January 7

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On the thirteenth day of Christmas?

By Tresta Neil

Christmas, Holiday, Symbology

On the thirteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . 
what? there is not a thirteenth day of Christmas? Oh, ok, may I share with you my discovery of the number thirteen? Many consider it to be the “unlucky” number and I want to show you its power!

When the founding fathers began designing the United States Seal they wanted to use the Exodus from Egypt as their design as they were leaving their mother country, England. After much discussion they changed it for a design that portrayed the purpose of the Exodus, leaving world Egypt to Mt. Sinai to make covenant with God. They used a pyramid as the mountain where God above and the world below.

The square base of the pyramid represented physical life or mortality (see number 4). It represented strength and duration. The thick foundation below represents our “outward expressions, our energetic psyche and denser body.”

The triangle, all seeing eye floats above representing the spiritual life or heaven (see number 3). The eye represents our “ever-awake, deep divine spiritual self.” Three above and four below is a symbol of the Sphinx trapezoidal head dress, which implies an unseen trinity or spiritual life above it. The three above and the four below implies our divine nature, inward (spiritual, unseen) and outward (physical, seen) expression. As a bigger picture, all on earth (4), physical life is growing upward, striving to become complete with Christ (3) becoming equal (equilateral triangle – equal, same in all areas of life) with God.

The ribbon at the bottom is in the shape of an open circle meaning birth. The words within the ribbon read, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” Latin for, “a new order of the ages (is born),” referring to the new American era. At the base of the pyramid are Roman numerals,MDCCLXXVI, for the year 1776, the year of the birth of our Nation.

How many 13’s can you find on the Seal?
To the founding fathers the number thirteen represented “progress, perpetuity and perfection.” They designed the seal with twelve surrounding the one. Example of this idea are: the twelve tribes surrounding Moses or twelve apostles surrounding Jesus or the twelve zodiac surrounding the sun.

On the “Reverse” side, the pyramid is the most prominent object:

  1. There are 13 steps on the unfinished pyramid meaning there was still room for growth as a nation. It is said the steps represent the thirteen cycles of the First-Sun Age in Mesoamerican pyramids.  An obligation was assigned to each step. 1) treat others as you would be treated, 2) “Seek the whole truth”, 3) “Do your own share of the work.  You cannot enter heaven on the back of servants.” and 4 – 10) identical to those of the ten commandments.  The last three steps “cannot be disclosed.”
  2. There are 13 letters in the title, “Annuit Coeptis” which is Latin for “He (God) has favored (smiled upon) our undertakings.” The founding fathers believed that  God  provided providentially for the success during the struggle for freedom.
  3.  There are 26 (2×13) letters in “MDCCLXXVI” plus “Novus ordo seclorum” at the base of the pyramid. On the obverse side (the US was the first to have a two sides) of the seal: “Obverse” means the object has a counterpart, an indication there two things about the object. This is the side used on all the official documents. Both sides can be seen on the one dollar bill.
  4. The eagle is the most prominent feature. Across the breast of the eagle is a shield with 13 alternating red and white stripes (the pales) representing the 13 original States.  The stripes on the seal begin and end with the white stripe unlike the flag the begins and ends with red. This represents the desire for peace. Across the top of the shield is a blue field (chief) that unites all the stripes into one. It represented the United States Congress. Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental congress, introduced the design for the new Seal and said, “The colors of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of america; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valor, and Blue, the color of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.” The eagle became our national “Coat of Arms.”
  5. In his right talons the eagle grasps an olive branch with 13 berries representing peace. He is looking to the right saying he prefers peace.
  6.  In his left talon the eagle grasps 13 arrows representing war meaning our willingness to defend our nation.
  7. Above the eagle are 13 stars inside a circular design, representing a “New Constellation”, the same constellation referred to in the blue union of the United States Flag. This constellation is in the form of the Star of David or two triangles, one pointing up and the other pointing down. It is also 12 surrounding one. The surrounding circle is both a cloud and fire representing the pillar of fire by day and cloud by night that God used to guide the Israelite back to their promised land. Here it represents the guidance God is still giving those who choose to follow Him.
  8. In his beak the eagle grasps a flowing ribbon bearing the first Motto of the United States, “E Pluribus Unum.” There are 13 letters in this motto which is Latin for, “Out of many, One,” reminding us that out of many States is born One New Nation. It can also be viewed on a spiritual level out of many (all of us) we will return to and be One with God. On June 30, 1956 the words, “In God we Trust” were designated as our National Motto.

There are eight thirteens found on the Seal representing the “rebirth” (see number 8) of a great Nation. Twelve surround one, one (God) supporting the other TWELVE (us). We are the New Constellation being formed and He is our Bright Star. Thirteen has great power! 🙂

If thirteen was so often used by the founding fathers isn’t it good enough for us! Thirteen is a number is TWELVE around ONE. Twelve apostles supported by the prophet. Us, as TWELVE tribes supported by GOD. What is supporting you? What is your center? Your support?

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