Friday, September 21, 2012

Introduction to the Pope's 'Jewish' Star on Top of His Head


Understanding the Hexagram, the Star of Creation, the Star of David, the Seal of Solomon, and how they Differ

Many works on Christian iconography say that the six-pointed star is the Creator's Star or Star of Creation. Its six points stand for the six days of creation, and also represent the six attributes of God: power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy and justice...The star also appears in decoration in St Peter's basilica and in many gothic churches.

- Pope Benedict XVI Forum, Papal clothing and liturgical practices,

As can be seen in the larger version of this iconographic square, the photograph at the top left shows Pope Benedict XVI wearing a traditional-looking hat, also known as a Papal mitre. Notice this head-piece features a Six-Pointed Star of David woven directly into the gold-colored fabric of the hat (mitre) itself. For those who may be surprised or even astonished at this public display of the 'Jewish' Star, should realize that the Pope first starting wearing this particular head-piece well over a year ago. Therefore this is already old news at best. At the time, and ever since, some rather inflammatory opinions about this Papal hexagram have been posted online, most of them filled with fear, anger, and even hatred towards the Pope, the Catholic Church, the Jews and even the symbol itself (as if it had a mind of its own). Tragically, there seems to be an almost total lack of comment and opinion from those who actually approve, or even applaud, the new Star of David on top of Benedict's head. To really understand the extreme contrast of love and hate this particular Papal symbol has stirred up, two distinctly different quotes from internet sources has been included below. Needless to say, the grammar shown in the love, is far better than the hysterical scrawl found in the hate:

HATE QUOTE - The pictures presented of Rome's current Pope Benedict XVI (German Joseph Ratzinger) wearing his golden mitre displaying the Six-pointed Stars, link the false Babylonian religion of Roman Catholicism practiced by Papal Rome, with the false Babylonian religion of Freemasonry...[The] Occultic, Masonic Six-pointed Stars on Golden Mitre of Satan's Anti-Christ Roman Catholic Pope...connects Papal Rome with Freemasonry with Masonic Zionist "Israel" - HATE UNQUOTE

- News (2011 +), Columbia Christians for Life,

LOVE QUOTE - The Pope looks so dignified. I love the Stars of David too. Not many people know that it is Christian in origin. The Jewish symbol until probably the 3rd century was the menorah, not the Star. The original symbol for Christianity was a mixture of a fish, Star of David, a menorah. - LOVE UNQUOTE

- The Pope Benedict XVI Forum, Papal clothing and liturgical practices,

A brief bout of research on the internet reveals an astonishing array of negativity about Pope Benedict XVI's so-called 'sudden' and 'inappropriate' display of one of the modern symbols connoting Judaism. Far too many Christians have unfortunately assumed that this Star is a thoroughly Jewish emblem, and a symbol representing Judaism alone. Unfortunately, it seems the vast majority of Catholics (and Protestants) still fail to realize the historical truth about the matter. In reality, the Roman Catholic Church has been using the Star of David in its vast array of Christian symbolism for many centuries. So has the Eastern Orthodox Church as well. This is not to say that the Star of David has ever been a major ikon of the Church like the Cross for example, but it has never been designated as a purely, exclusively Jewish symbol- thus becoming strictly off-limits for Christian use. As one source puts it succinctly:

It so happens that during the Middle Ages, the 'Star of David' was frequently found on churches (such as Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome) and even in mosques, but was absent in synagogues. It was also conspicuously absent as a symbol in Jewish books and on ritual objects.

- Star of David or Star of Goloka?, by Swami B. G. Narasingha.

Indeed, there are literally dozens of Catholic Churches around the world, including the main Cathedral in Mazatlan, Mexico, which have deliberately utilized the Star of David as a part of the their overall Christian architecture. Not only that, but a quick look at the internet shows there to be at least six sites dedicated to Christian symbols which list the six-pointed star as yet another type of authentic Christian symbolism. Apparently, the Church has tended not to refer to the hexagram as the Star of David (Magen David in Hebrew), which historically has been more of a Jewish designation. Instead, Christian authorities have called it the Star of Creation, Star of the Creator, or the Creator's star. Now for those Christian believers who may still have any doubts whatsoever about the six-pointed Star of David should be more than reassured by the historical facts themselves. The Star of Creation, as the Church has designated it, really was, still is, and will continue to be, an genuine Christian symbol. Any stubborn skeptic should feel free to check out the internet for even further proof. In fact, after a very brief time period spent searching for any Christian use of the hexagram, the results are definitive. As it turns out, there happen to be at least six separate listings of Christian symbols and/or symbolism which include the Star of David (Star of Creation, Six-pointed Star, etc) in their collection without any reservation. These particular listings, along with their subsequent definitions and explanations, can be seen as follows:

1) STAR OF DAVID: The Star of David or the Creator's Star. The six points represent six aspects of God: love, mercy, wisdom, majesty, power, and justice. In this form, the two triangles represent the Trinity.

