Peace in our thoughts, peace in our world.
On our Christmas Eve quest to buy Marie Callender’s legendary “Chocolate Satin” crème pie, we were out biking early yesterday morning in the chilly air. Yum, yum, this pie is worth the effort! My husband happened to notice a coin on the road telegraphing, “pick me up.” It was a fairly beat up dime minted in 1989. Wow, what a fortunate sign! Our sacred #9 all around! It is 3 “9’s” to start off with: 1 + 8 = 9 and then 2 more 9’s. And 1 + 9 + 8 + 9 = 27 = 2 + 7 = 9. Three is considered a sacred number, combining 3 times to make 9. Our address is 3303!
Being the number of attainment, fulfillment, and completion, signifying the end of a cycle in preparation for a new manifestation, nine is said to embody all Wisdom and Truth (for the Hebrews). If you add any number to the mystically potent 9, it always returns to itself: 5 + 9 = 14 and 1 + 4 = 5. Cats, the animal associated with practical wisdom, are known to have 9 lives, while the Tarot card (a #9) of the Hermit is the man of solitude who shines his lantern and shares his wisdom. The energy of nine is connected with standing back to gain a wider perspective of the Bigger, Higher Picture. Nine has the Galactic Tone of Patience in the Mayan system. After nine months of patient intra-uterine life, the infant comes forth to begin a new cycle of life.
Nine was a central number to Plato; legend says that through the ordered pattern of his life and powerful will he died at the square of 9—eighty one years of age. Even Jesus is reputed to have died in his 9th hour on the cross, having lived 33 years. The Chinese word for “nine” sounds the same as “gift.” In the I Ching Book of Changes, 9 planets circle the Sun (which includes Pluto), so the character Sun over Nine is the Universe. As the number of creativity and beauty, as well as the number in Greek mythology consecrated to the “music of the spheres” (and the 9 Muses), it is symbolic esoterically of the Initiate, the perfected woman or man.1
On the way home with our two coveted chocolate pies, I looked up and saw two beautiful mourning doves sitting side by side on a wire overhead, their bodies forming a perfect heart, exactly like the two doves that form a heart in the latest “Love” postal stamp collection. First the dime and then the doves as yet another Christmas gift!
Most people think of the White Dove as “the” dove. No wonder, since all through history the white dove is a universal symbol associated with purity, truth, love, and peace. According to Dr. Jungle of the “Animal World,” the White Dove (Streptopelia risoris), Sacred White Dove, or Java Dove is the most historically described dove from Noah through today. It is often used as a symbol in weddings to denote love, and a customarily used emblem in peace negotiations.2
The dove is widely known throughout the world in symbol, myth, scripture, and spiritual literature. In Mesopotamian culture, doves were considered sacred to Queens of Heaven and all Great Mothers, those great fertile, Feminine beings who provide, nourish, and renew the fruits for all life on earth. Ancient Greeks perceived the dove as their fecundity goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite—calling her a “Holy Dove.” The Pleiades figured prominently in the early cult of Aphrodite, who gave birth to seven daughters and then turned them into a “flock of doves” that became the seven stars of the Pleiades. Alycone, the main star of the Pleiades, was the leader of these doves. Named a “dove goddess,” she was known to bring good weather for the planting season.3 And Venus is the planet associated with Aphrodite, beauty, doves, weddings, and love.
For the Israelites, God’s love for his chosen people was symbolized as the dove, and white doves were sacrificed at the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to receive the blessing of purification. The dove is one of the most important birds in the Bible, appearing in many scriptural accounts. From Christian tradition, it is often the emblem of the Holy Ghost or “heavenly messenger.”4
The spiritual teacher, White Eagle, tells a remarkable story from the Essene community of an angelic visitor who foretold that for the Lord’s purpose one among them would be chosen to be the husband of the young Virgin Mary. The men were called together by the High Priest and each was given a rod. As a rod was handed to Joseph, it being of a smaller size than the others, a white dove flew out of its end, as the sign they were told would be given to the man who was to be Mary’s husband.5 Moreover, in artistic portrayals of the Annunciation of the Virgin, the dove appears as the heavenly messenger or Holy Ghost conveying that she would conceive to become the chosen mother of Jesus, the Son of God.
Later, at the baptism of Jesus, the Heavens opened and a dove descended and lighted on him—a symbol of the Holy Breath or Divine Power. “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove to alight upon Him. . . .” (Matt. 3:16-7) and a voice from heaven uttered, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Saints, like Thomas Aquinas and St. Gregory the Great, among others, are depicted in Christian art with hovering doves over the head as the bringers of divine inspiration.
