DAY 4

The fourth symbol is 4 Calling Birds

Result of my research:
“… All these years you’ve been singing “calling birds” when the reality is, it’s colly birds. So what are these birds? A colly bird is a European black bird. Colly means black. It’s my view that it’s the word “coal + ie” said with an little accent? Therefore, a dark, black bird looked like black coal and was called a “coalie” or “Colly Bird.

So, the song is really saying… four crows.  back in medival times this bird was considered a delicacy. In the children’s song “Sing a Song of Sixpence” there are 24 blackbirds backed in a pie. Pies seem to be a real gourmet food in the peak of The Twelfth Night days and were often a sign of status and competition among the wealthy. Dining during this time was a form of entertainment, with food presentations having fireworks, and surprises coming out of them.  …” Source

According to another source, ‘Calling Birds’ means “Either the Four Gospels or the Four Evangelists.” source

In Christian tradition, the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament that bear the following titles: Gospel according to Matthew; Gospel according to Mark; Gospel according to Luke and Gospel according to John.

Matthew – a former tax collector who was called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve Apostles,
Mark – a follower of Peter and so an “apostolic man,”
Luke – a doctor who wrote what is now the book of Luke to Theophilus. Also known to have written the book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles) and to have been a close friend of Paul of Tarsus,
John – a disciple of Jesus and the youngest of his Twelve Apostles.
They are called evangelists, a word meaning “people who proclaim good news,” because their books aim to tell the “good news” (“gospel”) of Jesus.
source

The song goes like this:
“On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
4 Calling Birds”

In my reading ‘my true love’ is Jesus Christ who gives me his teaching through the writings of the four Evangelists. Beyond the teaching that they conveyed, they also represent certain qualities that the seeker of liberated life may embody.

Matthew the Evangelist is symbolized by a man who speaks a lot of the Kingdom of Heaven. It reminds us of our human and mortal nature.

Mark the Evangelist is symbolized by a winged lion, a figure of labourous worker and servant. It reminds us to be strong and courageous and to never cease to focus on God.

Luke the Evangelist is symbolized by a winged ox a man that represents man to God. It shows us our Godlike nature, the essence of our true self.

John the Evangelist is symbolized by an eagle, a figure of the sky that remind us to become like God loving, caring and merciful.

FAITH, LOVE, and HOPE

I remember that instead of hoping for the best,
I can know that all is well.

Hope is a beginning expression of faith. Through spiritual practice, hope evolves into its fuller expression, which is faith. Faith is the sure knowledge that our good is ours, right here, right now. Faith does not waver.

Rev. Karen R. Shepherd

Walking in faith, my steps are sure,
divine guidance is clear, and my path is illuminated.

Faith expands my awareness to recognize the presence of Spirit in every person, place, and circumstance. It reminds me to trust in my abilities and believe in myself, knowing I am ever supported by the Divine.

I welcome love, joy, success, health, wisdom, abundance,
and harmony into my life now.

When I choose to keep my mind focused on unconditional love as the greatest power in my life, I create and experience greater possibilities than I have ever imagined.

Source Unity Advent Booklet 2021 –WEBSITE

DAY 3

The third symbol is Three French Hens
According to my research,
The Three French Hens Stand For Faith, Hope And Love source

French Hens = Faith, Hope & Charity (The theological virtues) or The Gifts of the Magi (Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.)

Some believe that the French hens prove that this song originated in France. The Latin name for France was Gaul, which comes from the Latin word Gallia. This is close to the Roman word for rooster.

In the Christian religion, it is believed that a cock crowed when Christ was born as a sign that “the light of the world” has arrived. This is why, a rooster on a Christian tomb symbolizes the resurrection.

During the 18th century, large, exotic fowl from the Orient were brought back to England. These birds mated with the descendants of the Roman-breed chickens. It is believed that the “three French hens” in the song represent a new breed. White chickens are believed to bring good luck. And, hens are believed to symbolize motherly devotion. source

In the number three and the symbol of a hand I can see a message to embrace our three-fold self. Among many names they are also called: the ego, the self and being or  ‘me, myself and I’. These are the different layers of our personality that we are to live in harmony with in order to have a balanced human existence.

Though the Ego-part maybe over protective and slightly outdated, it is till an important part of our person. No part is to be dismissed.  Looking  at it from an Enneagram point of view, I would say that the Ego is the lower scale of the Enneagram type we are. The Self is the higher octaves, still limited but it expresses the unique qualities of the person. They are mortal. Finally, the Being is that of God. It is a spark of the Whole. It is immortal.

