Symbols - What does heaven look like


Hair and crown combined - a maori topknot

A topknot is a small bunch of hair, either coiled round or plaited, or worn as a bun, at the top of the head.  It has been used symbolically by a number of mystic groups, principally [though not exclusively] in Asia ad the Pacific, for example:

  • Chonmage, a traditional Japanese haircut worn by men, most commonly associated with the Edo Period and Samurai, and in recent times with sumo wrestlers
  • Sangtu, a knot of hair that married men of the Joseon Dynasty wore in Korea
  • Sikha, worn by orthodox Hindus. It is a long tuft, or lock of hair left on top or on the back of the shaven head. Though traditionally all Hindus were required to wear a śikhā, today it is seen mainly among Brahmachari, 'celibate monks' and temple priests.  Traditionally, Hindu men shave off all their hair as a child in a  ritual known as the chudakarama. A lock of hair is left at the crown.
  • also found in Buddhism
    Khokhol, oseledets is a traditional Ukrainian haircut.  It describes the Ukrainian cossack style of haircut that features a lock of hair sprouting from the top or the front of an otherwise closely shaven head
  • Tikitiki, a top-knot worn by high-ranking Māori men
  • Sikh topknot - often worm by young boys as their hair grows. Cutting hair is strictly forbidden in Sikhism for those who have taken the Amrit initiation ceremony.
  • Other examples - in ancient Egypt a coming-of-age ceremony removed childhood locks of hair similar to the śikhā ; a  topknot was also found in Thailand, and a similar lock of hair was used in China.

The symbolism combines that for hair and the crown.  It is a way of showing in a more practical way than actually wearing a crown, that your crown chakra has been opened - you are spiritually open on a permanent basis.

a little Sikh boy

Hair is viewed as a sort of final thread in the communication channels between the spiritual world and the physical world. The longer the hair, the better the communication, which is possibly why we subconsciously like to see long hair, and why people grow their hair – men and women.  It is why the Sikhs don't cut their hair – symbolically it would destroy their links with the spiritual world.

Over the hills and a long way off

The wind shall blow your topknot off!



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