Sunday, January 6, 2013

Magical Gifts

In Spain and South America there exists an old tradition in which people, specially kids, receive today gifts left by the Magi at night –rather than by Santa Claus, their modern counterpart. The reason is that this day is usually dedicated to the Adoration of the Magi, who according to the story in the Gospel of Mathew travelled from the far Orient to adorate the new born infant Jesus. For him they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense and the medicinal myrrh, all of which can have, on a symbolic level, meanings such as “spirit”, “purity” and “healing power” respectively. 
As for the picture we see above, it is a relief that appears carved on one of the archivolts of the Romanic Church of Santo Domingo (13th century) in Soria, Spain. It is known as the “dream of the Magi” and refers to the moment in which the Magi are warned by an angel in a dream not to return to Herod the Great, who wanted to get rid of the infant Jesus.
With the symbolic eye of the soul we can observe how there are many internal and external negative influences that, like Herod, want to get rid of our spark of spirit at any rate. And we´re also warned not to follow their game. A task for which we received multitude of gifts, from sacred teachings to inborn abilities we are called to develop.
According to the Zoroastrian tradition –which may perfectly be connected to the Oriental Magi of the story– humanity is in the middle of a sacred struggle between Darkness and Light, in which the Earth might  suffer a solar transformation or an ugly disfiguration. Henry Corbin describes such Iranian view as follows: 
At this point, then, the conjunction takes place of the destiny of the [human] soul –the Fravarti incarnated in terrestrial existence– and the destiny of that terrestrial Earth to which it came solely in order to help Ohrmazd and the Powers of Light to save the Earth from the demonic Powers. [...] This work and this event were the very reason, from the beginning, for the choice and the battle of the Fravartis. The creatures of light receive their capacity to fulfill or to anticipate this metamorphosi precisely thanks to the victorial Fire [...] 
"May we be among those who are to bring about the Transfiguration of the Earth" (Yasna XXX, 9 ). 

(Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth, by Henry Corbin, Chapter I, Section 4, Princeton University Press, 1977)

To wrap this Christmas up, in tune with the ambience of this post, here we have a wonderful concert of folk music, mostly from Armenia and Turkey, with the participation of Jordi Savall, performed in memory of the singer Monserrat Figueras:

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