Day 10

The tenth symbol is 10 Lords A-leaping.

The “ten lords a-leaping” represent the 10 Commandments, according to Christianity.com. According to Bible Info, they are the following: 1.”You shall have no other gods before me”; 2.”You shall make no idols”; 3.”You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”; 4.”Keep the Sabbath day holy”; 5.”Honor your father and your mother”; 6.”You shall not murder”;7. “You shall not commit adultery”; 8.”You shall not steal”; 9.”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”; and 10.”You shall not covet.” SOURCE

Audio version of the text below

Let’s imagine for a moment that these commandments were offered to ensure that you can live a ‘holy’ life. By holy life I mean that you live a life in search of and in connection with your God’s Essence. Our God-Essence (or Presence) is of Pure Loving that is neutral and has no care for the world. The world changes constantly bringing a change of ‘fortunes’ with it; ups and downs in constant succession. In God’s world – in Heaven – Love, Peace, and Joy is constant. We can choose to live a life that is about the world or we can chose a life that brings us closer to unity with our God’s Essence. The Ten Commandments intent to guide the latter.

The first three Commandments are more or less the same for me. It conveys the message of choosing a ‘holy’ life in which you make your God Essence a priority. These Commandments ask you to withdraw your attention from the world and turn it within in search of connecting with your God-Essence (or Presence) all the time, not allowing any ‘idols’ like money or fame to misguide you and drive you off the Path.

All the other Commandments are about ‘sin’. The meaning of Sin which is so beautifully explained in the story of Adam and Eve is actually a ‘turning away from God’. If you manage to keep the first three Commandments, you would not need to care much about the other seven! You will keep them by default. 🙂 These Commandments are there as a fence to ensure that you do not fall ofF the Path when you cannot keep the first three Commandments.

Day 9

The nineth symbol is Nine ladies dancing

From Day 9 onwards, we are having FUN. First nine lading dancing appear to herald joyous time ahead.

According to my research – The “nine ladies dancing” represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, according to The Newman Center at Keene State College. Featured in Galatians 5:22-23, the nine fruits are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Christians, under the guise of the Holy Spirit, will exhibit these types of virtues. Love refers to the love of God and your neighbor, which is unconditional and without the expectation of anything in return, according to The Catholic Spirit. You achieve joy by relationships with God and other people, and it encompasses truth, honesty, and integrity. Source

I think it is easy to see why these 9 qualities are the ones that contribute the most to becoming ‘holy’. By holy I mean that one becomes aware and perceptive to the presence of the Holy Spirit. As humans we are lost onto the world. We look for safety, love and shelter in the world where there is none. We are of Spirit. Our Home is with God. The Living presence of God, our Soul, years to return Home. In order to be able to do that, however, It must move beyond the limitations of the world and our human (ego) parts. The 9 virtues are those attainable qualities of person that support the Soul on Its journey Home. These qualities are of Spirit, too. As we clear our vision of the limitations of the world,  we open ourselves to the Living Spirit within. With that we not only support our own mortal and physical journey to be  smoothened out but we also support the Soul within to ascend and eventually – upon our physical death – to return home.

Shams intro

Who was Shams -al- Tabrizi?

Well, if you search the NET to find information on Shams you will be disappointed because there isn’t much information available on him neither is there a Wikipedia page on him. His entire existence is encapsulated in being once the teacher and companion of Rumi, the famous Sufi mystic and poet.

Below, you can read about him in terms of his relationship with Rumi.

There are many legends describing the meeting of Shams al Tabrizi  and Rumi in Konya.

Rumi’s meeting with Shams-al Tabrizi  turned him literally upside down , after the mystical shock he experienced in his first encounter with a man gifted with such extraordinary esoteric powers

Shams was the spark that ignited the fire of divine longing within Rumi, awakening the passion of the soul, such that Rumi said of his life “I burnt, and burnt and burnt.” His time with Shams transformed him, and the love that was awakened still speaks to us now, so many centuries later.

