.

The questions can only be answered meaningfully when we realize that the concepts we are talking about are themselves dualisms. They fall naturally into pairs: knowledge/ignorance, pain/happiness, paradise/Earth, heaven/hell. Through a process that will be referred to in this paper as dualistic deixis, each member of the pairs takes in part its meaning from its negation of its antithesis. That is, divorced from a context which includes the concept of knowledge, the concept of ignorance can only exist with its meaning somewhat altered.

The account of creation in Genesis lends itself to this way of understanding these concepts. The uncreated world represents a unity, where there are no dualisms. God creates by separating--that is, by creating dualisms. He separates the light from the day, and the waters from the Earth. Before this, there was simply undifferentiated being--which, in the ultimate unity, could not be distinguished from nothingness (Gen 1.1-5).

Other dualisms follow: human/God, and male/female. Regardless of whether God creates men and women at the same time (Gen. 1.27) or separately (Gen 2.20-25), the Genesis account puts forth a clear duality between the natures of men and women. The holistic human being cannot be inferred here; in some way, unity has already been lost. (An appropriate sentiment for a context which is in many ways misogynistic.)

It is through the male/female duality that the ultimate duality is introduced--good/evil. It is not an accident that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil contains in its very name a dualism; the tree's fruit represents the ultimate separation from God and of self, the final loss of unity, which inevitably leads to the dualism of life/death. The holism of the primal paradise has been transformed into the dualism of the earthly realm, with both pain and happiness present as distinct elements (Gen 3.6-7, 3.14-20).

Seen in this way, the state of Adam and Eve before he Fall is not so much that of happiness or of ignorance as that of a unified holism of experience. Ignorance, in particular, presupposes that there is knowledge of which to be ignorant, but such knowledge has not yet passed into the mortal realm for Adam and Eve. Instead, it is a holistic unity which precedes the Fall. It is easy to see, then, how Wiesel could interpret Adam as being bored in paradise; there was not yet the multiplicity of elements which stems from dualistic separation, but a holism which could be seen as monotonous.

The rest of Genesis and all of Exodus explore this dualistic, "fallen" sate. In the Cain and Abel story we are able for the first time to see the practical effects of these dualisms: the two brothers' respective behaviors are contrasted with each other. Acceptable is contrasted with unacceptable, and martyr is contrasted with murderer. The dichotomy of saint and sinner is finally clearly dramatized with the first murder, a brother killing his brother (Gen. 4).

The tale of the Exodus is in many ways a retelling of the creation story, with the man/god dualism of Genesis now replaced with master/slave and Egyptian/Hebrew. Instead of humanity's challenging of the barrier between the mortal and the divine in Genesis 2-3, there is the danger of the Israelite people becoming stronger than the Egyptian natives (Ex. 1.8-10). In the same way that Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Moses rise to defy the Pharaoh, finally breaking the master/slave dualism as he triumphs over Egypt and leads the Israelites to their salvation (Ex. 14).

God is revealed in this exchange to not be limited by the dualisms which control in the earthly realm. God states that his name is "I AM WHO I AM," a name which refuses to limit itself by suggesting a negation of an antithesis. God is holistic; it is men and women in their fallen state who must rely on dualisms (Ex. 3.13-15).

The Epic of Gilgamesh tells a completely different story (with some parallels, such as that of the Flood), yet many of the same concepts can apply. The crucial dichotomy between man and God literally appears in Gilgamesh and Enkidu, who are both semi-divine, embodying the dualism in a potentially holistic (yet ultimately not so) self. Yet Gilgamesh and Enkidu inhabit a world which in many ways is primal, which is not so much happy as absent from pain.

Enkidu begins in a holistic, natural environment, belonging to "neither clan nor race," living with the animals (Jackson 4). Gilgamesh sends Shamhat, a temple priestess, to make love with him, knowing through his wisdom that this will

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