Friday, January 13, 2017

Religion and the Number Three by Cora Linn Daniels 1908

Religion and the Number Three by Cora Linn Daniels 1908

The number 3 is regarded with particularly superstitious awe. "The third time is the charm." "Three times and out." The world was made of three substances, air, earth and water. Three lights were given to the world, sun, moon and stars. There are three in the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There were three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter denied the Saviour three times. The sacred letters in the cross are three, I. H. S. There are three graces, Faith, Hope and Charity, fhe day has three periods, morning, noon and night. Our government has three heads, the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.

Three is a divine number. The Trinity occurs in the religion and mythology of most peoples.

In Greek mythology there are three fates (Clotho witn her distaff presiding at birth, Lachesis spinning the thread of life, Atropos cutting the thread); three furies (Tisiphone, Alecto, Megaera); three Graces (Euphrosyne representing cheerfulness of mind, Aglaia representing mirth, and Thalia representing good-natured jest); three judges of Hades (Minos the chief baron, Aeacus the judge of Europeans, Rhadamanthus the judge of Asiatics and Africans). The Muses are three times three. Jupiter's thunder is three-forked; Neptune's trident has three prongs; Pluto's dog Cerberus, the hell-hound, has three heads. The rivers of hell are three times three, and the Styx flows round hell thrice three times.

In Scandinavian mythology there are three times three earths; three times three worlds in Niflheim; three times three regions under the dominion of Hel.

With the Jews three is a symbolic number, the temple consisting of three parts; three courts, of which the innermost court had three rows, and each row three windows. The golden candlestick had three branches on each side; there were three bowls, and three pillars for the hangings, etc.

Among the Iroquois Indians three puffs are taken from a pipe when smoking according to ceremonial custom. Three gates or doors are supposed to guard the way to the land of the dead. Three days are consumed in the journey thither. Three days after death the spirit of man repasses his former home on its way to the spirit world, and this repassage is made known by knockings on some article of furniture or on the side of the house formerly occupied. Three cups of medicine were used by the great wizard who killed a so-called great serpent, the appearance of which was so terrific that those who looked upon it died vomiting blood.

The Egyptians have always considered three a mystical and lucky number.

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