Connect with us

Spirituality

The Significance Of Peacock In Ancient Culture And Art

Due to their beautiful-looking feathers and habits, peacocks are associated with different symbolic meanings. They are seen as a powerful and mystical symbol and are considered sacred in many cultural and religious groups across the world.

The peacock is native to India and further east, but the bird has a long history in the Middle East, perhaps originally brought by early Indian traders to ancient Babylon. The male peacock’s plumage of shimmering blues and greens fascinate even as its raucous cries seem so at variance with such beauty.

The Significance Of Peacock In Ancient Culture And Art

Peacock and Peacock Butterfly, painting by Archibald Thorburn (Image Source)

Peacock in ancient cultures

The Greeks learned of the peacock only after Alexander the Great’s conquest – Aristotle called it a Persian bird. They quickly added the bird to their pantheon of deities. For example, in the Hellenistic period, peacocks pulled the chariot of the Greek goddess Hera. Since Hera was considered the goddess of the sky and stars, the gold circles and blue background fit naturally. According to one myth, Zeus became interested in a woman named Io and Hera had her hundred-eyed servant, Argus, guard Io. Zeus had Argus killed in order to free Io. According to the Roman author Ovid, Hera rewarded her watchman Argus by turning his hundred eyes into the eye-like images on the tail of the peacock. In fact, these eyes were at times rather like the so-called evil eye in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology that could see everything.

The Romans seem to have particularly liked the peacock, but not just because of the male bird’s splendid tail. Both the meat and the tongue were a favourite delicacy on the tables of the wealthy. This gastronomical interest seems to have lasted into the Middle Ages in Europe with the bird skinned and roasted before the skin with feathers still intact would be reattached and served in all its glory. The Romans also used the peacock as decoration in their mosaics and frescos.

Symbolism of peacock

The peacock was a symbol of immortality because the ancients believed that the peacock had flesh that did not decay after death. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras wrote that the soul of Homer moved into a peacock, perhaps reflecting on the importance of the centuries-old popularity of the Greek poet. While continuing to keep its association with wealth, the bird, which replaces its feathers every year, also became a symbol of renewal and resurrection in early Christian and Byzantine culture.

Peacock Throne

In the original home of the peacock, India, peacocks symbolized royalty and power. One of the most important symbols of this was the so-called Peacock Throne, which was built the early 17th century for Şah Jahan. The name was taken from two peacocks covered in gold and jewels that were part of the throne. Unfortunately, the original was captured and taken to Persia by Nadır Şah in 1739 and was never seen again, although future thrones were generally known by the same name in Persia. A far inferior gold and bejeweled throne that was presented to an Ottoman sultan by a Persian ruler is sometimes erroneously referred to in the same way.

Peacock Feathers

Some cultures believe that keeping peacock feathers indoors is bad luck; for instance, the daughters of the house may never get married. But it’s okay to have them outside.

However in India the peacock is considered to be a bird of protection and safe guarding. As peacock is identified with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, Indian people keep peacock feathers at home, believing that they will bring wealth and prosperity into the house. It is also believed that peacock feathers keep the house free from flies and other insects.

Cultural motif

Peacocks have been a favourite ornamental motif for millennia. Their images could be found in early Christian tomb art, and were a popular motif in ancient Rome and Byzantium. Apart from adorning the walls and floors of mosaics in churches, medieval Christian manuscripts were often decorated with beautiful illustration of varies birds including peacocks with meticulous detail.

The Significance Of Peacock In Ancient Culture And Art

A column capital of VII c. Christian church with Caucasian Albainan letters found during excavations in Mingechaur, Azerbaijan

Peacocks were also portrayed on decorative pieces such as pottery and ceramic plates. They are only a handful of examples of magnificent Ottoman dishes from Iznik that illustrate the handsome qualities of the peacock. These plates were produced in western Anatolia (in Iznik) between the 15th and 17th centuries.

The Significance Of Peacock In Ancient Culture And Art

Iznik, Ottoman dish with peacocks and flowers, c.1575

Peacocks and peacock imagery appeared in Western European design near the end of the 1800’s.

Peacock in Feng Shui

Peacock is considered as the manifestation of the celestial Phoenix bird, and its feather is often recommended in Feng Shui as a love cure.

Source link

Advertisement
Comments

Spirituality

The Twelve Apostles and the Gruesome Manner of their Deaths

Paul said that the Household of God was built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. During his ministry, Jesus commissioned twelve special messengers, or Apostles, to assist in spreading the Gospel. All twelve were Judean Hebrews.