It is known that though Rumi attained an excellent and honourable position among his peers, there was within him a sense of disquiet, of unfulfillment, of incompleteness, a thirst, a craving, a yearning, a desperate longing  for the unknown domain of the Most High. He knew he could not do it alone. He was in need of a spiritual Guide who can guide him  .As a result, we read that when Rumi and Shams first met, they were so enthralled with each other that they spent several months secluded together in the prayer-retreat cell.

In this particular Sufi path, the disciple tends to cultivate a kind of love for the spiritual Master within the heart, visualizes the Master in the heart or crave to be in his presence frequently. This practice is said to lead to very deep mystical experiences.

Rumi seems indeed to have been in this type of “passing away in the spiritual presence of the Master (fana fil-shaykh). He wrote thousands of verses expressing his spiritual love for Shams in his Divan. It is also said that in this path that if this closeness with the spiritual master (Shaykh) continues for too long, it becomes a barrier to “annihilation in God” (fanâ fî ‘llâh)  And Shams suggested to Rumi that he might have to go away in order for him to progress further. After Shams disappeared permanently, and after Rumi recovered from his loss, it is said that Rumi found Shams in his own heart. And in his last years, Rumi composed thousands of couplets (The Mathnawi) in which he describes many unitive mystical experiences.

This is very much like “annihilation in God” after “annihilation in the Spiritual Guide.” The “death” of the ego is central to the mystical path, this “death” reveals the essential union of lover and Beloved.

It would be necessary to understand here that in Sufi poetry, the word “lover” means being “ a lover of God “and in Sufism the mystic seeker is considered as the lover and God as the Beloved.

Fana is ” annihilation “ The sufis say that you need a spiritual  guide on the mystical path. The guide or master is someone who is surrendered to God and is able to help the wayfarer make the transition from the ego to the Self. In surrendering to the teacher, fana fi Shaikh, the disciple learns to surrender to God.

Source – Facebook

If you want to learn more about Shams, there is a wonderful autobiographical book called Me and Rumi by Wiliam C. Chittick – see more here (click)

Shams

Why don’t you plead to God?

Wake up in the middle of the night, get up, and prostrate yourself twice.

Need!

Put your face on the ground, and rain down tears. The heart is greater than heaven and the circling spheres, so why do you constrict it with thoughts and whispering doubts!

Why should you make the pleasant world your narrow prison?

Happy is the one whose eyes sleep but whose heart does not sleep! Woe on the one whose eyes do not sleep but whose heart does sleep!

Do not grieve if the darkness becomes long. When the darkness becomes long after that, the brightness will be long. Lights are all friends of each other.

Even if it be after a thousand years, these words will reach those for whom they’re intended.

Day 8

The eighth symbol is Eight maids a milking

Matthew 5:3-10 describes Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, which contained what are known as the Beatitudes. Jesus said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Beatitudes are at the core of Christ’s teaching. … The reward promised in each of the Beatitudes is primarily heaven. The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate purpose of human acts; God calls us to his own beatitude.

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There is not much I can add to the above. The Beauties reveal the desirable qualities of the seeker who wish to attain enlightenment and a place in Heaven. I thought I take the time to clarify what Heaven really is. I understand that many, mostly religious. people believe that Heaven is a place where humans pass on to after life if on judgement day they are found deserving. In my understanding, however, Heaven is in the heart of the seeker. It is ever present and inviting and there is only a few things the seeker must do in order to ‘gain entrance to Heaven’ and experience happiness: see the list above.

Regarding the milking ladies, I can only guess how the milking ladies symbolize the 8 Beauties. My suggestion is that it has been believed that milk has beauty enhancing qualities. Cleopatra only washed in milk believing that it preserved her youth and beauty. The milking maidens also symbolize purity that is the ultimate goal of the seeker – to clean him/herself of the dirt of this world , to relieve all limitations and stand pure and clean so he/she can enter Heaven.

