Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Gate: chapter 1

My friend and me have a saying~ "Profound change happens when you go away". I am just beginning to grasp the outer fringes of the profound changes that are happening since my travels to Germany. One theme of change worthy of exploration and understanding is The Gate.

I was drawn to and passed through many gates in Germany. Some large, some small. All significant. All with personal meaning I have yet to figure out.

Unlike a wall, a gate is meant to allow passage from one side to another. All gateways are significant and symbolic to every being that passes through. They are signals from the Divine that we are literally and figuratively moving from one way of being to another. We are leaving an apsect of ourselves behind and taking up another way of existing in the world. We hope it is all for the positive. We hope it represents a movement toward greater fulfillment of our potentials. Passing through a gateway certainly means we are asked to take on greater responsibility for ourselves and the world.

For these reasons, it would seem prudent to pause, even for the slightest moment, before charging through any gate we encounter. Pause to be sure we are ready for added responsibility. Pause to be sure we understand there is no going back to our excuses of old, our lethargy and indifference to significant people and events. Pause to consider that the more we know, the more we are expected to serve the world in its quest for peace and balance.

There are gates to the heart, gates to the mind, gates to the Divine. It is always our free will choice to pass or not through any of them. Each literal gate represents a figurative one. And each is different and specific to each soul that passes through.

In Berlin, at the Pergamon Museum, I passed through a monumental gate. The Gate of Ishtar. The German Oriental Society unearthed this massive gate, in what was ancient Babylon, during an 18 year continuous excavation from 1899 to 1917. This was one of 8 gates of the inner city of Babylon, built during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd in 575 BC. This was the city with the infamous hanging gardens and the Tower of Babel. The reconstruction is 47 feet high. It is made of blue glazed bricks with reliefs of tile dragons and bulls. There was a Processional Way leading up to the Ishtar Gate made of blue glazed bricks, with reliefs of lions and daisies.

The Goddess Ishtar was the Babylonian High-Mother-Goddess known as "The Lightbringer". Her cult was the most important one of ancient Babylon. Her sacred animal was the lion. Other animals she represented were snakes, winged lions and scorpions. Her sign was the 8-pointed star, her stone was lapis, her number was 15.

There is a lot to contemplate here. Lapis, lions, stars, goddesses. And it is only one of the many gates of my journey. Oh my. I suddenly feel the urge to lock my doors and gorge on marzipan.

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I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel