Monday, February 4, 2008

The Egg

An excerpt from The Golden Egg:

Eggs immediately began to crop up everywhere: in Russian fairy tales, Vedic scriptures, English nursery rhymes, in German Romanticism or in Victorian fantasy, in Clemes Brentano’s “Gockel, Hinkel and Gackeleia,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. They even showed up in astronomy when Johannes Kepler, intent on discovering perfect circles in the planetary orbits, was disappointed when he encountered ellipses and had to accept the awful truth that even the solar system seems to prefer eggs. A cosmic egg is central in Hindu mythology, in which it is called Hiranyagarbha, the egg containing the creation, the subtle germ of the material world. It is reflected by the solar plexus and the crystal egg inside the Athanor, the alchemical oven.

Egg shapes can thus be found on many levels of our existence, in the kitchen and in the stars, in design and metaphysics, from birth to death. In this sense, the egg expresses a fundamental truth of alchemy as found in the Tabula Smaragdina: ‘As above, so below.’ In hindsight then, this symbol seemed to us to possess sufficient fertility to engage researchers in many fields and from different disciplines. The very nature of alchemy as an art that is both subjective and objective, material and spiritual calls for an interdisciplinary approach.

The egg is a popular symbol for creation and clearly it comes up in science all the time (astronomy, alchemy, biology). Here are some websites that talk about the role of the egg in culture:

The Dogon tribe in Africa - the first site talks about the mythology of the egg creation and the second shows a picture.

Some creation stories - India, China, and Japan deal with the egg

This book, Symbols of Sacred Science, might be a really good one to try to get a hold of. Click "more" under the Contents and there are two sections that deal with the egg: "The Heart and the World Egg" and "The Cave and the World Egg."

The Heart and the World Egg excerpt: "The biblical figure of the Terrestrial Paradise, which is also the 'Center of the World,' is that of a circular precinct which may be considered as the horizontal section of an ovoid or a spherical form..."

The Cave and the World Egg excerpt: "The two halves into which the 'World Egg' is divided according to one of the most common aspects of its symbolism, become respectively heaven and earth..."

This site deals with different meanings/interpretations/definitions of the egg.

And, finally, my last site. It's an article about the symbolism of the egg, and specifically ostrich eggs, which are often displayed in churches.

Maybe we could have an egg theme! Haha, just a thought...

-Aubrey :)

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