- Star of David, Christian Symbols,

2) THE STAR OF CREATION (Star of David) - The six-pointed star is several symbols in one. The star is made up of two triangles, each representing the Trinity. The six-sided star they form is a symbol of creation. Thus the symbol means that the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, were all a part of the creation of the world.

- The Star of Creation,

3) Six-pointed Star: Route six corners correspond to the six days of creation. These are also the six attributes of God: love, power, wisdom, mercy, justice and majesty. It is also known as Star of David in Judaism. Six-pointed star - a Christian symbol

- Christianity, Religious Symbols and their Meanings,

4) Six pointed stars symbolize Israel and is called the Star of David. It represents the six attributes of God - power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy and justice.

- Stars as Christian Symbols,

5) Six Pointed Star: Star of Creation, Star of David. Although ancient and symbolizing the six days of creation, best known in modern times as a symbol of Judaism.

- Christian Symbols, Symbols,

6) Six-Pointed Star: Stars with six points have a deep ancient history that has been connected to many other religions with a range of meanings. In regards to Christianity, the star with six points is known as the Creator's Star (or the Star of Creation). Each of the points represents the six days of creation, and is also representative of six attributes associated with God;- love, mercy, power, wisdom, majesty, and justice. The six-pointed star is also a symbol of Judaism in modern-day Israel, which is called the Star of David.

- Symbolism of Stars in Christianity, by Yona Williams,
As seen through a careful inspection of the Pope's photograph, the typically flat-looking triangles which traditionally make up a Star of David differ somewhat from the actual symbol seen atop the Papal ceremonial head-dress (mitre). Looking closely enough, one can see that the golden Star's triangular lines appear as if they were interwoven on top of, and beneath, each other in a three-dimensional representation of this six-pointed geometric polygon (also called a hexagram). According to legend, King Solomon supposedly took the rather simple, two-dimensional Star of David he inherited from his Royal father and managed to improve upon it by having the two opposite triangles appear as if they were interwoven with one another. A rather interesting take on the very real differences between the Star of David and the Seal of Solomon reads as follows:

Uniting the Water Triangle [facing downwards] with the Fire Triangle [facing upwards], the Hexagram is formed. It forms a six pointed star also known as the Seal of Solomon. This symbol is a [different type of] Star of David, the national symbol of Israel (God's chosen nation). The difference between the Star of David and the seal [of Solomon] is the triangles which make up the seal [Solomon] interlock and the two triangles of the Star of David lie flat against each other.

- Hexagram,

The traditional understanding that the Star of David and the Seal of Solomon have fundamental differences in both their origins and visual appearances, seems to have been nearly lost in modern times. What's most frustrating is that more a few modern dictionaries have gotten the essential differences between these two distinct types of hexagrams completely wrong, thus misleading everybody. So, readers should take careful note right now that the symbol seen on top of the Pope's head is, to be completely accurate, not a Star of David, but a Seal of Solomon instead. The biggest visual clue is the way that the Seal of Solomon's triangular lines look like they are either above or beneath one another without ever truly intersecting. Apparently, this was never the case with the Star of David. To be specific, King David used the symbol as a short form of his written signature and as a battle insignia painted on the shields of his fellow Israelite soldiers. In both cases, the iconographic complexity seen in the Seal of Solomon was never really needed and therefore never developed. In contrast, the Seal of Solomon was thought to have been an actual Royal Seal used throughout King Solomon's reign, a hand-held device which stamped an image upon either a puddle of wax, or clay, or even a form of paper made with animal skins. These Seals were usually custom-made by professional artists and were thus far more complex in appearance than any written signature or hand-drawn war emblem. In truth, one could say that both symbols were simply different versions of the Star of David. However, the Seal of Solomon has always been depicted with three-dimensional, interwoven (or interlaced) triangles. It is most unfortunate that literally no one these days really knows, or even cares, about what a Seal of Solomon actually is anyway. However, for the sake of precision, one should define the Star of David as being comprised of OVERLAPPING triangles, just as the Seal of Solomon (Solomon's Seal)should always have the appearance of INTERLACED (or INTERWOVEN) triangles instead. The actual, and factually correct, dictionary definitions of these two emblems are listed below:

(Star of David) n. - A symbol consisting of two OVERLAPPED equilateral triangles forming a star with six points, used as a symbol of Judaism. It is also called Magen David, Mogen David, and Shield of David, and is shaped identically to the hexagram and Solomon's seal. It is used on the flag of the modern state of Israel.

