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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Cup or chalice

Salvador Dali - "Apparition of a Face"

Within the Egg, each physical thing is allocated a cone of Spirit  that contains their functions – their implemented copy of the software.  Each implemented cone touches at its apex with the twin cones of the Creator and Creation.  We see this symbolically in the  Hourglass .

Cups, chalices, glasses [particularly wine glasses] and goblets are all symbolic objects based on the double cone or the hourglass.

The symbolism is slightly different to that used in the Holy Grail, where the implication is that one goes beyond one’s own soul cone to enter the goblet itself. 

The symbolism here is principally based on the receipt of spiritual input [shown blue] in the bowl of our cup, thus the tip of the cone or the Higher spirit that resides in the spiritual realm at large.

Rabindranath Tagore – from On the Sick Bed
Filling my soul's chalice with divine nectar
I have drunk it

From this we get the expression ‘my cup runneth over’.  So, I am filled with spiritual input.

There are literally hundreds of example that I found in legend and myth and in visions of  cups, bowls,  goblets, chalices, and wine glasses appearing and getting filled with ‘input’.  Just two example cups include:

  • The greek cup of Dionysos
  • Hercules and the giant gold cup of Helio

When the bowl is representing healing spiritual input the following symbol may be used and has come to be known as the ‘Bowl of Hygeia’.

“The “Bowl of Hygeia” symbol is the most widely recognized international symbol of pharmacy. In Greek mythology, Hygeia was the daughter and assistant of Aesculapius (sometimes spelled Asklepios), the God of Medicine and Healing. Hygeia's classical symbol was a bowl containing a medicinal potion with the serpent as the conduit of the energy. This is the same serpent, which appears on the caduceus, the staff of Aesclepius, the god of healing and medicine.  The serpent represents the flow of kundalini energy”

The chalice, cup, bowl and so on are used almost universally in religions worldwide and all represent the same thing, although over time it is clear the symbolism has been totally lost. 

The symbolism has led to their being used ritually and being represented physically.  Since these sorts of ritual chalice are symbolic of the receipt of spiritual input, we find they are always beautifully made and consecrated or blessed, for example: 

Derrynaflan Chalice, an 8th or 9th Century chalice, found in County Tipperary, Ireland


Chalice in the vestry of the Ipatevskii Monastery in Kostroma

Chalices and cups and goblets are used extensively in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism and some other Christian denominations.  In order to show the value of spiritual input the goblets themselves are often made of precious metal, and sometimes richly enamelled and jewelled.

The use of chalices is not just a Christian tradition, the ancient Roman calix was a drinking vessel consisting of a bowl fixed atop a stand, and was in common use at banquets, again symbolically representing the vessel used to obtain the input from the gods. Within ancient Greek and Roman temples chalices were placed on altars with oil burning in them to generate a flame.  Thus combining the symbolism of the flame as soul and the cup as receiver of spirit.

A flaming chalice symbol

At the opening of Unitarian Universalist worship services, congregations light a flame inside a chalice.  A flaming chalice is a very widely used symbol.  We can also see it in use for the Olympic Games, although it is clear the symbolism here has been entirely forgotten. 

The ultimate chalice is of course the Holy Grail, where the symbolism of this links in to  the Spiritual path and the Hourglass.

 

Observations

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