Picts – Basic truths - Sea urchins and cosmic eggs
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
One of the best examples of the use of the sea urchin as a symbol, is in the Nigg stone shown in this drawing by Andrew Gibb of 1856 and showing the cross side. The stone was originally located at the gateway to the grounds of the parish church of Nigg, Easter Ross. It is one of the finest surviving, and one of the most elaborate Pictish carved stones.
It bears an elaborately decorated cross in high relief on the 'front' and a figural scene on the reverse, which contains numerous Pictish symbols - an eagle above a Pictish Beast, a sheep, the oldest evidence of a European triangular harp, and hunting scenes. The scene is extremely complicated and made more difficult to interpret by deliberate defacement. The stone was shattered in the 18th century. Presumably it was just a dash too ‘Pagan’ for some people.
The carvings on the cross side is more abstract, though just as symbolic. There are twelve ‘sea urchins’ altogether. The symbol can be recognised because the shell appears to be covered with thousands of little islands with hills or pyramids on. And it is divided up like the Matrix. A number of carved stone balls on Orkney looking very like this but are whole, have been found at the site and some are on display in the Orkney museum.
This represents the Earth. Not earth, Earth. It is the cosmic egg as seen from the outside. The inside is hollow - not literally figuratively, because it is spirit.
The planet earth is a vast site of sacred geographical sites, a matrix of interconnecting ley lines and pyramids, ziggurats, mountains, hills, artificial hills, sacred wells, sacred springs, sacred groves, barrows, forests, sacred trees, temples, palaces, round towers, and so on and so on. This is because the Earth is too - as above so below.
And the balls and sea urchin represent the sacred geography of the earth, but by showing every feature as a sort of pimple on the cosmic egg.
[I am aware this is extraordinarily difficult to grasp and one has to have spent some time understanding the concepts of metaphysics to grasp this, but that is the idea, only the keen and avid initiate will grasp it.]