In order to be ready to receive the Teachings in the Holy Spirit that was delivered by Jesus, we must come to alignment with each part of our person and stand united. The three hens remind us to embrace in motherly love all parts of ourselves. Love them as they are for who they are.

Featured image by Alex Clark

DAY 2

The second symbol is two turtle doves

“The dove is not at all associated with a turtle, but rather a slurring of the Latin which is based on the Hebrew. In biblical Hebrew the dove is the tor. In deference to the Hebraic origins, the Latin name was turtur, the biblical Hebrew word, tor, twice. When transliterated to English, the word turtur became the garbled turtle dove.” Source  “The Turtle-Dove is an old symbol of love and faithfulness. (Apparently these doves form really strong bonds with their mates.) That’s why the turtle-doves makes a perfect match for the golden bells and the wedding and all the other happy, stable images found in the second section of the poem.” “Turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and love.”

Yesterday, we were asked to move higher. Today we are promised that we are not alone on our journey. As soon as we allow our faith to take hold, God sends partners who support us on our journey.

Featured pic by Ann Shen

Christmas Day

On this day,
I pause to remember those I have loved.

This Christmas Day, may we behold all gifts given and received,
extravagant and humble, tangible and intangible, tiny and towering with awe and wonder. And in the beholding, may the healing, harmonizing power of the Christ’s infinite love be born in each of us and all the world.

—Rev. Kurt Condra

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

“Twelve Days of Christmas,” the phrase refers to an actual 12-day period. The 12 days of Christmas, in fa­ct, are the days from Dec. 25, celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ, to the Epiphany, celebrated on Jan. 6 as the day when the manifestation of Christ’s glory was realized.

Here are the verses of the song, 12 Days of Christmas, along with their supposed symbolism:

  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree – Jesus Christ
  • Two Turtle Doves – The Old and New Testaments
  • Three French Hens – The three virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity
  • Four Calling/Collie Birds – Four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • Five Golden Rings – First five books of the Old Testament
  • Six Geese-a-Laying – Six days of creation before God’s rest on the seventh day
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming – Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking – Eight Beatitudes
  • Nine Ladies Dancing – Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping – Ten Commandments
  • Eleven Pipers Piping – Eleven faithful disciples
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming –Twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed

Christmas Day is the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

SOURCE AND LOTS MORE INFO

On a personal note, in 2019 I created a series of articles on the 12 Days of Christmas. That time, I decided to play around and search for meaning and wisdom in the song ’12 Days of Christmas’ in order to find guidance during this Holy time.

HOW IT ALL STARTED? READ MORE

On the last day of the 12-day-of-Christmas, Christians observe Epiphany or enlightenment when the Holy Spirit enlightens the ‘faithful’ with wisdom and revelations of Christ’s teachings. The 12 days of Christmas is the bridge between Christmas Day and the day of Epiphany. On Christmas day, ‘my true love’ aka God gives me my first gift of Christ, the promise of enlightenment, atonement and eternal life. By the time we walked the bride of the 12-day across, we have collected and regained certain qualities that we must possess in order to observe the revelations and receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Epiphany.

I wish to observe these twelve days through the famous song and research the meaning in the symbolism of the song.

SOURCE

DAY 1 – JESUS

According to a source, the partridge is Jesus, who appears to us as our guide in our journey on the first day. Read more about my research HERE

Christmas Eve

On this day of Advent,
I remember to let love open my heart
and inspire my life.

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God,
and God abides in them.

—1 John 4:16

Each year we never know when the silence that is so fragile and so powerful will fall. Yet when we allow it to penetrate our own interior and risk sharing it with the grieving soul standing next to us, we can truly recover the light that is beyond words and understanding. That love and light that shine from each of us. The shimmer that is the true meaning of this holy night, this silent night.

—Rev. Kelly Isola

I would like to wish you a joyful and peaceful Holiday Season!
Make time for yourself and do things that replenish, refresh and enrich you. Sleep, draw, paint, read a good book (again) and watch silly movies. Whatever brings you joy!

REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE!

REVERENCE TIPS Day26

On this day of Advent,
I remember the warmth of love freely
and generously given.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony.

—Colossians 3:14

Let the power of divine love into your life and experience the
miracle of the harmonizing, unifying power of love. Turning on the light of love every day raises your vibration and will have a huge impact on your life. Create a bonfire of love in your heart, and let it shine forth to the world.

Rev. Elizabeth Longo

REVERENCE TIPS Day25

Self-Love

On this day of Advent,
I remember the gift of self-love
allows me to love others more.

