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The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three

The Spiritual Meaning of Numbers
Tetragrammaton by Francisco Goya: "The Name of God", YHWH in triangle, detail from fresco Adoration of the Name of God, 1772
Tetragrammaton by Francisco Goya: “The Name of God”, YHWH in triangle, detail from fresco Adoration of the Name of God, 1772

Three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end. The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit.

In the first three numbers, all of the others are synthesized. From the union of oneness and duality (which is its reflection), that is, from triad, proceed all of the other numbers, and from this primordial triangle all figures derive.

There is also, for traditional civilizations, a direct relationship between numbers and letters of the alphabet, to the point where, with many alphabets, numbers were represented by letters, and had no special signs of their own. This is not the case with the early American cultures, which knew no alphabet, but we wish to call attention to this correspondence because not only the alphabetical code, but the numerical one, as well, describe all reality: that is, everything that is numerable or namable–in the sense of “ciphers,” harmonious measures, “proportions”–in sum, the totality of the cosmos, of the knowable.

This threeness or triad, has always been considered sacred–like oneness, duality, and all numbers–by virtue of its very properties and particular attributes. These properties and attributes are manifested in its threefold nature, which of itself is the inevitable expression of a principle, an archetypal fact, that solidifies in a series, as a representation of ideas and energies that materialize in magical, mysterious fashion while obeying precise, universal laws, which the numerical codes and their geometrical correspondences symbolize.

Trinity Symbol
Trinity Symbol

This symbol a triad or trinity. It is a symbol of the unity of body, mind and spirit. The symbol is of universal significance – it is found throughout history and all over the world. It was popularized early in this century by the Russian-born artist, philosopher and scientist Nicholas Roerich. (http://www.roerich.org). It can be interpreted in many different senses: spirit/mind/body in a circle of synthesis; past/present/future enclosed in the ring of eternity; art/science/religion bound in a circle of culture.

Chintamani
Chintamani

The oldest of Indian symbols, Chintamani, the sign of happiness, is composed of this symbol and it can be found in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It appears in the Three Treasures of Tibet; on the breast of the Christ in Memling’s famous painting; on the Madonna of Strasbourg; on the shields of the Crusaders and coat of arms of the Templars. It can be seen on the blades of the famous Caucasian swords called “Gurda” and on the swords of Japanese nobility.

It appears as a symbol in several philosophical systems. It can be discovered on the images of Gessar Khan and Rigden Djapo; on the “Tamga” of Timurlane and on the coat of arms of the Popes. It can be seen in the works of ancient Spanish painters and of Titian, and on the ancient ikon of St. Nicholas in Bari and that of St. Sergius and the Holy Trinity. It appears on the coat of arms of the city of Samarkand, on Ethiopian and Coptic antiquities, on the rocks of Mongolia, on Tibetan rings, on Buddhist banners, on the breast ornaments of all the Himalayan countries, and on the pottery of the Neolithic age.

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Bukit Brown: Longevity Plea

zhao yan pleads for longevity

By Yik Han & Claire Leow

Some of the tombs at Bukit Brown have elaborate carvings of famous Chinese mythological figures, fables and personified values. These serve as teachings left by the deceased for his/her descendents, by way of bequeathing the lessons of life. Here, we report on three panels found at the tomb of Ong Sam Leong, the grandest at the site.

zhao yan pleads for longevity
zhao yan pleads for longevity

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THE MOUSAI

The Mousia
Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre
Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre

THE MOUSAI (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific artistic spheres: Kalliope (Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio (Clio), history; Ourania (Urania), astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia), comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia), religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), choral song and dance.

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Money bags

This year (2016) July has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. Those who read and do not copy will be without money.I am copying cause I’m not taking any chances.!!

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Atalanta’s race

Atalanta’s race - Three golden apples
Atalanta’s race - Three golden apples
Atalanta’s race – Three golden apples

Atalanta’s race: A contest that is won
through trickery. The allusion is to Greek mythology
and the race that was run between the fl eetfooted
huntress Atalanta and her suitor
Hippomenes (sometimes identifi ed as Melanion).
If Hippomenes won the race, according to the
agreement, Atalanta would become his wife, but if
he lost he would be put to death, like all her previous
suitors. Before the race, Aphrodite gave Hippomenes
the three golden apples of the Hesperides,
which Hippomenes dropped along the route so
that Atalanta would pause to pick them up. By this
ruse Hippomenes won the race, and they were
married. “Laurie reached the goal fi rst and was
quite satisfi ed with the success of his treatment,
for his Atalanta came panting up with fl ying hair,
bright eyes, ruddy cheeks, and no signs of dissatisfaction
in her face” (Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1868–69).

Source: http://www.greenvalleyhs.org/library/Documents/Allusions.pdf

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philosophers’ egg

Rebis

 noun

1
:  the first matter of the philosophers’ stone composed of salt, sulfur, and mercury

:  gripe’s egg

2
:  a medicine made of saffron and the yolk of an egg and once considered a cure for plague and poison
Considered to be a form of the Philosopher’s Stone.