- Collaborative International Dictionary of English,

(Solomon's Seal) n. - A mystic symbol consisting of two INTERLACED triangles forming a star with six points, often with one triangle dark and one light, symbolic of the union of soul and body. It is shaped identically to the hexagram and Star of David, distinguished only in its usage.

- Collaborative International Dictionary of English,

Among the various myths and legends concerning this age-old Biblical symbol, two of them stand out in particular. The first one concerns the reasons behind why the hexagram was ever called a star (or shield), while the second story explains the intricate three-dimensional pattern seen on the Seal of Solomon, but usually never with the Star of David. Now as to why the hexagram was ever called a Star, the main reason should be quite obvious to most observers. As nearly everybody would agree, the six-pointed shape itself bear a striking visual resemblance to the twinkling effect one experiences when looking directly at either a star, or the sun, through a somewhat hazy atmosphere.

Twinkle (Upward Triangle), Twinkle (Downward Triangle) little star, how I wonder what you are (Star of David). Up above the world so high (Upward Triangle), like a diamond in the sky (Downward Triangle)...

- An interpretation of the song 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'

There is also a Biblical reason why the hexagram has been called a star and it concerns a certain, obscure prophecy found in the Book of Numbers. Keeping in mind that this was written long before King David was ever born, the relevant verse talks about an unknown future leader of Israel who will rise to power and go on to defeat the traditional enemies of the Israelites- the Moabites for example. This future hero is metaphorically described as 'a Star' which 'shall come forth from Jacob', obviously meaning a yet-to-born descendant from the one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Because of the importance of the Davidic Kingdom, quite a few scholars claim this passage from Numbers should be seen as a direct reference to the later military success and subsequent rule of King David. Indeed, David official founding of the Kingdom of Israel in Jerusalem was the first event of extreme significance which had occurred in Israel since the time period recorded in the Book of Numbers. Yet the question remains as to why the hexagram, rather than David himself, is the 'Star' mentioned in Scriptures. The best, and probably only correct answer to this is that the original Star of David served as his personalized signature- comprised of two triangular Hebrew letters written on top of each other with one of them turned upside down. In short, the hexagram was simply a uniquely clever way David wrote the first and last initials to his own name. Therefore, the claim that the six-pointed hexagram used for David's name was also a perfect symbolic representation of the Biblically prophesied 'Star' of 'Jacob' happens to be fairly logical, at least in a metaphorical sense. Also, because the Bible just so happens to be filled to the brim with metaphors, this legendary explanation may indeed be the real truth behind the origins of the six-pointed Star.

STAR OF DAVID: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A STAR shall come forth from Jacob. A scepter shall rise from Israel and shall crush the corners of Moab, and destroy all the sons of Sheth.
- Numbers 24:17

SEAL OF SOLOMON: Place me like a SEAL upon your heart, like a SEAL on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

- Song of Solomon 8:6
Now it is time to turn to the Judeo/Christian legends surrounding the Seal of Solomon and the reason behind the change in name. First, as previously mentioned, the more complex looking six-pointed star with interwoven triangles was Solomon's way of improving upon his father David's original design for their family coat-of-arms. This three-dimensional hexagram was also a far more appropriate insignia for a King of Israel and his Royal family to have as their personal seal. Even so, there was also a deeper, more profound reason behind the interwoven appearance of the Seal of Solomon's two interlaced triangles. Apparently, this specific design served as a visual talisman providing spiritual protection and control against the forces of evil. Not only was the Seal thought to ward against, or scare off, demons and other evil spirits, it also helped to trap, contain, and control them- thus rendering them harmless to mere mortals. To truly understand how and why this worked, notice how the Seal's interlaced lines have an eerie, maze-like appearance to them, going back and forth, above and behind each other, in a ceaseless, never-ending pattern. This infinite sense of complexity was said to cause disorientation and utter confusion in any demon who dared to look directly at the symbol. More than two thousand years later, the Medieval Christians (as well as Jews) also put their trust in the Seal of Solomon, believing it provided ample protection from the forces of darkness. Three different online sources confirm the 'magical' history of this symbol:

The hexagram, as the Seal of Solomon, is generally...believed to have protective powers and magical properties...[It] has a long history of providing protection from demons and evil spirits. In some magical practices, it is associated with exorcisms.