As I suggested before, Heaven is in each Heart. In order to enter Heaven, the seeker must enter Heaven he/she releases all bondage of this world through a rigorous practice of meditation/prayer and following the guidance that Jesus and other teachers before and after Him laid for all those to search for the Truth and ready to let go and enter the land of Joy and Happiness that is in our Hearts – the place where we meet God aka our Essence and the pure Love we all seek to experience.

Day 7

The seventh symbol is Seven Swans A-Swimming

The Seven Swans A-Swimming Represent The Sevenfold Gifts Of The Spirit

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is one of several works in Christian devotional literature which follow a scheme of seven. Others include the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, the beatitudes, the seven last words from the cross, the seven deadly sins, and the seven virtues.  The seven gifts are found in the Book of Isaiah 11:1-2, where the Biblical passage refers to the characteristics of a Messianic figure understood by Christians to be Jesus Christ empowered by the “Spirit of the Lord”.

Wisdom – according to St. Bernard, it both illumines the mind and instills an attraction to the divine
Understanding – the gift of understanding gives us a profound appreciation for God’s providence
Counsel – the gift of counsel operates under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the will of God
Fortitude – is often identified with courage, but Aquinas takes its meaning to also encompass endurance.
Knowledge – the gift of knowledge allows one, to see things from God’s perspective. It “allows us to perceive the greatness of God and his love for his creatures” through creation.
Piety accords with reverence – Pope Francis said that piety is a recognition of “…our belonging to God, our deep bond with him, a relationship that gives meaning to our whole life and keeps us resolute, in communion with him, even during the most difficult and troubled moments”.
Fear of the Lord is akin to wonder (or awe). – Pope Francis said that it “is no servile fear, but rather a joyful awareness of God’s grandeur and a grateful realization that only in him do our hearts find true peace”. 
source

According to another source:  Egypt linked swans with immortality, just like they did the geese. The Greek priests, who worship Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, are believed to be descended from swans. Old Celtic and British myths believe that lost loved ones turn into swans, with gold or silver chains on their necks to symbolize their enchantment. The transformation is believed to take place during their Samhain festival, where the gates of the other worlds open up and souls are free to pass.

I see swans as graceful and royal. When you watch two swans mating, they perform a beautiful dance of gentle embracing. In the seven swans dancing (swimming) I see the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit embracing the seeker each offering one of the gifts. It is a true offering not a nagging. The seeker is waltzed around by these gracious creatures laying the gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, guidance, courage, reverence and the joyful awareness of God. By the 7th day we are over half way towards the end of this imaginary bridge of the 12 days. By now it is evident that the qualities (teachings) that we are to collect and embrace during our human lifetime are constantly encouraged.

Release

In this PODCAST I talk about the importance of releasing all that we do not need any longer so we can embrace new adventures and create a more fulfilling future for ourselves.

Text is from Unity.org/dailyword/28Dec2021

Day 6

The sixth symbol is Six geese a laying

Going back to Neolithic times, the goose is one of the oldest domesticated birds. It’s also been the topic of a lot of folklore. This is probably the reason it’s part of the song.
Because of their migration habits, they were often considered to be a symbol of the solar year and also fertility. Ancient Egyptians believed that a mummy’s soul rose up in the form of a goose with a human head. The Roman goddess, Juno (rules heaven and marriages), considered the goose sacred.  – In 387 B.C. the geese in her temple cackled and honked, warning the Romans that barbarians were close. Ever since then, the geese were honored for their protective services. Medieval seafarers had a strange tale on the origin of the goose. It seems that on the hull of their ships grew this long, goose-shaped barnacle. Coincidentally, there was also an Artic goose that migrated around England. Since this goose and the barnacle looked a lot alike, the sailors said that the goose originated from the barnacle, and in some tales a seaside tree.
source

The Six Geese A-Laying Stand For The Six Days Of Creation
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Having read the different ideas around the ‘6 geese a laying’, I decided to go with the protective nature of the story of creation. It may sound strange at first but I strongly believe that the story of creation tells the story why we feel so loveless and lost. It is protective because it comforts the seeker by explaining who the world came about and  why we became separated from our God nature. With Adam and Eve ‘turning away’ and choosing ‘knowledge’ over faith, hu-mans became lost. But the story also shows that there is a source – God – where we all are eventually to return.  The story of creation also tells why God created the world. God wishes to experience Itself through the experiences of its spars that are implanted into human forms.

