Jan 6, 2012

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 God, and God's gifts.

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 one of my holi-day gifts, that I received for Christmas, were some of these highly valued and sacred resins. 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.

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.

Seen as a miracle in themselves, all 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.

Gifts from the earth, treasured from times of antiquity, and used by many religions as sacred gifts.

Celebrate Epiphany...the giving of the gifts.

You might also like:
Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the world...one little quilt at a time.


Clare said...

What wonderful gifts.

I can smell that dried Sage (or Sauge). I do love that herb but find the smell can get a bit overpowering and make me feel a bit sick. Big strong!


Lynne said...

I knew the meaning of Epiphany in Christian terms of course, but thanks for showing me frankincense and myrrh - my first look ever! I wonder what they smell like?

Unknown said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't have a clue as to what frankincense or myrrh even were! This is so interesting. Thank you.

ThisQuiltingMama said...

Love this piece! Did you see my quilt which was given to one of my lifelong inspirations both musically and spiritually on this Epiphany? Thanks for your thought, Michele, and Happy New Year.