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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My First Tattoo!

Brianna Bodie did a magnificent job creating this beautiful flaming chalice to represent my passion for Unitarian Universalism and my true love for a community of people who strive for a world community of love, justice and peace.
Here is a portion of an article I found about the significance of the flaming chalice found at http://www.uupuertorico.org/100_Questions_eng/Chalice.htm


Three Elements

The symbol of the chalice flame may be further understood as a metaphor for the lives of human beings, both as individuals and in community.
A cup is a familiar object made to be held and passed around -- for sharing. A flame, by contrast, is not an object. It cannot be weighed or measured. It is no static thing, but a dynamic, changing process.
The flame needs three elements. The first of these is fuel. Fuel is material. Like the human body, like the treasured buildings, books, treasure and documents of a church community. If a fire lacks fuel it is said to be "burning low" like a candle in its final moments. The flame shrinks until it is just a feeble glow.
Unitarians are not ascetic or "other-worldly" but try to take a realistic and rational view of life. Unitarians readily accept that, like kindling for a fire, people in their private lives and collectively need the fuel of physical things.
The second element is heat. Think of the heat of life itself, distinguishing the living from the dead; the spark of intelligence, the warmth of human encounter, even the friction of disagreement. If a fire lacks heat, as when you dampen a flame with water, it is said to be guttering.
To develop as human beings, people also need heat. The vitality of congregational life, activities which animate and engross, thought-provoking moments that challenge are signs of a healthy liberal religious community. Unitarians believe that society is sustained by the warmth that functioning and supportive communities can provide.
The third element is air. Spirit has always been compared with air, or wind by Greeks and Hebrews alike. If a fire lacks air, we say that it is smouldering. There is much heat and thick black smoke, but little or no light. Modern life is too often like this.
Unitarians are open to the importance of personal religious experience, whether in a meeting house or a chapel on a Sunday, on a mountain-top, or in everyday moments during the working week. To develop, people need air or spirit: the inspiration, or breathing in, of that invisible, yet vital element; the deep moments of the self in prayer or meditation; the shared movement of the heart when the spirit is felt.

A Living Flame

The flaming chalice is something to be lit, and re-lit, by every person. It requires an act of will, of purpose and of faith.
Unitarianism allows persons to develop freely while experiencing the warmth of community. Unitarians are open to the truths that science has bequeathed, including the truth that darkness has no existence in itself. Darkness is the absence of light. Unitarians believe the way to overcome the darkness is to light our lamps whenever we meet.

3 comments:

Sadie from allnaturalme.com said...

Very cool Mama! Glad to see you've gotten yourself some ink and are back in the loop & out of February sick land :(

You were missed!

earthmama said...

Thank you. March is lookin fine. Sprouts and soil, compost and sunshine. All is well again.

MamaRose said...

What a beautiful tattoo...very nice!