The word apostle comes from the Greek apostolos which means one who is sent away, an emissary. It thus means a messenger sent to convey the “good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” See Matthew 10:1-7.

Twelve Men for Twelve Tribes

Twelve men were selected, which symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel as found in the Old Testament. Jesus set apart the Twelve Apostles, sending them out in pairs to preach the Gospel. Additionally, the Apostles were given the power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead as part of their ministry.

Each of the Twelve Apostles gave up their livelihoods and all else to follow Jesus when called. Ten of these men were Galilean Jews who had Aramaic names. Peter and Andrew had Greek names. Other Apostles mentioned in the New Testament were Matthias, Barnabas, Adronicus, Junia, Silas, Timothy, and Apollos.

The Twelve Apostles are identified below, along with the traditional manner of their deaths.

1. Simon Peter: Also known as Simon bar Jonah, Simon bar Jochanan (Aramaic) and Cephas. Jesus called him Peter (meaning rock or foundation of the Church). He was a fisherman from Bethsaida of Galilee. About to be martyred in Rome in C.E. 64, he asked to be crucified upside-down as he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.

2. Andrew: A former disciple of John the Baptist, he was the brother of Simon Peter and a fisherman in Bethsaida of Galilee. Crucified upon an X-shaped cross.

3. James, son of Zebedee: The brother of John. The first of the Apostles to be put to death, by Herod Agrippa I, 11 years after the death of Christ (C.E. 44).

4. John, son of Zebedee: The brother of James, both named by Jesus the sons of thunder. Death unknown. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that John still walks the earth and will see the Second Coming of Christ in the flesh.

5. Philip: From Bethsaida of Galilee. Crucified in C.E. 64.

6. Bartholomew; usually identified with Nathanael. Thought by some to have been skinned alive, then beheaded.

7. Matthew: The tax collector Matthew may have also been identified as Levi. He was killed by axe.

8. Thomas: Judas Thomas Didymus. Also known as Doubting Thomas. Killed by a spear in India in C.E. 72.

9. James, son of Alphaeus: Generally identified with “James the Less”, brother of Jesus, leader of the Jerusalem Church. Also identified by Roman Catholics with “James the Just”. Stoned at age 90, then clubbed to death.

10. Thaddeus: Traditionally identified with Jude. Crucified.

11. Simon the Zealot: or Simon the Cananite. Some have identified him with Simeon of Jerusalem. Believed by some to have been crucified in C.E. 74.

12. Judas Iscariot: The Apostle who betrayed Jesus. Also referred to as “Judas, the son of Simon.” He committed suicide.

13. Matthias was selected by the surviviing Eleven to replace Judas Iscariot. Matthias was stoned, then beheaded.

Source link

Continue Reading

Spirituality

Instead of Arresting the Homeless Population, City Paying Them to Pickup Trash

(Jack Burns) With the problem of homelessness in some cities becoming an epidemic, one Arkansas city appears to have a common sense approach to tackling the problem head on. They’re taking taxpayer dollars and paying the homeless to pick up trash.

The Bridge to Work program started in April in Little Rock, Arkansas and pays homeless individuals $9.25 an hour to tidy up the metropolis and capitol city of the state.

Canvas Community Church runs the program which was only slated to last 6 months. But Mayor Frank Scott Jr. told reporters he is going to extend the program for another year.

The church and state partnership is welcomed by both the public entity as well as the religious one. Associate Pastor Paul Atkins addressed the program’s Board of Directors saying:

We’re super excited about what has gone on, and we hope to be able to keep the momentum going…We want to work with them on their next step. There are a lot of barriers that our people experience to go from homelessness and panhandling to full-time work. There’s a lot of steps in between.

So far, 380 people have joined the work crews with most signing up through the church. But space is left on each crew to allow more homeless people a spot on the clean-up crew.

According to Little Rock’s 12 News:

After a total of 130 sites cleaned, 1,821 hours worked, and 2,056 bags of trash—all within five months— hearts and minds have been changed.

Team Leader Felicia Cooks spoke about both the concerns she had before the program started as well as its success after she became a team leader.

This is just a dream come true for the entire community…When I first started, from day one, I couldn’t catch the vision, nor could I travel the journey…But, you know, we’ve taken out over 400-and-something persons. And let me tell you, that has been the most exciting thing that I’ve done in my life. The energy, just the positive (energy), the vision that Canvas Community Church has. You know, it’s just wonderful.

The City of Little Rock has infused $80,000 into the program’s first six months. Pastor Atkins says there’s still more work to do. They need more help.

