Monday, May 08, 2006

Shoshan



Lilium Candidum

The existence of the lily in the Holy Land has been a controversial topic. Historians believe the Biblical mention of "Lilies of the Field" actually refers to many wildflowers that grow in Israel and in particular, to the crown Anemone. However, botanists discovered colonies of Lilium Candidum growing in northern Palestine. They knew it was a wild plant because it was in a location untouched by civilization. This was a controversial discovery because botanists thought the Madonna Lily did not produce seeds. However, in 1916, a colony of seed producing Madonna Lilies were found, thus ending the debate. Botanists believe that environmental changes led to the decrease in the numbers.

Hot dry summers of Israel today do not suit the growth requirements and late summer blooming habit of this lily. Today it can be found in cooler mountain areas near streams in the Galilee. One perfect location is the hills surrounding the Montfort Crusader castle built by Templar Crusader knights in the early 12th century



Montfort castle, Galilee 1200 AD.

Of all the flowers mentioned in the Bible, lilies are mentioned the most. The lily was used in the scriptures in many a romantic poetry, and are mentioned in the Old Testament as decorative carvings on pillars in palaces and temples. But most of all they are mentioned in Solomon's Song of Songs.

"I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys." Songs of Solomon, 2:1
"As the lily among thorns, so is my love among daughters." Songs of Solomon, 2:2
"My beloved is mine and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies. Songs of Solomon, 16
" And its rim was like the rim of the cup, like a lily blossom." King I, 7:26
"I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily." Hosea 14:5



Hexagram and Lilium Candidum . Similar?

King Solomon was captivated by this flower and used it as the original symbol for his seal which today we know as the Seal of Solomon. (Hexagram, Star of David) The lily with its white petals resonates purity and symbolism and venerates divinity. The lily possesses a phalic rod which thrusts forth from its interior, making it uniquely hermaphroditic in its symbolism.

The Hexagram is associated with the Biblical Solomon, known as the Star of David. It represents divine union, being composed of a female watery triangle and a male fiery triangle, which correspond to lily's hermaphroditic make up. The Hebrew word for lily Shoshan is usually rendered whiteness and it derives from a root meaning six, which fits well with the petal number of Lilium Candidum and in return the six pointed star of David.



Just a coincidence?

Many scholars attemted to trace the star of David back to King David himself, but all evidence suggested otherwise. The earliest known Jewish use of the hexagram was a a seal in ancient Israel. (6th century AD) Legends connect this symbol with the seal of Solomon. I believe the origins of the Hexagram and its meaning came from the lily which Solomon adored and chose as his symbol.

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