|Temple of Contemplation Peace Page 2
|Symbols of Peace
Calumet (peace pipe) - Calumet means "reed" in French. Such pipes were considered sacred, offering communion with the animate powers of the universe and embodying the honor and the source of power of Native Americans who possessed them. Calumets were particularly used at the conclusion of peace treaties and in ceremonies of adoption. The pipes were principally used by the Dakotan and Algonquian peoples of the Great Plains and in the southeastern United States. Communal smoking usually carried the guarantees of friendship.
Dove - In the Bible, a dove was released from the Ark by Noah and returned with an olive branch to show that the Biblical flood was over. Ever since, the dove has symbolized deliverance and God's forgiveness.
Rainbow - The rain-bow is also a biblical peace symbol. When men would go off to fight they would take their "bow" with them of course -- when they would return home they would "hang their bow" up on the wall making the basic statement that they were not at war but in a time of piece. The rain-bow is the same action but the Holy One "hanging bow" in the sky for all to see that we are not at war but in a time and promise of peace. In Christian tradition it symbolizes God's forgiveness, as it was placed in the sky as the arch of peace after the Biblical flood - a symbol of the covenant between God and mankind.
Mistletoe - "After the sun god Balder was killed by the wicked Loki's mistletoe dart, the plant was feared and hated by all as the instrument of death and betrayal. Balder's mother, the Goddess Freya, redeemed it in honour of her son, decreeing that mistletoe should become a symbol of peace and reconciliation. From that time on, enemies who met under a clump of mistletoe would lay down their arms and declare a truce. (Scandinavian folklore)
Olive Branch - The olive branch has for thousands of years been used as a sign of peace and goodwill. In early cultivation of the olive it took decades to bear fruit for harvest, and anyone who planted olive groves must be expecting a long and peaceful life. Although peace was associated with the olive branch during the time of the Greeks, the symbolism became even stronger under the Pax Romana when envoys used the olive branch as tokens of peace.
Olive Wreath - The olive wreath, was the highest award given to a citizen in ancient Greece. The prize was also given to winners at the ancient Olympic Games - a time when wars were suspended between competing states.
The Peace Action Symbol was designed on February 21, 1958 for use in the first Aldermaston Easter Peace Walk in England. The symbol is the composite semaphore signal for the letters 'N' and 'D' standing for Nuclear Disarmament. N in semaphore D in semaphore
Peace Sign - The peace sign begun in Europe during World War II when a V for victory was painted on walls as a symbol of freedom from occupying forces. V is linked to the French word for victory ' victoire ' and the Dutch word for freedom 'vrijheid'
Roerich's Peace Banner
Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947), a Russian artist, cultural activist, and philosopher, founded a movement to protect cultural artifacts. Its symbol was a maroon-on-white emblem consisting of three solid circles in a surrounding circle. It has also been used as a peace banner. In 1935 a pact initiated by Roerich was signed by the United States and Latin American nations, agreeing that "historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions" should be protected both in times of peace and war.
The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today
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