For me, the symbol of birds always convey the message that I am inherently free.

In my opinion the teaching here is to become aware of how we, humans, came about and to learn to accept our bi-nature of divine vs mortal as well as the knowing that were are divine as our birthright.

Day 5

The fifth symbol is The five golden rings

This is what I have found on the ‘five golden rings’:
If you’re a jewelry fan, you’re going to be disappointed to learn that it’s not actually gold rings that are given on day 5. Once again, this is reference to birds and the 5 golden rings are said to represent the gold rings on a pheasant’s neck.
It all begins with the legend of Jason and the Argonauts back in 750 B.C. when they sailed from Thessaly, Greece in search of the “Golden Fleece”. During this epic journey, they landed in Phalis, acquiring not only the sorceress, Medea, but also a lot of golden birds. The Greek word phasianornis means “bird of Phasis.” It is believed that this species of ring-necked pheasant are from the sub-species of the infamous “Golden Fleece.” S
Source

“Another interpretation can be that Golden Rings are The Pentateuch or The first 5 books of the Old Testament. Ring also symbolizes eternity.”

“The Golden Fleece caught my attention so I investigated it further. This is what I found. In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram, which was held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.” Source

So, my thoughts are that the five rings represent the pheasant feast of the king who has authority.  In terms of teaching, regaining our sense of authority is a must and when it is achieved it deserve a feast. There many of us who  handed their authority over to another person, an organisation or else either upon force or willingly. When you are without your sense of authority and kingship, you don’t drive the boat, it is dragged and you are being pulled by it. I hear many people complain about the way they are treated at work or at home, how they are misunderstood or misinterpreted or even abused. Well, here is some news for you: You may want to start learning to stand up for yourself and regain your own authority; know that you have the right to be he author of your life whatever way you may want to lead it. Access your courage and lead your way!

For me, the symbol of birds always convey the message that I am inherently free.

In my opinion the teaching here is awareness of how we, humans, came about and accepting our divine-mortal nature as well as knowing that were are divine in our birthright.

Holy Innocents

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

The story behind the Feast

Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas or Innocents’ Day,  is a Christian feast in remembrance of the massacre of young children in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16–18). The feast is observed by Western churches on December 28 and in the Eastern churches on December 29. The slain children were regarded by the early church as the first martyrs. The day is still observed as a religious feast day and, in Roman Catholic countries, as a day of merrymaking for children. SOURCE

HOW TO OBSERVE
On this day it is custom to give the youngest child in the household the power to rule the day. From what to eat, where to go, and what to do, the youngest is in charge. In Mexico, it is a day for children to play practical jokes and pranks on their elders.  SOURCE 

#HolyInnocentsDay

 

Though the story behind the Feast is rather gruesome, the idea is hilarious! Can you imagine a day lived like a child again? Children have no filter! They go with the flow regardless of consequences. What a feeling! How freeing! I am surprised that the Holy Innocents’ Day/Feast is not celebrated more widely with greater vehemence! We could do with a little more unfiltered fun!

We loose our innocence way too soon. We learn that our childlike ways will not suffice in the adult world. So we release our unicorns and imaginary friends and hide them in the back up our minds until they eventually vanish. We grow up and fit in, never looking back. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be children again, just for a day? Wouldn’t it be great to believe again that our imaginary friend has special powers and can solve all our problems? Wouldn’t it feel special to know that the unicorn can fly us to any odd place that we come up with? Wouldn’t it?