(The). A preservative against poison, and a cure for the plague; a panacea. The shell of a new egg being pricked, the white is blown out, and the place filed with saffron or a yolk of an egg mixed with saffron.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

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Yam

Destruction of Leviathan[Persian] The Iranian primeval king who rules a realm where justice, order and abundance prevail. His name means “twin” and his wife and twin sister is Yimak. As king Yam he fulfils three social functions: he is pious as a priest, strong as a warrior, and rich as a large landowner. He was the favorite of the gods, but he fell from grace when he became disdain and mendacious, and he lost his immortality.

 

The image is called The destruction of Leviathan by God, thought by some scholars to parallel the defeat of Yam or Lotan by Baal.

Source: Encyclopedia Mythica

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Cumaean Sibyl

Cumaean Sibyl by MICHELANGELO BuonarrotiIn ancient times a prophetess who, in a state of ecstasy and under influence of Apollo, prophesized without being consulted. Famous Sibyls are the Cumaean Sibyl and the Erythraean Sibyl, who revealed to Alexander the Great his divine descent.

The Cumaean Sibyl was the earliest of the Sibyls. She was believed to have come from the rest, and resided at Cumae. She owned, according to tradition, nine books of prophecies. When the Roman king Targuin (Tarquinius Priscus) wanted to buy those books he thought the price she asked far too high. The Sibyl threw three books into the fire and doubled the price; this she did again with the next three books, and the king was forced the buy the remaining three books for a price four times as high as the original nine.

The Cumaean Sibyl resided in a still existing dromos at Cumae near Naples, Italy.

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Cepheus

CepheusIn Greek mythology, the name of three different people:

  1. The son of the King Belus (1) of Ethiopia. He is the husband of Cassiopeia and father of Andromeda. His wife boasted that she, or her daughter, were more beautiful than the Nereidsand in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to plague his lands. He consulted the oracle of Ammon and was told that the problem would end if he exposed his daughter as prey for the monster. His people forced him to comply with the oracle, and he chained Andromeda to a rock by the sea. She was rescued by Perseus who killed the monster and married the girl.
    After his death Cepheus was placed among the stars.
  2. A son of Aleus and Naeara (or Cleobule). He succeeded his father as the ruler of Tegea in Arcadia. Cepheus was the father of twenty sons and two daughters, but nearly all of his sons perished in an expedition they undertook with Heracles. He was one of the Argonauts and is the reputed founder of Caphyae (Bibliotheke I, 9.16; II, 7.3; III, 9.1; ArgonauticaI, 161; Fabulae 14; Guide to Greece VIII, 8.3, 23.3).
  3. One of the participants in the Calydonian Hunt.

by Micha F. Lindemans

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Owain

Owain

by Brian Edward Rise

In history he is known as the son of Urien and a prince of Rheged. Eugenius is the Roman equivalent of his name. He, like his father, fought the Northern Angles towards the end of the sixth century. In a churchyard in Penrith is the so-called Giant’s Grave that was regarded for a long time as his and an elegy on his death was composed by the Welsh bard Taliesin.

He later became a hero of Welsh legend. He was pulled into Arthurian saga anachronistically, because he was unknown at the time Culwych and Olwen, which never mentions him, was written. This might be the result of brief allusion to him found in Geoffrey of Monmouth. A Welsh triad names his mother as Modron, originally a Celtic goddess. He is a character in The Dream of Rhonabwy and Owain (or The Lady of the Fountain).

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Gwydion

Gwydion

by Karen Davis

Gwydion, one of the nephews of Math ap Mathonwy, and brother of Arianrhod. He contrived Gilfaethwy’s rape of the maiden Goewin, Math’s foot holder. He did this by starting a war with Pryderi of Dyfed, stealing his pigs, and thus taking Math away on campaign. But he and Gilfaethwy doubled back and Gwydion forced the other women to leave Goewin with Gilfaethwy, who raped her.

When she confessed this to Math, he levied as punishment on his nephews that they spent three years as animals, Gwydion as a stag, a wild sow, and a wolf, breeding each year with his brother Gilfaethwy who was hind, boar, and she-wolf. They produced three offspring, whom Math made human and raised at his court.

Afterward, they were restored to the court. Gwydion raised Arianrhod’s virgin-born son Llew Llaw Gyffes, winning for him his name and arms by tricking his mother, and created a woman out of flowers to marry him. After that woman, Blodeuwedd, betrayed Llew to his death, Gwydion restored him to life and turned her into an owl.

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Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid” (Danish: Den lille havfrue) is a fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.

Written originally as a ballet, the tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theatre and animated film.

retold by Robert Hoffman

Big out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Sea King and his subjects. We must not imagine that there is nothing at the bottom of the sea but bare yellow sand. No, indeed; the most singular flowers and plants grow there; the leaves and stems of which are so pliant, that the slightest agitation of the water causes them to stir as if they had life.

Fishes, both large and small, glide between the branches, as birds fly among the trees here upon land. In the deepest spot of all, stands the castle of the Sea King. Its walls are built of coral, and the long, gothic windows are of the clearest amber. The roof is formed of shells, that open and close as the water flows over them. Their appearance is very beautiful, for in each lies a glittering pearl, which would be fit for the diadem of a queen.

 

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