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Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Epiphany: The Manifestation of the Gifts
In the current dating and historical referencing of Christianity, January 6th is known as Epiphany. Epiphany is the holy day for recognizing the manifestation of God through the journey of the three wise men, or magii.
The Three Wise Men came bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, as they followed the light of the Star of Bethlehem, to their revelation and understandings of the Christ child, Jesus.
The journey towards the light, the magic of that revelation, and the power of the gift, itself, are all seen as their own 'Epiphany', or manifestation of the Divine, and the gifts of the the Godhead of that Divine, the Universal all knowing, all seeing, all being presence of the "I am".
Today, in secular terminology, an epiphany is a sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something. It is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify receiving new information or having an experience that illuminates a deeper understanding.
To 'have an epiphany' is to have a 'wow' or 'aha' moment. Suddenly, every thing is crystal clear, seen, understood or recognized. I long for aha moments. But I am grateful for any gifts, in any manifestation, that I receive.
As some of my holi-day gifts over the years, were some of these highly valued and sacred resins, shown above. I'd always wanted both frankincense and myrrh and was delighted to receive them. I placed my gifts within an abalone shell (my own gift from the sea) and now have gold (for photo purposes, gold pyrite), frankincense, which is the pale yellow resin, and myrhh, the golden amber resin. These, of course, are the three gifts of the magii as they came bearing gifts.
I was also given the gifts of a resin known as dragonsblood (dark red chunks) from the Canary Islands and Morocco, and copal (white chunks), a plant resin sacred to the Mayans. All highly treasured throughout time among many cultures and belief systems.
This year, I received an unusual selection of salts, Red Alea Salt, Cyprus Flake Salt, and Black Lava Salt. I was also given a dainty salt spoon for serving them, a little mortar and pestle, and another smaller jar of frankincense of myrrh.
Seen as a miracle in themselves, all salts, precious minerals, and resins are quite mysterious, really. Mystical sap emanating from sacred plants and trees, which magically hardened with contact with the air and emit exotic fumes when burned as incense. And of course many of you will recognize dried sage...a gift to many peoples for both burning and purification and of course, for a seasoning herb in cooking.
All of these precious gifts from days long ago, carefully mined, collected, and saved and used as currency or as gifts to those most worthy. Now, often unknown by people today, but treasures they remain.
Celebrate Epiphany...the giving of the gifts. Light a candle in a window, give gifts of your own, celebrate the dawning of a new light into a new world.
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!