Often associated with godliness and immortality, birds in general have been “bearers of heavenly messages of guidance and divine revelations.” Norman A. Rubin notes that, “the dove, like other birds with religious associations, came to be regarded as oracular.” The oracle of the Prophet Mohammed was the dove that whispered in his ear.6
Doves are emissaries from Spirit who also come with gifts of gentleness, goodwill, and peace. Found in the catacombs of Rome, the dove was an early Christian symbol of “Pax” or “Peace.” There is a story from WWI that in the trenches one cold Christmas Eve, the German and Allied troops faced one another in battle. A white dove flew into the center of the battlefield. Both sides were in awe, seeing it as a clear sign of their shared humanity, and declared a truce as a consequence. The fighting ceased for that night and for Christmas day when enemies entered into a peaceful, enjoyable encounter of friendly goodwill. The enemies’ face was yours and mine—no difference.
If all negativity (such as arguing, criticism, intolerance, grudges) ceased for one full day, how would that change the frequency of the Energy Grid of Mother Earth? What if every thought, word, and gesture was based solely on acceptance, happiness, helpfulness, kindness, gentle sharing, gratitude for our differences, and thus avenues for us to learn from one another? What if we all became childlike in heart, spontaneous, trusting, loving? What if we all gave the same measure of compassionate understanding and lack of judgment to another that we ourselves desire? What we give, we cannot fail to receive.
Think of someone you may be in conflict with or somehow on the “outs” with and ask the white dove of purity and love to come into your heart to open and cleanse the hurt, pain, and wound, and to heal any discord between the two of you. This gentle bird is a spiritual emissary that can fly into any situation to transcend it with love. The image of the two doves forming a heart is an apt one for 2012.
Imagine now our whole world based on harmony and peace. Let’s suspend time for a few moments and travel back to pre-Constitutional times in the United States. Here we find a story about the “white roots of peace” that influenced nations for centuries:
The Constitution of the United States is not the first, however, to be based on specific checks and balances of power for the good of the people. There is one whose seeds were planted in the forest centuries earlier through the “Peacemaker” who said, “Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.”
Born on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, the Peacemaker, a luminous figure, traveled in a white canoe of stone, a sign the Creator had sent him. He journeyed among the Iroquois at a time when endless wars had nearly reduced the Five Nations to anarchy and despair. As he journeyed among the Mohawk, he met an Onondaga exile named Ayawentha, or Hiawatha. (Hiawatha is an Iroquois name mistakenly used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the Ojibwa hero in his Song of Hiawatha.) Together, the Peacemaker and Hiawatha persuaded the warring Five Nations to join in a “Great Peace” based on a “great binding law.”
Only one fearsome Onondaga—the original Tadodaho, a wizard with snakes in his hair—stood in the way, but he too was ultimately won over by the Peacemaker and Hiawatha. Then, with all 50 chiefs of the first Grand Council assembled on the shore of Lake Onondaga, the Peacemaker planted the original Tree of Peace, a magnificent white pine, beneath which the Five Nations buried their weapons of war. Four long roots, the “white roots of peace,” stretched from the tree in the four sacred directions, and the Peacemaker proclaimed: “If any man or any nation outside of the Five Nations shall show a desire to obey the laws of the Great Peace. . .they may trace the roots to their source. . .and they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the Tree. . . .” Thus, the Great Law of Peace, based on strength through union that embodies Iroquois notions of free expression and representative government with checks and balances, became “The Fire That Never Dies,” the unquenchable tradition of today’s Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy.
Both James Madison and Benjamin Franklin not only knew about but also were profoundly impressed with the “great binding law” of the Iroquois Confederacy. Could it be that the Constitution of the United States had its beginning in centuries past under the original Tree Of Peace? Could it be that our Constitution is lighted by “The Fire That Never Dies,” an ancient gift of the forest through the Peacemaker and the people of the Iroquois Confederacy to the peoples of the world?7
1. The discussion of numerology is based on: “Symbols and the Self” by Violet Shelley. A.R.E. Press. (1983) and Gail Minogue (link in “Spiritual Resources” in right-hand scroll bar)
3. Barbara G. Walker. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. 1983. Harper & Row. Pages 803-4.
5. Stella Polaris, Volume Sixty-One, No. 1, December 2011-January 2012, page 8.
7. Chris Maser. Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest. 1989. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA. 282 pp. [Bold words in text are my emphasis.]
Text © by Zane Maser, 2011. Photos from WikiCommons. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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