- Who Knew Two Triangles Could Do So Much?: The Hexagram, by Rebecca,

The Seal of Solomon dates back to the Bronze Ages and is a powerful symbol with many mystical and magickal qualities...the Seal of Solomon is believed to offer protection against both enemies and the evil eye, control spirits, and bring good luck in all aspects of life.

- Seal of Solomon, Amulet Power,

In the middle Ages it was common to find amulets and talismans which reproduced the Seal of Solomon...It was believed that these magic drawings protected the wearer from the influence of demons and evil spirits, or just bad luck. It was also common to record the seal on a frame or lintel of the entrance door to homes...with the same protective character against the spirits or to potential fires.

- The Hexagram, Star of David or Seal of Solomon,

One might apt to conclude that both the form and function of the Seal of Solomon were in perfectly alignment, thus explaining the legendary spiritual powers this symbol was believed to possess. These days, Christians (and Jews) are free to choose to believe or disbelieve in its significance, yet even today, in the 21st century, the Seal's actual power over the minds of men (and women) has yet to disappear completely. Indeed, look at the dozens and dozens, perhaps even hundreds, if not thousands, of modern, educated adults who still use this symbol to practice magic and/or witchcraft. Even if one doesn't believe in any magic whatsoever, there still has to be a reason why so many fellow humans have such an on-going obsession with this one particular geometric shape. as if by its very appearance the supernatural will then become possible. A more balanced view concerning the power of the Star of David/Seal of Solomon can be found in the Catholic Church of today. Mentioning the Star of David by name, it reads as follows:

The magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the STAR OF DAVID, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.

- Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church

In conclusion, the actual history of the hexagram in terms of the Judeo/Christian tradition indicates that Pope Benedict XVI's recent public display of the symbol is nothing new at all. In addition, the Pope's implied acceptance and approval of the Star of David/Seal of Solomon appears to be in complete agreement with a fairly long and extensive history of Christian use. Hopefully, Christian respect and admiration for this particular emblem will extend itself into an open friendliness, rather than hostility, towards those who still practice and believe in Judaism, This seems to be the general attitude of today's Catholic Church and the Pope's recent appearance with a Star of David on top of his head is simply further proof that times have changed for the better.


TOP LEFT: A close-up picture of Pope Benedict XVI's Papal hat known as a mitre. The six-pointed hexagram located in the front of the head-piece appears to be a Seal of Solomon, rather than a Star of David. The Church has also tended to refer to most any hexagram as a Star of Creation, or Creator's Star. Historically however, only the Seal of Solomon had triangular lines which were interwoven (or interlaced) with one another.

TOP RIGHT: A side by side metaphorical modern history of the Jewish people. From the horrors of Nazi Germany in the 1940s to the founding of Israel in 1948, this 3,000 year journey of the Jewish people has yet to end. Once again, their enemies have been destroyed as they have moved onward and forward, in a noble effort to live on and prosper. The yellow star of David on the left side has the German word Jude (Jew in English) written in the center. Numerous forms of colored badges were used by the Nazis, but the six-pointed Stars of David identifying Jews have had the most historical repercussions so far- as in the slogan- 'Never again'. The blue Star of David on the right side is an exact replica, including the exact color, of the Davidic Star found upon the official, national flag of Israel. In Israel today, this symbol is nearly always referred to as a Magen David (Shield of David in English).

BOTTOM LEFT: These two black hexagrams in a all-white background are basic representations of a Star of David, seen on the left side, and a Seal of Solomon, seen on the right. A close enough examination between the two symbols clearly show the three-dimensional qualities of the Seal of Solomon on the right. This optical illusion of interwoven triangular lines occurs simply because of the way it has been drawn. Although the viewer may perceive depth when looking at the Seal, the reality remains that this symbol is just as flat as the Star of David pictured on the left.

BOTTOM RIGHT: A six-pointed hexagram carved upon one of the walls of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the official capital of the Roman Catholic Church. A specifically Christian hexagram is most commonly known as a Star of Creation, or Creator's Star. A close-up inspection of this symbol reveals that, just like the one on top of the Pope's head, this star also has the appearance of interwoven (or interlaced) triangular lines. Thus, the proper term for this particular hexagram would be the Seal of Solomon, rather than the Star of David, a term which the Israelis themselves never use. 

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