Wednesday, February 22, 2012

12 Tribes of Israel Emblem Symmetry - Asher and Ephraim, part 4

Each tribe within the Twelve Tribes of Israel has a totem, but some tribes have more than one. It's like in the Western Zodiac since some people refer to Capricorn as a goat while others picture Capricorn as a mermaid goat. Which is correct? I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder. The emblems for the 12 tribes of Israel arose in the wake of Jacob's final blessing to his sons, who became the twelve founding fathers of Israel.

Part IV - Asher & Ephraim

The emblem of Asher is fairly consistent - an olive tree. While the emblem for Ephraim varies. But a harmonious totem par excellence for the olive tree of Asher is the grape. Although the grape is a lesser less popular symbol for Ephraim it balances with Asher's olives figuratively and literally. The totem of grapes can also represent the tribe of Joseph. That's fine, since Ephraim was blessed as one the same footstep with his father - Joseph - in the wake of Jacob.

With the match of two treasures from mother earth, a vine and a tree connect the tribes of Asher and Ephraim. Likewise their fruits have deep sacramental significance. Olive oil is painted in a divine light in all of the branches that sprouted forth from the Great Patriarch - Abraham. Olives are mentioned all throughout the Torah and New Testament, even in the highest of Islamic Holy Books. Even before the birth of Christ olives were associated with the realm of the divine in Ancient Greece.

So what's so special about olives? One amazing fact is that these little trees can live for millenia, and still produce fruit. Their root systems are something of a kind of magic, that go deep into the earth. If the upper parts get damaged or cut off, new shoot can arise from the roots, making the olive tree a hardy little tree. The bark of these trees are also totally gnarly, intricate and paradoxically ancient and post modern.

The grapevine too, is seen with holy glory. The paramount Biblical plant par excellence is the grapevine. It is a work of art, decoration, delicious appetizer, religious sacrament and a narcotic. The history of this vine was intricately memorialized in Egypt long before the rise of the Great Pyramids.

Imagine if you had never seen an olive or grape before? You would see two fruits of a similar size and shape. However their ripe flavors contrast like night and day. The grape can be sweet and succulent, while the olive is meaty and sour.

The roots of the olive tree match in magnificence to the vines of the grape....(more to come)

link to part 1 (a Howling Roar)
link to part 4 (Don't point those things at me!)

Grape Pic By eflon October 11, 2012
Olive Pic by Nick Fraser 2005. en:User:Nickfraser by the Dead Sea in Jordan. March 4, 2006. en:Image:Olivesfromjordan.jpg

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