… magical moments are ways to fill up my container of love. My
inner child chooses the activities that give me moments of awe and remind me there is magic during this time of year, if I look for it.
Now you may be thinking, Who has time for this? We are too busy getting things done! And yet, when we take the time to recreate special memories from days of yore, we discover we have given ourselves the power of discernment to know our priorities.

We find that in giving love to ourselves, we are able to give much more love to others.

Rev. Sheree Taylor-Jones

In September I was invited to tart part in a radio show on Self-Love. At the link below you can listen to our conversation on the importance of Loving Self above all. <3

REVERENCE TIPS Day24

The Feast of Saint Thomas

As I promised in my post on THE CHRISTMASES AROUND THE WORLD, I am going to share another strange but holy fun tradition: St. Thomas’ Dream. I have researched the topic and found a lot of fun facts about the Feast of St. Thomas.

Below you can read plenty about this feast that seems to have caught the attention of many generations and different cultures. The reason, I have included this particular tradition in my ‘REVERENCE TIPS’ series is because it is soooo much fun! If there is anything I am learning this Advent Season is TO HAVE FUN, no matter what.

St. Thomas day, St. Thomas gray,
The longest night and shortest day.

December 21 is usually the shortest day of the year, yet this day usually commenced the Christmas preparation of cleaning and baking. Although we no longer honor St. Thomas on this day, we can still use this day as a reminder to put in exerted efforts and start finishing our external preparations for Christmas. All the weeks before should have been more of spiritual preparation.

Super article on the Feast of St. Thomas

For those of us singletons who may be in need of some divine intervention, today is the day for you.  Traditionally, The Feast of St. Thomas is celebrated on December 21st and is the day dedicated to completing your Christmas preparations.  

How to Dream About Your Future Husband on the Feast of St. Thomas:

  1. Climb into bed using a step-stool (I guess they traditionally have tall beds in Austria?)
  2. Removed your shoes (Maybe the floors are cold there too)
  3. In the Hallmark movie she spins around three times after removing her shoes, however many sources I have found that explain The Feast of St. Thomas ritual exclude this step so it’s your call!
  4. Throw the shoes at your bedroom door, toes first
  5. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed

Follow all of these instructions and you may dream of the man you are destined to marry.  Part of me thinks the result could be terrifying, but I may still give it a try.  I don’t necessarily want to be a half-drunk, single bridesmaid for the rest of my life.

If the above method is not to your liking, you may also try selecting a young rooster while a brood of chicks are sleeping.   There is also the English tradition of sleeping with a peeled onion wrapped in a handkerchief under your head.  The thought of having an onion under my head all night sounds disgusting and quite uncomfortable, but to each their own.

Most of this post is taken for a post from TIPSY VERSE on TUMBLR, read HERE

“Swiss tradition has it that on the night of the feast of St. Thomas, a spinster can meet her future husband in her dreams. First, she must step on a stool to get into bed. Then she must stand on her bed and take off her shoes. Then she must spin around three times and throw her shoes at the door. Finally, she must sleep with her feet on the pillows at the head of the bed. If she follows these instructions perfectly, that night she will dream of the man she is destined to marry.”

Source?

It seems that unmarried girls have many allies with the saints. In Austria, legend says that unmarried girls can see their future on St. Thomas Night, if they climb into bed over a stool and throw their shoes toward the door, the toes of the shoes pointing downward. If they sleep with their heads at the foot of the bead, the dreams will reveal visions of their future husbands. Also, if a single woman on St. Thomas Day can pick out a young rooster from among a brood of sleeping chicks, she will soon obtain a husband, or see him in her dreams.

Source

I hope this gives you some insight into the wonders that The Feast of St. Thomas may hold.  Be sure to let me know if it works! Happy Dreaming!

REVERENCE TIPS Day23

So, what is love …? Remember? 🙂

I always loved this song. It is upbeat and sexy. But this song is not about Love. It is about desire – a feeling of the physical, the flesh, the senses – but this kind of love is not Divine Love. Divine Love is a quality and a frequency, not a feeling.

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”

Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet (2.2.)

Shakespeare’s quote helps me understand the true nature of Love. Love generates itself. The more Love I generate, the more I have for myself.

On this day of Advent,
I remember the warmth of love freely
and generously given

All love is an expression of divine love. Love isn’t generated solely from
within us but instead flows through us from a higher Source. That
makes love inexhaustible. We live in the ocean of love that is God—love
that animates us and, through us, envelops others. We are conduits for
the Divine, expressing God as love …

—Rev. Ellen Debenport

This is my commandment, that you love one another
as I have loved you.

—John 15:12