Today is the Epiphany known as the day when the three Wise Men from the East followed the Guiding Star to find the baby Jesus born in a stable. Even though there is no real record of the Three Wise Men’s name in the bible, Medieval legends called them Apellus, Amerus and Damascus. They were known as kings, or priests and even astrologers. Since they most likely needed a good astrologer to follow the star.
Actually in Syriac Christianity better know as Eastern Orthodox they account for actually 12 Wise Men. The Epiphany is the last day of the 12 Holy Nights after Christmas.
If we can look at this old biblical story more as archetypes for the Soul’s Inner Journey of Awakening then a word for word historical account of Christ birth it actually can have more reference to our lives today.
There are archetypes all around us, in nature, legends, fairytales even the mythos of our own life have archetypical windows for us to learn from. One of the problem with religion nowadays they get stuck on the archetype rather then seeing them as doorways to Inner Awareness. Then to add injury to insult they fight about whose archetype is the chosen one.
If we look as the birth of Baby Jesus in a humble stable and a bright star guiding the 3 or 12 Wise Men according to whose story you are following, we see the Inner Child archetype that lives in every human being. And the Bright Star is the symbol of our Eternal Divine Nature that gets born in human form and forgets their alignment with their Higher Self. And this seems to gets us into all kinds of trouble.
But here comes the Wise Men bearing the three gifts of Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. These gifts are tools for the soul to remember, to heal, and to awaken to their Divinity once again. Archetypically speaking to come into alignment with the Guiding Star of the Higher Self.
We are born into this world as a pure child but with the challenges and lessons of being a human being we find our self wounded soon or later. There is not a person alive that does not suffer the wound of being human
Everything in Mother Nature can be an archetype. Native American’s knew this well. They could read the essence of plants, tree, mountains and even natural objects became their wise council. The three gifts of the Wise Men came from Mother Nature.
The Wise Men brought three gifts of relief.
Frankincense the first gift of the Wise Men comes from the Boswellia tree found in the Middle East and Africa. Frankincense is known to reduce stress, negative emotional reactions, depression, and it is considered an immune booster. Boswellia resin was known as the pearls of the desert. There are several different species of Boswellia papyriffera that are endangered but Boswellia carterrii is not endangered and is traditionally used in aromatherapy. Boswellia neglect is a form of Frankincense resin that naturally forms outside the tree and can be gathered with little environmental impact.
What I find interesting is the word Frankincense actually means in French “Pure Essence”. And symbolically maybe the trick here is to remember our own Pure Essences, our “Awareness”. Awareness is remembering our breath and becoming available to the present moment, and really showing up for our self and for those who are before us with loving kindness and compassion, because we all bear the human wound.
The Wise Men second gift is Myrrh. Myrrh’s root word comes from a word which means bitter. This is the symbol of human wounding each one of us carry. Egyptians used Myrrh for embalming. Greek soldiers used it to clean their wounds and stop bleeding. They have even found that is helps prevents skin cancers. Myrrh has also been used to clear toxins, promote tissues repair and stimulate the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is actually connected to the opening of the third eye.
The greater symbol of the Myrrh archetype is the medicine to clear out the wounds we carry psychologically in our unconsciousness. And return to our Pure Essence of Awareness. And with Awareness we begin to realize we all are connected. We are not separate from anything in Nature.
The third gift of the Wise Men is Gold. Gold represents not only the richness of a King but more importantly the Golden Light of our Eternal Nature, what the Buddhist would call Buddha Nature. But in this particular story we will call it our Christ Self. Gold in the Earth actually represents in alchemy the Sun. Gold is like our sunlight that has taken form in matter. It is hidden in darkness of the Earth Mother. It is the very archetype of the Light of our Eternal Presence that is hidden in the clothing of our human disguise. And it is through the darkness the Light is born. It is through our Spiritual Awareness that dwells within our heart we birth our true nature ….We suffer….We awaken…we return to our Pure Essence…..And we are learning to become kind and loving to all of humanity which are also mirrors on this Life Journey.