“To make the program bigger and better, we do need folks to walk with our friends on a one-on-one basis…I hesitate to call it a mentor thing, cause you’ll probably learn as much as you teach,” he said.

Atkins says the homeless have lost the support of their faith-based communities and schools and have fallen through society’s cracks. They just need to be lifted up and supported once again.

“You know, that’s the kind of thing that you and I probably had from our families, and churches and synagogues and schools,” he said. “You know, we had it all around us, and that kept holding us up and pushing us forward. Our people have lost that, either because they did something to burn a bridge, or the bridge just fell in behind them, and they just need that extra support.”

Each clean-up crew is paid in cash and is given a meal for their work.

Mayor Scott has promised to continue the program for another year but the city must vote on his verbal commitment. Without funding, the program would likely have to look to the private sector for financial support. While this situation would be better if it were privately funded, spending the money creating jobs for the homeless is a far better solution than relying on the police state to solve the homeless crisis.

California is one of the highest taxed states in the union, yet its cities have yet to create a model program to assist the homeless by placing them in good paying jobs. Instead of paying the homeless to fulfill a needed service like Arkansas is doing, California authorities are destroying their tent cities, arresting the homeless, and throwing away all of their belongings, just to remove what many critics consider an eye sore.

Source:

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/instead-of-arresting-the-homeless-population-city-paying-them-to-pickup-trash/

Continue Reading

Spirituality

How To Connect To Your Guardian Angel And Ask For Help

People often think that you have to be very holy or psychic in order to make connection with their Guardian Angel. This is not true. We are all born with our own Guardian Angels and they never stop surrounding us with love and guidance.

Angels help us stay connected with the Source, while ancestral guides support family members or spirit guides help us find the way back home. As we raise our vibration, we can more easily connect and communicate with wiser energies in the spirit realms.

Here are some tips that will help you connect with your guardian angel.

1. ASK FOR HELP

Asking an Angel for help is one of our most power spiritual practices. Angels can do nothing for us unless we ask. If you need help, just ask! We can ask the Angels for immediate help at any time and in any place.

Don’t worry about asking for too much. Angels exist beyond our experience of time and space. They respond to everyone with complete unconditional love. Create your own invocations, or prayers, that specifically call for the help you need.

2. ATTUNE YOURSELF TO YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL

Communication with your angel will probably be subtle at first, but become more obvious with practice. Set up a regular time to meditate and attune yourself to your guides.

If you raise your awareness through meditation, you will feel the invisible presence of your spirit guides. Most people find this connection an exciting experience, but in fact it is a normal part of your spiritual enlightenment.

You can try and identify your spirit guides and when you feel comfortable recognizing them, you can ask for their names. During this clairvoyant vision, you may have a glimpse of someone who was close to you and loved you, like a wife, husband or a parent. These experiences will make you feel happy and inspired. Not everybody perceives the spirit guides.

3. ACT AS IF YOUR PRAYER HAS BEEN ANSWERED

Every prayer is answered and grace is always given. If you fear that your prayer will not be answered, then ask for help in understanding and seeing more clearly. Trust that you will see the love in every answered prayer. Have patience with this and let go of any expectation of how the love may be revealed to you.

4. ACT FAST ON THE GUIDANCE YOU RECEIVE

Pay close attention to everything you experience as you are being given guidance from intelligent spirit guides. Be patient and don’t ask too any questions at once. You will get the answers when you are ready to receive them.

Watch for their sign and act upon it immediately. Angelic help is infinite and unlimited – you cannot use it up or run out of it. You cannot ask for ‘too much’. The faster you act, the faster you receive more assistance!

5. TRANSLATE THEIR ANSWERS

The answers coming from the spirit guides will take many forms. Sometimes you may hear their thoughts channeled in your head. At first, you should ask them simple Yes or No questions and observe the sensations you have in your body.

With time and practice, you will understand which sensations mean yes and which mean no. Your answer may also come during meditation, or after a prolonged period of reflection. In other cases, you may receive it coincidentally, like an overheard conversation or something you read in a book.

These answers, in the form of signs, will help you overcome your negative traits, like fear or selfishness, inspire you in times of crisis and help you become a better person.

After asking your angel for assistance, watch for repetition of words you see, hear or think. Notice patterns like repeatedly hearing a song, seeing a bumper sticker or having a friend unknowingly repeat the very same message your angel gave you. Keep asking until you feel you completely understand the answer.

Thank yourself and the Angels for deepening and the relationship between you.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending