This post is part of the month-long blog collaborative organized by Barbara at Me, My Magnificent Self. This January Challenge is about “welcoming in awakening experiences.” I chose this date for the challenge because January 5th is the Twelfth Day of Christmas and tomorrow the 6th is the Epiphany, which is the day the three Magi (wise men or astrologers), who after studying the heavens and following a specific star, visited the newborn baby Jesus. This star became known as the Star of Bethlehem.
The Magi brought gifts to their new-born king, the son of God: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold symbolizes kingship, value, and virtue. Frankincense symbolizes God, deities, and the Divine. Smells, perfumes, and incense are used in many different religious and spiritual practices. Smell is also the sense (of the 5 senses) that is related to the element of earth and the root chakra, Muladhara. This may reflect that the root of our Being, of our divine essence, of our souls is with the Divine of All. (Visit Symbol Reader for a great full article on Smell.) The third gift that the Magi brought was myrrh. Myrrh is a tree resin used as an oil, and it symbolizes mortality, death, and suffering. Ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians, used myrrh as a preservative embalming oil for the dead.
These three gifts, though they are fittingly symbolic for a human-deity king, can also be seen as symbolic for all of us, for we are all part of the divine source, the One. The gold represents the golden light of virtue within all of us, and that each of us has value and worth. The frankincense represents the divine within each of us, which is connected and interconnected to the divine in every single one of us and everything. The myrrh represents the experiences of suffering, growth, learning, and joy that our mortal bodies and minds experience, but our souls, our divine selves, will be preserved and live on after the death of the physical.
In resonance with the Christmas Season and the New Beginnings of the New Year, I’d like to share an awakening experience, or more of an annual re-awakening or further awakening practice, that has become a tradition for me since New Year’s Eve 2005 – I do a labyrinth meditation practice. This has been a very powerful silent contemplation practice that clears and opens the way for continued and new growth each new year.
On the journey into the labyrinth, I think about all that I wish to clear out, cleanse, and both want to and need to let go of from the past year. This can be physical, material, social, mental, emotional, and energetic or vibrational. When I reach the center of the labyrinth, I stand still, either in complete mental silence or I say a prayer or chant in my mind depending on the year. I stay there as long I feel I need to, until the old that I am releasing disperses, and I feel lighter. On the journey out of the labyrinth, I meditate on all that I wish to keep, continue, expand upon, grow with, and bring into and receive into my life in the coming year.
I realized during this year’s labyrinth meditation, that the journey of the Magi might also have been an awakening experience. The Three Magi are believed to have travelled a long distance and must have had much time for silent meditation and contemplation on their journey. On their journey to the baby Jesus, they had time to contemplate all that life on earth had been, and what they hoped would change and be released. Meeting Jesus would have been like coming to the center of the labyrinth, where they stopped in prayer and adoration to the Divine. On their journey away from the nativity, they must have contemplated on how their world would soon change, and all the good they hoped would come into it.
Journeying to the center of the labyrinth is symbolic to me of journeying deep into the golden essence of my Being, to connect fully with God, the Divine, Source, All, and the One that is within. It is an awakening experience in the clear light of awareness, that allows me to look at my life with the clarity between what Is and what is impermanent, empty, meaningless, and mortal. In walking the labyrinth, I receive the gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Whatever your religious beliefs, spiritual practices, or none of these, we all can strive to follow the light of our inner essence and wisdom, and allow it to guide us to ever more awareness. Like the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem, let us all follow our inner star, the light within us, and may it guide us all to many new and wondrous things in the new year and beyond!
The next post in this challenge will be by Sarah at http://rayoflight7777.wordpress.com. Click on “January Challenge” above for the complete list.